Inbound & Down: Certified to Help Clients Achieve Success

Clearly Conveyed Communications is Inbound Marketing Certified!

What a week! Between working the polls and planning a conference, we managed to renew our Inbound marketing certification for another year. As an Inbound Marketing Certified company, we’re positioned to help you navigate the ins and outs of the Buyer’s Journey.

What’s Inbound marketing? We’re glad you asked. Check out the blog post we wrote last year showcasing this new way of thinking in action, how it works and how it can help your brand. The basics are the same, but new ideas and research continue to come along. That’s why we wanted to make sure we’re up-to-date and can offer your business the best ways to succeed in our crowded, fast-paced world.

If you’re struggling to reach your target audience, let’s talk about your buyer personas. Who are they? Do you know their pain points and biggest challenges? What stage are they at in the Buyer’s Journey?

We would love to help you attract visitors, convert them into leads, close sales with customers and delight them into promoters. Learn more about how inbound marketing works, and then contact us so we can help you achieve success.

Cheers!

p.s. Interested in becoming Inbound Marketing Certified? Learn more about the course, certification and who it can help.

Still officially certified,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about Inbound, your marketing needs or otherwise):
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4 Things That Social Media Can’t (or Shouldn’t) Do

The power of social media is impressive, but it can’t (or shouldn’t) do everything for your company or brand. Other areas need to carry their own weight too.

4 Things That Social Media Can't (or Shouldn't) Do

Here are four things that social media can’t do for your brand:

  • Fix a bad product — Product is king, at least in the sense that any advertising or marketing can’t fix a faulty product. Social media makes it even more important to provide quality products and services. Now customers have a forum to provide real-time feedback on their purchase, which potential customers around your community and the world can see. If you’re consistently receiving negative feedback on your social media channels, don’t try to cover it up. Fix the problem (i.e. the faulty product or service), and your social media conversations will be a lot more pleasant.
  • Replace a website — Social media helps level the playing field and opens up a world of opportunity to startups and small businesses. That doesn’t mean that it should be your only digital presence. A user-friendly, mobile-optimized website should be your first priority. Think of your online presence as a wheel. Your website should be the center with your social presences branching out from it. Your website is owned space whereas you’re renting your Facebook Page and other social spaces.

Related Reading: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Provide all of your website traffic — A well-built, easy-to-navigate website optimized for search engines is a win-win situation for your business. It draws traffic through search, even when you’re not working, and provides a welcoming place for prospects and customers to learn more about you online. While social is a great way to drive traffic, it can’t be expected to make up for a poorly performing website.
  • Be your entire marketing mix — Social media is a type of marketing, but it shouldn’t comprise your entire marketing mix. Depending on what you do, there are a number of excellent marketing opportunities, including on a limited budget. While so many people are on social media today, you’ll still miss potential customers by limiting yourself to social media marketing only. Know where your target audience spends its time to understand where you should be spending your marketing dollars.

Related Reading: 4 Retro Ways to Connect with Modern Audiences

We love social media and encourage brands to utilize this powerful tool. However, there’s a whole world out there, so don’t miss out on opportunities because you’re only getting social on social — and not anywhere else.

What else shouldn’t you expect social media to do for your brand or company?

What are your favorite marketing mediums besides social media?

Getting social online and off,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about social media, your marketing needs or otherwise):
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How to Incorporate Reactions into Your Facebook Strategy

Facebook Reactions are here. Now that people are getting used to them, how can you incorporate them into your strategy?

How to incorporate Facebook Reactions into your strategy

Feel the love by incorporating Reactions into your Facebook strategy! Photo courtesy of Facebook

 

Here’s how to feel the love from your Facebook community with the new Reactions:

  • Share controversial or complex issues that are in the news and relevant to your page. Ask community members how they feel about the subject, now that they can respond with a greater arrange of emotion. This is also a good way to encourage thoughtful comments and discussion. (Just remind everyone to stay civil!)
  • Take the This or That? post in a new direction. Post two pictures — salted caramel brownie or chocolate chunk cookie, for instance — and ask fans which one they love. (They may like both, but they can only love one!) Add another element by sending samples to random people who voted.
  • Ask questions about people’s experience with Reactions so far or their thoughts on how they’ll use them in the future. Have you used the Angry button to direct anger at a person/brand or at content only? Should a brand block fans who use inappropriate emotions (i.e. Haha or Love on a post about someone dying)? Have you ever scrolled past a post because you couldn’t decide which Reaction button to use? Which Reaction button do you use most often?
  • Encourage fans to use the full range of Reactions on your posts, so you can use their feedback to drive future content. For example, if a topic elicits more love or wow Reactions, you may want to publish more content on that subject than one that draws only likes. It never hurts to reward community members who consistently make the effort to engage with your posts by utilizing appropriate Reactions and leaving thoughtful comments with prizes, samples or spotlights.

For now, Facebook is viewing all Reactions as positive engagement, a sign that someone wants to see more of your content. We’re hoping that more options increase engagement, especially with mobile users, by giving people quick ways to respond to posts and join a discussion (even if only in emoji). So encourage fans to utilize the newly available range of Reactions to help strengthen your relationships with your online community.

Your Reaction to Reactions

Have you seen a change in your engagement since Reactions were rolled out?

Do you use other Reactions regularly or is the like button still your go-to?

Have you not engaged with a post due to confusion over which Reaction to use?

Leave your thoughts or questions on Facebook Reactions in the comments!

Loving the new Reactions,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about Reactions, marketing on Facebook or otherwise):
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4 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

I know, I know; 2015 isn’t even over yet, and we’re already talking about 2016. Digital marketing trends move fast, so you always have to look at what’s next to stay ahead of the game and start adapting your strategy early. If you can pinpoint the major marketing trends of the next twelve months, you can begin budgeting for the change, and subtly change direction now. Take a look at these four new trends, and think about how you can move towards them.

United Nations of smartphone operating systems by Jon Fingas via CC BY-ND 2.0

1) Mobile and location-based marketing

Mobile growth had an important year in 2015. At the start of the year, mobile browsing finally overtook desktop and laptop browsing. More people are using mobile devices to get online than any other technology, a trend that is expected to continue to grow in 2016. We’ll also start to see wearable technology find its feet and establish itself, which means coming up with unique location-based marketing strategies. How can your company harness your customer’s location to its benefit? Finally, it’s time to start thinking seriously about developing an app.

2) Long-term relationship building

Until now, digital marketing has focused on short-term success. It’s been all about hitting certain numbers of Facebook fans or Twitter followers, and making quick, easy sales online. After all, the Internet provides a forum for real-time conversations with customers and prospects 24/7. The most successful marketers are slowly realizing that a more traditional approach might actually be more cost effective. By nurturing customers for longer, they can double or even triple their sales over time. Start thinking about a way to retain customers, and make the second, third, and fourth sale.

3) SEO is more important than ever

It’s no secret that Google is always updating its algorithm. Every year, the search giant introduces a new change, and every year, it gets smarter. That means your SEO strategy needs to change and adapt alongside it. We asked the experts at Pay On Performance about what SEO will look like in 2016, and here’s what they told us. First, we’ll need to be more careful and targeted with our keywords. Don’t add redundant or unrelated keywords to pages and posts, and focus on long-tail keywords for more traffic. We’ll also need more organic and natural back links to bring more visitors to our sites and blogs. Finally, we’ll need to focus even more on producing quality content and new metrics like ‘time-on-site’ and engagement. That’s what Google is looking for in 2016.

4) Social media is expanding

If 2015 proves anything, it’s that social media isn’t going anywhere. Many predicted that Facebook’s bubble would eventually burst, but it shows no signs of slowing down (although Twitter has hit a stumbling block). In 2016, Facebook will integrate itself even further into our lives, but it doesn’t end there. Instagram and Pinterest have posted enormous growth figures in 2015. Statistics also show they have much higher rates of engagement and drive more sales. These two platforms will be critical for you next year, so start building a strategy now.

Taking note of these trends now will help you get a head start on next year! Where do you think digital marketing is heading? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you thinking about adding new platforms into your social media mix? Does your digital marketing strategy need an overhaul? Let’s talk, so we can put together a plan for you.

p.s. Wednesday, October 21st is ‘Back to the Future’ Day. What technology from the 80s blockbuster do you wish we had today?

Riding my hoverboard to 2016,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about digital marketing, flying cars or otherwise):
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5 Digital Marketing Trends To Develop Your Marketing Strategy

A strong online presence is essential in today’s market. Without the help of digital marketing, your business is already one step behind. It’s that simple. To make sure that you never fall behind the curve, here are five marketing trends to keep you current. These are relevant right now, so prepare to adjust and adapt in the coming months.

'Digital Marketing Trends' by Automotive Social via CC BY 2.0

Is your digital marketing strategy up-to-date?


Don’t Rely On Google (Now a Subsidiary of Alphabet)

Whisper it quietly so no one can hear you, because you might start a riot. Google, the king of the Internet’s search engines, might be on the decline (and is certainly going through massive changes). That doesn’t mean that the search giant isn’t still relevant. Google holds the largest market share and is one of the biggest brands on the planet. However, consumers are starting to want more from their search engine. Some just want a change because Google has been around for too long. SEO is too important to put all of your eggs in the same basket. 


Mobile All The Time

One platform that you have to rely on is mobile. Unlike Google, mobile technology is at the peak of its powers. More than ever, consumers around the globe are using mobile technology to make purchases. Right now, there is an obsession with everything mobile that does not look like it is going to subside anytime soon. Remember that mobile technology is the technology of choice for over half of the world’s purchases, so it’s crucial to incorporate mobile technology into your digital marketing strategy. 


Payment Methods Are Becoming More Popular

A Magento developer has never been more important for e-commerce and online payment websites. With the rise of the Europay, MasterCard and Visa card, or EMV for short, a new age of online purchases is here. Today, you need more from your developer than ever before. They have to be able to install and input these new techniques into your site because the world is quickly embracing the technology. EMVs are supposed to reduce the risk of fraud and data breaches, so you can see why they are becoming more popular.


Time To Start A Conversation

Unless you have been living ‘off the grid’ for the past several years, you know all about the benefits of social media for business. However, one tactic that is often left is the ability to start a conversation. Yes, social platforms are a great source of inexpensive advertising, but they also allow you to connect to your customer base. By connecting with your customers, you have the ability to improve your conversion rates. Sometimes, a simple conversation is all it takes to get to know someone and create a sense of loyalty.

Get Social: 4 Easy Ways to Join the Conversation


Paid Advertising Is Key

The trend of paying for advertising is not a popular one, but it is here for the long-term. As a result, paying for online advertising will provide a boost to your marketing strategy if done correctly. 

Digital Marketing Trends: Your Feedback

What do you see as the biggest digital marketing trend right now?

What will be the biggest digital marketing trend in 2016?

Which social network do you prefer for your brand?

If you need help with your digital marketing strategy or have any questions, let’s talk.

Let’s get social,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about digital marketing, social media or otherwise):
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Have you found your social media voice?

empty spotlight

I’ve written about various aspects of social media before, including the importance of profiles, and especially, the profile picture. (Seriously, why does anyone want to be a silhouette?) These are essential aspects of the social media game, but I was getting ahead of myself. What comes before completing your profile?

empty spotlight

Find your voice before jumping into social media!
Image: Danielle Buma (CCL by 2.0)

Your voice. You have to find your voice and decide what type of image you’ll project. That comes first, because your voice will help determine the rest of your strategy and where you go from there.

So how do you find your voice?

  • What is your company’s mission? Reason for being? To put it simply, why are you in business?
  • Look at your offline marketing efforts. What type of image do you portray with your collateral, logo, tagline, etc.?
  • What type of customer experience do you offer? (Hint: ask your customers!)

These questions will help you find your voice and determine what type of personality your company has. Are you a new company? Fantastic! You still have time to figure these out. Change the questions above to a future tense… What type of image will you portray? What type of customer experience will you offer? Don’t get overwhelmed by everything involved with getting set up; just take one step at a time.

Try to focus on essential services that you do well and think about bringing in help for the others. That may be social media, that may be accounting. That’s one thing I wish I would have done differently. You may be Superman (or Wonder Woman), but you can’t do everything by yourself.

Put time and thought into finding your voice, because everything else flows from there. It’ll make your social media efforts a little easier down the road.

Find Your Voice

What type of voice powers your social media efforts?

Have you changed your social media voice at any point? Why?

What social media account best portrays your voice? Feel free to leave URLs, handles, etc. in the comments.

Any other thoughts about your social media voice? Drop them in the comments or reach out on a network below.

If you have any questions regarding social media or would like to discuss your efforts, please let me know.

Cheers,
Jaime

Let’s connect to continue the social media conversation: 
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4 Reasons #GivingTuesday Is Succeeding (And You Can Too!)

Together we give | GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday

November 27, 2012 was the inaugural #GivingTuesday. It makes sense. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate headlines, America has long been committed to giving, especially during the Holiday season. Finally, some generous minds came together and dedicated a day specifically to giving back, kicking off the giving season.

Here are four reasons why this powerful movement is succeeding that your business or brand can use to succeed too.

  • Find support The minds behind #GivingTuesday knew this idea would be much more successful with others dedicated to its success too, so they reached out to a slew of like-minded organizations, groups and companies. Over 2,000 companies responded to officially become #GivingTuesday™ partners! Plus, even more companies and donors have stepped forward to match donations to specific charities and causes, making even more of a difference. When so many people, organizations and companies are committed to an idea’s success, it’s more likely to happen.
  • Be genuine #GivingTuesday is all about helping others. You can donate money, volunteer your time or skills or share the news about this effort with your social networks. The folks who got together to put this idea into motion want to help people all over the world give back, no matter what they have to give. This movement is about working together for the common cause of helping those in need. Be transparent in your motives: today’s digital world and social media landscape make it difficult to hide alternative agendas, which helps those who are real.
  • Spread the word While jumping on Twitter this morning, one of the first things I saw was a tweet from Bill Gates about #GivingTuesday. That certainly got my attention, and with 8,908,437 followers, a few others noticed it too. A few others, as in 6,812 retweets and 729 favorites. You don’t have to be Bill Gates though. #GivingTuesday makes it easy to become a social media ambassador, share its news and get involved. Remember, a great idea isn’t much good if nobody knows about it.
  • Make it easy to participate Point #3 delves directly into this… it doesn’t do much good to spread the word if you don’t make it easy for people to participate. At givingtuesday.org, you can easily locate a cause to support, utilize your social networks for good or take some course of action. Those on Twitter can search the #GivingTuesday hash tag to locate opportunities, and participating companies are encouraging employees to get involved. While you’re busy drumming up support, don’t lose momentum by making it difficult for people to participate. Remember, make it easy and people (businesses and customers) are more likely to jump in!

Learn from this wonderful and successful movement by noting the four keys above and applying them to your brand or business. Also, get involved and support a cause close to your heart! We can all make a difference no matter who you are or what you have.

Image credits: #GivingTuesday website

Happy #GivingTuesday!
Jaime