Keeping Your Brand Strong in an Online World

Posted by Guest Blogger

Sep 25, 2014 8:58:48 AM

In today’s technologically advanced world, more and more businesses are taking to the online platform in order to offer their products and services. Of course, this means that, in a week, there could be more than a dozen websites being launched. That being the case, a business’ website could get lost in the pile if it is left on its own, especially if such website is for a high risk merchant account. This is where proper branding of your business online comes handy.

 

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Topics: Branding

Don’t Stumble This Fall – Marketing Checklist for the 4th Quarter

Posted by Emily Carter

Sep 24, 2014 4:15:02 PM

Does it even seem real that we’re already done with the summer? I’m not sure that I’m ready for this to happen, but here we are yet again. Autumn is a time of year when we start to bundle in sweaters, add pumpkin flavor to everything and gear up for winter (shudder).

The change of season isn’t the only change that is happening. We are also entering the Fourth Quarter of the year, which means a few things to different businesses. Whether you are gearing up for a busy season, just wrapping up with your busy months, or plugging along like you always do, it’s important to prepare for the Fourth Quarter in marketing.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Sales, Marketing Reporting

5 Ways to Fall into Instagram Marketing

Posted by Kelly Shepsko

Sep 19, 2014 8:48:48 AM

Instagram. Everyone loves it. It’s one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, because it focuses on visual content. In fact, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual—and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. It’s no wonder why there are more than 75 million active daily users on the platform. You can share your thoughts and ideas through photography and video, and with the use of filters and other photo-editing capabilities, you can transform your photos into little pieces of artwork for the world to see.

Instagram was launched back in October 2010, but hasn’t been used by businesses as a marketing tool until more recently. Now, 59% of big brands are active on this social platform and are becoming more creative than ever with their social marketing campaigns. From contests and promotions to how-to videos and made-for-Instagram commercials, there are tons of opportunities to engage your prospects!

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Topics: Social Media, Branding, Lead Generation, Content Marketing

5 Tips Before You Write Your Press Release (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Tony Popowski

Sep 12, 2014 2:53:11 PM

Press release writing is tricky, and it’s often an overlooked and underappreciated skill.  Press release writing is an official communication from a business to any media or news outlets, typically announcing something considered newsworthy.  A press release needs to follow Associated Press (AP) format, so if a journalist does not have the time to rewrite or research up on your business or client, they can immediately send out the release for publishing.

This is precisely why writing a press release is so important.  This is the first information a journalist will see about your client/product, so if it is not composed as correctly as possible, you’ll significantly decrease you chances of getting the word out.

  1. Whether it’s a hook or a headline, keep it catchy but relevant. A “hook” is one of those writing terms taught in 8th grade English classes, and then rarely, if ever, mentioned again.  This is a problem, because it starts the beginning of your article and often determines whether or not a person will continue reading on past that point. Hooks can be catchy, or punny, or informative, but they always need to be relevant to your subject.
  2. If you can only choose pointed or poetic, always choose pointed. When it comes to press releases, you want to keep it simple.  Throwing in unnecessary jargon or flowery language just serves to confuse people. Additionally, keep it brief—press releases should almost always be a page long, and never more than two. That’s about 400-500 words in total.
  3. The facts are your friend.  This really goes hand in hand with rule #2, but it’s important enough that I think it needs its own distinction.  There is no hyperbole in press release writing. Don’t exaggerate or stretch the truth. Ideally, you should answer the key five Ws and H (who, what, where, when, and why) in the first paragraph, so your readers know what they’re reading. 
  4. Why should anyone care?  It sounds callous, but it really is the best way to think about your press release.  The entire time you’re writing, keep asking yourself, “Why should anyone care about this event?”, “Why would they find this important?”, “Why should they keep reading?” and then answer those questions.  Prove why this is important, and if possible, tie it back to anything relevant happening in the news. 
  5. Pics or it didn’t happen.  Your press release doesn’t always need pictures, but if you have any references, use them.  That can mean photographs, or videos or links.  If you have material that could make your press release more interesting, use it.
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Topics: Public Relations

The Best SEO Tools in HubSpot

Posted by Emily Carter

Sep 5, 2014 1:05:00 PM

If you haven’t heard by now, HubSpot is an excellent marketing tool. (We tell you this a lot, so if you’ve been with us for awhile this is probably drilled into your brain by now!). Several of our clients utilize HubSpot’s tools, and as a result we have the opportunity to work with the software at length. We also have extensive experience working for clients who do not use HubSpot. This gives us a pretty unique perspective on the awesome parts of HubSpot, and the things that we can easily do without the tool.

Knowing how closely related SEO is to many other marketing strategies such as social media, website content, blogging and lead generation, it’s nice to have a product that can tie everything all together. Here are the best tools in HubSpot to use for creating, managing and monitoring your website’s SEO

 

SEO View when composing a blog entry: 

One of the newest introductions by HubSpot also happens to be one of my faves. If you have the HubSpot COS, you have this tool. When composing a blog article through HubSpot, you have the option of previewing the entry to the right of the page. However, at the bottom right hand side of the page, there is a button called “SEO View.” When clicking that magical button, you are given a list of SEO items that you should be focused on in your post. As you accomplish each task, it will turn green. The goal is to have a consistently green SEO View. The SEO suggestions they offer include: 
  • Title optimizations

  • Target keywords

  • Calls-to-Action

  • Number of times you repeat a keyword

  • Images and image optimization

  • Meta optimizations

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Facebook Ads: 5 Tips to Increase your ROI

Posted by Kelly Shepsko

Aug 29, 2014 9:11:52 AM

A number of things happen when you sign into your Facebook account. You check your notifications, reply to any messages lingering out there… and then you probably scope out your newsfeed. Whether you’re looking for a laugh from your friends’ latest ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos or the latest news about the iPhone 6—you get drawn to your newsfeed for a reason. That’s exactly why Facebook ads can be so effective and offer a wealth of potential for increasing sales.

As of 2014, there are more than 1.28 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. You could see huge returns if you run a successful ad campaign on Facebook. While there are many details to consider when setting up and optimizing your Facebook ads—such as choosing a photo, analyzing click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC) and more—mastering a few basic details will help increase your overall return on investment.

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Topics: Social Media

Dumbing It Down for your Audience & Content Marketing

Posted by Tony Popowski

Aug 21, 2014 4:08:51 PM

So you’re the expert in your field. Whether you manufacture “whadgamacallits” or provide “ohhowinteresting” consulting services, you’re an Encyclopedia of knowledge for your industry. You can go on for hours rambling technical jargon and have enough industry stats to produce your own news program.

Here’s the problem: more often than not, your target audience isn’t as smart as you. My point isn’t to insult your target audience or to sound condescending. After all, you should be the expert in your field. What I’m trying to say is – you need to get on your audience’s level when it comes to your marketing materials.

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Topics: Content Marketing

Keywords: Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em!

Posted by Emily Carter

Aug 15, 2014 12:04:00 PM

A couple of years ago, SEO strategy was all about keywords. Keywords were the most important part of everything you could do to boost search engine rankings: how many keywords were on a page? Did I choose the best meta keywords for each page? How many keywords could I possibly fit into a page title? Was I sure that I added in enough variations of the same keyword to cover the topic? 

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization

Social Media: Balancing Great Content and Paying to Promote

Posted by Guest Blogger

Aug 11, 2014 10:00:00 AM

With organic reach on Facebook declining, the idea of only having great, relevant content on your social media page is no longer an option. If you want to gain new customers then you’re going to need to include paying to advertise in your social media strategy.  Luckily, there are ways to strike a good balance between paid or promoted posts and quality content that your followers will be interested in reading.

Promoting posts that have to do with sales and are discussing products or services are probably the most commonly promoted posts. Scrolling through your own Facebook newsfeed, you’ll probably see that any promoted posts that you see are for products, services, or sales. This is most definitely the case with my feed!

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Twitter Tips: 5 Mishaps to Avoid as a New Tweeter

Posted by Kelly Shepsko

Aug 7, 2014 9:34:00 AM

twitter_oopsWith 271 million monthly active users and counting, Twitter is a hot social media platform, but there are still so many businesses that are just getting on board (or want to get on board, but don’t know where to start). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scoped out prospects that haven’t yet set up a Twitter account for their company, and how unaware they sometimes are about the benefits of including social media into their social marketing strategy

It's easy to fall out of the loop—social media changes just about every single day. However, companies that continue to turn a blind eye to Twitter are missing out on a world of marketing opportunity. 

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Topics: Social Media, Content Marketing

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