How to Build an Audience on Social Media

By now you’re probably well-aware of why social media is important for your business. It’s been proven to increase brand awareness and enable user engagement. But now that you’re on social media, how do you actually build that audience and develop quality engagement? We have a few basic tips:

Define your target audience.
Every business has a target market, and you will notice the best results when you cater to them. Analyze your page insights on regular basis. Which topics ignite the most reactions? Understand who your audience is on each platform, and tailor your content to them.

It’s not about you. It’s about them.
Build relationships. What’s in it for your followers? You may serve as an educational tool, offer regular promotions, provide insight into your organization or simply dish out entertainment. Whatever it may be, show people why your page is worth their time and newsfeed space.

Use images and videos … a lot. 
A block of text can go unnoticed, but quality eye-catching images will not. Think about what’s going to stand out in a newsfeed. Use videos, infographics, images, coupons, etc. Check out free tools like Unslpash and Pexels to utilize free, modern stock photography, and easily customize with Canva. Or hire a professional who can provide you with custom videos, photos and graphics formatted with social media in mind.

If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.
Recognize the fine line between regular, quality content and spam. If you don’t have anything relevant or entertaining to say, don’t feel the need to post anything at all. If you find yourself desperate for content, then consider asking your fans pertinent questions; people love voicing their opinions, knowing they’ll be heard.

Offer regular incentives.
Your followers will want to stay updated with your page if you provide regular deals, promotions, contests and giveaways. Give them an incentive to engage with your page and share with their friends. It’s a great way to not only gain followers and engagement, but also to see who’s really interested in your business.

Keep your page updated and well-manicured.
Make sure you have profile and cover photos that best illustrate your organization, and keep them up-to-date. Don’t overflow your page with the same types of posts. Give a promotion here, share a link there, sprinkle in pictures from your office events, etc. Keep your page interactive and interesting.

Utilize Grassroots Marketing
Focus some of your marketing on small niche audiences in an unconventional, personal or intriguing way. There are many ways you can ask people to follow you on social media. This may include employing a street team, offering referral incentives, providing an educational class, inviting a select group to test out your product, etc.

Try paid social advertising. 
Because everyone is on social media these days, user engagement can be tough to grab. Paid social ads not only help you to build a custom following, but also to engage with your audience. Just make sure you have a good strategy in place.

As always, we’re happy to assist! Contact us today for more information.

6 Reasons to Consider Google AdWords

By now, most people are aware of Google AdWords and the difference between paid and organic search listings. The question that remains is whether or not AdWords is right for you and your business at this time. Here are just a few reasons we recommend considering it:

  1. Quick Results
    Organic SEO can take some time. With AdWords, your name can appear at the top of the search engine instantly. This is especially helpful for startup businesses. Though organic SEO a necessity for your website, Google AdWords can give your name and services a quick boost to start driving in traffic and leads.
  2. You decide your monthly budget.
    AdWords is designed to work around your advertising wants and needs. You tell it how much or how little you’re willing to spend. AdWords will recommend when your campaigns are limited by their monthly budget, but beyond that pressure is not applied. Google doesn’t need you to continue increasing your budget like many other platforms do.
  3. It’s highly customizable, without added cost.
    From simple search ads to dynamic retargeting campaigns displaying your rotating inventory feed, you’re free to customize and build upon your ads as much as you’d like, without hidden or additional fees. Even within basic campaigns, you have the opportunity to easily customize and cover more real estate with “ad extensions” (i.e. your telephone number, address, links to additional pages on your website, calls-to-action and more).
  4. Google likes to help.
    Within the platform you can analyze various impression share metrics (i.e. how often your ad wasn’t shown due to budget, low Ad Rank, etc.) and use the ad preview tool to identify whether or not  your ads are showing and why. Additionally, AdWords will recommend keywords or budget adjustments to help with your campaigns and keep them up-to-date. You can take these or leave them – no pressure involved (unless there’s a mandatory update to the AdWords community as a whole).
  5. It’s transparent.
    Once you’ve created your ad campaigns, you get to watch them work on a daily basis and you’ll have the ability to figure out your ROI quickly. You can see how many people are seeing your ads, clicking them, placing phone calls and more. You’ll be able to see which search terms people are using to find your services, where they’re searching from and how long they stayed on your site after clicking your ad – all of which can lead to a better understanding of your customer base. Really the only thing AdWords hides is each user’s actual identity (no contact information), in order to protect the public.
  6. Your competitors are using it.
    Your customers are searching for your services on Google more than any other search engine out there. Even if your website is performing well organically, your competitors can still buy out your name and beat you to the top of the search page. If you have the ability in your marketing budget, this is a big reason we recommend considering AdWords.

If you just don’t have the time to put into it, or you’d like to know more, we’d love to help. Shoot us an email at for more information.

Tier Advertising Explained, as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

What is a “tier” in terms of automotive advertising? It’s a layered approach often consisting of 3 levels: national, regional and local.

According to Matt Muilenburg, Cobalt’s vice president of enterprise marketing solutions for the auto industry, all tiers needs to coordinate a consistent message. However, mixing the national factory brand with the message of the local dealer can be tricky. On one hand, not linking the messages effectively can lead to a loss in business for one dealer. On the other hand, having too close of a link might dilute the local brand which could then lead to a loss in business for yet another dealer.

When there are multiple locations of one brand within a single DMA (Designated Market Area), the local dealer will naturally want to separate itself from the competition.

So what does a tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 advertising look like? Check out these examples:

Tier 1 Automotive: Chevrolet National Ad

Tier 2 Automotive: Chevrolet Regional Ad

Tier 3 Automotive: Local Chevrolet Dealership Ad

If you are an automotive dealer looking for an agency with a solid grasp on tier marketing, we here to assist. Start a conversation with us today.

5 Ways Your Website May Be Underselling You

Think of your website as a living, breathing resume to the world. We all know how important it is to make that one piece of paper stand out from the rest.  In the same way, a strong website is foundational for business opportunity and growth.

Not too long ago, I was asked to proofread a friend’s resume. Her credentials were great, but the few issues I did find were the same we often see with poorly designed websites. So even though she was a prime candidate, her resume would likely blend in with the rest and get lost in the mix. Here’s why:

1. Silent Name / Header
Even though her name was bolded and centered at the top of the page (like most), my eyes skimmed right over it. Her title was too small and got lost in the monotony of words and lack of color. Think about it. Do people understand where they are when they reach your site? Does your name stand out enough to for them remember it? This obviously falls in line with strong branding as well, but make sure your name and headline leave a footprint in the viewer’s mind.

2. Too Wordy
I’m not a big reader. So for me to receive a three-page resume full of chunky paragraphs was not exactly fun. My friend had a lot to offer, but would employers be able to give her the same time of day I could? Probably not. Chances are your audience is looking for a quick, comprehensive run-down of your company. You need to find the perfect balance of worthy content, education and SEO-rich keywords.

3. Dull Structure
The effort was there – she bolded a few words, justified her paragraphs and provided line spacing, but her content was neither easy to read nor pleasing to the eye. She needed to utilize bullet points, condense her content, throw in some color, increase a few font sizes …  anything to show she put in time to stand out from her competitors. In the same way, make sure your web content illustrates all of the important aspects of your business and how you stand out from the rest.

4. No References
We all know how important references are when you don’t have some sort of “in” with the company you’re applying to. Often the best way to show how reliable, hardworking and skillful you are is to have others voice it for you.  My friend had no reference letters or contacts – not even that “references upon request line” (which by the way, doesn’t cut it). Likewise, it is so important for your audience to see positive reviews, testimonials, clientele or case studies somewhere on your site.

5. No Call to Action (CTA)
While she did provide contact information, there was no push for further review. I encouraged her to provide a link to her portfolio or LinkedIn profile to offer a next step for employers who are interested in learning more before contacting her. The same goes for any website. Your contact information is essential, but so are other next-step opportunities (newsletter sign-ups, chat windows, free trials, etc.).  Check out this article by Hubspot for a list of great CTA ideas.

Take the time to do a quick review your website and make sure it’s serving you well. A few simple tweaks may be all you need. As always, our team is here to help. Feel free to contact us today.

10 Commonly Misused Words & Phrases

We all know “spell check” isn’t the most reliable form of proofing, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 commonly-misused words and phrases you may want to look out for. Don’t worry, we’re all guilty.

 1. Irregardless
As legitimate as it may sound, irregardless is simply not a word. Adding that “ir” in front of the word makes it a double negative. Regardless, we still have the term regardless.

2. I could care less
In the heat of the moment, many people tend to say, “I could care less!” However, if you could care less, then that means you do care a little bit. If you don’t care one bit, then you couldn’t care less.

3. Hone in
To hone means to sharpen or improve. You can hone a skill, but you don’t typically hone in on something. To home in means to draw closer or refine.

4. For all intensive purposes
Actually, it’s for all intents and purposes. This means “for all practical purposes” or “virtually.”

5. Suppose to
To suppose means to assume or presume. You’re not suppose to do all of your homework tonight, you’re supposed to do it.

6. Should, Would or Could of
People tend to flippantly use these terms, but it’s not that you should, would or could of been more careful, it’s that you should, would or could have.

7. Hunger pains
When you’re very hungry, it can be painful; but that term to describe the contractions of an empty stomach is hunger pangs. Weird, I know.

8. Another thing coming
In reality, the correct usage of this phrase is, “You’ve got another think coming.” It’s been shortened by the actual saying, “If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming!”

9. [To make] a complete 360
To say you made a complete turnaround, is to say you made a complete 180. If you made a complete 360, then you’d be in the exact same place you started, meaning you hadn’t changed at all.

10. Toward, Afterwards, Anyways
Simply put, none of these words should end with an “s.” The correct usage would be, “Anyway, let’s head toward the entrance afterward.”

Why Sponsorship Advertising Works

Throughout the past few years, we’ve seen Coca-Cola pick up sponsorships for the Olympic Games, NASCAR, March Madness, BET Network, iTunes, AMC Theaters and many more. You may think this world-renown brand would have no need to sponsor so many different things – or perhaps they just have that much expendable dough! But Coca-Cola didn’t come this far without strategic advertising, and I’d be willing to bet they’re not interested in throwing money at the dirt.

Sponsorship advertising is a great way to improve your brand’s image, boost visibility and supplement to your marketing plan.

The idea behind sponsorships is to create associative imagery so that your target audience associates your brand with something they’ve invested interest in.

The key to forming a successful sponsorship is strategic research and messaging. Find whatever it is your audience is passionate about (and will provide enough reach), then use that sponsorship to improve their experience with you. Don’t start sponsoring everything willy-nilly. Rather, focus your attention on potential sponsorships that are associated with your target demographic—otherwise, you’ll run the risk of wasteful spending.

Finally, make sure your beliefs and principles line up with whatever (or whomever) you decide to sponsor. If you’d like more information or guidance on sponsorship advertising, we’d love to help.

Pathos in Advertising

One of the first things you learn in any speech class is the importance of pathos. Pathos is one of the main three rhetorical strategies in persuasive speaking, along with ethos and logos. Each device represents a necessary part of persuasive speaking: credibility (ethos), reason (logos) and emotion (pathos). Of the three, pathos is the most powerful. It can be seen in Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, in the romantic declarations of every chick-flick, and, oddly enough, in Beats by Dre’s commercial/short film, “The Game before the Game.”

It begins with soccer player Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. receiving an inspirational phone call from his father before a match, then goes on to show other prominent professionals preparing for their matches—walking into the locker room, warming up, repeating pre-game superstitions, taping up injuries – and of course, they’re doing this while listening to music with their Beats headphones.

Next, we see brief flashes of fans from across the world partaking in their own pre-game superstitions, like a Dutch man putting on orange wooden shoes, a woman painting her face in team colors, a group of guys having drinks at the pub, etc.

This strategy is brilliant. Instead of beating you over the head with their product, Beats fits its products seamlessly and organically into the background of these powerful and emotional scenes. There are few things that get people from around the world emotionally involved as much as soccer does—even if you have no interest in soccer, you can’t watch this without getting goosebumps. Pure pathos.

Instead of trying to justify why you should buy their headphones, Beats by Dre immerses you into this powerful community, showing how vital its products are to your favorite athlete’s lifestyles.

Of course, other rhetorical devices can be useful when advertising your product or service too. But if you want to get customers to love your brand, rather than just like it or need it, consider pathos.

Reach out to us if you’d like to get some campaign ideas rolling. We love this stuff!