How to Use Video to Connect with Your Audience

How to Use Video to Connect with Your Audience

Video is a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness and engagement. In fact, more than 50 percent of marketers say video helps them build trust with their audience. Right now, video-based apps like TikTok are skyrocketing in popularity as are the video functions of social media platforms, such as Instagram’s reels. Studies have shown that more than 45 percent of consumers will react or convert after watching a video.

There is a right way and a wrong way to use video in your digital marketing efforts. If done correctly, video marketing can lead to incredible growth for your company. However, the propensity for videos to “go viral” can be a blessing and a curse. Earlier this year, the CIA released a recruitment video that spread like wildfire on the internet and not in a good way. The piece received ridicule and backlash for being “overly woke” and trying too hard to reach the Millennial and Generation Z demographics.

Here are 5 tips for using video content to connect with your online audience effectively:

  1. Be realOne of the issues with the CIA video was its keyword stuffing and forced trendiness, which came across as inauthentic and gimmicky. It’s important that your videos feel real and personal to your audience so they feel they are connecting to the ethos of your brand.
  2. Provide value. Your videos shouldn’t just be about pitching your business to your audience. Make sure you are offering real value as well. If you decide to produce video ads, mix it up with video content that is informative, helpful or humorous.
  3. Vary your approach. It is important to use a number of different approaches to video content to see what really resonates with your audience. You can try short form videos, long form videos, interactive videos, and more to reach peak engagement.
  4. Use high quality tech. Video quality standards have gone up in recent years. Even small social media influencers use professional lighting, tripods, and high-quality lenses to capture their footage. A low quality video might turn off a viewer before they even see what your content is about.
  5. Add subtitles. Many people browse social media sites and websites on their phone with the volume turned down. In addition, some audience members may be hearing impaired.  Adding subtitles to your videos will ensure you are having the maximum possible reach.

 Questions about how content marketing and web design strategies could elevate your brand and improve your bottom line? Schedule a consultation with one of our digital strategists by clicking here.

The Secret to Creating Effective Social Media Ads

The Secret to Creating Effective Social Media Ads

The average consumer sees between 6,000 and 10,000 ads in a day. Being constantly inundated with paid content means that it has become easier and easier for people to tune out online advertisements. Studies have found that most individuals see an ad seven times before they engage with it.

Social media ads can be a great way to generate leads, convert new customers, and raise brand awareness. However, creating effective social media ad campaigns is both an art and a science, and it takes a lot of time and energy to craft something that will actually have an impact.

There are many strategies and techniques that can help your social ads reach more people and generate more engagement. But the biggest secret to creating an effective social media ad is understanding your audience and their values.

At the end of the day, people don’t purchase a product or service for the product or service itself. Instead, they are hoping that their purchase will meet some sort of internal value or need. These values can include things like health, safety, self expression, adventure and peace. Understanding these motivators and learning how to talk about them to your audience is the key to generating good social media ads. Anything less runs the risk of being irrelevant to your audience at best and losing their business at worse.

Here are three steps to understanding and targeting your audience’s values:

1. Create a customer persona. If you haven’t already, create a customer persona for your ideal audience. Break down their lifestyle, their habits, their background, and most importantly the problem they are trying to solve. This will help you better identify their core values.

2. Identify your motivating keywords. Different keywords and calls-to-action will appeal to different audiences. Make sure you are using the right words for your target customer. For example, an individual who is seeking adventure or self-expression might be motivated by keywords such as “discover,” “create” or “experience.” However, someone who is seeking relaxation or ease might be more motivated by terms like “enjoy,” “deserve,” “get.”

3. ExperimentSocial media ads are all about experimentation. What your audience wants might change over time, so it is important to collect as much data as possible on how they’re interacting with your current post and ads. Double down on what seems to be working and don’t get too attached to your pet campaigns. Remember that these ads are about your audience, not your own personal taste and style.

Questions about how content marketing and web design strategies could elevate your brand and improve your bottom line? Schedule a consultation with one of our digital strategists by clicking here.

7 Myths About SEO

7 Myths About SEO

One of the best ways to increase website traffic for your business is through search engine optimization, or SEO, which improves the chances someone will organically find your website through an internet search. The higher a company ranks in search engine result listings for specific keywords, the more likely a user is to find that company’s website.

Google and other search engines use algorithms to determine which websites are most relevant to a user’s search query. There are a number of strategies that companies can use to make those algorithms work in their favor. However, because the digital world is constantly changing and evolving, it is important to stay up to date on the best SEO practices and how to implement them.

There is a lot of misinformation circulating about what is effective when it comes to SEO. This is mainly a result of certain standards and practices becoming outdated over the years as search engines become faster and better at identifying what users want and need.

Here are seven common myths about SEO to watch out for:

  1. More keywords = better. While it is important to include relevant keywords in your copy, it can be detrimental to use too many. This is known as keyword stuffing and some search engines might penalize you for it.
  2. Social media shares will impact SEO. It is always a good idea to create content that is easy to share on social media, however likes and shares on sites like Facebook don’t directly translate to a better search engine ranking.
  3. Headers must contain keywords. Most experts would recommend including relevant keywords in your main site header, but it’s not necessary to stuff keywords into all your site header tags throughout the page.
  4. Your domain name affects your ranking. Relevant and easy-to-understand domain names can help you build your brand, but a domain name that is too generic or contains too many keywords may appear less credible to users and may therefore negatively affect website traffic and ranking.
  5. Meta tags should contain all keywords. Meta tags are useful because they tell search engines what your page is about and can entice users to click on a link. However Google doesn’t use the meta tag for ranking purposes, so stuffing keywords in the meta tags will probably do more harm than good.
  6. It’s all about the words. Ranking high on search engine results is about more than the words you use in your tags and page content. It’s also about how well you engage users once they land on your site. If most users click on your website from a list of search engine results, only to quickly leave and return to the results to choose another option, it can negatively impact your future ranking.
  7. You can get penalized for duplicate content. Duplicate content can confuse search engines because they don’t know which page to prioritize on search engine results. However, you will not be penalized for having duplicate content.

The click-through rate for Google Ads is less than 2%, and the click-through rate for Facebook ads is less than 1%. In today’s digitally competitive environment, that means your SEO strategy needs to be foolproof in order to attract new leads and customers online.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Let’s talk.

5 ways to improve your mobile app strategy

5 ways to improve your mobile app strategy

The largest consumer generation is entering its prime spending years, has a collective $600 billion in spending power, and is redefining the way we do digital branding and marketing.

We’re talking about millennials. Marketers have had their eye on millennials—or adults ages 23 to 38—for years and are paying close attention to this generation’s digital habits to understand how best to reach them in the oversaturated online space.

Millennials browse the internet on their phones three times as much as they do on desktop computers or laptops. That means websites today don’t just need to be developed with mobile browsing in mind, they need to prioritize mobile. In fact, experts recommend that service providers consider creating a custom mobile app to serve the needs of their customers instead of relying solely on the mobile version of their website.

Not all apps are created equal, however. There are several best practices that will help ensure your mobile app is millennial friendly and will meet the expectations and standards of this massive consumer demographic.

To upgrade your mobile app experience, consider the following strategies:

  1. Streamline your login process. Accessing your app should be as quick and easy as possible while still maintaining high security standards. Login screens should be simple and intuitive with limited text or advertising content.
  2. Reduce friction. The app user experience should be a seamless flow with no sticking points that make the user pause, stall or wonder “now what?”. Methods to reduce friction include eliminating extraneous steps, simplifying forms, reducing pop-ops and incorporating built-in suggestions.
  3. Improve visual flow. The more your app design caters to the millennial aesthetic, the more likely this demographic is to trust your brand and engage with your content. Millennials tend to favor unique typography, large font, generous use of white space and interactive graphics.
  4. Offer 24/7 support. Millennials expect prompt responses to support questions. Preempting questions through FAQ sections and offering round-the-clock support through features such as chatbots can keep millennial users engaged and happy.
  5. Get a mobile app audit. A mobile app audit is a comprehensive review that will help determine whether you are reaching your target audiences in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Featured in Forbes: Is Your Small Business Website Secure?

Featured in Forbes: Is Your Small Business Website Secure?

Business owners have more options than ever when it comes to creating their own websites. What once required extensive coding and programming knowledge can now be accomplished through a drag-and-drop visual tool. However, while template-based and DIY websites are becoming more popular, they can also open businesses up to significant security risks.

Daniel Griggs, founder and CEO of ATX Web Designs, discusses some of these risks in an article recently published in Forbes, Is Your Small Business Website Secure?. The article outlines some of the common ways that hackers can infiltrate a small business website as well as some of the steps business owners can take to secure their sites.

These include:

  • Upgrading to a secure server with an SSL certificate. If you collect private information from site users, you need a hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), which prevents the interception of data. Additionally, SSL will encrypt information so that it cannot be breached.
  • Requiring complex passwords. Requiring all users to use complex passwords when signing into your site will help prevent their accounts from being hacked. For example, you can require users to use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters and special characters in their passwords.
  • Putting a firewall in place. Firewalls can block duplicate internet protocol (IP) addresses automatically, which prevents spammers and hackers from registering multiple accounts from the same computer.
  • Using custom coding. Unfortunately, website templates built through CMS like WordPress can be more susceptible to hacking. Custom coding is much more difficult to breach.
  • Updating plugins. Failing to update your software and plugins can result in security vulnerabilities and issues on your website.

To read the full article on the Forbes website, click here.

Questions about how content marketing and web design strategies could elevate your brand and improve your bottom line? Schedule a consultation with one of our digital strategists by clicking here.