Category: Marketing

How to Prepare Your Business for Holiday Season

E-commerce Season is Approaching! Here’s How to Prepare Your Business

E-commerce season is upon us, and the competition to get your business seen will be more intense than ever before. Here’s what you need to know about preparing your business before the holiday orders start rushing in… or not!

Plan out your marketing and email campaigns.

As e-commerce season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how you will market your business and reach your target audience. Chances are you’ve already received seasonal emails or marketing. It’s important to put pen to paper, or characters to a google document now in order to plan, create and implement your marketing and sales campaigns so you aren’t missing out on turning viewers into buyers. Email campaigns are a great way to reach a large number of people without breaking the bank. Plus, they’re easy to set up and track.

If you don’t have an email list yet, now is the perfect time to get started on one with free tools like Hubspot or Mailchimp. Running a contest or giveaway is a good way to gain interested consumers’ contact information. 

Some consumers have already started.Twenty-five percent of shoppers either began their holiday shopping last month or plan to begin shopping in SeptemberperBankrate. Another 25% expect to begin in October, while only 40% plan to start shopping in the final two months of the year. (Sept. 2022, Insider Intelligence)

 

Ensure your website can handle the uptick in traffic.

Regardless of what you’re selling, it’s important to ensure your website can handle the uptick in traffic. Delays, errors, or issues impact your bottom line. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your site stays up and running during this busy time: 

  • Perform a stress test on your website. This will help you identify any potential bottlenecks so you can address them before they cause problems.
  • Make sure your hosting plan can accommodate increased traffic. If necessary, upgrade your server or consider using a cloud-based solution.
  • Ensure your website is optimized for speed. This includes things like reducing image sizes, using caching, and minifying CSS and JavaScript files. You should also keep your HTML as lean as possible by removing unnecessary whitespace and inline styles. You can also use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to evaluate how quickly your site loads.
  • Consider having someone manually audit your website at least once per year, especially if you’re planning significant changes in layout or design. The extra review may catch something that might have been missed otherwise due to the hectic pace of the holiday shopping season.

Plan ahead for supply chain delays.

The holiday season is a busy time for businesses, and e-commerce businesses are no exception. If you’re selling products online, planning ahead for potential supply chain delays is important. Here are a few tips:

  • Start planning early by considering the inventory that will be needed to meet customer demand. 
  • Consider storage requirements: Do you have enough space for inventory? Does your space need temperature controls? What about security?
  • Consider logistics: Is there adequate space in the warehouse, or does the product require special handling? For example, if items are fragile or breakable, do you have systems in place for sorting and packing? 
  • Get organized: Make sure all necessary information is available so staff can keep track of shipments; print packing slips; create labels; calculate shipping costs; track orders, invoices, and payments.

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Consider a more flexible return policy.

As the e-commerce season ramps up, it’s important to consider your return policy. Many customers shop online with the intention of returning items that don’t work out, so you’ll want to be prepared. A flexible return policy will show customers that you’re confident in your product and care about their satisfaction. Plus, it can help you avoid costly returns down the line.

  

Leverage social media. 

As e-commerce season approaches, now is the time to start thinking about how you can leverage social media to promote your business. If you’re not already active on social media, now is the time to create accounts on the platforms where your target audience hangs out. Once you’re up and running, make sure to post regularly and interact with your followers. Use hashtags, run contests, and offer discounts to encourage people to buy from you.  

Concluding Words

It may seem like a lot of work to prepare your business for the e-commerce season, but when all is said and done, it will help you reach more customers with less effort in the long run. Contact Dolomites Consulting Group to learn more about how you can accelerate your business growth with our advertising and consulting expertise.

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DCG Team September 15, 2022 0 Comments

Event Marketing – 3 Keys to Success

 

How to make your next event or fundraiser a hit.

Has this ever happened to you?  You’ve decided to host an event to network or promote your business or non-profit. You thought you made all the necessary preparations and marketed the event well.  

The time comes to start the event and… Gasp! No one showed up, or maybe your food vendor didn’t have enough food because an accurate guest count wasn’t given. Maybe you’ve run out of key swag bags that were promised to every guest, and now you’re way over budget from getting supplies from the nearest store! 

If you’ve ever tried to plan and coordinate an event for your business or non-profit, you know it can be a dizzying experience! Rest assured, we wrote this blog to help share the best event marketing tips and tricks, essential steps, and more.  Keep reading for our advice to make your next event or fundraiser successful

 

Key to Success #1: Plan Ahead

The way you run your event reflects back onto your organization and can impact your client’s feelings about your brand. A bad or poorly executed event can leave a negative image with your client or potential clients, while a great event experience encourages trust and repeat business. Give yourself enough time to lock in all details, especially if you are the one coordinating outside vendors or sponsors.

When scheduling your event, be sure to pick a date far enough in the future for you to properly communicate with all involved parties AND time to promote it. You want enough time to finalize answers from others AND include them in marketing materials, with plenty of time to have the marketing implemented. Don’t let your event marketing suffer because you didn’t plan far enough ahead, create a schedule for all your marketing as well! 

You don’t need a big budget to host a rockin’ party!  Smaller events can come together beautifully with the right help, for whatever budget you have in mind. Once you set your own realistic budget, goals, and projections, it will be much easier to figure out what you can accomplish. 

Working with sponsors can be exciting, and requires professionalism and communication to build lasting relationships. Be sure to include any promised items in your events marketing and advertising materials for sponsors.  If you forget to include these items, it will harm your relationship with that sponsor, and cause you to lose future opportunities.

 

Key to Success #2: Clearly Identify Your Event Target Audience

In order to make your advertising dollar go further, you want to research and identify your target audience. This will ensure the best use of your advertising/marketing dollars by targeting your marketing and advertisements to the exact people you want to reach. Untargeted ads will still use the same amount of money, but won’t reach as many “ideal personas” for your event as targeted and customized marketing and advertising materials. 

There are plenty of places to promote your business or non-profit these days.  Knowing where your audience spends their time helps identify the best tactics and platforms to promote events.  Promoting on the wrong platform costs you time, money, and frustration, but promoting on the right platforms to the right people, with the right message will help you effectively reach your goals.

Once your target audience is at your event, you’ll want to encourage them to connect with you in other ways as well. Capture info like email addresses and zip codes in your sign-up or registration process to gain greater insight into your customers and target audience. This will also give you a direct way to reach your customer about upcoming offers and events.

Posting often on social media is a good idea for growth, but the data and insights gained from posting consistently are where the money is. Leverage your website’s or Google’s analytics to determine areas of improvement, and also what’s working. Are many people coming to your website from LinkedIn? Are they spending more time on a particular page or product? This will save you time in the long run by letting you prioritize what’s working, and fixing or throwing out what isn’t.

 

Key to Success #3: Include Multiple Channels & Multiple Touches

Your target audience is most likely spread out around the internet, but no one has time to post to all the places, all day, every day. Choosing “Smart Strategies” or an integrated approach to these channels will boost effectiveness while saving you time. Scheduling your posts in advance is one way to achieve this, and bring us to our next point. 

Plan out all your channels and platforms (Website, Email, Social Media, Advertising / Boosts, PR Campaigns) for event marketing several months before the event.  Your supportive marketing is just as important as the actual event. Setting aside time to create and schedule this in advance will save you from long late nights, and creating last-minute graphics. 

While some firms often refer to the rule of seven in their approach to live events, data shows it takes people up to 15 times to see something before they take action. Give your audience multiple “touches”  with your upcoming event promotions for a better turnout. 

Making your business or non-profit easy to identify is essential, especially when getting ready for a promotion. Signage, posts, or lettering that is suddenly different from your normal branding will confuse your audience.  Ensure all your content has consistent branding, messaging, and tone of voice to clearly communicate your brand and event to your audience.

Remembering these three essential steps will lead to a successful event or fundraiser. Plan your event well in advance, and even add some extra time for delays to avoid stress. Identify your event target audience and outline the event goals. This will make your events AND your marketing more effective. Include multiple channels and multiple touches per channel in your marketing plan to keep your brand top of mind. 

If these tips were helpful, and you would like more guidance, CLICK HERE to book a free consultation or intro strategy session with us today! 

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DCG Team June 10, 2022 0 Comments

Overview of Business Consulting in Marketing: [With Case Study]

Many people can confuse the profession of business consulting with solely providing advice to clients. Yet, it is much more in-depth and beneficial than it may appear on the surface.

In that case, what does the service of consulting mean? By definition, it is defined as “the practice of providing a third party with expertise on a matter in exchange for a fee”. (Source Myconsultingoffer) In metaphorical terms, consultants are doctors for a business. They are professional problem solvers analyzing and offering solutions to complex problems within an organization. To simplify it even more, consultants deliver outsourced, unbiased, and data-driven solutions.

Business Consulting Blog Graphic

From identifying the right problem, gathering company data and analytics, providing a strategic plan of action and agreement, to conducting timely follow-ups, a business consultant is able to assist the company in achieving sustainable and high returning results. At Dolomites Consulting, we specialize in strategy, management, branding, sales, operations, and marketing consulting. 

Business Consulting: Marketing 

Now, let’s add marketing into the mix! Marketing consultants are most commonly involved in the planning, implementing, and examining stages of a marketing strategy. They assist the company in creating a detailed marketing plan, effectively communicating and defining the marketing message to the target audience. Also, they take part in developing marketing strategies and observing results afterward. In other words, marketing consultants provide guidance and expertise throughout the entire marketing campaign.

Marketing consultants have a wide spectrum of specialized skills including:

Common Customer Pain Points

How do you know if your business may need assistance or an outsourced strategy from a business consultant? Maybe you lack market share, need extra support, or want to modernize your business but don’t know how? These are just a few of the customer pains points we have discovered in our experience at DCG.

A few other reasons one may need guidance from a consultant are:

Consulting Blog Graphic 1
Case Study: Two Shepherds Taproom 

Who:

One of our most exciting clients at DCG is Two Shepherds Taproom– Tampa’s first and largest fully off-lease A/C indoor/outdoor dog park and bar, for guests ages 21+. The bar has a special outdoor area with over 10,000 square feet of space on K-9 grass artificial turf- making it the perfect spot to enjoy a beer and socialize without leaving your best friend at home. DCG has assisted in elevating Two Shepherd Taproom’s position in the dog-friendly bar industry through its services of branding, advertising, event planning and coordination, and social media management.  

Branding Strategy:

We have assisted in strengthening Two Shepherd’s brand by creating a style guide that reflects their mission statement and values. We use this style guide to create consistent content and increase their engagement and traction on their social platforms. Our style guide for Two Shepherds includes:

  • Logo Variations – This allows us to choose which variation fits better when creating event banners or Instagram stories and their logo more recognizable.
  • Color Palette – We reflect Two Shepherd’s logo with the color of beer and the title with the two dogs while adding more colors that blend well with the logo.
  • Typography – We chose fonts that were eye-catching and fun to represent the lively atmosphere of the dog bar.
  • Voice – In our posts, event descriptions, and more, we use a welcoming tone and frequently use emojis and dog jokes to keep the mood fun and playful.
  • Imagery – We take or coordinate high-quality photos and videos of happy or playful dogs and enhance the brightness and color saturation to be eye-catching. We also use this method of imagery with food truck highlights, beer, and wine selection, and event highlights.
TST Facebook Event Header 66 2

Event Planning and Coordination:

Two Shepherd’s Taproom is always hosting fun events all week long. We have assisted in creating more awareness of their events through branded stories, CTA’s on social media posts, Eventbrite and Facebook events, social messaging for their target audience, and more. For example, we were able to assist Two Shepherds in getting the most registrations and guests ever to come to their Barks N’ Bubbles Foam Party with Fetch Social!

Not only do we assist in generating more registrations and awareness of Two Shepherds Taproom events, but we also create them as well! For example, many of their guests have Golden Retrievers, so we assisted in planning a Golden Meetup for people to come and socialize with the same breed! At DCG, we strive to be creative in event planning while ultimately focusing on the needs, interests, and preferences of our clients and their target audiences. 

TST Facebook Event Header Templates Current 4

Social Media Management 

Lastly, we run our social media management services for Two Shepherds Taproom. This includes scheduling posts to attending events at the bar for live promotion (tagging social handles of dogs, sponsors, etc.), collecting content for later, and mostly, enjoying the fun atmosphere!

TST Instagram

Key Takeaways:

  • Business consultants don’t just give advice, they deliver outsourced, unbiased, and data-driven solutions
  • Marketing consultants are most commonly involved in the planning, implementing, and examining stages of a marketing strategy
  • It’s important to define your company’s pain points and seeking assistance from a business consultant can give you clearer answers

If you are a small business looking to further enhance your strategic position, where to begin, or need expert advice in consulting or marketing, contact the DCG Team and we would be happy to assist you!

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DCG Team February 15, 2022 0 Comments

The Fractional CMO: Everything You Need To Know

What is a Fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), also referred to as an outsourced CMO, is a marketing executive brought in on a temporary consulting basis to implement strategic marketing programs, guide personnel, and help companies achieve long-term growth. The fractional element refers to the interim basis on which your company chooses to utilize this person’s expertise. A seasoned CMO can cost over $90k, not including benefits. Hiring a fractional CMO provides your business the same expert knowledge without the weight of executive-level costs.

You have the freedom and flexibility to create your own timeframe, depending on your company’s needs. You can work with your fractional CMO for 10, 15, 20 hours, or more per week and decide if you want them on-site or off-site, full-time or part-time. Typically, these directors are brought in for six months or more to establish a relationship and guarantee a strong level of commitment while ensuring your new marketing strategies will have time to gain momentum. 

What is the difference between a marketing consultant and a fractional CMO?

Marketing consultants and agencies typically work independently from companies. They use their industry knowledge to assess your current programs, develop marketing strategies for your team, and finally, send their recommendations to a key source within the company. These partnerships remain external and relatively hands-off while still delivering data-driven results. 

Conversely, fractional CMOs hold an official leadership role within your company. They provide a plan for overall growth, integrate new marketing strategies developed with your team, and are held responsible for monitoring budgets, and increasing ROI. Because they are typically working with your company for a longer period of time, they have a substantial investment in your overall success. Evaluating your business from the inside gives them the advantage to spot the problems that are slowing you down. 

Businesses are not one-size-fits-all and both of these options are viable depending on your specific needs. 

 

Six Skills To Look For In Your Fractional CMO: 

Companies hire fractional CMO’s to do the most valuable part of being a CMO: strategizing and driving key initiatives without getting stuck doing the day-day “fire drills”.  While it may be impossible to find someone who is good at everything, below are a few skills they must possess. 

DCG Branded Posts square IG size

1) Leadership Ability

An outsourced CMO fills in any gaps in leadership you might have. They step in and take charge to strengthen your weaker areas, whether it’s your marketing tactics, team alignment, brand recognition, or sales force that needs the extra help.  

A strong leader can diagnose your problems and give clear direction to your team. They know when it is time to enforce change and when the campaign you’re working on needs more attention. They communicate regularly with executives and inspire morale and confidence in the company’s employees. In short, the leadership ability of just one person can positively impact an entire organization.

2) Team Building and Mentorship Experience 

You want a marketer with experience creating and leading programs and teams on a variety of different budgets. They understand the hiring process and they have developed methods to yield the best results. They’ve built and managed strong teams, mentoring employees so when it is their time to leave, everyone has a firm understanding of their role in the organization. 

3) Fits Your Company Culture

Compatibility is the most important quality to look for in a marketing leader. While it is necessary that this person has industry specific-knowledge, it’s even more vital that they align with your company’s values and vision. A skilled leader who also understands your company will work well with your team and know how to create a customized strategy that adheres to your long-term goals. 

4) Understanding of Analytical Data and The Key Metrics That Impact Sales 

Strategic plans require a firm understanding of key sales metrics to lower costs, track conversion rates, and improve your growth. Your marketing plan directly correlates with your sales funnel, and an experienced interim CMO will know how to leverage the important data in order to drive business.

5) Multi-layered Skill Set 

An outsourced marketer must be able to formulate a strategy while also being hands-on in the daily execution and direction. Your team members require support along with driven initiative, so you must identify someone who can do both tasks simultaneously. 

6) A Proven Methodology and Toolset 

The work they’ve done in the past has yielded results and they have the metrics to prove it. They’ve acquired tools and methods along the way and these will be passed down to your company. 

 

Six Benefits of a Fractional CMO 

1) Expertise 

This seems like a no-brainer benefit. Your interim leader is a marketing expert with experience driving a variety of initiatives, team building, and training, setting clear goals, and achieving results. This isn’t their first rodeo. 

2) Cost Effective 

A fractional CMO provides extensive value for a far lower price than paying an in-house team or hiring someone full-time, which can cost you as much as $300,000 or more. In addition to reducing costs significantly, you can pour these savings into new marketing initiatives developed with the aid of your interim leader. 

3) An objective, outsider’s perspective

The saying, “you can’t see the forest for the trees,” has relevance in the business world as well. It is often difficult to see what is right in front of you, especially when your own bias is involved. Your business may need honest feedback from a trained and impartial eye to foster new ideas and produce change.  

“Because it is much harder for in-house employees to divorce themselves from company politics and groupthink, the objective vision of outside agencies often produces out-of-the-box thinking.”

 

4) Experience within multiple industries

You will not only receive candid feedback, but their breadth of experience will benefit your team and supply knowledge you may not have otherwise acquired. They will be able to leverage knowledge from previous campaigns that have succeeded in similar industries while understanding how you compare to the competition. 

5) Stays up to date with the latest trends and best practices 

The CMO must be conscious of the newest trends in the market. “An outsourced CMO may be better positioned to recognize and capitalize on those trends than a startup executive wearing multiple hats.” Your company will have the flexibility to explore new marketing approaches without the long-term commitment. 

6) Save time with clear objectives and action plans

When you hire a fractional CMO, you are paying for the highest quality elements of marketing without the waste of energy on day-to-day tasks. They know how to get to the basis of your issues and clear out the cobwebs to drive key strategic initiatives. 

 

Five Reasons Why You Need A Fractional CMO

1) Your company isn’t ready for a full-time marketing executive 

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If you are a small company or start-up without a big enough budget to afford a full-time executive, outsourcing a CMO for a short period of time will be more cost-efficient while delivering the structure and proficiency to help your company mature.

2) Your marketing materials are coming from different sources 

Maybe you’ve downsized your marketing team due to the pandemic, or you don’t have one person/department leading marketing. You may even have a talented team of creatives, but their efforts need guided direction. In cases like these, your materials may not align or ineffectively represent your brand image. A fractional CMO will organize the process and create a clear strategy, crafting your vision into a reality. 

3) You lost your head of marketing 

In their absence, it may be beneficial to fill the position with an interim leader to give your marketing needs immediate attention. A fractional CMO can offer relief and make sure you maintain momentum while you’re searching for a full-time candidate. They will also assist in the hiring process to allow for a quick and easy transition. 

4) You are spending a large chunk of your budget on marketing, but not seeing the desired results 

A fractional CMO offers an affordable plan and the ability to direct your efforts. Their knowledge allows them to enhance your strategy and drive revenue so you aren’t wasting your time or money. At a certain stage, every company reaches a plateau, and bringing in an expert to assess your pain points could help you avoid this rut.

5) You want to take your company in a new direction and don’t know how 

Maybe you want to launch a new product or service and you need a little extra guidance, or you’re struggling to keep up with the competition. Someone with an unbiased perspective can step in and assess your needs with transparency while giving your brand an extra boost. Companies need to prepare for the future and outsourcing leadership will help you gain new insights and update your strategies and tools to keep up with the latest marketing trends. 

Fractional CMO Inforgraphic 1

Conclusion 

Marketing is an ever-changing industry and companies will need to adjust in order to prosper in the future. As you can see above, a fractional CMO only serves to help you. They are experts with the ability to align your team, boost your brand, enhance your marketing strategies and raise your ROI, all within a realistic budget and time frame. 

Key Takeaways 

  • If your company is in its infancy, lacks marketing organization and direction, or can’t keep up with the competition, hiring a fractional CMO is a smart move for you. 
  • A fractional CMO provides your business the same expert knowledge without the burden of executive-level costs.
  • Your company will benefit from the diverse experience they’ve acquired working with a variety of clients and industries. 
  • The most important quality to look for when outsourcing a CMO is their compatibility with your company’s values and vision. 
  • A fractional CMO is different from a marketing consultant because they work directly with your team for a longer period of time to ensure the success of your strategies and goals. 
  • Your interim leader will say it like it is, and this honest feedback can be just what a business needs to move to the next level.

If hiring a fractional CMO makes sense for your business, contact the DCG Team and we can help you find the perfect fit today!

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DCG Team June 24, 2021 0 Comments

How to Design a Successful Landing Page [With Infographic That Helps Pages C.O.N.V.E.R.T.]

Have you ever tried to download an informative template, ebook, or guide from a website and you were directed to a sketchy, underdeveloped landing page? You most likely were hesitant to download the value piece you originally came for and did not feel comfortable entering your information in the form provided. Many professionals may not know that a generic landing page can be the line between customer conversion and disinterest. With this in mind, it’s imperative to structure your landing pages based on your projected results.

You may be thinking, what exactly defines a “landing page?”. Essentially, it’s a web page that is designed with one central purpose, such as one call to action, or one main focal point. There are a wide variety of reasons to design a landing page such as:

  • Collecting prospect information
  • External page to download a value piece (ebook, blog, guide, etc.)
  • Signing up for an event
  • Obtaining a promotional code

It is important to note that landing pages have the highest conversion rate of 23% in comparison to all other forms to collect customer information. Source: Hubspot. This means that strategically designed landing pages can establish brand credibility, assist in collecting customer data for your CRM, retargeting interested customers, and ultimately leading prospects further down the sales funnel. 

This blog will serve as a step-by-step guide to designing the most valuable landing pages for your brand’s needs and ultimately helping you convert more customers into leads. 

1. Eye-catching, Clean Format

There is a fine line between successfully obtaining prospect information and disinteresting them- and it comes down to the page’s layout and aesthetic. Stick to a consistent and mild color scheme that matches your brand’s color palette. Make the page’s color eye-catching but not distracting from its main purpose. You can also incorporate images or elements that can assist to guide the prospect to complete the call to action (arrows, lines, change in color scheme, etc) 

Also, be sure to design your landing page in a way that guides your prospect to complete and digest the value provided with your main call to action. For example:

  • Signing up for an event:
    •  In the description, provide details (date, time, location, etc) incorporate pictures   that relate to the event, title something like “You don’t want to miss this!”
  • Downloading an eBook:
    •  Highlight contents of the eBook, what value it has to your audience, title example “Your Roadmap to Improving Your Social Media Presence” 

As we know, almost everyone has short attention spans. In fact, the average amount of time one is able to focus on a task or an object is for 9 seconds. Source: Wyzowl.com. For this reason, be sure to let your audience know the value proposition upfront as soon as they open the landing page. 

Copy of DCG Content Creation Website Page Images 2

2. Provide Strong Trust Signals

People don’t want to download content or submit their personal information to a landing page that lacks forms of credibility. This is why trust signals are the red carpet to landing page conversions. Trust signals can be used synonymously with social proof”. Their main purpose is to portray your credibility and show you are an established brand in your industry. There are three main types of trust signals that can be shown on your landing page:

Landing Page Blog Graphic 1

It’s common to place social proof at the bottom of the landing page near your brand’s social media handles. Yet, they also can be properly and strategically placed throughout the landing page to establish reliability and build trust. 

3. Customization 

Customers are more willing to download your eBook or submit their social media handles on the landing page form if they feel you have clearly identified and propose to solve their challenges with your solution. Automated and unmodified landing pages do not provide value to all customers because not all are the same. Through customization strategies, your landing page will be able to target specific audience needs and convert more customers. 

There are three recommendations to customize your landing page:

  • Send to specific audience groups – Form email lists that all have similar needs (are all in attract stage of sales funnel, signed up to receive your eBook, opened a recent email from your company and clicked on all the value pieces attached, etc)
  • Make personalized CTAs – Customizing your landing page CTAs have converted 202% more customers than a default CTA strategy. Source: Hubspot. Be very specific with the call to action that you desire from your prospects. It must align with the instructions and information provided on the landing page while creating a sense of urgency. Some examples are “Try Now, Download Today, Start, Watch” etc.)
  • Address customer pain points in the description – Similarly to customizing the landing page header, explain and identify the precise pain points of your audience. Since the description is one of the first sections to view at the landing page fold, the customer will be more likely to give your company their information as they see you have identified what they value.

Social proof is the red carpet to landing page conversions

– Chelsea Davis, Marketing Specialist

When transferring prospects to an external page, it’s detrimental to portray many forms of trust signals (logos, 3rd party testimonials, certifications). Establishing trust is the first step to getting customers to keep scrolling down the landing page and to complete your specified call to action. 

4. Be a Minimalist 

When designing your landing page, always remember: less is more! Overwhelming prospects with too much information can easily lead to disinterest- especially for those in the early stages of the sales process. With that in mind, identify the key details that will assist your audience in converting.

It’s better to hone in on one offer of a service, and one CTA. Let’s say you are a talent acquisition company and have just published an eBook with a guide to researching top-tier candidates to interview. Also, you just sent out an email campaign that identified 5 strategies to filter candidates on LinkedIn. Instead of a summary of the entire eBook, describe how the eBook has many LinkedIn/social platform strategies to help discover future rockstars. Include this information in your landing page that will be sent to the same list of people who opened your campaign.

Not only should you be a minimalist in the content of your landing page, but also when collecting information from your prospects. Make short forms, and focus on what details are needed from a potential lead to add them to your CRM. Ask for information like first & last name, email, company name, etc.

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5. Run Tests

Not every landing page will be a huge success. They require editing, test runs, and digesting how they were opened/where the users clicked. CRM software like Hubspot allows you to send test emails with landing pages all in one. A great strategy when designing several copies is to run A/B tests. These trials allow you to change the template, word color, position of pictures, or headings to see if one copy drives more conversions than the other and which performs better with engagement, and clicks. 

Designing a customized landing page that identifies different audience pain points, represents one individual call to action, has a minimalist layout and color scheme, and builds trust with social proof can ultimately enhance your landing page strategy. This can lead to more conversions and opportunities to communicate your brand’s value to a large number of prospects.

How To Design Landing Pages That 4
Key Takeaways: 
  • A bad landing page can be the reason your hot lead turns cold
  • You never want someone to think they opened a spam page or domain that could lead them to a virus – have social proof to prove you are credible 
  • Less is more: be a minimalist in the descriptions, designs, focus on one promotion or campaign, and have a comfortable landing for your customers 
  • Customization is key! Make sure to personalize CTA’s and pain points for corresponding audience groups 

At Dolomites Consulting Group, we specialize in developing strategies that help you elevate and get the most conversions from your marketing outreach campaigns. Contact us today to see how we can assist your company’s goals. 

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DCG Team May 24, 2021 0 Comments

The Not-So Secret Weapon Behind Your Social Media Metrics

What is the one thing that every business has in common? The answer is data. They are all tracking, recording and analyzing data in one way or another. 

Now, what is the one thing that every successful business has in common? They have learned how to take the same old data and make it stronger. 

Their not-so secret weapon is social listening. This term is not new, but it has become increasingly more advanced with improvements in technology. 

In this day and age, consumers want brand authenticity and transparency, which requires businesses to do more than just analyze data; they must listen closely, respond quickly, and adjust their strategy based on these conversations. Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the social media metrics that define your success. 

What is social listening and how is it different from monitoring social media metrics? 

Simply put, social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves tracking online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action. 

“Where social media monitoring looks at metrics like engagement rate and number of mentions, social listening looks beyond the numbers to consider the mood behind the data.”

With access to billions of online conversations, social listening has made it easier to gain accurate insights based on our data and improve business strategies. The benefits include social media crises prevention, reputation management, enhanced communication, client relationship building, in-depth social media metrics analysis, honest feedback, and real-time monitoring capabilities.

5 Benefits of Social Listening combined with Social Media Monitoring

How to implement social listening into social media monitoring? 

First, you have to know who you are doing it for.

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Social listening tools such as mentions and keyword tracking will help you in every layer of your marketing campaign. Begin by using these tools to conduct audience research. With the most basic research, you can find out simple demographic data such as age, location, gender, occupation, and languages. Social listening tools allow you to dive even deeper and discover the consumers’ likes and dislikes, motivations, how and where they interact with content, and which influencers they trust, a term referred to as influencer analysis. 

To fully understand your target audience’s interests, you must research the opinion leaders they find popular. Search for highly followed accounts within your audience. Use your social listening tools to spot them with keywords, track conversations, and put together a list of top social media influencers. Finally, take the opportunity to reach out and collaborate with these influencers to gain brand awareness. 

Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation. 

Set up listeners on your:

  • Brand name
  • Website 
  • Industry terms 
  • Branded hashtags 
  • Competitors 

This is where social media metrics meet social listening.

Your Every Day Social Media Metrics Explained Through the Lens of Social Listening

1) Engagement:

Engagement is exactly what it sounds like; the measurement of how engaged your audience is with your content. This umbrella term encompasses interactions such as likes, shares, comments, follows, and direct messages. 

In an effort to gain insights, many brands conduct surveys, polls, and Q&A’s. Although these types of tactics are valuable, keep in mind that they could result in response bias; due to the format of the questions, people may not always respond in a natural way. 

For a more trustworthy way of understanding your engagement numbers, use a social listening tool that monitors mentions and what people are saying about your brand in real-time. If you see a spike in engagement during a campaign, you can dig deeper to understand why. 

2) Response Rate & Time:

Remember, engagement goes both ways. While you’re monitoring this metric, make sure you’re interacting with your audience, a term known as consumer engagement. 

You can gain trust, build relationships, and manage your reputation by simply monitoring the conversation around your brand. For example, if someone writes a negative review, you need tools that catch this so you can put out the fire before it starts. Most consumers go to a brand’s social media page for support, so you need to be prepared to respond quickly. 

How do you know your social media managers are doing their jobs?

You can use tools in your tracking software to monitor how quickly your employees are responding to customers. One example is the Team Report function in Sprout Social.  

According to Sprout Social, “ 45% of consumers will post about a positive interaction if a brand responds well to their complaints on social media. And 37% will share their story with their friends online.”

3) Brand Awareness & Reach:

Discovering the degree to which consumers are able to recognize a brand has always been one of the hardest things to measure, but social listening makes it easier with these tools:

  • Search volume data tells you the number of times a specific search query has been entered into a search engine. You can use Google Adwords, Keyword Planner and Google Trends to track the volume of searches for your brand’s name over time.
  • Monitor your brand mentions with tools such as Brandwatch, BrandMentions or Sprout Social. These tools give you the ability to listen and track organic conversations about your brand across both social and the web. 
  • Share of Voice tells you how much of the online domain your brand is taking part in compared to competitors and helps determine customer satisfaction. Tracking SOV will likely be an ongoing task since you’ll always want to gauge how consumers perceive your brand. Within this category are two social listening performance metrics that further assess awareness. 
  • Volume– The number of mentions about your brand. A high volume of mentions can indicate brand popularity.
  • Sentiment– Along with tracking volume of mentions, you must also determine whether the tone of voice was positive or negative. Sentiment tells you how people feel about your brand by analyzing the emotion behind the text. 

Social listening tools use natural language processing (NLP) to identify whether a social post is negative, positive, or neutral. Discover how people are talking about your brand compared to your competitors. 

 4) ROI- Conversions and Referrals:

These metrics may be more relevant to business owners with websites or eCommerce platforms.

Conversions refer to when a purchase is made and referrals refer to how a user landed on your site.

  • Lead tracking is a social listening tool that looks for potential leads based on specific keywords or conversations. Finding them early gives you the opportunity to engage and possibly turn that lead into a conversion.

Social media monitoring relies on your ability to listen; Without social listening tools, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Your data will be as flat as the numbers on your screen.  One general goal of every brand should be to create an environment that embodies transparency and fosters consumer trust. The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.

You can create a brand your consumers will loyally support by combining your social media metrics with your social listening tools. Use this information to better understand your audience, engage with them directly, keep up-to-date with the latest trends in order to improve, monitor your competition, and respond quickly and efficiently to any negative feedback. 

“Real insights come from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. You will only ever get that by truly engaging with customers and listening to their stories,” Graham Kenny of the Harvard Business Review. 

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Key Takeaways:

  •  Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the metrics that define your success. 
  • Social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves monitoring online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action. 
  • Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation.
  • Understand social media metrics through the lens of social listening to capitalize on data you are already collecting.
  • The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.

Want to ensure you are taking competitive advantage of your social media metrics? Contact the DCG team for a free consultation and social media assessment.

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DCG Team April 21, 2021 0 Comments

How To Run Social Media Ads Successfully [Ad Campaign Structure]

In our current digital age, there are among 3 billion active social media users worldwide, making up about half of the entire population. (Source: Statista) If you run social media ads always keep this in mind, building the right social media ads for your brand on the wide spectrum of media platforms and for numerous users may seem like a strenuous task. Yet, with an effective strategic plan, social media advertising can present many opportunities to reach the right audiences, enhance awareness of your brand, and increase conversions for your business.

This blog will serve as a guide to creating the most valuable social media ads that will contribute to your brand’s overall mission.

 

Know Your Target Audience: Customer Avatars

One of the most essential aspects of designing your social media ad campaigns is to define your audience. In this, you can create the ideal customer avatars that will represent segments of your brand’s potential customer base. When defining your target avatars it’s important to do your research thoroughly. Here are some important aspects to identify: 

 

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The more you know your audience and are able to define their primary pain points, the more valuable your campaign will be; ultimately translating into more customer conversions. It will also answer one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, “What platforms should my business be on, and where should I run ads?”. If you know who you are intending to reach, you will know where to find them. For instance, do you sell products to an older demographic? Facebook may be the best ROI for direct conversions. Are you a B2B service needing to build brand awareness and organic connections? LinkedIn should be one of your main focuses. By understanding the who, you will be maximizing advertising costs with the greatest return.

A different approach to gaining knowledge of your target audience is to analyze competitors and industry leaders. Who are their primary target segments? What social media campaign strategies are they utilizing and what is the response and engagement they get from their followers? This information can serve to not only help define your brand’s ideal customer but also find gaps in your competitor’s strategy to spark ideas in differentiating your approach, content, and social media ad strategy by bringing more value to your audiences.

 

I love the saying ‘success leaves bread crumbs’. There are plenty of models out there to help guide decision-making in your industry. Not only looking at competitors (like, kind, quality) to find gaps that you can take advantage of and gain market share but businesses that have established themselves at a high level that have gone through the heavy lifting of target audience identification and testing content and ad implementation.

– Kate Donadio | CMO

 

Create A Strong Brand Presence Foundation

In order for your social media ads to convert your audience into potential leads, you must first create a brand identity. This begins with establishing a firm foundation for your brand’s social media platforms and website. In terms of social network users, 86% of Americans say a brand’s transparency on social media is one of the most determining factors for deciding whether to take their business to a competitor. (Source: SproutSocial) This emphasizes that brand authenticity will demonstrate credibility and boost the success of your social media advertising efforts. Ensure you have consistent brand colors, voice, and frequency of posting on the identified platform(s), and that you have a systematic approach to driving engaged prospects to a well-designed and optimized website.

 

Create a Sales Funnel

Building a sales funnel is similar to creating a blueprint of the desired outcome to your advertising plan. List what you want to occur and organize it into a chain of events. With this method, you are minimizing steps a potential customer needs to go through and maximizing organization for creating your ads. How many clicks does it take for them to perform the desired action like filling out a form or putting their contact information in to receive a download of valuable information from your website? Are there ways to optimize this process (I.E. have the ad go to a fillable form on the desired platform such as LinkedIn instead of multiple steps of your website)? 

For guidance on structuring a sales funnel that matches your company’s advertising goals, be sure to read our informational blog that discusses the fundamentals of utilizing the AIDA model. Please keep in mind that the funnel you create should be customized to your company, personnel, and capabilities. Do you have someone that can service the leads as soon as they come in? What processes do you have in place to direct leads into a CRM (client relationship manager)? Be realistic with yourself and your team, and literally draw out the intended plan visually. 

 

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Build Ad Strategy Focused on Budget

It’s important to establish a plan of action for your paid social media advertising based on how aggressive you can be with your budget. Create an overall monthly budget that matches your current advertising goals and adjust as needed. 

 A helpful tip in designing your brand’s ad strategy is with a top-down structure:

  • Campaigns (goals and desired outcomes)
  • Ad sets (well-defined target audiences and segments)
  • Ads (variations of messaging, aesthetics, and call to action to specific audiences based on goal)

 

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Organizing your ad strategy comes down to precisely defining your goals. For example, let’s say you would like to increase overall brand awareness and conversions. First, be sure to understand your brand’s bearings. Maybe your company is new, been recently repositioned, had a shift in management, etc. Now, dive into specifics. Think strategically; do you want to increase your number of leads, website traffic, or direct sales? If your brand desires to accomplish multiple goals, create different ads for each category. You may be thinking, “everyone wants to increase their sales”. While this is true, without the proper brand foundation, sales funnel, brand awareness and outreach strategy, and social proof, direct response ads are less likely to be successful. Be realistic with where you are in the process, especially based on your overall marketing budget.

Once you have properly determined your primary campaign outcomes, defined target audiences, and structured your social platform ads, you can begin to focus on what audience is most likely to convert. This allows you to pivot your marketing efforts to that specific target’s needs and grow potential leads.

According to the CMO Survey, sponsored by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Deloitte LLP, and the American Marketing Association, marketing budgets now comprise 11 percent of total company budgets on average. Meanwhile, companies on average spend 7.5 percent of total revenue on marketing. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends, “As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.” This percentage is based on companies that have margins in the 10-12 percent range (after expenses).

 

Craft Multiple Ad Copies and Audiences

The main focus of your social media ads should be centered on your desired audience. We have the tendency to want to believe and act upon our own experiences and biases. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we will be more likely to identify trends in our audience’s behavior, their main pain points, and how to bring them the most value in your ads through strategic tone and language.

Don’t create just one copy of an ad for a specific audience. Design multiple that stay consistent with your campaign’s desired message for a greater selection of options. In addition, allow several pairs of eyes to review the social media ads. By collaborating, your team can provide diverse feedback and ultimately design ads that best complement your advertising strategy, and avoid silly mistakes that can easily turn away potential leads (like spelling, grammar, or tone-deaf content based on current political or economic landscapes).  

For further inspiration and ideas, be sure to research designs and models to help elevate your ad potential. Some examples of utilizing Facebook’s advertising opportunities can be found here. 

 

Execute, Evaluate and Update

The process of running social media ads is not a linear line. It can be unpredictable and may require many changes and updates after it’s been established. Think of your social media ad as a test run, once you have allowed the ad to learn and have gained analytical data, evaluate and update your strategy. Be sure to also elevate your strategy to comply with your budget and frequency of actions. For example, if it’s found many customers have left items in their cart, it may be appropriate to launch a campaign such as We Know Life is Fanatic, Take 20% Off Your Purchase On Us. Now, not only have the ads learned customer behavior, you have learned how to properly cater them to your audience’s needs. 

If an ad campaign is not performing as well as expected or desired, it does not mean that it is a failure. With each campaign, ad audience set, and ad variation, you are gaining valuable data about your audience. To truly be effective in ad campaign execution, you must be able to read and understand what the data (and your audience) is telling you.

It is important to develop several ads, and be patient with ad delivery because it takes about seven interactions with your brand before a user takes an action. (Source: B2Bmarketing) 

Paid social media ads can serve as a catalyst to successfully connecting with your audience on the largest media networks. At Dolomites Consulting Group, we specialize in developing strategies that align with your brand’s value proposition. Contact us today to see how we can assist with your brand’s vision. 

 

Key Takeaways

  • Gaining knowledge of competitor and industry leader ad strategies can help define your brand’s ideal customer and spark ideas to differentiate your social media ad strategy to bring more value to your audience.
  • Think of your social media ad as a test run, once you have allowed the ad to learn and have gained analytical data, update and evaluate your strategy.
  • By putting yourself in the shoes of your customers, you will be more likely to identify trends in their behavior, identify main pain points, and how to bring them the most value through strategic tone and language in your ads.
  • The process of running social media ads is not a linear line, it requires time to operate, evaluate, and implement updates.

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Kathryn Donadio April 1, 2021 0 Comments

Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Management

There are many paths to personalize your social media it can be difficult to decide the best way to go about it. When you do, there are a few things you should keep in mind to enhance your social media, and some to certainly avoid. Here are five (5) quick tips to make sure you are staying on track with your social media management.

 

1. Keep the Focus on Your Audience

DO: remember who your audience is and why they are following your account. Your social media followers expect to see certain content on your social media, so pay close attention to your analytics and adjust your strategy accordingly. Take a look at what posts do the best regarding engagement (likes, comments, shares), what type of content has the highest engagement (static posts, stories, short videos), and which days your audience engages with your content. 

DON’T: post the same type of content over and over when the data shows that your audience isn’t interested. Your audience is unique to your business. What is your audience telling you?

 

2. Remain Authentic

DO: be genuine! Share real experiences, facts, and updates. Today’s users are very interested in seeing authentic content that hasn’t been exaggerated or altered. People are able to see through dishonest content and it can be a big turn-off for your followers.

DON’T: represent your brand as something that it isn’t. If a topic or activity does not interest you, don’t pretend it does. That is the quickest way to lose trust and, ultimately, lose followers. 

 

3. Execute Quality on Chosen Social Media Platforms

DO: be purposeful about which social media platforms you are managing – you don’t need to be everywhere! Evaluate each platform, learn their features and what they lack. Where is your target audience most? Use this information to decide which ones make the most sense for your business. Spend your time focusing on the channels that matter.

DON’T: spread yourself too thin and open an account on every social media platform out there. Inevitably, a couple of those accounts would end up getting less attention than the rest simply because of the content you create and your brand itself. It won’t look very good to your customers to see accounts that have very little if any activity. Don’t sign up just to say you’re on a certain platform if you aren’t able or willing to be active. 

 

4. Create Realistic Posting Schedules

DO: create a realistic posting schedule that you can easily maintain for an extended period of time. Utilize a manager or scheduling system. There are plenty of cost-effective options that can scale as your business grows. At the end of each month, evaluate how the process went for you: was it difficult to schedule a certain amount of posts per week? Or are you ready to add more to your pipeline? Take some time to reflect on the performance of your social media platforms and adjust accordingly.

DON’T: exhaust yourself and take on more than you can handle. It is better to have high-quality content that excites your followers rather than high quantity content that is clearly rushed or lacking in information. 

 

5. Post Relevant Content Based on Platforms

DO: remember who your audience is. Make sure your content aligns not only with your brand but also with your followers’ demographics. Keep track of what people respond to, both positively and negatively, and use that to influence your strategy. What value can you provide your audience that helps them with the pains they are experiencing?

DON’T: post inappropriate content that won’t be popular with your followers. Remember who your audience is and consider whether they could be turned off by certain posts. Avoid being too one-sided about certain topics, unless that is the nature of your brand, and consider what subject might end up polarizing your audience and result in a loss of followers. 

 

From identifying the right social channels for your business to finding the right types of content that will resonate with your customers, our social media marketing team delivers the results you need to grow. Learn more here.

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DCG Team March 20, 2021 0 Comments

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Shopping

Every month, a staggering 130 million people explore Instagram’s shoppable posts to discover and purchase products that brands are selling on the platform (Source: Later.com). Many businesses have implemented the shoppable feature on their accounts, and they’re reaping the benefits as we speak. In November of 2020, Instagram introduced a momentous update to the app, making the shopping feature a central aspect of the platform’s layout and overall experience. It is now more crucial than ever for businesses to embrace the new app landscape and make their accounts shoppable. 

For business owners who are not familiar with the Instagram shopping feature, it’s simply a tool that uses product tagging to give users the ability to tap a photo of your product(s) and view the price(s). If a user clicks on the price tag, they will be given the option to either view the product on your website or to add the product to their bag directly through Instagram. 

An additional update expands this access to Instagram purchases, with product tagging not limited solely to posts, but including Stories, Reels, and promoted ads as well. This fosters a smooth buying experience, increasing Instagram’s “shopability” from the moment someone discovers your product, to when they decide to purchase it. And if that wasn’t news enough, the new Google-like search experience for the Explore Feed now includes the ability to search for keywords (in addition to the hashtags, usernames, and location options that were available before), giving users and businesses even more ways to find each other. This plays incredibly well with product tagging, making shopping on the app as accessible as possible. Adopting these new features has essentially made Instagram a second landing page for your business. 

 

If your brand would like to start encouraging customers to shop directly from your business’s Instagram account, there are a few prerequisites that your account must meet before you can start selling on the platform:

  • Keep in mind that your account doesn’t need to have 10k followers in order to create shoppable posts.
  • Instagram requires that your business is located in one of these 46 countries in order for you to apply the feature.
  • Your account should be dedicated to a business that predominantly sells physical goods, and your account needs to be set up specifically as a business profile. Check out Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policy to make sure you understand and are in compliance with all requirements.
  • The Facebook Business Page that is connected to your Instagram account can’t have country or age restrictions.
  • You will need to upload your products to a catalog that can then be connected to your Instagram account. You have 2 options for cataloging in which you can either create one yourself using Facebook’s Catalog Manager or you can use a Facebook partner like Shopify or BigCommerce to link an existing catalog of your products.
  • Once you’ve met all requirements, your request to make your account shoppable will be reviewed by Instagram!

Here are the guidelines to set up shopping on your IG account:

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When your account is eligible for the shopping feature, how do you actually set up your IG account to be “shoppable?”

  1. Go to your profile and select the three bars in the top right corner.

*insert screenshot of account w/bars circled or just the bars by themselves*

  1. Tap Settings.

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  1. Tap the fourth item down, it will say either Business or Creator depending on what type of profile you have.

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  1. Tap Set Up Instagram Shopping.

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  1. Tap Get Started.
  2. If your business’s Facebook is not currently connected to your IG account, you will be prompted to connect it at this step.
  3. Follow the steps to connect a catalog to your account. There are two ways in which you can do this: either by connecting to a new or existing catalog, or by using a Facebook partner such as Shopify or WooCommerce.
  4. Follow the remaining prompts to ensure that you have selected the appropriate catalog and submit your account for review.
  5. The review process usually takes a couple of days. Once you’ve been approved, you will receive notifications from Instagram to complete the setup in Settings so you can start tagging products in your posts and stories. 
  6. Start posting!

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  1. Tap Done.

Now your company can utilize posts and stories in a more “boutique” setting like this: 

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The process itself isn’t complicated, but there are quite a few details to pay attention to. Instagram has great resources to help you become shoppable, and once you’ve been approved there are some key aspects to keep in mind as users begin discovering your products:

  • For any shoppable posts on your feed, you can tag up to 5 products per image, and up to 20 products in a carousel post.
  • It’s important to have a good balance between shoppable posts and regular photos on your feed. You don’t want to inundate your audience with price tags, but you also want to make sure they know that the purchase potential is there.
  • Create a highlight that is dedicated to your products and shoppable posts. Give your followers an easy way to view everything that you have to offer!
  • The Instagram explore page has a shopping tab that displays accounts with shoppable posts, so your products could very well end up on the screens of millions of users at once. With that in mind, make sure your shoppable posts feature high-quality images with a strong caption and description of the product(s).
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase the likelihood of reaching greater numbers of shoppers.
  • Make sure your shoppable posts align with your brand and Instagram aesthetic.
  • Always make sure that your shopping tags are linked to the correct products.
  • Use the “view insights” feature on your account to track the performance of specific posts.
  • If you discontinue a product or change the price, don’t forget to update your catalog and feed accordingly.

 

If you are interested in learning more or aren’t sure if your business would benefit from the shopping feature, reach out to us and we can help you determine what’s best for your business!

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DCG Team March 4, 2021 0 Comments

2021 Marketing Trends

As if digital marketing trends don’t move fast enough, 2020 saw a significant and unanticipated increase in users’ time online (eCommerce, Video Conferences, Social Media Time, Email Communication, etc.). Companies were forced to adapt quickly to capitalize on this phenomenon, and the lack of in-person interaction saw the birth of major shifts in what behavior trends this increased time online. Though seemingly unpredictable, a lot of these trends were merely brewing under the surface, and the pandemic was the catalyst that brought them to the forefront. Let’s take a look at what’s here to stay, and which key trends will help your business shift with the digital tide in 2021 and beyond.

  1. Online Shopping/eCommerce

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. eCommerce sales grew more than 30% between the first and second quarter of 2020. The reason for this dramatic increase is very clear: as citizens remained socially distant at home, they spent more time purchasing products online. However, the sheer volume of online sales astounded even the most prepared and efficient companies. In some cases, sales halted altogether when businesses just couldn’t keep up with the demand of their customers. 

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No store was safe from the purchasing pandemonium, whether they were brick-and-mortar businesses or strictly online, like Amazon. Toilet paper became a valuable commodity! And because these businesses’ supply chains weren’t prepared for the influx of demand, they weren’t able to replenish their shelves quickly enough. This is a prime example of an opportunity for entrepreneurs to fill a need. Any gap within the business landscape is an opportunity.

Certain companies have adapted to this major shift to online shopping, most notably Instagram, and the substantial updates that were made to the app within the last few months of 2020. Instagram put a heavy emphasis on Reels and their shopping feature, encouraging users to spend directly on the app and giving brands the ability to add a new video-making platform to their marketing strategy.

2. Social Authenticity

As we social distance, there’s an opportunity to close that distance with authenticity, transparency, and relatability. Recognize the problems that your audience could be facing, and connect with them through that recognition. There doesn’t even have to be a concrete solution to the problem – you don’t have to have the solution or the answer. Acknowledging difficult experiences in an honest way can make a monumental difference in the way that your brand is perceived.

3. Companies with Standards

Consumers are actively searching for companies that hold themselves to higher standards, be it ethically, environmentally, socially, etc. They want to give their business to brands that they feel are making a positive impact on the world, and by purchasing from those brands, they are inadvertently contributing to that impact. 

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4. SEO Changes on Instagram

Instagram is putting less impact on hashtags as a way to explore similar posts and becoming more “search-friendly.” Marketing-wise, this means businesses should focus on including more SEO in their captions – smart use of keywords, instead of just trendy hashtags for increased reach and engagement. 

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  1. Reels as a Response to TikTok

Human connection, especially important in times such as these when we have to interact with each other at a distance. With the controversy that TikTok has faced in the past few months, Instagram decided to answer it by facilitating the use of Reels by making it a featured button at the bottom of the app’s homepage. We expect to see more platforms adopting this style of video, including “duet” and response style capabilities.

  1. Hybrid Events

Activities that once we would never dream of hosting online have now become the new norm. Every business has been forced to adapt and make this adjustment, and while it has introduced many difficulties to the usual processes, there are many positive developments to come out of these hybrid events and work environments. 

There are millions of employees all over the world performing their job duties from a remote location, an ability that they never thought possible before COVID-19. 

Try hosting your own virtual event! You have the potential to invite new customers who might otherwise have not been involved or showed up in person, but the virtual aspect makes it much more lowkey and convenient.

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  1. Social Media for Customer Service

Don’t be afraid to use your brand’s social media as a method for customer service. There is something very powerful and special about connecting with your customers via social media platforms. Rather than being a company that simply spits out content, interacting with customers through your accounts gives them a sense of importance and satisfaction. It makes people feel sought out and important, and it will also encourage more interaction from your followers, thus raising the engagement on your social media and giving you the potential to get more eyes on your pages. 

  1. Social Monitoring

It will be easier and more important than ever to incorporate social monitoring into your marketing strategy. There are many benefits to social monitoring, including proactive crisis management, determining your brand’s market positioning, understanding the behavior of your customers, etc. 

As a means of crisis management, social monitoring will allow you to observe the way consumers are reacting to various events in the world, and gauge how you need to respond to these events in order to make the deepest and most lasting connection with your audience. It keeps you from being tone-deaf and saying something that could put your brand in a bad light. Always be aware of what your particular consumer base is saying about current affairs and never take for granted the value of such knowledge can be. 

Social monitoring can also help you understand where your brand is in relation to the market. Listen to the market and to where the demand is, and this will help you locate a particular group of consumers whose needs aren’t being met within the current marketplace. Really listen to what it is that people want/need.

Understanding your target audience’s behavior is essential in order to deliver the best service possible and to prepare for future purchases. If you know your audience well enough, you can predict what their future actions will be, what type of messaging and advertising appeals most to them, and how to turn them into loyal customers.

  1. Voice Search
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Convenience is the name of the game. Make sure your website and social media are optimized for voice search. People are searching the web differently, and video marketing is one of the most affected types of content so far. Voice search is having a big effect on SEO because of the difference in speech patterns versus typed searches. Speech is more colloquial, more free-form, and on the spot, while typing a phrase or question into the Google search bar takes a little more forethought. Most of the time, typed searches involve inadvertently searching keywords or ideas. Voice search is more centered around the thing itself, is often phrased in the form of a question, and is much less rigid or predictable (making SEO more complicated than ever). 

  1.  Video Marketing

With so many people working from home, video content has become more frequent and casual, with glimpses into the life of someone who works at home and what a typical day is like. With the freedom and confidence to make more video content, we are seeing a rise in these more interactive posts that will continue to grow as the months go by. The lack of in-person connections has brought about the desire for continued interaction through social media, and what better way to feel as if you could be hanging out in real-time with someone else than through videos?

Certain platforms, most notably Instagram, are beefing up their video features to encourage users to take advantage of this specific type of media. Instagram has been pushing Reels hard ever since TikTok’s privacy policies were called into question, and Reels has even become the main focus on the homepage of every Instagram user. 

Conclusion

It is clear that the space provided by 2020 has been filled by what people want, and more than ever, the digital world is being dictated by how the general public (and your future audience) is using their time, melding personal behaviors with business opportunities. Luckily, social platforms are fighting hard to evolve to suit the behaviors of the public, which happens to coincide with an opportunity for business.

If 2020 showed us anything, it’s how quickly things can change/are ever-evolving/adaptable. It’s likely that this list doesn’t cover everything we’ll see in 2021, and the best advice we can offer is to stay vigilant, pay attention to how digital platforms are changing and why, and check in on online consumer behaviour regularly.

Interested in how to implement any of these tactics successfully? Request a free consultation with a DCG marketing specialist today!

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DCG Team February 17, 2021 0 Comments