How to Get Attention

A little under 20 years ago, advertising on the internet was easy.

You could run a Google Ad for the word “coffee” and it would cost you 5¢ a click.

By the way, you were the only one showing up, so you were going to get a 50%+ click through.

But times have changed…

You are now not only competing with 4,583 other brands and startups like yours, but you are fighting for consumers attention with every other business running ads, Netflix show, blog post, mobile app, video game and funny prank video.

texting

The internet is a massive, distracting place.

Scratch that, the entire world is a massive, distracting place.

Marketers have to be all-in if they hope to stand a chance to stay relevant.

It’s the hard truth.

They have to have an exceptional product, trustworthy advertising and fantastic customer service. 

Simply running Facebook ads or creating video content isn’t enough anymore—it has to be great.

You might be one of the lucky ones that are at the top because you built you brand before the ‘content boom’, or maybe you got a shot of adrenaline because you appeared on SharkTank or had a successful Kickstarter.

But unless you are fast, efficient and super creative, you will fade quickly.

How to fight distractions to get attention

Okay we’re going to get granular here, because that’s how we roll.

The first thing you need to understand is that consumers are going to fall into two buckets before they are truly attracted to you:

  1. They ARE NOT currently looking for what you are offering, thus you are trying to influence them
  2. They ARE currently looking for what you are offering, thus you are trying to convince them

But remember, before you can do either of these things, you have to first get in front of them.

linkedin

Image Source: Medium.com

After you achieve one of these two things, you have now won the attention game, which is huge in today’s world.

But it’s not either influencer or convince, you need to be able to do both at the same time.

Let me explain (By the way this is totally made up and hypothetical example).

On Monday, Susie, mom of 3 in Iowa, could be reading the latest article on PureWow.com.

While she is reading, she sees a (sponsored) post snuck in the midst of the said article, written by Rachel Hollis, an author and social media star that she loves.

The article is about Rachel’s favorite beauty products for the busy mom.

Susie clicks the article and reads through Rachel’s suggestions.

She really likes the ideas that Rachel has about contouring.

And she decides she wants to give “Product A” that Rachel is suggesting a try.

Hence, Influence.

On that same Monday, at the same exact time, Lindsay, a single woman in Brooklyn is sitting in her apartment thinking about the upcoming weekend.

She has a date with a cute girl from Queens on Friday, dinner with friends on Saturday, and brunch with her parents on Sunday.

She’s running low on bronzer, and she’s not super pumped about the one she has been using, so she decides to shop.

She hops on Pinterest and begins pinning all the looks and products she likes.

Then she goes to YouTube to watch a few product tutorials from brands and influencers.

Finally she goes to Google to price-shop the top three brands she finds.

She finds a great deal on Amazon for “Product A” and orders it with 2-day shipping.

amazon

Image Source: PC Mag

Hence, Convince.

If you sell Product A, you just won two new customers at the same time.

And here’s how you did it:

  • You negotiated a 1-year sponsorship deal with Rachel to create content about how much she loves your product
  • You collaborated with Purewow to do a sponsored posts with Rachel
  • You sent your products to 100 of the top YouTube makeup influencers, and began working with 40 of them to produce tutorials using your products
  • You found 40 bloggers with a large presence on Pinterest to partner with who write and post about your products
  • You setup Amazon FBA to distribute your products at a fair price with 2-day Prime shipping—so you automatically earn a higher level of awareness and trust than your competitors who are not on Amazon.

If one of these strategies was missing, you might have lost Susie or Lindsay as a customer.

If two or more of these strategies were missing, you might have lost both.

In order to truly thrive in today’s Wild West version of the internet, you really have to work backwards from your customers purchase, into a full omni-channel marketing approach.

It’s how the next generation of winners will win.

How to start a partnership with a digital marketing team that gets results

best digital marketing firm in syracuse ny

Are you frustrated with your current marketing team and looking for a new social media or digital marketing team that actually gets you results?? 

Well, here at Good Monster we have some experience on delivering measurable ROI based on the results you  want.  After years of managing social and digital media marketing accounts, we have learned a thing or two about running successful digital campaigns. In this blog, we’ll be highlighting some cool pointers you can use to strike a partnership with an awesome digital marketing dream gang!

But First: Why market on Social Media or Digital Media Platforms?

Of late, having a great social media standing has become extremely lucrative for any business. In fact, it might even be necessary! With practically every working person having an online persona, the rewards of advertising on social and digital media are endless. That being said, how does one go about putting together a rockstar digital marketing team? 

Assess your business

So where does one begin? By assessing their business first. By taking a long hard look at the man in the mirror. In this sense, we’re talking about reviewing your resources as well as your current budget.

  • Budget- You’ve got to have a solid budget plan in place. Else, how will you entice the finest social media managers out there to take up your cause and be part of the team? Your budget also influences the tools that you’re going to use. The higher the budget, the more advance the tools in place, and thus, the more resourceful the ‘gang’ will be.

  • Resources- Still on tools, if you’re building a Social Media team from scratch, then it’s best you go big. For starters, do you know some of the best marketing automation software out there? If not, it would be great to do a little research in your free time to familiarize with some of them. Having such resources in place can do miracles! Especially when it comes to improving the team’s productivity and output.

Align your digital marketing campaign in relation to your company’s objectives

Goal-setting has proven time and again to bring forth positive results, no matter the application. That being said, when you are on the verge of striking a partnership, make sure the team knows what you’re pitching. Do they have a solid understanding of your business?

If so, then it’s a given they will spearhead your digital campaign the best way they know how. And in regard to your market niche. There’s no point of hiring a team only to have a plethora of issues down the line because your objectives weren’t met.

So how do you measure your team’s digital media success?

  • Have clear-set weekly, monthly, or even yearly goals that your team has to make

  • Secondly, it’s important that you have a metrics system put in place to measure the success of these goals. For example, if you’re trying to keep track of your engagement, what are the things you’ll be measuring? Is it clicks? No of retweets? No of comments? Then you’ve got to have a structure that works.

In a nutshell, it’s every businesses dream to find the perfect social media team. And like two peas in a pod, you can successfully collaborate with them to take your social media standings to even greater higher heights!

Ready to start a digital marketing partnership that delivers real results ?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

Digital Trends to Watch in 2016

It’s the beginning of a new year which means everyone is busy working towards their resolutions. While you are likely focusing on your personal improvements don’t forget about your business resolutions. Maybe you want to expand your business, double your revenue, or revamp your marketing strategy. Knowing the upcoming digital trends in 2016 is an easy way to stay a step ahead of your competition.

Mobile Will Continue to Rise:

It must come as no surprise that people are spending more time on mobile devices than ever before. Mobile usage began a slow climb but has exploded in recent years and now has overtaken desktop computers when it comes to usage. While we have seen desktop/laptop usage fall to mobile, the new king, in the past few years, many people are predicting that the fall has slowed or stopped completely. While people are spending more time with their phones in front of their face, majority of users still need/use a computer for their job and in everyday life.

Digital Internet Usage Trend

Video Dominance:

More people are beginning to cut the cord and get rid of traditional cable television while turning towards internet streaming video services. Companies like Hulu and Netflix are beginning to steal traditional TV eyeballs. In 2015, we saw Facebook ramp up its video efforts to compete with YouTube. Brands are desperately trying to keep up with the trend. 2016 will see a huge increase in the amount of ad spend when it comes to internet video services. Videos are one of the most engaging ways to connect with an audience. Marketers and advertisers are going to try to capitalize on the surge of internet video. I think we will see more brands sponsoring online video content or creating a unique online video presence of their own.

Increase in Digital Ad Spend:

Even though there was a huge increase in digital consumption in 2015, digital ad spend was lacking behind. Techcrunch reported that digital ad spend only made up 28% of all ad spend in 2015. As I mentioned above more users are spending far more time online than they ever have before, yet digital ad spend still isn’t up to par. The report does note that digital ad spend grew at a rate of 13% over the last year and I fully expect that number to increase even more. Most brands and advertisers aren’t going to leave traditional advertising hanging out to dry but we will definitely see a substantial increase in digital ad spend this year.

Digital Ad Spend Trend

Rise in Native Advertising:

One way brands and marketers are going to use their digital ad budgets next year will be with native advertising. Native advertising is going to be woven into every content marketing plan in 2016. With the increase in popularity of ad blockers and users becoming more aware (and upset) when an ad is thrown in their face, native advertising is a great way to get your message to the audience who wants to engage with it. More brands are going to align with publishers and help build engaging content together that helps support the brand. If you want a few examples of native advertising at its finest, look no further than BuzzFeed. In the past few years they have taken the reigns when it comes to native advertising, but I fully expect more publishers to offer it as an ad package in 2016.

The above trends along with many others will certainly emerge throughout the year. Stay on top of these trends and learn how your business can take advantage. Be sure to follow Good Monster on social media so you can stay in the loop with all the marketing trends as they change throughout 2016.

The Attention Show: Integrating Traditional Marketing with Digital Marketing

Tradition Marketing & Digital Marketing

Watch the full episode on YouTube here


 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

[powerpress]

Traditional marketing has its place in the marketing mix of many businesses, it is however, eroding in our digitally based world. Businesses today need to have a website and use the proper channels to interact with their consumers. Instead of thinking the decision is either a traditional vs. digital approach, business now need to look to the strengths of both.

The segregation of traditional marketing and digital marketing are no more. John and Chris explain how businesses can use traditional marketing to amplify their digital marketing efforts and vice versa.

SEO Campaigns: What You Need and Where To Start

Have you ever asked yourself “I know I need SEO, but I don’t know exactly what I need”? More and more businesses are starting to realize the value in search engine optimization. As a result, the demand for SEO’s has increased.

What do you hope to get out of an SEO campaign?

Search engine optimization involves a number of things; from website audits and on-page content recommendations to link building programs and everything in between. Additionally, there is no cookie cutter price for SEO and it is based on what is included and to what extent.

When looking for your vendor, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Here are 3 factors to consider when reviewing what your search engine optimization needs are.

SEO Goals

Goals

First and foremost, identify your business goals. While traffic and rankings are important, it is not the only thing that matters. At Good Monster, we always steer the conversation towards your overall goals, including revenue. SEO campaigns include plenty of elements. By evaluating and understanding what your business goals are, you will be able to make the best decision regarding the SEO services you really need.

Do you want to gain local visibility? Do you want to increase conversions? Maybe you want to build brand and product awareness. Each one of these questions brings a new and different SEO strategy to the table.

Onpage

Site Performance

One of the biggest ranking factors is the performance of your website’s on-page elements. Anytime we get a new client, we assess these on-page elements by reviewing analytics, content and other factors. It is important to understand exactly what needs to be optimized so that your website can beat out your competitors.

Check out your traffic trends, including conversion trends and any other analytics that you think will help you better understand your needs. This will also help you in the budgeting process. If you know your site needs a lot of work on-page as well as off-page, the more involved the strategy and campaign will be.

Limits

Know Your Limits

The best ability is availability. A huge frustration for us with any client is having them tell us they have a number of resources such as tools and people in place, however, when we finally start a campaign, we hear crickets. All of a sudden, there is no response, there is no one on the other end to do what we need them to do.

Know your limits.

When you identify where you might be lacking, you can relay that to your SEO provider to address the areas of need. For example, if your site is lacking content and you don’t have resources in house to create it, you will need to rely on your SEO agency to handle it.

This works the other way as well. If your SEO agency wants to write content for you but you have a content team on staff, you will most likely only need some editorial guidance. This will keep your content team on the right path, targeting the right topics, with the right keywords to help drive traffic and increase conversions. In this case, a full on content strategy/campaign will not be needed.

Any business that knows they will be needing a full SEO campaign must be aware and understand each factor before they start. It will create a more successful SEO campaign for all involved.

But what if your business is new to search engine optimization. You’re still in the planning/vetting stage and you want to make a few subtle changes that can impact your search ranking.

You’re in luck. Take a look at some elements that contribute to your search ranking.

Make Your Website Responsive Already!

You have undoubtedly been told how important a responsive website design is, especially for your conversions. Two years ago, Mashable actually called 2013 the Year of Responsive Web Design. Knowing how important this is, you would have thought more than 18% of the top 10,000 sites on the web implemented a responsive design. But they didn’t.

Why is it so important? With so many consumers using mobile devices, your site needs to look great on both a desktop as well as smartphones and tablets. A responsive design is also beneficial for Google. With the Mobile Friendly label Google puts up with sites in search results, Google ensures that more users click on responsive sites as opposed to non-optimized sites. This is a way Google sends more traffic your way IF your site is responsive.

Social Signals

Social media and search marketing used to live in two separate silos. In many instances, marketers are partly to blame having to decide on one or the other. It is not that simple anymore. It wasn’t long ago when Matt Cutts said social media had limited impact on search rankings, claiming Google does not have permanent access to social media websites. One year later however, we now have the data sharing deal between Twitter and Google. This means you’ll soon see more tweets in your search results.

To say we have little control over the lords of search and social media would be an understatement. What we can control is to optimize social media with the hopes that the search lords eventually cave to social media and tie social media to search results.

So what does this mean?

  • Include social sharing buttons on all your pages. If you are an e-commerce website, be sure each social share button is easily noticed on all product pages.
  • Include social sharing buttons on your email newsletters. This is your own army of brand ambassadors so make sure you allow them to talk about your content with their friends.
  • Make sure, when possible, your content on social media has a URL that links back to your blog or website. This will enable you to measure which social media platform led to an increase in traffic.

Reviews

Sticks and Stones… It Matters

In a July 2014 consumer review survey by BrightLocal, they found that 88% of respondents trust anonymous online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family. Who said don’t talk to strangers? Additionally, in recent data found by Bazaarvoice, they found this trust in strangers increases among Millennials.

With these insights in mind, it is important to showcase what consumers already think of your business. Displaying these reviews and testimonials prominently on your site is certainly beneficial. To generate these reviews and testimonials, solicit recommendations, reviews or ratings through a simple email per week or right after a consumer make a purchase. Doing this ensures the users experience is still fresh in their minds and your chances of a thoughtful review increases.

Sending out emails in order to get a mountain of reviews is difficult. So how can you make this process as pain free as possible?

  • Include a direct link to the review and rating page right in the email.
  • Take a page out of Amazon’s book and create a system for getting reviews inside the email itself.
  • Incentivize the reviewers.

Credibility is king. A great way to increase credibility for your site is by getting in touch with consumers who regularly interact with your brand and have them discuss their story with your brand. We are not focusing on reviews here. We are focusing on the story. Once you are able to generate these stories, you can create a landing page that showcases top customers and their story with your brand.

Take Down The Silos

Rankings still matter. However, it is important to not lose sight of the big picture and monitor your current positions. Tracking keyword rankings in Google is simply not enough anymore. Be sure to stay on top of all your digital marketing channels and identify how each they will affect your ranking.

Wearable Technology: The Biggest Shift Since Social Media

Last Monday, Apple launched its new watch, the Apple Watch. This release marked a significant step in the effort to turn the company into a technology-based luxury brand. It also ushered Apple into the wearable technology business.

Many people are calling these devices “the future of mobile”. By 2016, it is predicted that smart watches will comprise about 40% of consumer wrist worn devices. Could this be the biggest shift since social media? As digital marketers, it will be extremely important that we find ways to tap into these resources.

But how?

How Wearables Will Change Digital Marketing

Usefulness and Relevance

A huge advantage of smartphones for digital marketers was the ability to track consumer habits making for a better marketing plan. Wearables will provide marketers with new types of information. For example, not only will we know where a user is and the time they arrived, but with wearables, we will be able to track user’s motives. Marketers will be able to record if a user goes to the gym, works out, then heads to happy hour with friends. Placing an ad for a bar in the area or a certain beverage like Blue Moon could help that particular user.

Through these insights, digital marketers will better understand not only how and when to engage with consumers, but also have the ability create hyper targeted ads that actually help a user.

Geofences

Apple has called their watch “the most personal device yet”. Along with other wearables, it presents a new way to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message, inviting a new way to bring customers through the door.

App developers can use iBeacon technology and/or create “geofences” that are able to sense when a consumer is in close proximity to your location. Any store front could “tap” the nearby user through their wearable to get their attention and offer a special that expires in 20 minutes.

Digital marketers and developers will be forced to change their advertising materials to be much more personal.

More Screens

Designers and developers can take advantage of a second screen. Your wearable will constantly share data to the cloud on a regular basis. This will create unique ways for ads on screens around you to change what and how they advertise. One example of this is what you would buy when you are hungry or when you are not. As we start wearing these smart watches that record heartbeat and blood sugar levels, it’s not too farfetched to think we could start to see ads on your desktop or mobile device to reflect your “bio state”.

inspector-gadget

What About Search Marketing?

If you thought wearable technology was a crazy fad or a piece of technology you could only see on Inspector Gadget you might want to rethink that. These items are extremely practical as consumers will be as connected as ever. Like smartphones, these smart watches allow for voice search in an even more practical way. No longer will consumers need to dig through their pockets or bags for their phones. All consumers need to do now is simply raise their wrist. Because of this practicality, will this increase the amount of searches through voice?

Search like you speak

Unlike typing a query in google, where we have to think about “what do I search for”, you can simply ask the question as if you were asking a friend. Shanti Shunn at Ecommerce Consulting showcases how the two are different. While typed search and voice search look completely different, they do achieve the same goal. The big difference is when we speak, we use words like “a” “for” and “me”. These “filler words” can give search engines an idea of what your intent was.

This was a big component of Hummingbird when Google released it in 2013. Instead of matching keywords, Hummingbird tries to figure out the meaning behind the words. Jim Yu, founder and CEO of BrightEdge states that “Every company should be thinking with a query mindset rather than keywords and optimizing for voice across devices, including wearables.”

So What Do We Do?

Not many understand how they will design or develop digital properties for wearables, specifically the Apple Watch. What we do understand is that users might not want all the notifications on their watch the same way they get them on their phone. With the emphasis of notification on wearables and not so much on communicating, there will be a huge breakthrough for direct message marketing apps like “Yo”. During the World Cup last year for example, the app sent users a “Yo” notification when a goal was scored. This meant there was no need to open the app and relates directly to the practicality of wearables.

Conclusion

While it may take time for the general masses to get on board with wearables, it is certainly not a fad and will be more commonplace like they were in the Jetsons. We as marketers will have to rethink the content and incorporate the growing role that notifications will play in the interaction of these devices. We will also have to embrace this new technology as a tool we can utilize to engage with consumers in a more targeted and effective way.

The Attention Show News: Live Streaming Your Business

Attention-Youtube-featured-01

Click here to watch the full episode on YouTube.


[powerpress]

Anytime there is a new social media app and/or platform, everyone makes a mad dash to try it out. Meerkat is the latest app that has everyone from local tech folks live streaming shoveling snow to people like Gary Vaynerchuk setting up Meerkats of his #AskGaryVee show. Many are still toying with this new tool. The question on everyones mind is “Can my business benefit from Meerkat?”

Meerkat has an element of SnapChat to it. It is organic, has unscripted human elements and allows you to provide real time updates. These updates, by the way, will be “broadcast” to your followers who will be engaged with what you have to say since they opted into following you.

Meerkat is a perfect opportunity to open the door to your office and showcase your culture. For example, you could live stream a video tour or even a happy hour. Meerkat is also great for live streaming a new product or service launch. Founder Ben Rubin calls it “spontaneous togetherness” and this element of Meerkat is something businesses can certainly take advantage of.

Want to watch more episodes of The Attention Show? Click here!

The Secret Sauce of Snapchat

Snapchat Monster Show

Don’t have time to watch the full episode? Click here to watch the full episode filmed using Snapchat!

 

New business tools that are designed to create more customer engagement are always being introduced. It is up to the business owners and us marketers to identify the best tools and most creative ways to use those tools to create the necessary engagement that will then help grow your business.

We know the big players like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and even Instagram. Many however, don’t include Snapchat in this conversation. Because it’s impossible to save or keep a message, marketers view this as less than ideal for building a brand or sharing.

They are all wrong.

An average of 21 million viewers per week tune into NBC’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” and 14.8 million people tuned into watch the midseason finale of “The Walking Dead”. But how many people watched a video broadcast on their phones showing unique sights and sounds of New York City’s “Snowpocalypse” filmed by mostly teens or adults in their 20’s? Who, by the way, are not professionals and are simply Snapchat users.

25 million! Thats how many!

The New Advertising Platform

While Snapchat does not run advertising in its “Snapstories”, they are in discussions with marketers on implementing this idea. They are certain to run ads in the future as there has never been a better content format with “Snapstories”. Why are these stories so great and how can they help build your brand? After all, these pictures and videos can’t be saved.

The Demographic is Right

According to Business Insider Intelligence, more than 60% of Snapchat users are in the coveted 18-24 age group. Among millennials, Snapchat is even more popular than Twitter!

The Audience is Completely Engaged

Facebook and YouTube videos offer the consumer an escape route. With both, users can simply leave an ad open in another tab or skip it all together. Snapchat however allows marketers to see if their ads are being viewed as users have to press and hold a button on the screen.

Great, Unique, Content

Snapchat allows consumers intimate access to big events like the Oscars Red Carpet or the post-Oscars party and even events on a smaller scale like a Syracuse basketball game in the Carrier Dome. Users can gain an inside look and feel as if one of their friends is giving them access to one of these types of events.

Snapchat story

Building a Brand on a Temporary Medium

Photos and videos are temporary, as a result you can’t build a brand using this platform right? Wrong. Repetition and consistency, that was the name of the game in the past when it came to growing your brand. Now however, brands utilize different attributes like authenticity and humor, adding a human element in place of repetition.

This is a match made in heaven for Snapchat. There is nothing more authentic than a brand engaging with consumers in an way that is unconventional and missing a number of the traditional branding elements. What’s more human than catching one of your co workers sleeping in a meeting or the president of the company playing Mario Cart in the office cafe? These not so serious moments are perfect for Snapchat. It allows users to receive instant updates from their friends day-to-day at the office and invites their network of followers to connect with the brand.

How Can Your Business Use Snapchat?

Exclusives & Promotions

Use Snapchat to tell your customers about any special sales or events. You can even give your most valued customers the VIP treatment by sending an invitation-only Snapchat, inviting them to a special sale or opening.

A frozen yogurt chain called 16 Handles is a great example of this. For their Snapchat campaign, they gave customers a unique and varying discount when they visited one of their stores and opened the snap from the register. The customer however, had no idea what the discount was until they were about to pay for their yogurt.

For companies that have an eCommerce store or an actual store presence, this can be a great way to take advantage of how temporary Snapchat is while engaging with users on a much different platform.

Customer Support

With Snapchat you can provide real time customer service in a way many other companies aren’t. With quick videos, you can provide assistance if a customer is having trouble with one of your services or products. One example of this is if a customer is having trouble replacing batteries in your product and they send you a picture of the issue. You can respond with a photo or video of your own demonstrating the easiest way to replace the batteries. This establishes trust amongst consumers and emphasises your dedication to customer satisfaction.

Preview New Products/Services

If you are offering a new service or have a new product you will be releasing, introduce it with a photo or video demonstrating it. For example, if you are a shoe store and have the brand new shoe that everyone is looking to get, showcase it and let everyone know your store is the place to go. You can also give your customers the chance to order it before it hits the shelves.

Conclusion

Setting up a Snapchat account is simple and downloading the app takes you through the process step by step. Once you are set up, what should you expect?

  1. Showcase the human aspect of your brand, allowing them behind the scenes and connecting them other platforms can’t.
  2. Creating content for engaged users on a platform that is even more popular than Twitter amongst millennials.
  3. Utilizing a channel your competition is still trying to figure the best way they can grow their business on.

Thinking about utilizing Snapchat for your business? Email us at whatsnext@thegoodmonster.com, and we’ll help you out.

This Is How Your Business Should Be Using Instagram

Do you want to attract more attention from fans and followers? Of course you do. With currently 300 million active users, Instagram can be a key marketing tool for your business. However, there are 70 million photos posted on Instagram each day to go along with 2.5 billion likes. The trick is, what can you do so that your brand is one that not only stands out but is one that users want to engage with.

There are plenty of articles saying you need to be doing this, that and the other thing on Instagram. Lucky for you, we’ve found the best ways your business should be using Instagram.

Instagram is turning 5 this year and according to L2 Intelligence it grew its user base to 150 million active monthly users in half the time that it took Twitter and in two years less than Facebook. And its growth is showing no signs of slowing down. Pew Research Center a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public on various trends, found that when it comes to attracting new users, Instagram is king. The amount of US adults using Instagram grew 9% in 2014 which means 26% of all US adults now use Instagram.

One brand taking advantage of Instagram is Ben and Jerry’s, they were also featured in a case study on Instagram’s business blog. They found that of the users who saw the ad (9.8 million users reached) for their new ice cream “Scotchy Scotch Scotch”, 17% not only became aware of the new flavor, they also associated it with Ben & Jerry’s.

So how can you get a piece of this action? How can your business use Instagram to generate more engagement and more brand awareness?

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?

Set Goals

Measure twice cut once. When implementing a new strategy on Instagram (or any strategy for that matter) set your goals so you are able to measure how effective or ineffective a particular strategy was. One goal you can set today is a formula by Track Maven. He put together a report about Fortune 500 companies on Instagram. Maven notes that big brands receive an average of 37 total likes and comments for every 1000 followers. While you might not be a Fortune 500 company you can still apply this same formula if you multiply your followers by .037. So, for example, if you have 500 followers, set your goal to 19 likes and comments per post.

Now that you have your strategy made and your goals stated, remember that the best ability is availability. This principle translates to instagram perfectly. No one likes to follow someone who posts whenever they feel like it. If you can incorporate Instagram posts into your editorial calendar and commit to posting consistently your brand will be available to consumers and lead to building trust.

So you have your strategy made, your goals set and your editorial calendar ready to go. But when is the best time of day to post? Analytics app SumAll recently studied the best times to post on Instagram. They found that between 5:00-6:00 during the week except for Mondays, which they found that 8:00pm is best to post.

Show a Unique Point of View

Instagram offers you the opportunity to showcase your products, services and culture in a way other social media platforms can’t. This platform gives you the ability to let consumers behind those closed doors and see the product development side of your brand. You are also able to allow consumers behind your offices doors allowing them to check out your culture, much like Pop Chips. They did a great job of incorporating their product in the “game room” of their offices asking “*Like*, if would rather be playing video games #caseofthemondays #popchips #justdance”

Instagram

In addition to this aspect, Instagram lets you show off your photography skills by showing unique vantage points. Going off of Drones and GoPro cameras that showcase unique angles and points of view, your business can take advantage of this idea. For example if you are a restaurant, by bringing a ladder or even a step stool with you into the kitchen, you can show really cool angles and show consumers what’s involved in making a meal.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.44.58 PM

Provide Value

Instagram doesn’t have as many promotion limitations as other social media platforms. This makes it great for implementing contests as a way to engage with consumers in an unforced, organic way. Brisk did a great job at providing value with their #briskpic campaign. They sponsored an instagram contest soliciting Instagrams tagged with the hashtag brispic to be used on their next Brisk beverage cans. This is a simple way to provide some awesome and easily accessed value to users and it was as simple as adding a hashtag to a photo.

Why is Instagram is Right for Your Business?

Instagram is all about creating engagement through high quality, captivating visuals. 2014 already marked a significant year on the transition from written to visual content. This is good news for the platform since visual content is expected to be more dominant than ever this year. We know how important mobile marketing is, but what’s great about Instagram is that it is strictly a mobile platform. Instagram users check their feed anytime of the day whenever they want, which means that the chances to grab their attention are increased, comparing to a desktop. Because of this, it’s important to appeal to consumers in a way that even one second can make a difference.

CONCLUSION

So whats the first step? There are plenty of great tips on creating a winning Instagram profile. Once that is set up, what should you expect from utilizing Instagram?

  1. You will be creating visual content that consumers can access whenever they want, wherever they are.
  2. Instagram continues to grow and offers a number of things other social media platforms don’t
  3. It allows consumers to interact with your brand and become more than just part of the conversation.

Thinking about starting a winning Instagram account? Email us at whatsnext@thegoodmonster.com, and we’ll help you out.

Local SEO Picture in 2015

 

Google continues to roll out new updates that could be hurting your businesses online strategy, the most recent being Pigeon. This constant change and evolution has forced the local SEO industry to adapt to these new sophisticated updates.

Local search has always been and will continue to be important. Google’s new local algorithm update, has brought a higher level of specificity and accuracy to local search.

What are some things you need to know?

When did it Roll out?

Pigeon rolled out on July 24, 2014. This update changed some local results and altered how Google handles location “cues”. Google is constantly rolling out updates to it’s core algorithms. Pigeon, is an attempt to align Google’s local algorithm with it’s core algorithms.

Pigeon affects Google Maps Search and Google Web Search

Searching for something in Google Maps previously returned very different results when compared to searches conducted via Google’s web search. Once Pigeon rolled out, web search and map search are more connected in terms of search results.

Specific types of Businesses Affected

Darren Shaw of Whitespark and Search Engine Land have observed that many different types of businesses experienced a negative hit from Pigeon. Some of these businesses/niches include:

  • Mold removal
  • DUI lawyer
  • DUI attorney
  • Real estate/realtors
  • Emergency plumber
  • Commercial: Painting, construction, remodeling (anything with commercial in front of it)

What do you NEED to do?

Google is becoming smarter and better at understanding of location and what users are looking for. As changes in local search continue, how can you implement a search engine optimization strategy to best position your business in 2015 and beyond?

Have a Consistent Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP)

You will want to avoid sending any kind of mixed signal to Google. Be sure your name, address and phone number are consistent throughout the web. This includes directories, social accounts and even your web pages. Tools like Moz Local make it a bit easier to be sure your NAP is consistent.

Optimize Your “Google My Business” Listing

Make sure your business location is entered correctly on the map so it is easy as possible for users to find you. You can even drag the map marker to your exact business location to make the process even easier. Additionally, fully complete your Google My Business profile with pictures, hours, payment types, website URL, etc.. Lastly, most people will ask someone they trust about a product or service before making a purchase. With Google My Business, be sure to encourage customers to review your business by clicking “write a review” on the local Google+ page.

Build your backlink portfolio

For this tip, view backlinks as “votes”. The more “votes” (backlinks) you have pointing to your web page, the higher authority Google will give it. The more authority Google gives your business, the higher you can rank in the search engine results. To gain these backlinks, you can join local resource lists or directories or even publish a piece for your local business journals website.

Conclusion

The Pigeon update marked significant changes to local search for 2014 and into this year. No longer will citations along with great H1 and title tags suffice. This was only the latest significant update brought on by Google and you can expect many more to come. Take a look and see if your business was one of many that were affected and take the correct steps to regain your ranking.