Flexible Digital Marketing In Uncertain Times

Over the last few weeks, businesses of all sizes have entered into a period of uncertainty. Restrictions and fears around the global pandemic have brought much economic activity to a screeching halt. 

This lack of activity on the part of consumers, combined with the need, in many cases, to scale back in-person operations, have led to economic stress for many businesses. 

How can businesses face uncertainties and cutbacks during this time? There is no one, clear cut answer that will work for every business. However, what is clear is that businesses need low-cost, flexible solutions to reach consumers. 

To that end, digital marketing can help. Here is a look at how digital marketing can offer flexibility and support for businesses facing uncertainty.

Digital marketing scales easily.

Businesses facing uncertainty may not be able to afford a full-scale marketing campaign. However, eliminating marketing efforts will eliminate the ability to get in front of consumers at all.

Digital marketing offers businesses the opportunity to scale their marketing efforts up or down as needed. For example, Google AdWords allows businesses to set a monthly budget. Adjust that budget down when things are tight, and increase it when times are better. 

The best part of this scalability is the fact that it can be done very quickly. Facebook ads and Google Ads, for example, can be scaled up or down almost instantly. You can pause an ad campaign at any time. 

That flexibility allows you to employ digital marketing to whatever degree works for you, at any time. In times of uncertainty, you are not committed to a digital marketing plan that is suddenly too expensive. You can scale back your efforts without eliminating them in order to stabilize your business while still staying in front of your customers. 

Digital marketing is customizable.

There is no one size fits all approach to digital marketing. Instead, digital marketing can be customized to the needs of each individual business. 

This customization is due in part to the sheer number of options available to businesses. Facebook ads, Google Ads, social media marketing, blogging, and more can all be mixed and matched according to the need and preferences of each business. 

Similarly, digital marketing companies can offer packages of varying sizes to accommodate different marketing needs. Here at Distinct Web Design, we offer four different service categories to help businesses get the digital marketing services they need. 

Build a website, create social media posts, write a blog, or do all three. Purchase ads and write blogs, or build a customer website and get on social media. Whatever combination of approaches you want to take is possible. 

When times of uncertainty hit, you don’t have to adopt services you don’t want or need. Instead, you can easily craft the online presence you need and can afford so you can keep marketing, and keep earning business. 

Digital marketing allows for flexible messaging.

The message you planned to send to consumers two weeks ago might be different from the message you want to send today. In another two weeks, your message might need to change again to accommodate the rapidly changing landscape. 

When you choose digital marketing, you earn the ability to quickly change your messaging as needed. You can update social media posts immediately. You can introduce new Google Ads almost as quickly. You can update your website to reflect new offers rapidly and even create landing pages within a few days. 

As often as you need to change your messaging, you can with digital marketing. You create the message, and let your digital marketing company help you implement it as quickly as you need it. 

Digital marketing is affordable.

In uncertain times, businesses may not have as much money available to them as they desire to successfully complete their marketing goals. When money is tight, it can be tempting to halt marketing in order to keep the company afloat. 

The good news is that digital marketing is flexible enough to handle budgets of all sizes. A reduced budget should not keep you from pursuing your marketing goals or from crafting a compelling online presence. 

Many digital marketing channels, for example, are free to use. Many social media channels are available for no cost. Writing a blog can be inexpensive, as can listing new promotions on your website. 

Other channels are low cost or flexible in their costs. Google AdWords, for example, allows you to set a monthly budget. You can change that budget at any time to reflect your new economic realities. Similar cost flexibility exists for Facebook ads and other types of online ads as well. Regardless of your budget, you can create an online presence that sells. 

We have entered a time of uncertainty when it comes to running a business. That uncertainty can make it easy to give up marketing efforts as too expensive and rigid.

However, digital marketing offers a flexible way to keep on marketing through the uncertainty. Building a successful online presence is still possible. Digital marketing is easily scalable, customizable, allows for flexible messaging, and is affordable. 

If you want to learn more about how to use digital marketing to your advantage during these uncertain times, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We offer customizable services that are flexible and useful even in uncertain times. We can craft an online presence that can meet your needs, both now and in the future. 

FREE Social Media Management Is Now Available For New Marketing Customers

The economic landscape is an uncertain one nowadays. Global fears and concerns, a plunging stock market, and consumers’ reluctance to shop in person are making it increasingly difficult for small companies to attract business. 

What can small and medium businesses do in the midst of these difficult times? While they cannot change the economic landscape, they can take steps to connect with consumers digitally. These digital connections can create brand awareness, brand loyalty, and online sales. These connections keep communities strong and small businesses functioning even in economic times that are less than stable. 

That is why here at Distinct Web Design we are offering access to one of the most personal, and powerful, digital marketing channels businesses can use: Social media marketing. For new marketing customers, we are now, and for a limited time, offering free social media management. 

Why is social media marketing so important?

If you think that social media is only for connecting with your friends, then you are overlooking a powerful marketing channel that has positively impacted thousands of businesses just like yours. Consider the following statistics: 

  • 3.5 billion people (45 percent of the world’s population) use social media every day. 
  • These users spend an average of 3 hours a day on social media. 
  • More than half of these users (54 percent) use social media to learn more about products and services they are thinking about buying. 
  • Even more of these users, 71 percent, will recommend a business to their networks if they have a positive experience with that business on social media. 
  • Almost half of consumers trust the recommendations of influencers on social media. 
  • Almost ¾ (73 percent) of marketers believe that social media marketing is an effective digital marketing tool for their businesses.

In summary, many people use social media frequently and for the purposes of finding and purchasing the products and services they need. Now, more than ever, reaching people through those networks is a smart way to grow your business.  

What benefits can I expect from social media marketing?

If you want to connect with potential consumers, you have to meet them where they are, and, as the statistics above show, they are on social media. Not only are they on social media, but they want to connect with businesses there as well. You won’t be an awkward interloper into the social media conversation. You will be a welcome addition to it, if you go about your social media marketing campaign the right way. 

In today’s uncertain economic times, social media marketing is an even more appealing addition to your business marketing plan. Through social media, you can build brand awareness and loyalty, maintain relationships with customers, and even encourage sales, all for minimum cost even while consumers are choosing to stay at home.

Here are just a few of the benefits you can enjoy as a business when you engage in social media marketing. 

  • Increased Brand Awareness

As you create a strong social media presence and expand your networks, you will gain more visibility as a brand. As people talk about your business and share your posts online, your business gets spread to wider and wider audiences. When people need the products and services you offer, they are more likely to reach out to you instead of to a competitor. If you are online and your competitor is not, you are even more likely to earn the attention, and the business, of consumers.

  • Improved Customer Relationships

Social media is often about building relationships. When you are on social media, you enjoy the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with your customers. Resolve issues. Discuss topics of interest. Share your knowledge. See your customers enjoy your business more and more. 

  • Industry Thought Leadership

You know a lot about your field. Share that knowledge through social media. From sharing blog posts to offering thoughtful comments on others’ posts, you can gradually build a reputation as someone knowledgeable and trustworthy. 

  • Access to Target Audiences

The people you want to reach are on social media. You can target your ads, create posts, and spread word about your business to more of your target audience than you could have reached on your own. 

What comes with social media management?

Are you convinced yet that social media marketing is the way to go? Then take advantage of our offer for free social media management. New marketing customers receive totally free support as they launch and maintain their social media presence. As part of this deal, you will receive the following: 

  • Development of daily posts across all of your preferred social media channels. 
  • Guidance and support in choosing your social media channels and developing your campaign. 
  • Images to accompany each post. 
  • Twice-monthly reports on the performance of your social media channels. 

Our goal with social media management is to help you craft a powerful online presence among the audiences you want to reach. When you connect online, you overcome the barriers presented by quarantines, fears, and economic uncertainty. You create relationships that can lead to happy, loyal customers. Let us help you take advantage of that opportunity with our free social media management services for new marketing customers. Reach out today. 

Glossary of Web Analytics Terms

Understanding how your digital marketing campaign is working and, in particular, how your website is working, is important if you are going to maximize the impact of those efforts. 

The terms you encounter when dealing with website analytics, however, may be unfamiliar. Understanding these terms is the first step toward putting data about your website and digital marketing campaign to good use. 

Here is a look at some of the most common terms you will encounter when dealing with website analytics. 

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after looking at only one page. For example, if 1,000 people visit your site, and 10 bounce, your bounce rate is 1 percent. 

High bounce rates indicate a potential problem with the pages where the bounces are occurring. High bounce rates can also negatively affect SEO, because they make your website appear less relevant and appealing to the search engines. 

Click Through

A click refers to anytime a user follows a hyperlink. For example, they might click on a call to action button on a landing page, click on a Google Adwords ad, or click on a product link on your site. Click throughs are important because they show you how many people are taking action because of your digital marketing or website.

Click Through Rate

The click through rate refers to the percentage of people who click through a certain link compared to the total number of people who saw the link. For example, if 1,000 people see a Google ad and 10 of them click on that ad, that ad has a click through rate of 1 percent. The higher the click through rate, the more effective an ad, webpage, or other marketing effort is. 

Conversion

A conversion is any act a visitor to a website takes that fulfills the goal of that webpage. For example, when a customer purchases a product promoted on a landing page, that is a conversion. Purchases are often the intended conversion. However, conversions can include other actions, such as signing up for an email or an event, submitting information, subscribing to a resource, and more. 

Impressions

Impressions are the number of times an ad or web page is seen. In the example above, the number of impressions is 1,000. Click through rate is determined using the number of impressions and the number of clicks. While impressions are important, it is your click through rate that will really tell you how effective an ad, link, or webpage is. 

Load Time

Load time refers to the amount of time it takes a page to finish loading in order for a user to view it. This time should be less than 3 seconds. Visitors to a website will often abandon the site if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. As a result, load times longer than 3 seconds indicate a need to optimize the page for greater speed.

Page Views

The number of page views is the number of pages a visitor sees. You may get information on the average number of page views per session, or the total number of page views within the reporting period. Higher page view numbers indicate greater engagement from website visitors. 

Return Visitor

A return visitor is any visitor who has come to the website before. Return visitors are one indicator that a website is capable of earning loyalty from its customers. If many visitors come back to a site, that is an indication that they find the site to be valuable, relevant, and easy to use. 

Session

A session is a single visit by a single user. Often, it is defined as the series of pages a user visits with no more than 30 minutes elapsing between page visits. 

Session Duration

In some ways, the number of people who visit your site is not as important as how long they spend interacting with your site. Session duration measures the average amount of time a visitor spends on a website, regardless of the number of pages they view during that time. The longer the session duration, the more likely it is that visitors are finding your site to be engaging and relevant. 

Time On Page

Also known as page view duration, this term is relatively self-explanatory. It refers to the amount of time a visitor spends on a single page. Usually, the time on page is an average. The more time visitors spend on a page, the more effective that page is. If visitors are not spending much time on a particular page, you may need to evaluate whether or not that page is achieving your goals for it. 

Unique Visitor

A unique visitor refers to every discrete, individual visitor who comes to a website.over a certain period of time. For example, a website might report 200 unique visitors in the last month, or 10 unique visitors in the last day. 

Analytics are important to any web design or digital marketing endeavor. They give you the information you need to see how your website and digital marketing campaigns are working. 

In order to understand this data and apply it, you first need to understand the terms. You should also use a digital marketing agency that can collect, interpret, and use the analytics to maximize your online impact. 

Here at Distinct Web Design, we offer a wide range of digital marketing services for customers, and we track their analytics. We can help you understand and use your analytics to create a powerful online presence for your business.

10 Reasons to Avoid a DIY Approach to Web Design

DIY projects are the perfect way to save a little money and learn a new skill. When it comes to web design, DIY is all the rage. DIY website builders (think Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace) promise beautiful sites that average business owners can build in their spare time.

As is often the case, however, things are not as easy as they seem. While you can put together a website by yourself in a few hours (or even less) you probably shouldn’t. Here are 10 reasons to think twice before pursuing DIY web design.

Customization

The number 1 reason not to pursue DIY web design is the lack of customization it offers. Most DIY website builders give you a number of templates from which to choose. You can’t really expand beyond those template designs, especially if you do not know code. 

This limited design selection means you end up with a look that is very similar to other websites. Not being able to customize the look of your website reduces its uniqueness, and that reduces its appeal. 

With only a few moments available to capture visitors’ attention, you have to stand out. The best way to do that is to create a totally unique look for your website. When visitors see an appealing, unique site that instantly communicates your brand, they are far more likely to stay and learn more. 

Time

Many DIY website builders market themselves as easy to use. You can quickly put up a website, sometimes in as little as an hour (or even less). The reality, however, is that you can still sink a large amount of time into creating your site. 

You may just need to drag and drop photos and write text, but it takes time to find exactly the right photos or word your text just the right way. You can spend hours or even days getting the look of your site just the way you want it. 

Time spent on your website is time well spent. However, as the old saying goes, “Time is money.” If you are spending hours on creating a website, you are not spending those hours building your business in other ways. Often, a better use of your time is to outsource the web design to a professional while you focus on the tasks that only you can do to create a successful and strong business. 

Flexibility

When you choose a DIY website builder, you often lose a degree of flexibility. For example, if you spend time working on a template for your site, and then decide that it is not quite the look you or your customers want, you may not be able to transfer all that work to a new template. Instead, you have to start from scratch. 

If you need to start your website over again, you have to devote even more time and resources to creating the right look for your business. When you choose to use a web designer, on the other hand, you enjoy total flexibility. You can create exactly the look you want. You can revise your website to perfect your messaging. You never have to worry about wasting your time on a project that you will have to start over from scratch. 

Professionalism

Professionalism is a key indicator for how your visitors will perceive your business. If your site is well kept and well run, your visitors will believe that you can deliver professional services and high-quality products to them. If your site is tacky, slow, or unappealing to look at, your visitors will doubt your ability to deliver high-quality products and services to them. 

In general, it is more difficult to achieve a professional look with DIY web design. Sometimes, the templates do not deliver the composed look that you want in your site, or they look like other websites and lack a sense of creativity and uniqueness. Sometimes, the text or images you select are not the ones that would most accurately capture your message and branding. 

The best way to achieve the professional look you want in your website is to hire a custom website designer rather than pursuing a DIY solution that may or may not create the look and message you want to send to your visitors. 

Ownership

DIY websites allow you to build your own site with your own images and text. However, most DIY website builders do not give you ownership of your site. That means that if you decide to move your site to another designer or template, you lose all of the work you already put into your site. You will need to start from scratch. 

In addition, these website builders will often reserve the right to remove your site, shut it down, or change your site at any time. You may even lose the guarantee that your site will be up and running at any specific time. If you want to retain ownership over your site, you should choose a custom web designer like Distinct Web Design

SEO

Search engine optimization is critical to getting your site in front of your target audiences. There are two issues with DIY web design that makes it difficult to succeed at SEO. The first is implementing SEO best practices into your site. 

Many business owners lack the knowledge necessary to create a website that is appealing to Google’s search engines and that will rank well in the search results. Tasks like keyword research, page speed optimization, image optimization, and more may be unfamiliar and difficult for business owners to implement. 

The second potential SEO issue presented by DIY website builders is the fact that Google has a hard time crawling them efficiently. For example, you may need to wait 3 months for a search engine to crawl your DIY site, while custom-built sites can expect to be crawled within a month. That can be a long time to wait, particularly if you need to get yourself in front of potential customers quickly. 

Analytics

In order to ensure that you have a website that is performing the way you want it to, you have to have access to analytics. This means that you have to have access to information about how many visitors are coming to your site, where they are coming from, what they are doing on your site, how long they are staying on your site, and more. 

Often, DIY website builders do not offer this kind of information. If you lack access to information about how your website is performing and how visitors are interacting with it, you have a harder time making decisions about your entire digital marketing campaign, and about your web design in particular. 

How can you choose the right blog topics? Promote the right sales? Or even create the right ads without information? You can’t. The best way to get that information is to use a custom web designer who can build a site and provide you with the analytics you need to evaluate and improve upon that site. 

User Experience

The experience users have on your website is of paramount importance. That experience is what will either convince them to stay on your site or drive them away. As a result, you want your website to be simple and easy to use at all times. Users should find it intuitive to move through the site and to find the information they want. 

Sometimes, however, with DIY sites, user experience is lacking. The template that you use may not possess the right format to help visitors use your site with ease. You may find that your business and your customers have needs that require a customized user experience. Regardless of the reason, a site that is difficult to use will lead to frustrated consumers and a loss of business. 

Mobile Friendliness

Being easy to use on mobile devices is an absolute necessity for websites today. Mobile friendliness allows the site to remain appealing and easy to use on the smaller screens of mobile devices. It is also a factor Google uses when determining where to place your website in the search results. 

DIY websites often lack mobile friendliness. The emphasis is on making templates that are easy to fill in and use, not on creating a great user experience on mobile devices. As a result, you may end up with a site that is hard to use on a small screen. That can spell disaster for your business as customers struggle to access your website on mobile devices and as you lose traction and visibility on Google. 

Site Management

Your website will never be a one and done affair. Instead, you will have to make constant tweaks and updates to keep it running well. Staying this involved with your site requires you to have access to your site. You do not always have this access with a DIY site. Instead, you may find that you are trapped on a specific host that is not meeting your needs. You may not be able to easily make changes to improve issues like slow site speed.You may be frustrated when you need to accomplish certain tasks. In order to manage your site effectively, you may need the assistance of a professional web designer. 

Creating a DIY site may seem easy at first. However, you may quickly find that this solution does not meet your needs. In order to achieve the customized, branded site that you need, you need to hire a professional web designer. 

Here at Distinct Web Design, we offer you comprehensive services, including custom web design and digital marketing. We can help you create a website, and an online presence, that is the perfect reflection of your business. 

7 Reasons to Use Facebook Ads

 

One of the bedrocks of social media marketing is the Facebook ad. With a staggering 1.5 billion members globally, Facebook is impossible to ignore as a digital marketing tool. 

But why should businesses use Facebook ads in particular? Isn’t it enough to maintain a vibrant business page? Here are a few reasons that advertising is essential. 

Organic traffic on Facebook is decreasing. 

It used to be that business pages had a fair shot at appearing on users’ news feeds. However, recent algorithm changes by Facebook are increasingly keeping business pages off of members’ newsfeeds. In fact, the average organic reach of a business page on Facebook is just a little over 2 percent. 

Unable to depend on organic traffic any longer, businesses like yours must find alternative ways to draw attention to their pages. Facebook ads, which get the brand name out in front of target audiences, are  the way to go.

People (So Many People) Are On Facebook.  

With about 1.5 billion members, Facebook is the place to go to reach just about any target audience you can imagine. 

That means that using Facebook in your social media marketing is a smart move for just about any business.

There are few marketing channels that offer the same level of access to potential customers. You want to be where your customers are, and your customers are busy connecting with others on Facebook. 

In order to find those customers among the sea of Facebook users, you can use the platform’s detailed and diverse targeting capabilities. Showing up where your target customers are means showing up on Facebook, even if your budget is small and your time limited. 

Facebook ads allow you to target precisely.

You may have heard that Google Ads allow you to precisely target the audiences you wish to reach. What you may not know is that Facebook allows you to do the same, and with an impressive degree of specificity. 

Facebook’s targeting capability allows you to narrow down your target audience according to almost any parameter you wish. Here are just a few criteria you can use:

  • Connections
  • Locations
  • Languages
  • Behaviors
  • Ages
  • Income
  • Job

With so many parameters from which to choose, you can easily find and target the people who will be most interested in your products and services. 

Facebook ads make additional targeting easy.

Say you take advantage of Facebook’s targeting capabilities. You are reaching a target audience. You can find and target other audiences easily with Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature.

This feature tells Facebook to show your ads to audiences who are similar to your target audiences. That means more people see your business with minimal work on your end. Using Facebook Ads in your online marketing campaign simplifies the process of reaching the right people. 

Facebook ads are inexpensive.

No one wants to spend more than necessary on advertising their business. When you use Facebook ads in your social media marketing campaign, you tap into an advertising channel that is very inexpensive.

In fact, the cost to reach 1,000 people over Facebook is just 25 cents. That is far cheaper than the $32 you would spend on a magazine ad or the $2.75 you would spend on Google Ads. Reaching large numbers of your target audience for pennies is an amazing value. No business should pass it up. 

Facebook ads are effective.

Facebook is the place to be for 1.5 billion people. This staggering number of members combined with the platform’s incredibly specific targeting abilities make Facebook an effective place to advertise your business. 

People may log onto Facebook in order to connect with friends and family, but most of them also discover new products there as well. In fact, one study by Kleiner Perkins placed that number at 78 percent. That could be why 96 percent of marketers believe that Facebook offers the best ROI out of all the social media platforms.

Facebook ads work. That makes them a smart addition to social media marketing campaigns.

Facebook ads give you access to lots of analytics. 

Building an effective marketing campaign of any kind includes using analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign. Without analytics, you just do not know what impact your marketing efforts are having. 

Facebook ads, however, never leave you in the dark about your performance. Instead, they give you access to a huge amount of information. Learn the following:

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Likes
  • Clicks
  • Conversions
  • Comments
  • Click through rate
  • And more

Facebook ads are a vital part of any social media marketing campaign. Because of Facebook’s enormous size and reach, almost any business can find their target audience on Facebook and benefit from a campaign to reach them.

Using this social media platform to counteract the decrease in organic Facebook traffic, to reach the large audiences on Facebook, to take advantage of advanced targeting abilities, to save money, to enjoy results, and to enjoy access to detailed analytics can be a beneficial decision.

If you need help crafting a compelling Facebook ad campaign, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can leverage Facebook to enhance the success of your social media marketing campaign. 

Video Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Video marketing is powerful. Just ask the consumer: 84 percent say they decided to purchase a product or service because of a marketing video. No wonder two-thirds of marketers use video in their campaigns.

Understanding the power of video and being able to leverage it for your own business, however, are two different things. When you are a small business, the need to create compelling videos on a budget makes the task seem even harder. 

That is why we have compiled a list of some of the most effective and creative video marketing ideas out there. 

Tutorials

Customers like to learn about your industry and about your products and services before they buy. In fact, 72 percent of consumers prefer to use videos to learn about products and services. 

You can cater to this desire by creating tutorial videos. These videos should demonstrate how to use a product. You can also use these videos to showcase unique ways of using your products that customers may not yet have thought about.

For example, say you run an arts and crafts supply store. A tutorial on a craft that uses popsicle sticks can offer a creative idea that might also bring people to your store looking for supplies. 

Tutorials can make your products feel intimidating to use. When customers have questions about how a product works, they can check out your video. When they buy a product and run into a problem, they can visit your video to see where they are going wrong. With that kind of information at their fingertips, consumers can purchase your products and services with confidence. 

Product Reviews

Another type of product-focused video is the product review. The key to these videos is to have a customer review the product. You reviewing your own product will not compel customers to trust your brand, or your products. 

Having someone who has purchaser and useful the product to review it, on the other hand, is an easy way to win over viewers’ trust, and hopefully their business. A product review should include a look at the product and what it does, as well as an honest examination of its pros and cons. Make sure these videos are honest and genuine in order to win over viewers’ trust.

Customer Testimonials

A product review by an actual customer is known as social proof. Social proof is any recommendation or affirmation by a customer that a business or a product is worth patronizing.

Social proof is extremely valuable in marketing. People trust other customers’ reviews and opinions. If you can get customers to support your products and services, you can improve how potential customers perceive and interact with your brand.

Videos can serve as a kind of social proof for your business. If you can find customers who are willing to leave positive reviews and testimonials on camera, you can tap into video marketing gold. 

These videos can be compilations of customer testimonials. They can focus on one customer’s experience, like a case study. Whatever format you choose, highlighting happy customers on video makes your business look good in front of viewers.

About Us

Customers often like to learn more about the companies they are thinking about patronizing. Giving them fun and useful insights into your business can be an entertaining way to fill this need to learn more about your brand. 

About us videos should be engaging glimpses into your company’s culture, values, and goals. There are a number of forms these videos can take. Consider trying some of the following:

  • Introducing team members
  • Giving behind-the-scenes tours
  • Providing a visual history of your business
  • Telling the stories of the people your nonprofit serves

Education

Video marketing, as with any other type of marketing, is sometimes useful as a way to establish your expertise in your industry. People naturally want to patronize businesses that know the most about the industry. They believe that experts can provide the best products and services.

If people recognize you as an industry leader, they are also more likely to remember your company’s name when they need products and services that you offer. Establishing yourself as an industry leader makes it easier to win leads and conversions. 

Video marketing can help you to establish your expertise by giving you an avenue to use to educate your viewers. These educational videos can address many topics in your industry. 

The key is to use these videos as a way to tap into the talent and knowledge you have within your company. You can make a one-time video on a subject, or create an ongoing video series. If you think the topic will interest your viewers and you think that you have the expertise to handle it well, an educational video can be a good choice.

Using video marketing to reach out to potential customers is an effective technique. Because you have so many options for creating videos, it is also a good choice for many businesses with many different types of budgets. 

Making compelling videos does not have to be expensive or time consuming. If you want help together started with a video marketing campaign, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can help you brainstorm and develop videos that advance your marketing goals. 

If you want to enhance your online presence in other ways, we can do that too. From Google Ads to video marketing, we can help you leverage online advertising for your brand’s advantage. 

Business Advertising Tips for Nonprofits

Nonprofits change the world. To do so, they depend upon the support of donors and volunteers. They also depend upon their ability to reach their target recipients. A homeless shelter, for example, needs to be visible to the individuals who need its services. 

Receiving that support, and reaching those recipients, often requires marketing, which does not always feel natural to nonprofits. They want to focus on changing the world, not on buying ads. 

Effective business advertising for nonprofits requires some work, some help, and some savvy. What it does not require is a huge budget, which is good news for budget-conscious organizations. 

Here are some tips to get your nonprofit started in the business advertising realm. These tips are not only effective; they are inexpensive too. 

Use the Facebook “Donate” button. 

Calls to action are important for encouraging people to take the steps you want them to take with your organization. Getting people to donate is probably at the very top of the list of actions you want people to take. 

Facebook makes it easier for people to give directly to your nonprofit by placing a “Donate” button directly on your page. 

Only registered 501(c)3s qualify for this button. You will also need to enroll your organization in Facebook Payments to gain access to the Donate button. 

You should be able to place this button on your page by going through the “Add Button” function on your page. Since the process is so simple and the potential rewards so great, it should be one of the first things you do as you develop your business advertising for your nonprofit. 

Go live on Facebook. 

Facebook introduced its Facebook Live feature in 2016. In just two years, more than 3.5 billion Facebook live broadcasts had been made. In 2019, users spent a collective 3,000 years watching videos on the social media platform. 

Users love video, and they especially love live video. In 2019, the conversion rate of live videos was almost twice that of non-live videos, earned 35 percent more engagement and received 10 times more comments.

Take these statistics, add in the fact that Facebook Live is free to use, and you have a perfect business advertising avenue for nonprofits. 

Need ideas for videos to create? Why don’t you answer FAQs, introduce viewers to the recipients of your organization, show volunteers at work, and more? The sky really is the limit as long as your videos are providing content that your users will find relevant and compelling.

Embrace the power of videos. 

Facebook Live is a powerful way to use video to your advantage as a nonprofit. However, it isn’t the only way. You can also make regular, non-live videos part of your organization’s business advertising endeavors. 

These videos make great additions to social media and to your website. They can also be an effective way to capture, and keep, your target audience’s attention. 

Consider, for example, the fact that 57 percent of millennials watch more video ads on social media than on TV. About 40 percent of marketers find that videos yield the best ROI. Just about everyone (93 percent) who goes online watch videos.  Videos are a powerful marketing tool. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to take advantage of this marketing tool. You just need a little bit of creativity and a business advertising strategy that understands how to leverage video to your advantage. 

Take advantage of Google Ads Grants. 

Cash-strapped nonprofits don’t always have the resources to run Google AdWords campaigns. If this is you, don’t despair. Google gives away about $1 billion in free advertising a year through its Google Ads Grants. These grants allow qualifying nonprofits to spend up to $2 per click and $10,0000 a month in free Google Ads. 

In order to access these services, you will need to follow Google’s application process. This process includes setting up a Google Ads account, setting up a Google nonprofit account, and filling out an application. 

If selected, you can enjoy Google Ads campaigns for one whole year. If you do not qualify for a Google Ads campaign, you can also pursue paid Google ads. With the help of a digital marketing agency like Distinct Web Design, you can create ad campaigns that fall within even a tight budget while still delivering results. 

Marketing your nonprofit on a budget can feel a little bit difficult. At the same time, doing so is critical to your organization’s visibility and success. The more people you reach, the more volunteers and donations you can receive. Do not discount marketing as a tool as you seek to change the world through your nonprofit. Marketing isn’t just for for-profit businesses. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to market your nonprofit inexpensively. Some business advertising solutions, like the Facebook Donate button, or Google Ads Grants, are specifically designed to help nonprofits market themselves inexpensively. Others, like videos and Facebook Live, are free or inexpensive to pursue and can have a big impact. 

If you need help creating a compelling online presence for your nonprofit, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can help you to get the visibility you deserve, within the budget you have available, so you can continue changing the world. 

Tips for Social Media Marketing Engagement

Social media is like a giant conversation. As a participant, you need to be a good conversationalist. Follow the basic rules of etiquette; be interesting, and give people space to talk.

As a business, being able to actively participate in the social media conversation is critically important. You wouldn’t talk to someone very long if they never responded, and you cannot expect your social media followers to keep engaging if you never engage back. 

In order to build a compelling social media presence, you need to engage with your audiences. Here are a few suggestions for doing that more effectively. 

Respond to all comments on your social media pages. 

A comment on your social media page is social media marketing gold. It means that somebody cared enough to take the time to interact with your business. Someone has joined or started a conversation with you. That means they care enough about your business to say something, and they want to hear back from you. 

In order to keep the conversation going, you need to start talking too. That is why you should respond to every comment left on your social media pages. You should also do so quickly: Within 24 hours, according to one research company. 

What should you say? That depends on the comment. In general, here are some suggestions for crafting your responses:

  • Keep your response faithful to your brand’s voice and values.
  • Keep your response upbeat and positive. Consider using GIFs and emojis (in moderation) to give your responses a relaxed and welcoming feel. 
  • Be authentic in your reply.
  • If you are responding to a complaint, try to keep your answer brief and move the conversation to a private format. 

Create posts that encourage feedback.

You can do more with your social media marketing than simply respond to comments that others leave for you. You can begin conversations yourself by creating posts that encourage feedback. 

For example, try asking a question in one of your posts. If you run a florist, ask your followers about the most creative or beautiful flower arrangement they have ever seen. If you run a clothing store, ask people to post pictures of themselves in outfits they put together with items from your store. Here are other ideas for encouraging feedback with your social media posts:

  • Contests
  • Polls
  • Giveaways
  • Input on changes in your business
  • Image requests
  • Surveys

There really are an infinite number of options when you want to engage your followers. Use your imagination and start a conversation that will interest and engage them. 

Use hashtags in your social media marketing.

Your social media conversation might fit nicely with a broader conversation happening across social media. You can recognize and engage with the people having this broader conversation by using hashtags. 

Hashtags link your post or comments to a broad topic occurring across social media networks and platforms. Use the right hashtags, and you can align your brand with that conversation. That can earn your social media marketing campaign attention and interaction from others who are part of the discussion. 

Often, there are popular hashtags around holidays, major events, cultural trends, etc. A little research should uncover the ones that are most relevant to your business. 

You can also create your own hashtags in order to build momentum around topics and ideas that are important to your business. Creating hashtags around promotions and contests can also help to generate buzz around those efforts. 

Keep the conversation going.

You create a social media post. Somebody comments on it. That is great! You have made a connection that could be good for your business. How you respond next is an important step. You could give a short answer, like “Thanks!” However, that kind of engagement shuts the conversation down. 

Instead, consider responding in ways that encourage the conversation to keep going. For example, ask questions to follow up on a comment. Attach a video to provide further information or entertainment. Share a little more about your business. 

The key is to leave the conversation open ended. If you do it right, your follower, or other followers, have the chance to build on the conversation. That kind of ongoing interaction is valuable to your social media marketing campaign.

Don’t just talk about yourself.

You do not want to listen to other people talk about themselves all the time. Don’t be “that person” on social media yourself. If all you ever do is talk about yourself and your own business, you can be sure that other people will quickly grow bored and find another business to interact with. 

Instead, spend time engaging in other ways on social media. Here are some suggestions:

  • Comment on other people’s and businesses’ social media posts.
  • Retweet others’ posts.
  • Ask your followers about their opinions and interests.
  • Participate in others’ surveys and polls.
  • Give shoutouts to other (noncompeting) businesses and people.

Part of your social media marketing strategy needs to include engaging with your audiences. Engagement creates and maintains relationships with the people you want to reach. 

Make sure to respond to all comments. Create posts that encourage feedback. Use hashtags; keep the conversation going, and don’t just talk about yourself. When you can take those steps, you will be well on your way to crafting an effective social media presence.

Here at Distinct Web Design, we can help you create a social media marketing campaign. We can also help you to develop a digital marketing campaign that allows you to reach your business goals. 

Digital Marketing 101: The Target Audience

When you begin to explore the world of digital marketing, one term you hear frequently is “target audience.” The target audience will guide many of your marketing decisions, but what is it, exactly? Here is a look at what a target audience is, and the role it plays in your digital marketing campaign. 

Target Audience: Definition

In the marketing world, effective campaigns do not reach everybody. Trying to make sure everybody sees and enjoys your marketing efforts isn’t just impractical from a cost and effort standpoint. It is, quite simply, impossible. 

Even if you could get your message out to everyone, not everyone would be interested in it. Most people would find it to be irrelevant to their lives because they do not possess the interests or suffer the pain points that your business caters to.  

In order to develop an effective digital marketing campaign, you need to reach a much more limited group of people. You need to reach the people who will care about your message. That group of people is called your target audience. They are the individuals who share certain characteristics that make them desirable targets of your digital marketing campaigns.

Target Audience: Characteristics

If your target audience consists of the people you want to reach with your digital marketing campaign, then how do you know who they are? The target audience you want to reach may not be the same as the target audience the business next to you wants to reach. A landscape business may want to reach a different audience than does a children’s playhouse. 

The reason for these differences is that your target audience will consist of people who may be interested in your products and services. The people who are interested in your products and services may not be interested in another company’s products and services. The people who need a landscaper may not need a place to entertain their children, for example. 

In order to define your specific target audience, you need to identify the characteristics that they share. For example, people who need your landscaping services are probably all homeowners within a certain inco.e bracket who live in your service area. You may even find that the ones most interested in landscaping are a certain age and do or do not have children. 

There are many characteristics to consider when building a picture of your target audience. Here are some of the characteristics that can influence their level of interest in your business:

  • Age
  • Income Level
  • Location
  • Budget
  • Internet Device
  • Hobbies
  • Internet Search History
  • Prior Purchases
  • Prior Encounters with Your Business
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • Number of Children
  • Pets
  • Career Goals
  • And more

There are an almost infinite number of demographics, and combination of demographics, that you can use to define your target audience. 

For example, you may want to reach homeowners in Putnam County, while another landscaping business wants to reach customers in Montgomery County. The difference will probably be because of location: Your business is in Putnam County, and the other business is located in Montgomery County. Your job is to figure out which characteristics are shared by the people who most want and benefit from your products and services. 

Target Audience: Identification

As you may have already figured out, identifying the target audiences for your digital marketing campaigns takes a little bit of investigative work. Before you go about finding the right audiences, there are three other things you should know:

  • Your target audience can change depending on your campaign.
  • You can have multiple target audiences.
  • You may have target audiences you haven’t even thought about.

For example, say you want to run a retargeting campaign. Your target audience for that campaign would be anyone who viewed your landscaping services on your website. It would not matter what their demographic information was. However, for a Google Ads campaign, you might want to target anyone in a certain location who types in a certain search term. The target audiences are different but the goal is the same: To reach people who might be interested in your products and services. 

In order to successfully identify your target audience, there are a few steps you should take.

  • Analyze your current customers.

Who is buying from you right now? What qualities do they have in common? 

  • Consult your online analytics.

Who is visiting your website and interacting with your social media? What qualities do they have in common, especially when they stay and engage? 

  • Look at your competition.

Who is your competition targeting? Will these same people be interested in your products and services? Why or why not?

Following this process might reveal that you have been trying to reach the wrong people, or it might help you to uncover new groups of people to target. Either way, you should end up with a clearer idea of who to reach with your digital marketing campaigns.

When you need to identify and use target audiences in your digital marketing campaigns, you may want to hire a professional digital marketing company. Here at Distinct Web Design, we can help you find the right audience to target for each of your campaigns.

With our assistance, you can make sure that you deliver a compelling message to each of your target audiences. We help you speak their language, address their pain points, and win their business and their loyalty for an effective and powerful digital marketing campaign.

 

The Importance of Digital Marketing Analytics

A digital marketing campaign is an exciting opportunity to build a strong online presence for your business. You can reach your target audiences right where they spend much of their time: Online. It also gives you access to a wide array of information about both your strategies and your audiences. 

This information, obtained through analytics programs like Google Analytics, and through A/B testing, provides valuable insights. You can use these insights to guide your marketing efforts. In particular, analytics from your digital marketing campaigns can provide you with the following benefits:

Analytics help you understand your audience demographics.

Digital marketing analytics can give you some valuable insights into who is interested in your website and your business. In particular, analytics can give you demographic information about your website visitors and customers. Here is some of the information you can glean from your analytics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Interests

Not only can you see this demographic information, but you can also see how each demographic interacts with your business. 

For example, if a quarter of your visitors are men in their 50s, but this demographic tends to bounce away from your site pretty quickly. Then you know something needs to change about your website if you are going to keep that demographic’s attention. Alternatively, you could adjust your digital marketing so that it no longer reaches men in their 50s. Analytics are suddenly helping you market yourself more effectively. 

Analytics allow you to test your marketing strategies. 

Practice makes perfect in the digital marketing world as much as anywhere else. You won’t get your strategies exactly right the first time. You need to test them and analyze their performance. Analytics allow you to do just that.

For example, say you build two Google Ads and need to know which one is most effective. You can use analytics to see which ad received more click throughs, resulted in more engagement on your website, and yielded more conversions. 

Similarly, you can use analytics to see where people come from when they land on your website, and what they do after they arrive. From there, you can evaluate which aspects of your digital marketing campaign are going well and which ones need some work or may even need to be dropped. With analytics, you can craft a digital marketing campaign over time that is tailored to your needs and to your audience and is, therefore, very effective. 

Analytics allow you to increase your digital marketing ROI.

The goal of your digital marketing campaign, obviously, is to help your business make money. In order to do so, your marketing efforts need to bring in more money than you spend on them. 

If you simply implement a campaign and never check on its progress, you won’t know if it is making you money, how much it is making, whether it is worth the money you are putting into it, or even if you can make it more profitable. To answer all of those questions, you need analytics. 

Analytics help you to determine (and improve) the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns by giving you insight into who responds to the campaign and how they respond.

For example, you can use analytics to test two Google Ads against each other. You find that one performs better than the other, or you find that one keyword delivers more conversions than another. You then devote more resources to those ads, keywords, or strategies.

Similarly, you can use keywords to determine the cost for every lead or conversion you acquire through your digital marketing campaign. You might find that the strategy that delivered the most website traffic did not yield the most conversions or profits. 

You may also identify a strategy that is more profitable even though it appears to be less productive on the surface. Those insights can help you to focus your efforts on the higher-yielding strategies so you can maximize your digital marketing ROI. 

Analytics allow you to identify weak spots in your campaigns.

Not every campaign is going to succeed. Not every strategy is going to go over well with your target audiences. If something isn’t working, you want to know about it so you can fix it. Analytics help you to identify the areas in your digital marketing campaigns that are weak or ineffective. 


For example, if you are crafting a social media campaign, you may post at several different times of the day. Analytics can tell you that posting, say, in the early morning is much less effective than posting in the afternoon. Similarly, you may choose to craft an Instagram or Twitter story for your business, but find upon evaluating the analytics that the story did not go over well with your target audience. Understanding where you are falling short can help you to change your approach. You can put aside the ineffective approach and craft a new one that works better for your digital marketing campaign. 

Analytics can help you identify weak spots throughout your digital marketing strategies. They can show you if you are failing to reach your target audience, if your content is weak, if your landing pages need work, if your Google Ads need tweaking. Once you know where your campaign needs improvement you can make changes that strengthen your digital marketing campaign and bring you the results you need. 

Analytics are a smart and necessary addition to any digital marketing campaign. They provide critical information that can help you understand your audience demographics, test your marketing strategies, increasing your digital marketing ROI, and identify weak spots in your campaign. Distinct Web Design incorporates analytics into all of our digital marketing endeavors. We can help you gather and evaluate all the information you need to craft a powerful and profitable digital marketing campaign for your business.