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Track Your Trends to Optimize Your Marketing

Your customers change their behavior depending on the season, which impacts the content they interact with and the keywords they use for search. (Hint: this also means how, when, and what they decide to buy will change.)

Before you click away thinking that seasonality doesn’t apply to your business, stick with us. You may think you don’t have a season. Although buying trends can be harder to see when your business isn’t centered around a commonly recognized season (such as the holidays), the truth is that every industry has some version of a season. 

However, business owners are often at a loss when it comes to adapting their marketing strategy to the seasonal shifts in buying behavior. Which is why it’s crucial to track your trends for more insight.

Yes, You Have a Busy Season–Trust Us

At this point, you may be thinking that you’re in an industry where people will always need what you do with some minor peaks and valleys. It’s true that you may not get all of your business exclusively during your busy season, but you definitely have one.

Here are a few examples of businesses that you would not traditionally associate with seasonality:

  • Divorce lawyers. More people file for divorce right after the holidays. Why? They didn’t want to ruin the holidays with divorce discussion or the holidays confirmed their decision to end the marriage.
  • Emergency vets. Emergency vets will see more dogs the first week of July. Why? It’s super hot, fireworks scare pets into unsafe behavior–including running away–and big parties are an opportunity for pets to eat dangerous foods and objects.
  • Plumbing companies. The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. Why? Food scraps and turkey grease can clog sinks. In addition, several guests staying at a home can overwhelm the plumbing system, leading to problems.

However, keep in mind that seasons are not limited to holidays. For example, spring can bring hail storms, leading to a surge in calls to windshield repair companies, roofers, and exterior contractors. When these businesses run ads around this time, they can optimize their busy season.

How to Adjust Your Game Plan for Your Season

Once you’ve taken the time to track your trends and identify your busy season, here are some ways to adjust your game plan to fit your season and make it convenient for your customers to hire you or purchase from you.

Busy Season

  • Google Ads. Ads show up when someone searches for what you offer. They are looking for you. Don’t hide from them!
  • Facebook Ads. Ads show up based on demographics and self-proclaimed interests. They told you they love animals. Show them your animal-related services or products!
  • Email marketing. Give them a reason to choose you over your competition by being visible, available, and easy to buy from. Touching on their most important reasons to buy in your email will encourage them to buy from you.
  • Direct mail. Depending on your industry, this can be one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience during your busy season.

Slow Season

  • Upsell and cross-sell existing clients. Slow season is a great time to upsell or cross-sell your current clients to help maintain your revenue. 
  • Work on getting referrals. Contact satisfied clients and ask them to refer you to someone else who might want your services. You can offer a reward for referrals, such as a gift card.
  • Grow your online reviews. Ask past clients to review your business online. Make it easy by emailing them a link so all they have to do is click and type. Then, be sure to pay attention to your reviews and deal with any negative or fake ones.
  • Promote early payment specials. To keep cash coming in, try offering discounts for early payments for next season.
  • Educate your clients. Teach clients how to make the most of your products or services. Focus on low-cost marketing methods like in-person networking, email, and social media. Stay in front of them even when they’re not ready to buy. They will be soon enough. Create the association with your brand, even if they aren’t looking for you right now. 

Learning when to mitigate expenses and maximize ROI can vary, even for businesses within the same industry. For example, some companies use Google Ads during their busy season so they are visible when people search for them, but use Facebook Ads as more of an awareness or educational tactic when people are not yet in need. 

Get More Insight Into Your Long-Term Marketing Strategy

Following the trends within your industry and examining your own peaks and valleys are the best ways to know when and how to adjust your marketing efforts. If you’re ready to take a more advanced approach to your long-term marketing, set up a strategy session with GoBeyond SEO. It’s free, customized, and informative.

Categories
Content Marketing Marketing

Achieve These 6 Marketing Goals With Video Client Case Stories

Everyone has a story. Actually, everyone has several stories. Stories of triumph and success and stories of failure and regret. We lead complex and layered lives. 

Your clients, just like you, have stories to tell. If they are your client, you are a part of their story. It sounds hyperbolic, but it isn’t. Your clients will be talking about their experiences, including the one they’ve had with you, as part of their story.

Wouldn’t it be so cool if your clients could share their success story and, by proxy, your role in that success, with other potential clients?

Hell yes it would be. Here’s how you can transform your marketing with client case stories: all on video.

The Move Away From Business-Centric Reviews

People are moving beyond 5-star reviews on Google and collecting testimonials that are focused solely on their business. Companies are moving toward client case stories: letting their case study be expressed as a case story.

The narrative focuses on their clients and how their lives have changed and less on what the company offers. What’s more? It’s all on video. Video is

  • Easy to digest
  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to share
  • A powerful tool for building trust and engaging new clients

Video isn’t the cheapest form of marketing content. But when you invest the time and money necessary to develop a strong video marketing plan, a plan that doesn’t pitch but actually shares stories, your results will reflect that effort.

Think about it: why do people love movies so much? They don’t. They love stories. A movie that is just a sales pitch will not be watched over and over again–but a story will be. 

6 Powerful Goals You Can Achieve With Video Stories

Video stories shared by your happy clients nearly guarantees you’ll accomplish these six goals.

1. Increase Conversions and Sales

84% of people say they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video (Wyzowl survey).

2. Track Your ROI

HubSpot conducted a recent survey that found more than 93% of video marketers say it’s an important part of their marketing strategy and you can measure the results from your video campaign, including tracking impressions, play rate, viewer engagement, lead generation, and click-through rate.

3. Build Multi-Purpose Content

You can use your videos on your website, social media, newsletters, and ad campaigns. Multiple videos, multiple iterations, multiple applications.

4. Build Consumer Trust

Consumers evaluate your website and marketing content with a highly skeptical eye, and possibly a predetermined reason NOT to spend money on your product or service. You have to work to gain your customer’s trust, especially if you’re handling sensitive matters or if you’re in an industry that many people are unfamiliar with (like SEO). People want to see and hear other people. Humanize your business and you’ll gain their trust. 

5. Boost Your SEO Efforts

As video is becoming an increasingly popular way to create content, Google gives ranking priority to pages that have videos. So not only is video a good marketing tool, but it’s a powerful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy as well. 

6. Engage Mobile Users

Not only does Google prefer online video content, but so do most mobile users. 

Pew Research Center found that 85% of Americans currently own a smartphone, and what are people doing on their smartphones? Watching videos. According to eMarketer, 75% of all videos are played on mobile devices.

Are You Harnessing the Power of Video Yet?

Your competitors are already harnessing the power of video stories as a humanized alternative to business. It’s fierce out there, and video case stories from your happy clients are a tool you definitely want in your arsenal.
GoBeyond SEO has partnered with a company that does exactly this kind of work and they are awesome. Because of this partnership, GoBeyond clients are offered a discount on this work. Find out more by clicking the link or contacting us today.

Categories
Marketing

Make Your Marketing Like a Capsule Wardrobe (Hear Us Out)

Do you find picking out clothes to wear an exhausting process? If so, you’re not alone. Other people find the process of shopping and picking out clothes for the day as exhausting as you do. Barack Obama, Ariana Grande, Michael Kors, Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Branson, Hillary Clinton, Steve Jobs…just to name a few. 

What you wear says a lot about you, so you want to make the right decision, but this is also why it can be so time-consuming and tiring. This is why many wealthy and successful people use what’s called a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a foundational array of key clothing pieces that you wear nearly every day. It mitigates decision fatigue, you’ll know that it fits you, and you can get on with your day.

Fun fact: This is exactly what happens with small business owners and their marketing. They want to put their best foot forward, but the process of dressing their business up is exhausting and expensive.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. You can create your marketing message as you would a capsule wardrobe.

Create a Foundational Message for Your Business

But wait, you’re asking—wouldn’t creating and delivering a message with a few key pieces just be repeating the same marketing techniques over and over?

Repeating a message is the cornerstone of marketing. This seems obvious enough and yet, many business professionals wonder if they need to be saying the same thing all the time.

So to be clear: yes, you need to repeat your message, but how do you keep people from tuning it out? Won’t people get bored or even resentful hearing the same thing over and over again? 

Not necessarily. Here’s how you can dress up that foundational marketing message to help people remember who you are and what you do without being that annoying company that says the same thing every time you hear from them.

3 Ways to Dress Up Your Core Message

Much like creating a capsule wardrobe, coming up with your singular foundational message can be broken down like this:

  • Speak in a way that resonates with your PERFECT client. Are they cavalier or more buttoned-up? Are they creative or analytical? Are they more conservative or cheeky? Pro Tip: Talk to them in their language, not yours.
  • Explain your value clearly. In other words, what are you going to do for them? What problem do you solve for them? Be plain. Be clear. Leave no room for interpretation. Pro Tip: Adding a clever or sexy message is much easier with clear language.
  • Highlight what you do differently. You have the same core message, but you can play it up by highlighting what makes your business unique. Pro Tip: Highlighting what you do differently is a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition.

While this may feel like an oversimplification to some, that’s exactly the point. If you take the time and energy to hammer out your core message, getting creative with your marketing becomes infinitely easier.

Think of the Geico commercials. They repeat their core message over and over. They’ll save you 15% or more on car insurance. Insurance is boring; they make it funny. They come up with off-the-wall ways to demonstrate their message, but at its core, it’s exactly the same.

Not Sure What to Do Next?

Schedule a complimentary strategy session with our marketing professionals at GoBeyond SEO. We can help you define your target audience, create your foundational message, and help you drive that message home to your customers.

Categories
Business Blogging Content Marketing

How to Create Great Content & Solve the Content Conundrum in 3 Simple Steps

Just like most small businesses owners, you may have heard that Content Is King. So you do some research online and decide you’re going to create some content for your website or social media. You can check the marketing box on your to-do list and you feel good about this.

Sitting in front of your laptop, ready to write, you’re suddenly flooded with the dread of “what the hell do I write about?”. Your cursor is blinking at you, menacing. What do you do? You know you want to create something, but you’re not sure where to start. Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. When getting started with content creation, small businesses owners often ask themselves these questions:

What does my audience want to hear from me?

What expertise or advice do I have to offer?

How can I find topics that my target customers will actually be interested in?

Even if you’re an expert in your industry and struggling to break down all the details of what you do and how you serve your clients, these three simple steps will help you get started with the overwhelming task of creating content.

Step 1: Segment Your Audience

It’s tempting, but don’t try to be all things to all people, especially as a business owner. A customized audience makes for a more personal and effective message when creating content for your website. Breaking down the details of your expertise for creating content is easier when you know your audience.

Step 2: Make a List of Your FAQs 

Each FAQ is great inspiration for content writing, and can give you ideas about where to narrow your focus based on your target customer. Detailing your FAQs is also a great opportunity to go more in-depth with a short video or infographic to put on your site.

Step 3: The Editorial Calendar

Now that you’ve segmented your audience and made a list of your FAQs, look up some of your favorite publications and search the editorial calendar.

There you will find topics by month, hashtags (sometimes), and what topics are coming up in the next month. Using your favorite publications as a guide for your own content writing topics demonstrates that you’re in the know and that your clients and prospects should listen and trust your expertise. It’s the not-so-secret sauce to great content.

What Prevents You From Creating Great Content?

Is it time? Not knowing where to start? Not knowing the value that you offer your clients? Schedule a consultation with us at GoBeyond SEO to learn more about our strategy for bringing the game with your content marketing!

Categories
Content Marketing

How to Improve Your Content Marketing Focus & Strategy

Have you ever been chatting with a client or colleague and they mention that they’re doing content marketing for their business? You think you know what it is, but also think you don’t know what it is? Like, you know that it has something to do with blogging or posting on social media, and there’s an SEO tie-in, but you’re still not fully sure how it turns into leads or helps your business?

You’re not alone. In fact, there are some marketing pros out there that still can’t quite explain the value of content marketing and how best to use it. 

The word “content” can refer to a litany of things: service pages, product pages, blog posts, white papers, articles, downloadable freebies, videos, and infographics, just to name a few. 

So why is content marketing such a confusing topic for business owners? More often than not, they’re not sure why they’re doing it. The push to do content marketing is overwhelming. That said, content for content’s sake is a waste of time. 

It’s essential to be intentional with all your content, especially if it lives on the internet. But how can you be intentional when it matters most?

Keep Your Audience as the Focus

Valuable content goes far beyond content that’s stuffed with industry-specific keywords. In fact, if you write content that way, it actually can get your content penalized and result in lost rankings for your website.

Google has the end user in mind when indexing content. Not the product. Not the services. The end user. Google’s currency is attention. Eyeballs are the prize. If you write content that reads like it’s catering to a bot or search engine, humans will tune out and click away. If that happens, is Google happy?

Nope. 

Google wants engaged attention. The more your audience pays attention to a piece of content, the more valuable it becomes to Google. They can sell more ads. They can sell more ads at a higher price. They can sell their own products. 

Puts content in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

So what happens if you’ve already created several pieces of content and posted them to your site and social media without this in mind? Don’t worry—you can still revitalize your content to be more audience-focused for improved rankings and better results!

How to Improve Your Existing Content and Draft Sparkly New Content

Whether you’re planning to review your existing content and give it a few tweaks or just plan to write new content with more intention, here are four steps you should take before you scribe another syllable. 

  1. Keyword Research. Keyword research is the process by which you research popular search terms people type into search engines. (See Pro Tip #1 below.)
  1. Keyword Optimization. Taking the best keywords and strategically, but organically, placing them in your content to improve how well they are found in a search is keyword optimization.
  2. Content Organization. The content on your site should be organized in a logical way. This is not only good for SEO, it encourages visitors to stay engaged with your site or content. The more engagement, the better.
  3. Content Promotion. One of the best ways to increase visibility to new content you create is by sharing it on social networks and building links to your content. (See Pro Tip #2 below.)

Now, you’re well on your way to making your content favorable to both Google and your audience on the internet!

Keep These Things in Mind When Improving Your Content Marketing Strategy

Each business is unique, and since content marketing can cover such a broad range of mediums, it’s important to put the content marketing strategy in effect that’s right for your particular business. Here are a couple pro tips to keep in mind to improve your content marketing!

  • Pro Tip #1: Popular keywords are not necessarily the best choice when engaging in SEO. The more searched the keyword, the harder it will be to rank in the search results. Keywords with specificity are called long-tail keywords. For example, “plumber” is a very popular keyword. “hot tub plumber Charlotte NC” is a less popular keyword and may be more effective. 

Long-tail keywords are a better way to go for a few reasons. The first is there is less competition and therefore they will rank faster. The second reason is that the searcher is looking for something very specific and is likely ready to buy. 

  • Pro Tip #2: Most people know that if they write a post on social media, they can hyperlink a keyword back to a blog post or sales page on their site. Pretty easy and a smart thing to do. What many people fail to do is build INTERNAL links. When you write a blog post on your site and then make reference to a service you offer, hyperlink that service to a service page on your site. The link never leaves the website, but is a powerful tactic to optimize your website.

The best thing you can do when building your content strategy is to begin with the end in mind. Set your intention for your communications and be mindful of the experience you want your audience to have. Pair that with some strategically placed, well-researched keywords, and you’re on your way to having some killer content that both Google and your audience will love.

Wondering exactly what your content is doing for your business? Find out if your content is working for you or if you need to make some changes—schedule a complimentary strategy session with us at GoBeyond SEO!

Categories
Content Marketing

5 Essential Reasons to Include Video Marketing in Your Strategy

The need for video marketing in your marketing strategy has exploded on the internet. Fortunately for people who aren’t keen on taking, editing, or posting videos, creating videos has never been easier. With a smartphone in your pocket, a camera on your laptop, and platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, you can create videos in seconds.

Easy, right? That depends on your definition of easy. While the tools and platforms above give you the ability to create a video easily, knowing what to say or do, how to say or do it, and how to make the video work hard to achieve your goals is another matter altogether.

Good videos can be pricey and can take a lot of time to create. Where do you begin? Is it really worth it for a business like yours? How can you be sure your business needs video? These are all great questions—let’s see if we can answer some of them below.

Why to Prioritize Video Marketing Whenever Possible 

Prioritizing videos for your marketing efforts may not make much sense to you if you haven’t done it before. However, here are five essential reasons to include video in your marketing plan. 

1. The know, like, and trust factor.

In the quote made famous by Bob Burg, effective networking and marketing are hugely tied to how well a prospect knows, likes, and trusts you. Video expedites this process. The more videos you have to educate your clients about your services, the more you build a strong foundation of trust. Trust is the fast track to sales.

2. It slays SEO.

SEO is a little boring and yes, people talk about it a lot. But having a website that floats around unacknowledged on the interwebs is far more costly than cutting some videos. Search engines are designed to find content. Literally their only job is to find and sort relevant content. How does a search engine, like Google, determine how well your site should rank? Lots of factors, but A HUGE ONE is page views. Video improves page views better than anything else. (See Pro Tip #1 below.)

3. Social. Social. Social.

Videos are great for social media. If there is anything that could or did kill MTV, it is social media. Social media for your business is a FABULOUS way to fill in the ‘know’ and ‘like’ factors of the K-L-T equation. If you’re willing to show the ‘how’ behind your services in a video, you build trust. Having that video (or videos) then shared on social media, will only expedite the ‘know’ piece. Making the video cool, funny, comprehensive, or relatable rounds out the ‘like’ factor. You’ve got yourself the sales trifecta!

4. Email open rates SKYROCKET.

Getting people to read your email is nothing short of a magic trick. Well, get your magic wand ready. According to HubSpot, video in emails can increase open rates and decrease your unsubscribe rates. Having a video in your email can increase your CTR (click-through rate) by a staggering 228%. It’s also a great way to explain what you do when simple text isn’t enough.

5. The single most important reason: conversions.

Video is the swiss army knife of mediums. In addition to the great SEO component, the shareability, the compelling nature of the open rate, video can convey emotions on a grand scale. Emotions like joy, community, discomfort, fear, calm, and countless others are most effectively shared through video. Sales are not standalone entities. Sales are made by humans. Humans are emotional. Emotions are sales, video is just the vehicle.

Did You Know? 

Pro Tip #1: Google is the biggest search engine, but YouTube is the second. YouTube is owned by Google. Google loves to reward (over-reward, in fact) relevant content as well as promoting its own properties. Videos on YouTube = great Google search results. 

Frank Schwartz, CEO of LEC Media and a 20-year veteran in the broadcast media space had this to say about the use of video in your marketing.

“You become an instant industry authority when customers repeatedly see your business at the top of search results and view your videos for information. They trust what you have to say and think of you first when making a buying decision.” 

-Frank Schwartz, CEO of LEC Media

Video marketing is only going to increase in scope and frequency. It’s a flexible medium that can truly convey nearly any message you want to share. Find out more about how video marketing can revolutionize your businesses with us at GoBeyond—contact us today!

Categories
Content Marketing Marketing

Put Their Needs First with an Audience-First Strategy

Have you ever tried to draw an E on your forehead?

Take your finger, pretend it’s a magic marker, and write a capital letter E on your forehead. Don’t think. Don’t read ahead. Just do it.

Now, for the fun part.

Did you draw an E or an Ǝ? In other words, did you write it so it makes sense to you, or did you write it so it makes sense to someone facing you?

American professors Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer devised the five-second ‘E’ trick, which they believe separates those who are boss material from those who aren’t. Those who wrote the E so they could read it are more self-focused, a common trait among top leaders.

Legendary business mogul Jack Welch disagreed. He mused that those who draw the Ǝ — who are believed to be more community focused — value collaboration, which is more likely lead to longevity in leadership. 

So what did you do? And, what does that have to do with marketing strategy?

When Communicating Your Brand, Write an “Ǝ”

Marketing firms tend to think in terms of how they can show potential clients that they’re the best. These tend to be agencies that are well-awarded and have awards all over their office, website, or social media. This is not an audience-first strategy.

Sounds good in theory, right? Sure. And there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this, except for one big snag—clients aren’t really interested in you. They’re interested in what you can do for them, or, more specifically, what problem you can solve for them.

But how can clients know you’re really good at what you do? You have to demonstrate something about what your business does, right?

Let’s look at an example that demonstrates the difference between telling clients about you in a way that’s not very helpful, and telling clients about you in a way that communicates what you can do for them.

Consider the following business description:

Acme toy company is family-owned and operated and all of our toys have batteries included.

This information is just information. It’s not completely useful. It reads a lot like this: ƎƎƎƎƎƎƎ

Now, take a look at this variation, which shares the same information, but is worded differently to really speak to the audience:

Acme toys can be enjoyed right away because we’ve included batteries. We’re family-owned and operated, so we get it.  

EEEEEEEEEE!

This slight variation puts the focus on the target audience (the parent or gift giver) and the sub audience or recipient (the child). The second line leads with the benefit (enjoyed right away) and demonstrates that your business is considering their needs. 

So What Does an Audience-First Strategy Look Like in Real Life?

Of course, this snazzy example was helpful. But let’s take a closer look at how this would play out in your own brand messaging in real life with some tips.

  • Provide value in everything you share with your clients. How? Make your audience feel something! Make them smile, laugh, think, or even cry.
  • Be consistent about the value you deliver. Your audience will only come back if they expect you to continue giving them something.

You have an opportunity to do this in nearly every correspondence you have with your audience, whether it be a social media post, an email, or a blog article. Put their needs first and watch how this transforms your relationship with your clients.

Are you ready to begin demonstrating your worth to your clients? Contact us at GoBeyond SEO to discover more about our strategies for your digital marketing success!

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Kristy is an Assistant & Coordinator of Awesome. She has worked extensively in academic administration and brings a varied wealth of knowledge. As a self-starter, she is ready to take on news projects and see them through to completion. Always curious, Kristy is an avid researcher and delights in the challenge of learning new skills.

When Kristy isn’t organizing or researching something, you can find her listening to a true crime podcast, re-watching How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory and coming up with some crazy shenanigan for her family’s next adventure.

5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT KRISTY

  1. Kristy prefers the Harry Potter books over the movies. Her favorite book is The Prisoner of Azkaban and her favorite character is Luna Lovegood. Ravenclaw house. She just started her 8-year-old son on listening to the books.
  2. Kristy has a nail technician license, esthetician license, medical assisting certification, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree. She didn’t get her full cosmetology license because she can barely do her own hair, she shouldn’t be trusted with someone else’s.
  3. She doesn’t know how to gamble but is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. She moved to Colorado three months before her 21st birthday.
  4. Her high school graduating class consisted of only 20 people.
  5. Kristy loves gift giving. One of her great joys in life is finding the “perfect” gift.
Kristy Elias