Digital Marketing Strategy

Why Businesses Need Digital Marketing To Survive COVID-19

Why Businesses Need A Digital Marketing Strategy To Survive COVID-19

In the coming months, businesses of all sizes are going to become extra reliant than ever on their digital marketing strategy. Without wanting to sound too much like a killjoy, in many cases, it will be the deciding factor in whether they make it through the tough times that are ahead. 

The unparalleled, and almost-total disappearance of all channels related to live events and conferences, and the increasing barriers on face-to-face business, pose an enormous challenge to any business model. 

B2B companies, in particular, rely on the annual circuit of trade shows and exhibitions to network and build customer relations. In industries that are not digital-native, they may also be less sophisticated in their digital growth and customer relations strategies. Especially in the case of smaller businesses that are used to getting new customers strictly word-of-mouth referrals or on the strength of a hard-won reputation, their loss is going to come as a shock if it hasn’t already.

Larger companies are now finding themselves in the position of having potentially lost millions of dollars from canceled events alone. They won’t claw back the hours of time and expense spent on preparations for this year, but insurance and flexible cancellation policies are going to leave them with some marketing budget to reassign. Digital Marketing in any aspect is likely going to be the clear and obvious choice here, and companies that may not so much as had a Facebook page before will need to move into social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, and even influencer-led campaigns. 

This, of course, means there are opportunities out there for the taking and a key factor in resilience is adaptability. If it’s standard in your industry to go out and meet new customers face-to-face before you do business, adapting may mean opening new channels over web or social media platforms where introductions can be made and relationship fostered. In the coming months, you prospective clients are going to be less open to the idea of letting you walk through the door and shake their hand, and no-one really has any idea how long this will last and whether this will lead to longer-term change. 

We are going to be in some uncertain times, but with the increase of remote working and a collaborative approach, companies are going to turn to digital channels and embrace the transformation. There has already been a real spike in the last few weeks from companies wishing to create or update their websites, launch new social media channels and campaigns focused on home-workers and a real focus on using influencers and SEO to reach new audiences. 

Being confined to the office — or even the home — rather than on the road on sales visits or at events, means marketers are going to have more time to develop digital marketing strategies. This means researching where your customers can be found online, and how different approaches and tactics might impact your success. If your organization previously put minimal efforts into digital channels, now is going to be a prime time to revisit them. That could be as simple as giving your website or social media pages a refresh, or a more innovative approach. 

A key point to note is that a lot of corporate entities use up about 50-60% of their marketing budgets on events. When things go back to normal, budgets will most likely be going back to those live face-to-face events, but if organizations can see the benefits and opportunities that digital marketing can offer, they might understand the benefit of adding it to their long-term marketing strategy. 

Channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn Live are going to be crucial moving forward as the ability to connect with a targeted audience real-time is very beneficial, if not essential. 

It’s certainly true that the coming weeks, or months – or however long this situation lasts – will be a challenging time for any company that isn’t ready to think about how they will replace the opportunities that have been lost. 

As long as businesses can approach the shift to digital marketing strategically, there’s no reason why it should just serve as an emergency fill-in but could carry on providing long-term value when the world eventually gets back to normal. And of course, this would make companies more resilient to deal with any future pandemics. Do you need help with your Digital Marketing Strategy? Looking to take your social media or SEO to the next step? Contact the team at The AD Leaf Marketing Firm and learn how you can grow with us today and weather the storm that is COVID-19!

Marketing Agency

5 Reasons To Hire A Marketing Agency VS An In-House Team

Should you hire a Marketing Agency or build an in-house team?

In today’s digital landscape, there is no shortage of marketing options for businesses. From freelancers and marketing agencies to hiring your own in-house team, companies have more choices than ever before, specifically when it comes to online marketing. As your business grows, you will need to consider how your marketing will be handled, including whether to hire new employees and build an internal marketing team or empower your brand through a Marketing Agency.

While each has its own advantages, a full-service Marketing Agency provides substantial value to large, medium, and even small businesses. They strive to build cohesive and effective brands, put organizations in front of their customers and audience, and drive sales through awareness.

5 Reasons to Hire A Marketing Agency

1. Unparalleled Experience

Why piece together individual talents when you can hire an experienced Marketing Agency to handle everything for you? One of the major advantages of hiring a Marketing Agency is a professional experience. In fact, a good agency will have specific knowledge in a wide range of industries and markets, along with experience facing a diverse range of scenarios and challenges never encountered by many newer business owners. Having a knowledgeable and experienced staff at your side can produce immediate results for owners, helping to quickly get your marketing efforts off the ground.

2. Broader Skillsets

It can be difficult to locate suitable in-house employees with branding and marketing skills such as SEO and graphic design. By hiring a Marketing Agency, you’ll not only have the necessary tools to achieve your vision for success but a suite of creative services at your fingertips.

For example, a full-service Marketing Agency can assist clients in everything from rebranding their company image and website, developing their print and direct mail campaigns, and creating a social strategy to boost SEO and PPC campaigns. With a Marketing Agency, a client may choose to utilize one service or all them–whereas, with an in-house team, businesses are limited in what they can achieve.

3. Fresh Perspective & Inspiration

Another major advantage of hiring a Marketing Agency is a new perspective. A marketing team can help inject new life into marketing efforts, helping to identify unseen opportunities and enhance current campaigns. One example is social media marketing. With more companies looking to broaden their social reach through sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, a Marketing Agency can significantly enhance a brand’s approach to social media, including how they’re perceived by their audience.

4. Speed, Efficiency, and Consistency

As an up-and-coming business owner, you’ll be forced to wear several hats when getting your business off the ground. Generally speaking, this will almost include tackling aspects of the business you’re unfamiliar with, such as branding and digital marketing. With only so much time in the day, it’s important your marketing approach doesn’t suffer from time restraints or inexperience. Hiring a Marketing Agency can easily solve this dilemma.

5. More Affordable Than Hiring In-House

The cost of hiring and maintaining a team of in-house marketers can be very expensive. For smaller businesses, this expense may be too much to afford.
One of the more surprising benefits of hiring a Marketing Agency is cost-effectiveness. Along with providing a plethora of knowledge, experience, and skillset, a Marketing Agency is almost always more affordable compared to hiring a full-time marketing team. For example, after hiring a marketing manager, web designer, graphic designer, content writer, and social media manager, the total cost can reach upwards of multiple six figures a year! And that’s not even including the cost of employee benefits.

Marketing is the heart and soul of any business. At The AD Leaf, we’ve spent the last 25 years working with a diverse range of clients — from healthcare and technology to governmental, law enforcement and consumer goods — to perfect our approach to marketing, advertising, and branding. From strategic creative direction to engaging digital marketing, our extensive marketing team is here to handle every aspect of your business.

Want to enhance your content marketing? Looking to take your social media to the next step? Contact the team at The AD Leaf Marketing Firm and learn how you can grow with us today!

“Loretta”: Kicking Ads & Taking Names

We’ve all seen it.

The tear-jerker ad released by Google during this year’s Super Bowl commercial ad space.

This ad by Google depicts the voice of an elderly gentleman using Google to remind himself about his late wife, Loretta. This ad was also inspired by a real person, a Google employee’s grandfather. As the commercial begins, it avoids much of what Super Bowl ads are known for. Comedic humor. Celebrity faces. Nostalgic flashbacks. With so many of these pop-culture references and heavy emphasis on humor, each company and advertising agency has one of the most competitive niche ad spaces to fight over. And with a 5 million dollar price tag for a 30-second commercial space, the competition and drive to stand out becomes even more daunting.

To be fair, there were so many ads that were incredibly well-done and clear in their communication. From the Cheetos commercial with MC Hammer dancing in those…pants, to the dog that was the survivor of heart cancer, to the loveable Ellen ad showcasing life before Alexa, the lineup was chock-full of heavy hitters in the marketing space. Then there’s this Loretta ad that had us holding back tears and smiling without even trying.

The commercial opens with slow typing on a familiar Google search browser. The typing was the immediate initial stand-out element. It was slow, more intentional. Before a male voice could be heard I knew this was going to be potentially an elderly person behind the keyboard. Then the words “How to not forget” are seen, typed into the search bar. The stringed music begins to play, creating a somber ambiance. As the commercial continues, you can feel both sadness, but not mourning; a relatable “human-ess” but also a hope for one’s own life.

Then we hear an elderly man asking Google Assistant to help him remember different aspects of his wife, Loretta. It takes a moment to realize, but the more you watch you begin to realize that Loretta is the man’s wife, and she is unfortunately no longer with him. The commercial is of an obviously kind and warm widower who is using Google to help him remember things of a woman he loves but is no longer there with him.

As you continue to watch you see slideshow and videos that are obviously taken from a real individual from a real marriage and a real life. This is so important because if this was done any other way, an ad like this (which is already a big risk due to the nature of the ad) could be seen as insensitive, manipulative, and morbidly crass. But as you watch you see over and over pictures and videos of a real couple, happy and in love. Google is right there, helping this man remember Loretta’s favorite foods, how she liked going to Alaska, and how she hated his mustache he grew one time. Heart-warming doesn’t even begin to describe all the feels we feel watching this!

“Remember, don’t miss me too much, and get out of the dang house.”

Here we see that she truly is gone, but we also see a beautiful snippet of her relationship towards him, not just his towards her. It alludes to a moment he had with his wife, probably one of the last. Google helps with the heart-string tugging here by including the last little note from Loretta that said, “…and get out of the dang house’ helping the viewers navigate this sad topic with life and humor. The commercial ends with us hearing a human voice, the voice of the widower, and a door opening as he leaves the house with his dog, ending on a beautiful, real note.

Google’s “Loretta” ad embarks on a risky balancing act of sadness and joy, life and loss…and does it beautifully. Check out these stats from the data-driven video marketing agency, Unruly:

“Loretta” earned an EQ score of 6.5 thanks in large part to its large emotional impact. Nearly half (49%) of viewers had an intense emotional reaction to the ad. It was a 58% more intense reaction than the average U.S. ad and the highest of any of the 40 Super Bowl ads tested by Unruly. According to the company, “Loretta” was nearly twice as likely to make viewers smile, almost four times more heart-warming and 12 times more sad than the average U.S. ad.
The emotional reaction also seemed to translate to brand impact, leading to the highest brand favorability of any of the Super Bowl ads Unruly. Nearly half (49%) of all viewers reported a favorable view of the brand, compared to a U.S. average of 37%. What’s more—46% of viewers also reported purchase intent, with 47% saying they were willing to find out more about the brand.

“The Super Bowl is traditionally the chance for advertisers to bring home the laughs, yet two of the top three ads leaned heavily on more serious emotions. Google’s ‘Loretta’ ad had the highest score for sadness in the top 10 and both Google and New York Life Insurance had some of the highest scores for warmth at 32% and 26%, respectively,”
The data and the results shine a burning spotlight on one (there are obviously many more) glaringly important fact when it comes to marketing: In order to win big, you must risk big.

When I say risk, I mean to dare to take the road that others aren’t taking. Google did it perfectly in this ad because they counted on seeing the same trend of humor and nostalgic ads, all clamoring for a spot as top dog (Speaking of the dog, the other ad in the top 3 tier was about the dog who had heart surgery!). Google specifically and deliberately swam against the proverbial current by taking not the humorous and nostalgic road which is always a safe choice that “works”, but by daring to forge a new path by sewing themselves into your lives through appealing to something that binds every person together: Love. Google was making a simple and yet incredibly effective claim that we need Google for the most important things in our lives.

In order to win big, you must risk big. Sure, you can spend too much money on a 30-second ad space to create something brilliant, funny, and feel-good. Most of the ads we viewed and analyzed were indeed incredibly well thought out. But what about making something memorable? By appealing to different emotions than the typical niche space of the Super Bowl ad space, Google dared to be an outlier.

This is why Google’s Loretta is brilliant marketing. It perfectly goes against the trend by taking big risks in appealing to unusual emotions, while implying that we need Google for life’s most beautiful things.

And won.

Is your business ready to take the road less traveled and make something not only great but memorable? Consider partnering with us at The AD Leaf and let’s start kicking ads and taking names together. Call 321-255-0900 today.

Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL

Digital Marketing Trends To Look For In 2020

Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL Trends For 2020

As we approach the end of the year, it’s a great time to look ahead at where we’re going and the marketing trends we’re likely to see more of in 2020. Just in the last decade, Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL has evolved so much on a strategic level so let’s dive into some more detail of the specific trends to look out for.

Technology continues to advance at a very rapid pace, so of course, some of these trends will be focused around technology. However, there’s also a pushback against the increased digitization and automation of interactions between brands and consumers, and a desire to make marketing more human again.

While technologies such as AI and data-driven marketing will certainly be big trends for 2020, the overarching focus will be on people, not technology.

Here is a list of the top 8 Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL we’re likely to see:

Customer Experience

2020 is predicted to be the year of the customer. There are massive shifts in beliefs about what marketing actually is. It’s no longer about trying to convince people to buy from or work with your company, it’s moved towards providing fantastic customer experiences that will keep people coming back for more and bringing their friends and family next time. In a sense, when you focus on building a positive business culture and providing a great service to your customers, the marketing seems to almost take care of itself.

The growth of online content has also given consumers much more power than 10 years ago. They are no longer a passive party when it comes to learning about products. They’re going out and doing their own research about your products/services, not waiting to be force-fed information.

This means you have to offer them something more than information.

Customer Experience has become a pretty popular word recently and this is not because it is some quick to leave trend. 73% of people say that customer experience is an important factor in their buying decisions, but currently, only 49% of US consumers say that today’s companies provide a good experience.

What exactly makes a great Customer Experience? Efficiency, convenience, knowledgeable and friendly service, and easy payment options are what people value most in their customer experience. But aspects more traditionally considered as marketing’s domain are cited too: up-to-date technology, personalization, and easy mobile experience, brand image, and design all add up to the overall customer experience.

Strategic Marketing Transformation

When you’re reading about up-and-coming trends in an article like this, it’s all too easy to think that being successful in marketing can be simplified to following a list of best practices and making sure you’re using the latest techniques and technology.

The business of marketing is becoming increasingly complex. For companies to succeed in 2020, they’ll have to think beyond what they’re doing and link everything back to the why of the business as a whole. Your marketing goals and objectives must align with the overall goals of your business.

Strategic marketing transformation is the term used to describe the process when a business operating without a strategic marketing plan evolves by changing its fundamental business processes and procedures.

Undergoing a marketing transformation can help companies to improve customer service and experience, boost brand awareness and reputation, and ultimately increase revenue and profits.

Businesses achieve these benefits through a combination of data collection, using modern technology, building customer relationships and engaging with customers online, publishing quality content, and improving their online presence. All of these things are part of the underlying strategy that influences every department and employee in the company, not just the marketers.

Your strategic marketing plan defines goals and determines which Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL tactics you will employ to reach your customers including content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media, advertising, and offline marketing. It then lays out a plan for how every part of the organization will be involved in these tactics.

To put it simply, the marketing strategy is no longer only the responsibility of the chief marketer or CMO. Strategic marketing transformation recognizes this and ensures that the brand, company reputation, customer relationships, and customer experience as a whole are considered in every business activity.

Personalization

Increased data collection and advancements in technology have already had a huge impact on the level of personalization that is possible and on what consumers expect from their interactions with brands.

Today’s consumers are flooded with marketing messages from multiple channels to the point where they have started to tune them out. Traditional advertising is losing its effectiveness, so what’s the answer? Personalized marketing messages that forge a real connection between the brand and the target market.

80% of consumers now say that they’d be more likely to do business with a brand that provides a personalized experience.

For example, in the 2002 movie Minority Report, the character John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, is bombarded by a series of personalized ads calling him by name as he walks through the city. This was obviously complete science fiction at the time, but not quite two decades later, reality has almost caught up with the marketing future of Stephen Spielberg’s imagination.

Marketing personalization is no longer limited to automatically changing the name of the person you’re addressing in your email newsletters. Improvements in technology such as AI combined with increased data collection and insights from social media and other sources have made it possible and easy to hyper-personalize everything from content to design to product recommendations and everything in-between.

SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) Position Zero & Featured Snippets

SEO will continue to be an important aspect of Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL as we move into 2020, but we’re now seeing one of the most major shifts in the SEO industry in the last decade.

With the growth of mobile and voice search, people are changing the way they use search engines like Google. Being number one in the search engine result pages or SERPS is no longer necessarily the primary goal your business should be aiming for.

You’ve probably noticed your own search and browsing behavior has changed in the last few years due to Google changes and the fact that you’re looking for the fastest information when you’re on the move.

Featured snippets and other “on SERP” information means that you don’t need to click through to a website to get the information you’re looking for anymore – it’s right there on the Google search results page.

This on-SERP information may appear in various places, but the most sought after position is right at the top of the page, before the organic listings. This position has been dubbed “position zero”. As it’s often the only information that a searcher will view, it’s highly coveted. Over 60% of search results returned by Google are now position zero search results.

Brands are still trying to figure out how to achieve position zero as it requires different SEO techniques than those employed for a normal listing in the SERPs. If you can be the first in your industry to get there, you’ll have a huge advantage over your competitors. So expect to see more SEO companies offering this service over the next year, and pay attention to the latest best practices for optimizing your content.

AI/automation

Will 2020 be the year of the rise of the robots? Maybe! Just hopefully not the type from iRobot or Terminator!

AI is one of the major technologies behind voice search and smart assistants. It’s also made chatbots possible, which are now popping up on more websites than ever before.

AI technology and automation are helping to take some of the grunt work out of marketing so brands can concentrate on strategy and crafting a fantastic customer experience.

Remember, the human aspect of marketing is still important (and really more important than ever before), so the idea is to use this technology to enhance your marketing efforts, not replace the real people behind them.

Big data, supported by AI and predictive analytics, is also helping brands to learn more about their audience and customers. It’s enabling hyper-personalization of customer experiences and marketing messages at scale.

Voice Search

Voice search shows no sign of slowing down and will continue to be a major influence on how brands create content and market themselves online.

We’re not quite at the commonly cited prediction that 50% of searches will be driven by voice in 2020 (we’re currently sitting at about 20% according to Google), but this statistic is probably not that far in the future. The smart speaker business is booming, with around a quarter of US households now owning a Google Home, Amazon Echo, or another smart speaker.

Consumers are also expecting to use voice search more in the near future – 61% of those aged 25–64 who already use a voice device intend to use it more in the future according to research by PwC.

Voice search brings with it new challenges but also exciting opportunities. Tequila brand Patròn is an example of a company that’s seen huge success from using branded skills. Smart speaker users can ask their digital assistant to “ask Patròn for a cocktail recipe.” This not only helps to increase brand awareness and visibility, but it also enables users to buy the product directly from the recipe results.

Even if your brand isn’t ready for smart speaker advertising, it’s important that your content is optimized for voice search. Voice searchers use search differently. They use longer, more conversational queries, so slanting your content to serve these queries, as well as answering questions directly, can help to make it more visible to voice searches. This has the added bonus of making your content more likely to be picked up as a featured snippet or found on position zero on Google.

Focus on Customer Retention and Loyalty / Customer Advocacy

A huge part of providing a great customer experience is making sure that CX is ongoing and focused on keeping your existing customers, rather than just attracting new ones.

Recurring customers are more valuable than new customers. It costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep a new one, so it’s definitely worth putting in the effort to keep your customers happy.

Loyal customers also help to increase the reputation and awareness of your brand as they’ll talk about your company and products with their friends and family. Happy customers make great (and free!) brand ambassadors and influencers.

Many of the above-mentioned trends and technology can be helpful for increasing customer retention rates. Personalization, for example, is certainly expected from your existing customers if not your new ones, and it gets easier to personalize communications the more interactions someone has with your brand.

Be Ready for 2020

Now is the time to start planning your 2020 marketing strategy if you haven’t already. Make sure you start the New Year with a clear plan of your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.

We can’t really call it a trend, but it goes without saying that content marketing will continue to dominate the digital marketing landscape in 2020. Most of these trends rely on content in some way. To have success in them you’ll need to have a solid base of quality content across all your marketing channels.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, contact The AD Leaf Marketing Firm by filling out the form or giving us a call today! Get ahead of the curve to generate more traffic and leads for your business by taking advantage of all Digital Marketing in Melbourne FL trends.

Email Marketing in Melbourne FL

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

One of the biggest opportunities to capture your audience is with a newsletter.  If you have a website but do not offer your audience the opportunity to engage with you, then you are missing out on Email Marketing in Melbourne FL. One of the best signs of support or interest in your business is with the signup of the newsletter by your visitor. A great way to engage with them after they have left your site is Email Marketing in Melbourne FL via newsletter.

Submitted email addresses are highly valued as valid data that is submitted by a user that genuinely would like to receive more information. These users have an interest in your company or your industry, why else would they be there. It is a great opportunity to let the user know. “Hey, submit your info here and we will keep you informed of what we’ve got going on”. So now you have officially welcomed the user to engage at their own discretion via email. They can open the email, click on the items or simply ignore it. The bottom line is you, as a company, have established communication with an audience that does not have to visit your site to be informed. (As long as they don’t unsubscribe, we will cover that in part 2)

Email Marketing in Melbourne FL

“Well, I’m new to this and I don’t want to put a lot of money into something I don’t fully understand.”

Why should you? In business the idea is to make money and putting money into something that doesn’t show immediate benefit doesn’t seem feasible.

 

 

THAT’S LOGIC!

So, regarding bulk email service and management, you can do a simple search and find for free services.

There are a lot of services and resources that offer FREE accounts with limited features. Even though there is limitation to the features, I have yet to come across a service that limits function. Most of the time one of the features is the cap on the number of audience members.

But honestly, if you are over 2000 users that want your newsletter, you would have already justified the purchase in your head, and you wouldn’t be reading this article.

As a business owner, the thought process behind it is.. I just want to get this information to my already visiting customers.  This idea is very common, and a lot of methods are used to exercise this. New businesses can benefit from the many different services out there that can develop, manage and send email campaigns often for FREE!

That’s right! FREE, that is if you have an audience of 2000 recipients of your newsletter. It seems to be the sweet spot with mass email services for the FREE tier. Like most businesses there is an enticing aspect that will allow you to function within the service for no obligation. Also, like most businesses, the upgrades will be put right there in your face, just to tempt you into entering the paid subscriptions.

 

Don’t fret. You just got started, let’s get comfortable with what’s offered for free and then we can move on.

The main components you will have within this process is:

  • The Business
  • The Message
  • The Mail Service
  • The List (Most Important)

You as the business want to get the word out, check.

You want to tell your followers and subscribers all about sales and events at your business, check

We signed up for Mailchimp, Benchmark, or Constant Contact for FREE, check

We have gathered the list of submitted address and we are ready to go, check.

Email Marketing in Melbourne FLUp to this point I have described the best-case scenario. User submits address to list, Business collects address into list and sends out a mass mail with Email Marketing in Melbourne FL. There are many ways that this submission can lose validity based on the way it is entered, (misspelling) a general address or roll account (admin, info, contact) being submitted or the person simply unsubscribes.

 

This is the point in the matter where I mention on how important your submitted list is.

Email Marketing in Melbourne FLMail servers process millions of emails and within the bulk mailings it is very easy for a domain to be “blacklisted” or “flagged” for suspicious activity when sending to general accounts. When you send to valid addresses that have been submitted you don’t need to worry about these issues. When you continuously send to these addresses your credibility goes us improving your chance of not getting flagged for mass mail.

Once the reputation of a domain is compromised its often impossible to restore the credibility.

Quick Summary:

  • Use verified or valid addresses
  • Give your audience incentive
  • Use free services to stay connected with your audience!

Now that you know what it takes, contact the experts at The AD Leaf Marketing Firm, LLC to get started with your email marketing campaign today! We have the knowledge and expertise to handle any sized email campaign. Contact us for more information!

 

Social Media Marketing

Quora: The Marketers Guide to the Internet

We have entered the digital age and the rest of the world has quickly followed suit. While more traditional forms of advertising such as billboards and print ads still exist, marketing has by and large moved into the digital space, changing our entire approach with it. How can we make use of this limitless information at our fingertips when trying to market our business? Offer it! The digital world allows marketers and business owners the unique privilege of connecting with their potential customers like never before, and there is no better way to do this than with online forums like Quora.

Quora is an information focused question and answer forum for anything and everything on the internet. With over 300 million monthly visitors and over 400,000 topics (sprout social) Quora can be used for anything from keeping up with the latest trends for social media marketing to keeping a healthy vegetable garden.  What does this have to do with marketing? For starters, you’re trying to market a business online, so is everyone else, so why do it alone? Use your resources! Are you having trouble navigating your software or social media platforms new interface? Someone else probably is too and there is an answer for that. Trying to figure out how to replicate that ad you saw on Facebook? Quora can point you to a resource. With the world more connected than ever, there is nothing you can’t learn online.

With how easy it is to offer and trade information, there is a myriad of answers to any topic online, but reliable sources can seem hard to come by. Be sure you’re being pointed in the right direction with Quora. Similar to other forum based sites like Reddit, Quora operates using an upvote and downvote system. This is an easy way to tell how reputable and helpful your sources are at a glance. The more helpful answers you provide, the more upvotes you receive and the more credible your answer becomes. These upvotes and downvotes don’t just stop at your post either. Build out a profile on Quora to keep not only all of your questions and answers in one place, but all of your upvotes too. Provide consistently helpful answers on a topic, and your profile will build a credible reputation and a reliable source of information. Soon, people will be searching up your profile, and looking to you as an industry resource for marketing, vegetable growing, anything!     

So our world is more connected, and people can communicate and share ideas like never before, but the question still stands, what does that mean for marketers? It means that you can connect with your audience like never before. The opportunity to connect with your audience on forums like quora gives marketers and business owners a unique insight to their audience. So get to know them. What questions are they asking? What do they want to know about your business or your industry? Quora gives you the opportunity to keep a close eye on exactly what your audience is interested in, and then gives you the opportunity to get writing. Stay updated on topics with the tracking and searching feature, and speak to your audience directly. Remember: If people are asking, it’s worth writing about, so don’t stop there. Establish you and your business on Quora, then establish you and your website as a resource. Demonstrate your knowledge in your industry by writing blogs, frequently asked questions pages, and other exciting and informative content that will keep your audience engaged and coming back. 

Getting started on Quora is completely free, and if it’s not part of your strategy, your missing out on the social part of social media marketing. Get started talking in your industry, and start building some credibility around you and your brand. Set up your profile to reflect you and your business, and begin delivering value to your to your audience like never before.  

Social Media Marketing

How to Make Your Photos Pop for Social Media Marketing

1.8 billion photos are uploaded to the internet every single day!  In January 2019, according to Hootsuite, a social media marketing software company, there were 3.484 billion active social media users and they spent an average of three hours and seven minutes per day on social media!  That means the average social media user is bombarded countless photos and graphics each day! How are you going to make your photos stand out from the crowd and get engagement on your social media marketing platforms?

Here are five things that can help your photos garner attention:

 

FRAMING AND COMPOSITION

Social Media MarketingThe “rule of thirds” is a rule of thumb in the composition of visual images such as photography, graphic designs and painting.  It can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance of your images to make your design more engaging. The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they intersect.  You want to use the rule of thirds, both horizontally and vertically by placing  your subject in the right or left third of the photo–this stimulates the viewer to spend more time looking at your photo.  The idea is that an off-center composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame. It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject.

If your photo is of a landscape, avoid putting the horizon line in the middle of the photo because this tends to make the photo feel like it’s split in two.  Instead, place the horizon line along one of the horizontal lines of thirds. Make sure any focal point of the picture is placed at one of the points where the horizontal and vertical lines meet to serve as an “anchor” for the image.

If your picture is of a person, remember that the eyes are where we are naturally drawn to, so put the eyes level with one of the horizontal lines of thirds or at one of the points where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect to make a much more interesting photo and not a “mug shot” (where the subject is centered in the middle of the frame).

 

EFFECTIVE EDITING

There are a lot of filters available to use with the popularity of Photoshop and other photo editing tools.  Overall, photos with filters are 21% more likely to be looked at than non-filtered photos and 45% more likely to elicit comments.  But please don’t over use filters–remember, less is more! The filters most likely to boost images’ popularity are those that impose warm color temperature, boost contrast, and increase exposure.

Adding text, frames and emojis to your photographs increases engagement.  But again, use everything sparingly. A busy photo with too much going on will likely be scrolled past.  We highly recommend the Phonto photo editing app. It is a free mobile application that is user-friendly and easy to maneuver through.  It has more than four hundred fonts with changeable size, color, gradient and stroke color. You can also download your own fonts into the application.  You can crop the image, apply filters, add items and Phonto provides additional styling and tools to edit. Phonto can access your camera, camera roll or you can create a blank image and start adding different elements.

Facebook and Instagram have some great edits with filters, tags, cropping, text, stickers, doodles and emojis.  Both these social media marketing platforms give you lots of options to make your photo unique.

 

PUT A STORY BEHIND THE IMAGE

Draw the viewer in and keep them on your post longer by making your caption personal and appealing. Take your readers on a journey and tell them a story. Show them that you’ll help them overcome a challenge using your product.  Leveraging this type of storytelling is an effective copywriting tip that will help people relate to your product and better understand its value.

When you have a business, you need to reach out to as large an audience as possible. In order to do this, your content must connect with the masses. They need to feel that your brand is talking to them when they read it.

You don’t necessarily need to be cute, clever, or even a literary genius while writing content. You should write it in simple language. Try not to use complicated words that can make it difficult for a layman.

A majority of copywriting tips emphasize two things – improving readability and making it easier to understand.

Remember that each social media platform has limits on how much text you can use.  Keep these limits in mind when writing your captions and know that captions may have to be edited when you move between social platforms

 

CAMERA PHONE BASICS

Mobile phone photography can seem daunting, but following these simple tricks will elevate your photos:

  • Clean the lens before taking a picture.  Our phones are handled by us all day, thrown in  our purses or backpacks and set down on many surfaces.  As a result, they are covered in fingerprints, dirt, and dust.  Take the time to clean the lens with a soft, clean dry cloth.
  • Turn off HDR (High Dynamic Range) option on your phone–this tends to make photos look overdone and less appealing.
  • Don’t rely on Autofocus. Phones use passive auto-focus with contrast measurement. This means that the camera needs contrast to focus and have problems focusing on a blank wall or in low light conditions. It’s better to turn off Autofocus and take the extra time to make sure your shot is not blurry by keeping your phone steady.  The best thing is to use a tripod made for your phone.  If you don’t have a tripod, here are a few tricks for keeping your phone steady:  rest your phone on a solid surface, such as a wall or rock. Hold your phone with both hands, making sure you have a good tight grip.  Lean against a wall or tree to steady your body. Position your elbows against your body to keep your arms steady. Crouch down, and rest your phone on your knee.  
  • Avoid using the flash–oversaturation is a big problem with most photos.  Instead set the brightness on your camera before you take the picture.
  • If you are taking a photo of a person, shoot in portrait mode to create gorgeous blurred backgrounds and make the portrait appear sharp.
  • Experiment with different perspectives to get more interesting shots.  Most photos are taken from chest height while standing. Get down on your knees, hold the camera above your head or lay down and shoot straight up.  Or shoot through a “frame” such as a doorway, arch or window.  
  • Simplify your compositions for the most striking shots.The best photos are often the most simple ones. If the photo is busy, the user won’t know where to focus his attention. So, always aim to simplify by including only one subject in the photo and ensuring the background is not too busy or distracting.

By following these guidelines, you will insure that your social media images will get the attention and engagement we all want–happy posting! 

We have a staff of trained social media marketing professionals to help you improve your social media posts! Even better, we’ll help your business get the exposure it needs on all social media platforms. Give us a call at 321-255-0900 to schedule an appointment with us. 

Surviving Google Algorithm Updates for SEO Specialists

Google algorithm Updates

 

 

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of SEO specialist quite like Google algorithm updates. Ever since Google started rolling out huge algorithm updates, marketers have lived in perpetual fear that the next algorithm update will be the one to kill all of their traffic and send their website and all their hard work into the abyss. While it’s easy to fall into this way of thinking, these updates aren’t as scary as most people like to think. Did you know that Google updates or changes its search algorithm 300-500 times each year?  That means that Google’s search algorithm is being updated at least once per day and you don’t even notice! Here are three things you can do to make sure your website doesn’t suffer like most during large updates.

1. Don’t Panic

The number 1 thing people do wrong when it comes to algorithm updates is panic! They rush into making changes to their website including using outdated SEO practices like keyword stuffing, throw a lot of money into advertising, and sometimes they even redesign their entire website. The worst thing you can do is immediately try to dissect how you can “improve” your website based on what you think an algorithm update means. You need to stay calm, intelligently look over the update notes, and proceed to step #2.

2. Listen to Google Algorithm Update Notes

In the world of SEO specialists, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that one of the best ways to survive a Google algorithm update is to do what Google says! I know it sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many companies don’t realize the amount of information Google has available for you. From general website advice to giving SEO suggestions, everything they offer is dedicated to making your website better and outperforming the competition. 

3. Seek Professional Help

Feeling overwhelmed by Google algorithm updates is normal, but those feelings should not take your attention away from your business. Getting help from professional SEO specialists who make it their business to ensure that your website is up to date and ranks well. It is a worthwhile investment that will help you maintain a strong online presence as you continue to focus on growing your company.

Though sometimes it can seem like Google is your mortal enemy, the goals of an SEO specialist and the search engine are actually the same. We strive to serve meaningful content to interested audiences. So, if you are creating content that has your readers in mind, a Google algorithm update won’t affect you as much because you are providing content that users want to read. Google’s main focus is to provide the information users need and want as fast ad reliably as possible. You may see temporary fluctuations in traffic but it isn’t a cause for concern or a reason to panic. If your target continues to be the focus of the content you are creating, traffic will stabilize after a hiccup or two after the Google algorithm update.

 

Don’t follow your first instinct and panic when a new Google algorithm update is released. By staying away from bad habits, you can get through this update mostly unscathed. Now that you know what to do and what not to do when a new Google algorithm update is released, its time to follow step #3 and contact the professional at The AD Leaf Marketing Firm! We specialize in this field and we have the tools and expertise necessary to help drive your business’s success by improving your search engine ranking. Learn more about what we have to offer your business and contact us to plan out and design a strategy for SEO with one of our professional and highly skilled SEO specialists.

Social Media Marketing

Three Tips to Help Your Writing Not Suck

So you are about to publish your client’s next post on their social media platforms. You skim it one last time, slide the mouse over the longed-for “publish” button, and…click.

It’s away.

Transmitted.

Flying through the internet.

Public. Seen. Exposed.

 

But what happens if you don’t have a basic understanding of composing well written and compelling copy? Failing to proofread your own work can be detrimental to the success of the client you are representing, and the firm you work with. We are professionals here, so the way in which we conduct our work, including our written conduct, should reflect this! But if you do not have a frame of reference and some basic best practices under your belt, and you publish your work…who knows what could happen.

See, if you are in Social Media Marketing, you most likely have to face this obviously large giant, glaring down at you. It’s up to you and up to me to develop our skill set so we can slay that giant, and prosper everyone around us. While it’s true that people make mistakes, as professionals, it is our goal to prosper others, we need to do everything we can to ensure that our work is the best it can be, and there are plenty of smiles not fading under a metaphorical sun.

So how can we better engage with our audience, produce eye-catching content, and keep the smile alive? Below are 3 tips for writing better, stronger content.

  1. Grammarly – This one is basic but absolutely essential. Grammarly is a free extension that you can download (they also have a Pro version that you can pay for) that is essentially spell-checker. As you are creating copy for your clients and you are typing furiously across the keyboard, it will gently point out when you misspell a word. There is nothing worse than composing an email, an important response, or even worse…a social media post, and finding a glaring typo. The dread! Typos create an unprofessional view of not only yourself but also the clients you are representing. This is one problem that can be easily resolved by downloading the Grammarly extension. It’s free and keeps your content looking that much more professional for your client base.
  2. Open Loops – I remember watching The Office a couple of years back. There was an episode where Jim and Pam finally (and quite scandalously if I might add) kiss. It was the long anticipated moment that we all deep down hoped for because they were so obviously into each other, and well…Roy was not the nicest guy. But then the episode cut and  at that point, I thought to myself, “Wait, what? Do they get together? Will they date? Will Roy punch Jim in his face?” So naturally, I binge-watched the next 10 episodes. Why did I do this? This was not an accident. The producers created a psychological effect called an Open Loop which “pulled” me to want to watch the next episode (or 10). The lack of resolution made me continue. Resolution is something we all crave. We can implement this same psychological principle to generate more leads. We need to create Open Loops within our copy that was to pull the audience to “watch 10 more episodes” of whatever “show” you are playing. Create a question or something that draws the reader in to continue reading by dangling something in front of them without giving everything upfront. This is an Open Loop.
  3. Star, Chain, Hook – The Star is you/your business/what you offer. The Chain is the surrounding, supporting evidence that validates the Star. Lastly, the Hook is the call to action. The key ingredient in this writing formula is the chain. The chain is the supporting facts/statistics/analytics/evidence that validates you and what you are offering (the Star). This is the factual and emotional argument that you are right, and your audience needs to join you. These facts form a chain that envelopes you to your future clients. This is where the call to action comes in. So you’ve presented the Star (you as a company or your services) and you have also laid out the Chain (the facts as to why going with you is more advantageous) and now it’s time for the Call to Action. At this point, you want to gently put pressure to encourage your readers to make a decision. Like Voldemort from Harry Potter. Just kidding. But you get the idea. Present who you are. Lay out the chain links of why you are the winner to go with, and then ask them to join your dark army.

Let’s say you are representing a coffee company’s social media campaign. What does this company’s definition of success look like? This is the motivation behind the star you are presenting to the public. This is the question that you are answering for others. Why should they buy their coffee? Figure this out, and present the star proudly and confidently to the general public. After this shiny beautiful star is presented, it’s time to reinforce why it’s the best coffee. It’s time to describe, link by link, evidence by evidence, why their coffee is the best. You could describe the low carbon footprint the company makes, the exquisite attention to detail they pour over every cup of coffee they make, and the social impact they strive to achieve. Lastly, the hook. A hook grabs people. Now we lay before our audience not only the reasons why this coffee is better than all others, but the reason they need it. This coffee is ethically sourced. This coffee supports these farmers. This coffee is the way coffee is supposed to be made. These hooks are nudging people to make a choice. This choice can be blatant: “Come on by today” or it can be not as obvious “We are open all day Saturday”. The choice is yours as you factor in other elements from your campaign.

With these 3 principals, your copywriting skills will hit the stratosphere! There are an endless plethora of social media marketing resources out there that are available. A lot of this content was inspired from content on Buffer’s website which is another great resource for those wanting to learn.

The marketing game is entirely other-centric. Our job is to help you and your job do well. To win. And because when you win, we win. By being proactive, we close the gap in preventing mistakes, creating better content, crushing the competitors, and making the world a better place. Let’s get writing!