8 Key Business Factors of the In-House Marketing vs. Agency Marketing Debate

8 Key Business Factors of the In-House Marketing vs. Agency Marketing Debate

Our partners wrote this great article on In-House Marketing vs engaging an Agency. We're happy to answer any questions you have on this and walk through the process with you. Just let us know. In the 15+ years I’ve worked in this industry, I’ve met thousands of business owners who admit to feeling perplexed by a key business decision: “ Should I hire in-house marketers or work with a marketing agency? !” And I get it. Whether you’re a part of a 2-person start-up or manage a growing organization with 50+ staff members, it’s not the simplest of questions to address. Just as there are benefits to working with a digital marketing agency, there are no doubt disadvantages as well. So, at the risk of sounding cliché, I’ve always told business owners struggling with this [...]

An SEO’s Guide to Google Analytics Terms

There is a fire hose of data coming out of Google Analytics. Here's a great summary of key terms you should be familiar with as you start to understand what Google is trying to tell you.

We all know Google Analytics is a powerful tool for serving up actionable data. And one of the quickest ways to get that data is to be clear about what all those terms mean.

If those questions sound familiar but you’re not sure of the answers, read on… Because as soon as you understand all the Google Analytics terms, you can begin to get closer to the actionable data you need, the kind of data you can use to increase visitors, sales, and sign-ups. Google Analytics can show what pages you need to improve in order to rank higher in organic search. It shows you if your copy needs tweaking, keywords need updating or meta-descriptions re-writing. It also tells you if your call to action button is converting or not. See more... Via searchenginewatch.com

How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing Digital Marketing

Technology has come a long way, and today’s computers are capable of artificial intelligence that can perform complex functions without any human’s help. Using complex algorithms, machines can learn by themselves and make decisions based on those interpretations. Many industries utilize AI, and digital marketing has started using it to enhance clients’ experiences. AI technology learns about the customer's preferences and, using analytics, it aims to deliver on those needs and wants. In many cases, marketers now prefer to use it because it saves them time and money.

Smart Audience Targeting

AI can accurately scrutinize data and predict customer buying behavior. Every time someone searches using their web browser, that data is collected and organized for AI analysis. Once the machine has identified what the customers like, it targets them with ads that have those goods on sale. This increases the possibility of customers making a purchase. This technology has come under fire in recent years, so you need to be careful with how you use it. People generally quite like their privacy and don't want to offer a lot of information. Some states have even passed acts and laws that restrict how much data can be gathered so be careful with this technology.

Process Automation

Robotic Process automation technology (RPA) uses artificial intelligence to automate various processes and tasks to improve the user's experience. A good example of AI at work is chatbots. These smart devices respond to customer inquiries and shape the responses according to their needs. Customers don't have to go through the entire website to find what they want. The chatbot immediately pops up once the customer opens the web page and from there the customer can ask anything.

Get Your Money's Worth

AI can give a detailed description of an image, as well as recognize human faces and interpret the emotions on them. This analysis is useful for marketing campaigns because it lets the marketer identify those images that are likely to lead to a high ROI. The marketing team can also use those images with other lead generation tools for maximum impact. With advancing technology, you can continue to be productive and grow your business even when you’re not at work.

Improving Productivity

AI can help marketers focus on something else as the machine performs repetitive tasks. For example, instead of the marketer preparing reports after every market analysis, the AI machine does it for them fast, with ease and accuracy. The marketer's work is only to go through the charts and pick an advertising strategy that works best. Artificial intelligence has simplified digital marketing by making it easy for firms to select the best promotional strategy. As AI improves, so too will its ability to scale markets and user activity for increased outreach and sales. Instead of paying outside agencies to perform analysis, companies are opting to use AI for complex tasks to enhance marketing strategies. With a thorough knowledge of what target audience’s are looking for, companies can fashion themselves to be leading competitors in a new technological age.

What Can I Do to Engage My Facebook Audience?

As Facebook's user count continues to diminish amid hacks and breaches, it’s more important than ever to maintain your audience. Our digital marketing strategizing services can take you a good deal of the way there. However, there are some basics that you can keep in mind, regardless of what you end up doing. The simplest solution to retention is to tailor your posts to maximize engagement from the audience on that platform. This article seeks to highlight several ways to bolster your prevalence on Facebook.

Keep Your Posts Short

While a portion of your diehard audience may follow every post, the majority of Facebook users are following so many other people and advertisements that they have little time to look at lengthy posts. This advice goes double for posts containing so much text that they open a new tab or redirect users to your specific Facebook page. The statistics behind Facebook engagement are pretty telling. As explained by WordCounter, “Facebook posts with 40 characters or less generated the highest engagement at 86 percent. However, they only accounted for 5 percent of all retail brand wall posts." Another reason to avoid lengthy posting is to attract the users who use their phones or tablets to peruse the site. Mobile web design places a premium on space, and lengthy messages unpleasantly bog down the view.

Take Audience Polls

Nothing involves your audience more than directly indicating your interest in them. While you could poll your audience with small talk, such as discussing which is the cutest among dogs, cats, and birds, your polls should relate to what your Facebook page is about while also being tempered so as not to come off as over-promotional. The biggest upside of using audience polling is that it makes it easier for your audience to engage with your content. ContentStandard argues that “what’s interesting about polls on social media is how they make capturing data and engaging users so intimate and immediate.” With that data, you can optimize your business strategies more efficiently. For example, a Mexican restaurant could ask its followers which of its signature dishes is their favorite. Poll results also help you discern where best to focus your products.

Use Your Platform for Product Announcements

This advice ties in wonderfully with the previous tip. Give the impression that your followers are insiders by mentioning when new products are coming, when old ones are being updated, and even if individual services or products are being phased out and what will be replacing them.

Do Some Giveaways

Let your audience know you care by offering promotions. Do things like offering a discount or even a giveaway with a cash prize to the first X number of users to like, comment, and share a post. Generally, rewarding likes should equal about 1 to 2 percent of your total audience as opposed to just a few people. This not only keeps your current audience around but can drum up some numbers as their friends hear about how they won something from you. There are several ways to engage your audience on Facebook. By keeping your posts short, polling your audience, announcing products and services, and even offering a shot at free stuff, you are bound to not only keep your audience but also to grow it.  

Responding To Online Reviews: Do’s and Don’ts

A core part of business today is understanding the feedback offered by your customers. These opinions are typically in the form of an online review. In fact, there are numerous websites dedicated to these reviews for nearly every business. As a business owner or manager, you have a right to respond to both positive and negative reviews. There's a certain protocol that goes along with these responses, however. Get to know the do's and don'ts of online-review responses. You can effectively manage your reputation as a result.

Be Timely

It's important to respond to both positive and negative reviews, reports Forbes. However, these responses cannot be added to the conversation many weeks or months after the fact. Be timely with your responses, such as one or two days after the review is time stamped. Regardless of the wording, your response shows that you're attentive to every consumer issue. People want to be acknowledged, and your timely response is a reflection of the human side of a business. Timeliness applies to every platform too, including social media posts and dedicated websites.

Avoid Defensive Responses

There will always be a reason for a particular concern. Consumers aren't interested in reasons, states Broadly. They simply want a fix to their issue. Your responses cannot be defensive as the consumer pours out his or her frustrations online. The shipping department may have lost power one day, or a product ended up with a defect upon receipt with the consumer. Regardless of the reason for a consumer issue, be honest and forthright with the person. Make the situation better by offering a reasonable solution.

Move the Conversation

Try to complete your response in a single explanation. Ideally, you want a positive response from the consumer that ends the conversation afterward. If you notice that the responses are turning into a tennis match of sorts, there's an underlying issue. The consumer may want a refund, exchange or explanation. Be as clear as possible with your responses. Acting coy or vague will only worsen the situation. Everyone's time is valuable. Be ready to compromise with a refund or exchange so that the conversation can be completed.

Offer an Apology

Admitting fault is always difficult for anyone, including business owners or managers. However, it may be the best route toward a resolution. Offer an apology when the situation warrants one. Be sincere in the wording. Make it a sentence that stands out in the message. Many consumers respond well to apologies, which encourages them to return as repeat customers. Don't automatically add an apology onto a response either. Evaluate each issue as it arises. Some concerns don't require an excuse, and customers would much more appreciate the company to take action, righting the perceived wrong with a refund, or some sort of coupon or promotion.

Don't Use Offensive Language

You lose all credibility with consumers through online responses that include offensive language. Never take this route, even when the consumer initially presents you with an offensive remark. Maintain your composure through the message. Offer several solutions that may appease the customer. They may be too upset to respond with a civil remark, but your business still reflects positivity. You can only do so much before a person moves on from the online-review platform.

Consider Compensation

If a review includes a complaint about a product failure, considering a compensation is traditional. You might mention a discount on a future transaction, a replacement for the defective item or another compensatory measure. The exchange should be a fair one from a monetary standpoint as well as the consumer's perspective. Looking like a "cheapskate" will only make the business appear like it only cares about profits.

Use the Word "Because"

Psychology is a tool that can help any business owner with online reviews. For the most part, people positively respond to a request or reason that includes the word "because." This term inherently means that there's an intention or purpose of a request. You might offer a discount "because" a product was defective upon receipt. When consumers see a cause-and-effect relationship within the text, they're inclined to be happy about the resolution.

Remember the Optics

As you try to move the conversation, the consumer may be stuck on a certain point. It may be frustrating, but you cannot force the person to think or respond in a specific way. Remind yourself that other people are reading and keeping up with this exchange. Your reactions as a business are being gauged by other consumers. By maintaining a level of professionalism throughout your response, other consumers will respect the fact that you're trying to resolve an issue. You might gain a loyal following through the online response alone. Business owners must understand that some reviews cannot be refuted or solved. The situation simply turned out one way or another. Use these reviews as corrections at your business. Mistakes will happen. It's your decision to make a positive change as a result. Online reviews are helpful to both business owners and consumers alike. And if you think that you’ve done what you could, and your company is still taking some hard hits from that negative review, consider reputation management to help you take control of the perception of your brand.


Handling Haters: How To Respond To Negative Online Reviews | Forbes How to Respond to a Negative Review | Podium The 4 Golden Rules For Responding to Negative Reviews | AMZ Tracker  

Why Content Is (Still) King

Ever since search engine marketing was in its infancy, content has been king. Even though you may hate sitting in a room trying to come up with a new content idea or lay awake at night wondering what new content you can create that will connect with your target audience better, content will never give up its throne. In many ways, content is an acronym for everything that you do to sell your product to your target audience.

Captivates Your Audience

Content captivates your audience by making a personal connection in their minds about why your product is the perfect solution to the problem that they face. Great content creates a memorable impression in the mind of your target audience.Keep in mind that to captivate, you’ll also need to create this content under a word limit. Articles that are too long with bore or exhaust them, and will lead to losing relationships, rather than opening them.

Opens a Dialogue

Content opens the door to interaction with your audience. Customers want to do businesses with people that they consider their friends and know that they can trust. Posting content on social media or opening comments on a blog gives you a chance to listen to your customers and learn what they think whether it's good or bad.

Notifies of New Opportunities

Content paves the way to sharing information with your target audience whether you are looking to spread the word about a new service or product that you are offering or seeking to tell customers about a new use that you have discovered for an old one. Remember that it is far easier to keep a current customer than to earn a new one, but customers are always looking for a better deal.

Talks Directly to Customers

Content allows you to visit directly with your target audience providing them with the information they need to make your product or service more useful. Great content builds a personal relationship with your customer base.

Establishes Thought Leadership

Content provides you with the opportunity to prove that you are a thought leader within your niche market. It allows you to educate your target audience on why your solution is the right one to solve their problems.

Nourishes Relationships

Content feeds relationships with your current customers. It also allows you to establish a connection with new ones using the words per web page.

Tantalizes Emotions

Content allows you to play with the emotions of your target audience. After all, 90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. If you are ready to see your business grow, then let us help you produce content that does all these things and more.

References and Resources:

https://www.bizible.com/blog/customer-content-marketing https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300170 http://harrisonamy.com/customer-conversation-content/ https://marketingland.com/content-marketing-done-right-8-examples-can-learn-149088 https://wordcounter.io/

How to Sync Up Your Social Media With Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

As a WSI Certified Agency, eMedia has access to industry thought leaders on today's Digital Marketing Best Practices. This article on Social Media in 2018 is timely advise you can take action on today.

“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” – Amy Jo Martin

It’s true. As of 2018, there are more than 3 billion people around the world using social media each month. Because of the vast audience available on social networks, digital marketers have dived into social media branding and marketing, sharing content, sponsoring social ads, engaging with followers and more. Marketers put in all of this effort, but if a social media strategy is disjointed from the rest of the digital marketing strategy, it can mean a [...]

20 + 1 Must Have Chrome Extensions To Accelerate Your Content Creation

20 + 1 Must Have Chrome Extensions To Accelerate Your Content Creation

Here's a great resource from our friends over at Thrive Themes. Awesome tools to help your Content Marketing efforts. 

“I know how to create great content for my website...but how can I do it better, faster and with fewer headaches?!”

That’s the big question a lot of online business owners start asking themselves whenever their content marketing starts to drag .

If you produce blog content for your website on a frequent schedule, I’m sure you’ve felt this frustration before.So to help you get a step ahead of that relentless publishing monster, this post will show you 20 + 1 must have Google Chrome extensions you should’ve been using yesterday to accelerate your content creation process.Ready to learn how you [...]


5 Tech Must-Haves to Aid Marketing Automation

If you want to have success in today's business world, you need to have incredible marketing strategies. This involves automating your marketing with the right strategies. If you don't, you will miss out on market opportunities to grow. Here are five tech must-haves to help you when focusing on making your marketing more automated:


One of the most critical parts of automating your marketing is a CRM. With the right CRM, your team doesn't have to do things manually, saving time and money for the company and allowing you to focus on higher level sales strategies and customer service. For instance, your sales team can put notes in the CRM in real time while on the phone and the software will save this for later use and automatically make it available across platforms to customer service, management, and whoever else needs it.

Sales Funnel Optimization

Your sales funnel will determine how many sales and conversions you get. Whether you are looking for more subscribers, more fans, or more purchases, make sure you have automated the various parts of your sales funnel. Everything, from the top down, should talk to each other. This includes ad campaigns, landing pages, and popups for signing people up. If your business takes sales calls, then you can also automate customer service calls with a virtual receptionist that performs call forwardin, screening, and appointment scheduling. Automating these parts of your sales funnel will go a long way toward boosting sales and furthering your marketing campaigns.

Analytics and Review

Deploy an analytics platform to make sure you can collect and look at your data in the right ways. Without information today, you might as well be shooting in the dark. With the right approach to analytics, you can make changes to reduce spending and improve targeting.

A/B Testing

You likely have more than one advertisement for your company. If you have to test each one by hand, you will never have enough time to do other tasks. Use A/B testing software to automate this testing process and even rotate the best performing ads right into the mix.

Marketing Integration for Better Automation

All of the tools above are essential for marketing automation. However, to take it to the next level, consider a dashboard. Building a custom UI for your team that integrates all of the most important information can save time and increase efficiency. In the digital world that business operates in today, automation wins. When you let your marketing become an even better asset for you by leveraging the tools and tactics above, you can stand in a class all your own. That way you can attract more customers and engage them for higher conversion rates while lowering your costs for better profits. References: https://zapier.com/blog/best-crms-for-small-business/ https://docs.appoptics.com/kb/apm_tracing/dotnet/install/ https://mailchimp.com/help/about-ab-testing-campaigns/ https://technologyadvice.com/blog/marketing/advantage-of-integrated-crm-and-marketing-automation/ https://www.davincivirtual.com/blog/4453/10-ways-a-virtual-receptionist-can-help-a-small-business-to-succeed