Bevelwise Blog

The Impact Of Mobile Marketing: Instant Gratification On Steroids

July 12, 2017

How often do we use mobile devices?

As a society, a large part of our daily interaction with and consumption of digital media takes place through our smartphones, especially when it comes to social media usage. In the digital space, mobile has become an enormous part of our lives. It offers enhanced capabilities to everyday life and allows us to accomplish things faster and more conveniently. We’ve grown so accustomed to using mobile for so many different things that we practically rely on it. This is what makes mobile marketing such a powerful opportunity.

                 mobile device usage - mobile marketingmobile device usage - mobile marketing

Think back to your last purchase.

Did you do any research? Compare products? Where did you buy? Online? In a store? How did you find out where to go? I would bet that you turned to your mobile device to help you make one or all of those decisions.

Nowadays, you don’t see many consumers who stroll into brick-and-mortar stores to inquire, find information or even to buy something. Most use their phone to do the research, submit the quote, find the best deal and so on. This is the case for all purchases too, regardless of cost – whether it’s you buying your first car; your parents searching for a vacation spot; or your younger sister looking for the right paintbrush. Consumers are relying more on mobile for every step of the way.

The Rise of Mobile Search:

Today, significantly more searches are made on mobile devices than on desktop computers or tablets and the gap is growing. Google confirmed that mobile searches surpassed desktop searches back in May of 2015, so the switch in priority from desktop to mobile indexing is long overdue.

“After two decades of growth development, mobile devices now bring the largest chunks of traffic to online businesses, and their influence on search is only going to expand further.” – SEJ

Is Your SEO Mobile Friendly? – Search Engine Journal

Google is now attributing more weight to mobile as an SEO importance factor. It’s now more important than ever for content to be responsive on all mobile platforms and identical to the content on your desktop site. Even more, mobile also has a close connection to a variety of other high-impact search factors – like pagespeed, navigation difficulty, page design…etc. Since mobile usability is directly related to the experience that someone is likely to have on a website, it should be an integral part of every business’s digital strategy. Websites that are not mobile-friendly or mobile-optimized will miss out on crucial ranking points, inevitably tanking their ranking potential.

“People are 5 times more likely to leave a website if it isn’t mobile-friendly.”   – Google

The Purchase Decision:

The proliferation of the mobile device has made it easier for people to quickly find information and address their needs on the fly. The evolution has transformed the way consumers make purchase decisions and spend money. The stages that people typically go through leading up to a purchase (AKA The Buyer’s Journey) has become fragmented. It’s rare today to see consumers take a steady, linear path to a transaction.  

People are moving faster and converting quicker, and it’s because of mobile

Mobile is rapidly accelerating the purchase decision – the mobile marketplace has grown rapidly and will continue to do so because consumers love the luxury of instant gratification. People prefer to buy things on the go and from the couch and smartphones are their buying tool of choiceording to an Impulse Buying ReportInvesp, impulse purchases represent almost 40% of all money spent on e-commerce transactions.

mobile buying behavior - mobile usage for purchases

The Buyer’s Journey and Micro-Moments:

The increasinginfluence that mobile has on consumer behavior is causing a major shift in the way businesses are engaging consumers. The proliferation of the mobile device as the go-to search and buying tool, has unveiled a myriad of opportunities for brand-to-consumer interaction that just didn’t exist before. These points of interaction or “Micro-moments” (a term coined by Google) happen when people turn to their device to fulfill an immediate need. They can be viewed as potential steps a customer might take in pursuit of this particular need. Brands are recognizing these moments as opportunities to engage consumers with valuable information in times of need. It’s easiest to break them down into four categories, “I-Want-To-Know”, “I-Want-To-Go”, “I-Want-To-Do” and “I-Want-To-Buy”.

mobile device research - mobile micro moments - mobile marketing

The idea is to be where consumers are at in critical times, consistently. Not only for the “I-Want-To-Buy” instances but also for the ones where information, suggestions or advice is needed. Think of these situations as great ways to build trust for your brand. If you can help consumers easily find answers to questions, they will perceive you as a credible source, which increases your chances of seeing them again.

mobile branding - mobile marketing for brands - mobile for consumers

If brands choose to neglect these moments relative to their customer needs, they will get left behind. Consumers may be loyal to a particular brand to a certain extent, but never as much as they are to themselves. If there’s a better service or show of support, it won’t take much for the customer that you worked so hard to retain, to switch teams.

mobile branding - mobile marketing for brands - mobile for consumers

Tips for crafting your own mobile marketing strategy:

  • Understand that your customers interact with their mobile devices much differently than they do with their laptops or desktop computers. Your mobile marketing strategy will require a unique approach; you need to re-think how you want to engage your customers on this platform.
  • Think Micro-Moments: this has been a buzzword for a decent while now; the key here is to map out the journey that customers take when trying to fulfill a need. Breakdown each of the 4 “I-Want-To” moments and come up with specific ways where your business can provide value to the consumer. These touchpoints are important opportunities for you to show up and offer help. Whether it’s information for research, how-to tips, or providing a price quote, the more ways you can engage customers along the buyer’s journey, the better your sales pipeline will be.
  • If you’re not tailoring your website, adjusting your social channels or optimizing your entire digital presence for mobile – then you need to get up to speed, literally. It’s not enough to just be mobile-friendly anymore – you need to completely alter your digital strategy so that you think “mobile first” every time you post or make an addition to your pages. Start by updating your website and assets so that your content is accessible across all formats.
Developing a marketing strategy out of thin air can be complicated and time consuming if you don’t have the necessary resources. Especially when its for a mobile medium that’s fraught with updates and constant change. If you are not sure where to start, it’s often best to seek help from professionals with proven experience.
Contact us and we’ll help you get started. 

Digital Marketing & Website

July 12, 2017

    How often do we use mobile devices? As a society, a large part of our daily interaction with and consumption of digital media takes place through our smartphones, especially when it comes to

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As a brand new feature, the Facebook Ads / Business Manager division of Facebook will be beta testing the incorporation of business ratings. You can opt out if your business was chosen for this

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Blogging has become a popular way for businesses to communicate with their clients and potential clients. If you have not started a blog for your business, you may be wondering if it’s worth the time

Read More

“What does it take to get good Facebook reviews for my business?” — we have heard and read this question countless times. Like most challenges in dealing with digital marketing, SEO, and public

Read More

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” – spoken by poet, John Lydgate and later

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As a product of the digital marketing industry, the SEO landscape is an environment of constant change and, for marketers, it’s a never-ending race to gain an edge. Different from what many believe,

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Not everyone was born to be a good leader. It takes a certain type of individual to move a team forward effectively. Here are a few tips of some things that I have come across in my experiences with

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BIG OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADS AND BRAND MANAGEMENT (OR BIG FAILS?): Regardless of who is on the field, every Super Bowl viewer develops an opinion about the commercials run during the game. We’re sure

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  Social media has always been a space of engagement with the objective of creating connections and fostering relationships among people. While this objective is still true, social media platforms

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As 2017 gets rolling, we decided to share some things we think will be a big part of this year’s marketing puzzle.  Some you already know about, some will enhance how they are currently used, and

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When Might You See Business Ratings in Facebook Ads?

July 12, 2017

Bevelwise Facebook Ad mock-up with stars.pngAlthough we have not yet seen the reviews in ad previews or in ads on our newsfeeds, the changes should be imminent. Per Facebook, the beta test was slated to start on April 24, 2017, with the announcement coming a few days prior. The test is then set to conclude on June 24, 2017. For your edification (and amusement), the image here is a mock-up of what we think we might be seeing.

Why is this the First I’m Hearing About it?

If you didn’t receive the email, don’t worry. Facebook is doing this test on a limited basis and they have put in some controls to filter who would have ratings in their ads. Also keep in mind that not every business will get this new feature, even if they meet requirements mentioned here. 

Since this is a beta test, only a fraction of qualified businesses will get the added feature and Facebook’s announcement says the ratings section will only appear on a small percentage of the ads run by a business.

Star Ratings and Business Reviews Matter More and More

Facebook identified high marks as one of the first criteria, so this underscores the importance of inspiring good Facebook reviews.

Per Facebook, “Star ratings will only appear when the average star rating is four stars or higher”. Additionally, a business must have at least five reviews.

Why is Facebook Doing this Beta Test? 

Facebook says their goal is to determine if showing business ratings (good ones, at least) increases conversions from ads. 

It is possible that the star rating will have no effect at all, but we are predicting it will have a positive effect. For what it’s worth, Google has already incorporated star ratings extensively in its search engine, and in AdWords ads, but ad managers can select from a number of sources when incorporating ratings. Facebook is taking a bit of a different approach to the rating system with ads.

It seems to be a positive approach to it though, especially given the platform’s already-seamless use of locations and business reviews. We’re not sure we could put the same positive spin on Google My Business reviews and widespread use by everyday users.

How to Turn the Facebook Review Experiment Off for your Ads

If for some reason you need to stop the Facebook star reviews from showing on your Facebook ads, Facebook makes sure to cover that. 

The following comes straight from Facebook: “You can manage your participation in this beta test at any time by editing the ‘Star Rating Experiment’ setting. The setting is only available on the Facebook desktop website; it is not available on Facebook mobile applications.”

Contact us for Help with Your Facebook Ads

Facebook’s new beta test could come with important benefits. But even if you are not part of this experimental run, our team knows a long list of tips and tricks to help you get an edge over your competition. 

Contact us today to start a conversation about your objectives and opportunities.

7 Reasons to Start a Business Blog">7 Reasons to Start a Business Blog

July 12, 2017

Blogging has become a popular way for businesses to communicate with their clients and potential clients. If you have not started a blog for your business, you may be wondering if it’s worth the time and effort. The answer is yes! Blogging on a frequent basis is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to enhance your inbound marketing efforts, drive traffic to your site, and attract more potential customers. Business blogs actually help businesses grow and studies show that 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers. If you have not considered a business blog, let’s look at the biggest reasons you should start.

7 Reasons to Start a Business Blog

blog post wordpress business blog image.jpgSimply put, blogs are something your business should be utilizing. As an accessible way to help current customers stay in the loop and a means for future customers to get to know your business on a more personal level, they can bring perpetual value.

Even if you don’t think you would get regular readers or virality, there are many other ways a business blog can add potential for business growth.  Consider the detailedreasons below to see how a blog is an opportunity no small business should pass up.

1. Search Engine Optimization

Boost your SEO performance with fresh content. Blog posts are a great way to provide those search engines with frequent content. Blogging consistently will provide Google and other search engines new content to index. This also creates opportunities to plug in those important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages.

2. Engage with Current Customers

Blogging provides new opportunities to interact with your clients. This can be accomplished by asking your readers questions at the end of your posts to get the conversation going or by simply allowing comments and feedback. It also facilitates content you can push out to social media channels where engagement opportunities are even more abundant.

3. Target Potential Customers

discussing the industry you work in, the services you provide, and the typical challenges of your target audience, you are getting your name in front of customers that may need your product or hiring you for the services you provide. From here, you can work on the depth and breadth of content for specific audiences.

4. Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert

You are the best person to give knowledge and advice about what your business specializes in. Many successful businesses lean on an agency partner to carry out a professional writing strategy or provide consultative help, but it is important to use a system for sharing information. Share the knowledge and experience you have with others. Not only will you look more appealing to current and future customers, you will also look good within your industry.

5. Create Opportunities for Sharing

When you blog, you create an opportunity for your audience to share your blog with others. Whether they link to your blog post, tweet it, or email it to others, it’s free marketing and it further validates you as a credible business.

6. Stay Ahead of the Curve

You will need stay up to date on all the latest news and trends when you are blogging to give your audience the best information. This will help you be a leader, not a follower.

7. Give Your Business a Voice

Blog posting allows you to show a personal side of your business. This is a great place to offer more insight into your company, philosophy, employees, and ideas. Tell your customers why you’re in business and how you can help them.

Improve Return on Investment with Optimized Blog Content

Are you interested in creating a business blog? We can help. Bevelwise offers a variety of web design solutions to meet your needs. No time to blog? No problem. Our digital marketing team can work with you to create thoughtful, informative posts for your business blog.

4 Ways to Handle Bad Online Reviews">4 Ways to Handle Bad Online Reviews

July 12, 2017


“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” – spoken by poet, John Lydgate and later adapted by Abraham Lincoln.  This quote has never been more clear, especially in a market that is increasingly driven by the internet’s widening reach. We live in a world where everybody has a voice. Your customers can talk, take pictures, interact with others, and creative positive or negative buzz about their experiences with your business and worst of all, it isn’t necessarily true. People are checking out Yelp, Angie’s List, Google reviews, and places like Yahoo Local Listings for information and reviews. And from time to time, your business will get a negative review.

But that is no reason to panic. An occasional negative review will actually make your profile look more realistic. When a customer takes the time to give you a not-so-flattering review, that is your opportunity turn the negativity around and improve customer care.Your next steps are keyto retaining not only the business of the angry customer, but the business of other fans who like your page as well.

Here are 4 Ways to Handle Bad Online Reviews

1. As tempting as it may be to delete the review and ignore it, that is not the way to go. You want to respond to a negative review online. You will need to start by restating the complaint.Your customer is annoyed and when people are upset, they first want to know that they were heard. Do not give any excuses. Your first reaction is to give a reason why. Instead, say something like, “this was uncharacteristic of us and we would like to make it right.”

2. Take action and get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred, without blaming anyone. Resolve the issue quickly, or make sure that your employees are empowered to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask the customer: “what can I do to make this right?” Regardless of who is right or wrong,resolve the issuein a way that makes the customer whole. Whatever price you have to pay, it’s a way toshow potential customers that your business values people.

3. If you can’t make it right, acknowledge it. It’s not always possible to “fix it” for the customer. Even if you can’t make it up to the customer, for whatever reason, at least try to publicly acknowledge it, apologize for his or her experience, and promise to review your policies or to do better in the future.

4. Don’t take it personal. Your business might not be a good fit for the customer and that is not a bad thing. It’s important to remember that you can’t be all things to all people and that not every client will be the perfect fit for your business.

Businesses screw up. It happens. But when it happens, an interesting opportunity opens up: if you recover from the mistake well, you can actually build a stronger relationship with the customer than you had before. If you’re prepared, you have nothing to worry about – your online reputation will be just fine.

How Can I Get Good Facebook Reviews for My Business?">How Can I Get Good Facebook Reviews for My Business?

July 12, 2017

How Can I Get Good Facebook Reviews for My Business?

“What does it take to get good Facebook reviews for my business?” — we have heard and read this question countless times. Like most challenges in dealing with digital marketing, SEO, and public relations, it often comes down to the effort you put into it. The investment has a direct relation to the results you want to achieve with local SEO, Facebook marketing, and organic reach. However, you can rest easier when you get to know a few tips that make your work more fruitful and efficient.

The Problem with Online Reviews

facebook reviews - girl on smartphone.jpgThere are many channels for online reviews. To name just a handful, you may need to monitor and manage Yelp reviews, Google Plus reviews, Better Business Bureau reviews, Facebook reviews, and others, too. Your industry and individual business will play a big role in where your reviews happen (and where you have good potential for them, too). It can be quite a challenge to sort all that out, so be sure to remember there is no shame in getting a consultation

From our experience, Facebook continues to demonstrate its importance, customer accessibility, and potential for social amplification. For these reasons, we recommend putting an emphasis on getting good Facebook reviews.

Unfortunately, negative biases are quite common. All-too-often, customers only review a business when they have a bad experience. In these instances, these customers are spirited and very motivated. Even if that was just one bad experience delivered by a now former employee, there it sits for the world to see, often right on top of your company Facebook page. If your business is highly transactional and high-volume, it can also be a bit like whack-a-mole.

But what if you could help yourself put forth a more fair representation? The good news is that you can get good reviews for your business when you remember a few tips from one of our clients.

Tips So You Can Get Good Facebook Reviews for Your Business

We know there are all kinds of articles with advice about how to get good reviews on Facebook, but we wanted to bring you tips that go beyond the hypothetical realm. We have seen these work first-hand. And, if we are being completely honest, we are humbled to tell you that we cannot take credit for all of these.

Tip #1: Get Buy-In from Your Employees

Simply put, you are more likely to succeed if you identify good reviews as a company objective.

Get the whole team rowing in the same direction and give them a chance to make a difference. At the very least, make the conditions right so no one can plead ignorance. As part of this effort, explain to your employees the business impact of a negative review. Employee ownership is essential for impacting customer experience, so be sure to allow room for employee input as well.

Tip #2: Find Ways to Deliver a Better Experience

This one tends to be the toughest component when trying to get good reviews. However, it is most certainly vital. To do this well and avoid tearing your hair out, we recommend focusing on the low-hanging fruit. Find simple and easy ways to improve the experience for customers.

We know this can vary drastically from business to business, but it has to be addressed. If your business is doing the same thing it has always done, don’t expect to get different results. Similarly, if you aren’t listening to the voices of demand in the market, it will be next to impossible to improve your reviews.

Tip #3: Offer Incentives to Customers

First, we must point out how it is unethical and against the policy of just about every review channel out there to offer rewards for good reviews. However, there isn’t much wrong with offering incentives for anyone who reviews your business. Even better, you can make a concerted effort internally to follow-up with great customers, offering them the incentives, and asking them to review your business on Facebook.

Please note though, you cannot ignore the not-so-great customers nor the instances where your business honestly could have improved. If you do ignore them, it will surely stunt the growth and long-term improvement of your business. It also overlooks opportunities to turn a negative or neutral interaction into an one where you can show you honestly care and may even turn it positive.

Tip #4: Offer Incentives for Your Employees

At first glance, this may seem the same as Tip #1, but it is not. You can (and should) have buy-in from your entire team so the conditions are just right for getting positive reviews. However, you should also have employees leading the way, actively closing the loop with customers to get them to give good reviews. This is one of those ideas we can’t really take credit for, but it formed organically when working with a client and it has provided a significant boost to getting good reviews.

Tip #5: Integrate Your Digital Presence

We are certainly biased here because we pride ourselves in the ability to provided integrated, professional marketing solutions to a wide variety of businesses. From B2B to B2C and businesses with mixed approaches as well, we see how it all feeds into your objectives, including aspects like Facebook reviews. However, there are all kinds of ways you can advance your digital presence.

You can try a number of novice-level approaches, you can get help from an agency for technical help, or you can work do a combination of both. If you are good with gradually positive results, you can use content to make the brand more likeable and approachable. And if you want a direct and more technical approach to boost results, you can do something like get a custom-built review page on your website. It all depends on the priority you put on getting good reviews (and the benefits that come from them).

Act Now to Get Better Reviews

We caution you to never trust an agency that limits your options or tries to force a square peg into a round hole. You have many options, and if you don’t have the time to research them, we would be happy to help you sort out the methods that are a good fit for your business.

Just contact us today to explore the right fit for your business as you look to get good reviews and build a more positive digital presence.

See How We Do It

Top Social Media Trends of 2017">Top Social Media Trends of 2017

July 12, 2017

2017 social media trends

Social media has always been a space of engagement with the objective of creating connections and fostering relationships among people. While this objective is still true, social media platforms have evolved substantially over time, particularly so in recent years.

As a vehicle, the transition of social media to an advertising platform and marketing tool has changed the way people use it around the world. Right now in the landscape of social media there are trends with momentum and trends with potential; we’re focusing on only the key ones and what they mean for businesses and consumers. Here are 7 social media trends that will take place in 2017.

1. Video Content—

2017 social media trends - Video content

Video content has become a HUGE part of the modern user engagement on social; increasingly so in recent  years. It’s not hard to understand why; the rich interactive content platform allows messages and stories to be communicated more effectively with many times the impact. The versatility of video is also very important. With the right copy and design elements incorporated into the video, video can allow you to provide a clear message even when the viewer may not initially commit to turning the sound on. Expect to see more advertising & brand messaging carried out through video formats.

Side note – short videos are very hot right now. People love watching 30 second snackable clips one after another.

2. Live Video Content—

We predict the trend of instantaneous content to continue this year – ex: Snap, Instagram stories, Facebook Live

In this modern digital world of “I need it now and not a second later”, streaming video live is a great way for marketers to deliver new and fresh content to audiences in real time. Hearing and seeing videos as they’re happening makes content all the more engaging. Real time content prompts more comments and unique reactions from users tuning in, which opens the door for more opportunities to give fans, followers and consumers what they want – keeping them glued to their screens…just look at how everything played out with Antonio Brown’s last Facebook Live session – deemed a cinematic masterpiece.

Social media trends 2017 - Live video content - Facebook live

Also, to give this trend more validity, along with Facebook Live and Periscope (among the first popular live streaming platforms), Instagram and Twitter launched their own versions of live streaming in November and December 2016.

3. Mobile Advertising will become more competitive—

Instagram and Snapchat are the two hottest social channels right now (among younger people), both being mobile-based applications with highly interactive and visually engaging formats.

social media trends 2017 - cat gif

As the use of smart phones continues to grow and people continue to demand instant gratification, mobile has become a more powerful and influential medium for sales. You can bet that this will mean greater investments in mobile advertising and creating mobile-optimized designs for advertisements. After all, if mobile is where the customers are at, is there any wonder why?  

4. More E-commerce on Instagram—

Piggybacking off the trend above, after Instagram’s release of “stories” and it’s upcoming release of “live stories”, the social platform has a lot of momentum right now. Expect to see more e-commerce driven activity in 2017—advertisements, product demo’s, and online stores in account bios.

5. Engaging Content is an absolute MUST—

In the modern day realm of social media marketing where paid content continues to reign, it’s incredibly difficult for brands to show organic social content to much of its audience.

Per a Content Marketing Institute report: 

-58% of marketers rank social media content as their most critical factor for content marketing success in 2017 

2017 social media trends - social media content marketing

-62% of marketers say producing engaging content is their most difficult challenge

2017 social media trends - social engaging content

When planning for social, be sure your strategy involves a mix of content. This means providing various types of posts. It also means making various appeals to the audience. Humor is huge. Also consider ways your brand can communicate with sincerity and authenticity, too

6. Social media to be used more for customer service— “Conversational Commerce”

For businesses, social media is not just a marketing tool anymore; consumers are browsing products and making purchases through social platforms. They search for answers to questions and seek customer service from companies in conversational formats. Expect to see more businesses employing online chat support and chat bots to serve this need and make it easier for customers to find information.

social media trends 2017 - online chat support - customer serviceIf you want to drive more engagement and ROI from social media, you need to be more responsive to them. Put a little more humanity into your social media efforts, people want to talk with real people.

This means kindness and helpfulness to the 100th degree. If you’ve ever been to Chick Fil-A, consider following their model of service. Don’t take it too personal if you get a direct message about a customer’s bad experience. it’s better to receive the feedback than to have it going on without your ability to make a difference.

7. Measurement

2017 social media trends - data analytics - data measurement

In a pay-to-play space that was once free, marketers need to put more into their social media strategies. To justify dollars spent, campaigns need to be bringing positive results. In order to make this happen consistently, campaigns need to be highly data driven and marketers are going to need a lot of robust data.

Planning Forward:

It’s crucial that your team takes time to analyze the changes brought to social in 2016 and how it should impact your social media strategy this year. We anticipate a lot of exciting things to play out this year and we’ll be here to provide insight along the way. Be sure to follow our posts to stay plugged into the social landscape.

Need help developing a social media strategy this year? Give us a shout, let’s talk. 

10 Ways to Become a Good Leader">10 Ways to Become a Good Leader

July 12, 2017

Not everyone was born to be a good leader. It takes a certain type of individual to move a team forward effectively. Here are a few tips of some things that I have come across in my experiences with mentors, colleagues, and people that make good leaders.  Good-leader-traits

There are plenty more traits and things that could be added to the list but we didn’t want to make a list that goes on forever. These are a good starting point for anyone looking to improve how they lead, manage, and go about life in general. 

Let’s get started with my list of those 10 leadership traits: 

  1.  Make Mistakes – You cannot be afraid of them. Failure is the foundation from which successes are born. Study what you did when you made it, circumstances surrounding it, and learn from their incantations.    
  2. No Excuses – Blame is weakness. Blaming, complaining, explaining – all are draining to positive energy. We don’t have enough inner plumbing to handing all that draining so don’t do it!
  3. Find the Smartest Person in the Room – Listen, learn, love. Someone will always be smarter in some way, even if you are the CEO or top dog. Recognize that and find a way to be around that person (or those people if you are lucky enough to have many). 
  4. Write Down Five Ideas Every Day – Try this for six months straight. See what happens. You will be amazed at what you start to come up with and how this builds upon itself. 
  5. Make a List – I refer to Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule here. Make a list of top 25 things you want to do in life. Now do the top five and forget about the other 20 otherwise they will take time away from the five that are most important to you.  (Note: this “list” will change over time so do it every five years or so). 
  6. Say No – Most leaders, especially when they are young, want to please everyone and that means you become afraid to say no. You want to help, you want to solve problems. Saying no sometimes allows you to have to time learn, read, sleep, have fun, ask questions, and get more out of life. You have to come first sometimes in order to be a balanced leader. 
  7. Right Now – What is past is past, what will happen is not always controllable. Regret wastes time for today. Anxiety will steal energy from what you plan to do tomorrow. Focus on the now and give it your best shot.
  8. Ask Questions – Not obnoxious questions. Not just for the sake of asking. Opportunities are found when you look at all the angles and ask intelligent questions. There are always more questions than answers and answers can come from many, MANY different sources.
  9. Follow Up – This is hard. Most people are lazy about this. Send an email the next day with an idea or more thoughts on next steps. Getting good at this and driving things to completion is very important.

WAIT – That’s only nine, weren’t there 10?  

That is exactly my point. Things change. Adapt and Adjust. Also allow yourself permission to be WRONG. No one in life is perfect. You cannot try to be and being flexible and able to change as certain things change is probably the strongest trait to develop in order to be the leader you want to and can become.  

If you are interested in receiving a FREE Marketing assessment, Follow this link!

2017 Top Digital Marketing Trends">2017 Top Digital Marketing Trends

July 12, 2017

As 2017 gets rolling, we decided to share some things we think will be a big part of this year’s marketing puzzle.  Some you already know about, some will enhance how they are currently used, and some are new that will become trends by the end of the year.Digital Marketing Trends.jpg

Here are our predictions for things that will be gaining marketing importance during 2017 (and not necessarily in any order of priority or importance):  

  1. Mobile is a marketing medium – not just responsive design, but video, search, etc need to be targeted to mobile and consumer based companies have to move into mobile optimization for their websites and applications to provide the best user/visitor experience.
  2. As content becomes more personalized, and consistent engagement is needed – things will become more niche in approach.  Casting a wide net will always have its place but it is more “branding”.  As you look to make an impact you will need to find the segements that produce results.  
  3. Marketing Automation continues to increase – building campaigns and messaging to specific audiences and targets while measureing what they respond to is only going to grow as people get more sophisticated with their measurement.  The more you can have your content help during the decision making process, the better. 
  4. Social enhances customer service – we create dialog between companies and customers. You can use social to service those customers, help control reputation management, and be a primary source of interaction with customers.  This is not just Facebook, but all social channels.   
  5. Snap (known as snapchat) becomes mainstream – Already, Snap has transformed user expectations and major trends in the social marketing world. It’s helped bring back a more moment-focused view of communication, leading to more in-the-moment and live content. It has facilitated more mobile-centric app developments, and it’s introduced vertical videos into the mainstream – see Facebook LIVE now too. 
  6.  Video continues to increase in importance (see #5) – Marketers agree that videos bring the highest ROI, and we’re doing more of it. Social video platforms like Facebook are riding the tide and optimizing feeds to improve the viewing experience. Having more videos also improves SEO, as Google—which owns YouTube—favors them in search results. You can also get tools like Mention to help track better what it means to your marketing, and there are some pretty advanced analytics with Youtube directly now as well.  So get your cameras/phones out and start shooting some short videos. 

This is not an all-encompassing list of everything you should be doing, but some of the latest marketing pieces you should be considering if you are serious about your digital strategy. If you need help in any of these areas, we would be glad to discuss with you. You can also find our whitepaper on inbound marketing ROI to help or contact us. 

6 SEO Tips For a Stellar User Experience">6 SEO Tips For a Stellar User Experience

July 12, 2017

User Experience - SEO Tips

As a product of the digital marketing industry, the SEO landscape is an environment of constant change and, for marketers, it’s a never-ending race to gain an edge. Different from what many believe, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to develop, implement, and manage an ROI-Driven SEO strategy, you need to be prepared for the long haul. More importantly, you need to prioritize your time toward what matters most: the user. 

Over the years, more business owners have come to understand the importance of SEO and it’s ability to bring results. The problem isn’t a lack of people getting behind SEO; the problem is that too many view it as a checklist. There are a lot of strong marketers who have a solid grasp on the different elements of SEO, but they often forget the actual purpose it serves. All of the factors that go into organic ranking and everything that has to do with optimization MUST revolve around creating a better user experience for the consumer. The recipe for a stellar user experience comprises many elements, including some that are case-specific and some that lie more on the technical side of things. The latter part revolves around a site’s usability, which includes a variety of components such as site speed, readability, ease of navigation, layout and several others. While strong usability is important, a great user experience calls for much more.   

User Experience - SEO - Web Usability

The most crucial parts for successfully creating unique online experiences depend on the audience and the emotional connection they have to the business. This involves the overall look and feel of the website, design, interaction, products/services, content…etc. While more time consuming and granular, when put together properly, this part of the puzzle is instrumental in delivering valuable user experiences which ultimately lead to driving conversion goals. 

SEO is not a quick and easy short-term solution for generating more site traffic. It’s not about pulling a fast one on Google (those days are far behind us) or just checking off a list of parameters as you make modifications to the pages of a site (but, this is a piece of the process). There are best practices, however, certain tactics don’t always work the same for everybody. Each website is different and depending on your company, your industry and the audience you serve, the ideal approach will vary. 

To help get you on track toward an SEO strategy that’s crafted for the modern user experience, here are six specific areas to focus on. 

1. Measurement:

User experience - SEO - web analytics - data measurement

In order to engage your audience and make their visits more meaningful you need to thoroughly understand them – how they interact with your site, which pages they frequently visit, what types of content they respond to…etc. Tracking user behavior and gathering valuable data is a must if you want to keep your audience interested and drive traffic. Fortunatley, there are plenty of resources available to help you measure activity. 

2. Local Landing Pages and Local Listings:

User experience - local landing pages - SEO

There has been a strong emphasis in geo-targeting in the past year; more weight gets allocated to local audiences simply because they’re the most likely to convert. Focus on creating location specific landing pages to get yourself started. This will continue as a point of emphasis throughout the year. 

3. Mobile:

  Mobile SEO - User experience - Mobile friendly - mobile responsive

A few months ago Google announced that it will be implementing Mobile-First Indexing for search.  Today, significantly more people are using their smartphones to search for things than desktop. There are tons of reasons why mobile is becoming an increasingly important marketing factor. We’ll talk more about this topic soon in our upcoming mobile-focused post. For now,if your website is still not mobile-responsive, then that should be priority #1 for your 2017 checklist. 

4. Social Signals:

User experience - social signals - SEO - social shares

As explained, SEO is all about user experience; social shares help with credibility and indicate that your content is engaging. Although not quite as impactful as some of the other focus areas listed here, social media is still one of the best ways to interact with and gain feedback from your audience. Make sure you’re using the right content – on the right channels – for the right audience. 

5. Fresh Content:

SEO - fresh content - user experience - content SEO

Quality content has always been king, but it has more of a shelf life than ever before. It’s crucial to produce new, fresh content on an on-going basis with the same standard of quality. This means not only creating additional content for your pages, but also updating your existing content. Google measures the size and frequency of the renovations you make to your pages. Quite a bit goes into this one, Moz covers it pretty well here

6. Calls to Action:

User experience - calls to action - SEO

Whether your conversion goal is driving phone calls, form submissions, downloads or purchases, none of them are likely to happen unless you make it easy for the user. Calls to Action need to be page specific, positioned appropriately, and easy to spot; the worst thing you can do is confuse a ready-to-buy customer out of a purchase. Minimize the number of steps needed to take any and all actions. 

What to Expect Moving Forward:

There’s a lot of talk about the impact of SEO down the road; some argue that it’s dead; some argue that it’s on the decline and some argue that it won’t be here in the next few years. Let’s get one thing straight…there will always be a need for SEO.

Users are becoming increasingly engaged with the content they consume. As Google continues to perfect the way it provides information to people, the use of search is only going to grow. Those who earn the top ranking spots are going to receive more traffic from consumers and those who pay little attention to search will miss out on a great deal of valuable activity. It’s very important for marketers to consider these trends for the bigger picture in order to compete in the future.

Need help crafting an SEO strategy this year? Give us a shout and let’s get started 

7 Brand Management Questions Spiked by Super Bowl LI Ads">7 Brand Management Questions Spiked by Super Bowl LI Ads

July 12, 2017


Regardless of who is on the field, every Super Bowl viewer develops an opinion about the commercials run during the game. We’re sure you’ve heard quite a few opinions already, so we’re taking a little bit different angle. What if we looked at Super Bowl LI and posed some important questions about brand management, advertising, and marketing as it might relate to your business?

super bowl baby bears.jpg


When we stopped to think about and discuss the ads, our initial conversation evolved to something we could share to help you. We talked about what worked and what didn’t; we talked about what was enjoyable and what wasn’t; and we looked at overall themes, too. Those themes can be applied on a number of levels and a variety of businesses, so here are the resulting questions that may be important for your business to consider.

1. Is eCommerce Advertising a Bad Fit in Some Situations?

Advertising for eCommerce isn’t really a truly new concept, but branding still appears to be the clearest objective for most Super Bowl advertisers. This kind of brand management often falls short of demonstrating staying power with viewers, but with such a vast audience, it is hard to pass up.

This concept may be widely embraced by big brands, but we don’t recommend it for small businesses and those who would like to see evidence of performance. 

When it comes to the absence of eCommerce ads during the Super Bowl, the following questions come to mind: Was it simply too expensive? Is the ROI too questionable? Do eCommerce businesses just get beat out by other types of businesses?

Unless we missed something, it seems Weathertech and Nintendo were the only companies overtly plugging their website. You might also count Mobile Strike or World of Tanks (ads here and here), but they are free downloads that monetize using ad placement.

While Amazon’s connection to eCommerce was implied, Nintendo’s ad is particularly noteworthy as they put their website in the final few seconds of the ad and have enhanced their YouTube ad with buttons to pre-order online. Watch the ad (and listen to the catchy new song by Imagine Dragons) here: