What is a Social Influencer?

Social Influencer

Have you ever thought about reaching out to a local celebrity or well-known figure to market your small business? Radio DJs and local sports legends are popular figures for such advertising and have traditionally been used for radio spots or TV commercials. David Robinson, the former basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs, for example, does TV commercials for several local companies in the San Antonio area these days.

Over the past few years, however, influencers on popular social media platforms have been an important marketing tool to reach young audiences around a huge variety of products and services. Endorsements by celebrities are nothing new, but more recently, sponsorships paid for by advertisers have branched out to include popular Instagram accounts, bloggers, and You-Tube stars. News anchors, local food stars, and retired athletes are some popular sources for local businesses to reach out to for influencer marketing.

 

 

How Can an Influencer Benefit My Small Business?

Depending on your business type, reaching out to a local influencer could be beneficial. For instance, if you sell garden supplies in the greater Portland-metro area, being featured on An Oregon Cottage could be a great way to put your brand in front of your ideal consumer. Your products would be exposed to a relevant customer base, coming from a personality that is a trusted resource in the Oregon gardening community.

What is an Endorsement?

Conversely, influencer endorsements affect a very particular audience and are sometimes seen as more trustworthy in the eyes of their followers. Influencers are a part of a niche community and are looked to often as experts that have open dialogues with their followers. Social influencers are usually approachable (they are generally more responsive to comments and messages than celebrities who are sponsored for a campaign) and are considered more authentic compared to celebrity-driven marketing campaigns. Here’s an example of the top social influencer on Instagram for 2018, so far (according to CBS News): Huda Kattan.

Using social influencers responsibly could be a creative way to reach new customers, both on a national and local scale. What are your thoughts on this new, socially-oriented trend?

The 411 on Digital Display Advertising

Digital Display Advertising for Your Business

Search network advertising is something most of us can wrap our heads around – it’s what you do when you go to Google, Bing, or Yahoo and do a search for anything that comes to mind, like saying “electrician Portland” or “personal trainer near me.” Google AdWords dominates the world of online advertising, and many businesses stick with it to hopefully reach the most consumers and meet their business goals. But, over time, businesses may gradually include display advertising in their marketing strategy, often to create brand awareness and remarket to consumers they have interacted with in the past.

 

What is Display Advertising?

Display ads are integrated into the background of specific websites where they are visible to users while they play games, read the news, or shop their favorite brands. Have you ever noticed that the moment you think about making a purchase or doing an activity, you start seeing ads for it everywhere? Display ads can be rich media ads such as banner ads, video, and responsive ads. The targeting of display ads continues to improve to help businesses target their most ideal customer. It also gives many local businesses an opportunity to reach potential customers where television advertising may be outside of the current budget.

 

Is Digital Display Marketing for Me?

Display marketing allows you to build custom audiences by targeting users who have shown an interest in brands, websites, or services like yours. You can also target users based on their demographics or online patterns (like marketing to visitors who have already been to your website). Display marketing works to create brand awareness by simply being in the background on sites targeting relevant users.

Retargeting previous customers or shoppers who never completed an online purchase is something you can do with display advertising. Website visitors who are exposed to your ads through the display network tend to spend more time on your site and are more likely to return. Here are some statistics about the importance of retargeting consumers, specifically using display advertising:

  • 86% of shoppers engage in ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline)
  • 72% of users online are likely to leave their shopping carts before checking out
  • Only 8% of those users will return to complete their purchase
  • With retargeting campaigns, 26% of users will return to complete their purchases (or take the next step in the sales cycle, such as calling a mainline to set up an appointment)

Each business and business type have different needs and marketing goals that must be considered when choosing an appropriate digital marketing strategy. How do you think digital advertising could help your business?

How Much Money Should I Spend on My Advertising?

Is There a Magic Formula?

We’ve now entered the world of Marketing Budgeting, 2.0 as so many things have changed in the past few years. The internet and social media have changed the landscaping of media, but the basics remain the same. Having a budget for your marketing makes sticking to the marketing plan a bit easier.

If you Google “How Much Money Do I Spend On My Advertising,” maybe this blog will come up number one, but there are many articles on this topic. This also depends on what type of business you have. The marketing of a restaurant is very different than the marketing of a manufacturing plant. If you have outside sales people responsible for generating sales, your marketing budget may be a little less. The goal of any marketing plan is to maintain and/or grow the business.

Ways a business grows –

  • New Customers
  • Existing customers spend more money on visit
  • Existing customers come in more often
  • Existing customers tell their friends who become customers (referral)
  • Add product or service line to help with all the above

Do a Google search for this topic and you will find businesses will budget between 3-10% of their sales on marketing. A pretty big variance. That’s the challenge – what is the right advertising budget for your business. We work with many local businesses and we look to gain agreement on what the marketing budget is to start out with. If your growth is more aggressive, it may be towards the higher end of the spectrum. If your growth is steady growth, we look for middle ground here, using 5-6% as our target budget in the planning process. Marketing is to help you grow your business so the investment into marketing is an important one. This is very different than the planning of your media buying or the evaluating of your media choices. If you feel the advertising is not working, then think about what needs to be changed up to make it work better. It wouldn’t make sense to stop advertising just because you haven’t found the “magic” formula…..yet.

As your company grows, your marketing budget dollars will grow, even though the marketing percentage will remain the same. The number may seem high, but so are your total sales. As one of our clients was looking hard at their P & L to see how they were doing, they asked everyone to really watch their numbers – except marketing – this went untouched – as they had learned the lessons of keeping consistent with the marketing budget means consistency with future sales and growth.

One last message here – if you are too busy and getting too many calls/customers where you can’t take on any business for the next month – shift the marketing dollars. Either change up your marketing mix to improve your brand or use the dollars later in the year. Marketing can be for many things, including customer appreciation activities and/or customer gifts or promotional items. Keep steady on the marketing budget, plan the work and work the plan, and you will start to feel better about the investment you are making for the long-term success of your company.

Social Networking

Are You Socially Acceptable?

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. etc. etc. It seems as if every day there is a new social media platform taking the world by storm. As an advertiser, it can be intimidating to try and stay up to date with how to best reach your target audience on these social networks, since we understand the importance of having a digital presence. But each social network serves a different demographic – which networks are right for your line of business? Let’s compare and contrast a few.

2017-12 Social Networks
Facebook. With over 1 billion daily active users, it seems like a no-brainer you’d want your business to reach even a fraction of these users. However, it’s important to understand who uses Facebook. SproutSocial says 88% of people aged 18-29 are on the social network and they are on for an average of 35 minutes per day. But it’s actually those who are 29+ who provide the most engagement. Also, people are using Facebook more and more to seek food, travel, and entertainment recommendations.
So, which businesses do best on Facebook? Primarily B2C businesses. More specifically, retailers with specific products and sales which can produce measurable ROI. Businesses that are B2B or are service based, such as a plumber or insurance agency may not see the same results as a retail business. However, this is not to say other businesses should not be on Facebook. Having a page which is regularly updated with content builds credibility for your brand and helps stay engaged with the local community (for example, posting events happening around the area). Overall, Facebook’s capability to reach so many qualifies it as a resource worth looking into.

 

Instagram. Another huge social media network, with over 800 million monthly active users, that’s focused on photo and video. But is it worth the time, energy or money to have an account for your brand? It may be.
A staggering 59% of all Instagram users are under the age of 30. This means if your line of business is geared towards anyone over the age of 30, which includes a wide range of fields, Instagram may not be worth spending the time on at this day and age. However, if you are able to create a photo or video campaign that is engaging, Instagram may be a great decision for branding and directional marketing. Additionally, Instagram allows users to click and purchase items in the app, which is beneficial for retail companies who are selling items, rather than services. If you’re a B2C company, Instagram can help too. A design firm could use Instagram as their digital portfolio.

 

LinkedIn. Plain and simple, LinkedIn is for B2B marketers. Whether companies are posting updates about acquisitions, finances, or are hiring, users are active on LinkedIn to make moves professionally, and not to make consumerist decisions. LinkedIn is also used to stay connected to current and previous colleagues, industry resources, and business contacts. About 61% of LinkedIn users are between 30 and 64, and they are established in their careers, are married, homeowners, have college degrees, and have the most amount of buying power. Professional in nature, decision makers are seeking the next best thing – personally and professionally – and are the target demographic for your life insurance policies or litigation services.
Before you make any marketing decisions regarding social media, you want to identify your target market and advertising strategy and consider which social media network most closely aligns with that market. Social media is not the end-all-be-all, but if you don’t utilize it, what else are you doing to be seen by your target market?

How Video has Changed Digital Advertising

What’s the next big thing?

Ever since the age of smartphones began, photo and video have taken the digital advertising space by storm. Within the past 5 years, we have seen Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat rise in popularity, and with the exception of Vine, the visual platforms are thriving. But how important is video marketing to your business? Well, let’s look at the stats.

  • According to Social Media Today, Facebook produces an average of 8 billion video views a day.
  • Every day, 55% of people watch videos online. (Source: Digital Information World)
  • Popular marketing tool Hubspot says 64% of internet users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

Video Marketing

The statistics go on and on.

Do you know how to best utilize video? Video Brewery says that 20% of viewers will click away within 10 seconds of the video starting. Just like an attention getter in an essay or novel, the beginning of your video needs to convince the consumer to keep watching. Videos need to connect with the audience it is being targeted to. With today’s technology, the cost of creating a video has decreased dramatically and it doesn’t take much to get started.

Now that Instagram and Facebook have launched ‘live’ features, you can captivate your customer base by simply having a smartphone with a camera. Recent iPhone video quality is high enough, where by the quick press of ‘record’ you can provide current and potential customers a tour of your location, a how-to video on how to use one of your products, insider tips and tricks, or a live question and answer session. Any of these ideas can be done in-house without any sort of professional equipment. And, it keeps your social media followers engaged and interested in what’s new around your business.

As you look down the road to what the future holds for your business’ marketing strategy, video advertising certainly should be on the list of things to consider. For now, at the very least, it should start the conversation about how you and your business will be a part of this next generation of advertising.

Organic Search Ranking and Credibility to the Consumer

What are your customers searching?

“Brunch restaurants nearby”

“Breakfast food near me”

“Where’s the best brunch in Portland?”

Nowadays, search engines seem to solve all life’s hardest questions. And, if your business has a website, you obviously want your website to land at the top of the first page when a potential customer searches for what you do. But oftentimes, business owners don’t fully understand search engine optimization or how to improve their rankings to give them the best chance to be on the first page.

Organic Search Ranking

Statistics show that internet users search more than 3.5 billion queries every day. For your website to be the top results, a combination of attributes need to be in your favor. Everything from page headings, loading speed, mobile optimization, html codes, and many other factors play a part in how soon a consumer will see your brand’s website in their search results. Because of this, it’s important to fully understand how best to create your website and enhance your content for optimal results, or have someone on your team who does.

Another way to improve your search ranking is to have customer reviews. A recent survey reported that 73% of consumers trust a local business more when they have positive reviews. Also, a consumer will read a minimum of 7 reviews before they trust a business. So, the more Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews you have, the more relevant your business becomes to the specific search. You will increase your chances on being on the first page simply for having more reviews.

An example of the significance of reviews could be making a purchase on Amazon. The average consumer is more likely to buy a new bike from a business with 70 positive reviews than a business with 1 or 2 reviews total. Reviews provide credibility and depth to a business. Finding an effective way to promote your customers to leave good feedback on line is an important part of business today.

The next time you’re doing a Google search, notice what factors you consider when selecting a search result for a local business. Understanding how you (or others you know,) search and make “buying decisions” is important in understanding the importance of getting to the first page on the search engines.

Why One Size Fits All Doesn’t Work

Our Team’s Perspective

Have you ever completed a puzzle? The feeling of snapping the last piece in place is a sigh of relief. But imagine getting down to the last couple pieces, and realizing they were lost along the way? That is exactly how it sounds to me when a business owner has an epiphany about the importance of active marketing. They either don’t have any marketing, or there is no way of measuring the effectiveness of their current marketing. That’s where Louvre Media fits into your custom business puzzle.

Man and woman hands trying to connect puzzle pieces

All puzzles are different in the same way no two businesses are the same. Marketing needs to be customized, defined, designed, delivered, and cultivated. For small and medium sized businesses, the one-size-fits all model doesn’t work, and automation becomes a hindrance rather than a perk.

Go sit down with any marketing agency about your small business’s marketing needs and they will say, “Okay, we have three packages – Package A has this, Package B has the same thing but it’s better, and Package C is our premium package which actually has what you need and is wildly overpriced for that reason.” They probably won’t say the last part there, but most likely it’s true. If they do have a package that works for your business, it probably includes tools that you won’t even use. At Louvre Media, we offer the whole package.

The whole package is designed for you, knowing that your business is unique and has different needs when compared with any other business. Even franchises are different from each other, believe it or not. My favorite part about meeting a new potential client is that I know, no matter what their needs are, I can come up with a solution and a plan that works with their goals in mind. Have a small budget? I can work with that. Don’t know what marketing is, but know you need it? Great! I can get the ball rolling to help your business compete with the big guys. I’ve bought billboards, magazine ads, newspaper flyers, and done countless newsletters, social posts, and so much more. We always say, “if we don’t do it already, we’ll learn how for our clients.”

I’ve been with Louvre Media for more than a year now and I can’t wait to keep learning! Work is a place I love to be now. Every day brings new challenges and fun ways for me help businesses grow and build a foundation. I can easily recommend Louvre Media’s marketing to any business owner because I know that it works and that I have a great team to back me up. We’re the whole package!

~ by Superstar Account Manager Adelaide