How to Increase Brand Awareness on Social Media

How To Increase Brand Awareness Through Social Media

 

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to grow your business. You know how to price your products competitively while still generating a profit. You know that special promotions such as flyers, TV ads, and signage are generally reliable for bringing in a few new customers. You know what works for you, and you’re confident that these practices will continue to propel your business in the future.

But are you using social media to further increase your brand awareness? If so, great! If not, why not? It may seem like a small thing in the big picture, but the reality is stark. The future of your business could depend on how well you can adapt to changing technology.

What Is Social Media?

Let’s go back to the basics. Social media is any means of electronic communication, such as a website or application, through which users build online communities to share and exchange information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.

Who Uses Social Media?

The short answer: practically everyone. Facebook is by far the most popular social network, with 2.45 billion monthly active users (MAUs). YouTube users number at 2 billion each month, while Instagram boasts 1 billion MAUs. Twitter (330 million MAUs) and LinkedIn (260 million MAUs) round out the list of the top social networks in use throughout the world.

Why Does Your Business Need Social Media?

Your business can benefit greatly from the connection between brand and customer that only social media can make. Similarly, social media can increase your overall brand awareness, which can boost leads and ultimately generate more sales.

What Is Brand Awareness?

Simply put, brand awareness is the extent to which someone can recall or recognize your brand. Over time, Kleenex and Band-Aids have become so associated with the products they represent that it’s easy to forget they’re actually trademarked names. The ultimate goal of brand awareness is for your business or products to become a “household name” for your customers. Specifically, you want your business to be the first name they think of when they’re seeking the services you provide.

Is Social Media Marketing Effective?

Much more than you might think, actually. Studies have shown that 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to friends and family. In addition, 74% of potential customers say they’re more likely to trust a business with positive reviews on social media. It’s been said, and rightly so, that social media is the new “word of mouth.”

Is Social Media Marketing Affordable?

You may be wondering whether you can afford to market your small business on social media with a limited budget. The truth is that you can’t afford not to! If you’re willing to invest a little time and effort, that’s really all it takes – and the payoff can be amazing! You don’t have to use paid advertising to get results, though it can improve your chances of a successful marketing campaign.

How Can You Use Social Media to Increase Brand Awareness for Your Business?

Now that you understand a bit more about social media and what it can do for your business, how do you put this knowledge into practice? Here are 7 practical ideas to get you started:

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to social media, this is especially true. Users will instantly stop scrolling when something catches their eye, and a compelling picture or illustration will cause them to do just that. Be sure the image you choose offers a snapshot of what the post is about. Also, make certain you have permission to use the image. A quick Google search will lead you to more than a few websites where you can source images for free. If you have the ability to shoot and post your own video – perhaps a how-to, tutorial, product demonstration, or live “Q & A” session – even better! Infographics also resonate well on social media – design your own or find one that clearly addresses the subject of your post (and tag the original source). Infographics that provide helpful or insightful information are more likely to be shared than a huge block of text. Nobody wants to read a thousand words, anyway!

GET PERSONAL

There’s nothing more tedious than a business that inundates their followers with post after post proclaiming the superiority of their brand, products, or services. Aggressive sales pitch posts? Even worse! Social media users want to be entertained and engaged, not simply informed. Tell a story that piques their interest, then find a way to subtly tie it in to your brand. Don’t be afraid to add a dash of humor now and then. Some of the most-followed brands on social media are those that regularly inject their marketing with mirth. Another great way to keep your audience engaged is to actively listen and respond to their opinions, comments, and critiques – both the positive and the negative! You just might learn a thing or two about your own business! Encourage users to share your content and you’ll not only reach your followers, but their network as well.

SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE

Social media users have short attention spans. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention. If your content isn’t fresh, valuable, or relevant to their interests, the chance of reaching followers with your message is greatly diminished. Focus on topics that are closely related to your particular field. Chances are, that’s why they’re following you in the first place! Use emojis, hashtags, and other popular text language to show your target audience you’re in touch with how they communicate. Finally, draw your audience in by letting them interact with you. Ask a question that generates responses in the comments. “Question posts” are much more likely to get shared, which also serves to increase your reach.

GIVE STUFF AWAY

This may not immediately strike you as an intelligent way to grow your small business, but it actually makes a lot of sense. People love getting something for nothing, so use that to your advantage. Create a contest for the best idea about X, Y, or Z, with the grand prize being a gift card to your business or perhaps a free product. Encourage followers to share the contest post with others, and maybe even offer bonus entries for each share. The more people see the post, the more you’ll have people talking about your business – and that’s never a bad thing! Consider initiating a referral program where you offer something for free to followers who refer a new customer to you. Any way you look at it, that’s a win-win situation!

MIX IT UP A BIT

While keeping a consistent brand voice across the board is key, it’s perfectly acceptable – and highly recommended! – to use a different tone depending on which social media platform you’re utilizing. On Facebook, you might post interactive content that’s more likely to get likes and shares (which is how you get the most eyes on your post). Twitter posts are short and snappy, and it may serve you best to adapt a more playful tone there. Instagram is image-driven, so you’ll probably want to reserve your strongest visuals for that platform. LinkedIn tends to be more serious and therefore might be an ideal landing spot for your more informative blog posts. As easy as it might be to copy and paste the same message across all your platforms, resist the urge! Each social media site should carry its own unique message along with the relevant info that you’re sharing.

STALK THE COMPETITION

Keep an eye on the social media accounts of your direct competitors. What kind of marketing campaigns are they attempting? What seems to be performing well for them? What appears to be falling flat? Learn from their successes and their mistakes, come up with your own strategies and solutions, and put them into action.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

Most social media platforms – Facebook Page Insights, for example – offer solid feedback on the number of likes, shares, and comments your content has generated. You can delve in even deeper by using web analytics programs to see which platforms are providing the most referral traffic. Pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t, and adapt your methods accordingly as you continue to optimize your approach.

These are just a few of the ways you can use social media to your business’s advantage. Identifying your target audience will help you determine which platforms to use to promote your brand. You don’t need to have a presence on all the major social networking sites, just the ones that make sense for your customers and their online habits. Define your social media goals, identify the various types of content you’ll produce, and determine how you’ll measure your success. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to take your business to the next level!

If you’re curious to learn more and get started, HighClick Media is here to help. Reach out to us and one of our campaign experts will contact you to chat about your marketing goals. We’ll work hand in hand with your small business to design the perfect strategy that will make your marketing efforts a success! Call us today at 252.814.2150!

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Inactivity on Social Media, Or: How to Kill Your Business in One Easy Step

Inactivity on Social Media, Or: How to Kill Your Business in One Easy Step

Marketers like us are always touting the benefits of establishing a solid presence on social media. We must be cutting through the white noise, at least in part, because more and more brands these days are creating accounts on social media. While this is certainly a huge step in the right direction, simply having a business page on all the trendiest social networking platforms is not enough.

You have to be active.

In truth, it’s quite easy to set up channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, and the like — it’s a lot harder to maintain them. It takes time, effort, and resources.

But it’s absolutely essential.

Being active on social media boosts brand awareness, makes it easy to engage with customers, improves your SEO rankings, and allows you to control your own narrative.

Conversely, oft-neglected or poorly managed social media accounts can actually be damaging to your company’s reputation.

Twitter tool ManageFlitter considers social media accounts to be “inactive” when no one has posted on them in over 30 days, while others would deem inactivity to mean that there have been no posts in the past 48 hours.

However you choose to define it, an inactive social media account sends all the wrong messages about your company. Primarily, it communicates the fact that your business doesn’t care enough to be up to speed with today’s technology.

Dormant social media accounts can have immediate negative effects on your business, including — but not limited to — decreased reach, decreased influence, and loss of market share.

7 Reasons Why Social Media Accounts Become Inactive

There are any number of reasons a business’s social media pages might become inactive, but we often see many of the same “excuses” being tossed around:

where did everybody go

The business is..well…out of business.

Maybe the owner retired, decided to move on, or the business simply failed. But, in essence, there is no business. Unfortunately, this fact often isn’t communicated very well, since businesses’ social media pages are rarely shut down upon dissolution.

i don't get it

The business never really understood social media to begin with.

As mentioned before, it’s easy to set up a social media account; but it’s what you do with it going forward that truly matters. Having a strong social media marketing plan, understanding why you’re using it, what message you’re trying to convey, what content you have to post, how to measure your activity, how to convert fans into customers — all these things play a much bigger role than simply setting up your account.

Social media is something businesses are expected to do these days, but that doesn’t mean that business owners or their employees possess the required skill set to achieve the desired results. Not having the knowledge or technical ability to properly use social media is not a valid excuse for abandoning your efforts altogether. Undergoing professional social media training or enlisting the services of an outside company to manage your social accounts are much better solutions.

Business owners have become disillusioned with social media.

Seeing results from your social media campaigns requires patience and a lot of hard work. It’s not a magic pill that fixes all your problems instantly; it’s something you work on for the long term. Social media is often equated with face-to-face networking. First, you build relationships, and over time these relationships can translate into an abundance of new work. But you have to be dedicated and persevere. Give up, and you’re yielding the fight to your competitors.

what do you want me to say

Businesses don’t know what to say on social media.

It’s a standard complaint — how do you find things to say every single day that will energize your audience? Make a note of all the services your business offers, the things you do, the problems you solve, the pains you fix, and the things that interest your customers — down to the smallest details. Determine where the intersection lies between your business and your customers. Ensure that your marketing conveys the right message to the right people at the right time. When in doubt, apply data and insights to back up your gut feelings.

too busy to deal with social media

The business is too busy to deal with social media.

This statement can either be the truth or an excuse for the fact that you simply don’t care for social media. Many customer-facing businesses, such as restaurants and bars, simply don’t have the time to pick up the phone in the middle of a busy evening and respond to or engage with potential customers. Some business owners are genuinely too busy for social media, but they must be honest with themselves about this.

Realistically, two social media platforms should be able to be managed effectively in just thirty minutes a day. Perform a time audit of your typical day, and determine where you might be able to shave a few minutes off several daily tasks in order to make time for your social media management. Or, if there is someone in your office with the required technical, marketing, and customer service skills to manage your social media, see if they can find thirty minutes each day to devote to this task. If neither of these are viable options, outsourcing to a social media management company might be your best bet.

kirsten dunst bye bye

The person managing social media has left the company.

Oftentimes, a business’s social media activity stops dead in its tracks for months or years when the person running social media campaigns has left the company. This is a function that must be replaced, not left dormant.

From a customer’s standpoint, social media has become as important a channel of communication as the phone, emails, or web chats. How much would it concern you, as a business owner, if your phone lines were to go down for an entire morning? Shouldn’t you be worried just as much if your social media is inactive for days, weeks, months, or even years?

kim kardashian lurking

The business is simply “lurking” on social media.

The lurker relates their side of the story something like this: “I don’t post on social media. I just use it as another channel to follow the news and my favorite sports teams.” This is perfectly fine for an individual using social media for fun. For a business, it’s a death knell. This would be tantamount to showing up for a networking meeting and observing the goings-on while hiding in a corner. It just doesn’t work.


pitfalls of business inactivity on social media

 

 

7 Pitfalls of Social Media Inactivity

People Will Think You’re No Longer In Operation

When a social-media-savvy person is searching for a local business in your field and comes across an inactive or seldom-updated page, they might quickly come to the conclusion that you must no longer be in business. This false impression will inevitably exclude your company as an option in the mind of the potential customer. They’ll swiftly forge ahead to find a business that frequently updates their page with fresh content.

Since approximately a third of all small businesses fail in the first three years, it’s not unreasonable to assume that an inactive social media account signifies a business’s closure. However, a neglected social media page could also send the message that nothing new has happened at the business in however-many days — which, if true, makes your business seem as dead as if it were closed, and generally not worth the time of the average consumer.

Your Credibility Will Be Damaged

Customers research a business on social media to scrutinize its values and get a feel for what the business is like. If they’re greeted with an inactive account, the first impression is not favorable. Employees and potential employees will also check out a company’s social pages to see what kind of culture it demonstrates.

Fair or not, companies are judged on their willingness to engage with consumers, their dedication, and their social media presence. An inactive presence does more harm than good.

Inactivity projects the message that the business doesn’t take an active interest in its potential customers. When you’re active on social media, you can control your narrative online. You can communicate your credibility firsthand and attract customers the right way.

Your Customer Service Will Suffer

If you are no longer monitoring your social media accounts, have you communicated that to your online followers? Are there customers tweeting at you for support? Are there issues going unanswered? Social media is a two-way conversation, and if you’re not engaging back, you have no chance of building positive word of mouth or cultivating brand fans.

Savvy internet users will check out reviews or testimonials on Facebook or other social media pages before deciding to try a new business. Consumers want to sense an atmosphere of camaraderie and to know that your business is a well-respected member of the community. If your social media presence is lackluster, chances are you don’t have many (if any) customer reviews on your page — this could be a major turnoff to potential clients.

home alone you're what the french call les incompetents

Your Company Will Appear Incompetent

A subpar social media presence makes your company look unprofessional and amateurish to potential clients. Inactive social media pages give the impression that your business is unable to follow through on obligations and complete tasks.

If that’s what you’re going for, then great! If you’d rather convey the message that your business is equipped to solve problems, combat challenges, and truly serve your customers, it’s time to put in some work on your social media pages.

spongebob squarepants patrick i t hought what we had was special

You Will Start Losing Followers

You’ve heard the popular saying “out of sight, out of mind,” right? This is never more true than when it comes to social media. When you aren’t actively posting to your social media pages, you’re giving your followers the chance to forget about you. Consumers can be a fickle bunch. If you’re suddenly off their radar, they’re going to move on to another brand that grabs their attention.

Marketing is all about consistency, no matter which type of medium you’re using. Staying in front of customers on a regular basis continues to remind them that you’re around and that you can’t wait to see them in your store or office.

Without an active online community, you won’t have loyal followers; and without loyal followers, you will lose potential brand advocates. When your followers aren’t reaching out to engage with you or others about your business, your links are less likely to be shared to social media. This will result in fewer signals being transmitted to Google’s algorithm, which will increase the chances that your keywords will drop in ranking on Google searches. All of which is extremely bad for your business!

zach galifianakis algorithm change

Social Algorithms Will Decrease Your Reach

Brands that become inactive on social media for as little as two weeks can expect to see their reach decrease by an average of ten times! When your page becomes dormant and no one is interacting on it, your posts simply aren’t going to be seen by your followers.

For example, Facebook — the largest social media platform worldwide — has set up their algorithms to determine which posts will show up on people’s news feeds and which will not. This can be directly affected by your not posting for weeks on end.

Inactivity on social media can significantly affect your reach, even when your brand begins posting again. In order to recover, it typically takes around 3 to 5 times the amount of dormancy time in order for engagement and reach to return to their former levels. In other words, if you’re inactive for a week, it could take anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks to get back to your original reach numbers.

marcus lemonis looking nervous lose market share

Your Brand Will Lose Market Share

Periods of social media dormancy create ideal opportunities for competitors to steal your brand’s market share. Savvy brands become more active when the competition slacks off. This means they get lower ad rates and higher CPAs (costs per action), not to mention the bulk of your audience’s attention.

When your followers see less content from you and more from active brands in your field, they will become more receptive to these brands even if they have enjoyed a long and satisfactory history with your brand.

let's get this party started

 

7 Solutions for Reviving Your Social Media Presence

If your business has been silent on social media for too long, it’s time to make a change. It will be an uphill battle, but it’s never too late to kickstart your social media presence. Here are a few pointers to get you back in the game:

i don't understand what just happened here

Evaluate What Went Wrong

In order to learn from your mistakes, it’s important to understand what went wrong before. Did you stop updating your social media pages for one of the reasons stated in an earlier section of this blog — not enough time, insufficient technical ability, unaware of what to say, or frustration due to a lack of instant results — or some other reason?

This is the perfect time to be brutally honest with yourself about why social media didn’t work for you before you decided to stop posting.

schitt's creek you will work until it hurts

Pick a Social Channel and Redouble Your Efforts

Find out which platform (or platforms) your audience is active on, and research best practices so you’ll understand how to reach customers where they already are.

Pinpoint what specific plans you should set in motion for your social media revitalization. Revamp and rejuvenate your platform with fresh energy, resources, and strategy. Commit to being more consistent in your posting.

smart thinking marketing strategy

Develop a Marketing Strategy for Your Channel

Before starting up or refreshing a channel, determine whether this method is going to yield return on investment for your business. Formulate a plan for a successful launch and consistent cadence.

At a bare minimum, coordinate a passive posting schedule for your social media pages. Passive posts include content such as memes, quotes, branding statements, photos, etc. If you don’t have the wherewithal for this kind of content creation, you can always work on expanding upon the content that’s being created by the community about your brand. Never underestimate the potency of a retweet or a cross-shared post. You could also duplicate older posts that are still relevant to your business.

hit your goals cobra kai

Create Attainable Goals for Your Company’s Social Media Presence

It would be awesome if your business could have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and whatever the latest buzzed-about platform may be. But is that actually feasible?

Keeping track of and publishing fresh, relevant content to this many platforms will be extremely challenging, and will most likely result in mismanaged pages, intermittent posting, or inactive accounts.

Touch base with your team to decide on what platforms you can reasonably manage. Take it a step further and consider which social networking sites will best serve your specific audience. Once you’ve determined what platforms will generate the best results and customer advantages for your company, set up only those accounts and develop clear-cut posting objectives.

what is this communication word you speak of?

Communicate

If you’re planning on shutting down any of your inactive social media accounts, be sure to communicate that to your audiences. Let customers know that the page will be “sunset” (phased out) as of a certain date and provide followers with a link redirecting them to the new page.

This keeps your clients in the loop, avoids giving the false impression that you’re no longer in business, and ensures that you’re migrating all your current followers and customers over to the new channels.

let's do this!

Implement Your Plan

There’s absolutely no reason to go through the evaluating and planning stages unless you’re going to put your plan into action. Social media marketing is all about the return on effort, and zero effort nets zero results.

help me help you tom cruise

Partner with a Social Media Marketing Company to Maximize Your Efforts

For small-to-medium-sized businesses, it can be difficult to find a staff member who has the time to commit to managing your social media presence. If this is an issue for your company, consider enlisting the help of an outside party.

A reputable digital marketing company that routinely handles social media can help manage your campaigns and eliminate the stress of keeping your accounts up to date. Such an agency can also help maintain consistency in posting and boost your page engagement, ensuring that more people will see your posts.

i'm a social media mogul

 

 
 

Final Thoughts

Social media should be viewed as an extension of your business. But you must find a way to devote the time and effort to it that you’ve already given to your physical establishment.

While it’s absolutely vital that you have a strong social media presence in this day and age, it’s better to have no social media presence at all than to have a number of inactive accounts. Likewise, it’s better to have a stellar social media presence in just a few places rather than to have a poor presence across many different platforms.

By building a well-thought-out strategy, cutting back on the number of accounts you dedicate your time to, and outsourcing the management of some or all of your social media functions to marketing specialists, you can truly use social media to the fullest advantage.

It’s time for your business to not only exist online, but to thrive.

HighClick Media is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in social media marketing and management. Our marketing team understands the importance of a strong social media presence, because we use it every day to elevate our clients’ businesses. By developing a custom marketing strategy, producing quality content, and creating personalized promotions, we guarantee your brand will soar above the competition. Call us today at 252.814.2150 to find out more how we can help grow your business!

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How to Turn Your Followers Into Clients

One of the best ways to reach potential customers is through social media marketing. Social media allows you to build a brand presence, reach a wider audience, and engage with current and potential customers.

However, many business owners make some of the same mistakes when getting started on social media. For instance, they might limit themselves to creating awareness on a single platform. While this isn’t entirely unreasonable, you could be targeting the wrong audience.

Maybe this particular scenario describes you…

You’ve worked hard to build your follower base over time. Your content is amazing. You’re always sharing the best advice you can find. But something still isn’t right. Your conversion rate is low.

You’re finding it challenging to turn loyal followers into returning clients. This may be due to a number of reasons. But ultimately, it boils down to poor marketing strategies and tactics.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explain how to convert your followers into clients as well as how to generate tons of leads via social media channels. Excited? Let’s dive in!

Start a Conversation

Create Unique Content

One of the most critical steps in converting followers into customers is to create unique content.

While it’s a good idea to consistently post on your social media accounts, if you keep posting the same kinds of content, you will quickly become ignored. Try to come up with some new and innovative ways to engage with your followers and potential customers.

If you can think of a way to reach out to your customers in a way that’s more interactive, go for it! You’ll find that this is one of the best ways to get more people interested in what you have to offer.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and invest time and money into developing new strategies for engaging with your customers. When everyone else is posting about the same boring things, your posts will stand out from the crowd.

Create Contests and Giveaways

Creating contests and giveaways is a great way to generate viral marketing for your business. Encouraging people to talk about your business by creating a contest can go a long way toward attracting more followers, clients, and customers.

A successful contest must have an objective that entrants can strive for. It should be fun, and engaging, and should also be easily measured. An excellent example of this is a contest to get the most tweets or Facebook likes.

To make the contest more enticing, you can offer prizes for the winner or runners-up. Be sure that your contest is easy to enter so all your followers will want to participate.

To further increase the number of entries, you could offer additional prizes for entrants who are creative enough to submit creative content such as photos, videos, or blog posts related to your product or business.

Turning followers into clients is more attainable than you might think. While you may assume that your content alone is enough to entice your audience, that isn’t always the case.

Today, social media platforms are littered with brands competing for brand awareness. In order to succeed at converting your followers into clients, you’ll have to be unique in your approach to positioning and branding your business. It’s essential to identify your unique selling proposition and maximize it effectively.

One of the easiest ways to turn followers into clients is by starting a conversation with them. Rather than merely posting content for the sake of doing so, engage with your community and ask relevant questions.

Be sure to respond to any comments or questions that visitors leave on your page. In doing so, you will show prospects that you’re interested in them – and that they’re being heard and valued by your company. This will help build trust with potential customers and make them feel like they’re more than just another potential sale.

To start a conversation with one of your followers: first, take a look at their profiles to see what types of things interest them and which companies or organizations they follow. Then, use that information to start a conversation with them.

Don’t introduce your website or product into the conversation directly when you do this. Demonstrate that you are an authority on the topic by giving more information than is asked for – and then mention your company as if it were an afterthought.

Build Relationships with Influential People in Your Industry

Like any other business, it takes money to make money – and social media is no exception. The problem with social media is that you can spend a lot of time and energy engaging with people for “free,” but there’s no guarantee that any of the relationships you build will lead to sales.

The secret to making sure your efforts are worthwhile is to focus on connecting with influencers – people who are capable of influencing the people you want to reach. There are several ways you can go about doing this.

Start by identifying influencers who are actively focusing on your particular niche or industry. You can learn more about them by searching for their names on LinkedIn, reading their blogs, and following them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Take a closer look at prominent influencers’ social media accounts and see if they are posting links to content that’s relevant to your business (and your potential customers). You might also be able to find them by seeing who’s active in groups relevant to your niche or industry.

Once you’ve identified these influencers, engage with them by liking or commenting on their posts. Even if they don’t reply directly, they’ll see that you’re interacting with their content – and this might lead them to engage with yours as well. It’s a good idea to comment positively.

Take Advantage of Trending Topics

Businesses are often afraid to jump into a trending topic out of concern that their involvement will come off as inauthentic.

The fact is, if you’re not leveraging the opportunity that comes with trending hashtags, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to increase your awareness.

There are several ways to get involved in the conversation without forcing. If you want to be seen as an active participant, research the trend and make sure your answer is helpful and relevant to your target audience. Convince people that you’re an authority in their niche.

Once you’re recognized as an expert in the field, try linking your response to your business or industry. If you have something valuable to contribute, take the time to write out informative blog posts for the same. Ideally, your blog post should also point to your products or services as an ideal solution to readers’ problems.

The Bottom Line

Before you can convert followers into paying clients, you have to get them to know, like, and trust you. Building a social media following is time-consuming and requires a great deal of patience and consistency.

Once you’ve attracted your potential clientele, start sharing your work in subtle ways that encourage followers to contact you without forcing your work down their throats.

If you’re struggling to get started with social media marketing or you need help building your follower base and converting them into customers, HighClick Media is here for you!

We are a full-service digital marketing and web design agency, dedicated to helping grow businesses of all shapes and sizes by implementing comprehensive marketing solutions. Our talented team of creative thinkers, innovators, and digital marketers bring extraordinary skill to every project, positioning your business for blistering success.

Whether you’re looking for a website refresh, social media marketing, or brand development, reach out to us today by calling 252.814.2150 or dropping us a line here.

*****

Guest blogger Margie Heaneythe writes high-quality content and helps manage social media marketing efforts for Get Plus Followers. She helps save social media marketers time and money by finding active and engaging Instagram users for their personal profiles or business pages. Margie is proud to partner with LearningFuze, a premier coding and data science boot camp offering part-time or full-time courses, available in person or online.

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7 Benefits of SEO

 

7 Benefits of SEO

If you are a business owner, you should definitely invest in SEO (search engine optimization), the process of optimizing your website to maximize organic traffic from search engines such as Google, Bing, YouTube, etc. Search engine optimization is an essential component of any successful digital marketing strategy.

The benefits of SEO are far more valuable than many realize, and for those of you that don’t have an effective SEO strategy, you are making a mistake, and I am very disappointed in you…

Kidding, of course! You don’t know what you don’t know, but that’s where I come in!

Without further ado, I present to you: 7 Benefits of Search Engine Optimization.

1. Customers use search engines daily

Over 3 billion people are using the Internet on a daily basis, and 93% of online activities begin on a search engine. There are TONS of search engines out there. Like most people, Google is one of my go-to’s. According to live statistics, Google alone processes over 40,000 searches every second. That is more than a trillion searches per year worldwide. The opportunities for your business to be discovered on search engines are never-ending!

2. SEO attracts quality traffic

Search engine traffic is the best traffic you could ask for. Why? Because people are searching for the problem you solve.

“People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems. Be the solution they’re looking for.”

With this particular component of digital marketing, you don’t have to persuade people to buy or hound them with advertisements. When they type something into a search engine, they are already interested in what you have to offer. The SEO industry is worth $65 billion for a reason, am I right?

3. SEO strengthens your reputation

In Google we trust. Seriously, people use it every day to find what they’re looking for. Having a high search engine ranking builds trust and credibility with your audience. On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for nearly 70% of all search engine clicks. The numbers do not lie.

4. SEO increases brand awareness

There is no such thing as too much exposure. Search engine optimization will help people become aware of your brand. Even if your website visitor isn’t ready to make a purchase, by being aware of your offerings, they’re more likely to do business with you in the future.

5. SEO is measurable

SEO allows you to measure your conversions and the source of your conversions. Not only that, but you can also measure the progression of your website rankings and organic traffic. With the right setup (or the right agency), measuring which search keywords are the most beneficial is a piece of cake!

6. SEO is mobile

Mobile is the future. Over 50% of internet users are searching from their smartphone, and that number is going nowhere but up. By optimizing your website for SEO, you are thinking ahead and considering the next generation of marketing. Search engines will favor your website when it is optimized for mobile.

7. SEO can help you attract the appropriate talent

Google is the starting point for someone searching for a job. You have the ability to optimize your website for a high Google ranking for the positions you are hiring for. Investing in an SEO strategy could help you avoid recruiting fees.

These are simply a tiny handful of SEO benefits. We could go on for hours, but long story short, it is the smartest marketing investment you can make. It’s a long-term asset that generates traffic, leads, and sales. Your customers are using a search engine right now, and one of your competitors is growing significantly from it. Don’t fall behind. HighClick can help you with a SEO campaign today.

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Essential SEO Strategies for Small Business Owners

Essential SEO Strategies for Small Business Owners

Essential SEO Strategies for Small Business Owners

 

Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be massively beneficial for businesses of all sizes when it comes to marketing. Whether you’re looking to expand your customer base or gain an edge over your competition, there are several simple, cost-effective ways to utilize SEO. When partnered with creative brand design and social media usage, SEO can help your business gain credibility and get a foothold in your field.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few key strategies to help boost your company’s search rankings online in order to get new customers to come to you.

 

Get Help with Your SEO

Get Help from SEO Professionals

In this age of technology, it’s essential for even the smallest businesses to have solid search rankings on Google. As more and more consumers rely on their phones for everything from driving directions to shopping, you’ll want to ensure they can easily find your business, get in touch with you, and buy products with the push of a button.

Enlisting the services of SEO professionals to help optimize your rankings in Google searches as well as on Google Maps can go a long way. The more mobile-friendly your business is, the better chance you’ll have of finding – and keeping – a larger customer base.

 

Website Accessibility

Make Sure Your Website Is Accessible

Not only is it important to give your customers lots of options when it comes to your business, but it’s also equally crucial to make your website as accessible as possible and to load it up with high-quality content. You can utilize several types of media on your site to make your business more visible in searches, from multiple links to videos. Just don’t forget to make sure all of your customers can benefit from them. Using captions, alt text (a written description of an image), and font options will help differently-abled customers easily interact with your products and marketing, among other tactics.

 

Keep Your Content Fresh with Frequent Updates

Keep Web Content Fresh with Frequent Updates

Whether you have videos, written blog posts, or photos on your site, you’ll want to ensure that your content is updated frequently. The more you refresh your content, the more traffic you’ll drive to the site – and increased traffic has a direct effect on your search engine rankings.

Every time you post something new, keep possible keywords in mind that are relevant to your customers. What would they type into Google when looking for your specific products or services? Try to keep these keywords as unique as possible on your website pages to prevent disruptions to Google’s algorithm. You can use online resources to figure out the best keywords and placement on your site, as well as tools that demonstrate how to write good content.

One important way to keep existing customers engaged with your content – and potentially convert leads into customers – is to make use of email marketing. An effective email campaign will help boost sales, keep your business in regular contact with its target audience, and directly promote your products and services. Connecting with your audience via email on a weekly basis helps balance your need to keep them engaged against the desire not to be overbearing.

 

Take Advantage of Google's SEO Tools

Take Advantage of Google’s SEO Tools

One essential online resource for small businesses is Google Analytics, which helps you track the performance of your website pages and provides lots of information about your customers, such as which social media platforms they used to find your business. Not only that, it can give you valuable insights about your competitors that could prove advantageous throughout the year. You can use these metrics as a guideline for taking your business to the next level or to learn where you could benefit from changing things up.

Becoming proficient with Google Analytics can be a daunting task for new users. Fortunately, there are many guides available online to introduce its tools to new users in order to facilitate a productive learning experience. A good guide will walk you through setting up your account, analyzing your SEO performance, and evaluating reports.

 

Final Thoughts About Essential SEO Strategies for Small Business Owners

Final Thoughts

SEO is an invaluable tool for businesses of any size, and there are many ways to utilize these tactics. Do some research on the best ways to integrate search engine optimization into your standard practices, and get help from professionals like the folks at HighClick Media who can assist you in making the most of your website, social media accounts, and overall marketing strategy.

If you need help with any of these aspects of your digital marketing, we’re happy to help you out! Drop us a line here or call us at 252.814.2150 to see how we can help #elevateyourbrand!

 

********************

Guest blogger Cody McBride’s love for computers stems from high school when he built his own computer. Today he is a trained IT technician and knows how the inner workings of computers can be confusing to most. He is the creator of TechDeck.info where he offers easy-to-understand, tech-related advice, and troubleshooting tips.

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PPC Overview

PPC Overview

PPC

Short for Pay-Per-Click, PPC is an online marketing tool in which the advertiser pays the search engine a sum of the fee each time the ad gets clicked.

So, we’ve talked about SEO and how it’s an excellent way to get better search engine rankings, but even the best SEO campaigns take time to get the best results. And even once you see your results, SEO requires constant work to keep your rankings up. After all, competition for Page 1 rankings is super fierce.

That’s where PPC comes in. PPC is the best option for businesses that want new leads fast. In some cases, a PPC campaign can start generating sales within hours of launching, and the best part is that you only pay once someone clicks your ad. If someone performs a search and reads your ad without clicking on it, you don’t have to pay a dime! Talk about a step up from TV or radio, requiring you to pay regardless of how many people you’re actually reaching.

 

Our pay-per-click strategy starts with keyword research. This helps us decide what specific Google searches we want your ad to show for. For example, if you own a Greenville-based Massage Therapy business, your ad should show when someone searches for ‘best massage therapist in Greenville’, but you wouldn’t want your ad to show for someone searching for ‘massage therapy school’.

After weeding through thousands of potential search terms, we determine exactly when to show your ad and when not to.

On to the next step. We create and optimize your landing pages (the page a customer lands on after clicking on your PPC ad). To ensure that your potential customers follow through, either by calling or emailing your business, we ascertain that your landing pages are designed and built properly. With PPC advertising, we can drive high-quality traffic to your site and help your business grow.

Do you want to give PPC a try? Reach out to HighClick Media to get started today!

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How to Build Brand Affinity with Your Customers

How to Build Brand Affinity with Your Customers

Conventional wisdom says that if you put your customers front and center, they’ll stick with you no matter what. But it’s not as simple as that. You have to give them a reason to stay. The best way to accomplish this is by building brand affinity with your customers.

Brand loyalty is something many companies strive to cultivate with customers. But what if you could take the concept of brand loyalty one step further?

Connecting deeply with your customers on an emotional level can build a long and healthy relationship that’s not only essential to growing sales, but also influences how people speak about your business to others.

Brand affinity involves looking at the customer as an individual, determining how closely connected you are to them, and figuring out how to further cement that connection to secure their steadfast allegiance.

Customers become advocates for a business when they feel connected to its purpose and personality. Defining what you stand for as a company can help cultivate a long-lasting affinity for your brand.

 

What Is Brand Affinity?

Brand affinity is the most enduring and valuable level of a relationship between a business and its customers. It’s based on the mutual belief that the customer and the company share common values. When businesses are able to form this kind of deep emotional connection with their customers, there’s nothing better than that!

Every buying decision a customer makes is based on a mixture of emotional, rational, and behavioral factors. When a customer feels an affinity toward a brand, the emotional aspect is likely to play the dominant role in their decision.

Consumers demonstrate their affinity in a number of ways, including: the likelihood that they’ll stick with the brand over time; the high probability that they’ll purchase the brand when free to choose among others; the good chance they’ll refer others to the brand; and the tendency to describe high levels of overall satisfaction with regard to the brand.

Branding Terminology: What’s The Difference?

You may hear marketers like us kicking around a number of different words to describe the brand-building process. Between brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand equity, and now brand affinity, it can be difficult to determine the difference. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Brand Awareness

This is, quite simply, the extent to which consumers are aware of your existence; or, more specifically, how familiar they are with your brand. Being the first brand name that pops into someone’s head when they’re asked about a particular product is a clear indicator of strong brand awareness. When a consumer is aware of your brand, they may buy it or they may not – but at least they know it exists.

Brand Loyalty

A customer might be loyal to a brand for any number of reasons. It’s possible that they appreciate the quality of the product or the value it adds to their lives. Perhaps they’re motivated by compelling, or maybe they just buy it out of habit because they always have before. With brand loyalty, a customer may prefer your brand and generally choose it over others; but this a purely rational decision on the part of the buyer and doesn’t necessarily indicate a strong personal connection between the customer and the brand.

Brand Equity

Brand equity is the overall added value that a brand bestows upon a product or service. Based on awareness, perceived quality, associations, and loyalty, brand equity is how a brand justifies the value it’s seeking to get in the market. Companies with a high level of brand equity can set higher price points for their products, knowing that most consumers will be willing to pay.

Brand Affinity

This factor is measured at the individual customer level. Customers with brand affinity don’t just like your brand – they love it! They don’t just buy your products – they tell others about your brand and encourage them to buy your products as well. Creating brand affinity with consumers is the pinnacle of any brand-customer relationship.

THE BENEFITS OF BRAND AFFINITY

From promoting trust to building stronger relationships, brand affinity comes with a variety of unbeatable benefits:

  • Minimizes the Competition:  Customers who are emotionally connected to your brand are far less likely to run to your competitors the first chance they get. In fact, customers with a high level of affinity tend to buy more in general, shop with you more often, and complain less about inevitable price increases.
  • Helps Build Relationships:  People would much rather do business with a brand that’s not afraid to get personal with customers. Humanizing your business can go a long way toward building relationships with your customers.
  • Develops Brand Personality:  If your brand was a person, what would they be like? What would their goals be? Once you’ve nailed down your brand’s personality, you can use it to better target your ideal audience.
  • Creates Trust:  In business, as in life, trust is the foundation of any solid relationship. Customers are more willing to trust a brand if they know it treats its customers and employees well. Communicate the things that you do well, as a brand, to take care of your clients and your workers. Being open and straightforward with customers – especially when something goes wrong – can also improve a client’s impression of your company.
  • Improves Satisfaction Levels:  When people like what you do, they’ll want to shout about it. If they also have a strong emotional connection to your brand, they’ll want to shout about it even louder. The more that potential customers hear about how satisfied your clients are, the more they’ll come to realize that you’re a brand worth doing business with.
  • Boosts Your Bottom Line:  Perhaps the biggest benefit of brand affinity is that it can convert “regular” customers into brand ambassadors for your business. When these brand advocates share their positive opinions about you to others in their social networks, it’s likely that you’ll receive an increase in word-of-mouth referrals – which can turn into more leads, which can translate into greater sales.

HOW TO BUILD BRAND AFFINITY WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

Brand affinity isn’t something that you can force or manufacture – it must evolve naturally between you and your customers. However, if you are willing to invest some time and resources into cultivating this level of connection with your customers, the payoff can be huge.

Here are 11 tips to get you started:
1)  Improve Your Customer Service

Determine what your customer base values in terms of customer service, then do everything you can to meet and exceed their expectations. Once customers have come to identify your brand with excellent and responsive service, you’ve created a way to set yourself apart from your competitors. Ongoing positive customer experiences help build strong, rewarding relationships with your customer base.

2)  Encourage Customer Engagement

Give customers motivation to keep coming back to your brand and interacting with it. Encourage comment engagement on all of your social media posts. This gives your audience a forum to interact with each other as well as with your brand. Try to determine the ideal platform for reaching your specific customers and consistently post content that followers will be excited to engage with. Photos, images, and videos get a higher number of likes and comments as compared to text-only posts, so keep this in mind.

3)  Keep Your Customers in the Loop

Be sure to keep your audience up to date with new announcements and features. Whether you’re launching a new product, going through organizational changes, or giving your website a facelift, make sure you let customers know what’s going on. Being transparent with your objectives and taking the time to communicate with customers can help build trust and organically boost affinity for your brand.

4)  Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Engage with your followers on social media by replying to messages, commenting on posts, and participating in groups and communities. Interacting with customers on a personal level increases brand awareness and develops trust in your company. Establishing strong connections with your audience boosts the likelihood that they’ll share your content and spread the word about your brand in a positive way.

Monitor and listen to online communities to find out what people are saying about your brand. Spend some time talking to people and reading comments online. Try to figure out what motivates consumers to buy or not buy from certain brands.

5)  Connect with Your Audience Using Targeted Messages

Remind your customers on a regular basis that you’re there for them, to alleviate their pain points and address any specific concerns they might have. Reinforcement helps customers continually associate you with the value they originally experienced with your brand.

Track and study how your customers interact with your products, services, and website in order to figure out what interests them. This will allow you to build messages that are customized just for them, which demonstrates that you’re more genuinely interested in your customers as people, not just as potential sales.

Email marketing is a great way to stay in constant contact with your audiences. Whether you’re sending out promotional emails about upcoming sales or conveying important information, keeping an open line of communication with customers is key. This will help keep your business at the forefront of their minds, while reminding them why they chose you in the first place.

6)  Create a Seamless Customer Experience

Customers don’t like it when you make them work in order to contact you or to purchase from your store. A previous stressful experience with your business will linger in the back of customers’ minds and make them hesitant about doing business with you again.

Whether you set up a 1-800 number that connects customers to a live service rep or design a website that’s easy to navigate – if buyers can purchase what they need without any issues or significant delays, they’re likely to think more highly of your company when considering your products and services in the future. Make it a point to regularly review your customer’s journey so you can continue to find ways to make their interactions with your business smoother and simpler.

7)  Use Affinity Tools to Analyze Your Customers

You can’t be everything to everyone, so don’t waste your time trying. When companies try to appeal to everyone, they often lose the unique, emotional connection upon which brand affinity is built. A number of online tools are available which you can use to help home in on your target audience.

Google Analytics offers a wide range of audience demographics including age, gender, location, and browsing behaviors. Its “Affinity” category helps inform you what type of lifestyle choices your website’s visitors make. For each “Affinity” category, you’ll also be able to see data related to website visits, new visits, bounce rates, pages per visit, and visit duration. For websites that are set up for ecommerce, Google Analytics displays data detailing transaction, revenue, and conversion rate information for each “Affinity” category.

8)  Offer a Personalized Experience for Customers

Personalizing their experience makes each of your customers feel that they’re valued. One way to do this by allowing customers to create a profile on your company’s website. Set up form fields that specifically focus on which aspects of a user’s profile will help create the most personalized shopping experience. Offer customers some type of reward around their birthdays. Consider offering a one-time discount that customers can use on their birthday month – instead of just on their actual birthday – to make this reward experience easier to redeem.

9)  Implement a Loyalty Program

Setting up a points-based reward program allows your customers to earn points by making purchases with your business. After earning a predetermined number of points or spending a certain amount of money, members receive a reward. In many cases, these types of rewards come in the form of discounts toward future purchases.

Tier-based rewards, by comparison, are based on how much a customer spends with your company within a set amount of time, typically within a year. Higher tiers unlock greater rewards – these might come in the form of deeper discounts or access to exclusive sales.

10)  Understand Your Brand Associations

Social intelligence will provide you with knowledge on how consumers currently view your brand personality and the brand associations they make. Create a search for all “mentions” of your brand. Take a look at topic clouds in order to identify common themes when people talk about your brand. If there are specific qualities that you wish to be associated with your brand, search for those words within all the mentions of your brand. Conduct a comparative study to see how you stack up against your competitors.

11)  Be “On-Message”

When you have identified your targeted audience and come to an understanding of how customers associate your brand, you can better determine how closely your perceived image aligns with the reality of your audience. Work on highlighting the areas that fit the message you wish to convey.

Make sure your brand stands for something, and that it’s a well-defined “something.” If you communicate that message effectively, you’ll soon have customers buying into your brand values.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Building brand affinity is one of the most effective ways to nurture both short-term and long-term growth. But it isn’t something that happens overnight. Like any other relationship, one between a customer and a company takes time to grow, mature, and strengthen. But by integrating these approaches into your business, you can secure a more successful relationship with your customers today – and enhance and expand that partnership tomorrow.
 

At HighClick Media, our marketing experts are ready, willing, and able to assist you with all of your branding needs. We dive deep with you to answer the questions that matter most to your audience. What makes your company different? What competitive edge makes you worth someone’s time, energy, and money?

A strong brand identity will stick with your customers. We help you create a corporate identity that will build trust and resonate with people. From your tagline to your brand persona, we’ll help you find your brand voice.

Call us today at 252.814.2150 to find out how we can help your business connect with your target audience like never before!

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