4 Basic Things Your Brand Needs to Excel at Digital

The fall season is the perfect time to embrace your inner basic. “Do you want whip cream with that pumpkin spice latte?” You bet your sweet Aunt Sally I do! Even when it comes to your digital strategy, think basic.

At TAG, when we talk about a digital strategy, we’re not simply talking about your website. It’s all of your digital components and how those components work together to deliver results.

Those components include social media, websites, analytics, digital ads, AdWords, etc. -  you get the picture. It’s a lot to think about and monitor, so start slow. Below is what the TAG team believes are the four basic elements your brand needs to master.

1 | Mobile Responsive Website

A mobile responsive website means that your website will be just as clear and easy to navigate on a computer, as it is on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile responsive sites aim to minimize resizing, panning and scrolling so that your consumer can have a seamless interaction with your site and its content.

According to Adobe, nearly 8 out of 10 consumers would stop engaging with a piece of content if it’s not displaying well on their device. And, with roughly 60% of all internet access attributed to mobile traffic (which will continue to grow), can your brand afford to not be mobile responsive?

Think of your own habits. We’re all busy and when you’re looking for information fast, you don’t want to find yourself accessing a website on your phone and constantly having to zoom in to look at the text. It’s a hassle, and consumers and clients alike will find themselves seeking a mobile experience elsewhere.

2 | Social Media

Curious as to another digital tactic where most traffic comes from mobile? Ding, ding, ding! Social media. If you’re a brand, it’s imperative for you to have a focused social strategy. This doesn’t just mean throwing up pictures to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (although, we do have a tactic for using National Days…), it means being in touch with your audience and knowing what kind of content they’re  looking for on your social media accounts.

Advertising on social media platforms has blown up over the past couple of years, and it will only continue to grow. Create a goal and then create a social media ad campaign that will deliver those results. For example: If you want people to visit your website, create a Facebook Ad campaign that will send traffic to your site. Or, if you’re wanting some exposure for your brand and your audience is relatively young, consider creating a Snapchat filter for a local event you’re sponsoring or that aligns with your brand.

3 | SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

When a potential customer is searching for your product or services online, what would they type into the search bar? Write them down, and then incorporate those words throughout your website because that’s how search engines pull results.

For example, when I type in “home improvement store davenport,” Lowe’s Home Improvement in Davenport is one of the first things to appear. Why? For one, they have home improvement in their name (genius) and it’s also sprinkled throughout their website. If you go to their Company Information page, their description says, “…Lowe’s has been Improving Home Improvement.”

So, if you’re currently dependent upon organic search traffic but aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to do a word overhaul on your website.

4 | Analytics

Once your website is mobile responsive, your social media tactics and campaigns are running and your search engine optimization is as optimized as it gets, the next step is reviewing the analytics.

If you have a website, make sure it’s set up with a basic Google Analytics tracking code. That way, you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, how long they’re staying, what pages are most viewed, etc. in order to see what’s working with your audience and what’s not.

Social Media sites also have analytics in order for you to see which posts or ads are performing the best. Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between will offer you metrics such as impressions, reach, engagements, click through rates, etc. so that you can see the results, analyze them and then put your money where it makes most sense.

Whether you need help with the basics or if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to new heights, contact the TAG team of social media, web and analytic experts to help you reach your goals.

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Which is Better for Your Brand: Snapchat or Instagram?

59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram (via SproutSocial) while Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. every day (via Smart Insights). Needless to say, if you’re not on at least one of these platforms, you’re missing out on marketing to a large, and important, audience.

While Instagram and Snapchat are similar, the two cater to different audiences, with different content that can be interacted with in different ways, so we’re breaking it down to help you figure out which platform is best for your business.

 Similarities

Instagram was released in October 2010, just shy of a year before Snapchat’s launch in September 2011. Instagram and Snapchat allow their users to share their experiences through images, and both platforms eventually expanded to incorporate video.

Snapchat originated the “stories” concept early into its existence. A “story” gives you the option to share one or more photos and/or videos for up to 24 hours with your friends. Instagram implemented its “stories” feature in August of 2016 and, for many, blurred the lines between the two platforms. As you’ll learn below, Snapchat and Instagram are still very different when it comes to audiences and content.

Audiences

Instagram caters to an older audience when compared to Snapchat. 59% of its audience is made up of 18-29 year olds, with 30-49 year-olds making up 33% of its audience.

Instagram’s audience base is also more educated than audiences on other social platforms. 37% of adults with some college experience use Instagram and college graduates make up 33% of its users.

Instagram’s income demographic reinforces the fact that its users are college educated, as 37% of adults who make more than $75,000 are on the platform.

Source: SproutSocial

Snapchat is the most-used social platform for people aged 12-24. In fact, 13-24 year-olds account for 60% of Snapchat’s total audience. According to MediaKix, 60% of college students would purchase from a brand if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat and 77% of college students use the platform daily, averaging 25-30 minutes.

Source: Smart Insights

Content

(Fun fact: Kylie Jenner revealed in her E! series Life of Kylie that she pays nothing for advertising. The 20-year-old CEO of Kylie Cosmetics says that the only advertising she does is on her personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts.)

Snapchat and Instagram both offer a platform for people to share photos and videos, but the content being shared differs.

Content on Instagram is often edited and refined. Brands are easily found on the platform, and the content shared is accessible by anyone, as long as your account is not set as “private.” Posts on Instagram also have a longer life-span, as once they are “posted,” they’re available for people to look at and interact with forever (or until the person who posted it, deletes it).

Unlike Instagram, most of the content that’s shared on Snapchat is typically between two “private” accounts and isn’t open to the public. However, there are public profiles (brands, celebrities, public figures, etc.) and the content that’s posted from those accounts is raw and unrefined. This kind of authentic content really resonates with Gen Z, as they feel that the brands that share raw and real content are more trustworthy.

A lot of brands find success using Snapchat geofilters, which can be designed on Snapchat’s website with their pre-made templates, or personally designed and uploaded (Geofilters are photo and video overlays that are accessed within a set location). For example, if your business is putting on an event where you know a lot of its audience members will be on Snapchat (concerts, fairs, etc.), then a geofilter would be an easy, effective and cost-efficient way for that audience to interact with your brand.

Interactions

The content is different on each platform, so the way it’s interacted with is different, too.

Content on Instagram can feature custom hashtags, users may tag other businesses or people, and there’s the ability to “like,” “comment,” “share,” “save,” and “send” photos and videos. In fact, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, according to SproutSocial. Much like posts on Facebook, when you’re posting to Instagram, you also have the ability to select a location to associate your post with, giving that piece of content yet another way to be found.

When Snapchats are played, users have the ability to privately respond either via text or by snapping back a photo or video. Recently, Snapchat gave its users the ability to attach a link to their posts when users swipe up, giving brands the ability to track traffic from Snapchat more easily. On Snapchat, users can also see who has viewed their posts, who has replayed a snap and which users have taken a screen shot of the post.

What’s best for your brand?

Now that you know the differences between Snapchat and Instagram you could go frolic in a field and throw paper hearts in the air in celebration (thanks for the transition, Chris Pratt), OR you could get serious about your social strategy and call TAG! Let’s talk about which platform is best for your brand.

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The Evolution of Paid Search & What it Means for Your Strategy

The Evolution of Paid Search & What it Means for Your Strategy


“Where can I find jackfruit?”

“Pool floats that look like donuts”

“Do I need special glasses to watch the solar eclipse?”

Those are just a few of our team’s latest Google Searches. Did you know that there are over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google alone?

The Evolution

Over the course of the last decade, technology has evolved and so have our search patterns. Google has introduced numerous algorithms, and continues to refine them in order to better assist you in your queries.

Take a moment to think of your own behavior and how, it too, has evolved over the last 10 years. The first iPhone wasn’t introduced until June 29, 2007, so until then, Google search was limited to desktop users. In 2011, Apple introduced Siri – it’s voice-activated search tool for Apple product-users. 2012 marked Google’s release of their search app for iOS that featured its voice search function, rivaling Siri.

Paralleling these technological advances were also societal changes in the way we interact with our phones. 2007 was also the year when the state of Washington became the first state to ban texting and driving. Since then, many other states have followed suit and some have even banned calls from a hand-held cell phone device which, in turn, pushed for more voice activation options.

Earlier this year, The Webmaster released an article citing Hitwise’s study that found nearly 60% of all online searches are now happening from a mobile device, with the food and beverage industry reaching 72%.

What it means for Search

According to a recent HubSpot blog, 20% of queries in 2016 were mobile and android voice searches and a study by Ahrefs found that 64% of searches are at least four words or more.

This tells us that we’ve become much more conversational in the way we use search. So, instead of typing “Restaurants Quad Cities” like we did in 2007, we’re typing (or, dictating) “Where’s the best place to find tacos near me?”

What it means for Google AdWords

With many of our current clients reaping the benefits of Paid Search, the TAG team of Google certified experts decided that with this information, it was time to restructure our strategy.

Instead of the previously advised 10-20 keywords per topic in AdWords, because of the way consumers are searching we need to start thinking of them as “topics.”

The first step in this process is looking at your content from a low level. Segment the content you want your consumers to find into “topics.” For example, at TAG, one of our “topics” would be Social Media. We realize a strong social presence could be a potential client’s pain point and we’re here to help them succeed.

From there, we take our “topics” and segment them even further into “subtopics.” We think, ‘What are our potential clients searching for when they’re looking for help with their social strategy?” Then, “subtopics” for social media could be:

Social Media (topic)

  • Facebook marketing quad cities (subtopic)
  • More followers for my business Instagram (subtopic)
  • Is snapchat right for my business? (subtopic)
  • Email marketing tools (subtopic)

The subtopics help our team get into the mind of our clients and we’re able to then reformat our Google AdWords campaigns in order to deliver them the information they’re seeking and, ultimately, help their business succeed.

At TAG, it’s important to understand our clients, and their clients, so that we can create a comprehensive approach that fits everyone’s needs. Our TAG team of Google certified experts is excited to help your business grow, so let’s get started.

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3 Types of Video to Amplify Your Digital Marketing

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then that means one minute of video is worth 1.8 million – making it one of the best and fastest growing tools for digital marketing.

According to Cisco, by 2019, videos will account for more than 85% of online traffic in the U.S.. Which makes sense when you think about it. When was the last time you logged into Facebook and didn’t see a video in your news feed? Probably a pretty long time ago. In fact, 55% of people watch videos online every day.

If video marketing isn’t currently in your digital strategy, it should be! But with all of the video already out there, it can be difficult to cut through all of the clutter. Below are three types of video you can use in your marketing to help your brand stand out.

360° Video

What is it? 360° video is shot with a special 360° camera that captures all directions, giving the viewer a 360° view of whatever it is that’s being filmed.  This type of video allows the viewer to explore the video’s surroundings, giving them the option to tilt up or down and side-to-side. If you’re watching a 360° video on your computer, simply press “Play” and then once the video starts, click and drag your mouse anywhere on the screen to explore.

How can I use 360° videos for my marketing? 360° videos are a great tool for real estate agents, hotels, or other brands who are trying to sell, or showcase, a location of interest to its audience.

TAG’s favorite example: This example is from QANTAS, Austrailia’s largest domestic and international airline, which used 360° video to take its user on a virtual tourism experience to one of their most popular and scenic holiday destinations.

Interactive Video

What is it?  Interactive video is a different type of interactive experience. An interactive video will often include prompts asking for user action or input, which in turn, impacts the sequence or events in the video, making it a personalized experience for the viewer. This type of video also allows for user feedback, making it easier for you as a brand to tap into your audience’s needs.

How can I use interactive video for my marketing? Some brands have had a lot of success by incorporating interactive video for educational and promotional content, along with recruitment efforts. Essentially, interactive video is a great tool to use if you’re looking to test products, track your consumer behavior and even collect audience analytics right from the video platform.

TAG’s favorite example: Deloitte is a multinational professional services firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services, employing more than 244,400 professionals globally. While taxes may not be your idea of a good time, their interactive recruitment campaign will have you looking into their current openings because it’s that good!

deloitte

Virtual Reality

What is it?  Virtual reality, or VR, is a fully immersive experience for your user. The 3D environment, that’s often computer-generated, transfers your user into a virtual landscape, where they’re allowed to explore the virtual environment and interact with objects within that virtual sphere. Virtual reality is experienced through a headset and as the user moves, the goggles track those movements and updates the display.

How can I use virtual reality for my marketing? Virtual reality allows for your clients or consumers to not only hear things from you, but to see and feel. If your marketing objective is to provide your audience with an experience, allow them to explore, educate or to entertain them, VR might be the best option for you!

TAG’s favorite example: The American footwear company Merrel used virtual reality to engage with its audience members over the release of their new hiking boot, the Capra. The company known for its high-performance boots took participants along a dangerous mountain hike to showcase the durability of their new release.

Want to take your video marketing to the next level and stand-out from the competition? TAG has the capability to produce 360°, interactive and virtual reality video! Contact us today to give your campaign the creativity it needs!

The Five Rules of Facebook Advertising


1.5 million businesses across the globe spend money on Facebook Advertising, but not everyone does it effectively.

If you’re ready to make a meaningful impact with your Facebook Advertising, we’ve compiled a list of five rules for you to follow!

1. Start with a goal

Every great campaign must begin with a goal. Your goal could be as simple as “I want people to watch my new commercial,” or “I want our target audience to visit our website.”

One of the best reasons to use Facebook Advertising for your business is that you have the opportunity to completely control what the user does. By starting with a goal in mind, you can regulate the outcome of your campaign and see ROI.


2. Type of Ad

Once the goal is established and written down (seriously—write it down!), you’ll easily be able to select which type of Ad you’ll use to drive your campaign’s results. Here are a few types of Ads and how you can best utilize them:

Lead Generation Ads. Why? Lead Generation Ads help to not only advertise a specific offer, but to also bring direct leads to your team, including the purchaser’s name, email, phone number, zip code and other custom information

Website Ads. Why? Website Ads on Facebook are a cost-effective way to send targeted traffic to a specific point on your website or landing page. The goal is to send potential customers to a form on these pages to capture their data and convert them to customers

Video Ads. Why? More video is watched on Facebook than any other type of content. Capitalize on the power of video by using videos as compelling content to draw customers in and frame your brand story. Remember to always start with a dead shark moment, too!

Page “Like” Ads. Why? Page “Like” Ads help to consistently encourage your target audience to “like” your page, effectively growing your messaging platform


3. Audience

The next thing you need to think about is your audience—who are you targeting with this campaign? When working with Facebook Ads, there are endless opportunities to narrow down your audience to a specific group of people that will take action and convert.

Start by looking at age and location, then narrow it down further by targeting people’s interests, behaviors, education level, household income and more. The more specific you can be, the higher the chance of conversion. Plus, only 45% of marketers are currently utilizing these features!

 

4. Budget

Once your audience is defined, it’s time to figure out exactly how much you’ll be spending. Go to your Ads Manager account and you’ll find a tool on the right-hand side to help evaluate how many people you’ll be able to reach with certain budget amounts. For example, you’ll reach more people in your target audience if you run a two-week campaign with a lifetime budget of $200, rather than running the same campaign with a daily budget of $5.


5. Analyze & Optimize

One of the best parts of Facebook Advertising is the ability to analyze and optimize your campaign. From looking at basic numbers like reach, frequency, impressions and clicks, you’ll also be able to evaluate more specific metrics like what percentage of your video was watched, what type of device people interacted with your Ad on and where they saw the Ad (Facebook newsfeed, Instagram or even Facebook’s Audience Network).

Take a look at the data as a whole, then split it up into manageable chunks, to really evaluate what parts of your campaign performed well and what didn’t. To take your analysis one step further, also look at the data in comparison to the Google Analytics tracking on your website. If 500 people clicked on your Ad, what did they do once they got to your website? Having this extra layer of data analysis will help to really evaluate your campaign’s success and ROI.

 

TAG’s Social Media Experts

If all this talk about advertising is still having you questioning whether a boosted post or a lead generation Ad is best for your goal, give TAG a call! Our team of social media experts know the ins-and-outs of Facebook Advertising, and can take your goal and create a meaningful Ad to drive ROI for your business.

 

Humanizing your Digital Strategy

Screen-Shot-2013-07-24-at-3.25.44-PMWe tend to trust our friends more than a business or a brand. So when your friend tells you something about a brand, you’re more likely to believe what they’re telling you rather than when a brand makes a claim. So how do you make your brand more trustworthy? How do we humanize our digital strategies?

Talk like a Person!
Shift your thinking and adjust your messaging to be more relationship focused rather than “salesy”.  Talking to your followers in a way that is not a sales pitch or corporate jargon is much more interesting to them, and they’re more likely to engage with you.

Usabilla reports that 79 percent of digital marketers will increase their content marketing budget in 2016, and 60 percent of marketers see the biggest challenge as producing engaging content. If you’re simply a mobile sales pitch, you’re going to annoy your followers and end up losing customers in the long run. Advertising a sale or a special offer gets some engagement at first, but too much sales talk will annoy your audience.

Interact with People
Respond to questions and comments from your followers. Better yet, ask them to engage with you by posing a question or asking for their input! According to Usabilla, 56 percent of customers are more likely to buy when given a personalized experience. And when someone responds to you, be sure you let them know that you’re reading their input by commenting on it, liking it or favoriting their response. This is a great way to start a real conversation that feels human-to-human rather than human-to-brand.

Show off your Team and Workspace
Your audience wants to be able to put a face to the words they read on your social platforms or your website. Take pictures or produce videos and webinars where your employees can show off their personalities. Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content according to Kissmetrics. Give your followers a glimpse into your working world and let them feel like they’re getting a behind-the-scenes tour. Doing this makes your followers feel closer to you, and will make them want to get to know your brand more.

Be Authentic and Transparent
Be mindful that all of your messaging should reflect your brand values to create authenticity. And if you make a mistake, whether it’s something little or something big, just come clean about it. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Humanize your brand by not covering these things up, but by owning your mistakes.

Your followers want to have a conversation with a person, not necessarily a business or a brand.  You can improve your digital strategy by making engagement with your followers feel like they’re talking with a friend, rather than a business. For more information on how to humanize your digital strategy, give the experts at TAG a call or visit us online!

Is Your Brand Right for Instagram?

Instagram is growing exponentially! With more than 400 million users, Instagram is a favorite social networking site among millennials. Is your business considering using Instagram? Before you get started, there are a few things you should consider.

The first thing you should think about is whether your brand is right for the audience that’s on Instagram.

  • The Instagram audience is pretty evenly split between men and women
  • 52 percent of users are between 18 and 29 years old
  • 24 percent of users have a college degree or higher
  • 53 percent make more than 50 thousand dollars annually

A great thing about Instagram is it’s truly one of the most personal networks, that allows your brand to share your story, background, history and vision in an engaging, visual way

Showcase customers using products or services
Showcase your products in new and interesting ways, and allow your followers to “window shop” through your Instagram account. For example, if you own a company that sells makeup, you can use photos and videos to showcase how your products are used by your customers. Plus, people LOVE to see themselves featured on social media platforms!

Go behind-the-scenes
Show your followers some great behind-the-scenes images that display your company culture. Snapping a photo of team members working or enjoying themselves is a great way to offer your followers an exclusive look into your working world.

Utilize hashtags
Don’t forget to take advantage of trending hashtags to give your message more exposure. Using hashtags that apply to your industry is a great way to play into what your brand is all about while engaging your target audience at the same time!

Content
Be sure you take the time to really think about your content strategy and plan what types of photos and videos you want to be using. There are a few tips and tricks you can use to increase engagement, including the following:

  • Posting a photo without a filter receives more engagement than a photo with a filter
  • Utilize the color blue to increase engagement—you’ll see about a 24 percent higher engagement rate in these photos

Don’t forget to share your Instagram content on other platforms, as well! Instagram makes it easy to share your content on other social networking sites by giving you the option to share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and more. And did you know that you can display your Facebook Ads on Instagram, too? This can help you get more bang for your buck out of your Instagram marketing!

 

Is your brand ready to take the plunge into Instagram? If you need help with your Instagram marketing, or any other social media strategy, be sure you give the experts at TAG a call, or visit us online!

 

Become a Targeting Master with Facebook Ads

Become a Targeting Master with Facebook Ads

Before we get into understanding how to reach your target market with Facebook Ads, it’s important to understand exactly what Facebook reach really is. Simply put, Facebook reach is the number of users who see your content on their social network. Better yet, it’s a measurement of your brand’s effective audience.

Facebook reach falls into three main categories; organic, paid and viral. Organic reach represents the number of users who see your content for free, meaning that you did not put any money behind promoting it. Viral reach is the number of users who see your content or page mentioned in a story published by a friend. And, paid reach is the number of users who see your paid content—such as a Facebook Ad or Boosted Post.

For this particular blog, we are going to focus on paid reach, and how to reach your given target markets utilizing the targeting parameters of Facebook Ads. One of the biggest advantages to advertising on Facebook is your ability to target specific groups of users. In fact, according to Facebook, Facebook advertising results in 89 percent targeting accuracy, as opposed to 38 percent accuracy with other online advertising campaigns. With a huge variety of targeting options to choose from, it can be difficult to understand which targeting parameters make the most sense for your business. But don’t worry, we’re here to help; we’ve put together a list of the top four Facebook Ad targeting strategies, so take a look!

1. Tap into Facebook users’ purchasing behaviors: Facebook allows you to target your Ad to users based on their current or past purchasing behaviors. Purchasing behavior categories include Buyer Profiles (Coupon Users, DIYers, Julie BrownFoodies, Gamers, etc.), Business Purchases, Clothing, Food and Drink, Health and Beauty, Home and Garden, Technology, Purchase Type and more. Targeting Facebook users via purchasing behavior gives advertisers the power to reach out beyond their own databases and tap into insights provided by shopper loyalty programs and other user profiles.

2. Use Geo-location Data to target mobile users: For many of its features, Facebook uses geo-location—and many of its users keep it on at all times. Using geo-location allows you to target mobile users within a specific radius of your physical business location, in relation to current user location. For example,if you are a restaurant, you can create a mobile targeted Ad that activates whenever users are within a certain radius of your business. They can then go to your page and follow you to receive special promotions or coupons to use—genius!

3. Get creative with targeting life events: Are you a jewelry store looking to sell engagement rings? What about a flooring store that’s looking to target new homeowners? Facebook allows you to target individuals based on specific life events—like getting engaged or purchasing a new home. You can even target users at specific intervals of time after a life event; the date ranges that are possible include three months, six months and one year.

4. Utilize your competition: SJ Smith FB AdYour competition is everywhere—especially on Facebook. The key to a solid Facebook Ad campaign is to utilize your competition, and hone in on their followers and brand recognition. A great way to do this is to target users that are following your competitor’s pages, users that frequently purchase from their company, or users that have a general interest in the products and services you both offer. This not only allows you to associate yourself with your competition, but it is also a great way to increase interest in your products and potentially gain new customers.

What’s great about Facebook Ads, is that you’re never limited to just one targeting strategy; you can combine strategies, or isolate your efforts on one specific strategy—it all depends on your business goals and budget.

 

The dedicated team of social media gurus at TAG is here to help you with all your Facebook advertising needs. Not only will we help you set appropriate goals and provide you with effective targeting strategies, but we will also help monitor your efforts to ensure you are reaching your goals as efficiently as possible. So, next time you’re thinking about marketing your business on Facebook, remember, TAG … we’re it!