Small businesses can accomplish so much through posting original content to Facebook—developing an audience, building brand visibility, and engendering social shares of their best content. However, to really get the best results from Facebook, organic reach is insufficient; it must be paired with an investment in paid ads. Fortunately for small business owners, Facebook’s built-in ad platform is a robust tool that offers many opportunities for targeted advertising. When used strategically, it’s an investment that can pay off handsomely.
When it comes to marketing, it’s generally a good idea not to put all your eggs in one basket. This is certainly true for retailers, who face a number of questions about how online consumers seek and find new products—via Amazon, or through Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The answer, of course, is a little bit of both, but really understanding it requires a nuanced perception of the consumer journey.
Ecommerce is big business—especially around the holiday season. Some analysts predict that online shopping will yield revenues of $107 billion this Christmas—an unprecedented amount. But the Web isn’t only a money-maker for those who have ecommerce shops. Even for brick and mortar businesses that do not directly sell from their websites, an online presence can improve brand visibility and consumer trust—helping to increase in-store foot traffic during the most significant shopping season of the year.
As you are no doubt aware, the world of search has changed dramatically over the last few years—and one of the most seismic shifts has been with the medium itself. Where search engine queries were once largely confined to desktop computers, the increased prevalence of mobile devices means that more and more searches are conducted on the go. In fact, mobile searches are more common than desktop ones, something that has key implications for marketers. One such implication is that mobile users—increasingly reluctant to type out a full search query with their thumbs—are using voice search more than ever before.
In a perfect world, the consumer journey would be simple and straightforward. It might look something like this: An interested customer conducts an online search, and comes across your company website. After visiting the site and reading up on your products and services, the customer decides to make a purchase. That customer either buys the item directly from your ecommerce store, picks up the phone to call you, or drives to your brick-and-mortar location to complete the transaction.
You are no doubt familiar with PPC advertising, even if you’ve never leveraged it on your brand’s behalf. You see PPC ads every time you conduct a Google search; these ads are located on the top and bottom of the page, beyond the standard organic search results. For those who are only passingly familiar, PPC stands for pay-per-click marketing; basically, a system wherein you pay for each time your ad gets clicked by a search engine user. PPC exists in many forms, though the best known is probably Google AdWords. More to the point of our discussion today, PPC ads represent one of the most effective ways to build your brand online.
But what makes PPC so valuable to marketers? That’s what we’re going to address in this post.
There is an ongoing misconception that search engine optimization (SEO) is primarily a concern for digitally-based businesses—that brick and mortar stores don’t have the same need to establish search engine visibility. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even if your company doesn’t conduct transactions online, consumers use search engines to find local companies—and if your business isn’t present in local searches, you’ll miss out on significant foot traffic.
Every piece of content you publish should have a specific goal—whether it’s getting sign-ups for your email list, traffic for your website, downloads of your e-book, or phone calls to your sales team. Whatever your goal is, it needs to be indicated somewhere within the content itself—specifically in the form of a call to action. A call to action, or CTA, is essentially an invitation for your reader to take action—to leap ahead to the next step of the consumer journey. Every piece of content you produce needs a CTA at the end, and the CTA should always be clear—but with that said, you don’t have to resort to clichés. Specifically, you don’t have to include the words ‘click here’ in every CTA, as many do—and in this post, we’ll tell you why.
Consumers are generally aware of the latest tech product roll-outs—for example, recently announced devices from Apple or Android—but may not be as familiar with such finer points as location data policy. As a result, many mobile users may not realize that both Apple and Google have recently made subtle tweaks to their own stated policies. This has implications for the consumer, but also for the advertiser; in today’s post, we’ll be focusing on this latter point.
At enCOMPASS, we’re grateful for the opportunities we have to do meaningful work for our clients—helping their businesses to grow through creative digital marketing initiatives. In the process, we’ve experienced some growth ourselves—and now, that growth has been recognized by the Inc. 5000 list. We’re proud to announce that we’ve been included in this year’s prestigious round-up of the fastest-growing private companies in America.