There is a lot to online marketing, especially with giant platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In an industry that is constantly changing, you need to stay informed on the latest tools, trends, and tricks to make your advertising budget worth every penny.
It's January and if you're anything like our team, you've already made a huge list of New Year's resolutions and you are ready to build the perfect infrastructure to reach all of your goals. Don't overwhelm yourself, we are cheering you on from the sidelines. A new year and new goals are very exciting, but they can be a little scary too. What does 2020 look like for you and your company? Let's start this new year by focusing on one of the most important things you need to continue working on, and that is online social media ads. I can hear you groan through the computer screen! Don't worry - it can be very tricky to use every penny of your advertising budget wisely when Facebook and Instagram keep rolling out changes. But we are here to help. Today we are going to be talking about Pixels and why they are one of the most important tools you might not have heard about yet.
What is a Facebook Pixel you might ask? It is a code that you place on your website that collects data that helps you track who visits your website because of your Facebook ads. They help you optimize ads, and they help you build a target audience for future ads based on this information you've gathered. It can also help you market again to people who have already followed through with your call to action to visit your website. It is another important analytical tool that you need to add to your world and toolbox if you haven't already. The data that is collected gives you fresh insight on how you keep visitors returning to your site from your Facebook ads and they allow you to track what these visitors are doing on your website when they visit. They can help mold what kind of ad campaign you need to create for the best-optimized numbers and help you pick what demographic your Facebook ad needs to be shown towards. This tool can be located on the ads management page for your Facebook account, so keep your eyes open for it. In the long run, Pixels help you get the most out of your Facebook ad budget.
Let's break it down a little bit more. It physically works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and Facebook ads. What's the difference between a cookie and a pixel? Cookies are tiny pieces of text that store information on web browsers and enable Facebook to offer products to you when you are on Facebook. They are used to understand the information received from your website visitors and so on. Pixels, on the other hand, deliver information or behaviors to the server itself. Cookies store that information in the user's browser so the user can read and visit the information again in the future.
Beyond some of the benefits we listed above, what else can the use of Pixels do for you?
Pixels have become such a huge topic that there are tons of YouTube videos and other resources out there for you to learn more about them. So many in fact that we wanted to share a few of them with you. To learn more, follow the link's below to learn more via YouTube.
Here's to 2020 and continued learning. We are happy to share these tidbits of information with you, and are excited to hear back from you if you'd like to share! Until next time, stay caffeinated, driven, and ready to use social media like you never have before!
Small businesses, be warned! Two of the most important tools in your online marketing toolbox sound very similar but they are two VERY DIFFERENT tools. It's time to break down their differences and pick the right choice for you and your company.
Happy New Year Everyone! We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones, and you're just as excited as we are to jump into 2020! One of the biggest things we were focusing on before the holidays set in was the challenges, changes, and inconsistencies of online marketing across many social media platforms. If you spend as much time as we do studying and working with advertising on places like Facebook and Instagram, you are very familiar with the fact that it changes constantly. It's hard to keep up with each change and how it affects your advertisements daily. These advertisement tools can determine your business growth and popularity online, so if you don't understand the changes in trends or are unfamiliar with the tools available to you, you could be in serious trouble. One of the biggest things we have been digging into is Geofencing and Geotargeting. This behind the scenes marketing tool can make or break an advertisement campaign without even trying. The names look so familiar, they much basically be the same thing right? Wrong! Although they are connected, you need to understand their main differences. When you understand the differences, you will be able to choose which option is best for your company. The best choice will help you gain more customers, followers, and supporters. First off, let's get down to the definitions.
GEOFENCING: Geofencing is when you draw an actual virtual fence with a predetermined chosen radius. This is used to target and connect specific people in a certain area to your advertisement. It is known to be more accurate than geotargeting. It uses GPS to make sure the audience you have targeted is being tracked and followed based on the coordinates of where they are in that exact moment they're online. When this chosen group of people is online, geofencing collects data and studies how long this chosen group of customers stays within the virtual fence and if and when they come back. This tool helps improve the engagement of local customers for your company and it can help attract customers away from your competition. The disadvantage of geofencing is that it can only target audiences based on physical location. Hand-picking demographics and certain groups of people based on anything besides location have nothing to do with who sees your geofencing advertisement.
Who is the best for? If you are interested in advertising to populations of all interests and ages in your local area, then it is a perfect tool for your company.
GEOTARGETING: This tool is very similar to Geofencing at its base. It does draw the same invisible fence, BUT demographics are included in its makeup. You create your virtual fence, and then you pick who exactly (based on age, interest, gender, etc.) will see your ad. One of the main disadvantages is that you have to open up your advertisement geographic to a much larger area. You are being very specific about the type of people you want to see this add within a particular area So, to get as much of a result as you would with geofencing, the location needs to be larger to attract the same number of people in a geofencing situation.
Who is this best for? If you are interested in advertising to a very specific group of people inside a certain demographic or niche, then this is a perfect option for your company.
Spend time studying both options. I have just given you the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to using these tools, and there is a lot to dig into when choosing which to use. Understand how each could affect your company for the better or worse. Spend time understanding the consumers you have and those you're trying to attract. This might be the perfect opportunity to step back and define your company and who you want to serve. If you have the time and the means, experiment with both and see which outcome is best. But make sure to decide on one in the end, stick with it, and plan your advertising campaign accordingly. The work put into this decision could lead to a more dedicated consumer base and a fast conversion rate. All of us social media people love to see those numbers jump high and jump quick!
Here is to an exciting 2020, we can't wait to build a better business world with you one day at a time!
It's beginning to feel and look a lot like the holidays around our office here at Creative Consulting! With the year coming so quickly to an end, we wanted to help you start 2020 on the best foot possible with your social media platforms! The end of the year doesn't mean it's time for your social media to take a break! If anything, it's time to start planning ahead. We are going to be sharing the top three reasons why it is so important to plan ahead of time for your social media marketing!
We have been thinking about some of the best tools to share with you for your social media marketing as this year comes to an end. This idea got me thinking about the tools that consistently help us the most. There were so many tools and tips we could share with you, but when it came down to it, the most important tool and tactic is planning ahead of time! It keeps you organized and saves time, keeps you on brand and in the know, and helps keep your growth consistent! We will be exploring each of these topics and why planning ahead can help your company prosper and flourish. As we wrap up 2019 and settle into the rest of the holiday season, we want to talk about why planning your social media ahead of time for 2020 is so important and necessary!
Just like us, we know that you're starting or have already sat down to plan for 2020 and to create your budget. During these planning sessions, did you know the first thing that almost always gets cut is the budget and time for social media marketing? This should be just as shocking to read as it is the truth. Before you start getting overwhelmed with your planning and budgeting, take a deep breath. Think again about cutting your budget and time for your social media platforms.
It Will Always Save You Time
Planning and thinking ahead will always save you more time. Saving time creates more opportunities to create and grow within your company, allows you and your employees to get more work done, and helps you make more money. Isn't that a perfect foot to start the new year on? This all begins by starting a social media calendar and planning out a month ahead at a time. Sit down towards the end of the month and start planning for the month ahead. Plan and make note of what's coming up for the company that you want to share, what opportunities or deals you're going to have, what holidays are coming up, and what trends are featured in the month ahead of you. Each of these topics will help you plan out your posts and help you create them. This will help eliminate the "um...I don't know what to post today" moments and get rid of any creation/writer's block. This also gives you the time and opportunity to pop in and add or change content that has been created so it reflects real-time actions or events. To help you with this process, once you've planned and created all of your upcoming posts, it might be time to invest in a posting program. These programs let you load up the days, weeks, or month's worth of content in one sitting, schedule what times they need to be posted and on what platform, and it does the rest of the work for you. When the end of the month comes, you won't be overwhelmed or unprepared to plan and create for the next month ahead of you. If you can get into this cycle, it will naturally become apart of your workflow!
Staying Relevant, in the Know, and On Brand
If you're not sitting down with your marketing team and planning out what's happening within your company and using your social media platforms to show that off, you can get into some big trouble. It is very likely that your social media posts and ads (if you even take the time to post them) are going to sound and feel rushed, stale, and have an inconsistent voice. This is a subconscious turn off for your followers and potential future followers and customers. Creating posts and posting this way becomes frustrating and annoying, and feels like it's taking up more time than it actually is. This is when social media gets marched up to the chopping block and sliced away. Part of your best marketing strategy is creating your brand and voice. If you lose either of these, your company loses its uniqueness and credibility. If you spend time sitting down and planning ahead, your voice can stay consistent and your brand will remain well nurtured.
Communication is key with your followers, their world, and the world around you. Staying well informed with what the latest trends and pop culture references are can help you build some amazing and fun content. It can also help you gain more followers and customers. Being able to create this kind of content takes time and planning to successfully execute. You need to stay on top of what's coming and what's relevant to pull off this content and this kind of connection. This will also help you stay ahead of your competition, too. If you are time-sensitive about your posts and aware of what's happening, you can stay consistent with your buyers and customers. This will help you keep a consistent growth in followers and traffic to your platforms.
Moving Forward and Growing
Planning ahead also helps you see how successful you've been in the past. Is that confusing? Planning means keeping track of what you've done in the past and helps you stay ready for what's to come. If you successfully stay organized and keep track of what social media posts you've had in the past, there is a ton of information to learn there. You can monitor and see what the most successful types of posts have been, know what types of posts to avoid, see which ads have been the most successful, and it helps you really learn about your target audience. With this knowledge you can create the best posts possible, know when the best times to post are, and how to reach your target audience. It also allows you to study the best ways to stay in communication with your followers and make time to remain in contact with them.
Don't let the stress of your social media platforms ruin your holidays! Take the time to plan ahead and you will be able to enjoy the holidays for many years to come. From all of us at Creative Consulting we wish you a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a wonderful New Year! We will see you next decade!
We are back at it again, finishing up our blog about how and why Instagram can be such a wonderful tool for you and your company!
“Content is the reason search began in the first place.” - Lee Odden
I just love this quote - because, during this whole process of really digging into Instagram more than we usually do on an everyday basis, it was fun to go searching. It's so fun to think of the people who are interested in our clients going on a mission and searching for what they can offer them. It's a modern-day scavenger hunt that makes all that screen time worth it at the end of the day!
Welcome back to the blog, I hope you've been doing well since our last post. Being excited about turkey day and spending time with family, I have been making the most of my working hours before that vacation starts. It's been fun to come back and work on this two-part blog series - and I can't wait to pick up where we left off and share with you some more tips and hints on how Instagram can give you and your company a serious boost!
There you have it! There is so much to Instagram, that this could turn into a ten-part blog. But I want you to find your groove with the help of these last two blog posts and see where that takes you. Social media is constantly changing, you just need to find out what works for you. Most of all, don't be afraid of it and give it the time it deserves. If you don't have that time, that's where we come in! Don't hesitate to give us a call or visit our website. We love our social media at Creative Consulting and love to talk about it! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Stay caffeinated and we will see you next time!
Hello again everyone! I hope you all are having a great week and a fantastic pre-Thanksgiving November.
First, let’s take a quick second to recap the second part of this five-part series.
If you haven’t read the first or second part, please do so now. Don’t worry I’ll wait. Just click here
When we last left our marketing/business plan for 2020, we had partially set up our daily goals by calculating our close rate. Don’t forget at anytime, if you start feeling overwhelmed, I can always meet with you in person or over the phone and answer any questions you have!
Today we are talking about your Impression Conversion Rate or your ICR. ICR is the amount of people that you have to talk to, have to see your business, or have to be told about your business to want to gain more information.
In online marketing this is mainly used to denote the amount of people that have to see your ad or post before clicking on it to want to learn more about your business. Marketing professionals have to also factor in click through rates and other percentages before they can figure out the exact impression conversion rate, but for the sake of this lesson we are trying to figure out the overall ICR - so don’t worry about that until you call us for help on next week’s lesson.
Across all industries in the US, the ICR is 2.35% which means to get one person to actually pay attention to your business you have to get in front of 43 people. Now again, let me be clear that DOES NOT MEAN that if your social media ad has 43 impressions that you should have gotten a phone call. Once click through rates are added in, it is more likely to be around 4,300 impressions but like I said this isn’t about marketing yet. This is about you.
So to finish out our example from before, if your goal is to get one new client a week. You need to set up four meetings. To set up those four meetings you will need to get in front of 172 new people per week. So, drum roll please……..
This means working Monday through Friday that you need to talk to a total of 35 new people every day about your business. Please note this is the amount based on the example above not what you or your company should do. Your numbers should be different based on your goals from the previous lesson.
“Stephen, that isn’t possible. There is no way with everything else I have to do each day that I can talk to that many people per day.”
I completely understand but don’t worry, you don’t have to do this alone. You do however have a choice to make. Either you are going to do it by yourself and you may need to readjust your goal (see I told you last week) or you will have to sit down with a marketing firm (I know a great one you can contact by clicking here) and decide what you will be responsible for bringing in and what your marketing should be helping to bring in.
Please also understand that this doesn’t just mean your online marketing but all of your business’ marketing.
Pretty simple right? Fantastic! As long as you're still with me, tune in next week as we take your and your marketing’s daily goal and create a daily actionable plan to achieve that goal.
As always this has been Stephen Slappey, owner of Creative Consulting. The #1 Marketing Firm for Graphic Design, Social Media, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization. Have a great day!
We've talked about how to use social media and other online tools to better your business and not to shy away from them. They are there waiting for you, so use them! Instagram has become one of the biggest platforms to build your business today. Do you know all the tools and options this budding business tool has to offer?
"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."
Happy November friends! How excited are you that Thanksgiving is almost here? The turkey is on its way, but it's not quite time to relax just yet. The holidays are an incredibly busy time for any company, ours included. Don't get overwhelmed with this, instead ride the wave of the good it can do for your company. I discovered this quote while working on our first blog of the month, and I thought it was the perfect food for thought before we settle into our big Thanksgiving plates. We are so focused on creating a brand, that it's so easy to forget about the powerful tools that are at our fingertips waiting to be taken advantage of. They are there to make your company and brand stronger than you could ever imagine. What is even crazier to think about, a lot of these tools are free! That's right - FREE! There is something to be said about the adage that you do need to spend money to make money. But when there are moments to save money and still help your company grow - take them! This is why our next two blogs will be focused on tips on how to use Instagram to build your business into a powerful platform one day at a time! This is a holiday gift from us to you, and we are happy to share what we know!
Are you getting as excited as we are about Instagram? It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with apps that you use as part of your advertising goals, but if you spend the time getting to know them, it'll be worth it. Enjoy these tips for now, but don't worry, there are more coming. Until next time friends, stay safe, caffeinated and excited about your company!
Part 2 - Your Daily Goal
Hello again everyone!
I hope you all are having a great week and a fantastic pre-thanksgiving November.
First, let’s take a quick second to recap the first part of this five-part series.
If you haven’t read the first part, please do so now. Don’t worry I’ll wait.
Just click below!
Now when we last left our marketing/business plan for 2020, we had set our ( most likely going to be changed) yearly goal. We identified our busiest and slowest seasons, used math (sorry for putting you through that), and broke our yearly goal up into monthly goals based on the ebbs and flows of our year. We then left it off by breaking our goal even further down from a monthly goal to a weekly goal. Everything fresh in your mind? Great! Let’s move on to the next part.
Don’t forget at anytime, if you start feeling overwhelmed, I can always meet with you in person or over the phone and answer any questions you have!
You can contact me via:
Your daily goal should encompass everything that you (key word # 1) AND your marketing (key word #2) should be trying to reach together (key word # 3) to make sure that statistically you are doing everything you need to so you can reach your weekly, monthly, and yearly goal. So how do we know what our daily goal should be? Well, first we need to understand what our close rate and impression conversion rate is. For this year, both of these percentages will most likely be guesses, as you won’t have the hard data that you need to accurately plan. In the last part of this series I will outline the important information that you need to record. Not just personally but to hold your marketing firm accountable for their part as well. For today we are going to touch on the first part, the close rate.
For those of you not in sales, your close rate is the amount of meetings you have to go to before you close a new client. You may hear people boast about excessively high close rates but don’t worry, this isn’t about raising your close rate, it is about understanding it. If your close rate is lower, then you think it should be, however, let me give you a little pick me up.
A lion, one of the world’s most amazing predators and touted as the world’s best hunter, has a close rate of 25% so if you have better than that good for you! Hopefully you know where I am going with this. Your daily goal must factor into all of the meetings you are going to have before you actually close a sale. So, as an example, let’s say your weekly goal is one new client a week. If you are using the close rate of a lion of 25%, you have to attend four meetings a week to reach your goal.
Now we are done right? Not quite - because now you have to decipher and understand impression conversion rate. But that is for next week.
Pretty simple right? Fantastic! As long as you're still with me, tune in next week as we take you and your marketing’s daily goal to the next stage as we discuss your ICR or your Impression Conversion Rate. As always this has been Stephen Slappey, owner of Creative Consulting. The #1 Marketing Firm for Graphic Design, Social Media, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization. Have a great day!
Stephen Slappey, CO & Sales Manager
Setting The Wrong Goal
As this year comes to a close, we set our sights on 2020. So how do you prepare for this new year? I hear people all the time say “Next year, is going to be my year! I am going to kill it in business!!!” I always ask them the same questions. “What is your plan?” Which they respond with “I’m going to work harder.”
Let’s go ahead and add the car screeching noise here; If you don’t have an actionable plan, the chances of you succeeding are slim to none. “Stephen,” I hear you asking, “How do I even start planning?” Over the next month and a half, I will be explaining the process in just enough detail to make you confused and need to call me for the answers.
This marketing plan is for people that have never made one before. If you have already made a marketing plan, utilize the data you’ve gathered from it and see if this strategy works better for you than your current one.
First of all, you need to know what you are striving for. What is your goal for next year? Make it a stretch goal. Something that you think you can achieve but it would be tough for you. Just a note, you will most likely be changing this goal many times throughout the process- hence the name of part one. Now we move on to the math. If you hate math, you may want to just admit defeat now and give me a call so that I can help.
Phone a friend or email a friend!
Still with me? Ok! Let’s do math!
Once you have your goal set, think about what six-months out of the year you are the busiest. Next, what three months are you the slowest and what three months are kind of up in the air.
During the six-month time frame when you are the busiest, divide 2/3rds of your yearly goal as evenly as possible within the six months. Take the final 1/3rd and put 40% of it in your slowest month. That’s right, presence of fractions - I told you.
Lastly take the left over 60% of the final 1/3rd (I’m doing this on purpose to see how bad you want it) and put them into the middle three months. You now have your monthly goals for each month of 2020.
Don’t worry only one more step to go. Now that you have your monthly goals, just divide them as evenly as possible into four and so that you now have your weekly goals for each week of next year.
Pretty simple right? Fantastic! As long as you’re still with me, tune in next week where we will take all of the information you set up today and we break it down into a daily actionable plan.
As always this has been Stephen Slappey, owner of Creative Consulting. The #1 Marketing firm for Graphic Design,Social Media, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization. Have a great day!
It's here! It's here! Halloween and Fall fun is officially here in Summerville, and we want to help you enjoy the fun! Check out these fun local events and have a fun and safe spooky week!
We mentioned in our last blog how much we LOVE fall and any excuse to drink as much fall-flavored coffee as possible. So I'm sure you can guess how excited we are to finally get out our costumes, carve our pumpkins, and eat a few spooky pieces of candy! There have already been so many fun fall activities to do around Summerville, that it's been hard to keep up with all of them. But before the month ends, we wanted to share some of the best activities coming up in Summerville to enjoy before we hit November!
The Trick or Treat Dance!
This spooky fun evening will be in Hutchinson Square this Thursday, October 31st from 4 PM to 8 PM, actually on Halloween this family-friendly trick or treat event has fun for all! Select merchants will be providing candy to costumed trick or treaters. Even more exciting, Millie Lewis Charleston has organized a GITUP Flash Mob party throughout the evening! To be apart of the Flash Mob, make sure to attend the dance rehearsal at Millie Lewis in Summerville on 10/24 at 7 PM. You will have five chances to dance throughout the evening. This year, this fun event is hosted by Hanebrink Jewelers!
For more information about the event and to learn more about Millie Lewis, please check out the links below!
80's Halloween Bash
This fun adult-only (18 and older!) 80's bash is one of a kind party! Channel your inner White Snake and Madonna this Thursday, October 31st from 6 PM to 11 PM at the Music In Motion Family Fun Center! Make sure to come in your best 80's costume, prizes will be awarded for the best dressed, the most neon, biggest hair, shoulder pads, and fanny packs! Wings and your choice of skates are included in the price of admission. This is going to totally be a rad bash!
For more information, visit their Facebook Page!
Trick or Treat in the Park!
A classic fun event on Thursday, October 31st and offers safe and spooky fun for the whole family! From 4 PM to 6 Pm at Hampton Park, cars decorated by the city departments, local businesses, and other organizations will be handing out candy to costumed trick or treaters. It is a very safe alternative for going trick or treating for many families, and will be even more fun than walking door to door! The event is free, and there will also be hayrides, jump castles, games, crafts, and much more! Come dressed in your best Halloween Costume to have some super fun! This year Trick or Treat in the Park will be hosted by the city of Charleston Recreation Department, and you will find the fun near the lagoon!
For more information, visit their Facebook Page!
No matter what you decide to do for Halloween, stay safe and have fun! Please feel free to share your fun pictures and stories with us, we always love to hear them!!
Are you using all of the social media tools that are waiting at your fingertips? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and the like might be frustrating. But once you dedicate time to any of them, you'll find a plethora of amazing advertising tools that you can use for free. You just have to keep looking and find what works for you.
Hello friends! We've made it to fall, and we can't surround ourselves more with pumpkin spice and everything spooky. This week's blog will be focusing on the benefits of using Facebook groups for your small business. I can feel the perpetual eye roll, I understand that Facebook can be a beast to use and an even bigger beast to advertise on. But it's a fact of life that you need it, and if you give it enough time this tool can help you and your company grow in new and exciting ways. But you can't just create something and not nourish it. Creating a Facebook group and just letting it sit there is not the end all be all that will allow your company to grow and flourish without putting a little effort into it. You have to put work into it like you would any other part of your business. I'm sure that you know, that any business no matter the size, needs to have a strong presence on social media. This can all be rooted, cultivated, in a well-loved and well designed Facebook group.
A Facebook group gives you a human connection and removes that big box store feeling and disconnect from your customers. It is a reminder that there is a living breathing human working behind the computer screen. As a business owner, you need to constantly have a presence that's engaging, real, and driven towards your target audience. Thankfully, even though there are some elements of business when running a Facebook group, it can take away the pressure Facebook can put on a business and help create an engaging platform without pushing too hard.
We hope you walk away from this blog with a better opinion of Facebook and how to use the tools it offers. Don't be afraid to use them, your following and target audience is there waiting for you. Don't lose out on a wonderful way of communicating, connecting, and promoting who you are as a person and a business!