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5 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

5 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Ranking on the first page of search engine results is what most if not all businesses dream about. If you’re one of the few who doesn’t see the importance of a high search ranking, conduct a search for a product or service your business offers to see how much of your competition appears before you do. If you don’t appear until after page three, chances are that you need some serious SEO. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process by which business climb to the top of search engine results. There are many factors that go into it; and if you’re a beginner, you might make some mistakes. Here are some mistakes to avoid when DIYing your SEO. 

Keyword Stuffing 

No, it’s not the kind of stuffing you put in your holiday turkey. Keyword stuffing is when you intentionally fill a webpage with a word or words in order to manipulate search engines into ranking you higher in search results. You’ve probably seen these types of pages, the ones that use the same keyword five times in one sentence or so many times on the same page that it lingers in your mind like a subliminal message. The fact is that search engines won’t rank this kind of spammy content. Using a keyword too often might prevent you from ranking well.  

Copying Content 

While republishing content that you wrote on your website elsewhere on the web can help your marketing strategy, you should take care in how you do it. If the same content appears in more than one place on the web, a search engine won’t show it in search results because it can’t determine which version to index. The search engine will default to what is considered the most relevant, original content. 

Careless Backlinking 

You don’t want to backlink with just any website or content creator. You want to backlink with reputable sites that are relevant to the content you post. Links from irrelevant sites will cause your site to be devalued by search engines. When backlinking, you also want to avoid sitewide backlinks and pages with excessive external links. With that said, you don’t want to buy links either. 

Buying Links 

If you see emails promising a first-page ranking on any search engine, especially for a small amount of money, send them to the spam box. While there are legit SEO companies out there, like Proximo Marketing Strategies, most of these emails are from companies looking to scam you. Even if they do buy links on your behalf, Google will blacklist your site for this. Avoid the trouble and just don’t do it. 

Hidden Text 

It’s like an invisible ink message, except it’s on a web page. Hidden text is the practice of hiding text on your website so that visitors of your site can’t see it, but search engines will still index it. A simple way of doing this, for example, would be to change the color of this text to the same color as the background of your page. It becomes virtually invisible, that is until it gets highlighted. It could also be hidden in the page’s code. Search engines will penalize you for doing this. Instead, put this energy into creating valuable, relevant content and take advantage of organic SEO tactics. 

A well-optimized website should show up at the top of relevant search results, if you know what you’re doing, that is. You wouldn’t have someone who doesn’t know the first thing about construction build your house. As such, you wouldn’t have someone optimize your search engine who doesn’t know anything about SEO. Proximo is a leading Virginia SEO company. If you would like more information on our SEO services, call us at (757) 504-2429 or fill out the form on our website.

The Lifespan of a Website

The Lifespan of a Website

Scenario 

You are a small business owner. A few years ago, it was recommended to you to create a website and have an online presence. You thought this was a great idea and consulted a professional well versed in website design. Your website was published to the world wide web and soon after, you see your business increase. Great! Your website is creating an uptick in interest for your business and you couldn’t be happier! You figure it is time to focus on other areas of your business, so you push your website off to the side for a little while. After all, you just created it.

Truth

Websites have a lifespan. Did you know that the average lifespan of a website is roughly three years? The truth is, we are a technologically-driven society with short attention spans. As consumers, we want fast, well-designed, and responsive websites that translate across devices. So how does a business owner keep up with consumer demand when it comes to an online presence? And why is an updated website so important?

Attention Span

Your basic consumer will give a company and their website about 50 milliseconds to decide your website is one they want to interact with. If your website is outdated, has a cumbersome layout, or has features that are no longer working, your potential customer will disengage. Consumers look to a company’s website to base their potential relationship with that company. 

What happens when a consumer gives you the initial 50 milliseconds of time to engage with your website? How do you keep their attention? Your website must be fast, attractive, and have a terrific user experience. In fact, 77% of business owners believe that their clients view poor user experience as a weakness to a company. If your website is aesthetically pleasing, adheres to current design trends, and ultimately gives your potential customer a positive and easy user experience, then you are that much more likely to gain trust with your consumers.

Multiple Device Responsiveness

Does your current website translate across devices? Can your website be displayed in a similar way on a mobile phone as it does on a laptop computer? As technology advances, consumers want to engage with websites that will translate across devices. For the best responses from potential customers in mobile marketing, business owners need to employ strategies to optimize mobile device usage with their websites. In 2018, 58% of visits to websites were done on mobile devices.

In fact, not only are consumers relying on a mobile web presence, the use of mobile devices by consumers to online shop has increased significantly in recent years. In 2018 alone, 55% of those shopping online were using a mobile device to complete their purchases.   

Call to Action (CTA)

Your website is a great opportunity to communicate with your clients. Taking the time and care to develop content and design your layout in an effective way shows your clients how much they mean to you. When you grab their attention and give them a positive user experience across multiple devices, you must also remember to communicate what you want them to do, and that’s what a CTA is all about. The CTA is the final instruction you give to your audience. About 70% of small businesses lack a CTA on their website. But a well-written and strategic CTA will translate website traffic into leads for your business.

There are a lot of aspects for business owners to consider when creating and maintaining an effective web presence for their clients. But you are not alone. At Proximo Marketing Strategies, we are here to help. We are the experts. If you feel that your website could use a new look, a better user experience, and a more effective way to translate across devices, give us a call at (757) 504-2429! We’d be happy to help you!

The 5 Love Languages of Small Business

The 5 Love Languages of Small Business

What Are the 5 Love Languages?

As human beings, relationships are an important part of the human experience. We need healthy relationships as they are vital to our mental and emotional health. No matter the stage in a person’s life, what they carry with them most are the relationships they form. But a major factor in cultivating and preserving healthy relationships is promoting effective and positive communication with one another. However, our connections can break down when there is a dissonance between communication styles. Knowing the best and most effective way to communicate with your customers and clients will not only tell them, but show them what they mean to you and your business. There are five main concepts or languages that any one person can relate most to. 

Words of Affirmation

This love language uses words to express emotion and gratitude. 

Acts of Service

People who respond to acts of service are more in tune with actions, rather than words.

Receiving Gifts

Some people feel most loved or appreciated when they receive a gift.

Quality Time

Giving someone your attention and listening to them is the essence of quality time.

Physical Touch

This love language is about giving someone an appropriate touch.

Most often these love languages are equated to individuals who are in a romantic relationship.  However, they can really apply to many relationships in your life. Different people respond to different languages, but understanding your own love language can help you understand someone else’s love language as well.

Can the 5 Love Languages Translate to the Business World?

The short answer is yes. The concepts are the same, but oftentimes they are referred to as appreciation languages. So, how can we cultivate and preserve our relationships in the workplace? Here are some great examples of how you can relate to another’s appreciation language in the workplace.

Words of Affirmation

  • “I’m really lucky to be able to work with you.”
  • “We work so well together.”
  • “You were great with that client today.”
  • “This was a difficult project, but you really nailed it!”
  • “This project is challenging, but I know you will do great!”

Acts of Service

  • Offer assistance on a difficult project.
  • Deliver products to your clients when they run out of supplies.
  • Clean up the office space for your coworkers.
  • Order the office supplies and make the errand runs for your coworkers.
  • Touch base with clients to see how you can help them.

Receiving Gifts

  • Bring your co-worker their favorite beverage, just because.
  • Thank a client with tickets to a game or a show.
  • Offer a free product to your customers for an appreciation day.
  • Bring a client some of their favorite treats.
  • Give your employees a monetary bonus to show your appreciation for their efforts.

Quality Time

  • Spend time with coworkers outside of work.
  • Ask about your client’s interests and hobbies and show a genuine interest.
  • Plan a client event to discuss future plans.
  • Be available to a coworker who is having a rough day.
  • Stop by a client’s office for a face-to-face meeting.

Physical Touch

  • Greet someone with a firm handshake.
  • High-five a job well done.
  • Fist-bump the success of a project.
  • Give a congratulatory pat on the back.
  • Create a celebratory handshake with a coworker.

None of these examples are set in stone, of course, but the key is to understand what the other person’s love language is. At Proximo Marketing Strategies we can help you cultivate relationships with your clients. If you would like to look at different ways to show appreciation to your clients, call us at (757) 504-2429 or visit www.ProximoMarketing.com. We would love to work with you!

8 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

8 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

The world of marketing is always changing; and similar to all other types of change, we are made to adapt. A marketing and advertising campaign that is planned and executed effectively can serve the needs of any business, but times have changed and so has the marketing landscape. Customers and businesses don’t interact in the same way they used to. In this day and age, your digital presence should be on the RISE. When employing digital marketing efforts, it’s important to keep up with marketing trends. Proximo is here to tell you what trends to look out for to help you get ahead of the game. 

1. Omnichannel Marketing 

Think multichannel marketing, but on an even larger scale. In omnichannel marketing, you create consistent marketing touchpoints that work together and reinforce each other on every available channel. Most businesses use social media, search engines and email as their marketing channels. Other channels you might consider are: 

  • Video 
  • Podcasts 
  • Streaming 
  • Apps 
  • Chatbots 
  • Virtual Assistants 

2. Chatbots and AI 

Chatbots are little AI helpers that are integrated into websites. They can answer questions and fulfill requests, offering personalized interactions without the difficulty that often comes from having to talk to the Human Resources Department of any given business. They’re super convenient. This nifty software is already used extensively on Facebook and usage is expected to increase as new possibilities for them emerge. 

3. Personalization 

Everything is personalized these days: computers, phones, online radio. Marketing is no different. Studies show that ninety percent of the U.S. population finds personalized marketing to be appealing. Another 44 percent say that they are more likely to buy from a company again after a personalized shopping experience. Personalization is expected to become the number one tool across marketing channels.

4. Video Marketing 

Videos as a marketing tool are not expected to outgrow their britches anytime soon. It has already become one of the most successful marketing tactics, and is expected to make up more than 85 percent of internet traffic by 2020. Vertical video formats are also on the rise, thanks to Instagram.

5. Zero-Click SEO 

It may not have even occurred to you that there’s such a thing as zero-click search results; even though you’ve probably seen them many times. These are the search results that are automatically generated by Google to answer a search query that comes in the form of a snippet. In order to see the organic search results, you’d have to actually scroll down. Zero-click results are a big deal because they already make up over sixty percent of Google search results. Some of these snippets come from websites that rank on page one, but it’s uncertain yet how Google decides which ones to display. 

6. Voice Search Advertising and Optimization 

When virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google came along, voice searching was born. You can play music and place orders online without having to whip out your phone or other smart devices. Voice search has made it easier to find information, while reducing screen time. Twenty percent of Google searches now take place through voice search. People love it; that’s why it’s not going away any time soon. Your business should start optimizing its content for voice search by making it more conversational. 

7. Live Video (AKA “Streaming”) 

As video grows in popularity, so does the idea of live video, also called “streaming” or “live streaming.” The major draw of live streaming is that the person in front of the camera – whether a social media influencer, celebrity, or gamer – is interacting directly with viewers’ comments. This is all thanks to platforms like Twitch, which are popular for streaming video gameplay. Even YouTube has a live-streaming function. When done right, a live stream can be incredibly useful for marketing. 

8. Content Experience 

You’ve heard the term “user experience,” right? Well, it’s time to make way for content experience. What is that though? Content experience is a combination of content, context, user interface and experience. It falls in line with making content marketing more personalized and tailored to specific audiences and even individuals. Everyone experiences content differently and whether or not their experiences are good or bad determines whether or not there will be a sale. It also determines how a brand is perceived. This approach helps put more control back into the hands of marketers than content marketing. 

Adapting to changes in the marketing world early in the game is the best way to stay ahead. Keep these trends in mind and implement them going into next year and you’re sure to be ahead of the competition. If you need help marketing your business, give Proximo Marketing Strategies a shout at (757) 504-2429 or VIP@proximomarketing.com. 

Do It Yourself Logo Design – A Very Bad Idea

Do It Yourself Logo Design – A Very Bad Idea

How can businesses visually stand out from other brands, and how can the public recognize your brand in the midst of others? The answer is a logo. When we think of logos, we often think of the iconic blue square and white “f” for Facebook, the widely popular swoosh for Nike, and the iconic golden “M” to represent the Mcdonald’s fast-food chain. The problem is that a lot of start-up business owners believe creating a logo on “do-it-yourself” websites or even designing it themselves with no design experience will create the same results that the previously mentioned successful companies have. The truth is that these create-your-own logo gimmicks and amateur designs hardly ever make your business or brand attract the positive attention that you want.

Logo designs are supposed to be unique. When business owners think that making their own logo will be “easy”, they may be right, because while it may be easy, it probably won’t be good. Having a logo that illustrates your business is the difference between mediocre and professionalism in the business world.  Whether it’s through the utilization of a tasteful color palette, a memorable illustration, or defined typography, a high-quality logo will often speak for itself when words can’t.

Consumers are much smarter than we realize. Due to the fact that we are a social-media dominated generation, internet users are likely to see hundreds (if not thousands) of different brand images a day. In order to stand out within the crowd of media, online and in real life, logos must be able to captivate an audience and reel in potential customers, clients, and consumers into wanting to know more about your brand. Smart consumers might be able to see that your logo was curated on a DIY logo design site since all of these sites often hold the same basic tools, and this could definitely cause people to dismiss your business as a whole.

If you have little to no design experience and create a logo on your own, smart users will be able to recognize a well-established logo from an amateur one. By designing a logo by yourself, you run the risk of possibly mimicking a logo that already exists, using colors that clash with one another or putting way too much detail into the design. With no professional assistance, you won’t be able to recognize the little mistakes that we often make when trying to do things on our own.

Even though a free DIY logo design might seem tempting, it could lead to potential business problems. Poorly designed logos could stop business growth, sales, and other future opportunities. Logos are like first impressions–you only have one chance to make it right, and

your business is far too valuable for it to be represented by a DIY logo design. Logos shouldn’t just be an image to fill up space, it should create the space and represent your brand’s values by allowing the world to recognize the level of quality your business provides.

If you’re looking for a professionally designed logo and need some assistance, we are more than willing to help your business visually by bringing your ideas to life. You can reach Proximo through email – vip@proximomarketing.com or call 757-504-2429 to help you get the logo of your dreams.

Free Websites – Why They Cost More

Free Websites – Why They Cost More

You’ve started your own business and you’re ready to take it to the next level. Whether you are trying to reach your targeted consumers through branding, social media or word of mouth, all elements of a successful business need a digital place for your audience to come back to. Think of it as a home base for your entire brand. Your website is supposed to be accessible, easy to navigate, informative, and should speak loudly about what your business does and how it’s different from the competition.

Many businesses these days are creating websites on free website-building platforms with no SEO and no experience. While the word “free” may seem appealing, free websites don’t have the capacity to bring your business the traction it deserves, and here’s why.

Free website layouts are limited and rarely bring your creative vision for your business to life.

There’s only so much you can do on a free website to make it look as visually appealing and close to your brand idea as possible. You’ll be forced to have to choose between the few layouts, color schemes, and fonts that the site has, and as a result, your website will suffer because of it. If a new user comes across a poorly designed website, they most likely won’t want to stay more than a few seconds on your page. In a world where online media and photography is consumed constantly, your business deserves a website that stands out visually.

Consumers won’t be able to reach your site as much as you may want.

Google is humanity’s best friend, and with a computer in nearly everyone’s pockets, having your website easily accessible through search engines is critical to expanding your business to the next level. Free websites don’t have real SEO (search engine optimization). This is because you don’t actually own that free website you are using–the site builder you’re using does. A real SEO will allow you to customize certain aspects of your website with no limitations and with a 100% guarantee that your website will always reach back to you, the business owner. Free websites just simply don’t have the ability to create the kind of traffic you want on your page. The SEO strategies that these sites hold might lead you to believe that adding every single keyword you can think of to the list will help users be able to find your business site easily, but sadly this is not the case. Free website platforms will never be able to compete with an organically structured website, which leads us to our next point.

Putting in all of your energy into a free website will not only waste your time, but it will hurt your business. Without the ability for your site to show up on search engines when possible consumers look up your business name, those same consumers are more than likely to look up your direct competition (who more than likely will have a working SEO) and your free website’s reach will become stagnant over time.

Free websites communicate unprofessionalism to users.

Last but not least, it’s essential that your business radiates a level of efficiency and professionalism that will not only help your reputation as a business owner, but it will strengthen your ability to connect to your consumers on a deeper level. Big brands build their own websites. Big business build their own websites. By allowing your business to truly shine through its own website, you won’t have to go through any of the loopholes that come with free website platforms. Organically constructing a website isn’t just the beginning of your successful business, but it’s the life-line that will bring your complete vision to life. Your audience will be able to recognize the level of effort you put into your work through your website alone.

If you need any assistance with website development, including SEO building, reach out to the Proximo team at (757) 504-2429 and we make sure to make your dream website for your business into a reality!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing

You probably receive more marketing email messages than you would ever care to read. You probably send all but very few of them to your spam or junk folder. Are we right? We get it, we’ve been there. While it might not seem like it, email marketing is actually still an effective means of growing your business. The catch is, there is a right and a wrong way to use email for marketing your products or services to customers. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of email marketing. 

Do – Grow Your Email List Correctly 

Grow your email list the right way, use a subscription form that requires subscribers to opt-in to receive emails from your business. That way, they don’t feel like you’re forcing your emails into their inbox. 

Don’t – Buy An Email List 

Whatever you do, don’t buy an email list. Unsurprisingly, unless you have email leads from people who are actually interested in your business on that email list, your open rate and click-through rate will be very low. This will render your email marketing ineffective and make it hard for you to gauge what is actually working.

Do – Segment Your Email List 

Segmenting your email list will aid significantly in sending emails with content relevant to your audience. There are many ways to do this. For example, you could organize it based on industry, geography, product interest, participation in events, content downloads, and even pages visited. This will enable you to send more personalized emails based on subscriber data and interests. 

Do – Use the Customer’s Name 

Using the customer’s name in the body of your marketing emails makes them less of a sales pitch and more of a personal relationship. You can also take it a step further and address customers by name in the subject line. Emails with personalized subject lines are more likely to be opened. 

Do – Avoid Spam Filters 

Email filters are becoming increasingly sophisticated. To avoid the spam filters, avoid sending emails that look like spam. For example, refrain from using words like “sale,” “free,” “rich,” or “deal” in the subject line in all caps. 

Don’t – Send A Sales Pitch 

Another way to avoid the spam and junk folders are to make sure that your email doesn’t read like a brochure. Avoid using the aforementioned words and limit the number of links included in the message to be safe. 

Do – Use Video 

Video is an easy way to grab your customers’ attention and hold it, as compared to a wall of text. It helps build trust and long-term customer relationships. Most customers even say that watching a video about a product or service is what gives them the confidence to buy it. With its high ROI and click-through rates, there’s no reason not to include video in your email marketing. 

Don’t – Poorly Produced Videos 

A video’s image quality doesn’t matter so much as the quality of the content. If your video is poorly written and produced, it could confuse your customers and drive them away. If you want to learn more about video, take a look at our recent blog. 

Above all else, what you want to give your marketing emails is value. Why would you send an email to a customer that held no value? This is the difference between the emails you ignore on the daily and the emails that Proximo Marketing Strategies sends out. We work with our clients closely to understand their customers’ interests and motivations so we can create valuable content. While email marketing is only part of any marketing strategy, it’s an important one when done correctly. If you would like to learn more about email marketing with us, give us a call today at 757-504-2429.

How to Figure Out If Your Digital Marketing Strategy is Results-Driven

Running a business includes setting goals and measuring your success in meeting those goals. However, in the world of digital marketing it can be difficult to determine appropriate measures. Or it can be overwhelming, with so much data available to you. For instance, Google Analytics has over 75 standard reports that can also be modified to gather even more data. 

To be successful, you need to establish your goals. And then you need to be able to navigate all the information available to you, to determine which metrics actually help you measure achievement of your business goals. It’s not always easy to do with a digital marketing strategy.

So let’s look at how to figure out if your digital marketing strategy is results-driven, with this easy guide. 

It’s 4 simple steps known as Plan, Act, Measure and Improve:

1. Plan: Gather the information you need to establish goals.
2. Act: Establish your business goals.
3. Measure: Track progress toward your goals.
4. Improve: Evaluate and make changes to your goals, and your business, if necessary.

1. Plan: Gather the Right Information
The first key to being results driven is to be sure you establish goals, or if you’ve already done that, to evaluate those goals. 

To be able to effectively establish business objectives, it’s important to gather as much information about your business and industry as possible. That includes any past successes and failures of your business, such as marketing campaigns that did or didn’t work.

It includes seasonal trends that can impact your business. This is helpful because if there are times when business seems to slump, you can plan for a digital marketing campaign to try and ramp up sales.

It also needs to include market research, to see what competitors are doing, what’s working and what’s not. It includes industry research, to analyze any trends in your industry – both those trends on the upswing that you can take advantage of, and those on the downswing that you should avoid.

There could also be other information, whether business specific or industry specific, that you need to understand to help inform your goals.

2. Act: Establish Business Goals
Now that you’ve examined the information you need, it’s time to establish goals. 

In the digital marketing world, there are many examples of goals. What you choose can depend on your business. The key is that it must be measurable.

Here are some high-level examples of measures you can track that can have goals established for them:

  • Number of followers on social networks.
  • Audience “shares” of your blog posts on social media. 
  • Mentions of your brand on social media.
  • The number of positive reviews of your products or services.
  • The number of conversions, such as people signing up for a newsletter or emails.
  • Number of abandoned carts compared to completed carts.
  • Number of click-throughs from a social media campaign to your website.

These may all be relevant to your business, and they are all measurable. The number of abandoned carts compared to completed carts, for instance, can provide insight that allows you to make changes to your checkout process, for instance. Your goal should be a reduction in the number of abandoned carts. 

But let’s dig a little deeper into some examples that relate to the bottom line. After all, the best measure of success is profit.

Let’s use the final example, number of click-throughs from a social media campaign to your website. You can establish a goal of a certain number of click-throughs, or a percentage increase. 

While it’s valuable to track which social media sites give you the greatest conversion, in this case a click-through, you can dig even deeper, by looking at the revenue gained from each of those leads.

Looking at revenue per lead by source, or approximate sales value of each new lead, can help you make decisions. For example, by knowing where your most profitable leads are coming from, you can continue to invest in campaigns on those channels.

So it’s important that your goals are relevant and measurable. They also need to be attainable, and realistic. They should challenge you, and they should impact your bottom line.

If you already have goals, evaluate them to see if they are still relevant. If necessary, you can revise your goals to accommodate new objectives or to account for any changes in your business. 

3. Measure: Track Progress
With your goals established, and an understanding of what you need to monitor, it’s time to let your digital marketing campaign come to life, and to watch its progress.

You’ll need to be sure you have the right tools to gather data. Here are some options, depending on the nature of your goals:

  • Event-based tools, or click analysis, will look at the actions of users within your website or app. An event could be a purchase, for instance.
  • Testing tools, which can let you test different versions of a message or a feature. For instance, you could test which version of a sign-up form gets a higher conversion rate, to help learn what your users like.
  • Visual behavior tools, which tells you where users spend time looking at the screen, providing insight into which areas are most heavily clicked, how far users scroll on a screen, and more. 
  • Digital marketing analytics, which are wide-ranging and can include insights such as search rankings or social media performance. 

Give your campaign or website launch some time to attract users, and then start looking at the results. Run your data on a weekly basis, for instance. Which moves us to the final step.

4. Improve: Evaluate and Evolve
There’s no point in doing all the hard work up to this point and then sitting back, thinking the work is complete. You have to constantly evaluate and evolve your goals. 

Nobody gets it right the first time, and business is constantly evolving. You want to take every opportunity to make improvements and increase revenue. 

Tracking progress isn’t enough; you have to use those results to make decisions about your goals and the strategies you’re employing to achieve them. By understanding what influences your goals, you will continue to optimize your business.

Let’s use our example of number of click-throughs from a social media campaign, and the subsidiary goal, amount of revenue per lead by source.

Using the insight you’ve gained, you’ll be able to determine where to allocate resources to increase revenue. That could mean putting more resources into the channels that generate the most profitable leads. 

It could also mean evaluating the less profitable channels and trying to make changes to enhance those campaigns and increase their profits. Maybe the audience is a different demographic and you need to consider a different message for that group.

It could mean that your product doesn’t appeal to the demographic of a particular social media channel, and you need to abandon those efforts in order to dedicate resources to a new and more suitable channel.

By analyzing the information you’ve gathered, your goals may need slight adjustments, or they may need to be replaced with different goals. Perhaps you need to scale back your goals and focus on fewer of them. Or maybe you’re knocking a few out of the park and need to add some more challenging goals.

Final Thoughts

Measuring the results of your digital marketing strategy can seem overwhelming at times. It’s important to use metrics, but there are a vast array of metrics available that can be tracked and reported.

It’s essential, however, that your digital marketing strategy be results-driven. There’s a cost to executing it, so there needs to be a profit from it.

Using our four-step guide, you’ll be able to figure out if your digital marketing strategy is results driven, and create a strategy that benefits your business.

Author Bio: Danielle Canstello is part of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide enterprise level analytics and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of the marketing, business intelligence, and analytics industries.

Video is Going Viral on Social Media

Video is Going Viral on Social Media

It’s undeniable that video has seen an explosion of growth in recent years. Consumers and prospects alike are choosing to engage with content via video more than other media types. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, Youtube saw a ninety-nine percent increase in views of branded content. Likewise, Facebook saw an increase of over 250 percent. Just this year, sixty-three percent of businesses began using video to market content; and eighty-two percent of them attest to its importance as part of their marketing strategies. In spite of these facts and the loss of content engagement and leads, businesses are still hesitant to implement video. The medium is still new even though it has already gone so far. It’s understandable that you might have doubts. That’s why we’re going to let you in on all the benefits of video marketing and give you a few pointers to get you going. 

Video’s Role in Marketing 

A key role of video in marketing is to engage the audience.  Video holds attention longer and far better than a paragraph of text ever will. Another role of video is to build trust and create long-term relationships with customers. More than half of consumers say that videos gave them the confidence to purchase an item online where they otherwise would not have without them. Video not only engages interest but emotions, what people share via social media. In the context of social media, the role of video is garnering these shares, which lead to sales. 

The Success of Video (and Your Business with Video) 

It’s no mystery as to why video is so successful. It’s a versatile and engaging content format that is easy to share across platforms. Not only can it lead directly to sales, many marketers attest to its high ROI. This is because video drives value. It provides a great visual aid for retaining information. Studies show that marketing emails that contain video increase click-through rates over 200 percent. It has also been found that people spend over eighty percent more time on a website with video. Video also strengthens brand recall. This isn’t surprising, considering that people generally remember more of a message through video as compared to written content. Let’s not forget that video can boost SEO rankings. It’s estimated that a website with a video is over fifty times more likely to show up first on Google than websites without. Video is the fastest-growing form of marketing. If you want your business to be more memorable, producing video content is the way to go. 

Things to Remember When Making a Video 

If you decide to take the DIY route, there are a handful of things to consider before you go into production. You’ll want to: 

1. Put it in Context – Go beyond standard demographic targeting and create content that is relevant in the context 

2. Keep it Short and Sweet – You can go big in a short amount of time, for example, video ads. Some of the most effective YouTube ads are only about six seconds long. 

3. Be Personal and Interactive – Learn what drives your target audience, about what they want to see, and test content based on that. 

4. Include a Call to Action – Rouse viewers with an on-screen CTA 

5. Make It Mobile-Friendly – A vast majority of videos are viewed on mobile devices. Make sure your video will look good and operate correctly across all screen sizes. 

6. Optimize your Content – Use the titles and metadata to help viewers find you on Google 

7. Be Sharable – Allow people to embed your videos so they can share across platforms. 

Keep in mind that a poorly produced video can have the opposite effect. You want your products and services to be presented well, not to drive away business. That’s why Proximo Marketing Strategies offers video production services. From conception to production to posting, we’re here to help you make the video of your dreams. Call us at (757) 504-2429 or visit our website, www.proximomarketing.com, to find out how we can make a video together! 

What’s Up with Facebook and Instagram?

What’s Up with Facebook and Instagram?

What do you do when you lose access to social media because of an outage? It’s not just hours of conversations and selfies lost; it’s lost business. For many small businesses, entrepreneurs, and even major companies, social media is a means of conducting business. They reach out to customers, both loyal and prospective, sell merchandise and services, and create chatter to build their brands. Facebook and Instagram have become important aspects of their marketing. It’s definitely not one-sided either; the social media platforms benefit from this, too. The Facebook conglomerate makes money from advertising. As popular as it is, you would think that, after the first couple of times, Facebook would get their act together and fix whatever issues they are having. Yet, for the fifth time in four months, the Facebook family of apps has collectively suffered a major outage, with Instagram experiencing the most downtime. The event took place on July 17, just two weeks after the previous reported outage on July 3. 

Crash of July 3rd 
This crash was not an isolated incident, having affected users across the United States as well as the United Kingdom. People around the world reported the issues to DownDetector. The problems most reported with Facebook largely surrounded images, being 86 percent overall. The other two most common issues were with the news feed, coming in at thirteen percent, and logging in at eight percent. Likewise with Instagram, 91 percent experienced problems with the refreshing feeds, eight percent had problems with the desktop site, and another nine percent experienced issues logging into their accounts. Also reported were difficulties loading profiles and liking images. This outage affected the other apps owned by Facebook, Whatsapp and Messenger, as well. Users of Whatsapp reported problems with sending or receiving messages (66%), connecting to the app (29%), and logging in (4%). Messenger users noted complications with receiving messages (80%), logging in (12%), and connecting to the server (6%). Facebook took to Twitter to let users know that they knew of the issue and repairs were underway. They gave no reason for the crash, unlike the first crash which occurred in March, for which Facebook blamed server configuration changes. The platform simply stated that it was not the result of a data breach and apologized for the inconvenience. 

Crash of July 17th 
DownDetector showed that this too, was a widespread major outage, with thousands of frustrated users all over the globe. It is not yet known whether or not it affects the sister app, Messenger; however, it has been reported that users had issues with the server connection (42%), receiving messages (30%), and logging in (27%) on the day of the crash. WhatsApp went completely offline during the crash, though it was not reported to the real-time tracking site. The vast majority of reports regarding Facebook were of total blackouts, coming in at 47 percent. The second-most reported problem was with the function of the news feed, at 29 percent. Log-in issues made up twenty-three percent of those reported. Instagram was rife with feed dilemmas, making up 82 percent of reports. Twelve percent experienced problems with the desktop site, another eight complained of issues with stories, and yet another eight percent had log-in difficulties. 

Outraged, users took to Twitter to report the crash and voice their displeasure with the company’s apps. One user even suggested that they ought to throw the app away. The social media platforms have since come back online; although, they do not appear to be back at one hundred percent. Facebook has not responded on this outage on any form of social media as of yet. It is likely that they won’t cite a specific reason for it this time, either. 

While the glitches with social media as of late are incredibly frustrating, the platforms still thrive and small businesses should not hesitate to be active on any of them. If you need assistance getting your business’s social media off the ground, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Email vip@proximomarketing.com or call 757-504-2429.