Categories: Marketing

Social Media content that’s proven to increase your audience is the use of Questions in the form of a Quiz.

A Quiz almost always draws in a diverse base of viewers based on the Quiz content. Besides being entertaining, Quizzes give you - the marketer - an insight into your reader base. Depending on how unique the Quiz is - it can go viral, increase followers and ultimately revenue.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

A few things businesses and Brands shouldn’t be doing on Social Media:

#1: Offering Up Sub-Par Customer Service

Social Media translates to immediate engagement. People often post questions, complaints and concerns online - rather than calling and sitting on hold waiting for a sales representative. When online inquiries and audience concerns are ignored or you take days to answer, they'll likely just move on to another Brand to do business with.

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Categories: Design,Marketing

What Is Google Maps Marketing?

Google Maps marketing is utilizing Google Map functions to allow your business to be found easily by those performing a search.

Big businesses are expected to be found immediately on Google Maps, but small businesses can leverage Google Maps to their benefit with strategic optimization for both search result positioning and visibility.

As a small to mid size business owner – your goal is to push for the highest placement possible within local business Google Map results, as well as on related search engine result pages.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

A Blog that’s regularly updated with new content will compliment your business website and also:

  • Give insight into your business and what your expertise is.
  • Encourage people to visit every day to see what’s new.
  • Attract New Buying Customers.
  • Increase more traffic to your website.
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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Engagement Defined

Engagement is more about the level of involvement with your Brand content rather than about the size of your cumulative audience.

Engagement rates on any social media channel is basically the measure of how loyal your followers are to you and your business.

Engagement Parameters

Key elements for tracking Engagement are:

  • Followers
  • Comments
  • Share and Reposts

How Important is Engagement?

Instagram uses Engagement as a metric to calculate where your content appears in a followers feed. The Engagement metric reflects follower activity and interaction. Instagram translates Engagement as a sign that followers want to see more of your content, resulting in a higher placement level in their feeds.

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Categories: Marketing

As a Local or Online business, spreading Brand awareness is one of the top elements of your marketing strategy – with the end goal being to bring in new customers, readers, users, followers, subscribers, etc.

Extending your reach through as many online platforms as possible provides additional visibility for your Brand, while increasing your business profile in search engine results when mobile and local queries are performed.

Registering your Profile with consistent information across all platforms and listing sites allows search engines to display your business in their search results based upon specific keyword searches related to your services/products.

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Categories: Marketing

What Is Google Optimize?

Google Optimize is a free A/B testing and personalization Google tool that allows website owners to set up experiments and discover what works best on their sites. Google Optimize offers a free version, and a paid version named 360 Optimize.

Per the Google Blog:

"People want compelling and relevant digital content that's delivered at just the right moment. That's why Google Optimize is making changes to help businesses deliver better, more personalized experiences to your customers. Now, in addition to running short-term website experiments with Optimize, you can create custom website experiences that deliver the right message to your customers—every time they visit your site.

Optimize has always helped you test which version of your site works best for your customers. Now it’s even easier for you to immediately launch the winning version of your site with just a few clicks.

Say you’ve run an A/B test on your site and Optimize has determined the winning version. You can now simply click “DEPLOY LEADER,” and Optimize will re-create the winning version of your site as a new personalization that you can launch to any segment of your customers.

You can also create personalized experiences without running a test first. For instance, you might want to offer a special like free shipping to all customers in San Francisco.

Launching a personalization from scratch is now simple in Optimize. First, click the “Create Experience” button and select “Personalization” as the experience type. Using the Optimize Visual Editor, you can add the free shipping offer to your site. Then, select “users located in San Francisco” and launch the personalization."

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Categories: Design,Marketing

Everyone’s jumped on the “Brand Reputation” bandwagon the past few years … and with good reason.

It’s important to know what people are saying about your business, products and services.

  • Is someone using unauthorized images of your products on their website?
  • Is someone bad-mouthing you and your company?
  • Is someone using your photo on social media without your knowledge?
  • Has someone left a negative review?
  • Has a Blogger mentioned you in their post?

Wouldn’t it be nice to receive alerts each time your Brand name is being searched or mentioned?

Fee based subscription Reputation monitoring tools are useful and sometimes absolutely necessary to protect your Brand. If you don’t subscribe to a monitoring service yet – you may want to try out these Free monitoring tools.

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Categories: Design,Marketing

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are any link on or in a website page pointing (linking) to your website.

Back in the day, link exchanges were a common way to build backlinks to and from websites. People started building site highways and interconnecting them with hundreds, and in some cases – thousands - of reciprocal links that lead to Google dropping the proverbial hammer.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Check out these 7 Tips for Growing Your Business Facebook Organic Reach. Here is the first:

#1 – Post and Schedule Consistent Content

Facebook can become a direct line of communication between you and your audience. When people begin to view you as an authority in your niche, the information you post will begin forming a connection your viewers will count on. They’ll share and like your posts more frequently.

Create a weekly schedule for your Facebook posts and stick to it. Include images, and video when possible. Take advantage of holidays and events to post personal and business related content.

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Categories: Marketing

Definition : Search Operator

A Search Operator (or search parameter) is a character or string of commands and characters used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of the search.

Using Search Operators help you search quickly for information plus can find information to assist with SEO, identify errors that may exist on your site, and may also reveal information about competitor websites and activity.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

What is Snapchat?

Snap, Inc states they are “a camera company”.

“We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together”.

Snapchat allows users to capture and send “Snaps” which are only viewable for a set duration between 1 to 10 seconds before they automatically delete, or with no time limitation until they are closed by the recipient.

Snapchat users have an option to save specific snaps on a private storage area with the “Memories” feature. Users can see locations on a map where other people make their snaps.

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Categories: Marketing

You may or may not be familiar with the Google Keyword Planner tool, formerly known as the Google Keyword Tool. There was a time the Google Keyword Tool was accessible under its own URL and free to use for everyone, however in June of 2016 – Google rolled the Google Keyword Tool under the umbrella of Google Adwords, restricting use only to those logged into an AdWords account.

If you’re already registered with Google Ads (Adwords), then you most likely are familiar with how to use the Google Keyword Planner to research keywords, search volume trends, platforms, competitors, locations, etc.

Here we’ll cover Tips for How to use the Google Keyword Planner tool for researching Keywords, and building Keyword Lists, without having to sign up for a funded Ads (Adwords) account.

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Categories: Marketing

In theory, you have to Spend $$ to Make $$. Most often it’s easier to say than do.

The challenge of small business owners is knowing how best to invest funds in a manner that actually generates a return on their investment – rather than just spending for the sake of spending.

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Categories: Design,Marketing

Google is trying to make sure that the web sites you visit are secure. That’s why in July, their Chrome browser (version 68) will start marking sites without an SSL (security certificate) as Not Secure. To make sure the 75% of web users who use Chrome don’t see your site as Not Secure, you need to buy and install a security certificate. Just email support@hostingct.com for assistance.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

A LinkedIn Business page serves several purposes:

  • Allows a Business to tell their story.
  • Allows a Business to Educate others on their Services and Products.
  • Allows a Business to Individualize themselves against their Competitors.
  • Allows for Engagement with prospects, customers and employee candidates.
  • Allows a Business to Network and build Referral relationships for Sales Leads.
  • Allows a Business to Create a Public Image on an International scale.
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Categories: Design,Marketing

What is a Conversion Rate?

Most commonly, the conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors.

Example:
An e-commerce website logs 400 visitors per month and has 100 sales – the Conversion Rate would be 25%.
(100 divided by 400 = 25).

A conversion can refer to any specific action you want the visitor to take, and can include clicking a button, making a purchase or becoming a repeat customer.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

In internet marketing, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO. (Wikipedia definition)

Increasing your conversion rate increases overall profits for a business, so it’s crucial to optimize.

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Categories: Marketing

Branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the mind of the consumer.

Marketing is the promotion and sale of services and products, and a natural extension of your Brand.

Online Marketing allows far more opportunities than conventional business marketing because of additional channels and marketing platforms available on the Internet.

Your goal is to reinforce your Brand with marketing through Email, SEO, and Social Media to reach undiscovered customers where they spend time searching, reading, socializing and shopping.

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Categories: Email Marketing,Marketing

Email Marketing is one of the best ways to reach your audience because it allows you to carve out a unique personal relationship with people that actually look forward to reading your newsletter each week. Websites and Social Media aren’t as good in cultivating this intangible connection.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

What Are Google Posts?

Rolled out to all businesses mid - 2017, Google My Business Posts are a feature within Google My Business that allows businesses to publish content directly to Google’s search results.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Launching in 2008 as a powerful Twitter social media tool, Social oomph has expanded to a fully featured posting and scheduling app that easily lets you manage one or multiple social media profiles, posts and post scheduling.

Social oomph currently supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, App.net and Plurk, plus any Blog platform that has an XML-RPC remote publishing API. You can also automatically create social updates from RSS feed entries.

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Categories: Marketing

Local Search has definitely evolved, and now plays a key role in mobile searches in relation to sales. Statistics shows that 72% of consumers that performed a Local search, ultimately visited a place of business with five miles of their location. (Wordstream)

78% of people who performed Local searches on mobile resulted in making an offline purchase. (Search Engine Land)

Local search indexing and first page results vary between Google and Bing, but each is important to pay attention to for SEO long-term plans. Google holds the larger market share, but Bing has a lasting foothold.

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Categories: Marketing

This dynamic marketing calendar makes it easy for you to plan out your message, timing and media, all in one place, and we're offering it to you free!  Download this super useful tool today and get planning!

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Buffer is a posting and scheduling app to manage one or multiple social media profiles, posts and post scheduling. Just add posts and Buffer will auto-process to your selected social accounts. With this app, you can add content to Buffer from any website without signing in. Extensions are available to work within Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Most marketers find it's a never ending challenge to keep their brand relevant while capturing the attention of their audience. With Video more prevalent now in social media than ever before - it's extremely important to use the correct social media video specifications and advertising video sizes. To avoid technical difficulties, and promote a positive user experience – note that each platform has it’s own set of video criteria.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

What is ORM – Online Reputation Management?
Quite simply, Online Reputation Management (ORM) is about influencing, controlling or restoring the good standing of an individual, group, business and/or Brand.

A Good Defense is a Great Offense
From the minute your website hits the internet - that’s the time to commit to a consistent schedule for online monitoring and building your brand deep and wide. Brand reputation management takes time and diligence.

If you don’t have time to do it yourself, then contract with a reputable source to perform the tedious tracking and monitoring steps involved. Identifying and nipping negative reviews / online comments in the bud is essential.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Awful images vs great images can be the difference between getting viewer attention, and being totally ignored.

Bringing attention to you and/or your brand is why you post on social media - so make your images work for you by making sure they're optimized using correct dimension and resolution criteria for each platform.

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Categories: Design,Marketing,Social Media

Awful images vs great images can be the difference between getting viewer attention, and being totally ignored.

Bringing attention to you and/or your brand is why you post on social media - so make your images work for you by making sure they're optimized using correct dimension and resolution criteria for each platform.

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Categories: Design,Marketing

A Sitemap is a file containing a list of all your website's pages.

The Sitemap provides search engines with information about your site's pages, and can improve the ease for search engines to crawl and index. A Sitemap should be submitted each time you publish new changes to any page on your site you want indexed.

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Categories: Marketing

Once a month or so it’s good to check your most visited pages in Google Analytics. If you do regular Blog posts you should analyze to see which topics are most popular with your site visitors. If you sell products or services, you can track seasonal trends or find overall popularity for any given date range.

Analyzing your most visited pages helps you know what content is read often, so you can expand in that direction. Not sure how to find your website's most popular pages in Google Analytics? Let us show you how.

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Categories: Marketing

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google to help you monitor and optimize your site's presence in Google Search results.

The Search Console helps you:

  • Make sure that Google can access your content.
  • Submit new content for crawling and remove content you don't want shown in search results.
  • Create and monitor content that delivers visually engaging search results.
  • Maintain your site with minimal disruption to search performance.
  • Monitor and resolve malware or spam issues so your site stays clean.
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Categories: Design,Marketing

What is Google Analytics?

Launched in 2005, Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google providing website statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.

Google Analytics helps you understand your site and app user patterns to evaluate content and product performance.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

With Facebook frequently adding new options, you may want to evaluate your page and see if you’re utilizing Facebook to its fullest potential for your business.

Think back to when you first set up your Facebook Business page.

Did you build your Business page to evolve into a unique community?
Or did you build your Business page just because everyone said you had to have one for Social Media reach?
Do you add Valuable Content for your fan base?
Do you Start meaningful Conversations?
Do you Respond to fan Comments?

Most companies setting up a Facebook business page have the following goals in mind: Reach Targeted Audience, Build Brand Awareness, Create Brand Loyalty, Increase Traffic to Website, and Generate Leads that Convert to Sales

These goals can be realized by attending to your page with the attitude of building a Community. Adding value applicable to different segments of your audience, starting conversations, and posting a variety of content relevant to your business and brand, both on a professional and personal level - will all help to build a loyal Community.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

If you’ve been using Instagram for a while, you may not have used “Stories” before. It’s a nice element that comes with Instagram and allows you to add custom photos and short videos to share with your followers.

The Instagram Story function was released mid 2016 and is only visible on mobile devices. There’s a 24 hour availability window for Stories to run on Instagram, then they drop off, with a new 24 hour cycle of Stories appearing.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Enhance your Facebook Business Page with a Call-To-Action button and make it easy for clients / customers to start food orders, make a reservation, shop your products, book a hair appointment and so much more! Not sure how to configure your Facebook Call-To-Action Button? Check out our step by step directions.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

A Podcast is a series of audio or video recordings. 

A Podcast episode is one audio or video file from that series. The word 'Podcast' refers to a series of audio or video files, while a 'podcast episode' is one audio file from that series. 

Podcasts are similar to Radio shows and each Podcast series will have a specific theme. Each Podcast episode will talk about a particular subject in that theme. 

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Categories: Design,Marketing

SEO is not a one time quick fix.

SEO starts when a website is being created.

SEO is a forever task of consistent monitoring.

Effective SEO is strategy refinement using proven best practices.

Check out our SEO task schedule for websites displaying lackluster search result performance. All may not be applicable to your situation, but utilize as many tasks as necessary to ensure the foundation of your site is SEO ready.

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Categories: Design,Marketing

Using the Disavow Tool in Google and Bing

It’s recommended that website owners periodically perform a backlink audit of their site, because there are Good Backlinks and Bad Backlinks … if you don’t know who’s linking “to” your website – then you may be setting up your website for low search results. If you’re inexperienced with a deep, manual link audit, then it’s best to have a professional perform one every six months, or at the least – annually.

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Categories: Marketing,Mobile

Since Google announced they’ll be indexing mobile friendly sites first in their search results, here are a few tips of how to move your Blog or website nearer the top results. 

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Here are a few online tools to assist with content promotion that you may or may not be familiar with, and can be used in conjunction with your Social Media promotion efforts.

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Categories: Marketing,Mobile

As website owners, we need to alter our mindset from being “mobile compatible” to being mobile optimized”.

The process of Mobile Optimizing is making sure visitors accessing a site from their mobile devices and mobile platforms, experience both a visual and technical positive experience.

By all accounts, with Google being the kingfish of Search - as they historically hold the largest search-share market - we have to spend more time on making sure we “get it right” according to Google-specific criteria. Once that groundwork is seeded, the other search engine results will fall in place.

In 2013 Google announced it would be adjusting search rankings appearing on Smartphones and Mobile platforms based on how well a site managed the user experience.

In 2015 Google officially confirmed more Google searches took place on Mobile devices than on desktop computers and tablets in ten countries including the USA and Japan.

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Categories: Marketing

Negative SEO is defined as a person or entity can easily unleash a slew of below-the-belt tactics with the intent to decrease a website’s ranking in search engine results, and/or to ruin their online reputation. Learn more about the types of negative SEO that may affect your online presence and learn how to fix any issues that affect you.

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Categories: Marketing

A major challenge for small businesses selling their products and/or services to localized target markets is getting their name on the first page of Google using organic methods. For those of you wanting to optimize your website for maximum exposure within Local Search results in the Google search engine, we have a few suggestions for you.

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Categories: Marketing

In the first 3 steps in this series, we’ve discussed how to create a website that people actually want to spend time on, what actions you want them to do while they are there, and how to get them there in the first place. In our final step, let’s talk about what to do with those conversions, once you have them, to actually increase your sales.

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Categories: Marketing

So far in this series, we have discussed how to build a website visitors will want to stay on and how to drive those visitors to your CTAs. But how do you get people to visit your website in the first place?

In step 3 of this 4 part series, we will go over how you can drive more visitors to your website using Search Engine Optimization.

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Categories: Marketing

Regardless of whether your company is an online business or a brick & mortar local shop, having a website that converts is a key piece of your successful business plan.

In step 1 of this 4 part series, we discussed how to build out a website users would actually enjoy visiting. In step 2, let’s discuss how to put that website to work converting visitors into leads and buyers.

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Categories: Marketing

A website that converts plays an important role in every savvy business. Your company’s website could be your best source for potential clients. Many consumers will visit a company’s website before deciding whether to buy from them, even if the company is a brick and mortar business. For those websites that belong to online businesses, having an attractive website that converts visitors into leads is even more vital.

When visiting a website, consumers are looking for one of a few key things. They want to know more about the company, learn about the products they offer, and check if they are offering any promotions that can only be found on the website.

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Categories: Marketing

Some of you might think it’s a thing of the past, but believe us when we say that writing and distributing an alluring press release can do wonders for your business. However, it’s not as easy as one, two, three; you need to put some work into it to make sure that your release is focused and captivating.

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Categories: Marketing

It’s surprising how many brand-new companies that are just starting out on their entrepreneurial venture have so little knowledge of what a marketing plan really is. Dozens of questions seem to surface whenever discussing a marketing plan. What is it? Do you have to make one? What needs to be put in it? Before we can answer the first question, a dozen more will be asked.

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Categories: Email Marketing,Marketing

While the number of subscribers you have signed up for your newsletter can directly translate into more earnings for you, the harsh reality is that your subscriber list works best with quality subscribers rather than a huge quantity of unqualified subscribers. A few hundred good quality subscribers are worth infinitely more than even a thousand people who signed up for your newsletter just for the free stuff you have to offer.

So how do you get those quality subscribers? That’s exactly what we are here to help you with. Read on to see which of our ideas you can use to increase your newsletter subscriber list with some quality subs.

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Categories: Marketing

Communicating and gaining attention can be a bit harder for nonprofit organizations than it is for regular businesses. The reason is pretty simple: money. Generally, the marketing budget for nonprofit organizations is significantly lower than that of higher up brand names and businesses. This presents a conundrum for nonprofits, because in order to generate more attention you need to dedicate a decent amount of your budget, which will in turn increase your budget overall. But how do you do this when your customer base isn’t gaining anything out of giving your organization money?

The first and foremost thing you have to do is create a voice or a tone for your organization. Determine how you will approach your audience and what your key statement is. Depending on the primary focus of your nonprofit, you will determine if your tone needs to be serious and direct or more relaxed and laidback. Each category will generate a different tone, and you need to determine which tone you will use.

Once you have determined your voice, everything in your organization that has anything to do with marketing or communication has to have that specific tone. If it doesn’t, then your organization will seem lackluster and disjointed, which will result in catastrophic failure. Anyone who communicates on behalf of your brand needs to speak with your brand’s voice and message. Here are a few ways you can deliver that message and inspire your donors.

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Categories: Marketing

Google Analytics is a fantastic source of information that can help you reach the levels of interaction you desire with your potential customers. However, reading and understanding data can sometimes be a headache, especially when we are talking about a rather complex system. While it can be slightly discouraging learning how to interpret the data which is presented by Google Analytics, we strongly suggest you take a few minutes and learn a bit about how Google Analytics works.

There are four major components when working with Google Analytics: data collection, configuration, processing, and reporting. All of these components work together to deliver the data you need in the most accurate and comprehensible way. Let’s take a look at each of these Google Analytics aspects separately.

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Categories: Marketing,Social Media

Using social media to grow your business has become a standard in the marketing world. Any business can benefit from reaching out to their customers on social media platforms. However, some of us have an odd tendency to only focus on one platform at a time. While it might be slightly more cost effective to dedicate those budget dollars towards one specific platform and focus on perfecting it, the reality is that ignoring other social media networks is a really bad idea.

Some social media sites offer a much bigger audience than others, but ignoring additional potential growth from other sites is a big mistake, especially when similar content can be utilized for nearly all platforms.

One such site to look out for is Snapchat. This social media platform has grown rapidly over the past few years. It is estimated that out of all social media users out there, about 23% of them are using Snapchat or at least have a valid Snapchat account.

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Categories: Marketing

When we need to look something up online, most of us turn straight to Google. This isn’t a random occurrence, and everyone knows it’s the established norm for searching for anything online. As of March 2016, Google is responsible for 67.7% of all global online searches. What does this mean for you? This means you have to carefully monitor everything that Google does regarding their search engine infrastructure and modify your SEO accordingly.

One such major change that Google introduced in April of 2015 was the implementation of a new algorithm which determined a website’s mobile “friendliness” and influenced its ranking amongst search results. This meant that if your website was mobile friendly, it got better scores and was more likely to show up higher in search results for people using a mobile device. Google recognized that the mobile revolution was underway and more users were starting to search and look things up with the use of their mobile devices like phones and tablets. So the response was simple, reward the sites which are optimized for mobile use with better rankings.

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Categories: Marketing

If your marketing checklist for 2017 looks identical to last year’s checklist, then I’m afraid I have to break some bad news to you…you are doing it wrong. The marketing world is a dynamic environment and it changes from year to year.

Your marketing plan should be unique in its own way every year. The reason is simple: people change and you should change how you approach your customers or clientele accordingly. Instead of having a list of things that you must get done, you need to gather a set of goals which you want to attain. Try the non-linear approach. Brainstorm, write your goals down, and connect the dots from your audience perspective.

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