Category Archives: Online Marketing

Nearly Half the World is Online

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While I don’t typically subscribe to the chatter about “trends” and how every marketing plan should incorporate them, I have spent the past few weeks haphazardly doing research to help me foresee and plan what might be good tactics to dovetail into the marketing strategies of some of my clients.

The statistics I found were compelling from both a professional and personal standpoint.

The fact that nearly half the world is online is just one of the statistics that struck me as noteworthy. There’s also data to support that almost one-third of the world uses social media, which, considering its’ relative newness, is quite astounding indeed.

Global population is 7.395 billion.

Here are some key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in January 2016:

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8 Simple Questions for Website Owners

The Winnipeg business landscape is a unique animal. As a marketer, I have been faced with many client objections over the years – Winnipeggers don’t generally like spending money on anything that is intangible. In my view, the various elements that make up a marketing strategy are not only tangible, but also highly measurable.

Winnipeg customers expect a lot from the companies with whom we do business. Think of our restaurant landscape for a moment; if a new establishment can’t jump in to the realm with both feet and become a popular contender in short order, they usually don’t last very long.

We have incredibly high standards, which, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

successful-website_elementsWhat becomes a bit unbalanced is when business owners abandon all of the rules to which they believe other companies should adhere when it comes to assessing their own company’s offerings.

The best example of this type of double standard is in the company website. In today’s world, an online presence is required, no question about it. But paying close attention to that online presence is also imperative. There is no more “set it and forget it”.

As a business owner, you have to ask yourself, “Are any of my customers feeling that same sense of frustration I felt as I tried to navigate so-and-so’s website? What can I do to make their user experience better?”

If you are a business and website owner, here are 8 simple questions to ask yourself about your website:

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Maybe it’s P2P?

P2PA couple of weeks ago, November 10 to be exact, I talked about the concepts of B2B and B2C and how that in the current talk online, these terms are starting to mean less, alongside of the frustration of business with not being sure how to or what to do.

I asked the question – Do you sell to businesses or to consumers? What difference does it make? The business doesn’t make the decision to buy; people do, in both cases. So why have we focused on putting definitions and barriers around what we do? Why not step back a bit and realize that all purchases are made by humans, people with emotions, with needs and desires and who are looking to you to fill that need. And then I suggested that maybe all connections with customers are really B2HUMAN interactions. Continue reading

We are a Google Partner!

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Google Partners is Google’s program for advertising agencies, digital marketing professionals, and other online consultants, trusted by Google; trusted for their online expertise and a commitment to ongoing learning and skills development. It shows our business is healthy, our clients are happy, and that we follow Google best practices. The badge recognizes companies that excel with Google’s products.

Google Partners are in the business of being ‘in the know’. Partner agencies stay up to date on the latest Google tools and products by passing Google-administered certification exams. Proven success is what puts Partners above the rest. They use industry best practices to manage campaigns and focus on helping you get the most out of your marketing budget.

Partners stay ahead of the curve by working directly with Google. With access to ongoing professional development and product updates, Partners stay on top of what’s going on with Google.

We are proud to be a trusted Google™ Partners Certified Agency.

Letter from a former client (Good and Bad)

We all hate losing clients. We work hard to obtain them and hope the work speaks for itself. In one case we thought we were doing well with a particular clients online marketing program. We met with them every quarter and reported on our activities and results and talked about content ideas and marketing strategies for the next quarter. We had always had positive results and leads to share. Regardless, one day I got a message that they were cancelling our service because the owner thought it would be a good idea to support a local web company.

I was disappointed at first, because I believed we were doing a good job for a fair price. I did ask some questions to make sure his local web company was going to provide similar services so that they were going to continue positioning well with the search engines and keep generating leads from the online activities. The client assured me that they know what they are doing, they are a little cheaper and they are local. I didn’t see the point in arguing and wished him well.

Eight months have gone by and I received an email from this past client last week, with comments like “We used to own half the Google page and now we are dwindling” and “we want to be it, when people are looking for …”. The frustration was obvious.

I reviewed their website to see what had been done in the past eight months and tried to determine what the issues were. Well, to start with, there was very little activity on the website.

Guess what; both your target audience and the search engines like fresh, relevant content.

Some of the activities that we helped this client with from the online service side of things previously was, creating relevant content (information about the industry, products and services that the consumer would be interested in), posting it to the website and social media accounts, making web edits when required, optimizing new content, submitting site maps to the search engines, keyword ranking strategies and social media management.

Good: They are coming back to us.

Bad: The client thought that he was getting a better deal, because the costs was a little lower, but as it turns out with the lower cost, they got very little activity and they lost rankings or as the client put it “dwindling”. Better keyword rankings are achieved with solid online practices. This has turned out to be a costly mistake.

Of course we are happy to help (again).

I’ll leave you with this:
Warren Buffet

Google for Non-profits

google-for-nonprofitsGoogle has a well-kept secret; it wants to help non-profits and charitable organizations with their online marketing, help them drive traffic to their website and indirectly help them with their brand recognition that ultimately results in connecting with relevant users.

Google for Non-Profits offers up everything they have to offer at a price that works with the non-profit and charitable model – no charge. Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Analytics, Google+) are available for your use.

Google Ad Grants is the non-profit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants empowers non-profit organisations to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search result pages. Your ads must reflect the mission of the non-profit organisation and your keywords must be relevant to the non-profit’s programmes and services.

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Online Success Story

I walk into a client’s office for a 90 day meeting, this is a standard quarterly meeting we have with clients on an Online Marketing Program (OMP) to report on website analytics, results from the online activities and discuss goals, strategy and content planning for the next 90 days. The Online Marketing Programs can include: website edits, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, keyword ranking and always includes map listing, optimization and reporting. Not every client or their target audience is alike, so each program is a little different and so are the results, but we are focused on bringing our client leads from the activities and website. Continue reading

The power of social media – it’s pervasive

Social-Media-Icons-globeLately, the world of online marketing has been more focused on social media, its influence and impact on our world and that it is something that business not only needs to start paying attention to but they should jump on the bandwagon or be left in their competitors’ dust.

Late last week, over this past weekend and today, it become very evident, in Winnipeg, that the speed, reach and effective use of social media is definitely here and can be a positive thing. A horrific event was unfolding as we worked late in the afternoon on Friday and without Twitter, we likely would have been unaware of what was going on.

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Mobilegeddon – did it happen yet?

Mobilegeddon_CohesiveMobilegeddon has come and gone and as somewhat expected, not much has happened, yet. The apocalypse did not happen and as is usually the case, will not happen, at least in any significant way.

What we learned over the past couple of months is that more and more people (your customers) are using mobile to find information, products and services online. In fact, Google has said recently that more than half of all online searches are performed using a mobile device. So, it is here to stay and it appears the major search engine player is paying attention. Continue reading

Social Media Marketing – Branding or Lead Generation or Fad

Social-Media-Icons-globeIt’s not temporary, it’s not a fad, and it is quickly becoming a replacement for former marketing media formats. It’s both branding and lead generation and more.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is defined as online marketing activities that utilize social media platforms and involves sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes. There are a large number of social media platforms out there and each of them has specific qualities and benefits. Which ones you use will depend on your business and what you hope to accomplish.

Most marketers will tell you that the primary focus of SMM is to increase traffic to our website and while that certainly is one goal you should have; is that all there is? IT will help your search engine rankings but is their more to it? SMM has the ability for strong visual messaging (imagery, video, and info graphics) that will help you with your brand identity, familiarity and loyalty. It can even help to generate what is thought to be soft leads where the audience will give up some of their information in exchange for an offer of something of value.

Any time you post to your social media platform creates an opportunity for the viewer to convert and more conversion opportunities will lead to more business. If nothing else, it will improve your conversion rates on existing traffic by creating trust and brand identity. One thing you must remember is to remain consistent and cohesive in your messaging – every time you blog or post, you put your brand on display and the only way to build trust and loyalty is with the same message every time.

As with any other marketing that you do, you first must have a plan. What are you trying to accomplish via social media? Who is your target audience (most platforms have the ability to specifically target by any of the above mentioned demographics and more)? How are you going to accomplish your goals and do you have the internal capability and knowledge to make it work?

Time is of the essence here. Your competition is already doing some kind of social media marketing and the sooner you get started, the sooner you will get the ROI. It’s hard to measure the effect of your branding efforts – the conversion may not be today but building your voice and image will yield results. And yes, there are ways to measure ROI for your online activities. We have a pretty good idea about how to get started so give us a call today.