Higgins Marketing Group https://higginsmarketinggroup.com Small Business Marketing Consulting | Higgins Marketing Group Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:59:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Which Social Media Channels Should I Use for My Small Business? https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/which-social-media-channels-should-i-use-for-my-small-business/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/which-social-media-channels-should-i-use-for-my-small-business/#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:59:54 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4635 The post Which Social Media Channels Should I Use for My Small Business? appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Which Social Media Channels Should I Use for My Small Business?

One of the most common questions we get from our clients is “which social media channels are best to help grow our business?” And it’s a great question to be asking. Blindly establishing and maintaining a presence across all “the popular” channels isn’t a good plan at all. Instead, focusing your efforts on only THE RIGHT channels for your business is the way to go.

Let’s take a look at how to make this happen.

Step 1: Define your business’ social media goals

Like with any marketing adventure, the first thing you need to ask yourself is “what are my goals?” You should have spent some time outlining a social media strategy complete with clearly defined objectives.

So what are you trying to get out of social media marketing? Are you hoping to raise brand awareness? Do you want to promote new products and services? Or are you looking for a way to interact more directly with customers?

You want to choose the platforms that are going to best deliver the results you’re aiming for. If you haven’t ironed out your social media goals, it’s time to go brainstorm!

Step 2: Find out which platforms your customers already use

The whole point of social media marketing is to connect with your customer base. You can’t do that if you’re just shouting into a void.

It would be foolish to assume that customers will start following you on a certain social platform simply because you created a profile there. If it isn’t already woven into their social media routine, it will be difficult for you to build up an audience. It makes way more sense to create profiles on platforms your customers are already using.

But how do you know which ones are their go-tos? One way would be to dig into demographic data. There are so many reports and guides that can break down social media usage by age, gender, income level, devices, you name it. Here are a few we like:

Or you could always survey some of your current customers and ask them which platforms they like/would prefer to interact with you on. It could be just that easy!

Step 3: Consider what kind of content you can create

This one is important. Content doesn’t just appear out of thin air –– you have to create it, and that takes time and resources to do right.

First, you need to be honest with yourself about what kind of content creation is in your wheelhouse. What can you feasibly do on your own or appoint someone on your staff to do? Don’t stretch yourself too far beyond your talents and resources.

Then, remember that different types of content will work better on some platforms than others. For example, blog posts are great on Facebook because customers can simply click the link and be taken straight to the post. Not the case on Instagram. If you want to share blog posts there, you’ll have to get a little creative.

Step 4: Bring it all together

OK, so you’ve got your goals, you know what social channels your customers like, and you have a good idea of what content you can create. Now it’s time to start signing up for social media accounts.

Our advice: Start with Facebook. Facebook has roughly 2 billion active users monthly and it works for a diverse range of content. It’s also pretty simple to create a business page, has great insights, and the ability to run ads to help you grow. Once you get comfortable there, pick another platform that lines up with your overall goals and audience and dive in.

Need a more hands-on approach to your marketing strategy? That’s where Higgins Marketing Group comes in. We’ve been in the marketing game for a long time –– we’ve learned a lot along the way and we want to share that knowledge with you. Contact us today for a strategy meeting and learn how you can jumpstart your business’ growth.

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Don’t forget to follow HMG on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ and make sure to share this post via the social media icons below!

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3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You! https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/3-design-trends-coming-to-a-website-near-you/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/3-design-trends-coming-to-a-website-near-you/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 17:00:37 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4584 The post 3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You! appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You!

In our opinion, one of the best things about web design is that it’s always changing. Sure, that introduces some challenges, but it also keeps things fresh and interesting.

It seems there are always new layouts, color schemes, widgets and typography combos to experiment with. And, or course, there are larger shakeups introduced by Google and others that demand you stay on your game.

As interesting as all this might be to us, to the typical business owner it means a lot of work trying to stay current and outpace their competition.

So what are you supposed to do?

Not all the latest web design trends are going to be worth your time. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to have a good website. But change can be good, refreshing even, when done for the right reasons. In our minds, there are two important RIGHT reasons:

  • to create an exceptional experience for your prospects
  • to convert a higher percentage of those prospects into leads or sales.

Here are three notable web design trends we’re seeing that you may want to consider implementing for your company’s website.

Minimalist Vibe

This one is really a continuation of an existing trend. Sometimes less really is more, and that’s certainly true when it comes to the modern website. Right now we’re seeing a big push for even MORE simple, MORE clean designs. Not only does a minimalist site lend an air of sophistication to your business, but it’s much easier for users to navigate and consume. A minimalist approach to web design puts your message front and center, and isn’t that the whole point of your website?

In case, you need a visual to solidify this concept, there’s no better example than the Kings of Minimalism… Apple

HMG - 3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You - minimal

But there is a risk here. Don’t let form take your eyes off function. Content is still important, especially if you want any chance of being found in the search engines. We often advise our clients to present their content in “layers,” allowing their prospect to consume the information at the layer that make most sense for them:

Layer 1: Headlines and concise benefit-focused descriptions

Layer 2: Expandable or link-accessed supporting information (the cliff notes)

Layer 3: Downloadable or reference page resources (the more detailed stuff)

Bold Color Use

With flat, minimalist designs ruling the day, business owners have opted for bright pops of color to create visual interest on their sites. The use of bold colors can really shape the look & feel for your brand, setting the tone for what customers should expect. Plus, they’re great at drawing customers in. Calls to action, important messaging, you name it –– it’s more impactful and more memorable when it’s said in color.

Pro Tip: The power of color often lies in its “contrast effect” – its ability to draw attention from one area on the page to another. As such, it’s important you don’t inadvertently create competition for that attention by overusing bold colors – here are a couple examples, we’ll let you decide which website best leverages the contrast effect, and which doesn’t…

HMG - 3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You - color 2

HMG - 3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You - color1

Micro-Interactions

Here’s a design element that’s certainly on the rise. Chances are you’ve had a micro-interaction while using an app or while navigating a favorite website and you didn’t even realize it. A micro-interaction is just a fancy name for an interactive single-task event. Their purpose? To entertain and delight the user.

You can find some good examples of micro-interactions here. These may seem like a small element in the overall design (they are “micro” interactions after all), but more and more, they are playing a growing role in giving customers instant feedback, making their experience more engaging and interactive. Here’s a quick example:

HMG - 3 Design Trends Coming to a Website Near You - input-filed-micro-interaction

Like anything, micro-interactions can be overdone. So be careful to use them only when they truly add value to your website visitor.

These are just a few things to keep your eye on as your consider your next website redesign. It’s truly becoming a mobile-centric world and the latest design trends certainly reflect this. As always, if you need assistance with website design, SEO, PPC  or other areas of your marketing strategy, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

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Don’t forget to follow HMG on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ and make sure to share this post via the social media icons below!

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Top Pay-per-Click Mistakes You May Be Making https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/top-pay-per-click-mistakes-you-may-be-making/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/top-pay-per-click-mistakes-you-may-be-making/#respond Wed, 08 Aug 2018 17:00:51 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4568 The post Top Pay-per-Click Mistakes You May Be Making appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Top Pay-per-Click Mistakes You May Be Making

There is a lot that goes into creating a PPC campaign.

There’s the keyword research, which is no small undertaking. Then you have to organize those keywords into ad groups and develop landing pages to go along with the campaigns. And it doesn’t stop there! You have to go back in and optimize your ads to make sure they’re actually getting you conversions.

It’s no wonder that so many business owners make mistakes when diving into PPC.

If you’ve been managing your paid ads strategy all on your own, chances are you’ve fumbled a few things. Here are the top PPC mistakes we see when working with our clients and how you can fix them.

Not using negative keywords

There’s something about the word negative that throws people off. All a negative keyword is is a term you don’t want to show up for.

But wait, don’t you want to throw a wide net? You know, to get more customers? Not necessarily.

Remember what PPC stands for – Pay Per Click. There is no point in showing up in searches that aren’t relevant to your business and your goals. Including negative keywords in your set-up makes sure that your ads are only being served when/where it makes sense.

Getting into a bid war trying to be #1

Being at the top of the list isn’t everything. There’s a huge misconception that the business in the #1 spot is getting the most conversions, but that simply isn’t true.

All of the players in the top pack typically get a good amount of clicks. And who doesn’t love an uptick in web traffic? When it comes to conversions, though, research has shown that the 3rd and 4th ad positions tend to perform the best.

As alluring as being #1 can be, getting into a bid war trying to increase your ad position to the top spot is going to burn through your budget and won’t guarantee better results. So don’t waste your money!

Saying “pass” to split-testing

This might be the worst mistake on the list. Split testing is a vital part of the paid-advertising process.

Basically, split testing just refers to making small, but specific, changes to your ad to determine what does/doesn’t work to convert customers. You’ll run two variations of the same ad and compare results to see which one is performing better, and then go with that one for long-term use.

A lot of business owners just don’t see the point in this. We’re here to tell you that the point is to make sure you’re running an ad that is optimized to meet your business’ goals, which is kind of important, don’t you think?

Forgetting to set up a landing page

Landing pages can really come in handy when it comes to paid ads.

First, they seriously improve your conversion rate. Did you know the average conversion rate for an ad is only about 2.7 percent? The average rate for a landing page, on the other hand, is somewhere between 5 and 15 percent. Having your ad send leads to an optimized landing page instead of your website is a great way to boost your chances of converting them.

Second, they can help keep your costs lower! The nice thing about setting up a landing page, is that you can match the content on the page to the ad you’re running. Why is that important? Well, better message matching = a better AdWords Quality Score and a better Facebook Relevance Score, if you’re running the ads on Facebook. That should keep your cost-per-click a little lower.

So take a minute and run through your running campaigns and your PPC strategy. See if any of these blunders are popping up and fix them if they do! The sooner you get on top of these issues the better.

Want to up your PPC game? We can help. The team at Higgins Marketing Group is skilled at managing AdWords accounts as well as building intelligent Facebook ad campaigns. Contact us today to get started on your PPC strategy.

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Don’t forget to follow HMG on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ and make sure to share this post via the social media icons below!

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Why a Content Marketing Strategy is a Must-Have for any Small Business https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/why-a-content-marketing-strategy-is-a-must-have-for-any-small-business/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/why-a-content-marketing-strategy-is-a-must-have-for-any-small-business/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 17:00:42 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4545 The post Why a Content Marketing Strategy is a Must-Have for any Small Business appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Why a Content Marketing Strategy is a Must-Have for any Small Business

There once was a time when content marketing was something you did to set yourself apart from everyone else. Because nothing said “look how cool/different/trendy our business is!” like a blog. You were considered revolutionary, ahead of the curve for taking the time to write fun and helpful posts for your customers.

But that was then. And this is now.

Content is still king, and these days content marketing is more of a necessity than a luxury for business owners who want to stay competitive. Here’s why.

Content boosts your SEO efforts

SEO is an ever changing game. You’ve really got to stay on your toes to do it and do it well. The one thing that stays constant, though, is the need for quality content.

The whole point of Search Engine Optimization is to get your business in front of the right people at the right time, and it’s all about keywords. Content is the best way to create more keyword opportunities.

There’s only so much you can do with the static pages of your website –– your product descriptions, about page, the alt-text for your images, etc. With articles, blog posts and other guides, the possibilities are endless. You can get tons of keywords onto your site this way and that’s only going to help more people searching for businesses like yours find their way to you.

Content builds links

You know what else helps your SEO efforts? Backlinks. Know what a great way to get them is? You guessed it! Content marketing.

We’ve mentioned before how Google’s algorithms are starting to place more weight on backlinks rather than keywords. No one is going to send their hard-earned traffic your way unless you’re legit. By creating content that is both interesting and helpful, you’ll increase your chances of having influencers share and link back to your content.

Content generates new leads 

When it comes to generating leads, most business owners turn to Search Engine Marketing and Paid Advertising. There’s nothing wrong with that! Both have proven to be effective at drumming up new business and both should play some role in your marketing mix.

However, if you want to maximize your search results, investing some time and energy into producing ongoing, high-quality content is a wise choice. Yes, IT DOES take time to develop all that content and, yes, IT WILL take some time before you’ll see the results. But even if you can spend just 1-2 hours each week on content marketing, the payoff can be significant.

Content supports all of your other digital marketing strategies

The best thing about content marketing is that it is so versatile.

Looking for something to share on social media? Need something for your next email newsletter? Want to spice up the landing page for your upcoming ad campaign? Your latest content –– whether it’s a blog post, video, e-book or anything in between –– will do the job.

Investing in content marketing ensures you have a gold mine of resources to use whenever and however you need. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

So do yourself a favor, and set aside just 1-2 hours this week to develop some new content for your business. If you’ve got a case of writer’s block or are just feeling otherwise uninspired, don’t worry. As always, we have you covered. Just head over to this post: Need Some Inspiration for Your Content Marketing? Try these Six Sources! or just give us a call.

 

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Don’t forget to follow HMG on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ and make sure to share this post via the social media icons below!

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5 Great Tools to Help You Monitor Your Online Reputation https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/5-great-tools-to-help-you-monitor-your-online-reputation/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/5-great-tools-to-help-you-monitor-your-online-reputation/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 17:00:27 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4532 The post 5 Great Tools to Help You Monitor Your Online Reputation appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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5 Great Tools to Help You Monitor Your Online Reputation

Do you know what people have been saying about you and your business online?

As a small business owner, you know that reputation is everything. Reviews are one of the first things a potential customer will look at when deciding whether they want to do business with you. Positive reviews will help foster trust and generate new business, which is what you want! But of course, there’s the flip side – a pattern of negative reviews will end up driving people away.

This is why staying on top of your online reputation is essential. But who has time to create and manage profiles across the MANY review sites out there? It can feel a bit overwhelming.

Don’t sweat it, though! Here are some great tools to help you monitor your business’ online reputation.

Google Alerts

When in doubt, turn to Google. With Google Alerts, all you have to do is type in your business’ name and wait for the alerts to come in. Google will scour the web for any mentions of your business and send the results right to your inbox. If you want to be super thorough, you can create additional alerts for all your brand keywords and product names.

Cost: Free

Social Mention

Consumers love to share their sentiments on social media. Whether they love your business or hate it, this is where they’ll go to spread the word. Social Mention is a search engine that monitors 80+ social media sites –– Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. –– to help you track who is talking about your business and what they’re saying. The results gauge:

  • Strength: How likely it is that your business will be talked about on social media
  • Sentiment: The ratio of positive to negative mentions
  • Passion: How likely it is that the people talking about your business will continue to talk about it
  • Reach: The total number of unique consumers who mention your business

Cost: Free

ReviewTrackers

It can be cumbersome to log-in and check on your latest reviews when you’re getting feedback on 10+ platforms. Luckily, there is ReviewTrackers, which brings all of your business’ reviews into one dashboard. It will even send you email reports to keep you up to speed and has great reporting features to help you track any patterns in customers’ feedback.

Cost: $49/month

Complaint Search Box

Just because you don’t see a complaint, doesn’t mean it’s not there. This nifty web tool will help you find them. The Complaint Search Box can search more than 40 complaint websites all at once. It’s quick, easy and, best of all, free. If someone has had a negative experience with your business and aired it out online, there’s a good chance Complaint Search Box will find it.

Cost: Free

Review Push

Review Push is a great all-in-one tool. First, it monitors the most popular review sites, such as Facebook, Google, Foursquare, etc. Anytime your business gets a new review on one of these sites, Review Push will notify you by email. It also allows you to respond to the review, which is pretty handy. And to top it all off, Review Push can help you generate new reviews by sending requests out to your customers. It’s a win-win-win!

Cost: $10/month

For more tips on reputation management, check out some of our other blog posts:

Hope these resources help! If you have any favorites we haven’t mentioned here, make sure and let us know.

 

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6 Simple Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/6-simple-ways-to-increase-engagement-on-facebook/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/6-simple-ways-to-increase-engagement-on-facebook/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 17:00:00 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4498 The post 6 Simple Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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6 Simple Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook

As business owners, we want to believe that as long as we’re scheduling posts on our Facebook page, the engagement will surely follow. Why else do people follow our pages if not to like our posts?

Well, unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

First of all, what does Facebook engagement even mean? Facebook engagement encompasses a lot of things. There’s the obvious — liking, commenting or sharing a post. But it also includes clicking a link, watching a video, etc. Basically it’s any action a person takes on your page.

So how do you get people to do that? We won’t drone on about creating killer content and posting consistently. No question, that’s important, but you already know all of that. So what else can you do to increase engagement on your page?

Here are some ideas that maybe you haven’t tried yet.

Ask a question

One of the easiest ways to get people talking (i.e. engaging with your post) is to ask them a question. The nice thing about this method is that it requires little resources and the possibilities are pretty much endless. Here’s an example — if you’re a real estate agent, you can ask your followers what their #1 must-have in a new house is and why. Keep these posts simple and light hearted to get the best response.

Post at the right time

It absolutely matters what time of day you schedule posts. You’ll find plenty of articles online that say they’ve figured out the optimal time to schedule posts on every platform. These are great guidelines to follow, but take them with a grain of salt. The best way to find out when you should share your posts is to look at your analytics. Just go to Facebook Insights and click Posts to see the days/times your followers tend to be online and schedule your posts accordingly.

Include compelling visuals

We can’t say enough how important visuals are when it comes to social media marketing. And they have a big impact on your engagement numbers. Social media posts that include an image get a whopping 650 percent higher engagement than those without. Investing time into finding or creating high-quality images for your posts is a must. You can find free stock photos on sites like Unsplash and Pexels, and Canva is a nice basic tool for designing graphics.

Host a contest

Who doesn’t love winning free stuff? The answer is no one. Hosting a contest is a great way to reward your loyal fans and create buzz around your brand to bring in new ones! Again, there are a lot of possibilities with contests. The most important things to remember here are 1. Don’t go overboard. Host them once a quarter at the most to keep yourself in the green. And 2. Make sure the prize is relevant to your business and your followers. Pro tip: Include in the contest rules that followers have to tag a friend in the comments to increase engagement and your reach.

Reply to comments

Now that you’re putting all this effort into boosting your engagement, chances are more comments will be coming in. Please, please, please don’t let them just sit there with no response. Remember, you started the conversation, so don’t just get something going and walk away. Replying to comments makes your followers feel heard and appreciated, which will foster brand loyalty and encourage more engagement in the future.

Show off your personality

People come to your Facebook page to get to know you and your business better. So show them who you are! Are you a little sarcastic? Incorporate a post every now and then with some dry humor. Is your brand bubbly and motivational? Make sure the tone of your posts matches that. The more you show off your personality, the more authentic your posts are going to feel, and that’s what resonates with people.

Looking for more tips on how to get the most out of your Facebook page? Check out some of our other blog posts on using Facebook for business:

Keep Marketing!

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5 Web Pages that Every Small Business Website Needs https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/5-web-pages-that-every-small-business-website-needs/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/5-web-pages-that-every-small-business-website-needs/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 17:00:45 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4493 The post 5 Web Pages that Every Small Business Website Needs appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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5 Web Pages that Every Small Business Website Needs

When it comes to web development, one of the biggest things we see small business owners get stuck with is CONTENT.

  • What should be on my home page?
  • Do I really need a blog?
  • What about testimonials, where should they go?
  • How do I even start writing all this stuff?

These are just a few of many questions we tend to get, and you absolutely need the answer to all of them if you want to create a website that converts casual visitors into sales leads. The best place to start is simply figuring out what type of pages your website needs. While this varies a little between businesses, generally speaking there are five web pages that every small business websites must have.

Let’s start with the most important one.

Home

Without a doubt, your homepage is going to be the most visited page on your website. More often than not it’s also the first page a potential prospect visits.

Think of it as the doorway to your business. Your home page should provide a brief overview of who you are, the product or service you provide, and most importantly, how that product or service can benefit your prospects. You want to be engaging, but keep it simple. Nothing turns people off quicker than an overcrowded home page. In today’s “mobile-first” world, visitors do more scanning than reading!

About

After digesting the home page, prospects will likely want to know a little more about you and the history of your business. This is where the About Me/Us page comes in.

Step out of that “big picture” mentality you took for the home page and really get down to the nitty gritty. Really tell your story. How did you get your start? What is the passion that drives your business? What makes you different from all the other businesses that do what you do?

Ever heard this quote by Theodore Roosevelt? “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” You’re story matters, and your About page plays a key role in helping people relate to you and/or your company on a personal level.

Contact

Sometimes visitors have questions. Other times they’re just really excited to do business with you and they’re ready to get started. Either way, they’ll need your contact information to get what they want.

Make sure your contact page includes all of the following information: mailing address, phone number, fax number (if applicable), email address and links to social media profiles. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, it’s a good idea to put your hours of operation here too.

We highly recommend including some type of contact form as well. That way, visitors can send you a direct message if they have a particular question/concern. (I know, sounds basic… but you’d be surprised of the websites we see that don’t include a form, or where you really need to dig to find contact info!)

Products/Services

What do you do? It’s everyone’s favorite question to ask! And the place to answer it is on your products or services page.

Start the page with a summary of whatever your product or service is, and then break down each one in more detail. Bulleted lists are great for these. If you have a ton of products/services, you might want to organize them into categories. That way you can create separate landing pages for each one that gives more information on those specific services of products. It’s a handy trick to keep any web page from getting obnoxiously long.

Also, as mentioned for the Homepage, it’s important that you share information about your products and services in the context of how they help your customers. In other words, this page should not be a “product feature dump.” Instead, it should be a nice balance between features and benefits.

Testimonials

You know how important reviews are for your business. Displaying some of your best customer feedback on your website just makes sense. It will do wonders to convert new visitors!

There are review websites and widgets out there that will automatically populate your testimonial page. We’d recommend checking that out because it will keep your testimonial page updated with new reviews, which looks great to a potential customer. If you want to stick with something basic, simply copy and paste some reviews from Google/Yelp/etc. onto the page and give it some nice formatting.

If you need help developing or updating your website, we’d love to help! At Higgins Marketing Group, we bring together great design and marketing savvy to create beautiful websites that convert. Contact us today to get started on your new website!

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Don’t forget to follow HMG on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ and make sure to share this post via the social media icons below!

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Grow Your Website Traffic with These 5 Solid Content Promotion Tools https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/grow-your-website-traffic-with-these-5-solid-content-promotion-tools/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/grow-your-website-traffic-with-these-5-solid-content-promotion-tools/#respond Wed, 09 May 2018 17:00:25 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4468 The post Grow Your Website Traffic with These 5 Solid Content Promotion Tools appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Grow Your Website Traffic with These 5 Solid Content Promotion Tools

Question: How much time do you spend promoting all that great blog content you’ve been writing? If the answer isn’t “as much time as I spend writing it,” then you’ve got a great opportunity to better leverage your content!

With the proper strategies in place, content marketing can be very beneficial for small business marketers. It gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in whatever industry you’re in, to engage with customers — both old and new — and it gives your website a nice SEO boost. It’s a win-win-win!

But here’s the thing… no one is going to magically discover your content. If you want to make content marketing work for your business, you’re going to have to start aggressively promoting your work.

Now, we’re all about working smarter, not harder. So we’ve rounded up some of the best content promotion tools out there for you to check out. These tools will help get your blog posts, videos, infographics and the like out in the world so that potential consumers can 1) Find your content and 2) Click that content and be taken to your website to find out how amazing your company is!

Social Warfare

One of the best ways to get your content out there is to get people sharing it on social media. But you’ve got to make it easy for them. Social Warfare is a WordPress plugin that creates social sharing buttons for your website. That means all a visitor would have to do is click a button and boom! A box pops up with the link and photo all ready for them to post.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a handy tool that can help you discover the top influencers in your industry — a.k.a. the people who are sharing similar content and have built a significant audience. Put these people on your outreach list. Chances are they would be interested in reading and/or potentially sharing your content on their social channels. That can significantly boost your reach and help drive more people to your website.

Facebook Ads

Don’t forget about good old Facebook Ads. They can do so much for your small business you’ll be missing out if you don’t at least give them a try! Find the content you think would most resonate with potential customers and brainstorm potential ads around this content/concept. With more than 2.2 billion users logging into the site each month, you’ve got a great chance of capturing some new leads. Plus, the ability to get super detailed with the targeting of your ads means you can get your message in front of the RIGHT people.

Outbrain

This one is pretty cool. Outbrain is a content syndication tool, meaning it pushes your content out to a bunch of other publishers/websites. It uses all kinds of demographics and behavioral information about web users to create content recommendations for them, which then display on whatever website that user is on. And your content could be on their list! Outbrain’s reach is pretty significant, too. In 2017, they reached an estimated 557 million people each month. Talk about getting more eyes on your stuff!

Hootsuite

There are plenty of tools out there that allow you to manage all your social accounts from one place, and Hootsuite is a pretty solid one. You can easily share content to all your favorite social networks — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Plus, it monitors brand mentions and provides insightful analytics to help you measure your success. The more you get your content out on social, the more chances you have to get consumers clicking through to your website.

So what are you waiting for? Fire up these tools, start promoting that content and watch as your web traffic grows!

For more marketing tips to help grow your small business, be sure to subscribe to the Higgins Marketing Group blog. Or contact us today to set up a consultation and get started on your personalized marketing strategy.

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Marketing Emails Not Getting Opened? Try These 4 Tips! https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/marketing-emails-not-getting-opened-try-these-4-tips/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/marketing-emails-not-getting-opened-try-these-4-tips/#respond Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:24 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4461 The post Marketing Emails Not Getting Opened? Try These 4 Tips! appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Marketing Emails Not Getting Opened? Try These 4 Tips!

So you spend all this time writing and designing what you think are creative and informative email campaigns … but no one is opening them. What gives?

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for small business owners like you to reach both current and prospective customers. But if you can’t get people to open your emails, you’re not going to make much of an impact.

Here are some of the most common issues that drive down email open rates.

Your emails aren’t optimized for mobile

Have you noticed that our smartphones are being used more and more for their smart side rather than their phone side? Email plays a huge role in smartphone usage. The latest numbers predict that by the end of this year, roughly 8 out of 10 email users will be checking email exclusively from their smartphones. Unless you optimize for mobile, your email could wind up looking wonky. And when that happens, 70% of people will just toss it right into the trash. Don’t let your emails end up in the trash — optimize those emails for mobile.

Your subject lines aren’t great

Fact: 47% of email recipients will open an email based solely on the subject line. Subject lines are, essentially, headlines for your emails. So they’ve got to be good. Your subject line should do two things. First, it needs to give the user a sneak peak of what they’ll find inside if they open it. And second, it has to make it sound like it’s worth opening. So how do you do that? Well, it just so happens we wrote up an entire blog post about that here: How to Write Email Subject Lines That Will Actually Get Clicked.

Your segmentation is poor

Sending every email to every customer in your list just doesn’t email marketing make. It’s just lazy. Consumers want content that is customized to them. If you keep sending emails that aren’t interesting or relevant to them, not only will your customers not open them, but they’ll probably unsubscribe. That’s the last thing you want! Really take the time to sift through your email list and segment your audience. You can group them by their demographics, purchase history, interests, online behavior, etc. Just watch. The more targeted you get when choosing who gets which email campaigns, the better your open rate will be.

Your emails are landing in the spam folder

This is pretty much your worst-case scenario. Our inboxes are smarter than ever, and they’re all about cracking down on spam. Usually if a user ignores multiple emails from you over time, their inbox will assume they don’t want to hear from you. So to the spam folder you go! You also have to be careful with how you’re managing your list — no buying email addresses! — or you could get blacklisted. That’s a one-way ticket to spam, by the way. Your best chance to avoid getting flagged is to create great content, send responsibly and obey the rules.

Looking for more digital marketing tips to help grow your business? Our blog is full of them. Here are some of our top posts to get you started:

 

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Four Tips to BOOST Your Facebook Following https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/four-tips-to-boost-your-facebook-following/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/four-tips-to-boost-your-facebook-following/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 17:00:17 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4457 The post Four Tips to BOOST Your Facebook Following appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Four Tips to BOOST Your Facebook Following

It’s true what they say, you know. Follower count really is just a vanity metric — it’s engagement that matters most. But on the other hand, we don’t know many business owners that wouldn’t appreciate a few more Likes on their Facebook page. And while it might be considered “vain,” we think followers still count for something. There is value there!

To many consumers, the number of Likes your Facebook page says a lot about your business. After all, a business with 5,000 Likes has to be better than one with a mere 500, right? Surely they have a superior product or else they wouldn’t have so many fans! We know that’s not true, but it’s not hard to see how and why consumers can jump to those conclusions.

More followers also means better reach. The more page Likes you have, the more eyeballs you can expect on your content. That’s just a fact, algorithm updates aside.

There are 2.2 billion users actively using Facebook each month. Is there something you could do to capture their attention? Absolutely. Here’s are some ideas for you to try.

Add Links to Your Website and Email Signature

Getting more followers starts with driving traffic to your page, and there’s no easier way to do that than to add an icon/link to your website.

If consumers like what they see on your site, they’ll likely want to stay up to date with you. Having the Facebook icon on your website will let them know that’s the best way to do that — and to Facebook they will go!

We also suggest adding it to your email signature. Think about how many emails you send every day to prospective and current customers. Those Likes can add up.

Create Awesome Content, Post Consistently

Let’s say a consumer lands on your Facebook page right now. What’s going to make them hit that Like button rather than just scrolling through a few posts and moving on? Quality. Content.

Your posts should be engaging, visually striking and relevant if you have any hopes of hooking consumers. Make sure you’ve take tne the time to develop a strong content and visual marketing strategy, and then execute the heck out of it.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s not enough to just post every now and then. People follow you because they want to hear from you… and large gaps in your publishing schedule immediately communicates to a consumer that they won’t. So they probably won’t bother to hit Like.

There are plenty of online tools out there to help you create and schedule posts ahead of time to keep your followers happy. Use them.

Run a Facebook Like Campaign

Yep. You can run Facebook ads just to get people to like your page! This is pretty straightforward — just log in to your business manager account and go from there.

We do have some tips for you, though, to help you get the most out of your Like campaign. First, optimize your ad for mobile. Most of your impressions will likely be coming from mobile devices, so you’ll want to make sure the ad looks good even on a tiny screen.

Second, be specific when choosing who to target for the campaign. You don’t just want any Likes, you want quality Likes. Use what you know about your customers and any buyer personas you’ve developed to select the right audience for the ad.

Lastly, consider adding an incentive. Giving people a reason to like your page is going to make them much more likely to do it. Maybe it’s staying up to date on the latest trends in the X industry, or getting the best tips and tricks about Y. Either way, let them know what they’ll get out of liking your page.

Invite Users to Like Your Page

Want more Facebook followers? Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

There are a few ways you can do this. One is by using the “suggest to friends” feature. Click it and start sending invites to everyone you know! (OK maybe not everyone, but people in your life who support you and/or would benefit from the content your produce)

Here’s another great way to invite people to your page, and it’s a little sneaky. Go to a recent post on your page and click the names of people who liked it. A box will pop up that says something like “Invite to like [your page].” Anyone who doesn’t already follow you, click the invite button next to their name. Chances are if they’ve liked your content in the past, they’ll go ahead and follow your page too.

These strategies should help you gain some traction and boost your follower count, but remember — page Likes aren’t the be all end all. There’s much more to digital marketing success than the number of people who Like your Facebook page. Need help getting your strategy in line? Contact Higgins Marketing Group today to set up a consultation and get started on your small business marketing plan.

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