Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Digital marketing illustration with technology icons, computer and people.

The Truth About Digital Marketing

Digital, inbound vs. outbound, SEO, web, budgets – oh my! When it comes to marketing, the vast amount of options and ‘things you should be doing’ can seem daunting.

While each option has its place and benefits, it’s wise to look at your unique business and see what makes the most sense for you. This post will take a look at what digital marketing is, how to know if it’s right for your business, and what you can do to make the most of your investment.

What is digital marketing?

‘Digital marketing’ is an umbrella term for numerous tactics used to reach your audience online or in some electronic form. Basically, it refers to any marketing efforts on the web and electronic devices that promote your business in some way.

Digital marketing tactics and examples include:

  • SEO
    • Websites
    • Blogs
    • Infographics
    • Retarget marketing
  • Content Marketing
    • Blog posts
    • Ebooks
    • Online brochures, newsletters, lookbooks
  • Social media channels
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat
    • Pinterest
  • Pay-Per-Click Ads
    • Google Ads
    • Facebook boosted posts
    • Instagram sponsored posts
    • Twitter promoted tweets
    • LinkedIn sponsored messages
  • Email Marketing
    • Email newsletters
    • Social media scheduling
    • Blog subscriptions
    • Follow-ups to site visitors who shared their contact info

 

What is the difference between digital and inbound marketing?

 ‘Wait, isn’t that the same as inbound marketing?’ Look at you with all the smart questions! Digital marketing refers to the number of tactics you can utilize online to attract customers, but it is not compelled to focus solely on two-way communication like inbound.

While they may use some of the same tactics, inbound differs from digital in that inbound is a marketing method that focuses solely on pulling an audience in by providing helpful info (think ebooks, infographics, etc.). Outbound is a push method where marketing messages are put in front of the audience whether they ask for it or not (web banner ads, direct mail, etc.). Digital marketing incorporates both push and pull methods into a strategy.

 

Woman and man at table looking at data and graphs on computer.

The lowdown on digital marketing and how to make it work for you:

Digital marketing can be an amazing tool to help businesses reach their audience. However, it’s important to be mindful of how digital marketing plans are presented to you and think logically about what’s right for your business.

Beware of oversold data.

A note of caution: Beware of the companies that are not actually in the business of digital marketing and are just selling plans on the side as an additional service. Oftentimes, these tend to oversell data and numbers that actually hold little weight and can be useless to your business.

For example, if a company comes to you with a retargeting ad campaign plan that shows you can get as many as 100,000 impressions – number of times content is displayed, regardless of whether or not it was clicked – in one month, and convert on average 10% of those, that all sounds great! But if your site gets less than 2,000 visitors a month, this data can be extremely misleading. Oftentimes, unless you have 100,000+ monthly visitors to your website, data of this nature does not apply to you and your business.

Additionally, information on this scale relates best when applied to e-commerce sites that actually sell something. Sites like this are able to ‘convert’ potential customers into paying customers by getting them back on their site to complete a purchase. So how do you increase site traffic, and what if your site does not sell anything?

 

Papers with data and graphs on table.

How to increase traffic to your website.

So, you don’t have 100,000+ visitors to your website and you’re not sure where to go next? We get that. A good place to start is to focus on increasing your site’s traffic organically, in addition to digital marketing, so that both can work more effectively while also setting you up for long-term, sustainable growth.

 

  1. Build site traffic organically
  2. Pay to get people to your site
    • Paid Social Posts
    • Google Ads (formerly AdWords)
    • Retargeting

 

Set your own definition of ‘conversions’.

Conversion rates determine the value of your digital ad, and ‘conversion’ can mean different things for different businesses. Perhaps the nature of your business requires someone from your company to speak with potential customers in order to get their business. In this case, your definition of a conversion could be when someone completes a contact form on your website.

Some types of conversions:

  • Complete purchase
  • Fill out contact form
  • Inquire for ebook or other content
  • Sign up for blog
  • Complete questionnaire or quiz

At Stray Media Group, we primarily work with small- to medium-sized businesses in the country, mostly situated in the Midwest region. We understand the challenges you may be facing in the daunting world of digital marketing and finding the solutions that fit your business best. If you’d like to learn more about how we can build a digital marketing strategy that fits your needs and budget, feel free to give us a call.

Social Media How-To The 50-30-20 Rule

Social Media How-To: The 50-30-20 Rule

Social media is all about connecting with people. In order to connect, you have to post high-quality content that speaks to both your business and the like-minded people you want to engage with. If you’re feeling a little lost as to how to accomplish this, a good guide to follow is the 50-30-20 rule:

 

50% engaging content

People love to be entertained, and we are here to give the people what they want. Who doesn’t love a hilarious GIF or an adorable puppy video? This type of content shows the human side of your business, allowing you to connect with like-minded people on a two-way communication platform.

Half of the content that you put on your social media accounts should be all about that engagement. Find some things that relate to your business, and others that are just for fun.

Ideas for engaging content:

  • GIFs
  • Memes
  • Videos
  • Contests
  • Giveaways
  • Add emoji’s to posts
  • Industry-related jokes
  • Trivia questions
  • Fun employee photos
  • Behind the scenes footage

Content that shows the who and why of your business on a more personal level will attract people who dig the same things you do. This is your chance to woo your audience with everything you’ve got to keep them coming back for more!

Remember, though, that not all GIFs and memes are made equal. Keeping your content appropriate and professional should always be top priority. This doesn’t mean everything needs to sound corporate or scripted; in fact, it should not. Rather, make sure your light-hearted and engaging material is shared in a fun, personable way but is also grammatically correct and has a safe-for-work feel.

 

30% educational content

Educate your audience and help them solve their problems. Show them what you’re worth and why they would be smart to follow your content by spreading the knowledge.

Pay attention to the questions your audience asks or the problems they have, and find solutions to share with them. This is an excellent way to share your own blogs to educate your audience, while also positioning yourself as an industry expert. Sharing content from outside, reputable sources is another great way to inform your audience. Plus, you’ll sometimes get some love back from those sources by their sharing your stuff, which helps expand your reach and audience.

 

20% promotional content

Sales are what make the business world go ’round, so of course we’d suggest you throw in a few promotional posts, too. A good rule of thumb is that about 20% of the content you post on social media should promote your brand.

This number seems low to companies sometimes, but you have to remember that social media is a two-way street with the intention of connecting with people. When you’re invited to a party, do you spend the whole time pushing your services on the guests? Our guess is that if you do, you’re quickly going to become the loneliest person in the place. Respect the audience’s wishes for more engaging and informative content first, and promote what you have to offer last.

 

Experiment

While the 50-30-20 rule is a great way to outline your social media marketing efforts, it is not absolute. Every company is different and needs their own custom formula to find that social media sweet spot.

Spend time testing different ways to engage your audience and solve their problems. You may find that some of your promotional posts perform better at different times of the day (or year). Fine-tune your social media marketing calendars to what best fits the needs of your business. Utilize the analytics and insights different platforms offer to help you navigate what works best.

 

Hire a pro to do your social media marketing

Maybe social media isn’t your thing, and taking care of your customers is more your cup of tea. After all, isn’t that why we’re all here? To provide people with a product or service that enhances their lives in some way. Let a pro help by having them handle your social media marketing so you can have more time to focus on your customers and your business.

That’s where we come in! At Stray Media Group, our team can build a social media marketing plan that can be customized to whatever you like. From daily posts across a dozen platforms to weekly posts on a couple of key platforms, we do it all. Contact us to see how we can help today!

Email Marketing

5 Quick Tips for Stellar Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a tricky business. There is a fine line between a recipient looking forward to receiving your awesome content regularly and doing the eye roll of the century at yet another useless email that they instantly trash.

These lovely people have given you the wonderful marketing gift of allowing you into their beloved inbox – don’t abuse it by overwhelming them with annoying daily emails that they couldn’t give two hoots about. Or even worse, having content they would actually love, but sending so often that they completely glance past it.

Rather, honor them and the opportunity they’ve provided you by consistently offering valuable content that people welcome with open, loving eyes. We’ve got 5 quick tips to help you get a fabulous start.

 

Score with Your Sender Name

Make sure your business’s sender name is something unique and easily recognizable. After all, it is the first thing they will see! Once it’s set, don’t try to get fancy and experiment with a bunch of different options. After a few emails, your sender name is easily recognized by recipients; changing it up could cause them to trash your beautiful message if they have to question for even a second who it’s from.

 

Subject to Stunning Results

What is the second element of your email viewers look at? The almighty subject line! Make sure to keep it classy, sassy and concise, while also portraying how this content will offer value of some kind to their life. Are you solving a problem they have? Giving away some goodies? Let them know in a fun and enticing way while keeping it short and sweet. The goal here is to stun them so hard they can’t help but click that bad boy open. Get creative with it! Here are some great tips to help you get started.

 

Let's Get Personal

Regardless of whether you’re sending to 2 or 2,000 people, when writing content remember to focus on the individual vs. the masses. Additionally, today’s handy-dandy email marketing tools, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, make it super easy to get personal with your audience by inputting their name into the email message to give it that extra touch. Keep it classy, though, and don’t overdo it by littering the email with their name all over the place – that’s creepy and warrants some opt-outs.

 

Value Above All Else

Put the highest emphasis on what kind of value you are providing your viewers. You can have all the flashy, fascinating subjects and graphics, but if you aren’t presenting content that offers value to their lives, you will quickly lose your audience. Know your customer, their challenges, and how your service or product can truly change their lives in a positive way. They will thank you by continuing to click those links open and share your content with others, because they truly believe in your business. Win-win-winning. Get some killer content tips here.

 

Test for Success

Okay, so you’ve crushed #1-4 and you just cannot wait to hit that send button – we totally get it, you did fabulous work and you want to share it with the world; kudos! Before you take that step, give yourself a chance to test once, twice, three times if need be to make sure everything looks perfect before you send it off to the masses.

Proofing is your best friend here – there is nothing worse than spending all your time and effort to create killer content just to have the only thing your audience remembers be that misspelled word. Trust us, a second set of eyes or even just taking a break and looking at an email with fresh eyes will make all the difference in the world. Test for the best!

 

We hope these quick tips get you sending super awesome emails that inspire those viewers to click and learn more! Too busy actually running your business to even begin thinking about where to start? We feel you – give our team at Stray Media Group a buzz and let us take that piece of the marketing pie off your plate. We look forward to making your email marketing dreams come true!

 

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing 101

What is inbound marketing, and why should you care about it? Inbound is the new, shiny tool in the marketing shed when it comes to sharing with others what your company is all about and why they should care about you. In the digital world we live in, businesses can’t afford to give inbound marketing the side eye; rather, you should opt to embrace this immensely powerful tool to give your company’s marketing strategy a boost.

The 2-Way Difference

This form of marketing focuses on a two-way communication system, engaging and informing consumers about your products or services while simultaneously receiving information from said audience. Inbound is all about establishing and maintaining connections with customers, rather than trying to give them a hard sell like the traditional methods (although both have their place in your strategy).

Customers want solutions to their problems. Inbound marketing strategies give the people what they want by providing answers to questions, innovative solutions to problems, and rich content that engages an audience and leaves them with a delectable taste in their mind’s mouth when it comes to your business.

The Mediums

Inbound is chock-full of digital mediums to explore in your marketing strategy. A few of our key favorites we like to get people started with are:

Websites are an absolute must if you want to make it in today’s marketplaces. Without a dependable online hub for your audience to visit, your company will quickly be forgotten and consumers will travel to the next competitor that has what they’re looking for.

Blogs are an exceptional way to help engage customers, build your credibility, and do some essential SEO in the background to boot. Providing rich content that solves problems positions you as a credible, go-to source and leaves an audience coming back to you for more. Plus, blogs are great for building a strong SEO foundation to help you stand out and be more easily found by potential customers.

Social Media presence is a vital ingredient in the well-rounded marketing cocktail, too. It offers wonderful platforms to receive customer feedback and to showcase what you have to offer, and even allows you to share that hilarious meme your followers will get a kick out of.

Use It or Lose It

What makes inbound marketing even more wonderful? Analytics. These digital avenues provide exceptional data on who is coming to your material, what they’re doing during visits, and so much more. Wielding this information to your benefit is made easier than ever before with fabulous tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to give them what they want. It’s a win-win.

Ready to get your inbound marketing strategy up to snuff? Our team can help get you started in the right direction. Give us a call today for more information, and to set up a time to chat about implementing these innovative solutions into your marketing strategy today.

A wide array of terms that when combined create a visual representation of the multi-faceted social media world.

Take Your Social Media to New Heights

Are you hoping to grow your business while building a loyal following? In today’s marketing industry, one of the best and most cost-effective ways to do so is to invest in your online community. This creates a platform for your consumers to interact with your business in a more personal, meaningful way.

Sound like a daunting task? That’s where we come in.

With a variety of services to help your business both establish a presence and flourish in social networking, we will be there to help you as much or as little as you like. Maybe you only need help getting going and you would like to take it from there; after all, you know your business inside and out. However, if you want the weight and stress of building, monitoring, and interacting taken off your shoulders, we are eager to learn your business as well as we know our own!

The social media network visually represented by icons and interweaving circles.

Read on for a list of the common social sites we manage and the services we offer to help you establish, grow, and monitor your business’ social network:

Facebook – Engage your audience, increase visits to your website, and generate both leads and sales. We can also host contests that are guaranteed to abide by Facebook’s ever-changing rules and formats. When you hold contests that are not ‘by the book’, you run the risk of Facebook shutting down your account.

Research shows that websites which appear on the first page of Google receive 58.4% more user clicks

Google+ – Debating on whether or not your business needs Google+? Remember, everything entered into Google+ is immediately indexed by Google. This means anything entered into your business Google+ page can increase your search engine optimization (SEO) and help your business rank higher when searched. Research shows that websites which appear on the first page of Google receive 58.4% more user clicks.

LinkedIn – As the third most used social platform among business owners, LinkedIn usage means that you will have new connections, generate leads, and build your brand — and find new talent at little to no extra cost to your company. LinkedIn’s research shows a 73% increase in job recruitment compared to a 15% increase for internet job boards and a 16% decrease for staffing agencies.

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but research says one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Video is irresistible! It’s dynamic, it’s multi-sensory, and it does everything text and pictures do – then it does more

YouTube – The second largest search engine in the world, YouTube processes over 3 billion searches a month. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but research says one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Video is irresistible! It’s dynamic, it’s multi-sensory, and it does everything text and pictures do – then it does more. We are a FAA commercially licensed UAS operator, so we have the ability to take your video marketing to extraordinary heights by producing award-winning results.

Study shows 67% of sinners consult pins on their mobile devices while shopping in stores

Pinterest – With over 100 million pinners, Pinterest is a great way to reach a large audience with your photos. Once an image is pinned it is not taken down, increasing the longevity of your post. Pinterest, like other social platforms, is also a top application on many consumers’ mobile devices. According to Ahology’s 2015 Pinterest Study, 67% of pinners consult pins on their mobile devices while shopping in stores, so when you have a consistent presence on Pinterest you have a consistent presence with your consumer.

Twitter – Increasing your brand awareness, promoting your blogs and videos, and increasing your website traffic are just a few of the advantages of utilizing Twitter for your business. This is about making genuine connections with your customers, both in person and online in a fast-paced setting. We can manage the long process and keep you up to speed with just the important details.

A tablet or smart phone is the device of choice for most social media platforms use.

When you put your social business networking in our hands, your pages are monitored daily in order to post, interact with, and respond to consumers as fast as possible. This allows for more satisfied customers, and the ability to address any possible disputes before they can escalate.

Your social media will never be the same with our comprehensive social media management packages. Don’t worry about timing, engagement, or keeping your pages fresh; we’ll take care of it! The first step to grow your online presence is to contact us via our website or call 701.757.2000.