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6 Powerful Ways To Boost Your Social Media Strategy 2019

The easier it gets to connect digitally with your customers, the harder it becomes for your business to be visible out there. For the new category of information seekers – millennials who are the early adopters of digital transformation and Gen C who are always connected, search and social media is core to their lifestyle.

More power to consumers!

Social media is their voice, and now a platform for brands to compete to get a share of this voice. Despite criticism, social media remains the voice of the online generation. So, how is your business adapting to the changing consumer attitudes and behaviors? If you don’t have a social media communication strategy at hand, it’s time you must start considering one.

Here’s a list of key tactics that will help strengthen your brands’ social media strategy this 2019:

1. Represent Your Brand Identity and Values

Be it any social media platform, each channel has its own unique voice. While Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat work best for a visually appealing voice of a younger target audience, Facebook helps in building relationships with a massive user base, LinkedIn engages B2B and B2C businesses and Twitter works best for the time crunched and on the go engagers. Every platform is representative of a different audience and perceptions.

On top of this, your presence on any of these should reflect your brand’s image and values. For instance if you are a local coffee house owner known for exotic Ethiopian coffees then you can experiment with your Instagram account with stories and posts to deliver the exclusivity and aromatic experience through different coffee menus, freshly brewed coffee visuals by playing around with the color, tone, imagery and captions.

Not only this, every conversation or engagement on your social media accounts should be in line with your core company culture and ethics. Customers love brands for their authenticity, accountability, quality of service and great communication at every touch point. So, you should start with choosing the right platform for your brand to deliver the right messages in the right context to your target consumers.

2. Apply The Integrated Communication Approach

Every new campaign that you plan to kick off for social media should resonate with the value proposition that you promise to your customers across all channels. It should be consistent, coherent, generate a conversation and an awesome customer experience throughout the journey. Your messaging on social media should not mislead or confuse customers making it hard for them to understand what the campaign is about.

Come up with your most important communication objective and audience insights so that your creative team can plan a strategy that best represents these objectives suited to this target audience for different social media channels.

3. Simplify The Process With Automation

There are a variety of social media management and marketing tools out there that can make your life easier than ever before. Utilize these technologies according to your business needs to

Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer are independent social media automation tools that help you schedule bulk posts in advance across multiple social media channels at a time.

Not only this, they provide a great dashboard for monitoring streams of content and lists that you would like to engage more with, as well as generate insights on social media metrics to help your teams understand the social ROI and how to improve on existing strategies.  

4. Invest In Paid Partnerships

Evaluate the possibility of associating your brand with a face that can influence your audience in positive ways. It not only bolsters your brands value but also adds a sense of credibility to it. This, as a bonus, motivates consumers to take a desired action or eventually make a purchase from you.

Though, a paid partnership can be a costly affair and should only be invested in if you have the budget for it. It is not mandatory to team up with a popular public face, rather you can also partner with social media influencers and bloggers known for specific niche categories to improve your brands reach.

5. Measure Strategy, Learn and Improve

Data analytics has the power to uncover opportunities like never before. Monitor your analytics dashboard and drill down deeper to understand key performance areas and answers to questions like – what kind of content works well and what doesn’t? What times are the best times to post, engage and roll out a new campaign? What is the overall sentiment? How do users behave and interact with your posts and ads? What is your turnaround time to respond to your followers? Are our offerings suited to consumer interests and behaviors?

By learning this, you can control what to put out next and recommend ways to improve your current social media marketing tactics based on what your consumer expectations.  

6. Be Creative and Unique

Delight your customers in different ways to generate more engagement, loyalty and word of mouth referrals. Create an editorial calendar with a unique theme around every month or quarter depending upon your planned campaigns or new product roll outs. You can also re-purpose old content and share infographics, gifs, boomerangs, videos, blogs or listicles appropriately across the channel. Another way of staying on top of your game is by keeping your audience engaged with giveaways, contests, polls and hashtags.

Not to forget, the fruits of an effective social media strategy take time and patience. It’s not an overnight solution to build online presence and engagement, but it keeps evolving with changing consumer, technology and market trends. A smart social media strategy that involves a multi-channel approach centered on adding value to the consumers is the way to go in 2019! What do you think?

 

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SEO-Practices-2019

SEO in 2019: 3 Areas Your Business Should Definitely Focus On!

Yes, you need SEO if you plan to kickstart your own business or if you already have one! Why this emphatic yes? There are over 2 billion people online, constantly researching, gathering information and making decisions online. Not only this, according to Statista, in 2018, 52.2% of the web traffic was generated through mobile search. Such powerful numbers can make a difference in your businesses’ profitability. You wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity that can help you get your brands voice out there and earn potential leads. Or, would you?

Nonetheless, 2019 is going to be yet another exciting year for search, especially for the local businesses. To help you outline your SEO strategy in 2019, here’s a list of key areas that will be core to your business:

 

Voice Search

As Gartner predicts the growth of AI and conversational platforms, we are in the middle of a paradigm shift to the way consumers interact with businesses today.

“Okay Google, tell me the best Chinese restaurants near me”.

We have all started looking out for answers this way.

 

Digital voice assistants have given you the power to ask without even typing what you need. If you are making use of this technology, your potential customer is also there in the list. Every year these searches are raising the bar for businesses to rank. Which is why 2019, you should give it serious thought. While desktop and mobile search are here to stay, voice search is going to be the talk of the industry. Optimizing your website for voice-based search keywords will help you garner traffic that matches consumer intent.

 

Wondering what kind of voice searches you should be targeting?

 

Natural speech. And this is based on the underlying fact that voice assistants are designed to understand natural human language. You can take advantage of this new trend and do away with basic broad level search term that is either too competitive and hard to rank for and doesn’t seem to resonate with consumer buying behavior.

 

Visual Search

Not only text-based search will experience a shift in search patterns, but visual search will also be on the rise. With platforms like Instagram, Pinterest amplifying the world of imagery, this will be an exciting new dimension to explore. Not only this, product imagery contributes to convenience and better decision making for customers, optimizing them would definitely be a good decision! A recent report by Pinterest shows that 72% of the Pinterest users get inspired to shop even when they are not actually looking for anything!

 

On similar lines, Google has been pushing up image search and making it more simple and intuitive for users to find images through the search engine. It has opened up opportunities for brands especially into e-commerce, retail, food, and decor to align their text-based SEO strategy with powerful imagery. This will continue to grow in the times to come and it would be logical to improve customer experience that positively contributes to your brand visibility and traffic.

To be able to adapt to the changing dynamics of this category in 2019, make sure you are using high definition imagery with metadata and relevant content that supports it.

 

Q&A Search

In 2018, there was a rise in the number of featured snippets for search terms and in-depth articles based on how content conveyed clarity and delivered value. This is not going to stop. Content is still the king. And this has given rise to new forms of searches that are gaining popularity in 2019 – Questions and answers. If you don’t understand what we are talking about, it’s the “People also ask” section. Lately, Google has been pushing such searches up the ladder in order to come up with the best possible solution for a search topic. So, is your content resourceful enough to answer what your potential customer is asking for?

 

Searches like: should I buy a Mazda or a Toyota – indicate that the user is already in the consideration stage and might flip into the buying funnel stage if your content provides an answer to similar searches.

 

Mozcast SERP feature shows, related questions, and knowledge panels are dominating SERPS pretty much since January. This is thought-provoking and an opportunity to capitalize your existing strategy this year moving forward.

 

There was a time when SEO was not even a priority for most businesses. It was considered to be an additional side-tactic. But now, with data taking precedence and the influence of digital marketing has changed the longstanding perception of the world of search. And as search engines are becoming more intelligent in driving insights from data to deliver value to online users like us, this niche has become even more competitive. So, if you haven’t yet recognized the power of search, it’s time you do.

 

It’s best to invest your time in these key trends this year. To help you with your search visibility and have an edge over your competition online, get in touch with our online marketing consultants to recommend you an effective search strategy.

 

Marketing-Strategies-Holiday-Season

How To Execute the Best Strategies This Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching. For some, it means getting all the decorations out and enjoying the festivities, for others it’s a chance to take a break and go on a much-needed vacation. For marketers, it’s a chance to push some creative boundaries and aid businesses with their branding efforts and ultimately, generating some leads. Due to the increase in consumers close to the holidays, brands use this as an opportunity to further push their products/services. Online marketing consultants (like us!) aid businesses with expanding their reach, creating relative and impactful holiday content, and eventually, generating profit.

While the holiday season is a great time for businesses to really show off their authentic, personable side, it is important to still keep into consideration the long-term goals of the business and not stray away from the core values instilled. Marketing consultants prepare for high-volume seasons well in advanced and have vast knowledge on the do’s and don’ts of marketing during the holidays. Outlined here are some do’s and don’t when it comes to your businesses holiday marketing strategy.

 

Remain consistent

As mentioned, the holiday season is a great time for businesses to show another side of them online, however, this doesn’t mean doing a complete 180. If a business that maintains a serious and professional tone online suddenly starts sharing memes and making an onslaught of jokes, there is an obvious breach of authenticity. Consumers may feel as if the business is changing solely to gain some traction and profit for the holiday season, which could result in loss of potential and current clients.

Marketers know how to craft and execute a holiday strategy that shows another side of a brand/business without straying away from the core value. The message put forth in December should still shine through in January. Have fun and be creative online during the holiday season, but don’t shy away from your long-term intentions and goals.

 

Plan ahead (way ahead)

Many start thinking about the holidays closer to the end of November or early December, however, marketers have already considered holiday strategies months prior. Preparing way in advance allows for an easier transition into the actual holiday season itself. Trying to create videos, ads, content, strategies, calendars, etc, takes a lot of time. Rushing to finish everything last minute can lead to missing key components or lack of quality. Planning out of holiday marketing strategy well in advance will ensure you don’t miss anything and you are delivering valuable, quality content to your audience.

 

Don’t become engulfed by the holiday season

Beautiful lights adorn homes, festive drinks and snacks are unveiled everywhere you turn, cheer is seemingly everywhere, it can be difficult to not get caught up in everything the holiday season has to offer. While this is harmless in the real world, it can have some negative ramifications in the online world. Spreading some lighthearted holiday cheer while simultaneously upkeeping with your business goals is great, however, don’t push it. The last thing your audience wants to see is a barrage of tweets from your business selling your product/service. Even if your industry heavily relies on holiday sales, it’s important to remain consistent and only post what is valuable to the consumer. Always think quality over quantity.

When it comes to holiday marketing strategies, there are so many great benefits and the increase in consumers looking to quickly purchase products/services for their loved ones, it’s important to showcase what your business has to offer. Remain genuine, have fun with it, and always provide value for your audience; this is a sure-fire mix that will help you truly benefit you and your business this holiday season.

 

Need help creating and executing your business online holiday marketing strategies? We have your back! Contact us today and get started on your way to a successful holiday campaign!

Branding-For-Businesses

The Ins and Outs of Branding for your Business

In the early 2000s, it was relatively easier to stand out online. With a handful of social platforms and significantly fewer people on the internet, many were able to execute and maintain a strong personal brand with relative ease. Fast forward to 2018; internet users hover around 3.2 billion people and new online platforms are being introduced at a very quick pace. The world of digital media has made a drastic shift in the past decade alone; so much so that e-commerce has the upper hand on brick and mortar and individuals are creating successful careers for themselves.

Building a brand for your business is imperative when it comes to separating yourself from competitors in your market and creating a sense of trust with your audience. Many businesses struggle to create a brand or neglect to do so which can cause them to go unnoticed. Having a brand in place for your business is a chance to explore the creative realms of who you are and what you have to offer. Of course, starting off can be difficult, especially when one has limited knowledge of branding and its impact on their business. Online marketing consultants, like ourselves, can help you create and execute a branding strategy that will better connect you with your audience.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a well-thought-out branding strategy. There are many steps to take when planning out how you want to brand your business as well as many steps to take along the way. It’s important to understand why you are creating a brand, who you are looking to target, what messages you want to convey, where you want to be, and what your end goal is. With these questions in mind, we can work with you to piece together a strong online brand for your business.

 

Identify your values

Value is a word so often used in marketing and for good reason. Value is something businesses must provide to their audience through what they do and what they have to offer. Before jumping on every social platform, it’s important to evaluate what message you want to convey and what you have to offer to your audience. For example, if your business sells handmade products, you want to convey to your audience what differentiates handmade from factory made and why that difference is so important. Once you have a clear understanding of the message you want to bring to your audience, you have to then find ways to interject value in what you do online. Finding, creating, and conveying value is important for long-term growth; this allows you to focus on what is important and what your audience can derive from your business.

 

Translate who you are into the digital world

Whether you are the CEO or your business or part of the team, you know who you are and what you do based on first-hand knowledge. When creating an online persona, this is valuable information you have to project. Anyone can slap their name and logo onto a social platform and call it a brand, but in order to stand out and be successful online, you have to dig deeper and go beyond the surface. Identify what approach your business is going to take online; will your persona be humorous and light-hearted? Will you tug on heartstrings constantly? Perhaps you want to take an authoritative role and project a more serious tone. Identifying who you want to be online is critical. Once you identify the vibe you want your business to give off, you have to then describe who you are, what you do, what you have to offer, and what makes your business unique. Once you have everything set in place and have identified your online persona, it is time to put it into play.

 

Build and they will come

You have identified what value you want to bring to your audience, what persona you want to go by, and what you have to offer, now it is time to put everything into action. Building a personal brand in the digital world typically requires a website for your business and social platforms. In regards to branding, social media tends to play a bigger role, however, your website is, more often than not, where you want your audience to end up. It’s important to be on a variety of platforms to increase your reach and voice, however, don’t be overzealous. You do not need to be on every single platform, in fact, it’s better to focus on a handful of relevant platforms than to spread yourself thin on platforms that are not optimal for your market. These platforms are what give your business a voice so it is imperative that you thoroughly understand them.

Like anything, you cannot build and forget. Imagine taking the time and money to have your dream house built and once it’s finally done, you disregard it. Building your brand doesn’t stop once you have created what you want to project. Branding is ongoing, meaning you must provide consistent value and engage with your audience when necessary. If you don’t have time to constantly check your social platforms for updates, trends, comments, etc, we as consultants can help!

 

Avoid the negative

Although it may seem obvious to avoid discussing anything that could damage the reputation of your business, it happens quite frequently online and many businesses have seen the direct ramifications of their online posts.  Avoiding the negative does not just mean avoiding words derogatory words and phrases, it also means avoiding controversial issues out of your scope that could create a negative bias for your businesses online persona. For example, if you are a cake shop, politics is not a relevant topic in your market and bringing it up could cause trouble. With your personal brand, you want to remain neutral and eliminate any potential bias (unless of course, you are in a field such as politics). Before posting anything ask yourself a few questions: Is this relevant to my business? Is this providing value? Am I going to upset anyone? Am I creating a bias? Can this post be taken out of context? Your answers to these important questions will help you gauge whether or not something should be posted and could potentially get you out of hot water!

 

Building a brand for your business is essential when it comes to creating a voice and reaching a larger volume of people. Your online presence says a lot about your business as does a lack of. Branding allows you to be seen and heard on a larger scale and gives you the ability to share with your audience whilst simultaneously building trust and confidence in who you are as a business and what you have to offer.

Looking to start branding for your business but don’t know where to start? Contact us today and we will help you share your voice!

Instagram-Social-Media-Marketing

Leveraging Social Media Marketing

With over 2 billion active users, it is no surprise that social media has become an outlet for businesses and individuals to flourish. In just a matter of years, online advertising has surpassed traditional means of promotion. People are ditching the weekly paper for news updates via Twitter, others are purchasing food simply to take an aesthetic image of it; regardless, social media is being used substantially. The question is, how can you leverage social media in regards to your business? Marketing agencies do a great job at working with brands and businesses to construct and execute social media strategies that will help boost a brand’s online presence and lead to potentially higher profit.

Always have a plan

There is a lot of room for creativity in social media, so much so that brands/businesses often get carried away in the spew of a moment. When it comes to leveraging social media in your marketing strategy, it is imperative that you have a plan in place. If you are unsure where to start, there are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. How can I provide value to users?
  2. What am I looking to promote/boost?
  3. What platforms will I be posting on and when?
  4. Will I utilize paid ads? Perhaps, influencers?

These are all important questions to ask yourself when developing a plan. This will allow you to remain organized and ensure you are providing the best value to your consumers whilst simultaneously keeping your profit, lead generation, and impressions in mind.

Quality over quantity

Gone are the days where follower count mattered more than anything else and the number of posts you could pump out meant you were on top of social media. Quality over quantity in marketing pertains to two key areas- audience and content. In relevance to the audience, many are under the assumption that the more followers you have, the more authority you have. Although this holds some merit, it is not 100% true. There is a multitude of applications which allow you to purchase inactive or bot followers to boost the aesthetic appeal of having a plethora of followers. These followers provide no value or engagement. It is harder to gain a following organically and will take a longer period of time, however, organic followers tend to be engaging and interested in the content you put out, thus, helping you garner more impressions via shares or likes.

In accordance with content, quality will always hold the upper hand to quantity. Pumping out several posts within a short frame of time comes across as spammy and often has the opposite effect than what was perhaps intended. Content should be well thought out, provide value, and leave the user wanting more. One quality post a day is better than ten posts being pushed out for the sake of putting out content.

Always be engaging

A huge factor that tends to be neglected in social media marketing strategies is engagement. When adopting a new strategy, it is easy and normal to fixate solely on boosting and developing your brand/business, hence, a majority of people simply push out great content and leave it at that. In social media, you have to give before you can get. You may have high-quality content, however, if you are not putting your businesses name out there or networking with those with similar interests, your content will remain unnoticed.

Commenting, sharing, liking, and replying are all great ways to show you are immersed in the community, you appreciate the work of others, and that you are approachable to potential clientele.

Don’t just sell, have fun too

A huge blunder when it comes to social media marketing is just selling/promoting your product without providing any other content to users. Whilst the main goal of social media marketing is to leverage your audience, generate leads, and eventually turn those leads to conversions, strictly selling will lead to a disconnect. Individuals like brands/businesses that are relative, trustworthy, creative, and reliable. For example, posting a motivational quote or a funny pun on Twitter is a great way to show your audience you are a real, genuine person and not just a product.

Social media marketing has become a staple for brands and businesses looking to boost their overall presence and gain new clientele in the process. If executed correctly, social media can have a significant positive impact on a brand or business. Taking the steps necessary to ensure your social media strategy will provide value to users as well as you, as a business/brand, will lead to great success in the digital world.

Find out how your brand can best leverage social media to maximize value. Contact our team to learn more about the new tactics that will help your business stay ahead of the game.

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Is The Google Chrome 68 Update A Huge Game Changer For Your Business?

Google is changing the Internet as we know it and you could be caught in the crosshairs of its latest web development initiative. A massive security upgrade is unfolding before our very eyes, marking a red-letter moment in online history.

Playing it Safe: A New Era For Secure Online Browsing

July 2018 has ushered in a significant development for webmasters and Google Chrome users. Whether you own a business website or a blog, you’re most likely finding yourself in a mad scramble to migrate your sites to HTTPS – and quite rightly so! The web browser is slated for an exciting makeover in a bid to maximize website security and encourage site owners to adopt the HTTPS encryption. The new and improved Chrome 68 browser is a stark improvement from its predecessor and aims to create a safer online environment for users.

While Google has disseminated a lot of information about the lack of security associated with non-HTTPS sites by gradually labelling a large portion of them as Not Secure in the past, the company made an announcement in February 2018 that it will complete this new phase by labelling all of these sites thusly, starting from the month of July.

The Downfalls of Not Having an HTTPS Encryption

The main objective with this initiative is to enable web users to easily decipher whether the sites they visit are secure or not – by having the Not Secure label displayed quite prominently on those sites that do not have a secure HTTPS connection. To wit, if your site does not run HTTPS, users will see the Not Secure tag in the address bar next to your domain name.

Not having an SSL certificate also brings with it other detrimental downfalls. Google de-prioritizes HTTP websites. This means that your non-encrypted site is being excluded from the automatic search ranking boost that Google introduced in 2014.

Of course, as it expected of Google, the company takes this a step further. On non-encrypted sites, the user will also see an additional warning that strongly recommends they refrain from providing any sensitive information, as this is vulnerable to phishing attacks and hacking attempts and could quite easily become compromised. Not only that, websites that do not have an SSL certificate are prone to unauthorized content injections – eg. a user’s ISP injecting malware and ads into your website.

The Benefits of Acquiring an SSL Certificate

To stay abreast of these latest developments, webmasters are now purchasing SSL certificates to inspire a sense of trust and confidence from their visitors. The statistics reflect the change in tide with nearly 70% of Chrome traffic originating from Windows and Android being secure and nearly 80% of Chrome traffic originating from Chrome OS and Mac being secure.  

Google Chrome 68 is going all in to ensure that webmasters don’t have to jump through hoops to make that transition to HTTPS. The newest Node CLI version of Lighthouse is an absolute godsend in this regard. Lighthouse is an automated tool that enables webmasters to migrate their websites to HTTPS without any hassle, while aided by mixed content audits. Developers are able to locate the resources that a website loads when deploying the HTTPS as well as which of those resources can be readily upgraded by simply altering the subresource reference to be compatible with the new version.

Furthermore, HTTPS is cheaper and easier than it’s ever been and provides access to several powerful functions and performance boosts that aren’t supported by HTTP. The long and short of it is, your website will be capable of loading up to 40 times faster by operating through HTTP/2. By having an SSL installed, you gain immediate access to API features (video/audio streaming, geolocation, etc.) that are part and parcel of responsive sites in this day and age.

Web users are becoming increasingly informed, given the surplus of knowledge on the Internet. They now look for the telltale green locks in their address bars to gauge the trustworthiness of a site. To afford your visitors that sense of protection, an SSL certificate is the best solution and also lends your site an aura of professionalism and legitimacy.

A Global Change is Brewing: What the Future Holds

The push for an HTTPS backed site by Google has already spawned colossal changes across the digital realm. Roughly 81% of the top 100 sites on the Internet employ HTTPS by default. Safe to say, Google has always been a strong advocate for web security and this new interface further cements its stance on the matter. Because of Google’s staggering influence on the web, early predictions suggest that most other browsers will jump onto the bandwagon and follow in Google’s footsteps before the year is through. In fact, Mozilla Firefox has already introduced the HTTPS Everywhere add-on that focuses on automatically encrypting sites and safeguarding all communications from external infiltration.

With Google Chrome 68, this transition to HTTPS bodes well for the future as we let our poorly secured online browsing habits fall by the wayside and embrace this global movement for a safer Internet community.

Are you looking to improve your website’s performance? Let us help!

Google is constantly doling out new upgrades that could diametrically sway your website’s performance. It never hurts to stay in the loop! To receive up-to-the minute information about all things web marketing, design and development, call (416)-619-7935.

 

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The Truth about Social Media Marketing in 2018

In the past decade, social media marketing has become more prominent in effective marketing campaigns. The speed at which news travels and the creative levels it can pass through makes it one of the best tactics to utilize while being cost-effective.

Since the ability to integrate social media does not have any requirements, the competitive scope of the field is constantly growing. To produce organic reach within posts and campaigns has become increasingly difficult.

Whether your brand is looking to improve social media results or requires an online marketing company to assist with the process, you should understand the truth behind these tactics to leverage them in your favour.

 

 

Return on Investment

Social media is one of the best investments as it can produce large results at small costs. The truth is that positive return on investment is hard to reach sometimes due to the size of the competitive field. Over 75% of marketers are utilizing social media in their campaigns but only half are seeing positive results being produced.  

 

Relying on other Marketing Tactics

Often, companies pump money into social media marketing in time increments with the hopes that it will assist with increasing reach and attention. Without other marketing tactics to rely on, the narrow focus creates tunnel vision, omitting key components that will boost your social media efforts.

For example, if your company is solely focused on social media blasts whereas a competitor is focused on both building social media material while creating a new customer base, the competitor that diversified their efforts will see higher returns. Without a building customer base, the social platforms die out in the long-run.

 

Industry at a Glance

Depending on your brand and the industry it is in, it might need more than the regular social media tactics to dominate the field. All companies start off on the same foot, with the potential to see positive return in their efforts. However, those that have strong visuals, logos, content, or just specifically tailor to demographics that engage with social media will have an advantage. If your brand does not take these factors into consideration, it will not see success as easily.

 

It’s your Lucky Day!

Have you heard of a viral post? Whether it be a product or a service, when a social media post goes viral, it is success that will continue to exponentially grow on its own. However, going viral is not up to strategy or decision-making — part of it relies on luck. A change in time or the people that interact with it can change the luck associated but don’t stress out on this factor! Consistently putting out quality content will provide a solid foundation for your social media campaigns.

 

digital marketing company toronto

Insider Info: Quality in the Eyes of Google & How it Shapes Digital Marketing

The Internet game has greatly evolved since it first began – gone are the days of online marketing in the early 2000’s when all you had to do was launch a website and easily connect with a previously untapped market. Fast forward to nearly 20 years later today, and having a website that’s stuck in the old days – slow, unresponsive, and riddled with pages of poor quality content – will guarantee just about your business’ early demise in the fast-moving digital marketplace.

With search engines like Google serving as the gateway for consumers to find products and service providers like you online, establishing a good rapport with potential customers starts with them finding your business as it comes up in search results. As your website gets users to explore its unique content and stay on your site, it sends a signal to Google that your business is able to adequately respond to users’ needs, leading it to be recommended to more users and enjoy increased reach and visibility as search rankings climb.

So how exactly does Google determine a page to have high quality content, and in effect, recommend it to users – your potential customers? How can you tell if your website has low quality pages that cause lead conversions and sales to suffer?

How Does Google See Quality?

Over the years, Google has given digital marketing companies and businesses ideas of how a high quality website should be. Here are the trademark factors your website should satisfy:

  • Unique content – this means that all content on your site isn’t merely lifted off another site.
  • Content for humans – when SEO first came to light, people thought that saturating a page with keywords to meet density standards was enough for a page to be deemed relevant, as it matched all the competitive keywords and search phrases users use to find information relevant to their queries – even when it made absolutely no sense at all. Today, Google encourages digital marketing companies, content writers, and business owners to write for humans: no more unnecessary keyword saturation, but more natural writing aimed at actually answering users’ questions.
  • Backlinks – the more reliable, quality external links and pages point to your site, the more trustworthy and reputable it is in the eyes of Google. This signals that your page is high-quality, since it’s reference-worthy.
  • Answers users’ query – your page must allow a user to successfully find the information they need, hence, answering their query. This is a bit intriguing, since measuring it isn’t as outright compared to other quality indicators, but it basically points to users spending a good amount of time on your site. To Google, this means they are finding what they searched for, and are exploring your site for more relevant content, as opposed to spending just a few seconds, then bouncing back to search results. When users don’t spend a good amount of time on your site, this signals to Google that your site wasn’t able to successfully answer a query, and in effect deems your website as low quality, and shouldn’t be enjoying a prime position on search results.

New Indicators of High Quality Websites

As digital marketing evolves these days and the race towards increasing relevance and a well-defined online customer journey pushes businesses like yours to improve performance, there are now also other indicators of quality apart from the trademark factors every digital marketing company in Toronto swears by:

  • Fast connection – what good is a website if it doesn’t load fast, and within the average time of a user’s attention span? No one likes waiting forever for a site to fully load, especially in this age of the instant need for information served online. When your site loads really slow, chances are, users bounce back to search results and select another site in place. This signals poor quality to Google, which can cause a faster-loading site to take your prime position on search.
  • A seamless, integrated user experience – gone are the days of waiting for desktop or laptop computers to power up so you can go on the Internet to search for a product or service. In their place, users can simply whip out a smartphone or use a tablet to access information online. But what’s bound to happen if your website is designed to display optimally only on old, clunky computers? You’ll definitely fall behind on reaching out to the smartphone generation that wouldn’t want to, and probably have no time to waste pinching the screen and scrolling endlessly from side to side – all because your website doesn’t fit and wasn’t designed with the modern user experience in mind.
  • No grammar and spelling errors – sounds surprising, but if you want your website to be Google’s snippet feature among other search results – definitely a great feat since users’ attention are drawn to it, you’ll want your content to be spotless, since Google is likely to remove poor quality content.
  • Alternatives to non-text content – it’s great that your website uses a variety of media to share the latest updates and introduce the best features of your products and services, such as through video, but populating your site with rich, non-text media isn’t enough: there has to alternatives. This is why videos should have transcripts and the alt text attribute isn’t forgotten. With this, Google certifies your site to be universally accessible.
  • Interactive, easily consumable content – no one likes reading through chunks of text just to find the information they need, so Google prioritizes ranking sites with well-organized pages filled with content that’s easy to consume and interact with. There are different ways to interpret this, but you’ll be surprised how Google’s algorithm has easily allowed machine learning systems to pick this up.
  • What’s next – Google doesn’t want your story to end there, so it ranks well content that point users to more useful information, like external links to sources or a follow-up on tasks anchored on a strong call-to-action, such as leading to a dedicated product page, shopping cart, or even just a simple contact page that will prompt more action from users to get everything they need.

These factors aren’t really set in stone, but they’re all a good place to start when checking how well your website performs, and if its quality is good enough to help your business engage a wider audience in the fast-paced, ever-changing digital landscape.

Is your business found on Google search results where it’s supposed to be? Boost your rankings and the customer experience you provide with a smart and modern website! Work with our digital marketing company in Toronto to optimize your site. Call us at (416)-619-7935 to start.

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3 Ways Online Marketing is Impacting the Healthcare Industry

It’s no secret that online marketing is one of the most powerful tools available to professionals and businesses in any industry. But reality is, the benefits of online marketing have been slow to reach certain industries, particularly healthcare.

Although one of the most progressive industries, the healthcare industry often lags behind others when it comes to marketing strategies. Legal and ethical concerns specific to the industry can make adaptation of new strategies scarier than it needs to be; however, online marketing has been shown to dramatically impact the healthcare industry, opening numerous opportunities for healthcare professionals to build awareness in, and promote the industry in ways that were previously unavailable.

Are you a healthcare professional in Markham looking for new ways to improve your practice and patient relationships? Keep reading to learn more about how online marketing is changing the healthcare industry and what that means for you.

Understanding Health Consumers in the Digital Age

With near universal access to the internet, most patients today will look online for health information before going into an actual healthcare practice or office. According to data from the Pew Research Center, over 70 per cent of internet users within the last year looked online for health information. In fact, searching for health related information is the third most popular online activity.

While some may interpret this data as a negative sign that more people are becoming uninformed about their health by turning to the internet for health information, what this data actually shows us is an opportunity healthcare professionals can utilize to create transparency and improve patient relationships.

How Online Marketing is Impacting the Healthcare Industry

It’s obvious that the internet plays a crucial role when it comes to transparency, education, and patient relationships. Here’s three ways digital marketing has impacted the healthcare industry:

  • New Ways of Reaching Patients

As mentioned, the majority of healthcare consumers and patients are seeking medical information online. This provides healthcare professionals an easily accessible platform to use to reach new and existing patients.

Online marketing techniques such as SEO, social media, and mobile advertising make it easier and more cost effective than ever to build a strong reputation and create a targeted approach to connect with potential patients.

Beyond simply reaching and attracting patients, online marketing tools, particularly social media, allow healthcare professionals to bring patients relevant and accurate healthcare information. When the majority of people are looking online for health related information, it’s important that reputable healthcare professionals like you are there to provide them with factual material.

  • Easily Create a Personal Relationship

Once you have started a connection, how do you sustain a relationship with and retain patients? With data provided through online marketing analytics, it’s easy to personalize messages sent to patients to make the greatest impact.

The healthcare industry is inherently a more personal industry than most, so it’s important that healthcare professionals are able to build a personalized rapport with patients. Personal, demographic, and behavioral information provided by online analytics can all play a role in crafting a personalized marketing message (or even a campaign) that helps significantly when attracting and retaining patients.

  • Establishing Industry Experts

Since more people access information online, the internet has become a valuable tool in creating brand and personal reputations across industries. With effective use of online marketing strategies such as content marketing and web design, healthcare professionals can easily build a strong reputation and stand out against competing firms and practices.

Use of carefully crafted articles, blogs, videos and social media posts, combined with attractive and professional web design, can help you set yourself apart in the healthcare industry in two ways:

1. It can help increase your visibility to patients online by improving search engine rankings and increasing traffic to your website

2. It can also help you build a reputation as a reputable industry professional by curating a strong, professional image of your name or practice.

Both of these are important since an increasing number of potential patients prefer to book appointments online, and these potential patients are more likely to book with your practice if your website is easily visible and is reputable.

As more and more people are turning to the internet for healthcare related information, healthcare professionals have a variety of new opportunities to connect with patients through online marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how you can utilize online marketing in the healthcare industry

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The Importance of Emotion in Online Marketing

Whether it is multimedia or written content, viral campaigns are known to effectively evoke the feelings of their target audience. Marketing campaigns and tactics that play on an audience’s heartstrings and feelings are considered the most effective schemes because if they are able to appeal to the emotions of their market, then they have effectively influenced them.

Humans feel first and think second so when they are emotionally affected, their thinking process changes. The spectrum of emotion is huge and content can be created to instill nostalgia, empathy, or power in someone.

Keep reading below for tips on how you can instill emotion into your company’s online marketing content.

Pull on Heartstrings

One of the most popular ways to attract people to your content and brand is to push stories of inspiration. Inspiration motivates readers to feel more positive, enlightened, and generates an overall sense of happiness. Examples of this could be seeing students achieving international success with their scientific breakthroughs or a progression video of someone’s art. This could be a great way to market your product as it showcases the hard work and dedication behind the creation.

Another way to pull on heartstrings is to use stories of people’s previous regrets and experience which will get viewers feeling empathetic and compassionate towards the story. This can be used to market a brand’s history and what they stand for.

Leverage FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

This concept is great when it comes to pop culture and youth-related products and/or services. Whether it is an incredible opportunity or a staple go-to product you are marketing, promoting the demand will help develop a sense of excitement.

The idea behind this tactic is to make the demand seem so persistent and on such a high-level that the target market will feel obligated to take part in fear of missing out on a great opportunity.

Go Beyond Happiness and Sadness

Instead of focusing on broad emotions to bring to your writing or visuals, tap into specific feelings to captivate your reader. You want to appear unique as a brand or organization.

For example, having a product that brings back nostalgia will be much more specific than an item that produces happiness or a company that focuses on the passion for the business rather than one that capitalizes on their profit margin.

The niche emotions are what will differentiate you from others and give you a competitive advantage while marketing.

Sell Experiences

When it comes to providing products or services for your market, you want to ensure you use emotions tied in with specific experiences when you sell to succeed. Provide more than a functional product or an excellent service.

Experiences are harder to replicate and they allow you to stand out. Use the emotion that you bring within your writing and multimedia and produce a remarkable marketing platform.

As more companies are jumping on the online marketing bandwagon, you want to ensure that your brand is finding a way to stay unique. Contact us today to learn about how you can make the best out of your digital marketing strategy.