Are Print Ads Really Outdated?

The newspaper business is in turmoil and print advertisement revenue is down overall, or so you may have heard. The real situation is a slightly different. Newspapers are not exactly going out of business. Rather, the papers are struggling to turn a profit in the age of the Internet. Print ads revenue, however, has been on the decline for some time as print newspaper circulation has declined. Does this mean that small businesses should no longer bother with advertising in newspapers and magazines? Not quite, say our Global Resources LLC expert consultants.

The cardinal rule of marketing is optimally using channels that offer the best returns for the investment. A company should never judge the usefulness of any advertising channel on generic factors alone. A soda company might find that placing print ads in papers is no longer directly in demand as it once did before the rise of digital journalism. However, a local realtor might find the situation exactly the opposite. Whether print ads can benefit your small business, or not, depends on the nature of your small business.

The advertising power of print ads is measured against the power of online ads like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Google Ads, for example, has the power to deliver your marketing message to millions around the world. That’s only the potential. Whether your marketing message actually reaches the intended audience is another matter. If your small business markets to an international audience, a channel like Google can be extremely lucrative if the right parameters for distribution are chosen. On the other hand, if the target audience for your small business is domestic, then Google may not deliver good results as you might think.

For example, a small town rental business can easily reach the target audience by advertising in local papers. If the rental business wants to reach outsiders, like tourists, then a channel like Google can be used. It’s best to utilize both channels to enjoy the best return on investment.

It’s also important to understand the audience for the newspaper or the magazine. Who reads the print medium? Most local folk would read the local newspaper. Niche audiences will read special print mediums like magazines. Print ads can still be quite powerful if your target audience overlaps with that of the print media. Print ads also work best with certain age groups, like the elderly, that are not quite tech savvy as the younger generations.

Therefore, don’t be too quick to dismiss print ads. If you want to find out if your business can benefit from print ads, ask us at GR-US.com.

Where Does Small Business Marketing Content Stand in the Age of Fake News?

The news has been rife lately with stories about “fake” news. Social media sites have definitely gotten on the defensive against “fake news.” So what exactly is it? Fake news doesn’t have an agreed upon definition, but the term largely refers to any online content that deliberately contains inaccuracies or factual errors intended to mislead the reader or the viewer.

Fake news has been a particular menace for social media sites. Facebook and Twitter, especially, have taken rather significant measures to battle fake news. Facebook and Google both are on the warpath to make sure web users have access only to accurate information that would not lead them astray.

How Fake News Is Changing the Face of Content

Facebook announced a while back that the social network would ban “clickbait” headlines that present highly misleading information to get a user to click. Likewise, the company upgraded its algorithm once more this year to weed out content that ensnares users with, well, lies. Google has taken a similar approach as well and has been for some time. The search engine actively blacklists sites that may contain suspicious links that could be considered spam. The Google algorithm is now sophisticated enough to distinguish between well-written content and just plain bad content.

The purpose of all these efforts is to improve user experience and give users access to authentic content. This definitely impacts how marketing content is distributed across the web.

What It Means for Digital Marketing

Global Resources LLC consultants warn that digital marketers should be aware of the changes coming to online content. Unlike before, social media sites and search engines are looking for content that is produced according to higher quality standards. This means that content should be free of errors, well written, and looks and sounds natural.

Digital content producers should, therefore, focus efforts on creating quality content, not more content. Considering how big internet brands are taking a stand against fake news, marketers should focus extra attention on the accuracy of the content produced as well. Be mindful of sources, and make sure not to repeat anything that could hurt your brand online.

The Next Steps Forward for Digital Marketers

Digital content producers should focus efforts on creating varied and long-lasting content. Invest more in few, top notch pieces of content instead of going for loads of cheap ones. Consider producing videos as well as articles. Above all, make sure content is never misleading or poorly written.

A company review could show whether your small business marketing strategy can live up to new unofficial content standards. Visit GR-US.com for more information on how we can help you improve your business.

How Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of Facebook’s Latest Feature

Facebook will soon make a new feature available for all its users across all devices. This newest feature of the world’s largest social network will let users find free Wi-Fi spots nearby using the social network. It’s a business savvy move from Facebook. Users are connecting to the social network mainly using mobile devices in both developing and developed markets. And mobile users are always in search of good Wi-Fi connections.

While this feature seems rather innocuous on Facebook’s part, it may soon have a major impact on small businesses, especially ones with brick and mortar stores, Global Resources LLC consultants say. When consumers can look up Wi-Fi spots on Facebook, they will always be on the move looking for the best connections. No one is going to stay at a place with a bad connection. For Facebook, this means users can use the network more and for longer. For users, this means they can easily find the best Wi-Fi connections.

For small businesses, this means providing good Wi-Fi connections and web services should be a priority. There will most likely be advertising implications too. The company could show certain ads only on Wi-Fi connected devices. Also, better connections mean small business owners should be mindful of speed and performance of a website. Google already filters search results based on page load speed. Facebook, likewise, might do something similar in the future.

Consultants with GR-US.com, therefore, advise small business owners to do the following to benefit from the upcoming changes:

Upgrade the Business Wi-Fi Package: If your company connection is available to guests or customers, it may be time to upgrade it. The speedier the connection is, the more customers your business will attract with the new Facebook tool.

Get Site Speed Up: Use tools like Google PageSpeed to monitor the speeds of sites in all your company’s domains. The speeds should be able to compete with the sites on top of the search results. A site should get a Google speed rank of at least 70 to keep users engaged.

Use a Caching Plugin: Caching plugins speed up websites. You can buy one or download a free one for your sites.

Avoid Large Multimedia Files: Do no upload huge video or image files that take forever to load. Use compressed and minimized file formats.

It’s very important for small businesses to keep up with new changes in the social media and internet sphere. Use the above recommendations to stay on top of upcoming Facebook changes.

Tips for Boosting Slumping Organic Search Traffic

Organic traffic comes from organic, or non-boosted, searches. Organic traffic forms a very important part of any digital marketing campaign. Organic traffic should ideally be on the rise. However, it’s normal to experience flat or steady growth as well. However, if your organic traffic numbers are slumping, or have been down for some time, then that’s cause for worry. Here are several tips from Global Resources LLC marketing consultants on how to boost organic traffic numbers:

See Where the Traffic Drops – It’s possible that your whole site is experiencing a sudden drop in organic traffic. It could also be that only certain landing pages are experiencing this issue. Run a quick analysis and find out which parts of your site are most affected. The solution will depend on the problem. For example, using a bad keyword on a part of your site could be hurting traffic. Or, it’s possible that a product featured on a landing page is no longer interesting to customers.

Check for Google Manual Penalty – A Google manual penalty will instantly hurt your traffic. Google could penalize your site for various violations of its SEO code, such as using plagiarized content, having spammy links on your site, or employing “black hat” SEO tactics. If your organic traffic slump is particularly troubling, you should definitely check whether your site has been penalized. Once you correct the issue that caused the penalty, then your traffic numbers should improve again.

Improve Link Profile – Bad or outdated links could cause a slump in organic traffic. You should check your site’s link profile and go through each link. Get rid of outdated links. You can update old links with new, more relevant ones. You can use a tool like Moz Open Site Explorer to check your link profile more efficiently.

Update Keywords—More often than not, keywords are the reason organic traffic rises or slumps. Make sure your web pages are using highly relevant keywords suitable for the season. For example, in the summer, use summer-related keywords to boost organic traffic, in addition to the main keywords you are using.

Typically, performing the improvements mentioned above should increase organic traffic volumes. However, if the numbers continue to be low, then that should raise some alarm. You can contact us at  GR-US.com and we’ll recommend an SEO expert to conduct a comprehensive review of marketing practices to see why traffic numbers might be slumping.

Tips for Establishing a Pleasant Company Culture

Company culture plays a major role in determining how productive and effective a business’s workforce is. Maintaining a good company culture is crucial to the sustainability of the business. You won’t be able to retain the best talent with a toxic work environment. Uber, which has been in the news lately, poses as a huge cautionary tale in this regard.

Uber had a great business model and the profits were pouring in, at least until the company got in serious legal trouble. Uber has recently let go of its CEO and taken steps to improve in-hours work culture. Global Resources LLC warn that companies must maintain a good work culture from day one. Most businesses won’t survive what Uber has gone through. So, to make sure your business is not going to be ruined because of a bad company culture, here are several tips to follow:

Invest in the Human Resources Department: The HR department exists for a reason. One of the main reasons Uber stumbled is because the company had a very weak HR department. There must be a clear and precise set of policies and steps in place for employees to lodge complaints. Importantly, there should be a trustworthy policy in place for employees to lodge complaints of harassment. A strong HR department means an empowered workforce. Your business will be able to sort out conflicts and disputes early on before they snowball into bigger problems with a proper HR department.

Do Not Make Exceptions for Bad Behavior: It’s common for companies, like parents, to favor some employees over others. But this favoritism should never be on blatant display. If the company has a star employee, never let this employee get away with bad behavior in plain sight. The rules should be equal for everyone. It sends a terrible message to other employees and creates distrust and resentment when bad behavior has exceptions inside the company.

Do Listen to Employees: If the employees complain about various conditions at the workplace, it’s the duty of the employer to listen. Even if some of these complaints might seem trivial at first, these issues could get worse over time if left unaddressed. If several complaints are coming in regarding a similar issue, then the bosses must pay attention.

Overall, stick to the company policy and maintain a good ethical policy at work. Do not be lenient towards bad behavior. Never let higher ups behave badly in front of other employees either. If you want more suggestions to improve the company culture at your business, send us a message at GR-US.com.

Lucrative Digital Marketing Channels Most Small Businesses Ignore

Most small businesses have a tendency to limit digital marketing efforts to few well-known channels like Facebook or Google Ads. These channels refer to conventional digital marketing. If you post a banner ad on Google, then your ad will be competing with a number of other similar ads to get the attention of customers. On Facebook, there’s a very unbalanced ad-to-post ratio that advertisers constantly have to worry about.

In this environment, it’s worthwhile to sit back and consider other ways to drive web traffic. There are digital marketing channels with great potential that small businesses rarely think about engaging with. Depending on your target audience, these channels could generate more leads than conventional channels. Here is a list of some of these channels, as recommended by GR-US.com consultants, that your small business might be able to benefit from:

Remarketing – Remarketing is currently one of the most popular ways to target potential customers on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Remarketing is aimed at people who have visited your site and shown interest. The audience of remarketing efforts do not involve existing customers or email subscribers. (If you do target these groups, you risk overwhelming them with ads and alienating them.) To do this specific type of targeting, you can install a social media tracking pixel on your site and gather data. Then use this data to target ads at customers who have shown interest, but not enough to generate a lead.

Google Voice Search Advertising – Google Voice Search is becoming more and more popular each day. Both adults (41 percent) and teens (55 percent) rely on voice search, according to research conducted by Northstar. Smart devices like Amazon Echo are also increasing the number of voice searches. Therefore, start making ads to appeal to voice searchers to increase your brand’s reach.

Invest in Micro Influencers – Social media micro influencers have less reach than megastars or celebrities. But they still have an audience that can be marketed towards. Rather than spending a lot of money on mega influencers, small businesses can benefit more by offering incentives to micro influencers to spread the word about your brand.

StumbleUpon – This is a highly underrated social media channel that small businesses can use to generate web traffic. StumbleUpon connects users to websites based on content posted (like images and videos, not conventional ads). It’s highly specific and offers a better chance at attracting interested users.

Is your company’s marketing campaign already engaged with the above, or is the strategy woefully outdated? You can benefit from Global Resources Reviews to improve your business’s existing marketing strategy.

 

Effective Digital Marketing Techniques Many B2C Companies Fail to Do

Global Resources LLC consultants consistently discover that most small businesses rely on only a handful of SEO techniques to drive a digital marketing campaign. It’s understandable that some teams would prefer to stick with the familiar. However, this could be costing your company online traffic, brand recognition, and even conversions. While it’s encouraged for marketing campaigns to stick with the techniques with the most ROI, teams should also experiment with other tactics that could lead to better sales. Here is a list of often neglected online marketing techniques that small businesses can really try and benefit from:

Answering Questions Online – Q&A sessions should not be limited to the company website. Platforms like Quora and Yahoo Answers present incredible opportunities to connect with massive audiences. Brands should provide answers to questions that might relate to the business, and marketing reps can also post questions that prompt interest. Also, Quora questions sometimes get listed among Google search results. A well-phrased question with just the right combination of keywords could prove to be quite powerful SEO wise.

Finding Influencers – Influencers have a direct line to huge audiences. Small businesses on limited marketing budgets can benefit enormously by connecting with an influencer. Of course, the target audience of the influencer should overlap the target customer base for the business. It does take a while for a brand to land the right influencer and make a deal. Therefore, it’s smart to always be on the lookout.

Facebook Contests – Do take advantage of running online contests on platforms like Facebook. They can be arranged really simply, such as by offering a gift in return for a photograph of the product, for example. Most states have local laws relating to businesses running contests. However, contests can be conducted with very simple rules online so it’s far easier to do and benefit from.

Offering Coupons – Have your online store listed on a major coupon website like RetailMeNot. This is a great way to drive traffic and find a following. There are many ways brands can offer coupons online, and they are always lucrative, especially when near the holiday season.

Do not allow your digital marketing campaign to lose its mojo by doing the same thing over and over again. If you want to revitalize a campaign, you can get expert help at GR-US.com.

Hacking: How to Avoid the Most Serious Concern for Tech-Minded Small Businesses

Hacking is a serious concern for small businesses in all sectors. In recent years, criminal hacking (as opposed to ethical, “white hat” hacking) has been in the news for potentially disrupting elections, wreaking cyber havoc at companies, blackmailing random people by encrypting computer data, and even causing some companies to go bankrupt. Global Resources LLC consultants warn that if your small business offices are connected to the internet in one way or another, then you should be worried about hackers.

Hackers often gain access to internal networks by various duping methods. Phishing is one of these common methods where a hacker tricks an employee into clicking a seemingly trustworthy link that actually contains malware. Phishing is surprisingly common and most recently infamously caused the DNC hack during the past election year. Phishing is, of course, just one of the many methods that can lead to a hack. Read below to learn about simple steps you can take to safeguard your business:

Instruct Employees Not to Click on Any Emailed Links: Simply avoid clicking on any emailed links. For example, if an employee gets an invite for a Google password change, instruct the employee to go to Google’s website directly, instead of being redirected to an emailed link. Hackers have become sophisticated enough to emulate companies like Google and Facebook. If you look closely enough, there will be small differences between a genuine and a phishing email. However, most employees are not this discerning. So, it’s best to prevent the practice of clicking on emailed links altogether.

Adopt a Password Policy: Some hackers gain access simply by guessing passwords. This is why cyber security experts warn companies to adopt strong password policies. These policies often involve having employees change all passwords at least every three months. Randomly generating passwords, thus making them impossible to guess, is also strongly encouraged.

Keep Software Up to Date: Companies like Microsoft often issue security patches for software vulnerabilities quietly with updates.  Therefore, make sure all software at the company is updated regularly. Enable automatic updates when possible. Also. have an IT person dedicated to keeping the system up to date.

Our consultants are not cyber security experts. However, we strongly recommend companies to pay attention to their IT practices just as with online marketing. One hack can destroy years of work and cause irreparable damage to your brand. So heed the above advice. If your business requires review of safe internal business practices, contact us at GR-US.com for an evaluation.

Daily Habits to Increase Social Media Followers

Most small businesses fail to understand that growing a social media presence is a task that requires daily attention. It’s not sufficient to post a message on Facebook one week and wait another month until the next post. Using social media is a daily habit for your target audience. Therefore, it should be a daily habit for the company’s marketing plan as well. Here are several tips from Global Resources LLC consultants on how to ensure a growing social media presence for your company and brand:

Post Several Times a Week

Ideally, you should update all your social media profiles on a daily basis. If that’s not possible, update at least several times a week. Make sure there’s at least one update during the weekend, when people are likely to be spending time online. If updating in this manner is not possible, use a tool like Postfifty to schedule posts in advance.

Use Optimal Times for Posting

There’s little point in creating a great Facebook post or uploading a really great Instagram photo if no one in your target audience is online to see it. Keep in mind that social media feeds get updated every minute. If you update at the wrong time, it’s possible that the post will be ignored altogether. Therefore, collect data to determine the optimal time for posting. Which days of the week and what time during the day are your brand’s followers most active? Post during these times to optimize viewing, liking, and sharing.

Respond to User Feedback

It’s very important to invest in a daily social media screener to respond to user comments, posts, or feedback on any other form. Ideally, the company should respond within 24 hours. The aim of using social media is to build intimate relationships with potential customers so they stay loyal. You cannot achieve this goal if user comments are ignored.

Engagement is the secret to making social media marketing a success. The above tips cover the basics of engagement that any company can achieve with relative ease. For more advice, contact us at GR-US.com.

The Basics of Small Business Instagram Marketing

Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing tools many small businesses unfortunately fail to take advantage of. The photo-sharing app is one of the top most downloaded in the U.S. It is not just a space for celebrities to promote themselves. The biggest enterprise-grade brands like Nike and Starbucks are pro Instagram users.

What is unique about Instagram is that it allows smaller ventures to go toe-to-toe with industry giants. Global Resources LLC consultants highly recommend small business marketers think seriously about using Instagram to create brand awareness and increase customer loyalty. Here are basic tips for using Instagram:

Choose Great Pictures: Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Instagram is a visually oriented social networking site. On Instagram, what matters is what you show, not what you write. Therefore, it’s very important to use unique and highly appealing photographs to market your brand’s message. Avoid using stock photographs, and use your own to showcase authenticity.

Connect All Social Accounts: If your business has other social media accounts, don’t forget to connect them to the Instagram account. It’s possible to do this automatically. Once done, your Instagram posts will show up automatically on the feeds of other sites, thus increasing reach and scope.

Write Intriguing Captions: For photos, do not bother writing paragraphs. One or two intriguing sentences is often enough. You need to focus more on writing a very interesting and engaging bio for your company. Keep it short and casual, and make sure the audience understands what your business offers.

Use Existing Hashtags: Instagram’s power derives from clever use of hashtags. Where other social networks use keywords, Instagram uses hashtags. For example, #love is the most popular hashtag on the platform with millions of followers. Likewise, your marketing team needs to use these trending hashtags. Making up hashtags on your own is useless because no one else will see them. Tailor your photos to popular trending hashtags to increase traffic.

Need more marketing advice that will deliver your branding message to the intended audience? Ask us at GR-US.com.