How to use a Selfie to Market your Brand

Selfie: A word that hasn’t existed for more than 20 years and yet is known around the world and was Oxfords dictionary’s word of the year in 2013.  There’s even a “National Selfie Day”, which is today, June 21st. In fact, the most retweeted tweet is a group “selfie” from the 2014 Oscars from Ellen Degeneres. The photo featured other notable actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and more!

Selfies often seem like something for people’s personal social media accounts, so how can “selfies” promote your business?

 

Humanizing your Brand

First, using selfies can humanize your business more. Customers can more easily relate to a company where there is a human face connected to it. The idea of a company can be abstract but when you put a face to it, it becomes real. It becomes more authentic as well. Customers can easily tell an overly posed, unnatural photo compared to a real life selfie. Customers may think when seeing an overly posed photo that they are just models, playing the part of a happy customer or worker of the business.

 

Selfies as a Reviews Source

A selfie can also act as an almost positive review for the company. A customer or worker will likely not be willing to take a picture while smiling for a company or product they don’t stand behind or believe in. Many clothing companies do this type of promotion where they will have customers take a selfie in their outfits and how they style them to show how everyday people style that brands clothes. Take the popular brand, Forever 21. They have a hashtag on Instagram, #F21xME, which allows their customers to tag pictures of themselves wearing Forever 21 clothes for a chance to be featured on their website.

 

Making sure it is appropriate

Selfies can help market a business but only if they are done correctly. If you are going to use a selfie make sure it is interesting, visually appealing and has a purpose. Lighting is always important in a selfie so make sure it is just right, not overexposed or one that creates an unnatural hue to the photo. Over Editing is very obvious so be aware of making your selfie look artificial. Use your eye to see if a photo would look better brighter or darker, warmer or cooler, etc. Popular photo editing apps include: VSCO, Instagram provides their own filters that can be used with discretion. You could also put your company logos or quotes using Canva or Text2Pic if you aren’t photoshop savvy.

So, now you know how selfies can be used to market your business, here are some business focused ways to use selfies:

  • Introduce your smiling staff members on social media to brand followers
  • Create a prize contest where customers take selfies with your product in order to enter using a custom hashtag
  • Promote any events your company holds and create a geofilter for guest to take selfies with to post on popular social media outlets such as Instagram and Snapchat
  • Does your company promote or support a good cause? Make a campaign that promotes an issue your company stands behind. Such as if you are weight loss, fitness style company. You could create a healthy living campaign, focused on body positivity where customers post themselves being active and confident!

 

 

A Beginners Guide to Google Analytics

Google Analytics: for those who have never encountered the application before, it can be daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it’s really not that bad. There is so much information and so many metric options available in Google Analytics so it important to know what to look for and why. One thought that continually came to mind in the first few weeks of dealing with Google Analytics included, how will I possibly ever learn what this all means? Luckily enough, Google Analytics has been set up so it’s relatively easy to navigate and it’s so commonly used that there are many additional guides that can help, like this one!

Google Analytics can answer many questions that many bloggers or business owners may have, such as:

  • How many users are actually visiting the site?
  • Where the website’s audience is coming from?
  • How does the website receive traffic?
  • What are people looking at on my site?
  • How long do users stay? 

The list of questions can go on but often those are the basics. Knowing how users are engaging with your site is the first step to understanding and improving.

Below is a quick dashboard overview and the general idea behind what each side tab can tell you about your website.

 

WhatWhenHow

The Power of the Main Page

From the main Overview page, many of these simple questions from above can be answered. Going to your sites Overview tab on the left is the easiest place to start to look for information on how to better understand and improve your site. The Audience Overview tab is highlighted in green in the image below.

Overview

This basic view will let you see a lot of information in one place. Often times this large amount of information is the reason this interface can be overwhelming. The trick is knowing what it all means and how to sort through it. In the Overview page, you can change the date to see the rise and fall of traffic on the site over a certain period of time. As you can see from the red arrow, we are viewing the data for one month, so from May 1st to May 31st.

RedArrow


The Who: Visitors

Most questions that site managers may have all rely on how visitors are reacting and engaging with the site. The Overview page is able to give you insight into this. It tells you:

  • How long the average visitor stays (Avg. Session Duration)
  • How many pages they visited (Pages/Sessions)
  • Whether they’ve been to the site before (% New Sessions)

Going further down the page, you are able to see a pie chart that separates new visitors to your site from returning visitors. This page also gives you information such as bounce rate, demographics, the type of browser being used, etc. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without clicking through to another page. It is important to keep this number low. 

From the main Audience Overview page, you are also able to get more specific and segment the information at the top by clicking “+ Add Segment” in blue. You can segment visitors by a variety of factors whether by the demographics of your visitors such as age, gender, language, etc. This information can also be found in more depth in the Demographics side tab under Audience. 

AddSegment

There is no ideal number for each metric because every industry is different. So the best thing to do is to look for drastic changes and see what changed, whether you did something on your end to drive traffic or if something has gone wrong. Having the graph at the top really helps see these changes visually.

Another question site managers have is which browser are visitors using to get to their site. The source can be seen in the Overview tab under System. As you can see by the picture below, 26.23% of our users are using Chrome. 

Chrome


The How: Source

The Acquisition section will tell you how visitors found your site. It will tell you whether visitors directly typed in your web address (Direct), searched in a search engine (Organic Search), found your website from another website (Referral) or from social media (Social). To get an idea on what keywords visitors are using to find your site when doing a search through a search engine, then click on Organic Search highlighted in pink below.

OrganicSearch

The acquisition tab is also where you can see the influence of AdWords campaigns on your website.


The What: Behavior

An extremely important section to look at closely is Behavior because it shows how users are engaging with your website. It shows you which pages are getting the most traffic and how long users stay on that page. This is important to know so that you can adjust your content accordingly. For example, if your site has a high number of page views but the visitors are not staying very long, you can infer that users are clicking around and not finding the information they are looking for. If this is the case, we recommend re-evaluating your content so that its easy for visitors to find what they are looking for and take an action.

Under the Behavior tab is the section Page Content. Here you can see the top pages users go to on your website. The most visited web page from this site was the homepage (represented by /), then their services and so on. You can also see avg. time on each page, bounce rate of each page, exit percentage of each page, and more.

SiteContent

Overall, there is so much important information that this one single free software can tell you about your site. Knowing the basics covered in this post will help you better understand Google Analytics and in the long run, can help improve your business.

Why Your Website Isn’t One & Done.

Many companies have the assumption that because they have a website, they automatically have a digital presence and it should be driving leads.  The mindset is that a website was once created….there it is… we have a URL, we’re done.

First and foremost, you should have a website AND it MUST BE RESPONSIVE (essential for SEO).  Your website is your brand, your company, your organization’s digital face. A static website that simply reads as a brochure might as well be just that… a brochure.  Your website should be used as a sales tool and be at the center of your marketing strategy.

A smart website not only allows users to interact and engage with your brand but works to convert those users.

website in center

Whether it means….

utilizing paid ads that drive traffic to targeted landing pages…

being active on your blog and using it as resource center to provide credible information to your users…(this also a key factor for SEO)

doing a social media campaign that you can integrate with your website….

using the site as a recruiting tool for partners or new hires…

simply giving users place to opt-in or subscribe to your newsletter…

Or all of the above – your website needs to be more than text on a page with a phone number. The key to a successful website is conversion. Driving traffic to your website and getting eyes on your brand is important, but your website should guide them to take an action. There should be a purpose to your website. After all, to most it is their first impression of your company. Your website should be ever evolving and growing like your brand.

So don’t leave your website high and dry! Make sure it is at the center of your marketing strategy to drive traffic and convert users.

5 AdWords Tips We’ve Learned From Dogs

5 AdWords Tips We’ve Learned From (Wo)Mans Best Friend.

1 . Give it attention and some good ol’ fashion TLC.
As with your four legged best friend, your AdWords campaigns want you to engage with them. You need to get into the routine of monitoring your campaigns daily. Looking at what campaigns are getting high traffic, what keywords are getting you results or trending, keyword planning for tweaking current or new campaigns, the inclusion of different ad types, your bid strategy, and of course your daily budget and your maximum cost per click.

2. When it’s trying to tell you something, listen.
Adwords will suggest opportunities within your campaigns as well as alert you if something isn’t right. Make sure you pay attention to these. this could be the difference of hundreds of thousands of impressions and eyes on your brand! It will also let you know when your account is running low and which campaigns are in jeopardy. Bottom line, when Adwords is trying to get your attention, its for your best interest.

3. Getting positive results comes from trial & error. 
With both current and new campaigns, you’ll figure it out as you go. Some strategies will work, others will not. And with that….

4. Be patient.
AdWords wants to help you grow. It may happen over night, but that’s not always the case. AdWords is wonderful for brand awareness as well as promoting a specific promotion, deal, or event that you want to blast out. Your ads may not get the top spot right away or may not be converting as you planned. What’s the solution? See #1 -#3.

5. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. 
It’s all about your strategy! Do you have a smart AdWords strategy in place to make you successful? Do you have new and exciting ideas? Are you creative in your approach? Do you know what has proven to work for you? Once a strategy sticks, run with it! But that doesn’t mean you can’t try new tactics.

Why Social Is Crucial For Search Optimization

Ahhh, social media. Regardless of your industry, social media is an important platform to utilize so you can take full advantage of its benefits. Integrating social media into your comprehensive marketing strategy is more important than ever before. In regards to search engines and how users are searching today, how does social play a role? Let’s look at:

  1. How social platforms help your website rank better
  2. Social platforms will also rank in search engines
  3. Social channels have become search engines as well

Social platforms help your website rank better.

Having a social media presence affects your brand reputation and search engine rankings. Social is a valuable channel for promotion, content, distribution, and sharing.

SEO (search engine optimization), social media, and content marketing find themselves knit very closely. These three factors help drive website traffic through valuable content. Google wants the best, most relevant content to rank high. This is in part due to the changes to Google algorithms, which now factor social signals and brand signals as an indicator in search rankings.

A successful campaign develops a content marketing strategy around your goals and utilizes each social channel properly for distribution and engagement. This will rank your site higher and ensure it is found organically for the relevant topic or keywords

How?

Heres a 30,000ft view of how social impacts SEO:

  1. Publish creative, inspiring, informative content
  2. Content is then shared on social platforms linking back to your site
  3. Those social channels collect followers, while the site gains traffic
  4. Community and brand awareness grow around the brand
  5. Consistent interactions made through social media reinforce brand reputation
  6. Search engines index website and the content you publish
  7. Users find website organically through search engines

Social platforms will also rank in search engines.

Social media profiles influence the content of your search results. In fact, social media profiles are often among the top results in search listings for brand names along with the website itself.


Social channels have become search engines as well.

Companies should expand their concept of SEO to include not just the traditional search engines, but also social search engines. People don’t just go to Google to search for information, they also use social media channels to find what they’re looking for. Social networks themselves function as powerful and widely-used search engines in their own right. 

“We need to understand that search engine optimization includes the search that happens on social media search engines.” – Neil Patel, Co-Founder Crazy Egg

Fun facts that demonstrate just how much people are using social media to search:

    • As of 2010, Twitter handles 19 billion search queries a month (that’s more than 5x the queries handled by Bing!).
    • In 2012 Facebook said it got around one billion search queries per day.
    • As of March 2010, YouTube got roughly 3.7 billion search queries a month. Also, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it one of the largest content repositories on the web.
    • As of 2015, the number of Twitter search engine inquires per day was 2.1 billion.
    • As of 2016, Facebook sees over 2 billion searches per day.
    • This compared to Google’s 3.5 billion searches per day.