4 Ways to Benefit from Google’s Helpful Content Update and Avoid Being Penalized

Google Search is continuously evolving. What many creators and website owners fail to remember is that Google does not exist to rank websites. Google exists to provide searchers with the best information.

The latest algorithm update serves to do exactly that. 

Google’s ‘helpful content update’ rewards high-quality, informative, original content made by people, for people. This means that websites with content written for search engines, rather than searchers will likely suffer. 

Here are four ways to ensure that your site is rewarded with better rankings following the latest algorithm update.

1. Be Factual, Not Fluffy

Ahrefs finds that the top-ranking page on Google only gets the most search traffic 49 percent of the time. Why? Because the top ranking page has not always included the most relevant information. The new algorithm update looks to fix that. 

It is simply not enough to quickly draft an article and stuff keywords throughout. This practice serves no purpose for the human searcher. When drafting SEO content, remember to be factual, not fluffy.

Including well-researched facts and statistics and connecting them to your product or service can help searchers make more informed decisions. Not only does this benefit the searcher, but it also benefits your business. Why wouldn’t you want your potential customers to be equipped with the knowledge you provide them with to make a purchase?

2. Be an Expert in Your Industry

Does your website convey that you’re a subject matter expert? Does it provide well-written and in-depth thought leadership content?

More than half of all shoppers report conducting research before making a purchase. This is why it’s so important to position your brand as an expert.

Be sure that every piece of blog content teaches your reader something new. Think about why your reader is on your site, and cater your content for them specifically. Prioritizing valuable information like how to use your products, the unique benefits of your services, and other helpful insights shows readers that your brand is an industry leader. 

Consider including step by step how-to’s, listicles of best practices, and any other information that your searcher will benefit from. Not only will this motivate readers to engage and convert on your website, but it will also keep them coming back for more.

3. Be Consistent and Remove Unhelpful Content

With every new algorithm update, consistency is still key and content will remain king! What does this mean for your site? 

If you have previously enlisted the help of AI to draft your blog content, or published content that was specifically designed to manipulate rankings rather than help a searcher, consider removing this content from your site. While this content may be years old, it could still cause your rankings to take a hit. 

Google suggests removing any low quality pages, merging or updating the content of individual pages into more relevant and helpful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain.  

As you begin creating higher-quality content, the work doesn’t end there. Remaining consistent will show Google that your site is an authority in its industry, and will help increase your rankings.

4. Enlist the Help of Boost by LEVERAGE™

Algorithm updates can often spark uncertainty, have undesirable effects on your rankings, and ultimately impact your business. With a solution, like Boost by LEVERAGE™ (our premium SEO program for brands that want to dominate the first page of Google), you can rest easy knowing that your website’s SEO follows best practices and may actually benefit from these updates.

Over the last fourteen years, we’ve developed SEO campaigns for hundreds of clients, and we know what works and what doesn’t. Let us help you gain a competitive edge and take the guesswork out of navigating this new ‘helpful content update.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk!

Want to Improve SEO Performance? Here’s Why Content Is (Still) King

More than half of all online experiences begin with a Google search. And, studies show that less than one percent of searchers will click on results from the second page. In fact, to many people, the second page of Google might as well be considered the “dark web.” 

Investing in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts is vital to your brand awareness, website traffic, and trustworthiness. In short, investing in SEO is crucial to generating marketing qualified leads and increasing sales.

While many factors may influence your rankings on Google, like page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and links, experts agree; when it comes to dominating the first page of Google, content is king. 

Learn more about why content remains the most important factor in your SEO strategy, and how Boost by LEVERAGE™ can help your brand gain a competitive edge. 

What Is “Good Content”?

When sharing any piece of content on your website, it’s important to remember your audience. Who will be reading it? 

Whether targeting customers looking to purchase a niche product or c-suite executives interested in learning more about your services, content must always provide value for the audience. This value may come in the form of industry insight, specific product or service information, and more. Think of who will be browsing the search engine results page (SERP) for your keyword queries, ask yourself why they care about a particular topic, and tailor content directly for them. 

Good SEO content teaches the reader something they did not know before, as well as informs them on why they should choose your company over any other competitor. It’s important that your content is free from spelling errors, grammar inconsistencies, and incorrect factual information. While these issues make your brand look unprofessional, they can also often prevent your content from ranking on the first page of Google. 

When writing good content, it is not enough to simply state your points. You must back up your claims with data. It is important to include consumer research, case studies, testimonials, and more to show that your brand has authority in a particular topic. 

With Boost by LEVERAGE™, a premium SEO program fourteen years in the making, brands can feel confident that their content positions them as industry leaders and provides significant value for their target audience.

Why It Matters for Your Brand

The term “content is king” stems from a 1996 essay written by Bill Gates on the future of the internet. 25 years later, the statement still holds true. 

Why? Because for brands across industries, it matters if they produce good content, especially for SEO purposes. 

Publishing high-quality content is the most effective way to boost rankings, drive traffic to your website, and generate marketing qualified leads. Good content is also more likely to be shared to other platforms, positioning your brand as an authority in its industry and growing trust with your audience.

Studies prove that customers inherently value the trust they have for a particular brand. Trust is the second most important factor for customers when making a decision on whether or not to make a purchase, following affordability in first place. And today more than ever, brands are being challenged to either live up to their customers expectations of trustworthiness, or fall behind their competitors. 

Good, original content also provides potential customers with the knowledge they need to make a confident purchase. Whether your target audience is looking to purchase a subscription to a meal plan service or is deciding between which law firm to handle their case, your content will aid them on their journey. 

Overall, prioritizing quality content for your SEO efforts will make a world of difference in how your existing and potential customers view your brand and choose to interact with it. 

Invest in Your SEO Effort With Boost by LEVERAGE™

Within the last year, 90 percent of consumers have used the internet to find a local business.  How does your content currently align with the image and value your brand is trying to portray? 

Over the last fourteen years, we’ve deployed SEO campaigns for hundreds of clients. Simply put, we know what works for your brand and what doesn’t. If you’re looking to improve SEO performance with quality content that speaks to your audience, we can help. 

To learn how Boost by LEVERAGE™ can help your brand, contact us today.

How to Elevate Your Digital Marketing With Video

When it comes to video marketing, 86 percent of marketers who use video report that it has been effective for generating leads. You may be wondering, “What is it about video marketing that makes it so impactful?” 

One of the most beneficial aspects is that it demonstrates your products or services in a more visually-engaging way than words or still images. In fact, 94 percent of marketers agree that video has helped increase user understanding about their products or services. Moving forward, video will continue to be an important tool in the branding toolbox. 

Here are some reasons why business owners and marketers benefit from investing in video, and ways you can incorporate video into your digital marketing efforts today.

Benefits of Video for Business Owners and Marketers

There are many benefits of video that business owners and marketers alike can enjoy. Let’s start with business owners. 

If you’re a business owner, video is more than just an attractive and trendy marketing tool. As mentioned previously, video has been proven to drive lead generation. Content that features authentic storytelling, shows off products and services, and builds trust with your audience helps grow qualified leads. 

With these leads comes more customers. And with more customers comes more revenue. In fact, 80 percent of businesses that use video report that it has helped them to increase sales. Utilizing video can also promote your brand’s unique personality, differentiating it from competitors in a saturated market.

For marketers, video provides another kind of value.

Video content on social media has a 1200 percent share rate compared to images and text combined. And, online videos make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic today. 

To reap the full benefits that video has to offer, it’s important to feature video content on website pages as well as in email newsletters. This is particularly beneficial for SEO purposes, helping to increase rankings and in turn increase visibility for the brand. When reporting results to clients and others in the C-suite, these heightened engagement rates, impressions, and conversions are sure to impress. 

Use Video to Tell Your Brand Story

The kinds of stories we tell about ourselves, and our brands, can make an immense difference in how consumers perceive and engage with us. If your brand is looking to tell its story, video may be a powerful medium to do so. 

Video storytelling can guide viewers through narratives that discuss their core values and spark an emotional connection. Through emotion, brands can connect on a more human level.

When telling your story through video, it’s important to define your goals, your audience, and your distribution channels. For example, a family-owned brand may have a goal of promoting their heritage story to connect with families like them. These videos may also be repurposed across social media platforms, television commercials, and paid search advertisements. 

Use Video to Build Trust

More than just visually appealing, video can help build trust for your brand among your audience. This trust serves as the foundation of long-lasting relationships between a brand and its customers. 46 percent of surveyed consumers report that they would be willing to pay more for a brand that they trust. 

Coherence and transparency through video can help customers feel more connected to a brand’s message. In addition to sharing an authentic brand story, video can help those skeptical about purchasing a product or investing in a service they’ve never used before. Video can answer frequently asked questions, demonstrate uses, and help customers troubleshoot in a more efficient way. 

By allowing these videos to live on your website and social media platforms, this provides your customers easy access to in-depth information about your brand, its products, and its services, at the click of a button.

Invest in Video for Your Digital Marketing Strategy

In 2020, 90 percent of consumers increased their video consumption habits. 9 out of 10 of these consumers also reported that they would like to see more brands and businesses utilizing video. Is your brand ready to elevate its storytelling, authenticity, trustworthiness, and value? 

Contact us today to learn more about what video can do for your brand.

3 Tips for Creating Engaging Email Newsletters

Are you ready to roll out an amazing email newsletter campaign for your brand? It takes a lot more than just typing out a few lines and pressing “send.” 

Creating engaging email newsletters can help increase your brand’s credibility, stay top of mind, encourage repeat purchases, and have a positive impact on brand loyalty.

Here are three tips you need to know to keep your customers opening your email newsletters.

1. Prioritize Headlines and Subject Lines

In 2022 alone, 332 billion emails are expected to be sent and received everyday, and it may feel like every last one of these emails are coming to your inbox. With so much clutter from other brands, how can your brand differentiate itself among the masses?

One way is to nail the headlines and subject lines. 

You’ll want to keep your headlines and subject lines short, sweet, and to the point. But, you’ll also want them to spark curiosity. 

For headlines, hint at what’s in the email newsletter, but don’t give it all away. Entice readers to open the email to find out more.

Subject lines with fewer than nine words tend to perform the best, and it’s recommended to stay under 60 characters. While emojis are fun, you should also stick to using only one in a subject line. 

A strong headline and subject line will keep customers engaged and interested in what your brand is offering. 

2. Make It Visual

It’s true what they say. First impressions can make or break your brand. 

That’s why it’s so important to not skimp on the visuals in your email newsletters. Think about yourself as the consumer. Do you want to read a text-heavy email with no images or appealing graphics? 

Odds are, you’ll click out of that email pretty quickly. So will your customers. 

A study conducted by Microsoft shows that the human attention span is also decreasing, dropping from 12 seconds to eight seconds since the year 2000. It’s crucial that you keep long-form copy to a minimum and break up content with images, dividers, buttons, and other graphics to help make the message flow. 

Remember, you can always link to a blog post or other page on your website that can offer more extensive information. But, once your readers are tuned out of an email, it’s very difficult to re-capture their attention.

3. Include a Powerful CTA

What is the purpose of your email newsletter? Is it to drive people to your website to read your blog posts? Or is it to advertise specials and new product or service releases?

Think about what action you want your readers to take. Then, include this in a powerful call-to-action at the end of your message. This call-to-action should be clearly-stated, bold, and easy to complete. 

For example, if you want customers to visit a product catalog on your website, be sure to link that page in an attention-grabbing way. Let your customer know what you want them to do and make it simple for them to do so. 

Use Email to Connect With Your Customers

If you want to speak directly to your customers, email is one of the best ways to do so. Through a regularly scheduled email newsletter campaign, you can keep customers up-to-date with what your brand is doing, as well as connect with them on a personal level. 

To see how we can help your brand develop and execute an effective email marketing strategy, request a consultation today. 

How to Determine an Appropriate Marketing Budget

Has your brand decided that it’s time to level up its marketing plan? One of the first steps is nailing down an appropriate marketing budget. Whether it’s for digital, traditional, or a combination of both, you’ll need to decide on the budget before any work begins. 

You may be wondering, “How do I know what to spend and how to spend it?” We can help. For a basic guide on how to determine your budget for marketing, read on.

Decide on Growth Objectives

Before locking down a marketing budget, growth objectives should be at the forefront of all marketing plans. Is your brand looking to abruptly skyrocket sales, or maintain the solid momentum it already has? 

Being specific with your growth objectives will provide marketers with a more clear direction for building a tailored strategy. If your goal is to maintain incremental growth for an extended period of time, your budget may be lower than if your goal is to significantly spike sales as soon as possible. 

While the solution to these two strategies will require different tactics, your budget will look different, too. A study conducted by Deloitte found that the average business spends about 13 percent of revenue on marketing. It’s important to have a strong grasp on your objectives to determine how much it might take to reach them.  

B2C vs B2B Marketing

Whether your brand markets to consumers or to other businesses, this will be another factor in how much you’ll spend on marketing.

When trying to reach consumers, brands are looking to build strong resonance. Brand resonance describes the extent in which consumers feel they are in sync with your company. This means that business to consumer marketing will focus on strengthening behavior loyalty, attitudinal attachment, sense of community, and active engagement to build brand equity. 

Marketing for consumers may be more emotionally driven with captivating and creative storytelling to inspire purchase. 

On the other hand, business to business marketing is typically more informational and technical, involving multiple parties in the decision making process. Marketing tactics will focus on product and service features heavily, and often work to appeal less to emotion and more to logic. 

Overall, brands typically spend more on marketing to consumers versus marketing to other businesses. Businesses that market to consumers typically spend anywhere from 10 percent to as much as 18 percent of revenue on marketing, while businesses that market to other businesses may spend anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent of revenue on marketing.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Depending on your brand objectives and target audience, your strategy may include more digital marketing tactics like social media promotion and website design or more traditional marketing tactics like out of home advertising and product innovation. 

The last year has seen tremendous growth in digital marketing tactics across all industries. 

A survey conducted by Gartner found that nearly 60 percent of business’ marketing investments go toward digital marketing activity. This is in part due to the massive shift to online operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

If your brand is looking to drive revenue, sales, volume, and profit, digital marketing may be the right avenue. If your brand is looking to improve customer experience or enhance your existing products and services, traditional marketing may be a better option. 

Your target audience demographics and psychographics will also influence whether your brand incorporates a more digital or traditional strategy. Depending on your objectives, budget allocation for digital, traditional, and integrated marketing will vary.

Additional Tips for Estimating Your Marketing Budget

After determining your growth objectives, there are many other steps you can take to get started on planning your marketing budget. Some simple ways to get started are to:

Revisit last year’s spending 

Are you looking to maintain momentum or grow from last year? Nearly half of all companies set marketing budgets depending on the previous year’s costs 

Assess your competitors

What strategies are industry leaders employing to grow their business or maintain customer relationships? 

Estimate Cost Per Lead

Determining your cost per lead is simple. Take your projected marketing costs divided by the # of new leads you want to generate. For example, if you spend  $300,000 on marketing with a goal to attract 3,000 new people, then you’ll divide $300,000 by 3,000 to get a final cost of $100 per lead.

Estimate Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is equal to the # of conversions you receive divided by the # of leads. This rate can help you determine how many of your leads are likely to convert.

Taking each of these steps can help you get a better idea on what you may need to spend on marketing. The best way to determine your marketing budget is to work with a trusted marketing agency. 

Start Planning Your Marketing Budget Today

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing your brand.  Deciding on what you should spend and how you should spend it requires extensive planning with professionals who are passionate about the success of your brand. Request a consultation with us today to get started on determining an appropriate marketing budget to reach your goals. 

The Keys to Growth in Subscription Box Ecommerce

One of the greatest areas of opportunity in business today is for existing subscription box brands. Today, nearly one-third of all US consumers subscribe to subscription box services. On average, each of these consumers spend 57 dollars per month on these boxes. 

Even if your subscription box service has an established audience, there are many ways to promote even further growth. 

So, what’s the secret to long-lasting success and customer retention? To learn more about our top tips on growing your subscription box ecommerce, read on for our basic guide. 

New Customer Acquisition

The truth is, most customers are not automatically attracted to subscription boxes. As you know, there is no magical energy that pulls them in. That’s why acquiring customers, and then keeping them, is such a difficult task. 

Offering a free or highly-discounted trial period can facilitate a “nothing to lose” mindset for apprehensive consumers. However, it’s crucial not to overinvest in these areas. If you’ve already started planning your customer acquisition marketing strategy, be sure not to neglect your returning subscribers. 

Focusing on the lifestyle of your target audience provides an exclusive offer they can’t resist. Catering to your audience’s everyday habits can help acquire more new customers to an already successful brand, but also keep them for the long haul.

Another tip is to prioritize word of mouth marketing. Influencer marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing this year, and can be highly beneficial for growing your subscription box even further. If you’re in a unique niche, consider working with an influencer to reach even more of your viable target audience. 

Finally, use email marketing to your advantage. Consider that many potential customers will browse your website and products seeking trust symbols. By using opt-in forms and email sign ups on your website, you can learn valuable information about these potential customers as well as speak to them directly. 

Customer Experience

With a strong customer acquisition strategy under your belt, catering to a highly-personalized customer experience is another strong trend in the subscription box industry. 

More than ever before, customers are searching for products, services, and media specifically tailored to their needs. This trend is especially true in 2022, as consumers continue to turn to ecommerce versus traditional in-person shopping experiences. In fact, 91 percent of customers are more likely to buy from brands that cater to their personalized preferences. 

Allowing customers to curate their monthly box with preferences not only shows customers that you’re paying attention to their needs and wants, but it will also show that they can get something unique from your brand that they won’t find anywhere else. 

You may also consider asking your existing customers for user-generated content. Simply ask them to snap a photo or short video of their box at home and products in-use. Then, share these photos on your social media, website, and email marketing campaigns. 

This allows your customers to feel that they’re involved in an important relationship with your brand. It also allows other potential customers to see your products in action. 

Churn Reduction

Studies show that across all industries and services, cancellation rates of subscription boxes are at nearly 40 percent. Most cancellations also happen within the first six months. 

Are you experiencing higher churn rates than you’d like? And why are so many customers canceling their subscriptions?

One of the main reasons is that consumers are searching for an A to Z experience rather than a product. While flash sales and incentives can be great to attract new customers or increase sales for a short period of time, they likely won’t work to build long-term relationships and reduce churn.

Be sure that your subscription box continues to adapt over time and grow with your customers. Allow for continued opportunities for customization and curation, and welcome feedback along the way. 

You might also offer specials for your existing customers or a loyalty reward program. Even simple items like hand-written thank you cards can go a long way with existing customers. 

The key to reducing your churn rate is to focus on personalized experiences and tailored communication no matter how far along your business is.

Think Outside Of the Subscription Box: Growth for 2022 and Beyond

Ecommerce is an ever changing landscape of opportunities. Your subscription box service is no exception. That’s why it’s crucial to continuously develop your marketing strategy to grow with your customers and market competition.

Now that you know some of our top tips for subscription box success in 2022 and beyond, what are you waiting for? 

Request a complimentary consultation today.

3 Digital Marketing Tactics Businesses Should Utilize in 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way a vast majority of businesses operate, with companies of all shapes and sizes investing significant dollars in the migration to digital platforms, including email, apps, predictive analytics, virtual reality, chatbots, and e-commerce. Now, at the beginning of a new year, even more companies are taking a step back to reevaluate their marketing and commerce strategies, analyze consumer behaviors and marketing trends, and make key changes to sustain the growth of their business in a severely strained market.

In this brief guide, we’re uncovering the top digital marketing trends for 2021 based on the previous year’s data and future projections to help your business get ahead of the curve.

Enter the Age of Personalization

According to a report published by personalization platform SmarterHQ, 72 percent of consumers say that they only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests. Interestingly enough, the same report also finds that 86 percent of consumers are also concerned about their data privacy. What this means for businesses going forward is that consumers are going to expect your brand to help them understand what they’ve purchased in the past and decide what to purchase next based on the data that they’ve consciously shared with you by engaging with your channels. The word ‘consciously’ is critical here as you never want to collect or share data about your customers without their express consent.

Fortunately, as trends demonstrate, more and more consumers are willing to share their data for the use of personalized content and transactional e-commerce. Below are just a few of the key reasons consumers indicated they would be willing to share their data with a company:

  • To receive exclusive discounts on products
  • To have issues resolved quickly
  • To receive personalized product recommendations
  • To find products easier and faster

This is no longer businesses meeting consumers where they are in their buyer’s journey. This is consumers telling businesses what they want and when they want it via first-party shopper data. The more understanding you are of what your customers want to see next, the better you can predict when and where they’re likely to make a purchase.

Consider the Role of Influencer Marketing

Consumer-oriented brands have historically used social media influencers to present authentic and unbiased advertising to prospective customers. With a limited ability to shop in-store, the pandemic has greatly heightened the impact of influencers on these purchases. Not only do 49 percent of consumers now depend on influencer recommendations, but 40 percent of consumers report that they purchase a product only after seeing it used by an influencer on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, or another social media platform. This is because influencers are able to speak on a more personal level to the consumer and advertise to them in a way that feels more genuine.

However, the process of acquiring and using influencers isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem. For businesses looking to succeed through influencer marketing, there are a number of key factors to take into close consideration, including:

  • Allocating the appropriate budget
  • Determining the value of redistributing influencer’s content
  • Establishing a process that allows influencers to post quickly without prohibitive review cycles

What you’re going to want to look for is long-term relationships with influencers and a campaign that can be integrated with your other marketing functions rather than a campaign that is siloed from the others. You need to create a holistic digital marketing strategy that delivers impact far beyond just brand awareness.

Embrace Omni-Channel Commerce

Multi-channel marketing is an umbrella term commonly used to refer to the distribution of marketing messages across multiple channels, including website, email, social media, direct response, and more. You’re probably already utilizing this strategy in your business. Omni-channel commerce, on the other hand, is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving consumers in a way that provides an integrated and seamless customer experience no matter how or where the customer is shopping. According to the recent Marketing Automation Statistics Report published by Omnisend, there are distinct and powerful advantages to this approach, including:

  • Brands see a 287 percent higher purchase rate when using three or more channels
  • The average order value is 13 percent more per order on omni-channel vs. single channel
  • Customer retention rates are 90 percent higher for omni-channel vs. single channel

Creating an integrated and cohesive customer experience is also connected to personalization, as customers will be expecting a personalized experience at every channel and/or touchpoint. This means, among other things, getting to know your customer, selecting the appropriate channels, and acquiring the right technology to follow your customer across all touchpoints. To unite the strengths of each communication channel, you’ll want to use the unique experience and interests of the customer to optimize the consistency of your marketing accordingly. Your customers and your bottom line will thank you.

Don’t have a successful digital marketing strategy in place or aren’t sure how to implement any of the marketing tactics outlined in this article? We can help.

Request a complimentary consultation today.

Three Costly Social Media Mistakes Brands Should Avoid in 2021

The pandemic has driven brands to rely more than ever on digital channels to engage their customers. Social media, in particular, is one channel that has benefitted from this trend due to its low barriers to entry. However, organizations should avoid a shotgun approach to social media that can result in mistakes which negatively impact brand perception, alienate customers, and hurt sales. Instead, consider establishing social media protocol, identifying do’s and don’ts, and having a quality control process in place that protects your brand.

Here are three costly mistakes to avoid with your social media strategy in 2021:

  1. Wear gloves if handling products, especially food
  2. Avoid photos/videos that don’t reflect social distancing
  3. Don’t overwhelm your followers’ feeds by posting too frequently

Contactless Everything

As a result of the pandemic, consumers are ultra-sensitive to how the products they’re purchasing have been handled. How brands portray their offerings on social media is a representation of how those offerings are managed behind the scenes  — something consumers are factoring into their buying decisions now more than ever. For example, an establishment that sells food may send the wrong message by sharing a photo/video of a team member holding an unpackaged, ready-to-eat item without gloves. Although the intention may be to showcase the product, the result is a perception that staff members prepare and/or serve the food without gloves, which could alienate customers.

Six Feet of Separation

Avoid posting photos and videos that don’t reflect social distancing protocols, or at least ensure everyone is wearing a mask if maintaining 6 feet of separation is not possible. Failing to do so can send the wrong message and attract unwanted scrutiny. It’s also advisable to avoid posts that show individuals shaking hands, team members huddled together, or anything else that might make customers feel uncomfortable.

Law of Diminishing Returns

Posting too frequently can overwhelm your audience and result in unfollows or the social equivalent of ‘ad blindness’ where followers simply ignore your posts. This is akin to email marketing, where emailing subscribers too frequently can result in a greater volume of unsubscribes and a lower open rate. Just as you wouldn’t want to clutter your customer’s inboxes, you don’t want to clutter their newsfeeds either. A study published by Hubspot found that posting on Facebook and LinkedIn more than 5 times per week resulted in diminishing returns.

Something else that posting too frequently can diminish is your brand. Make sure your strategy provides value to your audience in a tasteful and tactful way, and elevates your brand. Posting content that could be perceived as out of touch with the current climate and posting too frequently can do more harm than good to your brand over time.

In summary, avoid costly mistakes like these by establishing social media protocols within your organization, identifying do’s and don’ts, and having a quality control process in place that protects the brand. Only by taking the steps outlined above can you ensure that your social media strategy has the intended effect of providing value to your audience while avoiding the consequences of negative brand perception.

How to Accelerate Your Organization’s Digital Transformation in 2021

Prior to COVID-19, did you rely primarily on word of mouth, referrals, networking, and conferences to drive revenue? Did you find it challenging to successfully pivot your offering and marketing efforts to digital channels in 2020? If so, it may be time to consider changing the way your business delivers value to customers in the digital age.

The adoption of technology is accelerating, and consumer behavior is rapidly changing, as evidenced by the record-setting e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2020. To take advantage of these trends in 2021, you’ll want to develop and implement a digital transformation strategy that ensures healthy customer acquisition and retention. This strategy should enable engagement with your audience through technology from initial touchpoint to conversion, and beyond.

Below are some insights to help as you develop your organization’s digital transformation plan.

Utilize Technology to Make Your Offering More Accessible

Thanks to Amazon, Zoom, Shipt, UberEats, and others, consumer behaviors and expectations are shifting dramatically to a preference for convenience. Brands that utilize technology to make it easier for their customers to do business with them will win out in 2021. As you craft your digital transformation strategy, think about how to make your customers’ lives easier by leveraging technology to make your offerings accessible from the comfort of their own home.

Think of Your Website as a ‘Digital Experience’

Your website should no longer serve simply as a tool that provides information about who you are and what you do. It should serve as a robust digital experience that represents your brand, your culture, and the impression you want your customers to have when they engage with you. In essence, your website should drive the same perception that someone would have of your business if they were to walk in through the front door. Apple is one example of a brand that provides a digital experience through its website that is aligned with the experience a customer has when visiting one of their stores, through a visually stunning and engaging presentation (just like its products).

Take Advantage of the Growth in Social Media Consumption

Social media usage spiked in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and social media savvy brands were rewarded. As an example, Instagram is forecasted to reach 1 billion users in 2020 according to eMarketer. That represents more than 20% year-over-year growth for the platform. To take advantage of this growth in social media consumption, your organization’s digital transformation should include a strategy to build a social media following on the appropriate platforms, and provide your audience with information of value that continuously reminds them why they followed you in the first place. Social media is also an excellent platform to introduce your brand to new customers and keep it top-of-mind with existing customers. Just make sure to keep best practices in mind and don’t overwhelm your followers’ feeds by posting too frequently.

Engage Your Audience Through Webinars and Podcasts

Consider using webinars and podcasts to engage potential customers and partners and strengthen your relationships with existing ones. These could include any presentation, lecture, or workshop that’s presented over the web, so long as it focuses on your areas of expertise and covers a topic your audience will be interested in. When done successfully, webinars and podcasts are extremely useful for capturing prospects at any stage of the sales funnel and boosting engagement amongst prospects.

Prioritize Search Visibility for Direct Response

Search engine visibility is still a key tactic for direct response advertisers, but increased competition makes it challenging to compete for top search positions as more and more brands shift to digital. Instead of only relying on SEO or paid search, consider using a hybrid approach that utilizes both tactics simultaneously in order to achieve a high level of visibility that drives customers to your website.

Invest in Software to Track Customer Data

If you’re still using spreadsheets to keep track of customer data instead of a CRM (customer relationship management) system, it’s time to make the transition. Staying in front of prospects and customers through first-party data advertising, email marketing, SMS marketing, and other channels is much easier with a CRM that serves as a central database for prospect and customer information. The next step in your digital transformation strategy will be impossible without a decent CRM system, automation.

Automate Recurring and Redundant Tasks

Automation will be a key element of your digital transformation. Given that your digital strategy will likely comprise a number of moving parts that have to be managed, establishing automation to assist with recurring tasks will save time and increase efficiencies. Look for CRM systems that include automation capabilities, such as Salesforce or Hubspot.

If you don’t yet have a digital transformation strategy in place to ensure healthy customer acquisition and retention in 2021 and aren’t sure where to begin, we can help.

Request a complimentary consultation today.

Facebook Advertising Simplified: One of The Most Effective Tactics

Facebook is much more than the most popular social media platform worldwide; it’s also where 86.8 percent of U.S. marketers create and distribute quality content, strengthen their online presence, and generate qualified leads. However, as Facebook’s advertising capabilities have become increasingly robust and versatile in nature, many businesses have said that the platform often feels overwhelming or confusing. Between a wide range of audience parameters, 11 advertising objectives, and five ad formats, it’s easy to see why some brands are struggling to wrap their minds around running a successful ad campaign. To remove some of the guesswork from this process and provide insight into what’s worked for us here at LEVERAGE, this article will explore one of the most effective Facebook advertising tactics you can implement: Retargeting.

Reconnect With Interested Customers Via Retargeting

Retargeting is an online advertising tactic that enables you to keep your brand front and center with prospective customers who have shown an interest in your products or services previously, based on their online activity. This could be visiting your website, adding something to their cart, or simply leaving a like on your Facebook page. This form of advertising is one of the most effective tactics in terms of supercharging your marketing ROI because you’re only showing advertisements to people who have already shown an interest in your business and, thus, are more likely to convert. 

Since only a small percentage of website visitors are likely to make a purchase or inquire about a service on their first visit, retargeting greatly increases the probability that they will return to your website to complete the process. With Facebook’s advertising platform, you can accomplish this by either installing a piece of code that helps track conversions and optimize ads on your website (Facebook Pixel) or by uploading a list of existing contacts from your database.

Attract New Customers Likely to Be Interested in Your Brand with Lookalike Audiences

Once you’ve established an audience of interested customers who have previously interacted with your brand, you can use a Lookalike Audience to reach new people who are likely to be interested because they’re similar to those who have already expressed interest. Essentially, you’re identifying common qualities of the people in your source audience and delivering your advertisement to those consumers to generate a wider, new audience. The better data you provide and the more information you have about your source audience, the better your results will be.

With these two advertising tactics, strong messaging, and a compelling offer, you’re bound to recapture previously lost opportunities and attract new leads likely to convert in the future.