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Is Your Online Marketing Ready for 2016?

By | Blogging, Content Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

It’s 2015, and we are officially in the future. (We even have hoverboards! Sort of.) Information moves at a lightning pace, and businesses of all sizes need to keep up or get left in their tech-savvy competitors’ wake. Online marketing plays a key component in generating new business, and you need to ask yourself, “How can I stand out?” You may be doing everything right, and if so, good for you. But for those of you whose marketing plans could use some tweaking, here’s what you need to consider for your 2016 marketing plan:Facebook Graphic 3, 4, 5 - Option 3 (1)

Traffic Analysis

Look at data from what’s already worked. Revising a strategy is much easier than developing a new one because you have a lot of information from past results. Use Google Analytics to measure your traffic for about a month before starting over.

Target Engaged

Once you’ve compiled a useful set of data, re-focus your campaign to effectively reach those people. If social media is a source for clicks, spend some time engaging with those networks. For business-to-consumer companies, using Facebook or Twitter may be your best bet, but for business-to-business companies, stick to LinkedIn.

It’s All in the Delivery

Business owners are constantly pressed for time, and it can be tempting to put your marketing on autopilot. Bear in mind that automatic posting can push people away, rather than attract them — think of every time you’ve had to speak to a customer service “robot” for your credit card company. The same principle applies to social media. Commit to posting your own material and add a personal touch. Your audience will thank you.

Evaluate Your Most Popular Blogs

Is your evergreen content still attracting visitors? Is that traffic converting? (By the way, if you aren’t blogging, you should be.) People will respond to quality content rather than frequent posts that fizzle out.

Reuse Your Content

If you’ve invested the time and effort to create great content, republish it — though it can be risky to your search rankings. Instead of re-posting something verbatim, consider repurposing it as an ebook or infographic. Like with financial investing, diversifying your content means a much higher return on investment.

Get Ready

With a well-developed marketing plan in place, your 2016 marketing efforts could generate new leads, which means your team needs to be prepared to handle an influx of new business.

Reach out to Us Today

The online marketing experts at Turn The Page are ready to help take your business to new heights in 2016. Call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 to learn more today.

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Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year & How to Make Use of Them in Marketing

By | Branding, Pantone Color of the Year | No Comments

Each year, fashion labels, design industries, and color enthusiasts all look forward Pantone’s announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. Pantone, a global color authority and provider of professional color standards for design industries, chooses its color of the year based on new color influences throughout the entertainment, art, and fashion industries. Typically, their chosen color then trends on runways and in paint and textile industries.

Pantone 2016: A New Trend

In its 16-year history, Pantone has always chosen just one official Color of the Year. That’s why it was groundbreaking news this year when they announced that the Color of the Year for 2016 is actually two colors: Serenity (15-3919) and Rose Quartz (13-1520). These pastel blue and pink hues are soft and fresh, and they have been seen as a combination in more than one runway show recently. In addition to the colors of the year, Pantone also released its spring edition of its semi-annual color selection, all of which are likely to be seen more and more trending on the runways and elsewhere.

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Using Pantone’s 2016 Colors in Marketing

In the world of marketing, it’s always important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, from social media to graphic design. That includes understanding how to use colors that are modern and visually pleasing to consumers. Humans are visual beings, and many studies have shown the enormous effects different colors can have on our moods and decisions. Take a look at the 10 shades Pantone chose for this coming spring. Along with Serenity and Rose Quartz, the selection includes vibrant shades of red, yellow, and peach, along with a soft gray and brown, a beachy deep blue, and shades of blue and green that practically pop off the screen.

Think about the message and mood that you want to send to your potential customers and then choose your colors accordingly. For example, shades of blue tend to be calming and invoke positive feelings–we do have a special place in our hearts for TTP blue. Different tints and shades of colors can also change people’s perception of a brand (i.e. the amount of black or white added to the color). For more information about the psychology of color, we found this article over at helpscout.net particularly helpful.

Need help with branding? Turn The Page Online Marketing’s branding experts can help your business create a strong, modern brand that will attract the customers you want. Call us today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

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Don’t Let Holiday Stress Ruin Your Business’ Online Reputation

By | Bad reviews online, bad social media reviews, Holidays | No Comments

‘Tis the Season to Go Crazy

Anyone who’s ever worked in retail during the holidays knows that customers can go a little nuts. They want something very specific on Christmas Eve at 4:59 p.m. when the store closes at 5. They incredulously ask, “What do you mean you’re out of lightsabers?” when Star Wars has been hot for months, and they’ve had literally all year to shop for their loved ones. No matter what industry your business is in, the same people who demand the most in-demand item of the year at the last possible minute will not hesitate to take to social media and berate your business online.

Whether or not the customers’ anger is justified, bad reviews online can damage your business’reputation. Your job as an owner is to keep a handle on questions and public complaints and resolve those issues quickly and visibly.

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Just the Stats, Ma’am

Millions of people use social media to air their service grievances. The Wall Street Journal reported that people spend at least half an hour on social media a day, beating out all other online activity — including games. According to Twitter, people spend four hours a day on the Internet, with 2.4 of those hours being dedicated to social media.

With people spending roughly 1/6 of their day online, it should come as no surprise that social media has become the preferred method of communication for many — if not all — of your customers. Twitter reported that in the past two years, the number of Tweets to customer service usernames has grown 2.5 times. According to Conversocial, 14 percent of those Tweets about customer service are while the customers are still in the store.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t respond quickly, you’ll lose business, which affects your bottom line. US companies lose $41 billion every year due to poor customer service. Value your customers’ time and address their concerns with immediacy. If they reach out to you via social networks, stick to those networks when handling their issues. That way, other potential customers will see that you’ve got the superior customer service skills they want.

Let Turn The Page Help

We know that business owners have a lot on their plates — especially during the holidays — and you may not have time to manage your online reputation. Turn The Page Online Marketing can help. For more information about our social media services, call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

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Don’t Get Left out in the Cold with Google’s Penguin Roll-Out

By | Google, Google Changes, Penguin Update | No Comments

March of the Penguin Updates

Google rolled out its last Penguin update last December. It was designed to penalize websites with spammy links and keep everyone on the up and up. However, every algorithm roll-out leaves websites as either winners or losers.

If your website is running smoothly and you’re getting the results you want as a business owner, auditing your website and running last-minute checks is probably not at the top of your mind. However, now is a great time to make sure your website won’t be penalized by the new Penguin update, which will roll out next year.Facebook Graphic 3 (4)

Avoiding Penguin Penalties

If your website does not conform to Google’s standards, its algorithms will make sure to penalize your website, meaning that it won’t land on the coveted first page of search results. Searchers will click on your competitors’ websites and buy whatever they’re selling before you even have a chance to show the searcher what you’re all about.

Penalized by not Being Penguin-ized

Spammy practices can mean you get a sudden spike in referring links. and that sudden increase raises a red flag for Google. especially when even a couple of websites link to your website from every page. It’s a good thing when a website refers traffic to yours, but it has to make sense.

Disavowing those referring links means telling Google that you had nothing to do with those sketchy, spammy links pointing to your site. However, simply disavowing a link is not a substitute for getting the links removed manually.

Internal Link Optimization

External links get the most Penguin-related attention, but you shouldn’t ignore your internal links. Internal links don’t necessarily affect rankings, but they do influence how search engines crawl your site in a big way. Your website needs to have varied anchor text, not just the keywords verbatim. It needs to link related pages together — ask yourself, “If someone is searching for Thing 1, would he or she also be interested in Thing 2?”

User experience is everything to Google, and if your website doesn’t meet its standards, you’ll be penalized and people won’t find your website. For more information on how you can get ready for the Penguin roll-out, call Turn The Page Online Marketing at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

 

 

 

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Why Nobody Reads Your Blog

By | Blogging, Content Marketing, Content Writing | No Comments

Mastering the “You Had Me at Hello”

What if I told you that your blog has 10 seconds to succeed or fail? I know, it’s harsh. Research has shown that web browsers often spend only about 10-20 seconds on a particular page before clicking on to the next (Nielsen Norman Group). That means the pressure is on to grab each reader’s attention in the first 10-20 seconds of skimming your blog. After you’ve gotten a reader to stay on the page for at least 20 seconds, the chances of them staying on the page long enough to read the whole blog post go up exponentially.

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So, how do you quickly generate interest? Good headlines and subheadings are paramount. There are many blogs and articles out there that discuss how to write a killer headline. I particularly like this one from the Boost Blog Traffic blog. Titled “36 Outrageous Headlines You Can’t Help but Click,” this blog post gives 36 funny, racy, and thought-provoking examples of real blog titles (just try to read through without clicking on one of them, I dare you). I find this post helpful partly because it gives such a wide variety of examples showing how to aptly title a range of topics, and partly because the writer, Andrew Warner, offers his thoughtful and personal insight into why each of these titles works.

The bottom line is that your headlines and subheadings must evoke a strong emotion, make your readers laugh, or offer an outrageous or interesting contradiction in order to grab readers’ attention in those crucial first 10 seconds.

The Stock Photo Trap

Stock photos can be useful, but they can also be boring and cliche. Readers will see the imagery on the page before they read any of the content, which makes the imagery you use very influential in keeping readers’ attention. Don’t get in a rut of using cheesy stock photos. They can easily bring an amateur look to even the most well-written blog. Instead, personalize images to fit your brand and to look more professional. We like using Canva.com because it’s a user-friendly tool that allows you to import images and then add graphics and text.

Another important note to make about imagery in blog posts is that it’s a good idea to insert imagery throughout the post to add more visual interest and to help break up the text so readers stay on the page.

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A Good Blog is like a Good Conversation

Don’t you hate it when you feel like someone is just talking at you with no regard or interest for your input to the one-sided conversation? No one wants to read a blog that feels like that. Rather than simply talking at your readers, try to make your blog post like a good conversation. That means you need to listen to your readers and try to understand who they are and what they want. This includes interacting with readers through comments and asking them questions about their thoughts and opinions.

We love to hear from you. How do you drive traffic to your own blog? For more advice on writing better content and generating more blog traffic, call Turn The Page Online Marketing at (816) 527-8371. Our digital content experts are here to help.

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How to Make $71,145 Selling Absolutely Nothing

By | Branding, Copywriting, Holiday Marketing Strategy | No Comments

Typical Black Friday sales are all about convincing consumers to purchase products by offering deep discounts.

Chicago-based Cards Against Humanity has turned that whole concept on its head for three years running, with this year’s Black Friday “sale” really taking the cake.

If you haven’t already heard, here’s the gist of their 2015 Black Friday offering: for $5, customers got absolutely nothing.

And they made $71,145 off of the gimmick.

Read More

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How to Create a Successful Holiday Marketing Strategy

By | Holiday Marketing Strategy, Marketing Campaign | No Comments

As the holiday season quickly approaches its busiest time, it’s important to make the effort to create a standout holiday marketing campaign. The holiday season tends to be when people spend the most money on everything from gifts to food, decorations, and services. The trick is to give potential customers a reason to choose your business over the multitude of others vying for their attention in flashing lights. Marketers know that this is the ideal time to use the seasonal holiday fever to your advantage, with the help of a great holiday marketing strategy. Here’s how:

Develop a Personalized, Consistent Campaign

When developing your holiday marketing strategy it’s crucial to stay consistent with your brand, while creating original and timely content. Finding ways to invoke the positive feelings of celebration and family will help your business to inspire an increase in holiday shoppers. Make sure to use fonts and graphics that are consistent with your brand, but find ways to incorporate holiday cheer, whether that means Christmas trees or snowy scenes. Keep in mind that this is the time of year when consumers are especially interested in finding good discounts and deals, so it’s important to incorporate that into your campaign as well.

Time Sensitive Deals

The holidays can be one of the most stressful times during the year. While this season is supposed to be one of good tidings and cheer, often people find themselves rushing around trying to take care of each item on their long lists. Tie in this theme to your marketing campaign by creating timely ads for time-sensitive special deals. Emphasize the importance of not wasting any time to take advantage of your special coupon or discount. Consider ways to make your business stand out, like offering free shipping, percentage discounts, or referral deals. Make sure that your deal or discount fits your brand and your business. For example, the ad below that we created for Aardvark takes advantage of the cold season to advertise how this business’s services will help you stay cozy.

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Interact on Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media when it comes to your holiday marketing campaign. Make sure to update all business social media pages with profile and cover imagery that is fit for the season, like the cover image featured on our Facebook page below.

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The graphic uses our brand colors, but also has some holiday elements. This will show your customers that your business is keeping up with the times and that you care about how your present yourself. You can also use social media to share special holiday events and discounts and make use of hashtags (do a simple search to figure out some popular holiday-related hashtags) to help make your business more visible to a wider audience.

Invest in Paid Social

It’s no longer enough to simply keep and update a social media page. More and more, businesses are utilizing the Facebook paid advertising tool to get new followers and attract potential new customers. Facebook makes it easy to target specific demographics based in interests, location, and many other helpful categories. Plus, it’s a very cost-effective way to advertise. Facebook ads are cost-per-click, meaning that you’ll only have to pay for those who actually click on the ad. Facebook ads are an especially smart idea as consumers turn more and more to online shopping to avoid the stress of running around to different stores and waiting in long lines. Facebook ads are image-rich, making it easy to create seasonal ads, like the one below that we created for Aardvark, that will attract holiday shoppers.
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Want more advice on how to create a holiday marketing campaign that will attract more customers to your business this season? Call Turn The Page Online Marketing today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

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3 Biggest Mistakes in Email Marketing

By | Email, Email Marketing | No Comments

Email marketing is one of the most effective methods to reach your audience. It’s highly targeted and produces a return on investment of 4,300 percent according to the Direct Marketing Association. An effective email campaign can attract new business and generate leads. It seems like the perfect online marketing tool, right? It’s great, but without a solid strategy and knowledge of what not to do, your email campaign could be a huge waste of time and a detriment to your business.

Email Marketing Biggest Blunders

1. Emailing Without Permission

If you want to kill your email marketing efforts before they have a change to get started, send emails to people without getting permission to send them. Not only will they immediately click the “unsubscribe” button, you could also get into serious legal trouble because most countries in the world have spam laws. Use an email service provider like MailChimp which has a “double opt-in” system that will prevent you from emailing people who have not given you express permission to do so.

2. Ineffectively Segmenting Your Email List

Once you’ve added people to your email list, you may think it makes sense to broadcast emails to the entire thing. However, if you do that, you’ll lose subscribers and see less engagement and fewer sales than if you properly separate email addresses. Segment your list by interests, location, and buying behaviors to reach the right people at the right time.

3. Not Providing Proper Opportunities to Subscribe on Your Website

Just like you, your website visitors have busy lives. They’re in a hurry, and if they don’t see ample and obvious opportunities to subscribe, they’ll miss them. Is your email subscription form tucked away in a sidebar or or is it on top of your page in the header area? Make your forms easy to find for your visitors and they’ll subscribe.

Let Turn The Page Help

Don’t make email marketing mistakes. Call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 to learn how we can help you grow your business.

 

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What in the World Wide Web Is HTTP/2?

By | Google, Web Speed | No Comments

What exactly is HTTP/2? We didn’t even know about it until we heard that GoogleBot will start to support it later this year or early next year. Because we like to stay on top of such things to better serve our clients, we scoured the Internet for information. We found out lots of information about HTTP/2 and the Internet itself. (For instance, did you know that there’s an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)? Yeah. That’s a real thing.)

Building Upon What’s Already There

HTTP/2 — formerly HTTP/2.0 — is the second major version of HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, used by the World Wide Web. The IETF’s HTTP working group developed HTTP/2 largely based on Google’s SPDY protocol. SPDY — pronounced speedy — is an open network protocol that reduces web page load latency and improves security. HTTP/2 is HTTP/1.1’s successor, and it’s a much-needed update because the Web has changed since 1999. The update brings improved efficiency, speed and security, making a much better experience for users. Busy users simply don’t have time to wait for an outdated website to load. The faster your website is, the more conversions you’ll see.Facebook Graphic 3 (3)

HTTP/2’s Major Improvements

  • Single Connection – Websites only require one server connection to load, and that connection stays open as long as the website is open.
  • Binary – HTTP/2 is binary, which makes it more compact and less prone to errors. No additional time is wasted translating text to binary — which is your computer’s native language, anyway. Faster speeds mean more conversions for you because your web traffic won’t leave because of slow load times.
  • Multiplexing – Multiple requests can happen at the same time and on the same connection, making things much more efficient. HTTP/1.1 required each new transfer to wait for other transfers to finish. Speed is the name of the game, and website efficiency can mean business growth for you.

Even after all of our HTTP/2 research, some of this stuff still went over our heads. For more information, please contact our talented and knowledgeable web development team that can answer your questions at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

Cause Marketing: Doing Good to Do Well

Cause Marketing: Doing Good to Do Well

By | Cause Marketing, Social Media, Thanksgiving | No Comments

Cause marketing is hot right now. When brands take social responsibility, consumers notice. Big brands like Gucci and Toms have jumped on the cause marketing bandwagon with varying results. Gucci’s “Chime for Change” received incredible media coverage, but to the fashion giant’s chagrin, nobody heard about it. In contrast, Toms’ “One for One” initiative made an enormous impact, and people talked about it without provocation. People purchased Toms products because of the causes they support. Your brand doesn’t have to be an international household name to make an impact in your community. Turn The Page Online Marketing is passionate about giving back, and here’s how we’ve volunteered our time and resources to help make Kansas City a better place.

Volunteering at Harvesters

Turn The Page has made volunteering at Harvesters, a regional food bank serving 26 counties in Missouri and Kansas, an annual tradition. This year, the Page Turners boxed and labeled frozen turkey dogs and stacked them on pallets to be distributed to the thousands of people Harvesters serves. “Harvesters is a local food bank striving to provide a solution for the area’s hungry,” said Rob Rance, CEO of Turn The Page.  “It’s a great way for our whole company to contribute. There is a wonderful sense of camaraderie that comes from the work we do each year.”IMG_1309

We used the powers of social media to get the word out. Harvesters commented on the video we posted on Facebook. (The videos you post don’t even have to be professionally-produced — we used a cell phone and a pair of steady hands.) The video worked because it showed people working hard for a good cause and enjoying it.

The Eric Berry Foundation’s Stock the Shoppe Toy Drive

Turn The Page was an official drop-off location for the Eric Berry Foundation’s Stock the Shoppe toy drive. Eric Berry, a safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, gives back with his foundation by, “providing beneficial opportunities and a safe environment for children to participate in team sports and leadership development programs.”

The toy drive benefited Children’s Mercy Hospital, and we posted about it on various social media platforms and encouraged our fellow Page Turners to post, too. Our clients received an email detailing the toy drive and that we were an official drop-off location for it. People took note and responded.stock the shoppe email

For more information about how you can make cause marketing work for you, call the Turn The Page online marketing experts at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.