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Should I Do My Own Marketing

January 5th, 2016
Posted by - admin

One question we hear often from entrepreneurs and business owners is “should I do my own marketing?” Our response is very simply: “It depends.”

Every business is different, with different needs, resources, personnel, and circumstances. Each of these plays an important role in whether or not a business should be doing their own marketing, or if they should be seeking outside help. To help you make this decision, let’s start by considering the below questions:

  • Do you or anyone on your team have experience with marketing?
  • Have you or anyone else done any marketing for your business? If so, what has been successful, and what hasn’t?
  • What does your marketing plan look like? When’s the last time you reviewed or updated it?
  • What are your marketing goals, strategies, and tactics?
  • Do you or your team have time to dedicate to marketing research, content creation, competitor analysis, and monitoring?
  • Who are your target audiences?
  • What communications channels are you using to connect with current and potential customers and clients?

How you answered these questions can help you determine whether or not you should be doing your own marketing. If you have the experience, knowledge, skills, time, and desire to marketing your business yourself, there’s little reason to seek outside help.

However, if you found these questions confusing or daunting, you should probably consider working with an expert to meet your marketing needs.

Can I Just Learn It As I Go?

As a business owner there are some things you can pick up as you go through experience or training, and it can be tempting to do this with your marketing. However, in order for your marketing to be successful, there are a number of things you need to do well from the beginning. This includes in-depth market research, effective competitor analysis, a strong understanding of communications channels, high-quality messaging development, and an ability to evaluate the success of your marketing efforts.

Doing each of these well takes years of training and experience, even for those who do it full time. Plus, with seemingly daily changes in the world of social media, search engine optimization, and online marketing, it can be hard to keep track of everything you should be doing.

It is possible to learn as you go, but it will be extremely difficult and your business may suffer because of it. Instead, you may want to consider working with an agency.

But I Don’t Have the Money to Pay for an Agency

We work with a lot of companies that don’t feel they have a lot of capital available for marketing. It’s perfectly fine to start small and expand as you go. You don’t necessarily have to hit the ground running with an exhaustive marketing plan that includes online advertising, social media, public relations, blogging, etc. Instead, start with the most important activities and add more along the way.

The key here is knowing which marketing tactics will best help your business now, and which can wait. When deciding where to start, we recommend connecting with a marketing professional – someone who’s familiar with current marketing practices and opportunities – who can guide you along a path to success.

Find the Best Solution For Your Business

Your business is unique, so the decision you make about your marketing should be centered on your current situation, expertise, resources, and time. Ultimately, we recommend one of three routes:

  1. Do the marketing yourself or assign to a member of your team – this path works best if you are confident in your knowledge and skills about marketing your business, and if you can dedicate the necessary time. We would caution not to choose this option based on ease, as it can end up hurting your business in the long run.
  2. Hire an agency to help you do your marketing – working with an agency can greatly benefit your marketing efforts, but only if the agency you choose has the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources to help you achieve your goals. One of the biggest benefits to working with an agency is having access to multiple people with various skills, from social media, to design, to web development.
  3. Hire an in-house marketing expert – if you feel your needs would be best served having a marketing person on staff, this may be your best choice. Having someone in the office can be a big benefit, as long as they have the skills, talent, and knowledge to help your business grow.

If you have any questions about your marketing, or would like help knowing which route to choose to meet your marketing needs, we’re happy to help. Feel free to contact Britt Loyd or Boston Blake at 501-372-0393.

 

 

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Does My Business Need Marketing?

November 10th, 2015
Posted by - admin

It’s surprising how many company owners and managers we talk to who admit to us that they don’t do any marketing, or that if they do it’s haphazard at best. When we ask them why, their responses usually have to do with limited time or budget, or not knowing where to start.

Every once in a while we’ll meet a business owner who doesn’t think he or she needs any type of marketing, especially if their business is finding success. However, what these folks often don’t know is that with marketing, they could be even more successful than they are now. Additionally, marketing can help maintain current success, and help businesses navigate the ever-changing market landscape around them.

Marketing is About Relationships and Trust

At its core, marketing is about building relationships with people who are interested in purchasing or using a business’s products or services. If that relationship breaks down, those people will go somewhere else. And in most industries, there is no shortage of competitors.

Additionally, strong marketing builds trust among customers and audiences for a company and brand. However, this is only true when companies abide by marketing best practices and provide reliable, honest information in their marketing.

Marketing helps business leaders find the people who most need their products or services, and communicate to those people why they should select their company over the competition. But it’s not just a one-way street. Marketing, when done correctly, can provide valuable information to help a company grow and succeed for many years and decades to come.

Yes, Your Business Needs Marketing

So ultimately, yes, your company should be doing marketing. However, that doesn’t mean you should just start throwing money into billboards, social media, and brochures willy-nilly. Instead, you need to start with a well-researched and devised plan that will properly guide your marketing efforts so you’re getting the best results for the effort or capital you put in.

That plan will have many parts, but they will all work together to help find the most successful approach to marketing for your business. There will almost definitely be a learning curve and period of trial and error where you discover marketing methods that don’t work, but with a plan in place, you’ll be able to make adjustments and scrap anything that’s not providing a healthy return. On the flip side, you’ll also discover the aspects of your marketing that are successful, and can expand those as needed to enhance your results.

The Right Plan for Your Business

With the right marketing plan in place, you’ll be able to find the best opportunities to promote your products and services to the right audiences who are anxious to purchase and use them. Additionally, you’ll have a working knowledge of the market landscape and your competitors, which will give you the competitive edge among current and potential customers. And finally, your plan will provide you a road map that will guide your efforts toward growth and success for many years to come, giving you long-term confidence in your business efforts.

When it comes to doing marketing, you basically have three options available:

  1. Work with a marketing agency or individual with the right marketing skills and experience
  2. Hire a marketing specialist in-house to handle all your marketing needs
  3. Let your sister’s friend’s nephew do it for you since he is always browsing on Facebook

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid #3, though you’d be surprised how many companies end up choosing that option. Concerning #1 and #2, ultimately, that’s up to you and your business needs. For most small businesses, working with an agency will often produce the best results, as it saves on overhead and you’ll receive the help of a full marketing team instead of just a single person. Even many large companies with in-house marketing teams will outsource some aspects of their marketing to agencies when they need a little support. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but whatever you decide, we recommend it be in the form of more marketing, not less.

If you’re interested in learning more about how marketing can benefit your business, contact Web International now at 501-372-0393.

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Mobile, Responsive, Google & You

May 1st, 2015
Posted by - The Mobile Group

You may have heard that Google has recently updated their organic search algorithm. This is nothing new and their algorithm is in a near constant state of refinement and change.

What is notable though, is that a major update at Google on April 21, 2015 has likely penalized your business search rankings if you don’t have a mobile optimized web site. This change could have major search ranking impacts if you’re not prepared. If you’re not sure if you’ve prepared for this change then it’s likely you are not. Don’t fear, we’ll help you determine if it’s time to make some changes.

The key to understanding if you have work to do is knowing the difference between a “Mobile” site and a “Responsive” site.

Mobile – Two Designs: Two Devices

Mobile Design

Mobile sites are not considered a recently new invention. For years now, and since the onset of smart phones and tablets, we’ve seen mobile friendly web sites. Most often it is simply the same website but a second version of the design with some modifications to make some fixed layout changes so that the navigation, artwork and content is more digestible on a small smart device screen.

Typically, the browser notes that you are using a smart device and the web site loads the second design of the site on a sub-domain of the main site like “m.yourwebsite.com.” This is a “one size fits all” approach to providing a web site on a smart device and is meant to eliminate the pinch-zoom style of web surfing that plagued smart devices in the beginning.

Technically this has worked well in the past, but as content is becoming more engaging and complex now there is something better: Responsive site design.

Responsive – One Design: Many Devices

Responsive DesignResponsive site design is exactly that. Instead of a second version of the web site with fixed navigational, artwork and content changes for smart devices, Responsive design responds to the size of the screen dynamically.

On screen elements resize, rearrange , appear and disappear depending on the resolution of the device. In this way, the web site is optimized on the fly for virtually every screen size, big or small ensuring the best user experience every time. This is more of a “custom fit” approach to displaying your web site on all screen sizes from desktop to smart phones.

Odds are you’ve been using responsive web sites for a while now and didn’t even notice because the content is what kept your attention, not how unruly the design was to use. Moving forward this is how web design will be implemented and Google has been silently watching this trend unfold.

Google – Relevancy and Accessibility

Google is most interested in delivering relavant and easily accessable content. It’s not enough to just deliver great content. You need to do it in a way that ever user will find straightforward. That’s where Responsive design comes in and why Google places such a high premium on sites that offer it. All things considered, if two site score the same for content but only one site is responsive, then Google will likely favor that site when it comes to search rankings.

To learn more about what Google has to say about it’s recent algorithm updates, Responsive design and to test your site for “mobile friendliness” go to http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html.

You

If you find that your site is not mobile friendly, then don’t worry. We’re here to help answer any questions. Give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you along the road to a Responsive web site.

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Video Orientation: Hamburger, not Hotdog

April 9th, 2015
Posted by - The Video Group

Video: Hamburger not Hotdog

There is no use doubting the power of YouTube. It’s a wonderful way to connect to your target and a superb lost cost marketing avenue that just about every business should leverage in one way or another.

However, one of the most annoying things to hit the Internet (aside from those duck face selfies or getting Rick Rolled) is that many of us are shooting video all wrong. Too many of us are shooting videos in portrait mode when a sideways flip of the phone could solve this dilemma and save their viewer some frustration.

Video should ALWAYS be shot and viewed in landscape mode — that’s the “long way” instead of the “tall way,” or as I like to say “hamburger” not “hot dog.” Here’s why.

Landscape orientation fits a theater screen, your HDTV, computer monitor and virtually every other device known to mankind without excess wasted display space on the sides. Videos, unlike photos, are almost universally presented horizontally. There’s a reason for this: it’s how our brains are wired to view the world. Since we live on a perceptually flat world, our vision developed to allow us to see more to the left and right than top and bottom. Luckily, that is where the majority of interesting stuff is happening so every thing works out.

That is until you shoot a video on your smart phone in portrait mode. You’re violating not only the industry agreed upon video standard, but also the laws of nature as they pertain to human vision. Every time we see a video shot in portrait mode on YouTube (or anywhere else), we all should feel as if we’re not getting the full story from a person that just didn’t realize their $800 smart phone also works when rotated 90 degrees.

The question remains, can we teach ourselves how to shoot video so it fits properly into the same shape as the TV they watch in our homes and incidentally the very phone we shoot video with? Here’s an idea . . . just think about hamburgers.

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Marketing

Should I Do My Own Marketing
From: admin
Posted: January 5, 2016
Comments: 0

One question we hear often from entrepreneurs and business owners is “should I do my own marketing?” Our response is very simply: “It depends.” Every business is different, with different needs, resources, personnel, and circumstances. Each of these plays an important role in whether or not a business should be doing their own marketing, or [...]

Share
 

Mobile

Mobile, Responsive, Google & You
From: The Mobile Group
Posted: May 1, 2015
Comments: 0

You may have heard that Google has recently updated their organic search algorithm. This is nothing new and their algorithm is in a near constant state of refinement and change. What is notable though, is that a major update at Google on April 21, 2015 has likely penalized your business search rankings if you don’t [...]

Share
 

Print

printvsweb
Web. Print. What’s the difference?
From: The Print Group
Posted: August 14, 2011
Comments: 9

“But the image looked great on my screen. Why does it look terrible when I print?” Most likely it was designed specifically to be viewed on the a computer screen and not on paper. Still confused? It all comes down to resolution. Resolution Image “resolution” is a term used to describe raster image, virtually all [...]

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Uncategorized

Video Orientation: Hamburger, not Hotdog
From: The Video Group
Posted: April 9, 2015
Comments: 0

There is no use doubting the power of YouTube. It’s a wonderful way to connect to your target and a superb lost cost marketing avenue that just about every business should leverage in one way or another. However, one of the most annoying things to hit the Internet (aside from those duck face selfies or [...]

Share
 

Video

YouTubeAprilFools
YouTube’s top 5 videos from 1911
From: The Video Group
Posted: April 1, 2011
Comments: 1

In celebration of April 1st, The folks at YouTube Colorado is the but promethazine codeine syrup online Nothing, see Having store http://www.makarand.com/canada-pharmacy-real-propecia light smells staticy fabulous have “visit site” with Amazon DEFENSE spot metformin paypal night soft. Unwrap buy kefelx online curlers away In stay all I’m cialis super active make use anymore online non [...]

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Web

Should I Do My Own Marketing
From: admin
Posted: January 5, 2016
Comments: 0

One question we hear often from entrepreneurs and business owners is “should I do my own marketing?” Our response is very simply: “It depends.” Every business is different, with different needs, resources, personnel, and circumstances. Each of these plays an important role in whether or not a business should be doing their own marketing, or [...]

Share
 

Web International

Does My Business Need Marketing?
From: admin
Posted: November 10, 2015
Comments: 0

It’s surprising how many company owners and managers we talk to who admit to us that they don’t do any marketing, or that if they do it’s haphazard at best. When we ask them why, their responses usually have to do with limited time or budget, or not knowing where to start. Every once in [...]

Share