Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Our blog

The Power of Integrated Marketing: Using Social Media, Email and Online Ads to End the Year Strong

The Power of Integrated Marketing_ Using Social Media, Email and Online Ads to End the Year Strong
24Sep

2020 has been quite the year for most small and large businesses. In many ways, the pandemic has affected both e-commerce and brick and mortar businesses. Ecommerce stores may have found it difficult to stay on top of their supply chain and receive inventory in a timely manner. Brick and mortar businesses have had to struggle with closing their doors for months at a time and following their local guidelines in terms of what to do next. 

If we look back, it was the end of the first quarter of business where things began to shift. Some companies pulled back on many marketing initiatives and spending to get a better grasp on the climate while others leaned in and invested heavily into their online channels. 

Whether you held back, or you leaned in – you can still make up for lost time AND end the year strong. There are three key elements for you to inspect: social media marketing, email marketing, and online advertising. Ready? Let’s go:

Social media marketing 

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to get your business out there. You have the ability to increase brand awareness and recognition with your target market. And, you’re also able to actively engage with your audience through comments, replies, and reviews

To be on top of your game for social media marketing, you have to make sure that you cover all of your bases. That means brainstorming for and creating both written and visual content, scheduling your posts ahead of time, and engaging with activity on your social media platforms. 

First, when it comes to brainstorming for the month (or months) ahead, you have to look at your analytics. What worked previously, and what didn’t? What are some of the changes you want to make with your content? What and how often are your competitors posting? Consider these ideas for your strategy. 

Then, take time every day to go through each of your social media sites and respond to all engagements on your posts, and respond to messages. Of course, each platform is different and requires a different approach. You may take more time on LinkedIn responding to leads and connecting with potential clients than responding to comments on Facebook. What is important is that you are keeping your brand relevant on these sites. 

Social media will help you amplify your message, position you and your company as a credible expert, drive visibility, and generate leads – all in real-time. 

Email marketing 

If you don’t have email marketing in place, you are missing a HUGE opportunity to connect with your audience. While social media is essential, email is still one of the best ways to stay top of mind with your current customers, and to solidify a relationship with your potential “top funnel” and “mid-funnel” leads too. 

Why else do you need it, and why should it be included in the equation to end the year strong? 

It delivers a strong and trackable ROI. 

To put it in perspective: for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. Think about all the ways you can benefit from this by including links to your products in newsletters, and even sharing about special deals that are going on. It is worth it to invest both your time and money into this. However, you have to do it right. 

If you’re really looking to increase your brands reach and traffic to your site, purchasing a list could be beneficial for you. Before you do this – make sure you know your target audience well so you don’t waste your time and money. 

One more hot tip for product companies: bring customers who didn’t complete a purchase back to your site with an abandoned cart series.  

Online advertisements 

Advertising your business online is an absolute no-brainer if you are looking to generate more business. Many times, if you do not have a strong web presence or social media presence, all of your content and hard work falls on deaf ears…and may never actually be seen by anyone ever. Online advertising circumvents this so that your content, and offerings, are seen and engaged with by your target audience. 

Social media advertisements deliver strong ROI. Of course, this depends on which platforms you choose. There is a variety, including Google PPC, geofencing and geotargeting, Facebook, IP retargeting, and more. 

These advertisements are also helpful because they instantly generate results. They are also incredibly targeted. Unlike advertising in a local newspaper where anyone could see your ad, you can choose who sees your ad online based on demographics such as location, age, gender, and interests.

IP retargeting and social media retargeting ads are essential to getting users BACK to your website. It’s common knowledge that consumers rarely purchase with a business at first visit – so you need to bring them back. Make sure you’re advertising everywhere your audience is. Being top of mind is important to the customer choosing you over your competitors. 

Together social media, email marketing, and online advertisements work to keep your existing audience engaged, while also gaining the attention of potential customers and driving both audiences continuously to your site where they can complete a conversion with you. 

We can help you end the year strong by helping you amp up your social media marketing, email marketing, and online advertising strategy. If you want to learn more contact us today.

Read More

9 Ways to Refresh Your Website

9 Ways to Refresh Your Website
17Sep

It’s not a shocker that the world of marketing and sales is shifting quickly to going completely digital. Many of us have embraced going digital for years and do constant audits of our online presence. But for those companies who are deciding to begin to invest more time and money into their online presence – there can be more work than meets the eye when it comes to a smooth transition. 

Namely – what is going on with your website? 

Why is the copyright at the bottom of the page say 2012? 

Why does your newsletter link go to a 404 Error page?

Why do you still have your defunct Google+ profile link in your website header? 

Needless to say, if you haven’t updated or refreshed their website in forever….you need to do it NOW. Especially if you need to create a website from scratch (in that case, it might be time to look into web hosting services). Time is of the essence and the time is now!

A website refresh is essentially taking the existing structure of your website, and sprucing it up; giving it a facelift. Part of it can be packing it full of keywords (for SEO), but it can also be adding in new copy, graphics, incentives, colors, fonts, and more. 

Maybe it’s adding a welcome video or a new slider on your homepage that will entice your visitors. Maybe it’s adding a chat box so visitors can easily get their questions answered.

Or maybe it’s adding in all of these elements for a complete overhaul. Whatever you choose to do, your website should be up-to-date and ready to go so that you can market your products or services the right way and have a strong online presence. But where do you start? Here are the basics: 

Whether you have an existing website or not, you first need to sit down and brainstorm what you want your ideal website to look like. Are you hoping to do a complete rebrand? Visually what needs a change?

What about your menu options on your web page? These are just some of the things that need to be taken into consideration when thinking about your overall website design. Take some time to go through your website to see what’s working and what isn’t. 

Tip: For those of you who want to add interest to your homepage, include pop-ups with incentives that will draw your website visitors in. These could include a free download or even a percentage off when they sign up via their email. Just be cautious that these aren’t too aggressive, and end up being a nuisance to your audience – if someone has to continuously click off the popup, they’re going to end up leaving your site annoyed.

Also, you’ll need a checklist of what to include when it comes to creating or maintaining a professional website. Here are some starter points on what to: 

  1. Include a custom domain.

If you do not have a custom domain name, this should be one of the first things on your list. Your URL should be simple and easy, so you may want to go with your business’s name so that it is easy to access for both new and old website visitors.

  1. Add Calls To Action (CTAs).

How many times have you visited a website and signed up for a discount or downloaded a free ebook? Many of us have stayed longer on a website because of the strong and clear calls to action. The good thing is, your competition isn’t the only one who can do this; you can too.

Utilize popups (but not too many) on your website so that when visitors arrive, they are likely to engage on your website instead of bouncing within a couple of minutes.

  1. Add links to your social media sites.

If your social media sites are not on your website, how do you expect your visitors to connect with you? These should be very visible and placed either at the top or bottom of your web page. Ensure that these links are not broken and that all of them are linked to the correct social media channels. And…make sure the links work after you add them.

  1. Add a contact form.

While many website visitors may be interested in calling your business or contacting you through social media, many of them may want to simply fill out a “contact us” form where they fill out their name, email, and ask specific questions. When this is on your website, make sure that it is connected to an email address that you have access to and are constantly using. This will ensure that no question goes unnoticed.

  1. Add a place to sign up for your email newsletter.

Email marketing is a big focus for many businesses. If it is for yours, and you are wondering how you can attain more subscribers, you have to make sure that it’s easy for new people to subscribe. You don’t want them to jump through hoops!

One of the reasons why you might not be getting more is because no one knows where they can subscribe. Fix this by adding a newsletter signup form to your website. This can either have its own page or section of the website, or you can include it in a popup. 

For example, as soon as visitors open the homepage of your website, a popup would appear offering them a 10% discount in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Another bonus to this is that it can help decrease your bounce rate. 

Don’t worry if you have a signup form on every page. Not everyone will look through your website the same way, so have all of your bases covered. 

  1. Add a page with your contact information.

People need to be able to see where you are located and contact you easily. Also, make sure that all of this information is accurate and up-to-date. For example, if you have recently moved locations, it is important to let visitors know where your new brick and mortar establishment is.

Have more than one location? Make sure it is listed. Possibly add a Google Map plugin so people can get directions if your customers visit your business.

  1. Ensure your site is responsive.

Does your website look completely different depending on the device you view it on? Your web design needs to be consistent. Make sure you test it to see what it looks like on a desktop vs. a laptop, and a tablet vs. a smartphone. Make sure that your images are sized correctly and that all of the features are working across the board.

In addition, if visitors are able to purchase products or services from your website, you need to check and see that everything is working well in your online store. For example, see if there are any glitches in the checkout process and if coupon codes can be used.

Top Tip: If you are having your website designed internally or externally, always audit the work when it is done on a desktop/laptop computer, mobile phone, AND tablet. 

  1. Update your visuals.

Graphic design is another vital element to your website. If you currently have old product images on your website or images of products that are no longer being sold, it is time to make some updates with new, high-quality images. Incorporate new design elements as well with tools such as Canva to make things interesting. If you are using stock photography – you might want to look at your competitors websites quickly. You will be surprised at home many people in your industry are using the exact same stock photos. 

  1. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Make sure that your website is free of typos. Having lots of typos on your website is the quickest way to lose credibility and knock you down the search engine rankings. Just imagine that a potential client is examining your website as well as your competitor’s. If your site is full of typos and theirs isn’t… chances are you’re going to lose that sale. 

For the sake of search engine optimization, go through each page of your website to see what copy needs to be updated or changed altogether. This is definitely an area where if you feel uncertain you should hire a copywriting expert or engage a company with an SEO campaign who can help boost your content.

Remember: These are the bare minimum of what you should do to refresh your website, even if you own a small business or are just starting out. Make sure to do additional maintenance to see what needs more work. 

And if you do not know how to do this, work with someone who does. The time and money you will waste trying to navigate this yourself can be alleviated by collaborating with a website design specialist. The Go! Agency is skilled at working together with clients to help them refresh their website based on their specific needs. If you want to learn how we can help you do this, contact us today. 

Read More

Why You Need to Care About SEO…Now!

Why You Need to Care About SEO...Now!
10Sep

Not getting enough website traffic? 

If this sounds like you, you need to consider adding a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) component to your marketing and sales strategy. 

It’s all about earning the highest ranking on Google as possible, which is a goal for most businesses. Who doesn’t want to the #1 result on Google for search terms that are relevant to your business, products, or services? Investing time and money in SEO focusing on improving your ranking factors will help you pop up earlier in Google results and trounce your competition. 

But first, you need to make sure you get a proper and thorough website audit done. This will help you understand what you need to change on your website to get better SEO

Improve your keywords 

You need to have a keyword-rich website – it’s as simple as that. While you may write the most relevant, informative information on your website, if you are not packing your content with keywords you are missing the boat.  

Keywords can be confusing if you are coming up with them for the first time. Here’s a quick shortcut: Think about the words your target audience would type into Google or another search engine to find a company like yours. Those are keywords you NEED to focus on. For example, if you own a bakery in New York City, your potential customer may type into Google “Bakery near me” or “Manhattan bakery”. It is important that you use the correct keywords on your web page so that your potential customers are able to easily find you in a sea of other similar businesses through relevant results.

In addition, you need to have strong meta tags and meta descriptions along with strong title tags. This will also help your website to be seen as credible by the search engines, which will positively impact your rank.

To get a better idea about which keywords your competitors are using and which ones you should use on your website, try popular keyword research tools such as SEM Rush. With a tool like this, you are also able to see your overall SEO performance and receive suggestions on what you can do to improve your SEO. Also these tools offer lots of educational opportunities and robust Help sections to fuel your knowledge.

Watch your website speed

NO ONE wants to wait forever for a website to load. If your site isn’t loaded within 5 seconds, people will go to your competitor and never think twice about your company. And a high bounce rate = a lower ranking on Google.

That is why it is crucial that you have a low bounce rate on each page of your website. So, how do you know if you even have a high bounce rate in the first place? Check your analytics. 

If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you can easily see what your overall bounce rate is, and (even more importantly) your bounce rate for each page. So, if you have a conversion piece and you’re paying for people to get to that page, but your bounce rate is too high – you’re going to want to work on bringing that bounce rate down. 

On Google Analytics, you can also see the average amount of time visitors spent on each page. If visitors are spending little to no time on each page and your bounce rate is through the roof, it’s time to think of some new tactics. 

First, you will want to make sure that your website loads properly on both desktop and mobile. If not, this needs to be fixed immediately. When all of the pages on your website are able to load in a reasonable amount of time, the focus should then be on keeping your customers there. Remember, just because they visit doesn’t mean they’ll stay. 

Want to reduce that bounce rate? Keep visitors engaged! To do this, include incentives such as popups that offer a free download. You might also want to utilize a chat feature so that visitors can immediately be greeted upon their entrance to your website. Here on our website, we’ve included a social proof pop-up at the bottom of our page that constantly cycles through our reviews; it’s another way to keep website visitors engaged, even if it’s only for a few more seconds.

Make sure your site is easy to navigate 

Is your “contact us” form on a random page of your website? Are your menu options unclear? These elements of your website need to be easy to find and easy to use. Without it, you risk visitors bouncing or moving on to your competitor’s website. 

Go through each page on your site to make sure that everything is in the right place. Start by looking at your homepage. Is the font too small? Are there so many pop ups that it becomes distracting? Make sure that your homepage is as neat as possible.

When it comes to your menu options, make sure that these work and are linked to the correct pages on your website. If visitors can make purchases on your website, you will want to also make sure that the checkout process has no hiccups. These are just some of the ways website visitors can have the best user experience.

Include backlinks 

You’re able to receive a stamp of credibility when your website is linked on other sites. For example, if a blog post shares a link back to your website, it is not only benefiting you by increasing the number of people who will visit your site, but it is also helping with your Google ranking. 

It is also important to build links on your own website. For example, if you have a blog on your website, link to other high-quality articles that are already considered to be credible. Link building allows you to show that you have important information to share on your website as well.

The Go! Agency’s team of sales and marketing professionals is skilled at crafting integrated marketing campaigns that combine the strengths of SEO, social media, email marketing, and other forms of online ads. If you’re ready to generate real results, reach out to The Go! Agency today.

Read More

The Role of PR in Your Online Marketing Strategy

The Role of PR in Your Online Marketing Strategy
3Sep

In these challenging times, every company has been forced to pivot, create a plan B, and be as scrappy as possible when it comes to their marketing and sales approach. This is especially true when it comes to the world of online marketing. 

One classic marketing tool, public relations (PR), has been one that many companies are turning to to increase their online, and offline, footprint. 

When thinking about PR, some business owners tend to think of only Crisis PR. While this is great when you have to get an urgent message out – the value of public relations is much larger than sending a press release announcement or explaining problems away. 

Did you know that the classic public relations methods, tactics, and theories can be easily applied to your online marketing plan? Just think about it: the same target market that is reading magazines and newspapers are also receiving their information through social media channels, email, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more! 

Show your followers what happens “Behind the Curtain”

As a business owner, if you aren’t talking about your own company…you can’t expect anyone else to. This concept can prove to be very tricky for some, as you may be afraid of coming across as “boastful” or “braggy”. But good online public relations, especially via social media, works best when you are being authentic, and showing different aspects of your business that everyone may not be privy to. 

If you are going the traditional PR route and targeting print, television, and radio – you may not be able to curate earned media placements right away. Public relations via social media though, is instant.

Like I was saying above, you don’t need to be releasing press releases every day on social media – rather you should be sharing the different sides, and nuances, of your business. 

  • Share about your employees and what they are doing to make a difference.
  • Share about how you strive to fulfill the mission and values of your company. 
  • Share testimonials from your clients.
  • Share how your business is taking part in community events, charities, or fundraisers. 
  • Show a Zoom screenshot from your monthly marketing and sales meeting.

There is so much you can do to give others insight into your brand. Let’s say you earn an article placement or press release – be sure to share it on each of your social media sites appropriately, add a link to it on a media page on your website, email it to your subscribers in your weekly newsletter, mention it on your next podcast episode, etc.! Once you’ve published it EVERYWHERE – be sure to tell your sales team too. Letting them know that your CEO was just interviewed in Forbes Magazine can help them too. 

Continuing on with this concept, share positive news about your business with your followers AND potential leads online. While you can post about article features on your social media platforms, you can do the same on B2B platforms such as LinkedIn

Speaking of LinkedIn, the playing field is more unique than the other social media sites. With LinkedIn, the vibe is of an online networking hub. So it presents itself as the perfect platform to share your accomplishments, position yourself as an expert, and gain amazing amounts of local, national, and even international exposure.  

For example, if you are utilizing LinkedIn to connect with professionals within your industry by having meaningful conversations with them, mentioning your latest article placement could leverage your ability to move that lead further into your sales funnel. 

Ask clients for reviews 

Everyone knows that customer feedback is important. Many of us simply rely on reviews in order to make our decision of whether or not we want to invest in a product or service. So when we get that ONE bad review, it can throw us for a loop. But there is something you can do to improve your odds: YOU HAVE TO CONTINUOUSLY ASK FOR REVIEWS. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but positivity can always outshine negativity. 

Seriously, any time someone has an exchange with your company, put them into a system immediately, and set a delay so that way they’re emailed at an appropriate time to give your company/product/service feedback. 

If you are able to showcase some of your best reviews on social media, in your emails, or in advertisements, it’s a win for your businesses. And, all of this visibility and social proof has an amazing impact on your public relations campaign.

Learn from the competitors 

If you’re stuck for ideas about how to maintain a strong PR strategy in your industry, see what your competition is doing. Here are some questions you could ask yourself: 

  • Do they put out press releases? 
  • Are they partnering with other local businesses or events? 
  • What trade publications have they been featured in? 
  • Have they been in the local news? 
  • What other brands are talking about them?

If you take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, you may see that many local businesses have donated masks, cleaning supplies, or other materials for schools and hospitals, and guess what? They got it covered in the media, or tried to anyway. If you’re looking to generate ideas on ways you could make the news (in a good way) spy on your competitors’ websites, social media, etc.

Bonus tip: set up a Google Alert for every single one of your competitors so you’ll be one of the first to know every time they’re in the news. 

Ready…set…invest in PR

Getting your business to be recognized as credible is important, and one of the best ways you can accomplish this is by following a solid PR strategy. It may be a lot of work, but it is worth it to be considered one of the best.

Read More

Into The Unknown: The Refocusing Revolution

0525 The Unknown The Refocusing Revolution
3Jun

Good old 2020. Quite a year so far, right? Not nearly even summer yet and we are moving into more and more uncertain times.

As a business owner, you feel this pain more than anyone else. With all of your usual financial projections and sales and marketing strategies moving into the unknown – what are you supposed to do?

I’ve been interviewed a few times over the past month and people have asked me “What will business look like when this is over?” Others have asked me an even more important question – “What will I need to change?”

Simple answer to all of this? I honestly don’t know what the future holds. But what I do know is that by identifying what I can control and leaning into those elements of my business, sales, and marketing strategy I can make strides to not only reinforce my company but make sure that it is prepared for any unforeseen bumps in the road that may occur.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I am calling this a “Refocusing Revolution.” And I think that this is just the time to dive into this subject and shed some light on the next steps you can take to make your business more powerful than ever before.

Right now, you probably have more time. But time is moving faster. Odd, right? Before you seemed to pack so much more kinetic motion in your day: going to the gym, commuting to work, walking around the office, shopping at the mall after work, grocery shopping, commuting home, picking up the kids, going to the dog groomer, and more.

But now in the age of working from home, if you are working full-time, you are discovering that your days are filled and are a bit more productive. Why?

Space.

Silence.

Stillness.

While not every remote work scenario has these, you are not having people pop into your office for a quick chat. You are not having to multi-task during a meeting. Things are different.

This is where the Refocusing Revolution comes in.

Now without the distractions of busy office life and other office-based stressors, you have the time to refocus on what is most important for your business.

And you have some clear ideas of what they are. Most of them are in that “ideas” folder on your desktop or in your email provider. They are in your Google Drive and to-do lists.

It’s time to take your ideas off of the shelf and use this time to get busy with them. For example, at The Go! Agency we are pros are coming up with killer marketing and sales strategies and executing them for our clients. But when it comes to our own business, sales and marketing strategies sometimes get left on the shelf.

Remember the shoemaker’s kids having no shoes?

We have taken this time to make bold moves in terms of our project management system to streamline costs and processes. There were large marketing strategies that we have taken off the shelf and built so we can start them immediately. I began writing my next book which has been on the back burner.

Also – there were three services that we wanted to fully develop that would level things up for us, now and in the future. We did that and then we launched them.

None of this would have happened as quickly without this time of reflection and refocused creativity.

But – what happens if you don’t have a list of ideas? We would suggest to examine everything that you’re doing and see what can be improved or streamlined:

  1. Have a brainstorming session with your team or some of your key team members. Outline some potential new ideas, outline your challenges. Perform a SWOT Analysis and see what your competitors are doing. Take this seriously.
  2. Next up – examine your current tools, and find some backups. Also, see if you can condense any of your tools into one different system.
  3. If you think this isn’t important – ask yourself this: What would you do if you were told Dropbox is shutting down in 2 weeks? Do you know where you’d move your files? What would you do if you were told that your email marketing platform is going out of business? Do you have a backup tool already identified?
  4. Examine your processes – can anything be streamlined? What process (or processes) do you or your team dread? How can that be improved?
  5. Look at your products or services. What can be improved? Can you create a bundle of services? Should you create a new level of service (either higher or lower)?
  6. Look at your current clients & customers. What other challenges are they facing? How can your business be a solution to that problem?

This should get your creative juices flowing and hopefully, the ideas will start to manifest themselves. Be an active part of this Refocusing Revolution and do your own audit to see how to most effectively build more support and success into your business today.

If you find that one of the projects or ideas you’ve shelved involves executing a marketing campaign that you’re scared to do or just don’t want to do – don’t hesitate to reach out to my team. We’re here to help handle as much of it for you as you want. Or, if you’d like for me to evaluate your strategy and execution plan, I’d be happy to be a consultant to your team.

Read More

Staying Connected With A Remote Team – Tools & Systems You Need

0520 Staying Connected With A Remote Team
20May

If you are reading this, odds are that you are currently working remotely, either for your own company or for another company. The first quarter of 2020 crashed right into a whole new craze that no one was really expecting: working from home.

At The Go! Agency, we have been doing this successfully for years, as our team members split their time working in-office and remotely each week.

If you are working as a part of a team, you can just imagine how hard it can be to stay on top of everything without a solid system. Also, if you have many members in your team, and really relied on face-to-face meetings and communications – this is probably driving you up the wall.

When we first instituted working from home a few years back, we quickly discovered the problems that needed to be fixed, and new systems that needed to be developed or added, in order to provide our team a clear channel for communication and understanding.

Honestly, communication, understanding, and organization are the three main pieces of having a successful remote workforce. Here are the factors that we would suggest you utilize based on our successes in this area at The Go! Agency:

1. Consistent Clear Communication.

This is an overriding principle to all of the items below. Have you ever received a written message and read into it the wrong way? Well, not everyone writes with emotion – some write very flat.

Understanding that many things can be misconstrued via writing, you should always make sure that ANYTIME that you feel negative, unclear, or upset about any written communications that you receive, you follow up with a face-to-face interaction, in order to get clarification. Stewing on a chat message that was never intended to sound negative for 2 hours, is not the way forward.

2. Chatrooms.

These are great on the go and can be separated into projects, clients, or groups. These quick bite-sized communications help you stay connected and informed. We would suggest Slack, Google Chats, and Basecamp for this. You can also use one of these chatrooms as a time tracking tool – see who is taking lunch when, so you can see if someone is available for a meeting.

3. Email.

Sounds obvious right? Well, with many companies compounding all elements into apps such as Slack, you also need to make sure that your employees have an email system that they can access anywhere.

Gmail is one we love because there’s an app, it can be downloaded onto a desktop, channeled in MacMail or Outlook, or even accessed through a web browser. Emails internally for us tend to be more formal and focused on requests or client communications – but you can choose how you would like to use them most effectively.

4. Video Meetings.

Just because you are at home doesn’t mean we can’t see you. If you are used to speaking face to face with your team, you need to continue that in order to keep things rocking and rolling.

Moving on to faceless phone calls adds confusion and can be disorienting if you are not used to it. Also, it is important to know when a written communication style will not cut it. So much can be lost when you only talk about a project via email or chat. Phone calls are better because you can hear the tone in someone’s voice, but with video, you can also see their body language.

Here at The Go! Agency, our team connects on a video conference every single morning with our entire team, where each team member announces their priorities for the day and we work through anything pertinent. Video calls can be accomplished with Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype.

5. Project Management System.

There is nothing worse than working with a team where all of the work is either left unassigned or done more than once by numerous team members. Having a solid project and task management system will be the answer.

For storage solutions we suggest Dropbox and Google Drive, but if you are looking for a more robust way to keep your team together you should look into GSuite or Basecamp, as these both are great ways for everyone to have access to communications, projects, and files while remote. If needed, create a cheat sheet/flow chart of where files are stored, (this is great for when you have a new employee start, by the way).

6. Rules / Regulations / Handbook.

If you are leading a remote team (or are a project leader) it is extremely important that you have your remote work environment rules and regulations up to date, as well as ways to enforce them. Some simple things you might not know could be if someone is late, took too long of a lunch, or worked too many overtime hours when it was not allotted.

Setting the expectations more formally will help you keep your team and project moving ahead full steam without getting stuck into the unknown. Your human resources department should be able to help you craft a policy that’s fair to remote workers.

7. Equipment.

This is another one that seems to be quite straightforward, but make sure that your team members have everything they need to work most effectively and stay productive. Something as small as a glitchy mouse can add hours to a team member’s day.

Regularly check-in to see if everything is working properly and that nothing is broken. Also, regular updating of this equipment (especially computers and software) needs to be added to this. If everyone is working on different versions of software, it can be hard to give instruction and collaborate on projects.

Working remotely as a part of a team can be exhilarating, as you can move much faster with fewer interruptions. There are so many other benefits for your employees including spending more time with their family members, no commuting and promoting an overall better work-life balance – which is why we support remote work and encourage our full-time employees to work from home several days per week.

Our advice is to keep the flow of communication open, honest, and direct. Remember – when in doubt, schedule some face time for clarification to extinguish any misunderstandings.

Outsourcing your marketing efforts to The Go! Agency really isn’t any different than having a remote worker – but with us, you get a fully remote marketing team. Should you be interested in working with our talented team of professionals, please contact us today!

Read More

Our Business & Marketing Predictions for a Post Pandemic Era

0518 Our Business & Marketing Predictions for a Post Pandemic Era
18May

Oh to have had a crystal ball in January, right? What changes would you have made to your business structure? While hindsight is 20/20, the current climate during the pandemic has made many things extremely difficult to predict.

When will business operations go back to normal?

When will things fully open up again?

Is this all going to last much longer?

While these questions might be a little too unpredictable for someone like me, who does not have a medical background to fully understand all these things, I have seen so many things happen over the past few months, during the pandemic, that have really opened my eyes.

And you have too. And I’m not talking about the around-the-clock news footage, either.

You have seen entire companies go completely to a work-from-home model in a matter of days.

You have seen time fly by at crazy speeds…even though you are not leaving your house.

You have seen your 75-year-old grandmother invite you to a Zoom call from her own account.

So with that said, let’s take a look at some of the business and marketing trends that we are seeing currently, that we predict will outlast the pandemic, and become the new normal in our post-coronavirus world!

1. Video Calls: More companies will continue to utilize video calls with a higher skill level, in order to connect with clients and potential clients. The advanced usage of these tools, as well as the quick adaptability of those who never considered themselves “tech-savvy”, is on the rise. Video provides perks that written content channels do not: body language. We foresee that having video calls will enhance customer experiences across multiple industries.

2. Working From Home: Many companies may also shift to at least some remote days for their team members (if they never have done this previously). For some companies feeling the constant financial pinch in the post-pandemic environment, this will be a cost-effective way of scaling back while not reducing quality.

3. Social Media Communication: As everyone is trying to keep in touch remotely, we foresee more companies continuing to highlight their business’s activity on social media. Companies who were not that social media savvy previously, are now learning the ropes faster and finding the value in the interaction. Many online marketing teams are creating content specialized for social media as a way to connect with their existing customers. Not to mention the opportunities social media provides for customer service.

4. Increased Recorded Video Content: Since there are no in-person conferences, in-office meetings, or networking events – people have turned to video more than ever before. The result? A predicted hot trend for 5 years finally lives up to the hype. Also, people who were afraid or reluctant (too busy, etc) to adapt video technology are now leaning into it successfully. The possibilities are endless when it comes to video: you can include it in your email marketing pieces, post it to social media, add it to your website… and more. This is why so many successful content marketing strategies have included video in their content strategy for years.

5. Increased Live Streaming Content: Another increase has been in live content being streamed. Whether it be podcasts or live video streaming, people are jumping on board. This is another case of people having extra time to look into this, and then having the necessity to learn, in order to continue to engage. This will not change. I’ve mentioned above about how some of these trends will improve customer relationships with companies – and this is another one. Seriously, your customers can comment while you’re live streaming, and you can have a conversation with them in real-time. Literally priceless.

6. Rise of Online Advertising Channel Usage: People are now, more than ever before, looking for (and requesting) other forms of online advertising aside from the typical Google or Facebook Ads. They are now adventurous enough to look into geofencing, geotargeting, IP retargeting, and more. Marketing campaigns that utilize these avenues are benefitting from hitting their marketing goals.

Now we could go on, but these are the main large predictions that we have as our “Big Trends in 2020” and beyond. As time progresses, we will add more to this list. Whether you’re the CEO, Chief Marketer, or Marketing Strategist for your company, and you are currently seeing any of these trends, let us know how you are utilizing them for your own business. If not – let us know and we can help you get started!

Read More

It’s Time to (Re)Define Your Target Audience

0513 Time to Re Define Your Target Audience
13May

Something that has come up again and again over the 11 years we have been executing campaigns for our clients at The Go! Agency, is a fairly obvious topic: clients and their target audiences.

This extremely crucial element, while seemingly simple, is often a missing piece of the puzzle, that many business owners struggle to identify, and may sometimes appear out of reach to nail down.

The typical answer we get to the question of target (or ideal) audiences is “anyone with money.” While I agree that this may be ideal, it is not exactly what we are trying to define here. A truly defined target market can literally make or break a solid marketing and sales strategy.

So how do you figure it out? How do you shake out the information that you already have about the kind of people who do business with you, and find your target audience from there?

This is exactly where I would begin.

Current Clients

If you are a company that has been in business for a period of time, the first place that I would go to look when (re)developing a target audience would be your current client base. What commonalities do your current clients have? Pull your current client list and take a close look at the data. Whether you have three clients or three thousand, you should be able to draw some similarities among your clients and customers. Look at everything from industry, company size, order size, geographical location, the title of contact on the contract/order, and more.

Depending on the number of reports that you have, you can find more qualified data than you think. Many people want to shoot for the stars with an ideal target audience based on dream scenarios, but looking at the trends you can draw from your own clients is best. These people chose you. They have given you money. These are the type of people that you should aim for.

Also, look to see how these people found you. This is crucial information when you begin to create your marketing campaign.

Prospects/Non-Closed

You should also have access to a list of past and other non-closed customers/clients. This is another often overlooked part of the whole system of (re)defining your target audience. Take a look at the data with these as well, and see if you can find more commonalities. Perhaps many of these clients didn’t close due to price. This might lead you to develop a new target audience (or sub-target audience) that you could create a more affordable package/product for. Don’t forget to also add where these people found you as it, again, will be useful when you begin to develop your marketing strategy. Try your best to identify what this group of people have in common. Remember too, knowing who your target customer isn’t is just as important.

Competitors

Are you a new business in the launching or pre-market stage? You MUST do your market research early, to not only prove the viability of your business but also find the audience in which you should begin to invest your marketing and sales dollars. Would your customer base spend more time on a specific social network? Do your potential customers prefer reading short social media posts, or long-form blog posts? Honestly, this is a lot of work, and you may have to do a full competitor analysis in order to complete this process (including signing up for the competitors’ newsletters and secret shopping to see how they serve their audience). Ignoring your competition, especially your successful competition, is a rookie mistake.

I tell you this because I have seen many companies latch onto a successful product or service concept, but never truly have a clear idea of their target audience. The result was off-market branding, poor targeting, low sales, and lots of marketing dollars wasted.

Website Visitors

Utilizing Google Analytics you can get an idea of where people are finding you online AND what they are looking for on your website.

Another great tool is our Web Wisdom AI – which is a plugin to your website that grabs all of the visitors to your website and sends you a report on each one of them in real-time. This valuable tool has enabled some of our clients to learn more than Google will allow in terms of the target audience. For example, one of our agency’s clients was targeting the entertainment field, but with this service, they realized that all of their website traffic was coming from financial organizations. When they found this out, they pivoted their approach and developed materials that were suitable to target this newly developed audience!

Now What?

Now you should jog over to LinkedIn Sales Navigator (another highly recommended service) to do a prospect search. Take the time to fill out all of the search fields within LinkedIn Sales Navigator – this should help you really define your target audience.

Looking more for B2C? Utilize the same process by looking at the demographics for Facebook Advertising. It is another great tool to help you remember the main factors that make up a target audience.

Redefining and re-examining your target audience is vital to making informed decisions and ensuring that your sales and marketing efforts are not wasted. If you’re struggling with crafting a message that your target audience is most likely to respond to or resonate with, don’t hesitate to reach out to my team of sales and marketing professionals at The Go! Agency. Every day, we help businesses across a broad range of industries fine-tune their audiences and marketing messages.

Read More

COVID 19: Joining the Refocusing Revolution

0511 COVID 19 Joining the Refocusing Revolution
11May

From talking to many business owners in addition to watching the news cycle, we are very aware that many businesses are struggling due to the current economic climate caused by the Coronavirus. Let’s be honest: it’s a very tough time for a lot of businesses out there.

How we are going to come through the other side of this is going to be the true testament to the strength of a business – especially many of the small businesses that are struggling to make ends meet.

What I don’t want to do here is to focus on the negative. We all know that there are many unsavory elements here, and we cannot control some of the things that are happening around us.

The one thing that we can do, is to take the extra time that this has afforded us and reinvest into our current state of affairs and funding into our futures.

I call this the Refocusing Revolution.

In order to take part in this, you need to understand where you are and then decide where you are going in a few key areas:

Customers

How are your current customers and clients faring with their OWN businesses and personal lives? Have you asked them? Have you reached out to them? Have you tried to support them?

Or have you sent numerous updates as to how YOUR company is holding up?

Think about it. Everyone is vulnerable right now, and the people that you need to keep close to you are the ones that are keeping you afloat.

Contact them, send them a personalized message, give them an extra service or freebie – something to show that you are supporting them. For example, we have been offering our database of business prospects and clients free consulting services to how they can pivot their sales and marketing efforts to keep themselves afloat.

Now look to the future. How is your target market changing? In six months, will you be marketing and selling to the same people and businesses – or will it look different? You need to be on the cutting edge of what is going on in the news cycle so that you can make the right assumptions and prepare your marketing and sales strategy accordingly.

Employees

Whether you were one of the businesses forced to let go or furlough your employees or a business that has kept everyone on, it is important to continue to invest in your company culture. Whether it is by providing bonuses (if you can), additional training, or even just good old moral support – be there for your workforce.

For example, if you did monthly meetings – keep them going on Zoom. If you had a weekly happy hour, do it remotely. You regularly did group training? Don’t stop. Your employees are the ones that are going to help you, and you are going to need to lean on one another as times progress.

Now let’s look to the future. Do you have a “back to normal” plan of action? While I know that normal is going to be a little “abnormal” for the interim, you need to make sure that you have your hiring options in place. Perhaps the employees you had to lay off will find new jobs. What do you do then?

Have job descriptions and a hiring plan in place, so that you can hit the ground running when things switch back on. There will be a flood in the marketplace at that time – so it will be useful to be organized and strike early.

Finances

Have you applied for all of the subsidies, grants, and loans offered by the government? Do you know how to stay on top of those? You need to learn quickly if you do not. This is the first place to protect your interests, but also how has your money changed, and how has your forecast changed? Updating based on a worst-case scenario will help you budget effectively as there are so many outliers at this time.

The future look on finances needs to be more focused on what you will need to do to supercharge your business back to the same level as before this pandemic hit. Look at your first quarter 2020 numbers (or maybe an average of 4th quarter 2019 and 1st quarter 2020) to get a feel for what you need. You can always operate at a lower percentage – but knowing the numbers will help you make smarter assumptions and decisions.

Revolutionize Your Business

Remember all of those great ideas that you have been shoving into folders marked “future ideas” and the like? It is time to dust those off and plug yourself into them. As you probably have some extra time available, lean into streamlining your business, cutting financial corners on unnecessary subscriptions, finding new tools to market and sell your business through automation, website redesigns, starting that blog, and more.

Now is the time to propel your business to the next level. Looking at the main factors above will help you get on your way. Take this time to reinvest in what is important, and supercharge your own sweat equity by building a realistic and solid business model for post-pandemic activity.

As I mentioned above, we’re offering a free one-hour consultation with no obligations. We just want to help businesses (whether they sell goods or services) to successfully refocus their marketing and sales strategies in a way that best allows them to regain momentum and remain successful. Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to my team at The Go! Agency.

Read More

Geofencing: Finding Where to Draw Your Map

Geofencing Finding Where to Draw Your Map
6May

Anytime that I talk about geofencing, people get extremely excited. What better way to target and grow my audience! But then as we go through the steps, many elements of this amazing online advertising opportunity can get lost in the shuffle. In short – how would you like to draw a line or ‘fence’ around your competitor’s waiting room, then deliver targeted ads to anyone who enters that area with a discounted invitation to come and visit your business? Think of the possibilities here!

As we have seen, many people don’t take advantage of this great online advertising tool – therefore, the team has urged me to write a blog that is basically a “Geofencing 101” to help everyone out there who could benefit from this geographic fencing tool understand exactly how it can explode their business for pennies on the dollar.

Geofencing, a location-based marketing technology, is opening up a world of opportunities for strategic marketers and small business owners alike. Geofencing gives your business the ability to target people who have visited a specific geographic area, not just a zip code (that’s geotargeting).

You can put your geofence anywhere: stores, events, conferences, competitor locations, and of course: YOUR BUSINESS.

Geofencing can help companies increase awareness of their companies to new and existing customers. It can also help drive traffic to websites, and foot traffic to their physical locations. It also works for both products or services with or without brick and mortar locations. All types of companies have a unique opportunity to reach potential customers if they can get into their target audience’s thought processes.

When we’re working through options for geofencing campaigns for our clients, we start with a list similar to this:

  • What other products does your target audience buy?
  • What stores could you foresee selling products in?
  • What stores does your target audience shop in?
  • Who are your direct competitors?
  • Who are your indirect competitors?
  • What types of activities does your target audience do?
  • How far would your target audience drive to visit your location?

Let’s explore some examples together. First, we’ll start with location-based companies.

One way brick and mortar stores can use geofencing to their advantage is to retarget people who have already visited their store. This is a great way for businesses to stay top-of-mind!

1. Senior Living Communities.

We’d recommend setting fences around all of your local competitors. Home health agencies could be another option, as they would become a referral source for you. Adult daycare centers would be another option we’d look into for the same reason.

By fencing your competitors, you would not only be capturing everyone who currently lives in those competing communities, but also everyone who is visiting and taking tours. Isn’t that powerful?

2. Dental Practices.

Since we know dental insurance plays a factor in who a patient chooses to see, we’d suggest taking your targeting one step further by only including dental offices who accept the same types of insurance as you.

3. Yoga Studios or Fitness Studios/Gyms.

First, we’d suggest fencing other local yoga studios, pilates studios, or fitness centers. Next, we’d also think about where your target audience might buy health and fitness supplements and vitamins nearby.

4. Nutrition Products.

We’d recommend targeting places where your product could be sold, such as nutrition centers and vitamin stores, but also expand this to gyms and fitness centers. Your marketing campaign may also benefit from targeting fitness expo events, marathons/race weekends, fitness competitions, etc.

5. Athletic Wear.

We’d recommend targeting places such as fitness and dance studios and gyms. We’d also suggest stores where your (or similar) products are sold. Another tactic would be to use fences during fitness expos and competitions.

6. Hair Care Products.

You could target beauty schools and major hair salons. This would be for both using your products in their locations, as well as presenting a re-selling opportunity. The thought process we have for this one is: if a consumer is paying to go to a nice beauty salon to get their hair done, they might enjoy recreating that beauty salon experience in their own home with your products.

To generate results in an online advertising campaign, you need someone to measure the results on a regular basis and make adjustments to the campaign. If you’re noticing one adset tanking, or one adset generating tons of results, change something! Turn off weak-performing ads!

So, does geofencing seem like it could help you hit your goal, or be a great addition to your marketing plan? Yes? Great! If you have any questions about geofencing and how it can help your company hit your marketing goals, reach out to our team of Go! Agents.

Read More