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How to Get More for Less With Your Holiday Ad Spend

How to Get More for Less With Your Holiday Adspend

Without fail, social media ad spend skyrockets during the holiday season. So why do marketers throw their hats into that ring every year? Because people are buying.

Sadly, knowing that people are spending money doesn’t magically increase your advertising budget. That’s why I’m here! I’m going to show you how to stretch your holiday ad spend dollar whether you’re a nationally-known business or a local store.

Timing Is Everything
When you’re marketing on the day of a holiday, your cost-per-click (CPC) goes up dramatically. Why? Because everyone is bidding for the same virtual ad space.

While on any given Tuesday it might be just you and a (comparatively) small handful of other businesses, advertising on Black Friday is going to pit you against retailers like Walmart and Target. By the time you finally win a bid, you’ll likely spend more on ads than you’ll ever see in ROI.

So what do you do?

For National Brands: 
If your organization is big enough, you may actually stand a chance at competing with larger companies for ad space on a major holiday. Still, question if this is the best move for you. Take into account how many of your clicks regularly turn into leads, then how many of those leads turn into conversions.

From there, you can work out how much money each of those ad clicks is going to earn in your customer’s lifetime. When running these calculations, remember that holiday shoppers are less likely to become lifelong customers.

Once you’ve got your number for how much profit each click will generate for you, based on past experience, find a margin that works for you. How much can you pay for clicks and still get an exciting ROI? Find that number, and don’t bid a penny over it. It’s unfortunate if you can’t get holiday ad space, but it’ll be worse to lose money on those same ads because of increased holiday ad spend.

For Local Businesses: 
Don’t even think about throwing your hat into that ring. The amount of traffic your local business is going to get is almost certainly not going to cover how much you’ll end up sending on clicks. Unless you’re the one local business in the world with an ad budget to rival a worldwide retailer, don’t waste your time bidding on ad space that you can’t afford to support.

For Both: 
If you find that it just isn’t feasible for you to run ads on a holiday, that’s completely fine! You can still get your share of holiday revenue. Just pick a day around the holiday to target.

You probably don’t want to skip Cyber Monday just to do the day before, where the bidding landscape will be almost identical. But what about the day after? In many ways, the day following a holiday is an overlooked hotbed of potential sales.

Immediately after a major retail holiday is exactly when all the bargain hunters come out. This is where you can shine! The ad spend market won’t be nearly as saturated with bids, and there will still be plenty of online shoppers for you to draw in.

Place your lower bids, and watch as you get prime ad space for a fraction of what it would’ve cost you 24 hours earlier.

Spend Wisely
You’re working with a limited ad budget in a competitive market, so choose your investments carefully! Take this information and make a name for your brand without spending every last penny on holiday ad space.

Does your holiday marketing plan still need some work? Set up your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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How to Tie the Holidays Into Your Social Media Posts

100118 How to Tie the Holidays Into Your Social Media Posts

You know the holiday season is right around the corner, but what does that actually mean for your social media strategy?

Well, I could tell you to do steps X, Y, and Z to update your social media plans and all your woes will vanish! Christmas shoppers will rush to your website and the garland around your tree will be made of shredded $100 bills!

But that isn’t how this works.

I can’t tell you what’s going to work perfectly for your business in your unique situation. What I can tell you, though, is that Marketing Dive found that 80% of shoppers are planning to spend at least as much on holiday shopping as they did last year. The holidays are simply too lucrative not to plan for them.

So how do you learn what you need to do? You study the best. I’m going to show you some of the most successful holiday campaigns, explain exactly what made them such hits with their audiences, and give you some tips on how you can replicate those results.

Starbucks’ holiday cups have earned them a lot of attention over the years, and the 2017 holiday season was no different. The face of coffee let their customers design their own holiday cups and have a chance for their work to be shared by Starbucks by using the #GiveGood hashtag.

What’s their secret?
Starbucks has a huge fanbase of active, loyal customers. When they were given the chance to create content for a company they love, there was no hesitation. This influx of user-generated content (UGC) got Starbucks a lot of positive attention and plenty of fresh content for advertising, all without paying a dime!

#GiveGood was also a key part of their success. It showed users that Starbucks wasn’t thinking about themselves, but was instead focusing on the spirit of giving. That brought in a human element for customers to relate to, so suddenly they were getting into the holiday spirit and not just buying coffee from one of the largest corporations in the world.

What’s the lesson?
UGC is almost always going to endear you in the eyes of your audience. It’s also important to remember that, as the holidays come closer, you can’t beg your customers to buy from you. Show them your human side and let them be naturally excited about your brand.

2. UPS
UPS started a #WishesDelivered campaign to share real, touching stories from their customers of how UPS made a difference in their lives. Every time users shared or submitted stories with the hashtag, UPS donated a dollar to one of three charities.

What’s their secret?
The short version: people love stories. Everyone wants to feel good, and #WishesDelivered gave people a reason to spread the word about what a difference UPS was making. Combining easy charity donations with the chance to spread positive, holiday-themed news made this campaign an instant success.

What’s the lesson?
Tell your customers how you’re helping them! Even if you can’t afford a huge donation to charity right now, let your customers interact with your brand by telling stories of how you did right by them. Hashtag campaigns can work wonders for spreading your message.

Nobody said the holidays were all exchanging gifts and kissing reindeer. HotelTonight’s holiday campaign acknowledged that sometimes the holidays just suck, especially when family is involved! They posted jarring (in a good way) caricatures of unpleasant family members, and encouraged users to share their worst stories of staying with relatives.

What’s their secret?
HotelTonight was simultaneously funny and reminded its customers why they needed to book hotels over the holidays. It’s hard to say “I’ll just bunk with mom” when you’re thinking about your great-aunt Muriel’s Scrabble tournament!

What’s the lesson?
Holiday marketing doesn’t have to be happy. If your brand’s personality isn’t one that cares about Santa and eggnog, that’s fine! This is also a lesson that you should be establishing empathy with your customers wherever you can. Show them that you know what they’re going through, and they’ll flock to you!

You don’t want to copy these brands, but you should take the ideas behind each success story and make them your own! The holidays are a chance for your business to score some big victories, so don’t waste this opportunity with tired marketing strategies! Now get out there and show your customers why they need you this holiday season!

Did you find this advice helpful and want to see how else you can improve your marketing strategy? Reach out to The Go! Agency today for a free consultation!

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Looking Forward: What Will Online Marketing Be Like 10 Years from Now?

Looking Forward_ What Will Online Marketing Be Like 10 Years from Now_

With the year 2020 right around the corner, you’re probably wondering “How much more can online marketing really evolve?” While of course there’s no definitive answer to this, you know from my latest blog, “Blast from The Past: A Look at the Digital World 10 Years Ago“, that online marketing is only going to continue to grow in value as the years go on. But where exactly? Here are my thoughts.

A Breakthrough of Content
If you think you’ve seen an increase of content in 2019, just wait until 2020. And no, I’m not talking about a few more YouTube videos here and there. I’m talking about businesses truly using online content to empower their sales.

This includes an influx of user-generated content, live video, and of course more of a presence on popular social media platforms. I’d even say that many businesses will pay closer attention to the non-traditional side of the search engine world, AKA voice search. It’s predicted that 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020.

So, why do I say all of this?

One word: engagement. Businesses have now caught onto the fact that online marketing is a must, and in 2020 it will be no different. In order for them to reach their customers and engage with them, they’ll need to prioritize creating relevant and quality content.

Also, let’s not forget about advertising! After all, it’s predicted that mobile ad spending will represent 43% of the total media ad spending within the U.S. While this doesn’t mean the immediate downfall of T.V. ads, it sure does put things into perspective. Brands aren’t going to continue spending money on platforms where their consumers don’t live.

A New Vehicle to Share Content 
So, where are brands going to spend their money in 2020? On influencer marketing! You’ve seen a million influencers online this past year; those people with thousands or millions of followers and subscribers. They’re considered to be knowledgeable in their field and have a large, loyal audience.

With that being said, businesses will use these influencer-audience relationships to their advantage. By working out brand deals and sponsorships with relevant influencers, even the largest of corporations will take the chance to share their products or services with an extremely targeted audience.

But that’s not even the best part. Influencer marketing content is found to deliver 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of marketing. Talk about a great way to promote your brand and actually make an investment! I can’t see businesses saying no to that.

A Bonus for Consumers
With all of these predictions for what online marketing will look like in 2020, I can only see these changes benefiting both businesses and consumers. Not only will businesses get the exposure they need, but consumers will have greater access to what they need. Businesses will no longer have to guess what their target audience needs and how they can promote it to them; through the power of content and influencer marketing, businesses will be able to connect with their audience in a new and convenient way.

So, what are your online marketing predictions for 2020? Share in the comments below!

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A Decade of Go! Agency Gold

A Decade of Go! Agency Gold

Ten years ago, when Christopher and I started The Go! Agency in 2009, online marketing was like the wild west – no real rules, a lot of tumbleweeds, and only a few people striking it rich.

Since then, we’ve moved away from the traditional sales and marketing strategy that most of us cut our teeth on. You remember: pagers and pay phones, faxes, and lots of one-on-one meetings. Now instead of having to tell two people, and they tell two people, we are finally able to just tell hundreds of people at once. As a result, this allows us to be in many places at once.

Before these changes, it really was a ghost town. There were pockets of people and groups doing it right and being consistent, but they were few and far between. Restaurants, bars, and big brands took pretty well to social media. But with both Chris and I coming from a professional background, clients we had lots of experience with (those in the healthcare, finance, legal, and other more formal industries) wanted nothing to do with this crazy new medium.

Soon after, the ‘sheriff’ arrived in town and brought along rules, hashtags, and order. Then everyone started asking about best practices: “Should I use images?” “How many characters can I use?” “When is the best time to post?” “What’s an online marketing plan?” “Do I really need to do more than just create a page, hoping that people will want to do business with me?” “Should I ‘buy followers’?” And of course, lots more.

Fast forward to 2019. Now we can now pinpoint our clients’ target audience(s) to a city block, a specific income, their age, interests, job titles – all allowing them to spend smarter and get maximum bang for their buck. We’ve seen major platforms come and go (MySpace, Google+, Vine). We’ve seen platforms that have been #1, but then have dipped in popularity (LinkedIn, Snapchat) and been overshadowed by Instagram and YouTube.

It’s been a wild ride – but I’m so proud to say that The Go! Agency has anticipated the twists and turns, and flourished. Why? I really think it’s for a few good reasons. First, integrity. We truly put our clients first. Second, transparency. We don’t think of ourselves as ‘experts.’ We’re way too humble for that…AND, the rules still change daily. We’re merely specialists – continually learning. Lastly, it comes down to investments. In our team, in their education, treating them like family, giving them a really nice place to work, and always being open to suggestions from them. Plus, our Go! Agents are awesome.

What do the next ten years hold with digital marketing? Although no one really knows, I think it will be pretty amazing. And you can be sure that The Go! Agency will be involved, as we’re constantly  keeping our eyes open for anything that will help our clients’ digital marketing campaigns succeed. “There’s a saying among prospectors: ‘Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.'” – Robert J. Flaherty

If you’ve been a client of ours in the last ten years; thank you. If you are a future client (or know someone to refer) we can’t wait to work with you!

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Blast from the Past: A Look at the Digital World 10 Years Ago

Blast from the Past_ A Look at the Digital World 10 Years Ago

Remember what the digital world was like in 2009? It might not feel that long ago, but 10 years have passed! With all of the forward-thinking technology that’s made its way into our lives and the constant changes of the online marketing landscape, there’s a lot to reflect on.

So, where do we start?

Let’s dive right in and take a look back at some of the biggest trends and predictions from 2009.

Apps, Androids, and More 
There’s no doubt that 2009 was the year that the tech world was booming—and for good reasons. For starters, Apple was paving their own way with the rising popularity of the App Store, which first came to life in 2008. With the release of the iPhone 3GS, mobile users were also introduced to in-app purchases which allow developers to still offer their app for free.

And let’s not forget the steady competition that Apple now faced with Android. Mobile devices with this operating system were—and in some ways, still are—cheaper alternatives to the Apple products. Users also got to experience Google’s own version of the app store.

But…which app really made a difference in peoples’ lives?

Would you be shocked if I told you that it was turn-by-turn auto navigation? Yep—the iPhone started to give GPS companies a run for their money by providing mobile users an app offered by TomTom. The catch was that you needed to pay $100 for the app, which if you think about it, isn’t awful considering you would be paying that same price or higher for a GPS device on its own. Although, in the distance, you could hear Android users rejoice at the fact that a similar software was being offered on their phones for free.

In addition to the new wave of smartphones and apps came the steady rise in sales of netbooks, Amazon’s Kindle, and tons of other tech products that seemed to make life just a little bit easier.

Predictions For the Future of Digital and Online Marketing 
You’re probably thinking, “Wow, we’ve sure come a long way in the past 10 years.” And, you know what, you’re right! At the time, these technological advances were no doubt next-level. Even though consumers had access to the best products yet, there was still hope that both the tech and online worlds would evolve into something even better when 2010 came around. That’s where a few key predictions were made.

Both online video advertising and video streams were thought to increase in the next year along with the rise of digital ad spending. In addition, it was predicted that many brands would start utilizing more targeted ads in the future to really aim themselves at the right customer; although, more consumers were predicted to utilize ad-blocking software.

With the rise of mobile usage and apps, it’s no surprise that many social networking sites and apps were predicted to only get bigger and better in 2010. For example, Twitter was thought to continue building its audience as one of the “newer” social media channels. Spotify had also just begun to climb the ladder as an audio streaming service, and Netflix was teaming up with electronic companies to bring video streaming straight to consumers’ TVs. Many believed that streaming services like these would become dominant within the average home.

Flash forward to 2019, and many of these predictions have come to life. It’s no secret that as time goes on, the tech world continues to evolve and improve. Reflecting on everything that’s been accomplished in 2009—and now in 2019—makes me excited to see what’s next in the future!

What do you think the next trends will be in the future?  Let me know in the comments below!

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10 Years Later: From the Desk of the CEO

10 Years Later_ From the Desk of the CEO

It is really unbelievable to think that 10 years ago this month The Go! Agency was born with one client, two employees (myself and co-owner Dale Griffen), and a bucketload of dreams for the future.

Flash forward 10 years to today, we have a full roster of clients, talented staff, beautiful offices, and a future pipeline filled to the brim.

Dale and I never thought about what the future would hold when we started The Go! Agency. If you can’t remember what the online world was like back then, let me remind you. While email marketing, blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and online advertising were fairly proven mediums, social media was the wild west packed with snake oil salespeople. Companies large and small were jumping at the chance to try out this new medium, setting aside large portions of their marketing budgets to give it a whirl. And there were ample “experts”, “gurus”, and the like popping up all over ready to take advantage of that.

At the time, the difference between The Go! Agency and these so-called “gurus” was that we never confessed to be 100% experts. Why? In the constantly changing landscape of social media marketing, we were, and remain merely specialists, as we are continually in learning mode. Other big differences are that we have solid marketing, public relations, and online experience—all keys to being a success. Plus, it was beneficial to have a desire to learn, be agile, and understand that you wouldn’t always get the results you wanted. Some concepts and strategies might have worked amazingly one day, but the next day would be killed and replaced with features that didn’t work and would make you go back to the drawing board. We wanted to approach our prospective and current clients with a holistic approach and offer organic campaigns that would be able to change on a dime and focus on the client’s needs; we were never focused on pushing buttons and cashing checks. Our focus was on client’s success—that was our win. Not making millions of dollars in a matter of months and then fading away.

Fun Fact: One of our biggest direct competitors at the time was highly visible and took on LOTS of business very quickly. That agency lasted only a few years, and two years ago their CEO responded to a job listing I put up for an entry-level Social Media Account Executive. True story.

We wanted our agency to be built differently than others we had observed throughout our professional careers. We wanted ours to be honest, transparent, results driven, and have an intense focus on the client experience. Our desire was to have a roster of clients that were a pleasure to work with, who were invested in success and growth, and that would help us create that almighty win-win-win scenario. Triple wins are my favorite.

When it came to staff, we wanted to hire talented individuals that were interested in creative growth, were engaged with their work, and were focused on their clients. We also wanted to create an environment where there were no office politics, no drama. And if there was, the environment would move these individuals out of the organization organically.

Sitting here today, we’re pleased to say that all of this was achieved. Our current roster of clients is not only diverse, but includes one of the largest international athletic brands (Under Armour) that organically found us based on reputation alone. We will drop everything to help a client on a moment’s notice and the focus is always on them, which is so amazing to see.

Our team is a team. We work together through stressful times and quieter times. Just last month we all went on a company cruise in the Caribbean to blow off steam, bond a little, relax, and zip line! And you know what? Everyone enjoyed one another, no one was avoiding one another—it was relaxing and refreshing.

So is there anything we would change looking back over the last 10 years?

No. Nothing.

Every situation that may have been negative brought forth contemplation and experience that helped us grow stronger as a company. Every employee who didn’t work out, every client that we had to fire, and even those times when the wi-fi didn’t work during an important client meeting…these moments all brought forth a great amount of experience that we are able to now share with our clients.

We’re now in such a sweet position. We’re surrounded by a team of wonderful individuals that we consider not only our team, but also our family. We look out for one another. We work together to get the best results for clients. We are emotionally attached to the work. And to top it all off, we have a roster of clients that respect our team, understand our value, and collaborate with us on taking their success to the next level. See, I really can’t complain.

So where do we go next? Our team and our roster of clients will always evolve, ebb and flow. But our goal is to continue to grow from our vast experience working with clients, one another, and in the marketing industry as a whole to build an even stronger agency that will last for another ten years, and much longer beyond that.

And we will continue to add services as and when we see the need across the board. This year alone we have added a few new services that our clients were eager for that immediately brought them great levels of success and results. So expect much more of that in the future.

Overall, The Go! Agency is about working with companies to provide global solutions that will help them market and sell their businesses with less cost, less time, and more efficiency.

This is why our consulting services are currently one of our fastest-growing services, which I am personally fulfilling. Throughout the last ten years, I was able to really identify where my passion areas were: working strategically within a team, creating marketing and sales scenarios that create proven success, problem solving on a dime, motivating marketing professionals that are overwhelmed, and many more.

Above all, I have identified that one of my true passions is working with individuals and companies collaboratively to solve their problems, work out the kinks in their strategy, and help them reach their true potential. I began offering this here and there to clients as consulting and over the past few years I have been very lucky to worth with hundreds of different companies in this arena…and enjoyed every minute of it. Some call it coaching, others consulting. I call it real talk—and I love being able to help with my direct and honest approach. It brings me lots of joy.

But I digress. The Go! Agency is our heart and soul, and Dale and I couldn’t be prouder of what we as a company have achieved during the last decade. Sitting here and trying to remember all of the many events that we have lived through (recessions, hurricanes, changing political climates) it brings joy to my heart to see that as an agency we have been resilient, stuck to our values, and never altered our ethics for a paycheck. We continue to do work that we believe in, creating amazing results and ROI for clients that believe in us. I think this is a good place to be in, don’t you agree?

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Under the Influence: An Intro to Social Media Influencers

Under the Influence_ An Intro to Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers are social media users who reach a wide audience and have established credibility in a given industry or field. The influence of these individuals outweighs that of the average social media user. While social media influencers technically exist on any platform or network, they are predominantly on YouTube and Instagram.

A typical social media influencer displays the following characteristics.

• Authenticity. Influencers are perceived as genuine. The audience sees an influencer as an independent party rather than a brand spokesperson.

• Credibility. Stemming from the above, Influencers are trustworthy and impartial. Indeed, the trust has already been established: the audience members are following the influencers for reasons unrelated to any brands or sponsors.

• Expertise. Influencers are seen as having experience and knowledge about their industry or topic of choice. This expertise does not have to be professional: many beauty vloggers are not professional makeup artists or cosmetologists.

• Relatability. Influencers are approachable and accessible, albeit charismatic. Even celebrity influencers (Kylie JennerCristiano RonaldoChrissy Tiegen, e.g.) make efforts to humanize themselves and empathize with their audiences.

Why They Matter
Social media influencers are a major force in digital marketing. They have risen in prominence over the past decade, so this trend seems to have staying power. But why should you include these people in your marketing strategy? Here are just a few reasons to incorporate social media influencers into your marketing campaigns.

Influencers humanize your brand. As we touched on above, social media influencers are relatable. An influencer’s success (and often livelihood) depends on connecting with his or her audience. They want to be embraced by their viewers and/or followers, so most of them need to prove that they are just like their viewers and/or followers. True, there are social media influencers who seem more perfect than others, but even these models will put a face to your brand. Whether an influencer is relatable or aspirational, your brand will be humanized by the connection with a real person.

People trust peers more than companies. Who is more trustworthy: your neighbor or an ad? Your boss or a commercial? A friendly acquaintance or an anonymous stranger? Time and time again, studies have shown that people put more stock in the recommendations of their peers than in a corporate advertisement. Experience is the best teacher, so why wouldn’t you rely on an experienced source who you already trust? Even though followers might not have ever had any personal interactions (i.e., meeting the influencer in person or having an actual conversation with that person directly), they still see an influencer as their peer.

Influencers are better able to reach an audience. Influencers already have a following of their own. Likewise, they are already sharing content that relates to your brand or to your brand’s industry. In short, their audiences are already interested in content just like yours! Social media influencers will therefore be better equipped to reach your target audience than traditional advertisements. Additionally, their audiences seek out the influencers content. These followers are actively trying to engage and consume content that will help further your branding and your marketing goals!

Influencers and marketers have long-term relationships. Social media influencers should be part of your longterm strategy, not just one campaign. Influencers will likely stick to the same or similar content and audiences over the course of several years: your brand will be able to grow with them. You can actually build a relationship with an influencer, using that influencer as a resource repeatedly.

In our next blog, we’ll discuss the different types of social media influencers and help you determine which is best for your brand.

Would you like to unleash the power of social media marketing? We can help! Visit us today to arrange your free consultation!

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Instagram Pitfalls: 10 Things That You Need to Avoid At All Costs

Instagram Pitfalls_ 10 Things That You Need to Avoid At All Costs

One of the secrets to increasing your social media engagement is bringing your content strategy to life with visuals. And when you are ready to tell your company’s visual story – Instagram should be one of your first ports of call.  Not only is Instagram one of the fastest consistently growing social media hubs out there, it can also bring you up to 15 times more engagement than your average Facebook posts.

AND….it is not just for kids!

One of the biggest misconceptions about Instagram is that it has a predominantly young user-base. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that Instagram usage is nearly an even 50-50 split between users under, and over 30.

As you can see – Instagram presents a promising opportunity for users to not only enjoy a nice amount of engagement, but also interact with your target audience in a whole new manner.

BUT WAIT!  Before you go and start (or continue) marketing your business using Instagram, I want to share with you 10 Instagram mistakes that you need to avoid at all costs! Let’s go:

1.  Don’t Forget About Video: I see this happen all the time. Many companies are only JUST getting comfortable with taking and posting pictures, so the idea of shooting videos can be a bit intimidating.  That aside, I’m telling you: you need to shoot and post short videos. It can be the secret weapon of engagement.

2.  Don’t Like Everything: There is nothing worse than someone on Instagram who LIKES every post that shows up in their stream. Just imagine if you saw someone doing that on Facebook? It looks dishonest or phony. Be selective, this way you can begin to form meaningful relationships rather than countless meaningless ones.

3.  Don’t Be Inconsistent: Like all of social media marketing, consistency is rewarded, and Instagram is no different. So be sure to find a schedule and number of photos that you are able to regularly post and stick to it. Don’t post 10 photos in one day and not another one for 4 weeks.

4.  Don’t Go Hashtag Crazy: There is a limit to the number of hashtags that you are able to use on Instagram: 30 to be exact. But, let’s be honest, that is a massive number. You want to create meaningful hashtags, not ones that you are adding just for the sake of hashtagging. I suggest between 6 and 10 at most.

5.  Don’t Be a Downer: When marketing your business, you need to stay professional and post positive things. Negativity is not your friend on Instagram. Remember, visuals emotionally connect you to your audience, so don’t put a bad taste in your audiences’ mouth.

6.  Don’t Lose Your Focus: With any marketing campaign, you don’t want to deviate from your plan. On Instagram it can be easy, due to the fact that when you start you may not know what pictures to take. Decide what you want your approach to be and stick with it: stay on-brand and on-message.

7.  Don’t Just Advertise: Are your only posts discounts and promotions on Instagram? Shame! You need to have an even marketing message mix rather than sell, sell, sell.  Just think  – no one wants to engage with someone who is constantly pushing sales messages on them, so share visuals that will bring your target consumer closer to you.

8.  Don’t Post Disrespectful Content: We are not speaking about being negative here, but more so of items that can be taken the wrong way by your audience.  So if you have different political, religious, or social views – your company Instagram would probably not be the place for them. People could find it disrespectful – which is not what you want!

9.  Don’t Forget to Comment: If you see good content that deserves your feedback – comment! This will help you open a dialogue with another person and help engagement with your own account.

10.  Don’t Forget to Comment Back: This is a rookie mistake. If someone is taking the time to comment on one of your posts, you are shooting yourself in the foot if you are not commenting back. Just think: on Facebook how valuable the comments are to your post’s success. This is no different on Instagram, so keep the dialogue going!

These 10 mistakes are things that I have seen happen again and again on Instagram. Keep them in mind when you are rolling out your campaign and you will enjoy a higher level of success, and side-stepping unnecessary controversy or negative attention.

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8 Steps to Sending Effective Mass Messages Through Social Media

8 Steps to Sending Effective Mass Message Through Social Media

There is nothing worse than receiving a mass message that has nothing to do with our needs from a person that we have never even heard of, right? I remember 4 years ago this rarely happened on Facebook and LinkedIn, but today I can log-in and be hit with 10-15 per day!

If you have taken the time to read these messages, some are very effective. They hit all of the right points to keep you engaged, while others COMPLETELY miss the mark and turn you off. Sometimes they can even anger you to the point where you remove the sender as a contact.

When done effectively with planning, these mass messages can truly benefit your social media marketing efforts.

Now a point of clarification. I am speaking about the messages which go into your inbox, not status updates that can be viewed in the newsfeed.

In this blog, I am focusing on Facebook and LinkedIn, as these two popular sites have this functionality. Here are some useful step-by-step guidelines for you to follow when creating your mass message using Facebook and LinkedIn in order to create buzz and engage your audience:

Step 1: What is My Message? First, you need to think of the reason why you are reaching out to your audience. Is it to offer them a discount, let them know about a new service or to share a new blog post with them? When writing this, you want to convey the message in a conversational way – seeming as if it was written directly for with the recipient. Remember, this is social media, not mass message central.

Step 2: Who is the Target Market for the Message? Second, you need to think about who you want to reach with the message (as the message should be completely tailored to this market). For example, sending a medical-based email to a recreational golf professional could result in removal, blocking, or spam flagging. Make sure you are aiming for the correct market.

Step 3: What is the Goal? If the goal of this is to get people to visit your website, blog, or even call in – make sure that you clearly present this information in the message. Sounds obvious, but it’s easily overlooked.

Step 4: Keep it Concise! There is nothing worse than opening a message on LinkedIn or Facebook that is miles long. Remember that on these sites communications are short and to the point. Make sure you can convey everything you want to in a very specific and concise manner.

Step 5: Choose a Greeting. Personally, after the subject line, the greeting line is the next point where I decide if I want to read on. Starting off with “Hello Friends” or “My Dear Friend” or “Treasured Business Associate” is not in your best interest. Why? Because this is not how people communicate with one another on LinkedIn….or in real life! You want to start off with something engaging that makes the reader feel as if you are writing directly to them!

Step 6: Choose a Subject Line. This is extremely important, as you want to write something compelling enough to get your audience to open the message. My biggest piece of advice is to lay off the Caps Lock key. There is nothing worse than looking at a subject line that is screaming at you. For that matter, leave out the excessive use of all capitals in the body of your message as well. This can be off-putting.

Step 7: Proof Read! In this extremely critical world, few things are worse than sending a message out to thousands of people and misspelling an element of your message. Even worse though? Get ready to be educated by the “Grammar and Spelling Police” as they give you lessons on how to spell words and form sentences. Proofreading protects you from this and gives your message that professional sparkle.

Step 8: Choose Your Platform. Personally, I believe that LinkedIn was made for communications like this. It is a networking platform and this can be viewed as an extension of networking. Facebook, on the other hand, is more specific. I would only do a mass message on Facebook if I have a target group created where they are familiar with me and my business. Why? Facebook users can be quite vigilant when it comes to hitting the “Spam” button on messages that they do not want to deal with. LinkedIn, on the other hand, allows you flexibility and makes it easy to send messages like this. The only drawback is that you can only send them in batches of 50. My top tip for LinkedIn is to make sure before you send the message to un-check the box next to “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses”. You will find this below the message box. This helps your message look more personal and direct.

Overall, these messages should be used within an overriding social media marketing strategy. Don’t send them in high frequency as they can be very annoying. Keep your messages written with your target market in mind and only reach out when absolutely necessary. Oh yeah, and drop the “Hello Friend”.

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Why You Need a Professional Writer

Why You Need a Professional Writer

You probably haven’t thought about how much web copy you see online, but take a minute to think on it. Every line of text you scroll past was written by someone, and if what you’re reading seems well-written, there’s a good chance it was written by a professional.

Between the copy you don’t think about and the long-form content you read, there are a lot of words that need to be crafted in just the right way, and that’s where writers come in. I’m going to explain why, contrary to what your ego may tell you, you absolutely need a professional writer on your team.

It’s a Lot
You probably don’t think your business needs a lot of writing done, but trust me, it does. Website copy will pile up before you know it. This includes things like product descriptions, “About Us” sections; everything that’s small individually but comes together to build your perfect website.

That’s before you get into the world of ad writing, creating content, and crafting social media updates. You might be able to hang on for awhile if you’re the least busy business owner in the world, but otherwise, you’ll be much better served by leaving it to the professionals.

It’s More Complicated Than You Think
You can write! You’ve written papers, text messages, and that one love letter in eighth grade—so why can’t you handle your business’ writing?

Because it’s hard.

It isn’t just writing one social media update or the single product description for your new launch. It’s creating and adhering to a tone that fits your company’s branding and values, it’s refreshing old copy to keep up with the changes of your business, and it’s researching industry trends to keep the conversation going with your audience. No matter how tight your budget is, you simply can’t skimp by without a professional writer.

Grammar Is Tricky
Knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” isn’t enough to create great digital content or copy. Not only are there a lot of grammar rules for you to master, but they’re not going to be the same everywhere. Your professional writer will work with you to find and stick to a specific style so that your business’ writing can be consistent and clear across all channels.

Why does this matter? It might not seem like much, but readers are going to notice when your blogs alternate on using the oxford comma or use “gray” and “grey” interchangeably. They’ll catch on, and their impression is going to be that your business is sloppy and amateurish, and neither of those are words that you want floating around your brand!

Keeping It Fresh Is Tough
There’s more to writing than creating content—there’s also creating a content mix. That means posting more than the same promo with a slightly skewed wording. It’s sharing news, tips, and things that your audience is going to enjoy beyond calls to buy from your brand.

That extends beyond your social media updates, too. Your website copy will need to be updated as you roll out new products and just generally find better layouts. Staff changes will also call for writing new bios, and nothing will ruin your team’s credibility faster than flat, unimaginative bios!

So even if you had the time to dedicate to all of these writing tasks, you’d quickly find yourself struggling to create new, compelling content that wasn’t just a rehashing of the previous week’s work. In short, you can rest assured that your writer will have plenty to keep them busy and justify your investment in them!

Do the Write Thing
It’s normal to want to cut corners by not hiring a writer, but that doesn’t make it a good impulse. Instead, invest the extra resources in having a qualified writer handle your online presence. You’ll be glad you did when you’re not spending every waking moment juggling writing with your other responsibilities!

You might not be completely sold on the benefits of hiring a professional writer. Schedule your free consultation with the Go! Agency and we’ll talk about it!

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