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5 Digital Marketing Trends Your Business Needs to Try

In order for your business to keep growing in the digital marketplace, you’ve got to develop a marketing strategy that keeps up with the technology.

We are a society tearing through the digital landscape, and there’s no hint of us slowing down anytime soon. New stars are born every day in the digital world. Some stay burning bright, while others quickly burnout.

Take for example, the Pokémon Go craze that took the world by storm in 2016. The augmented reality game exploded onto the global app scene early last summer. And while a series of technical and safety-related missteps led to its slowdown, it quickly clued marketers into the possibility of augmented reality.

On the flipside, mobile app Snapchat has held strong in the social media realm since its release in 2012. This social media starlet has clued marketers into the power of expiring content, so much so that it was offered (and rejected) a $3 billion buy-out from Facebook.

But, what the rise and fall of these digital stars tell us is that new technologies are rapidly evolving, right alongside the wants and needs of consumers. And in order for your business to keep growing in the digital marketplace, you’ve got to develop a marketing strategy that keeps up with the technology. Here, we take a look at five of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017 to help you get started.

1. Visual content

In today’s world of information overload, users are increasingly becoming all about the visuals. People need clear, concise dissemination of information, and visuals do just that. The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Ergo, visuals speed up comprehension and retention. What’s more, the right visuals have the ability to enhance emotions and feelings. Enter: the importance of visuals to establish your brand’s identity in the digital marketplace. Effective logos, infographics, photographs, animations and website design are all laying new foundations for enhancing brand identity, and they aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon.

This visual infographic by NatGeo allows users to make sense of Manhattan’s quickly changing skyline in a matter of seconds.

2. Interactive content 

The desire for connection and engagement is what’s driving the current demand for visual content. But, this same desire for engagement is now leading marketers to discover a new, monumental need for interactive content. Interactive content requires active participation by the user. In effect, these new forms of content — quizzes and polls, contests, voting, calculators, assessments and animated infographics — are adding a whole new layer of depth to the total user experience. But, more importantly, they are inviting the user in, to be a part of the brand. They are enhancing connectivity and effectively turning one-time visitors into brand loyalists. This growing trend is likely to lead the pack for marketing strategies in 2017.

This BuzzFeed quiz is just one of the many quizzes utilized by the site to increase traffic and enhance user interactivity.

3. Live video

As of 2015, online videos accounted for 50 percent of all mobile usage, and video content is still very much on the rise. Another form of visual content, videos have the power to connect with consumers and deliver a truckload of information, feelings, thoughts, and responses all within a matter of seconds.

But, in order to heighten the emotions and excitement for users, brands are now “going live.” This means that businesses are able to promote their content ahead of time and then interact in real-time with their consumers. This live element is adding a humanistic component to brands, helping to increase feelings of trust and honesty amongst consumers.

Take, for example, women’s magazine Grazia UK. Last summer, the magazine was working on launching a major week-long collaborative project, deemed the “community issue.” Throughout the project, the magazine livestreamed multiple behind-the-scenes events — including a live debate among contributors — making users feel like they were really a part of the whole process. Users were invited to submit and contribute to the debate, using a specific hashtag on Facebook. The live event was extremely successful, as it brought the magazine and its community of women to life.

4. Expiring content

I alluded to the influence of social platform Snapchat earlier on, but let’s delve a bit deeper into the effects of expiring content for marketers and consumers. Much like the live video element, expiring content is helping to increase excitement for consumers. With expiring content, users are given a limited window of time to view content before it quickly disappears into oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again. In effect, this creates a massive sense of urgency among consumers. And in a world where interconnectivity takes the cake, the thought of not knowing what’s going on is, well, utterly disturbing. Expiring content helps pique user interest, while also working to keep their eyes glued to the screen in anticipation of what’s to come.

5. In-store applications

This whole theme of bringing brands to life runs strong into our final digital marketing trend. Retail brands are now finding ways to interact with their customers, live and in-store — seamlessly blending physical marketing elements of the past with modern digital elements of the present.

Beacon technology is at the forefront of this new marketing strategy. The installation of more than one million beacons is forecasted for U.S. retailers this year. Basically, beacons are physical landmarks that can send signals to mobile devices. These signals are now allowing shoppers to scan in-store products to read reviews and check to see what’s in stock. Likewise, retailers are able to use beacons to send push-notifications to shoppers, allowing them to see what special deals are being offered on items throughout the store. Target is just one of many major retailers now tapping into this technology to drive it’s digital marketing campaign.

The in-store marketing trend is one of many that are now finding ways to blend the physical world with the digital world, all in an effort to enhance user interactivity. Now the dominant mode of connection in the digital world, user interactivity should now be at the core of your business’ marketing strategy.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to utilize technology to establish connections with your consumers. And these five digital marketing trends are a great jumping off point.

(credit: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297747)

Tips for Posting Content on Facebook

As a business owner, it’s important that you only post content on your Facebook page that your audience would find useful. The goal of posting content is to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

However, many companies make the mistake of posting unprofessional content and/or content that their audience couldn’t care less about. When this happens, they stop visiting your page as much; in fact, some people unlike you – breaking their connection with you altogether.

You definitely want to avoid this. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that you are posting content your audience wants to see:

Make sure the text content is professionally written. The content you post is a direct reflection of your business. Therefore, if you post content that is full of grammatical errors and typos, your fans will think that your business, products, and services are unprofessional as well.

Make sure you post content they WANT. In other words, make sure that most of your posts are directly related to your industry. Try to avoid going off to talk about topics that have nothing to do with your business. Of course, there are times you may post about something unrelated to your industry, but keep that at a minimum. Besides, they’re connected with you on Facebook because they enjoy your products and services. Therefore, keep most of your content relevant.

Make helpful posts. Give your audience tips, advice, tricks, and ideas related to your industry. Doing so will boost your credibility with your fans as they will view you as the authority in your industry on these topics. Besides, people love to get helpful tips from businesses they enjoy so why not give it to them?

Use visuals. People today have become more inclined to visuals such as photos, images, graphics, videos, presentations, and more. Therefore, adding any of these elements to your posts will make them more exciting for your audience. Furthermore, it will bring more attention to your posts, causing them to get Shared and Liked more than those without visuals.

Posting on your Facebook page may seem like rocket science at first, but it’s really simple. Just figure out what type of content your target audience wants and make sure you give it to them. As a result, they will keep coming back to see all of your updates and actually look forward to them.

Using Facebook Offers to Bring More Customers to Your Business

Since Facebook has grown to accommodate businesses, there are special features provided specifically for business owners to use. One of these is known as Facebook Offers.

Facebook Offers are like coupons that are customized for each business. You can create Facebook Offers for any discounts, sales, etc., that you plan to have for your products or services. After creating your Facebook Offers, customers claim the offer right on Facebook and get an email that has their unique coupon code. The nice part about it is that with Facebook Offers, you don’t need to worry about creating your own coupons or discounts from scratch.

To create your Facebook Offers, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on “Build Audience” at the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook business page, and choose the “Use Ads Manager” option.
  2. Click on the green “Create Ad” button on the “All Ad Campaigns” page. Then, you’ll be taken to another page where you are presented with a variety of ad options.
  3. Choose the ad type for Facebook Offers, which is called “Offer Claims.” Go through the process to create an offer, and you’re ready to post the offer on your page. Facebook Offers are also free to post and claim.

Before creating your Facebook Offer, though, make sure that you plan out how you want to present it to your Facebook fans. Even though Facebook makes it super easy to offer discounts and deals to your customers, you still need to put in some effort to make it an appealing offer. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time and Facebook post space.

To help you create a successful Facebook offer, here are a few useful and effective tips:

  1. Set a limit of how many people can claim your offer to make it look more “exclusive”. When customers see a limit on an offer, they’re more likely to get it and purchase products or services from you.
  2. Use the promoted post feature to bring more attention to your offer. Facebook Offers are free to create, so only a few fans on your page will see it on their newsfeed. Promoting your offer as an ad will help increase the chances of it getting seen by other people. You can also use the sponsored story ad option.
  3. Your Facebook Offer will require an image. If you plan to promote a discount for a product or service, use an image that represents that, such as a picture of the product with “15% Discount” over it.
  4. Create a catchy headline you’d like to use with your Facebook Offer. Here are a few examples of attention-grabbing headlines: “Get Ready for Summer with A FREE Trendy Beach Bag (w/any $20 Purchase!)”… “50% Off ANY Oil Change Service!”… “Flash Sale! 50% Off ANY Product at Our Store TODAY ONLY!”

As you can see, Facebook Offers can provide you with a simple way to engage your current fans, gain new customers and make more sales.

Remember to create your Facebook offers with two important things in mind: entice prospects and customers with your offer and make it relevant to your business – just like any other Facebook post.

If you need help creating and managing a Facebook Offers campaign, feel free to contact us!

 

How to Manage Your Time Wisely When Marketing on Facebook

If you own a small business and you want to step into the world of Facebook, you may be concerned that it’s going to take a lot of time out of your busy days.

However, even though marketing your local business via social media is important, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours per day on it.

The good news is that there are various ways for you effectively market on Facebook without spending a great deal of time glued to the site.

Here are a few tips to help you:

Invest in a Facebook post management tool.

There are programs that allow you to create posts and schedule them, such as HootSuite and SocialMotus. With a post management tool, you can create posts ahead of time and get them to automatically post on your page.

You can create posts for the week on Sunday and set them up to post throughout the week. You won’t have to worry about taking 15-30 minutes out of your busy day every day to create posts. Instead, you can focus more on other areas of your business, such as handling customer service issues and product/service releases.

Outsource Facebook marketing management.

Outsourcing to a professional Facebook marketer will help you save a ton of time. You can also outsource the task of interacting with your fans and answering their questions and comments.

If you do decide to outsource, you may want to go with an online marketing specialist or social media manager, as they are very knowledgeable about how to market correctly on Facebook. So you don’t need to hire a direct employee necessarily (which often requires them to be fully trained before they can even start to help).

Create a Facebook posting schedule.

One way to make posting easier is to sit down and schedule out how you want to release your content.

For example, you may want to schedule articles from your industry for Mondays and Wednesdays, an advertisement or something related to your website on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and have a fun or engaging question on Thursdays. Scheduling it out makes it simple for you to figure out what you’re doing, so you’ll never be at a loss as to what to post.

Use a calendar, agenda, or spreadsheet to help you keep track of your Facebook posting schedule. An example schedule might look like this:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
3 posts

8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.

15 minutes per each post

Answer comments and messages from fans 3 posts

8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.

15 minutes per each post

Answer comments and messages from fans 3 posts

8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.

15 minutes per each post

Facebook marketing takes time and consistency in order to be effective. Because this powerful platform should not be ignored, be sure to find ways that will allow you to leverage the benefits without taking up too much of your personal time.

3 Tips to Creating an Effective Facebook Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing on Facebook, there’s more to it than simply creating a Facebook page for your business. In general, doing any type of marketing requires a strategy beforehand so that you know exactly how to appeal to your audience.

Before jumping into Facebook marketing, you should first form a marketing strategy for your Facebook page. Here are three questions that you can use to help you get started:

How Do You Choose Your Profile and Cover Photos?

First impressions count when it comes to social media marketing. If people don’t like what they see on your page, they’ll be turned off by it and walk away from it forever. If you want your business to benefit from this marketing platform, you don’t want that; so, take the time to decide what your profile and cover photos will be for your Facebook page. Here are some ideas you can use for your profile and cover pictures:

  • your business logo
  • any volunteer work pictures that you and your team have done to give you an extra PR boost
  • your products
  • photos that represent your services
  • custom-made artwork that represents your business

Make sure that your profile and cover pictures aren’t inappropriate or poorly made. If you need to, invest in professional photography services to make your business photos pop. Clear and crisp photos will only help generate interest in your business and attract more people to it.

What Do You Want to Post?

This is the most common concern that business owners have when they create a Facebook business page; they never know what to post exactly, yet they have already created a Facebook page. Before even establishing your page, figure out what posts you want to create. Do you want to share business updates or promote your products and services? Do you want to share mini stories with your fans related to your industry? Get creative with your posts! Here are some basic guidelines to use when you’re planning what types of Facebook posts you want to have for your page:

  • Posts must always be positive in some way (i.e. funny, encouraging, engaging, empowering, etc.) Don’t vent to your fans. Keep any personal issues you have to yourself.
  • Add some type of media with each of your posts. The most popular type of media to use with posts is images. You can also combine YouTube videos with your posts.
  • Have a variety of posts to keep your Facebook page interesting, such as promotional posts and content-only posts.

How Do You Plan to Engage Your Audience?

Since Facebook is a social media platform, engaging and interacting with others is a main aspect of it. Every business is different; so take the time to learn about your audience, what they’re interested in, and determine how to engage them on your Facebook page with that information.

Getting your business out there is critical, especially if you want to grow it. But don’t try to do everything at once. Take your time to create a marketing plan that will allow you to build upon it as time goes on.

Facebook Changes (Effective 7/19/17)

Facebook just removed the possibility to edit previews on link posts to help limit the spread of fake news. They also rolled out Link Ownership, which is a new feature for certain publishers. Unfortunately, it is primarily available for media pages.

Does this affect ads?
Yes.
FB: “For unpublished link Page posts, we are gradually removing the following fields: Link Headline, Display Link, Description, and Picture. By July 26, 2017, you will still be able to create unpublished Page posts, but the link information will default to what we pull in when we scrape the website URL.”

Does this affect videos with links?
Yes.
FB: “Video Link Posts. We are also removing the ability from all Pages to create organic video link posts due to integrity risks and abuse of the format. In early 2017 we ran a test to link posts with a video attachment, along with an optional call-to-action. Because posts from this test did not meet News Feed integrity Standards, video link posts will gradually be removed from all Pages by July 26, 2017. Video Link Page Posts can still be created through Ads Creation Interfaces (Ads Manager and Power Editor) and Ads API for sponsored posts.”

How long do I have to authorize my Pages to edit my links?
FB: “For publishers we are extending the link preview modification deprecation timeline to allow time to indicate link ownership. On September 12, 2017 we will complete the feature removal such that publishers’ Page(s) will only be allowed to edit links from website domains they have authorized with the link ownership tool.

Need help blowing up your business across social platforms and monetizing them? Feel free to reach out!

 

Create Your Identity with Facebook Marketing

If you have a small business that you are just starting up, a Facebook page is a great place to kick-start your marketing. Did you know that having a Facebook page can actually help you to develop a “face” for your business just as you’re getting it off of the ground?

It’s true… Your Facebook page can be one of the primary places that you use to introduce your business to the world and show off your products and services.

Here are a few reasons why Facebook is a great place to start marketing your business:

You can interact with people who are on your page.

This is probably the best way to create an image for your business. If you interact with people in a warm, friendly, and professional way right from the beginning, that’s how people are going to view you and your business. Your interactions on social media are important because, depending on how your business is set up, they may not see you any other way.

Your posts can reflect your company’s “personality.”

Is your business fun? Is it exciting? Is it serious?  Whatever your company’s personality is, Facebook is a great way to show the world exactly who you are. You have the freedom to post whatever you want on your page (within reason, of course) and you can use those posts to develop the exact image that you want people to see. What feelings do you want to invoke when people are involved with your business? Facebook is the place to make it happen.

You can make your Facebook cover photo cohesive with your business’s logo and colors.

The adaptability and customization that Facebook offers is quite innovative; they worked hard to incorporate tools and features to help you put your page together in a way that it is cohesive with your business. This is extremely important for branding purposes. If you have a logo, then you’re going to want to incorporate that into your page somehow. Use colors and images that match your business as well for the best results.

So, now that you can see how you can create your identity while using Facebook, how do you want to do it? What will you do with your Facebook page to help your new company establish brand awareness? How will you design it? Keep these questions in mind while you’re developing a game plan.

Why Shooting for Perfection Can Ruin Your Digital Marketing Efforts

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s a big mistake to try to shoot for perfection. Why? It will slow you down, and it’ll also ultimately limit the success you achieve from your efforts.

Shooting for perfection stops you from taking action.

The first thing to consider is that there’s actually no such thing as a ‘perfect’ digital marketing strategy or campaign. Whether we’re talking about digital marketing or the world in general, perfection doesn’t exist. What is perfect to one person will not be to another.

In the marketing arena, there will always be something that could be improved upon or an area that doesn’t quite hit the mark with your audience. Your website can always be improved. Your email newsletter could always contain better content. The copy or design of your marketing materials will always be subjective.

If you continually strive to make your work perfect before putting it out there, you will either end up never doing it at all, or you’ll wait so long that you will miss out on the opportunity that was originally there. Perfectionism can really slow down the progress of a business or even bring things to a complete standstill. Make things as good as you possibly can and then just run with it!

You can learn a lot from your failures.

What happens when we make a mistake or find that something doesn’t quite work out how we expected? We learn from it and receive a valuable lesson on what not to do next time – or how to improve on it. Likewise, we also learn from our successes because they signal that we need to do more of something.

Shooting for perfection means that you will ultimately limit your success because you will never truly learn from your mistakes. This doesn’t mean that you should skimp on digital marketing or deliberately put something out there that you know is poor quality – but what it DOES mean is that you should research, plan, launch, and then closely monitor your results. Stay in tune with what’s actually happening and then learn from your failures (and successes).

Remember: perfection doesn’t exist.

You should do everything in your power to make sure that your digital marketing plan as good as it possibly can be and then just go with it. Start small, track your results, and improve it over time.

Digital Marketing: 5 Signs That It’s Time to Get Professional Help

Planning, implementing, and managing all of your digital marketing tasks isn’t always the easiest task in the world. If you’re struggling to achieve the results you expected, or you simply feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing anymore, it might be time to hire an agency to help with your digital marketing.

Here are some common signs that it is time to get some professional help…

You aren’t achieving the results you would like.

Many businesses know the opportunities that digital marketing presents, but they somehow just can’t make it work for them. Digital marketing can be a tricky thing to get right, with many different variables and factors affecting your success. If you aren’t achieving the results you would like, it’s definitely a sign that you might need to take a different approach and bring some help on board.

You can’t find time for digital marketing.

With all the things that go into running a business, finding time to manage your digital marketing can sometimes be difficult. If you’re finding that you are just too busy and that there aren’t nearly enough hours in the day, hiring an agency or recruiting a new staff member to manage your digital marketing could be a great decision for your business.

You feel like you lack knowledge and expertise.

Let’s face it – successful digital marketing requires specialist expertise and skills. Many businesses simply don’t possess the experience required to be successful with digital marketing and, as a result, continue to struggle along with poorly managed and implemented campaigns that do absolutely nothing for the business. By getting professional help, you can tap into the knowledge and skills your business needs to be successful in the digital space.

You don’t really know what you’re doing.

This one really follows on from the point above. If you currently feel completely lost with your digital marketing and just don’t know what you should be doing to be successful, a professional digital agency can help you get a clear strategy in place and further manage it over the longer term.

You have an old-fashioned website.

Having an old-fashioned website presents the wrong image to your visitors and says to people that you aren’t really engaged with the modern world. In order to be successful with digital marketing, it is important to have a professionally designed, user-friendly website that is fully optimized for mobile devices. If your current website is looking dated and unprofessional, it might be time to invest in a new one. If you aren’t a web designer, don’t try to do this yourself! Instead, get help from an experienced professional.

Ready to Take Your Digital Marketing to the Next Level? Here are 5 Mistakes to Avoid…

The world of digital marketing can be a challenging and confusing place, and so getting things right isn’t always easy. In order to be successful, it is necessary to have a clear strategy and take consistent action on a regular basis. If you’re looking to take your digital marketing to the next level, here are five common mistakes to avoid…

Having no strategy

Perhaps the biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to digital marketing is having no clear strategy in place. It’s simply not enough to create a website, throw up a Facebook page and then just hope for the best.

To be successful, businesses need to get clear on what they want to achieve with their digital marketing efforts and then put together a realistic plan for achieving their goals. Don’t attempt to do anything without first knowing WHY you are doing it and WHAT you want to achieve.

Trying to do everything

Many businesses try to take advantage of all the opportunities digital marketing offers without first prioritizing what would work best for their individual business. It is much better to start small, find out what works, and then expand your strategy from there.

In addition, it is a big mistake to try and do everything yourself. Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks or partner with an experienced digital marketing freelancer or agency (if you can afford to).

Not taking consistent action

A big mistake many people make with digital marketing is not taking consistent action. You only have to look at the number of dormant company Facebook pages or out-dated websites to see that this is true. It’s not enough to do some digital marketing for a few weeks and then expect to see successful results. You really need to take consistent action over the long-term.

Putting out poor quality content

If you are engaging with content marketing (which you really should be), always make sure that the content you are putting out is actually relevant and useful to your target audience. Many businesses think that ‘content marketing’ means making a blog post that contains one ‘useful’ tip and then rambles off into a long, boring sales letter. Make sure that the content you put out is of good quality!

Not tracking your efforts

In order to be successful with digital marketing, you need to constantly track your results so that you can refine and improve on your strategy over time. If you don’t track your results, how will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?

Avoid these five mistakes and you’ll be ahead of most of your competitors.

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