Social Media Marketing Strategies for Startups

Over the last several years, the world known as social media has blossomed into a marketer’s paradise. Major social media channels now offer various advertising options. This makes it easier to reach your target audience and amplify your ads. The average human spends over 2 hours a day on social media profiles. This makes social media an ideal place to build your brand, especially for startups.

This article will show you how to use Facebook to build your brand, accumulate leads, and make sales.

Social Media Strategy

1.  Target Practice

When using Facebook to place ads, you have the privilege of selecting your audience. You can target people who like your page to increase sales. Or target an audience based on interests that relate to your product. In both cases, Facebook provides a great option to increase sales and generate leads. Facebook ads will keep your cost per conversion down and increase branding.

Developing the perfect target audience is an elegant process. Many ads need modification after the first try. Matt Edstrom, head of marketing of a new health-science startup, BioClarity mentions,

“Not every target audience profile you developed will strike gold on the first try. It is important to track the data and make adjustments accordingly. Often time a simple tweak here and there is what propels your Facebook ad into experiencing higher engagement metrics and more conversions.”

2.  Stay Consistent

When it comes to posting new content, don’t expect to be an overnight success. Your startup needs time to grow and develop, so does your Facebook following. It is important not to get discouraged if you aren’t seeing the engagement numbers you hoped for. Keep at it and adjust your strategy based on the information from your metrics. If a product video is receiving the most engagement, consider making a video for each product. Discover what content works best for your audience and provide it. Stick with a variety of content but favor the types that perform well.

3. Find Your Social Niche

Each social media platform has its strengths. Find the social media platform that fits the needs of your business. For example, visual-heavy companies may do well on Instagram. The platform is video and image-driven so it will be a good fit. If you’re seeking a youthful audience, Snapchat will work well. About 40% of Snapchat users are 18 to 24 years old.

Pinterest is great for women and Linked is ideal for B2B. So, get in where you fit in. Be active on many social media channels but focus the platform that gives you the best response.

4. Embrace The New

After the F8 Conference, it’s clear change will be constant. Startups will succeed in a fluid marketing strategy. Products and technologies evolve every year. Be brave and set aside advertising budget for new social platforms. If you miss, you miss small. But you may win big, you won’t know if you don’t try.

Takeaway

  • Tweak your social ads till they work
  • Won’t happen overnight
  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Get in where you fit in
  • Be bold and try new things

 

Programmatic Media

With the digital advertising landscape constantly becoming more competitive, it’s extremely imperative to be informed on what brands are doing to continue to captivate their audiences and woo new customers. It’s more important than ever to be relevant to your messaging. Programmatic Advertising is a new digital marketing trend that holds a highly effective solution to deliver the right messages to the right people.

Programmatic Advertising is a hot topic in digital marketing. In fact, IAB estimated by 2018 that programmatic could be up to 80% of marketing spend. Our friends at Centro estimate by 2017, Programmatic media spend in the U.S is going to be at $27 Billion. When first learning about it, it can seem confusing and overwhelming. NDMR wants to lessen the confusion and break it down for you with a high-level overview so you can understand the trend too.

After our San Diego Agency, New Dimension Marketing, and Research, spent a sunny morning at SDX’s Programmatic Media Workshop, we heard various perspectives from digital marketing professionals on the ad buying, publishing and agency side of programmatic. Traditionally, ad buying involved RFPs, insertion orders as well as people who had to heavily be involved in the negotiation process. Programmatic ad buying eliminates this and in essence, uses machines to buy ads. This is efficient for the advertising community as it eliminates mundane tasks humans have to perform, decreases human errors and gives us humans the chance to focus on more complex campaigns and campaign optimizations.

Types of Programmatic

Programmatic Direct/Automated Guaranteed/Programmatic Guaranteed

This type of programmatic is automated buying and selling using reserved inventory which is directly booked in the publisher ad server. It is done at high priority settings with fixed rates. Pricing and/or delivery of impressions is pre-negotiated and guaranteed rather than as an auction. What makes this programmatic? First of all, negotiation and fulfillment is automated and completed through platforms rather than manually. Also, since the deal exists in the same platform, you can make sure you’re not targeting the same audience on your “open market buys”, bringing efficiency to your overall buy. An advertiser would only use this type of deal when delivery is most important, and they are planning on applying a limited amount of targeting and optimization to the buy, but still want the benefits of programmatic listed above. The technologies used for these sales bring flexibility, automation, and ease for publishers and media buyers.

Preferred Deal

A form of Programmatic Direct with a fixed CPM negotiated directly between the publisher and the advertiser, but here, the advertiser retains a greater degree of control to decide which impressions they want to buy, via optimization levers or data. Ad Exchange sellers offer inventory to buyers before the inventory is available to others looking to buy in the Open Auction. Sometimes inventory is exclusively offered through Preferred Deals. Buyers can also wait until the Open Auction to bid. However, if you bid on a preferred deal you cannot also compete for the same impression in the Open Auction.

Private Marketplace/PMP/Private Auction/Closed Auction

These deals are more exclusive as an invitation-only auction with unreserved inventory. Typically, the most coveted publishers offer their ad inventory to a certain group of advertisers. This works as an open auction in pricing, typically with a floor price, and involves real-time bidding which depends on what advertisers are willing to pay. This type of programmatic allows advertisers to have a good sense of control of where their ads run.

The DL on Real Time Bidding

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and Programmatic Buying are not interchangeable. RTB is one type of programmatic which means automatic bidding, selling and purchasing impressions for Display. This is all done as an auction. It involves several parties including a DSP (demand side platform), advertiser, publisher, and ad exchange. This demand-side platform helps advertisers decide which ad impressions to purchase. The DSP automates the ad purchase process, and this all happens milliseconds before a web page loads with the best bid serving the viewer the winning ad, making the process seamless. The DSP bids on impressions made available from an ad exchange.

As a Paid Search Manager, I found similarities between Paid Search and real-time bidding within Programmatic. Lorenzo Moreno of The Trade Desk said it best, “Instead of bidding for keywords, you’re bidding for certain times of the day.” When asked about why we should use programmatic he said, “You get to decide which impressions are most valuable to you”.

In Conclusion

There are multiple methods to execute your programmatic ad deals and it’s a growing part of our industry that is continually expanding and becoming increasingly prevalent for brand marketers as well as direct response campaigns. While Programmatic evolves, it’s an essential tool and trend to learn about to connect with and move audiences. After all, who doesn’t want to spend advertising dollars more efficiently and effectively?

How To Increase Google Page Speed Test Score to 100

We all dislike it…sites that take forever to load. There we are, going about our wonderful lives when all of the sudden, we encounter a site that stares back at us with a blank white page. Why does the universe do us like that?… Even worse, what if your site is a blank white page, turning away customers before they have even had a chance to interact with your brand? In this fast-paced world, a fast loading website is crucial. Google has created a Tool called Page Speed to, not only identify what parts of your site are causing delay, but how to fix them. Here are some common factors that have a significant impact on website speed and why site speed in important:

 

Slow Page Speed

It all starts with impatience. We have become so thirsty that we literally will not wait longer than the blink of an eye for pages to load. It can be explained with the Houston Airport Case Study. Coupled with the fact that fast sites are the gold standard today, it’s easy to see that slow sites don’t stand a chance.

 

Mobile Baby!

It doesn’t take a Executive Mechanical Engineer to tell you that mobile is the present and future. There’s over a billion people with smartphones nowadays and successful websites have blazing mobile site speeds. Optimizing your mobile site speed is the first step to reaching ideal site speed. Google wants to see that you have customized your mobile site for many resolutions.  

 

Downsize Code

The goal is to decrease your code’s size so it loads faster. As programmers build, they sometimes leave extra spaces that increase their size and delay load time. Scan through your JavaScript and CSS code with the intent to minify.

 

Render-Blocking

For the browser to render your page, it must first make a build a treelike structure called a DOM (document object model). While creating the DOM, if the parser encounters a render blocking script, it must execute the script which will cause loading lag. To avoid this lag, place your render blocking script below the fold.

 

Plugins

You want to avoid the use of plugins, especially for mobile. Plugins are a large source of headache due to their incidental nature in terms of browser support. Its best to avoid them if possible. Rather than plugins, use native methods for graphics, video, audio and other effects.

 

Your server will also affect your site’s ability to reach a 100% score so take it into account on your pursuit of a perfect Google Page Speed Score!

Where Have All My Google Reviews Gone?

First off, why are Google Reviews important?

As a business, Google Reviews are valuable because they are an unbiased third party opinion. We are a community influenced by social proof and seeing a slew of positive Google Reviews tends to place the company in a preferable light. In addition, Google Reviews are a significant variable that contribute to a site’s search rank. When you search for “Coffee”, what pops up? Go ahead, try it! You get a description of coffee, yes. But, you also get a listing of places near you that sell coffee. And, as a local business, you really want to be on the list. As with all results on Google, the closer your business is to the top of the page, the better.

How do the Google Reviews get lost?

The main reason Google Reviews disappear is inactivity. Yes, there are other factors that may cause Google Reviews to disappear, but the big one is inactivity. When a business does not update its Google+ page for a period of 6 months, there is a high probability the listing will become unverified. After a 6 month hiatus, Google decides you are no longer interested in playing ball so it kicks you off the team. This affects page ranking and your precious reviews. Other reasons your reviews may have vanished include:

  • Links in reviews
  • Spam reviews
  • Reviews are private

How do I keep them?

In order to prevent Google Reviews from evaporating, make sure you’re active on your Google+ account. Simple. Sharing other Google+ members’ content, posting updates and photos will keep your account active and work to preserve those precious reviews. This will also maintain/ grow your Google+ community and expand your reach on social media.

 

So, how can we get our reviews back now that we lost them?

 

Migs Bassig has a great set of steps to get your Google Reviews back:

 

  1. Log into Google My Business.
  2. In the upper left corner, open the menu and choose “All Locations”.
  3. If prompted, verify that you are authorized to manage this business and agree to the Terms of Service.
  4. Click “Manage Location”.
  5. From the Location page, click “Edit”.
  6. Open the Maps section.
  7. Click “Edit Marker Location”.
  8. Wiggle the map marker just a tiny bit and save.

If needed, contact Google Customer Support.

 

Looking to Increase your rank on Google? Get in touch with us!

3 Reasons Why Mohamed Ali Was A Branding Master

Mohamed Ali, many of us honor him for his greatness, in and out of the ring. His iconic status has reverberated through society on a global scale. Ali was spectacular boxer, but many of his culturally significant moments happened off the ropes. Ironically, the fighter was an advocate for peace and a true humanitarian by all measures. So, how was he great at branding? I will explain with these 3 points:

 

  1. Unique Value Proposition

    It’s a common question in business, “what’s your UVP?” Companies look to identify their strengths and play to them in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. So, what was Ali’s UVP? Without going too in-depth about his boxing career, Ali was THE champion who won in dramatic fashion. His unorthodox style made him interesting to watch and his personality made him a fighter to love. His fights were legendary and captivated people worldwide. Nobody could do what Ali did….and it made him an Icon.

  2.  Identity Branding

    Companies can flounder simply because of poor brand recognition. Your brand’s message should be clear, concise and consistent. If you haven’t seen an Ali fight, you’ve likely heard his words. Ali was known for his ability to promote himself with epic copyright, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” His mental sharpness was remarkable. The man’s nickname was “The Greatest”, how that for marketing genius? When Ali spoke, it gave his audience something to talk about for weeks to come. He became a source of original content and he became know as the greatest– a place all brands would like to be.

  3. Stand for Something

    Ali brought attention to the major issue of inequality. Mohamed Ali was an advocate for equality and had the courage to speak out publicly in order to increase the condition of life for everyone. Ali was a believer, a true believer. He has supported dozens of charities geared towards the improvement of well-being for all. Ali was also outspoken against the Vietnam War, which resonated with the large counter-culture of that era. Ali refused to take part in the Vietnam War and was even arrested for his refusal. Nevertheless, Mohamed didn’t budge, he stuck to his beliefs and set a precedent for future generations to come.

The takeaway from all of this? Be amazing! Create a brand that, 1) makes the world a better place and 2) inspires a group of people. Fight for your beliefs and stand up for what you believe in. Who knows, maybe you will change the world like “The Greatest”. RIP  Mohamed Ali

 

The Importance of Company Culture and How it’s Created

Anyone who has been part of a team knows the importance of culture. It’s this intangible and mysterious thing that drives a team or company. It provides a sense of identity, solidarity and pride within an organization. The Cambridge Dictionary has a fitting definition for culture- the ideas and ways of working that are typical for an organization, and that affect how it does business and how its employees behave. We have seen it time and time again; companies with awesome cultural values succeed. Why is that? I’ll tell you why- because happy employees make great work. Plain and simple. Let’s take a look at Google’s culture, they know it’s the employees that make the company successful, so they have a culture that supports them and makes their work environment enjoyable. How do they do this you ask? Well, for a start, the Googleplex is filled with engaging stimuli. For example, a rock climbing wall, bowling alley, cafes and napping pods. And, we’ve seen how their cultural tactics have worked out for them; Google was ranked #1 best company to work for in 2016 by FORTUNE.

So, now that we know what company culture is, how can we create it? Well, it starts with the leaders and trickles its way down through the rest of the organization. The values, attitudes, and beliefs of the head honchos set company culture. They establish what aspects of their company make their cultural identity unique and select employees that emanate these qualities. Sounds simple, right? In actuality, this is only half of it. For culture to have a positive impact on the company, employees’ needs must be taken into account as well. Now, employee needs can be drastically different from company to company, so the leadership team must listen to employee feedback. This allows the leaders to 1) determine their employee needs and 2) fulfill employee needs at work. Creating a constant feedback loop allows leaders to set a cohesive company culture with the needs of their employees in mind.

Back in 2013, Yahoo transitioned Marissa Mayer into the CEO position. She set in place an employee-focused company culture which has improved the business on multiple levels. Employees who left Yahoo are coming back and its reputation as an enjoyable workplace has improved. Shareholders are happy too as share value and quarter earnings have increased.

The takeaway from all this? Culture has become just as important to employees as salary and benefits. People, now more than ever, have placed a high value on work culture, as it dictates the overall satisfaction of their job. Companies who have yet to establish their culture will benefit greatly from doing so and those who need a cultural refresh will most likely see an increase in employee performance.

2019 Update! Adapting to the Millennial Workforce

Company culture is now more important than ever! Especially with more and more Millennials entering the workforce, companies have started to understand that culture is a key component in retention. However, it is important that your team is not only improving culture but also improving the lives and wellbeing of your employees. Yes, paying employees is great, but does your company offer and personal finance resources? Simple gestures like offering personal finance tools can make a big impact in the long run. There are a lot of great tools out there, some free and some paid that your HR team can leverage. I Am Net Worthy, for example, has a personal finance section focused for only Millennials!

Take this a step further and don’t just offer tools and resources to your team. Bring in experts for hands-on workshops and education sessions! In addition to helping improve the lives of your team, it will also act as a team building exercise and bring your company closer together.

 

Get Mobile; Get Local for 2015

According to Analytics Clarity, a data analysis firm in Orange County, and also according other Internet research firms and web marketing companies, mobile traffic will triumph desktop traffic in the year 2015.

These companies have indicated that most of the mobile traffic will come from search engines where users will use their mobile devices to search Google and Bing looking for various websites and businesses.

Both mentioned search engines in particular Google realize the value of returning the most relevant search results for their users hence they are more likely to return a mixture of localized search results based on users location, device phone number (area code), and search phrase.

According to a renowned SEO consultant,  SEO in 2015 should be focused around mobile SEO and local SEO.  In a personal interview with him, he added the following:

Phone screens are larger, even Apple increased the screen size of their new iPhone 6 to keep up with the consumer demand. This is because consumers are using their mobile devices more in order to complete their personal and professional tasks. This should prompt any marketer to pay more attention to mobile when formulating their marketing strategy for 2015.

About Local marketing and local SEO he added,

Users appreciate and prefer localized search result when searching the search engines. All businesses and marketers should pay attention this and focus on local SEO and local marketing. Take Amazon for an example; They are not a local company but with their enhanced same day deliver creates a localized impression for their customers and their product Amazon Local offers localized deals for their users. This indicates how important local marketing is!

Along with mobile and local marketing, he added that social media will play larger roles in search engine rankings and will become more important.

In Summary, mobile SEO and local SEO will be name of the game in 2015.  If your company is not on top of this, then better hurry up. If you need help, contact us and we will be more than happy to help you.