Higgins Marketing Group https://higginsmarketinggroup.com Small Business Marketing Consulting | Higgins Marketing Group Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:20:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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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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Do I Really Need SSL Security on My Website, and Why? https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/do-i-really-need-ssl-security-on-my-website-and-why/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/do-i-really-need-ssl-security-on-my-website-and-why/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 17:00:28 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4441 The post Do I Really Need SSL Security on My Website, and Why? appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Do I Really Need SSL Security on My Website, and Why?

Over the last few months we’ve been getting a lot of questions about SSL – what it is and whether it’s needed for a small business website. So… we thought we’d write a quick post to ensure all our clients and followers are in the loop!

What Is SSL?

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and it’s a security protocol, which establishes an encrypted connection between the server hosting a website and the browser of a user who’s visiting this website.

An SSL connection always builds on an underlying SSL certificate that requires you as a webmaster to provide details about your business and website to set it up.

No doubt, you’ve all visited and used SSL secured websites before, which you can easily identify by checking for the presence of a green lock icon in your browser’s address bar (after you’ve accessed a particular site) and a https instead of the standard http protocol – and yes you’ve guessed correctly, the s in https stands for “secure”.

This is what the lock icon looks like in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox:

Pic 1 - Blog SSL Security

Pic 2 - Blog SSL Security

The Benefits of SSL + One Drawback

Now I know that adding an SSL certificate to your website may seem like just another task on your already super long to-do list, so you might be asking yourself right now: Do I really need SSL security on my website in the first place, and if so, why?

To answer this question, let’s take a look at the benefits and the one drawback that come with an encrypted website.

Benefits

Encrypted Information (Security)

News Flash: Fraudsters and cyber criminals are everywhere. These people are ready to exploit any opportunity to gain access to confidential information – whether it’s personal information, credit card info, or proprietary website code. Without encryption, you’re making it much easier for these hackers to not only intercept your data, but they can also change the data itself.

One practical and effective ways for a small business website to help prevent issues is by using SSL encryption.

Authenticity Equals Trust

In 2015, a study conducted by Bizrate Insights showed two-thirds of buyers didn’t trust in online retailers and their ability to protect credit card and personal information. And given more recent data breaches, you can bet this sentiment is still alive and well in 2018.

While it’s not a magic bullet to prevent all issues, switching to SSL is one of the easiest ways to build trust with your prospective customers or clients – whether you are actually conducting online ecommerce transactions, or not.

Higher Search Engine Rankings

Google wants to make the web more secure. This is why a couple of years ago the search engine giant announced that it will be “starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal“, albeit a weak one.

→ Check out this case study for a real-life example on how proper SSL migration can lead to better rankings.

One Drawback: Cost

There is really only one drawback that comes with setting up SSL – and that is cost. But don’t fear, we’re not talking big bucks.

For most small business websites, you can expect to pay between $100 and $350 per year depending on the type of certificate and the number of website/subdomains you are needing to protect.

A Few Words of Caution…

The install of an SSL certificate is not always as turn-key as SSL certificate providers claim. And if you fail to install an SSL certificate correctly, or make one or more mistakes migrating your site, it can create some unwanted problems.

Increased Page Load Times

One common issue is an increase in page load speeds – NOT a good thing for users or your search rankings. As part of the install process, make sure you are using tools like GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights to monitor load times. Be proactive about performing the recommended site optimizations to ensure your users do not experience issues.

Error Messages

There are a number of error messages that could show up in the browser of your site visitors. One of them appears when content, such as an image or iframe, is served from an insecure source. In this case the green lock icon won’t be displayed. Of course, this is something you want to avoid, because instead of adding trust, it will more likely harm your business.

The solution to this problem is usually pretty straightforward, but it will take a bit of research or specialized knowledge on your end.

Hope that helps!

If you’d like to add SSL to your site, but you have no idea how to pull it off, we’re here for you. Just let us know.

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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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Is Your Website Really Projecting Your Brand? https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/is-your-website-really-projecting-your-brand/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/is-your-website-really-projecting-your-brand/#respond Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:00:14 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4424 The post Is Your Website Really Projecting Your Brand? appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Is Your Website Really Projecting Your Brand?

A visually attractive website will definitely score you points with prospects, but having all the design bells and whistles isn’t enough to make your site successful. You need a website that not only looks great but elevates and reinforces your business’ brand identity.

Your website is likely the first touch-point prospects have with your business. It must be in sync with your brand if you want to make a lasting impression. To get started, here are a few simple ways to start incorporating your brand identity into your web design.

Prominence of your logo

It goes without saying — your logo needs to be on your website. While it doesn’t need to be “in your face,” it should appear in a prominent position and be easy to read/identify. Standard practice these days is to place it near the upper left portion of the page, but it also looks nice right above the navigation bar or centered with navigation links on either side. The location is flexible; what more important is size and readability. Make sure that your logo can be easily identified and read. It should be the second or third thing someone notices when visiting your website.

And last – QUALITY! Nothing looks worse than a low resolution, blurry logo. This is all about first impressions, so make sure your logo is crisp and clean. If you can’t get your hands on a high resolution version, it’s worth the money to pay a graphic designer to recreate your logo and provide you with a high-quality version – make sure you ask your designer for the source files from Illustrator (.ai, .eps), Photoshop (.psd) or similar program.

Pro Tip: Link the logo to the home page. That way users can navigate back from any page on the site with ease.

Incorporate your brand colors

Remember all that time you spent choosing just the right colors to represent your business? Well, the colors on your website should match or at least complement them. And when we say “incorporate” your brand colors, we mean “use subtle hints of color to strategically reinforce brand identity.” You don’t need your website to scream “BLUE!” simply because that color features heavily in your logo.

Pro Tip: The navigation bar, heading text, link hovers and calls-to-action are perfect places to use your brand colors. They give just the right pop of color to your page without overwhelming the user.

Choose the right font pairings

Typography is crucial to a website’s success, and it all starts with which fonts you choose. This isn’t your college term paper, Times New Roman is not required … unless of course you think that font most accurately represents your brand, then by all means use Times New Roman. What I’m saying is, be creative. Every font has its own personality, and your website should use the one(s) that match the personality of your brand. Usually you’ll pick two fonts — one for headings and another for body copy. If you feel strongly about just using a single font, create contrast for your headings by styling them in a different weight (e.g. bold) or typing them in all caps.

Pro Tip: Not sure if the fonts you like really go together? Fontpair.co is a great resource. It provides suggestions for how to pair Google Fonts and can give you a good idea of what makes a great font pair.

Fill it with killer content

Brand voice is a major selling point for your business. The way you talk about your business and engage with customers says a lot about who you are and what kind of experience someone should expect when working with you. Creating amazing content for your site, from your about page to hero images and blog posts, will let your brand voice shine and reinforce the image you’ve built for your business.

Pro Tip: One of the easiest ways to show off your personality and establish trust with consumers is to start a blog. And it works double time for you by giving you a nice SEO boost.

Be consistent

At the end of the day, what really matters in branding is that you’re consistent. The whole point of branding is to make your business memorable, and no one is going to remember you if you keep changing things (or rarely see you). Each element of your website should come together to present a uniform image. If it doesn’t, then it’s back to the drawing board for you.

Need help marrying your brand and your website? The marketing pros at Higgins Marketing Group have a great eye for design and will work with you to build a site that truly supports your goals. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get started on your beautifully branded 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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3 Quick Tips for Using Social Media as a Customer Service Tool https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/3-quick-tips-using-social-media-customer-service-tool/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/3-quick-tips-using-social-media-customer-service-tool/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 18:00:16 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4411 The post 3 Quick Tips for Using Social Media as a Customer Service Tool appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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3 Quick Tips for Using Social Media as a Customer Service Tool

Back in the day when you had a problem with a product or service, what you would do? You’d pick up the phone, call the business and ask to speak with a manager. If you were a little more technologically savvy, maybe you would go to the business’ website and fill out a form asking for help. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, too many people have had bad experiences with phone and email support. Nobody likes long waiting times and having to be transferred too many times to count just to get a little help. And impersonal responses via email that come days after your inquiry? No thanks.

Fed up with traditional customer service channels, modern consumers turned to what they knew best — social media. In a survey of more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users, Sprout Social found that 90 percent of respondents had used social media to contact a business directly. That’s huge! Those consumers also voted social media as the first place they would go if they had a problem with a business’ product or service.

As social media continues to evolve as a customer service tool, business’ will need to adapt their strategy to incorporate social customer care practices. Here are our top three tips on how small business owners can provide excellent customer service on social (and by extension – reinforce their brand in the marketplace)

Start monitoring brand mentions and direct messages

Consumers are talking to and about you on social media, so you had better be listening. Make catching up on direct messages and @ mentions the first thing you do on social media each day, then check in periodically throughout the day to stay on top of any new ones coming in.

It might also be a good idea to invest in a brand monitoring service so that you get notified anytime someone mentions your business’ name or branded keywords you specify. That way, even if someone doesn’t tag your business in their post, you still know when your name is popping up in conversations and can respond accordingly.

Try to reply in 60 minutes or less

People are impatient when they have a problem — if something is wrong, they want to know how to fix it and fast. Plus, social media communication was designed to occur in real time, so your responses can’t come days later if a customer has a question or concern. A recent study found that just under half of consumers expected a response within 60 minutes when making a complaint on social media. Some 32% of them went even further, saying they wanted a response in under 30 minutes.

We know you have a business to run and you can’t spend all day sifting through social media messages, but time matters here. Do your best to stay in that 1-hour range if you can, and at the very least get back to them by the end of the day.

Check your tone and be authentic

When it comes to customer service, there are few things that matter more than your tone of voice. The tone you use can mean the difference between reassuring a customer that you have their back and fanning the flames for a user to publicly shame you on social media. And that’s not just a metaphor. Remember that Sprout Social survey we mentioned? Well 36% of participants admitted to using social media to call out a company after receiving poor customer service. Yikes.

Take cues from your customer when determining how best to respond. Is he using exclamation points and emojis? Then you can too! Is he upset and lodging a complaint? Crank up the empathy and be sure to include an apology. At the end of the day, just be understanding and talk like an actual person, not a nameless/faceless business.

Remember, great marketing isn’t limited to what you say and do before making the sale. It spans the entire prospect and customer lifecycle. Service matters and your attentiveness to social channels will communicate volumes to current and prospective customers.

Contact us today if you need help! Until next time…

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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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4 Pay-Per-Click Misconceptions that are Holding Your Marketing Back https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/4-pay-per-click-misconceptions-that-are-holding-your-marketing-back/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/4-pay-per-click-misconceptions-that-are-holding-your-marketing-back/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 18:00:59 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4392 The post 4 Pay-Per-Click Misconceptions that are Holding Your Marketing Back appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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4 Pay-Per-Click Misconceptions that are Holding Your Marketing Back 

Back in December, when you were finalizing your 2018 marketing budget, how much consideration did you give paid ads? It’s no secret that pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be an incredible marketing tool for business owners, and yet so many of them dedicate only minor funds to them, or leave them out of their marketing plans altogether. Why is that?

Well, for as great as PPC ads can be, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Most of it comes from those who have tried PPC campaigns only to find that they spent hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of dollars with little return on their investment. They got burned and they decided that paid ads just don’t work.

But they do work. When properly optimized, paid ad campaigns deliver in a big way. So let’s take a look at some of the most common PPC misconceptions and set the record straight.

“Nobody even clicks on those ads!”

… and…that would be wrong. As a business owner dabbling in marketing, you’re probably a bit more savvy when it comes to search ads. You know what to look for and may even avoid giving ads the satisfaction they’re craving by clicking elsewhere. But an estimated 46% of people can’t identify the difference between a paid add and an organic search result. And when it comes to high commercial intent searches — i.e. when someone is looking to buy a product — paid ads get a whopping 65% of all clicks. People are clicking. End of story.

“I’ve already got an SEO strategy. I don’t need search ads.”

This is one we hear every now and then. For some reason, many business owners seem to believe that SEO and PPC are on opposite sides of the fight for leads. They think they should choose one over the other, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As marketing professionals, we’ve seen time and time again how SEO and PPC work together to increase brand awareness and maximize conversions. For example, we all know SEO is a long-term play. PPC on the other hand, is known for getting quick results. Adding paid ads into the mix can start generating leads and boosting web traffic while your site works on climbing the search rankings. It’s a match made in marketing heaven!

“I can just set up my ads and go about my business.”

Not quite. Paid ads (especially with AdWords) aren’t just something you set up once and then forget about. It’s not enough to just type in some keywords and set your budget — your ads will need regular monitoring and testing to determine whether they’re effective at driving new leads. Maybe one month you swap out a few keywords, lower your bids or stop an ad altogether at some point. And then the next you’ll find yourself doing the exact opposite. Experimentation is what makes paid ads thrive, so you’ll need a pretty serious time commitment or a Certified AdWords Partner to make them worth it.

If you REALLY want to be successful with AdWords, it’s important that you view it as more of a marathon than a sprint. Top 1% AdWords results come from making tens of thousands of minor adjustments over the long haul (no exaggeration). We know… this is sometimes hard for clients to believe and appreciate until they get a taste of the rewards!

“If I’m not ranking #1, then there’s no point.”

Sigh. Everyone always thinks they need to be number one, but the truth is there are plenty of clicks to go around. PPC and organic search are two very different things, so don’t go thinking that the top spot is going to make or break your business. People like to shop around before they buy, which is why after clicking the top result, they’ll often go back and explore options two and three. So really… you may wind up seeing comparable results for less money by NOT being number one. And to be honest, there’s a chance aiming for the top spot could leave you spending more than you’re generating from the ad.

Ready to step up your PPC game? Higgins Marketing Group is a Certified Google Partner with more than 10 years of experience creating results-driven AdWords campaigns. We’ll work with you to build a personalized PPC strategy that generates leads and keeps you ahead of the competition.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our AdWords experts and start seeing results!

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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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Want to Boost Your Marketing IQ? These 4 Books Will Help! https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/want-boost-marketing-iq-4-books-will-help/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/want-boost-marketing-iq-4-books-will-help/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 18:00:13 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4386 The post Want to Boost Your Marketing IQ? These 4 Books Will Help! appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Want to Boost Your Marketing IQ? These 4 Books Will Help!

As a small business owner, you have to learn many skills to survive in our highly competitive marketplace. One of the most important — marketing. How can you ever expect to attract clients if you can’t get your name out there?

There is a TON of information out there that can help you learn the marketing ropes. Our own blog is full of articles that can teach you how to improve your strategy, boost web traffic and write content that converts. But sometimes the best way to learn something new is to crack open a book. So we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite marketing books out there. Each one of these books has actionable steps for building a better marketing strategy that will grow your business. We highly recommend them and hope they’ll be just what you need to become a small business marketing pro.

 

The Art of Digital Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Creating Strategic, Targeted, and Measurable Online Campaigns

Your marketing campaigns are only as effective as they are reflective of your customers’ wants, needs and preferences. We’ve said it before — unless you truly know your customer, your message is going to fall on deaf ears. For anyone still struggling to nail down their target audience, this book is a must. The Art of Digital Marketing will teach you how to get inside your customers’ heads so you can start building smart campaigns that get results.

 

The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales

Conversions — it’s what we’re all chasing. The thing is, it’s often not as easy as we thought it would be. Simply starting a business and offering a great product/service isn’t enough. In The Conversion Code, you’ll get killer advice on how to find quality leads online, engage them in a meaningful way and, ultimately, turn them into paying customers. Regardless of what industry you’re in, the blueprint laid out in this book will put you on the path to higher sales.

 

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising – Ryan Holiday

Still holding on to the idea of traditional marketing? We get it. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the fact that reaching new customers via billboards and newspaper ads is a thing of the past. And it can be even harder to learn your way around the latest and greatest digital marketing trends. That’s where Growth Hacker Marketing comes in. Look at it as your trusted guide to learning the rules of today’s marketing game. It will show you how to tap into the #growthhacker mindset to transform your business without breaking the bank.

 

They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer

No matter what anyone says, content is still king. Think about it — when you have a question, one of the first places you go looking for an answer is the internet. That’s because you know all you have to do is type your question into a handy dandy search engine and BOOM, you’ve got hundreds of blog posts, news articles and discussion forums with the answer. They Ask, You Answer shows you how your business can take advantage of this by building an effective content strategy. At the end of this book, you’ll have all the tools you need to create quality content that boosts your web presence and builds trust with consumers, all of which turns into more money for your business.

Looking for an easy way to stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends? If you aren’t a subscriber already, subscribe to the Higgins Marketing Group blog! We dive into everything from strategy, SEO, to paid advertising, to email marketing, marketing automation and more. And every post is written with you — the small business owner — in mind.

Have a marketing question or idea for a future post? Just let us know and we just might write about it!

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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 Marketing Stats You Need to Know for 2018 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/3-marketing-stats-you-need-to-know-for-2018/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/3-marketing-stats-you-need-to-know-for-2018/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:03:54 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4373 The post 3 Marketing Stats You Need to Know for 2018 appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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3 Marketing Stats You Need to Know for 2018

The new year is here, which means it’s already time to get started on executing your 2018 marketing strategy. The best place to start is with a review of last year’s marketing efforts. What worked? What didn’t? Did you hit your goals? Were there any roadblocks that got in your way? And most importantly, what can you do differently to make 2018 your best marketing year yet?

As you review your strategy from the past 12 months and start looking to the year ahead, keep these three digital marketing stats in mind. They offer some great insight into today’s consumers and can point you in the right direction when developing your 2018 digital marketing strategy.

75% of people who search for something nearby visit a store within 24 hours

Local search engine optimization has never been more important. Not only do 3/4 of local-intent searches lead to in an in-store visit, but roughly 30 percent of those visits result in a purchase. It’s not hard to see the potential here. So, take a few minutes to double check that all of your business’s information — name, address, phone number, etc. — are up to date in all of the major registries. If you find any discrepancies, don’t wait to get them fixed! This should be priority number one.

84% of millennials say they don’t trust traditional advertising

If millennials and Generation Z are in your target market, you can say goodbye to traditional forms of advertising. These consumers don’t like the pushy, insincere nature of ads and will go out of their way to skip, block and avoid them altogether. Trust me, they’re going to see right through your salesy Facebook post and skip right along. Instead, focus on creating content that is personalized, relevant and engaging by telling them a story. Storytelling is a powerful way to create an emotional connection with consumers and keep them coming back for more.

97% of consumers read online reviews before acting!

Back in 2014, 88% of consumers read online reviews. That was already a big chunk of the market, but now a whopping 97% read online reviews before visiting a local business. If that doesn’t impress upon you the importance of having online reviews, nothing will. The new year presents a great opportunity to get serious when it comes to generating reviews for your business. Your action step: develop an actual strategy for asking for and gathering new customer reviews. A strategy will go a long way toward keeping you accountable for making reviews a priority.

If you find yourself in need of a marketing strategy overhaul, we can help! At Higgins Marketing Group, we know what it takes to get ahead of the competition and put your business on the map. Our team will work with you to create a marketing game plan that is customized for your business — no cookie-cutter marketing plans here! Contact us today to set up a consultation and get started on your 2018 digital marketing 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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Facebook Ads: 3 Quick Tips to Get More for Your Money! https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/facebook-ads-3-quick-tips-to-get-more-for-your-money/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/facebook-ads-3-quick-tips-to-get-more-for-your-money/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 18:00:23 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4361 The post Facebook Ads: 3 Quick Tips to Get More for Your Money! appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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Facebook Ads: 3 Quick Tips to Get More for Your Money!

We recently wrote a post about why we think you should give Facebook ads a try. Facebook can be a great way to reach your target audience and get your message out there. And with you controlling the spend, Facebook can be pretty easy on the budget, too.

That being said, if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s also pretty easy to waste money. Are you just getting started with Facebook ads? Need a few tips? We’ve got three that are easy to do and will help you get the most out of your ad budget.

1. Set up your conversion pixel

If you’ve followed our blog for very long, you’ve heard us say it — if you’re not measuring the results of your marketing efforts, there’s really no point in playing the marketing game at all. You need hard data so that you know what’s working, what’s not, and tweak accordingly. Facebook’s conversion pixel will let you do this. All you have to do is insert a few lines of code into your website and voila! Now you can track the cost per acquisition and collect awesome data about your target audience.

2. Run retargeting ads

Did you know visitors who see a retargeting ad are 70% more likely to convert than those who don’t? Add to it the fact that the average consumer visits a website between two and four times before making a purchase, and you can see why retargeting is such a big deal. By using custom audiences in Facebook, you can actually retarget consumers who have recently paid a visit to your website. This will keep YOUR business top of mind and makes the path to conversion (e.g., an online sale, a call-in, signing up for a free trial) must faster.

3. Schedule your ads for peak times

There’s no point in running an ad at 2 o’clock in the morning on a Wednesday if your target consumers are asleep. So how do you know when they’re online? Head over to the Ads Manager, select “breakdown” and then “by time.” From there you can segment your traffic by day, week or even monthly periods. If your data is telling you that your ads are performing well on Thursday afternoons, you can tell Facebook to serve your ads from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursdays. You’ll have to set a lifetime budget for your ad to get these advanced options, but that’s a small adjustment to make for better control over your ads.

Want to take a deeper dive into Facebook ads for your business? The ad specialists at Higgins Marketing Group are experts at setting goals, creating ad copy that converts, and optimizing campaigns to ensure the best results. Contact us today to get started on your Facebook ad strategy!

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How to Write Email Subject Lines That Will Actually Get Clicked https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/how-to-write-email-subject-lines-that-will-actually-get-clicked/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/how-to-write-email-subject-lines-that-will-actually-get-clicked/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:00:25 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4358 The post How to Write Email Subject Lines That Will Actually Get Clicked appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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How to Write Email Subject Lines That Will Actually Get Clicked

Crafting a subject line is serious business. It may seem like such a small thing — after all, the important stuff is in the email itself! That’s where you should be focusing all your attention, right?

Well, the latest data says that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. It’s crucial that you have a subject line that is engaging and breaks through the noise of a busy inbox. Otherwise that message you spent so much time on is moot.

All great email subjects have …

When it comes to email subject lines, there are a number of tactics that may be worth a try. The one that works best for you is going to depend largely on your audience and your goals. However, there are some essential elements that all great subject lines possess, such as:

Urgency. Nobody likes the FOMO (fear of missing out), which is why urgency and scarcity work so well in email subject lines. They communicate to your customer that they must act now if they want to score on whatever deal you’re offering.

Example: In 24 hours, this offer goes “POOF”

Curiosity. Sometimes it’s best to be direct in the subject line, but there is something to be said about creating a little mystery. That way your customer has to actually open the email to get the info.

Example: You’ll NEVER believe this one…

Offers. Customers crave new things and new experiences. If you use the subject line to let them know something new is headed their way, they will be much more likely to open the email.

Example: Be the FIRST to experience our newest attraction (We’re from Orlando… we see this one a lot!)

Personalization. Don’t let your customers feel like just another face in the crowd. It’s incredibly easy to throw in a bit of code so that the subject line pulls in the customer’s name or to use data to segment your list. The more personal the experience, the more likely a customer is to respond.

Example: A unique idea for XYZ Corp, Michael

Relevance. Incorporating the latest trends (topics, products, etc.) is a great way to keep your customers interested. Being timely makes you an authority in your industry/niche, and your customers will reward you for it.

Example: The new iPhone X is a lot like this…

Story. Never underestimate the power of a good story. Telling a story — or at least teasing it — with the subject line works extremely well when it comes to hooking a customer.

Example: I can’t believe I just did it!

How to write subject lines that get clicked

So how do you take these elements and craft a subject line that will actually get your customers clicking? Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Keep it short. Generally speaking, subject line should hover around 50 characters or less. After 50 characters you start to see open and click-through rates dropping. Plus, you run the risk of it being cut off.

Write multiple subject lines. It’s always good to have options! We recommend writing 5-7 draft subject lines for every email. Circulate these options out to an internal or external group for feedback. Then you can do some editing and choose the best one!

A/B test them. OK, maybe pick the best two… That way you can run an A/B test and figure out what type of subject line works best for your customers. It depends on the size of your email list, but we generally recommend initially sending to only 20% of your list (evenly divided by subject line). Then use the results of that test to determine the “winning” subject line for the remaining 80% of your list.

Use numbers/lists. Just like with headline on your blog, using numbers in the subject line of an email can help get customers to click. Why? It removes any vagueness and sets clear expectations, and that kind of straightforward easy-to-digest information is much appreciated by your customers.

Ask compelling questions. Making a statement in your subject line is fine, but we would encourage you to change it up with a compelling question every now and again. Questions instantly engage your customers and start a dialogue between the two of you.

Looking for more tips on how to help market your small business? If you’re ready to take a deeper dive on your business’ marketing strategy, we’d be glad to help! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

 

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5 Ways Small Businesses Can Increase Sales This Holiday Season https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/5-ways-small-businesses-can-increase-sales-this-holiday-season/ https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/5-ways-small-businesses-can-increase-sales-this-holiday-season/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:00:01 +0000 https://higginsmarketinggroup.com/?p=4349 The post 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Increase Sales This Holiday Season appeared first on Higgins Marketing Group.

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5 Ways Small Businesses Can Increase Sales This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again! Christmas is just a few weeks away, and consumers everywhere have started making their lists and checking them twice. Are your products/services on their list?

The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend an average of $608 on gifts for their friends and family this holiday season. One key to cashing in on holiday shopping – creating a strategic plan. We’ve put together a list of 5 ideas to help get you started on yours.

A couple of these ideas are specifically geared toward our business-to-consumer clients that sell physical products, but the last three can apply equally as well to business-to-business environments. So keep reading for tips on how to keep your small business top of mind and drive increased sales this holiday season.

Create a holiday gift guide

Sometimes people don’t know what they want to get their friends and family for Christmas — they need a little inspiration. Putting together a holiday gift guide featuring your products/services could be just the thing they need. Break it down by price or by recipient type to make it even easier for shoppers to find the perfect gift for their loved one.

Offer extended hours for holiday shopping

This time of year can be pretty hectic for consumers who are trying to balance work, family and everything the holidays bring. You can lend them a hand by extending your hours for a few weeks leading up to Christmas. That way they’ll have plenty of time to swing by and do a little holiday shopping with you.

Partner with another local business

You’re not the only one relying on holiday sales this time of year. Chances are there is another local business that offers products/services that could complement yours, so why not team up? For example, if you own a hair salon and you know there’s a popular nail salon down the street, you could work together to create a holiday package that combines your services and creates revenue for both of you!

Hook up current customers with a special deal

Don’t forget about your current customers! You know as well as we do that it’s much easier to sell to current customers than generate new ones, and that’s especially true during a busy and competitive holiday shopping landscape. So send an email to your customer base and offer them an exclusive coupon to reward them for their loyalty, maybe a percentage off their purchase or free shipping for the holidays.

Spread holiday cheer on social media

Don’t be afraid to get a little festive on social media! The holiday season is a great time to shake up your standard social media routine and do something a little more creative. Update your cover image with a holiday-themed photo or create a series of posts themed after the 12 Days of Christmas. It’s something fun for customers to enjoy and helps keep your brand on their minds as they start shopping for holiday gifts.

Good luck! And happy holidays from everyone here at Higgins Marketing Group.

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