Categories
Business Digital Marketing Marketing

Cultivate Your Blog Strategy

Ah, what to blog about? The task can seem daunting to some. Let’s simplify your blog strategy and start driving more traffic to your site!

To start, let’s view this like we would a business plan. Think about your niche and what your business has to offer. You will want to write blog topics that go hand-in-hand with your business. Random topics that have nothing to do with your line of work should be avoided.

 

Let’s say you are a General Contractor. You will need to write about topics that go along with your trade. Here are some ideas:

  • What To Look For When Selecting a General Contractor
  • Five Crucial Things To Consider When Selecting A House Plan
  • The Best Time To Start Building Your Dream Home

 

Do Some Research!

See what your local and national competitors are writing about. It is important to research both as your local competitors are who you are challenged by on a daily basis. National leaders can help paint a bigger picture- it’s always important to aim high with your goals!

 

Implement SEO

This is a biggie. Without good SEO, your blog will not reach your intended audience. It’s ok if this is over your head. You can always hire help!

 

Add Visuals

Break up your text with engaging visuals. Bonus points if this is your own imagery! Stock photos are acceptable, but your viewers want to see the real, raw content!

 

Scheduling Your Blog

If you are just starting out, plan to write two blog posts a month. Once every other week is perfectly fine and will give you adequate time to write an exceptional blog post!

 

Categories
Business Digital Marketing Marketing

Three Reasons You Should Refresh Your Website

It shows your customers that you care

We know, the easy thing to do is to let your website sit and not deal with it. We get it – sometimes you just don’t have the time to take on an additional task. It is important though to show your customers that you put time and effort into your business. If you have an outdated site, this can be viewed as the company being lazy.

 

You’ve adapted – show the world the new you!

Through the years you have grown and changed! Update your old employee photos and add in new company videos. Freshen up the “about” page by adding in recent accomplishments that you have achieved. 

 

Tech is always changing

The world of tech is always evolving. Many companies are now using TikTok to advertise. Use this type of cheap marketing to your advantage by adding these updates to your site. Make an announcement and link your new social media pages! 

 

Note: Make sure your website is device-friendly for all computers, cell phones and tablets. 

 

Categories
Business Design Digital Marketing

Adding Brand Colors In Your Photoshoot

If you’ve stumbled across this article, it may be because you are planning an upcoming photoshoot for your brand. How exciting!

 

Your Background

 

Let’s say your brand colors are black, grey, and light blue. You will want your backdrop to be styled in a way that complements those colors. Use mostly neutrals with no other bright colors that will compete with your brand. A white background is always a safe bet if you are unsure. 

 

Your Outfit

 

While using the brand color selection of black, grey, and light blue, let’s continue talking about what you are going to wear. 

Your background matters- so try to think about what your clothes will look like in comparison to your photo’s background.

 

For example:

If the photos are being shot on a neutral background, you could wear a fun light blue suit as shown below. If your background is light blue, wear a neutral.

Accessories

 

Your clothes do not always have to be your statement piece. If you want to utilize your pop of color in a fun way, try doing so with jewelry, a coffee mug, or some type of stationary product. 

Fun Edits

 

Do special effects or an overlay with your “pop of color”. This could simply be done with a flat lay photo. Add a transparent overlay with one of you branding colors.

Categories
Digital Marketing Marketing

Lighting Matters! Tips For Getting The Best Photos

We live in a world where anyone can take great photos with their cellphones! Luckily, mobile devices have come a long way in recent years, allowing you to take magazine-worthy images. Here are a few lighting tips to help you achieve great photos:

  1. 1. Take photos by a window

Taking photos by a window on a nice, sunny day always yields great results! This will allow you to get the soft glow of natural lighting. You can also play up the lines from the shadows of your blinds. Here is an example:

pastedGraphic.png

  1. 2. Avoid the harsh, direct sunlight 

Are you shooting outside? The best lighting tends to be in the morning and late afternoon hours before sunset. If you are in the hot sun, make sure the person or product you are capturing ARE facing the sun. If the sun is behind the individual it will cast a shadow over their face. 

  1. 3. Edit your photos

If the coloring is a little off, use the auto-correct feature on the Adobe Lightroom app. You can play around with the hue and saturation further if needed. Editing the white and black balances can also make your photo lighter and more alive! 

Now, go take those magazine-worthy photos, friends! 
Categories
Business Digital Marketing

Where Your Video Content Belongs

There’s no denying that video content is more engaging today than ever before… and it’s here to stay! Are you struggling with how to get the most use out of your video content? In this article, we’ll share a few tips and tricks on how to effectively get multiple pieces of content from one video.

 

Full Length Videos:

A full length video can be a great educational piece to use for your brand. However, when it comes to Instagram and Facebook, shorter clips perform best. If you have a video over 15 minutes, put that on your Youtube channel. You can always share your Youtube video link on your social media page with the “swipe-up” feature. Youtube links are also great to insert into your scheduled email campaigns. Hype up your readers by telling them how awesome your new video is, insert a visual to entice them, then add your Youtube link. 

 

Do you have a video over 1 minute long? Upload that to your IGTV channel. According to Instagram, the maximum length your video can be is 15 minutes when uploading from a mobile device. 60 minutes when uploading from the web.

 

Make Edits to the Full Length Video:

Take up to 1 minute clips from longer videos and use them as Instagram Reels. Your engagement rate will be higher by doing this. Followers are more likely to watch shorter videos all the way through vs. a full length video.

 

Add a Viral Song or Soundbite:

The songs that are viral on TikTok are usually the same songs that are viral on Instagram Reels. You can use the same edit for both social media platforms. That’s called killing two birds with one stone! 

 

Bonus Tips:

• Don’t be afraid to cross-post the same content on all social media platforms – in fact, that’s what you need to do!

• Incorporate lifestyle content into your social media calendar. This helps you not come off as too “salesy”. 

• You don’t have to dance. When the TikTok craze first began, everyone was doing the same dances. If that’s your thing, go for it! But if not, that’s ok too. TikTok and Instagram Reels are not for dancers only. 

• Take 3-10 second video clips of everything. You can add multiple video clips to TikTok and add them together! This makes for great content. 

• Have fun – loosen up on camera! Show that you are relatable, someone who the viewer could be friends with in real life. Get on camera and talk about an embarrassing moment from your childhood that everyone can get a giggle out of!

 

https://about.instagram.com/features/reels

https://about.instagram.com/features/igtv

Categories
Business Digital Marketing

Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

The tumultuous year of 2020 caused a major shift in consumer behavior, buying tendencies, and online interactions. Businesses were forced to quickly pivot in their marketing strategies in order to stay relevant and continue to serve consumers.

As we move into a more hopeful 2021, businesses must consider what was learned last year and form new strategies based on current digital trends. Read below to learn some of the top digital marketing trends that will lead in 2021.

Short-Form Videos

Staying at home and increased levels of boredom has led to many people turning to short-form videos for entertainment. TikTok soared to the forefront in 2020 and is now the top preferred platform for Gen Z. This soon led to Facebook launching the new Instagram Reels to give consumers what they want.

With the increase of social media use of all ages, businesses have began to increase marketing budgets to these channels. In Q2 of 2020, social media accounted for nearly 25% of total marketing budgets, an increase of 13% in 2019.

Quick, catchy videos are taking over social media and are here to stay. This year, brands need to meet consumers where they are. If your business isn’t already investing in a creative video strategy, it’s time to get started!

Social Media Shopping

In 2021, social media is set to become a top channel for purchase, rather than just discovery. In recent years, Instagram has become increasingly used for shopping. And early last year, Instagram made a big switch to make social shopping even easier. The platform replaced the activity tab with a shopping tab, making Instagram shopping a simple click away.

A recent study found that 30% of consumers would shop directly through social media platforms. This year in 2021, it is crucial for businesses to use social media shopping as part of their e-commerce marketing strategy.

Virtual Events

While virtual events began out of necessity during the pandemic, they have proved to offer substantial ROI and increased accessibility. Companies discovered that going virtual allowed their event to reach a whole new audience. By eliminating the extra expenses and travel costs of an in-person event, many businesses experienced higher attendance and participation with online events.

The key to a successful virtual event is excellent content, great speakers and having fun in order to keep online viewers engaged. In 2021, virtual events will continue to be a top marketing trend for businesses to reach a large number of consumers where they are.

Categories
Business Digital Marketing

How Much Should Your Business Spend on Advertising?

Great advertising and marketing are crucial to the success of a business. In recent years, digital advertising has seen significant growth, making it more important than ever for companies to have a strong online strategy in place. So how much should your company spend on advertising and where should that money be invested?

What should be your budget?

The average marketing and advertising budget for a business is 10% of its gross revenue. However, advertising spend isn’t a one-size-fits-all equation. Determining the best advertising budget for your business depends on your industry, company size, company history, existing digital presence, and goals.

1. New Businesses

For first-year businesses, it takes more marketing capital to get off the ground. New businesses need to invest heavily in brand awareness to gain customer trust and a market voice. 

Percentage: 12-20%

Variables: Some industries are more competitive than others. It is crucial to conduct in-depth market research to understand your audience and competition. The level of competition will help you determine how much to spend in ad dollars.

2. Established Businesses

Percentage: 6-12%

Variables: Competiton and profit margin are two important factors for determining your advertising budget. The higher your profit margin, the more you can afford to spend on marketing and advertising. 

If you are a smaller company doing less than $5 million in sales, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending around 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing. 

Where should you invest your ad dollars?

To properly allocate your ad dollars and maximize your ROI, businesses must pay close attention to industry trends, competitors, and consumer behavior.

In 2019, over $100 billion was spent on search marketing, display advertising, social media, and email marketing. For the first time ever, digital marketing spend surpassed traditional advertising spend (TV, print, radio, etc.). While traditional advertising is still a relevant means of marketing, digital advertising is projected to continue to dominate in the coming years.

How should you spend in a recession?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause economic uncertainty in the United States, businesses need to remain calm and reframe from slashing their advertising budget.

During a recession, there is less competition and noise. While other businesses are quiet, your customers are more likely to hear your brand voice above the rest. In addition to this, less competition means cheaper ad costs. When the economy improves, your business can emerge as a market leader having acquired a substantial customer base at a lower cost.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time” -Henry Ford

Categories
Business Digital Marketing

How to Drive Quality Traffic to Your Website

Website traffic is an important indicator of business performance. It can help determine how well your marketing is working, gather insights about your audience, generate leads and increase conversions. To achieve this, it is important to make sure your business is driving traffic to your website the right way by focusing on attracting quality traffic.

There is no one set-it-and-forget-it tool that can be used to generate high-quality traffic. Instead, it requires the use of multiple channels, creative strategies, and close monitoring of website performance to determine what avenues are providing the best return for your business.

Social Media Ads


With over 3 billion active social media users around the world, it is a no-brainer for businesses to utilize this channel for driving traffic to their site. To maximize website traffic conversions in a crowded social media space, businesses must make sure their ads are seen by the right people.

Facebook Pixel is an extremely useful analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your social media advertising. By placing the pixel code from Facebook to your website, you can measure the actions taken on your site and tailor your ads to be more relevant to your audience.

Google Ads


From display ads to paid search, Google ads are a highly effective tool for driving traffic to your website. To attract quality traffic that converts, it is imperative to target high commercial intent keywords as part of your paid search strategy. While the competition for these search terms can be high (and often expensive), the payoff can be well worth it.

Re-Targeting Ads


Re-targeting ads are an excellent way to direct traffic back to your website to complete a conversion. These ads focus on people who have already visited your website but have left your site without completing a sale. Using re-targeting ads is a great way to aggressively market to those people via Google’s search engine and social media shortly after they have left your website.

Instagram Shoppable Posts


A recent study found that over 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product on the app. With such high engagement, Instagram has become a widely used channel for business promotion. Instagram has introduced a new feature for e-commerce stores to create what is called a ‘Shoppable Post.’ This gives businesses a way to tag images on Instagram with individual product links, making it easy followers to shop your website directly from your post.

On-Page SEO


If you think SEO is dead, think again. Optimizing your on-page website content for search engines is still a very valuable practice. To boost traffic organically, make sure you are making the most of meta descriptions, image alt text, and internal links to new content. It is also important that your content is captivating to users. All website blogs should include an enticing title that will pique readers’ interest. These on-page SEO strategies will help make your content more clickable, shareable, and even make it rank better in Google’s search engine results, ultimately increasing website traffic.

Categories
Digital Marketing eCommerce

The Key to Building a Profitable Ecommerce Website

The future of e-commerce is booming. In fact, e-commerce sales are forecasted to increase from 15% in 2020 to 25% in 2025. If you’ve been considering starting an e-commerce business, now is the time!

When it comes to building an online store, there are many important factors you must consider to ensure you are creating the best performing e-commerce website for your business.

In the video below, Spectruss showcases the key elements necessary for an outstanding, profitable e-commerce website.

Excited to start your e-commerce business yet?? We sure are. Read below to learn more about how you can make sure your e-commerce website is a success!

Platforms

The platform your ecommerce store is built on serves as the foundation for your business. In order to maximize your online success, it is crucial to choose a platform that best represents your overall business goals. We highly recommend building your e-commerce store with either Woo-Commerce or Shopify, depending on your unique business needs.

WooCommerce uniquely offers the capability to build on top of WordPress – which accounts for 60% of all content management systems. It also offers complete website control, source code ownership, and customization options that other platforms simply do not have. With over 3.8 million companies using the WooCommerce platform, it’s clear that this is the preferred choice.

For companies looking for a more affordable option, Shopify is the recommended platform. Businesses using Shopify are limited to the platform’s themes, plugins, credit card processing system, and hosting fees. Despite the limitations, this platform remains a good option for budget-friendly businesses looking to launch a store quickly.

Fully Responsive

Fully responsive means your site works seamlessly across all screen sizes, such as mobile, tablet and desktop. With over 50% of online transactions taking place on mobile devices, it’s crucial that your e-commerce store is optimized for mobile! Utilizing responsive design ensures that your customers will have a smooth user experience from start to finish, no matter which device they are shopping on.

Product Photography

Eye-catching, beautiful product photography is crucial for showcasing your merchandise online and grabbing the attention of your potential customers. The right lighting, positioning, and brand language makes all the difference!

PCI Compliance

Implementing PCI compliance on your ecommerce site ensures that all credit card transactions are secure. This alleviates you of any potential liability and builds trustworthiness with your potential customers.

Analytics

Gathering data from your website is extremely useful for increasing your online sales. As you begin driving traffic to your new site, it’s critical that you have proper analytics set up to help you understand your customers’ behavior. Measuring this data will help adjust the way you advertise, maximizing your your user traffic and online sales. If you don’t have tracking tools properly set up, you could miss out on huge business growth opportunity.

Ready to get started with an AWESOME e-commerce website? Our team at Spectruss would love to help!

Categories
Business Digital Marketing

Showcase Your Business Online

Yes, we are open and we are here for your business during this difficult and uncertain time. Our heart goes out to all of the doctors and nurses working tirelessly to fight this virus, the grocery store clerks and truck drivers working overtime to keep our shelves stocked, and the many businesses who have closed their doors in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

We believe your company can continue to prosper and your mission advance amidst this virus pandemic. During this time of social distancing, it is imperative that businesses adapt to serving their valued customers with digital options.

Now is the time to showcase your business online.

And we are here to help you do it.

If you don’t currently sell online, it’s time to start now. We can promote your products online with our flexible e-commerce platforms, giving you the ability to sell 24/7. Whether your business would benefit from platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Facebook Marketplace, our experienced team can provide you with online selling options that will continue sales and serve your valued customers from the comfort of their home.

During this current situation, we have seen a significant rise in digital advertising to drive sales online. If your business already sells online, it is more important than ever to implement advertising strategies that will increase your online visibility and drive traffic to your e-commerce website.

Whether your business needs an e-commerce website, digital advertising management, or council on next steps to take, our dedicated team of experts is here for you. Schedule a free consultation with us today!

Click HERE to get started!