Archive for category Technology

The Basics of SEO

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Now that you’ve learned what SEO is and how it can be useful to your business, it’s important to understand the basics and how to apply SEO to your site.

Relevance is Key

As mentioned before, it’s important to have relevant information on your webpage. If you fail to have content that relates to the purpose of your site, then it’s not doing its job and you’re missing out on competing business. This is where SEO comes to the rescue!

Here are the 4 basic steps you need to follow:

  1. Examine your pages for content and choose key phrases or words that describe them so the web crawlers can index and find your content.
  2. Apply optimization to not only the pages, but also images links, and social media.
  3. Create and add more desirable content to draw and retain visitors.
  4. Collect statistics and traffic and continually monitor and update your pages.

Web Crawlers

Are you wondering what a web crawler is? It’s the automated program used by search engines to “crawl” the web and discover its extensive amount of pages. It’s the first step in applying SEO to your website and it’s why the rest of the steps exist. Once you know the basic steps of SEO, you’re ready to learn the benefits!

Have questions? The entire CEA Marketing Group team is SEO certified and can provide you with the answers to your marketing concerns. Make sure to follow us and keep checking in for our next SEO insider, or other digital media tips!

 

 

 

 

 

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Form Over Function (Scratch That, Reverse It)

Do you like pretty pictures, or creative that gets your message across? Great advertising knows how to blend the two into one harmonious image. But at what point does one or the other become too much and no longer works?

Take a look at 5 tips to help ensure you blend form and function so that your message gets to the end user.

CEA FB 11.6

1. Know Your End User’s Perspective – While most of us know what “we” each like, that is rarely the same for your potential clients. Make sure you and your agency know your first and secondary target audience so you can tailor your message properly.

2. Have a Lead for Your Marketing Projects – Someone needs to take charge and be willing to make final calls. Team feedback is good, but know when to listen to your team, and when to listen to your marketing professionals. When your team is reviewing artwork, gather all the changes at one time to send back to your agency. This will not only reduce possible overlap and errors, but can reduce your costs from the agency spending less time going back and forth on similar changes.

3. Determine Messaging Hierarchy – When preparing direct marketing objectives, give hierarchy to the messaging you want in your newspaper ads and eblasts. Give your headlines, subheads and messaging a pecking orde for the agency to follow so they can help tailor the message to the campaign. This can help ensure proper imaging and call-outs to offers that are important.

4. Know When to Cut Back – Trying to stuff the ad full with all your offers? You might just get your marketing overlooked. Stick to one main message and one supporting message. You’ll be surprised how often “less is more” will ring true for you. People are more likely to respond to a marketing piece that conveys one strong message versus multiple weak messages.

5. Be Careful of Friendly Input – Are you unsure of your message or could that headline be stronger? When you ask your friends for feedback, take into account how close they are to your target audience. Revert back to the first bullet, then just ask your agency. Your agency should have years of marketing experience, should know your target audience and will be more that willing to ensure that your marketing will hit the mark. Ask questions! it gets conversation going and helps fine tune your campaigns. We want to be your partners in your sales, not just the people who make your marketing”look” good.

So let’s make your artwork functional AND beautiful. You can do this by creating a strong message first, and then design the artwork to support that message. If you have additional offers you need to convey, just make sure they are on a lower priority level so your materials are still attractive enough to grab your audience’s attention.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Email eric@ceamarketing.com or give us a call at 727-523-8044 to get started today!

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You May Think You Know Facebook, But You Have No Idea.

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One of the many things we hear when training companies on social media strategy is “I know how to run Facebook, so I’m not sure how much more you can teach me.” We never doubt the person saying this doesn’t know Facebook. Everyone knows Facebook. The issue lies in the difference of running a personal Facebook page versus a business page.

 

Here are 5 things you may not know about Facebook business pages:

  1. Insights. A business page allows the admins to access all kinds of data. From geo-targeted results from LIKES to how many users not only engaged with your post, but also blindly engaged (a click through that can only be seen by someone managing the page). Without analytics, how do you know if your strategy is working?
  2. Promoted Posts. You may hate this part. No one wants to pay Facebook to get the word out. But there is no denying; this is how it has to be. When you log on to Facebook, you have the opportunity to see up to 1,500 posts per visit. How does Facebook choose which posts you see? Promotion.
  3. Limitless Followers. A personal page only allows up to 5,000 friends. A business page on the other hand allows you to continue your growth until you’ve added everyone and their mothers.
  4. Scheduling. Social media is a full time job. I know this because it is my full time job. One of the greatest things about a business page, is the ability to schedule. Maybe Monday’s are slow days for you. Get all your posts set up on Monday and just let them post themselves throughout the week! (You can even boost while scheduling!)
  5. Credibility. This last one has nothing to do with a rule that Facebook set up. Its just plain and simple knowledge. By setting up a business page for your business you are telling people you are legit. It shows consumers that you know what you are doing; therefore you must know what you are doing with the product you are selling.

 

If your fear is that you are losing followers by starting from scratch, it’s not true! Just because someone is a friend with you on Facebook does not make him or her a perfect brand ambassador for you. Let us show you how to gain new LIKES on your business page based on geographic and demographic targets. Make your followers count!

 

Would you like to know more about Facebook? Give us a call TODAY. 727.523.8044.

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3 TECHINQUES TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MARKETING AGENCY

 

So you hire a marketing agency to help you rebrand your image and design a modern website. You’re not entirely sure which direction you’d like your project to go and find it easier to simply leave the decisions up to the marketing experts, giving only a vague description along with creative freedom.

Have you ever been in this scenario? Then you know how this is likely going to end up.

The project has started and you’re excited! You have the perfect idea and just gained a team of dedicated experts to bring it to fruition! What could possibly go wrong? In concept, this truly is as close to the perfect recipe as one could get, yet time and again we have seen this perfect synergy somehow fail.

Luckily, I have been in the position of a client, where I commissioned a fellow graphic designer to rebrand my own personal website, but also have my own experience as a Web Designer here at CEA. Thanks to this duality, I have some unique insight to offer to this conundrum. Here are 3 insights that may help to smoothen the process between conceptualizing an idea and bringing it to light.

 

1. Develop A Creative Brief: It’s necessary

  • Outline the scope of work and give as many details as you can to avoid multiple revisions and driving up cost. This will save you a great deal of development time and thusly a great deal of money.

 

  • Provide as much detail and direction as possible to avoid ambiguity. Left with little direction or given absolute creative freedom, you may end up disappointed with the end result. Why? One man’s vision is another mans nightmare.

 

  • Communicate your ideas to the artists and web developers behind the scenes to ensure everyone involved on the project is on the same page.

 

2. Keep Ongoing Communication: It’s Important

  • The responsibility of being a happy client does not rest solely on the shoulders of the marketing agency. In fact, a great deal of responsibility lies with the client themselves.

 

  • It is vitally important to designate a key decision maker within your organization to manage conflicting opinions and keep in constant contact with the marketing firm.

 

  • This individual manages change in the account including charges. It is best to address changes early on, and keep all parties “in the know” as to the current status of the project, and whether or not these issues have caused the scope to change.

 

  • Ongoing communication helps to meet target dates and to keep the project going with a clear goal in mind. I cannot tell you how often I’ve had to wait and wait for hours, sometimes days, even weeks for a client to get back to me. As you can imagine, this lack of steady communication greatly impacts the project.

 

3. Determine Your Resources: Who & What Is Needed?

  • As a web developer, I cannot stress this enough. Client, it is your responsibility to provide a means to access the required resources necessary for the project. Take for example, if you were commissioning an agency to create for you an e-commerce website.

 

  • Web developers will require content to fully put this website together. Do you have a means to provide product images and organized product details for the item you are marketing? How about informational content for pages, or rather, SEO optimized copy for your new website?

 

  • Details such as these are vital to the well being of the project and you will need to designate people responsible for the individual pieces of the project.

 

I understand this may seem like a lot to ask of a client. Your time is valuable, and that’s why I believe the above tips will help you to better interact with an agency, and create higher quality creative. Take my word for it; you will save time, money, and effort in the long run!

 

Challenge yourself! Put these 3 techniques into practice with your next project and reap the rewards!

 

Want some more advice?

Visit www.ceamarketing.com or follow us on Twitter @kbosetti for Social Media & Marketing tips & tricks!

 

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Beginner or Pro, 6 Facebook Answers You Need To Know

 

 

Come take a seat with our Social Media Expert and Facebook Queen Kari Lochamy as she answers 6 valuable and important Facebook questions.

 

1. How does social media play a role in the sales cycle?

With such easy access to online consumer reviews, customers are no longer heading straight to the store to purchase your product. Right from their mobile device they are researching your company and what people are saying about that product. Where do they find this information? A multitude of places can hold online opinions, but the most common place is through social media. 1 in 3 people who use social media prefer interacting with companies via Twitter, Facebook or another network rather than via phone. If people are complaining, the proof is visible for everyone to see. More so, if people are complaining, how is the company handling it? Things will inevitably go wrong and customers just want to know the company they are purchasing from has their back. Word of mouth is now digital. 92% of individuals trust the messages/recommendations they receive from friends. Where are their friends talking about their new favorite place to shop? Social Media.

 

2. What is the difference between Facebook Ads & Facebook Promoted Posts?

Facebook Ads are used to target people who do not already “Like” your page and convert them into “Followers”. Facebook Promoted Posts are status updates or posts that are pushed out by setting a daily budget towards promotion. Both of these techniques are necessary because Facebook is now considered a “Pay to Play” platform. Without a Facebook Ad budget, few will know your page even exists. Without a Promoted Post budget, less than 6% of your followers will see your status updates or posts.

 

3. How can you target your audience through Facebook Ads?

Through Facebook Ads you are able to target audiences based upon not only age and location but also by gender, interests, connection to your Page and more.

 

4. What makes a GREAT Facebook Ad?

A good Facebook Ad can be defined by many things from audience targeting to engaging creative. A GREAT Facebook Ad digs deep to understand what your customers truly want. Note that your image is going to be what gets them to read the content. Think about what your customers are looking for when they search for your product and incorporate that in the creative. People want easy and straightforward information. Engage them by asking a question that you already know the answer or by mentioning an obvious statement (ex: “Do you like the beach?” or “You deserve to live in luxury.”) Set a strong budget and let it run long enough to achieve results. A combination of all of these tips will ensure a GREAT Facebook Ad.

 

5. What is an effective budget for Facebook Ads and Promoted Posts?

Before you can create an effective budget, you have to set a goal. How quickly would you like to see your page grow and how often will you be posting? The obvious answer would be “fast” and “every day” but your goal needs to be achievable. Social media presence is extremely important and if you are a new Page, think bigger when it comes to planning your budget. Get your name out there and as brand recognition grows, you can reevaluate your Ad budget. Although, keep in mind, as Facebook continues to change and grow, your Promoted Post budget will have to do the same.

 

6. What is my social media ROI?

ROI is “Return On Investment”. For many this means, “How many sales have I gained from the money I’ve spent?” But with Facebook, sales shouldn’t be your number one goal. Social media is all about engaging with customers, relating to your consumers and customer service. When checking your return on investment for social media, it is important to thoroughly investigate your posts’ analytics. Even if people are not visibly engaging with your posts by Liking, Sharing or Commenting, they may be clicking through to your site or clicking on the post itself. This is ROI. You’re providing information your audience needs and wants and they will recognize your brand as a reputable source.

 

Would you *LIKE* to know more? LIKE CEA Marketing Group’s Facebook Page for updates on what’s happening and updating in the social media world.

 

Was this helpful? *Comment* below and *share* your thoughts on the topic!

 

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How to Explain a Hashtag to Grandpa

 

At a recent family gathering, we were sitting around the dinner table discussing the good old days. One of my cousins commented on Throwback Thursday and asked if #TBT was Twitter’s most widely used hashtag. That’s when Grandpa spoke up. “What the heck is a hashtag anyway? Why do you need one?’

 

Well, Grandpa, you’ve come to the right place to learn.

 

What is a hashtag?

  • A hashtag is a keyword preceded by a pound sign (#).
  • The pound sign turns any word or group of words that directly follows into a searchable link.
  • Hashtags allow you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords.

 

Although they may seem confusing and unnecessary, they are very important to the way we communicate online, and it’s important to know how to use them.

 

Why do I need a hashtag?

 

  • A hashtag expands the reach of your tweet beyond those who follow you to those who are searching for like content.
  • Anyone sharing content on a relevant topic can include a hashtag. That content then becomes a searchable link to your tweet.
  • Tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement than tweets without hashtags and are twice as likely to be retweeted.

 

Three key tips for all #users:

1. Be specific: If you’re using a hashtag to join a conversation, make sure the hashtag is specific and relevant to your topic. If you’re talking about Mother’s Day, use #InspiredByMom instead of simply #Mom. A vague or generic hashtag like #gifts or #flowers isn’t as effective either.

2. Make it simple: Hashtags, like links, look like spam if they are used too often. Three hashtags should be the maximum on Twitter and Facebook, but you can get away with more hashtags on Instagram and Vine.

3. Give context: A tweet that contains only hashtags is confusing and boring. If your tweet simply reads, “#angry,” your followers won’t know what you’re talking about. Similarly, if you tweet, “#TheVoice is #awesome,” you’re not really adding much to the conversation.

 

So, Grandpa, if you want to look on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and reminisce, search Throwback Thursday with #TBT and entertain the young‘uns for hours.  I hope this helps, and remember #iloveyou.

Written by: Gayle Hannah Hill

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4 Ingredients for Twitter Success

Just like the ice cream flavor of the week, social media is constantly changing. From custom timelines to tagging photos there is always something new to learn. As a social media content creator and trainer I always find that before I can preach about the latest trends, I need to teach the basics.

What is your goal? Most of our clients’ goals are to build brand awareness, gain followers and turn followers into customers. Before you can feast on success try starting with these 4 basic ingredients.

4 Ingredients to Build Your Twitter

1. Attract a Targeted, Engaged Following

  • Two words to live by: be useful – become your followers one stop shop for all their answers in your specialization.
  • Focus: remember your passion – you don’t have to be the jack of all trades

2.  Build a Community

  • Listen Up: follow your timeline and what your community is saying and reply!
  • Numbers aren’t everything: it’s not all about how many followers you have. It’s more about the quality of followers or potential clients you can gain
  • Show your love: follow your followers back, giving them a shout out on #FF ‘Follow Friday’ and notice their engagement
  • Connect with influencers: try out HootSuite

3.  Develop Relationships

  • Hard way or the highway: it might take more time, but give your followers compliments, don’t just press ‘ReTweet’.
  • Sharing an article? Tag the author or news source!

4. Keep Up with the Trends

  • Partake in Twitter trends: before you know it followers will be waiting for your #MotivationalMonday tweet to get them through the week.
    • Motivational Monday
    • Twitter Tuesday
    • Would If Wednesday
    • TBT (Throwback Thursday)
    • FF (Follow Friday)

Now put them all in one Twitter account for 100 degrees and wait for your Twitter success!

Need more? Call me, tweet me if you wanna reach me @doyleb08 #TeamCEA

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What it means to “design.”

When getting an estimate from an agency, you may ask yourself, “What do I get for that “design” fee?”  Is it just some kid who’s good with computers? What kind of marketing experience goes in to it? Why is it taking so long?

First off, we not only look for the best designers but everyone at the agency needs to be creative.

Your account managers have to be able to envision what your ad/campaign/website needs to look like and operate for your potential prospects as well as suiting the look and feel of your company. We research your demographics and stay up to date on modern trends of their habits. Even the simplest web banners take into account our knowledge of how users will interact with websites and how your company has to be seen by them.

All our staff does research on a routine basis for design and demographic research. All this is after gaining their college degrees in marketing and/or design, previous job experiences and other trainings they’ve taken over the years. From here the account managers create a creative brief and meet with the Art Director. This is where the magic happens. A quick creative meeting gets everyone on the same page and then the creative ideas start brewing.

Once an idea is selected, the designers are off to work.

Designers are required to be following current trends in order to stay creatively relevant. What’s hot, what’s not, what’s TOO trendy…or does this job need to create a new trend? Each artist does his or her research differently. Some look at similar works to get their inspiration, others look at completely different subject maters to get the creative juices flowing. Nothing sets off a good campaign like the PERFECT photo or illustration!

Ok, now that we’ve got the creative mojo going it’s off to the sketchbook. Others head straight to the computer and the digital art board.  With a blank art board you start envisioning how the pieces will align together. You start with the main message. How do I make sure this draws them in? Does a graphic need to visually point to it? What about where their eyes travel after they see it?  (Did you know, that visually you could make someone leave your artwork and end up not readying the rest of the message?)

Ok, we’ve got the #1 message looking good. Now you’re onto aligning the rest of the art puzzle making sure all the information the client needs potential buyers to see is set up to have a visual pecking order. The first proof is almost ready. The artist loves the look, they think it matches the client’s look and speaks directly to the demographic the client is going after.

Now print it out, take a step back and give it a good once over. Is anything too crowded? Alignments look good? Is it too blocky? Too loose? After some minor tweaks it’s off to the account rep.

They review per the client’s request, make any tweaks, changes, or the dreaded…start over. It happens, sometimes that inspiration we found didn’t lineup with what we thought was first described…back to doing more research. That’s one of the MANY reasons the account rep is there for- to make sure we get it right before the client sees it.

It’s proofed again, and off for client review…phew, just a day in the life of a creative.

- Eric Gwatney

 


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Till Death Do us Part.

In a world where 91% of all people have a mobile phone, everyday emotions, buying habits and relationships are changing dramatically.

Out of this 91%, women have been found to have fallen deeply in love with their mobile phones. According to a new study from Time Inc. and Nuance Digital Marketing, 60 percent of women name their mobiles as the most important devices in their lives. While men stand at a 43 percent.

78% of women say that their phone is the first thing they look at when they wake up in the morning. 98% take it with them whenever they go and 87% were brave enough to admit that they can’t imagine life without their phones. (Talk about a serious commitment.)

Even during their downtime, women say their mobile phone has an effect on their emotional state of mind. Throughout the day, women use their phones for engaging with social media, texting and even shopping. While this time spent on their mobiles would suggest opportunities to advertise to women, 91 percent of women dislike ads and consider them to be intrusive.

It was noted that 41 % of women ARE open to ads as long as they that let them control the experience. (Women wanting to be in control? No way. ) 52% are interested in ads that are relevant to the content being consumed. While 41% of women say that they would LIKE ads that give location-based offers.  (That means you geo-targeting ad companies)

 

Statistics brought to you by:

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-2013-mobile-growth-statistics/

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/look-women-and-their-relationship-mobile-phones-153427

 

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Facebook Ads Aim to Help Mobile App Marketers

Yesterday, Facebook released how they plan to help mobile app marketers everywhere. Mobile marketers go great lengths to get consumers to download their apps. With the exception of “go-to” utility apps such as Google Maps or YouTube, consumers tend to discontinue using certain apps and then deleting them shortly after.

Facebook revealed an ad-targeting feature designed to bring consumers BACK to those apps. These ads are now going to zero in on people who have already downloaded a company’s app while suggesting that they come back to utilize certain aspects. By advertising a specific call to action such as “ Listen Now,” “ Watch Video”, or “Play Game,” consumers are more likely to click and be directly taken to that app.

The most common mobile app install ads are gaming, retail, hospitality and music.

Once a consumer clicks the app, their phone will recognize whether or not they have the app downloaded. If not, they will be directed to their app store.

Have you noticed any of these ad- targeting features on your mobile devices?

 

 

 

Photocredit:http://blog.cfcu.org

Cited sources:www.mashable.com and www.adweek.com

 

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