Facebook Advertising For My Business: Facebook Ads Manager

I’m back with the next blog in the Facebook Advertising For My Business series. In the first of the series I touched briefly on how Facebook Ads Manager was what beginner and intermediate advertisers should be using for advertising their business on Facebook.

In this blog you will:

(a) Get a review of the Facebook Ads Manager platform and how to setup your Facebook Ads account

(b) Learn how to create and manage Facebook ads using Facebook Ads Manager

(c) Gain insight of the types of Facebook Ads you could be using to promote your business

GETTING STARTED WITH FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

Setting up your Facebook Ads account requires a few steps, with the first being accessing Facebook Ads Manager for the first time. Login to Facebook and then go to facebook.com/ads/manageStep two requires adding a payment method to your account. Make sure to use a payment method you have easy access to and that doesn’t have an expiration date quickly approaching. To add a payment method go to facebook.com/ads/manage/billing and click the green “Add Payment Method” button. From the billing page you can also manage your billing threshold and see a billing summary for your account.

Facebook Ads Manager Billing Page

Step three is adding users to your ad account. This step is optional if you don’t care to give other people access to manage your ads. Why might you want to give access to other people? There might be staff members or friends who will help you create and manage Facebook Ads for your business, so you will want them to be able to access the Facebook Ads account without needing your personal Facebook login information. To add a user, click the Ads Manager menu (see below) at the top left corner of your screen. On the right hand side of the drop down menu, click “Ad Account Settings”.

 

Guest Blogger: 5 Smart Ways Your Nonprofit Can Market Matching Gifts Online

 

This blog post is written by Guest Blogger Adam Weinger.  Adam is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.

 


 

Nonprofits seeking to boost donations through the power of corporate giving programs understand that strategic promotion is half of the battle.

For charitable organizations, marketing is always a priority. Between getting the word out about your cause, upcoming fundraising events, and volunteer opportunities, you’re always promoting something, usually online.

So where do important corporate giving opportunities like matching gifts fit into the picture?

To find out, read these 5 ways you can leverage your nonprofit’s online presence to promote matching gifts:

  1. Make the most of matching gifts during the donation process.
  2. Time your matching gift promotions right.
  3. Educate your donors on a dedicated matching gifts page.
  4. Use eye-catching visuals to spread the word on social media.
  5. Send personalized matching gift email communications.

When you leverage the power of matching gifts, your organization can open up a world of double or even triple the fundraising potential. And when you see how easy promoting these programs can be, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along!

Let’s get right into it.

 

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1. Make the most of matching gifts during the donation process.

Your donors are most receptive to matching gift promotions during the donation process.

Think about it: once your supporter clicks onto your online donation form and begins inputting their information, they’re already committed to the giving process and clearly in the charitable spirit.

Additionally, because they’re already showing interest in your cause, they’re likely to be open to extending their gift’s impact through just a few more steps.

You can push your online donors toward completing the matching gift process by including resources at every point of the online donation process.

Here’s are a few simple strategies we suggest:

 

  • Add a “Match My Gift” checkbox on your donation form. Your online donation platform should allow you to create custom fields or options, so don’t forget to include a box that allows donors to opt-in to the matching gift process. Then, quickly follow up with those donors via email to provide next steps.

 

 

  • Include a matching gift database search tool. You can embed a simple widget (such as the one offered by Double the Donation) on your donation page, the confirmation screen, and in the initial acknowledgement email. That way, donors can search for their company and instantly learn all they need to know about their matching gift program.

 

 

  • Feature a bright call-to-action button. Lead donors to a separate corporate giving or matching gifts page or another informative resource that explains what matching gifts are, how they work, and what a donor needs to do to follow through with the submission process.

 

Remember: many supporters overlook matching gifts because they don’t know they’re an option. Highlighting matching gifts when donors are already engaged in the donation process will ensure they won’t miss this corporate giving opportunity.

 

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2. Time your matching gift promotions right.

Savvy nonprofits know that timing is everything, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to marketing matching gift opportunities.

Don’t get us wrong—you should promote matching gifts all year long. That said, there are a few key times when matching gift promotions are most relevant and actionable for your donors:

 

  • Immediately following the donation. You should already prioritize effective thank-you notes as part of your donor stewardship strategy, and you can easily add information about matching gifts to those emails to make sure match-eligible donors submit their requests as soon as they can.

 

 

  • During year-end giving. Many corporate giving deadlines fall at the end of the calendar year, so it’s a natural time to follow-up with donors who’ve made gifts throughout the past 12 months to see if their gifts can be matched. (Plus, securing matched gifts is an effective way to reach those end-of-year fundraising goals!)

 

 

  • Near matching gift deadlines. If you’re storing your donors’ employer information within your donor database, you can also add associated matching gift deadline information for each company. That way, you can tailor your communications so they align with a donor’s specific matching gift submission deadline.

 

The more time that passes after a donation, the less likely a donor is to remember to submit their matching gift request.

When you track each match-eligible donation according to that company’s unique submission timeline and requirements, you can make sure you’re keeping in touch with donors so they don’t let the deadline pass them by.

A great way to stay on top of all of your donors’ gifts? Invest in software that can do it for you! Whether you’re logging matching gift information in your nonprofit CRM or automating the entire process using high-powered matching gift software, the right technology can help you stay on top of donations and deadlines so you don’t miss a dime of matched gift money.

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3. Educate your donors on a dedicated matching gifts page.

There’s a lot to consider as you’re designing your nonprofit’s website, but make sure that corporate giving makes the list!

Because your organization’s website is often the backbone of your online presence, it’s important that you pull out all the stops to outfit your site as a one-stop resource for anything your constituents need to know about your nonprofit, including corporate giving information.

You likely already have a general ways to give page. But if you want to show donors how highly you prioritize corporate giving (and matching gifts in particular), we recommend creating a dedicated matching gifts page as well.

A well-designed matching gifts page should do the following:

 

  • Provide background on matching gifts. Imagine that your site visitors have never heard the term “matching gifts” before—there’s a good chance they haven’t! Keep your explanation brief, but feel free to link out to additional corporate giving resources too.

 

 

  • Explain the impact of matching gifts. As with every page on your website, your matching gifts page is an opportunity to showcase your nonprofit’s mission. Reminding donors what their donations (along with their employers’ matching gifts) can do might be the impetus they need to make a gift or submit their match request.

 

 

  • Inspire the visitor to take action! Your matching gifts page should clearly provide a next step for the visitor. List any important details about your nonprofit that they’ll need in order to complete their matching gift submission and embed a matching gift database search tool so they can find their specific company guidelines too.

 

See this example of how March of Dimes embedded a Double the Donation widget to give their donors a tangible next step on their matching gifts page:

DTD-5 Smart Ways Your Nonprofit Can Market Matching Gifts Online-March of Dimes

You should include a link to your matching gifts page on your ways to give page, as well as in any social media or blog posts that encourage donors to submit a match request. That way, supporters always know where to go to find out more about matching gifts.

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4. Use eye-catching visuals to spread the word on social media.

You should know by now that social media isn’t going anywhere as a means of promoting your cause and connecting with constituents or potential new donors. But did you know that social media can (and should) be a powerful way of influencing supporters to take part in their company’s matching gift programs?

It’s true! As with any social media post, the best way to capture your followers’ attention when marketing matching gifts is to make your posts as visual as possible.

We know what you’re thinking. How do you take a concept like corporate giving and make it easy on the eyes? There are several ways:

 

  • Create an infographic. Data can be a great ally in demonstrating the impact of matching gifts on your cause, but a paragraph full of statistics won’t stop donors in their tracks as they scroll through Facebook or Twitter. Make your data more interesting by laying it out in a visual format, like a creative infographic.

 

 

  • Do a demonstration. Submitting a matching gift request is easy, but your social followers might not believe it until they see it. Have a volunteer or a member of your team do a live (or pre-recorded) demonstration of your matching gift search tool and show how simple it is to find a company, fill out the paperwork, and double your gift!

 

 

  • Design a series of branded graphics. There’s plenty of free design software that your team can use to create professional graphics that promote your matching gift opportunities. On your graphics, you might include statistics, quotes from beneficiaries or staff, or even instructions for submitting a matching gift request.

 

Not only are visual posts more eye-catching than text-only posts, but they’re also more likely to communicate your nonprofit’s brand and personality, making it easier for followers to develop an emotional connection with your organization.

As you’re posting, be careful not to overwhelm your followers. Don’t post more than 2-3 times per week (unless you’re running a specific short-term social media campaign), and diversify your posts across platforms so that users who follow you on multiple sites don’t see the same content over and over again.

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5. Send personalized matching gift email communications.

Even though your donors won’t technically be giving you any more money from their own pockets, you should look at your matching gift promotions as a kind of donation request letter.

As such, your matching gift communications can help you connect with your donors one-on-one and encourage them to be a part of your organization’s mission.

Here are a few of our favorite strategies for making your matching gift marketing efforts as personal as possible:

 

  • Use your donor’s preferred name and title. It’s a simple change, but switching from “Dear Donor” to a more personal greeting can show your supporters that you’re reaching out to them individually rather than sending a generic message to everyone in your list.

 

 

  • Explain their company’s distinct submission process. When you store your donors’ company information in your supporter database or matching gift software, you can send them materials that communicate their employer’s unique submission guidelines.

 

 

  • Keep donors updated on the status of their matching gift request. Don’t let your donors think you’ve forgotten them after they’ve completed their end of the matching gift process. Make sure to keep them in the loop on the status of their request and thank them again after their employer has completed the match, too.

 

When you have complete donor data on file in your CRM, sending out personalized messages is a breeze. With the right software, you can even automate many of these steps so that most of the matching gift process is all taken care of for you.

Matching gifts can have an astonishing impact on your fundraising results, but perhaps the most surprising part of this strategy is how easy it can be for your team to pull off.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be prepared to go forth and reap the benefits of corporate giving through the power of online communication. Good luck!

 


 

Adam Weinger is one of the leading experts on corporate giving programs.

He’s the President of Double the Donation, a company which helps organizations raise more money from employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs. The company partners with nonprofits ranging from arts and cultural organizations, hospitals, educational institutions, and community based organizations to help them increase fundraising from corporate giving programs.

Adam is a frequent contributor to many leading nonprofit magazines and blogs, including NonprofitProGuideStarNonprofit Marketing GuideTop NonprofitsNonprofit.About.com and of course, Double the Donation’s blog.

Organizations looking to learn more about employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs should check out the resources the company provides which include lists of the top matching gift and volunteer grant companies.

Have questions for Adam Weinger or Double the Donation? Email Adam or connect with Double the Donation on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Jessica Kircher Joins Maximize as Web Director

jessica-kircher-maximize-digitalFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAXIMIZE DIGITAL MEDIA HIRES JESSICA KIRCHER AS WEB DIRECTOR

Maximize Digital Media is pleased to announce its recent hire of Jessica Kircher, who will join the Maximize team as Web Director. In this role, Kircher will join the design team, providing graphic and website design for new and ongoing client projects.

“I was attracted by the company’s mission to help businesses build a stronger brand presence locally and beyond” Kircher said. “I share their belief that small business is the backbone of every community, and I love the idea of being able to help our clients strengthen their business, and their bottom line with websites that convert into leads and more sales.”

Kircher comes to Maximize with five years of experience working in graphic design, and brings a plethora of additional skills with her as well.

“Jessica’s fresh perspective and passionate approach to the design process is a breath of fresh air in the office,” CEO Chrissanne Long said. “She brings a new kind of energy to the team, and her desire to give back in the community in which she has grown up makes her a perfect fit for Maximize.”

Before working for Maximize, Kircher served as general manager, art director and trainer for California-based fusionZone Automotive. While working as a general manager, she developed skills through her hands-on experience with WordPress, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. She attained her Associate of Arts degree in Design and Multimedia in 2014 from Keiser University.

“The next best decision I needed to make for my career was to join a team that needed my cumulative skillset as much as I needed their support,” Kircher said. “My future with this company makes me smile.”

Kircher combines her recent experience in project management and graphic design with a background in print production, brand identity, and social media, bringing a lot of new opportunities to the Maximize team.

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Maximize Digital Media is a provider of website design, digital marketing, and social media advertising services to a diverse list of businesses and organizations, including retailers, legal services, speakers, national chains and local, independently-owned businesses throughout the country. Their proven track record and commitment to excellence since 2009 has enabled them to serve over a thousand businesses and organizations to maximize their success online.

For more information about the company, please contact Olivia George at 863-606-5994, email info@maximizedigitalmedia, or visit the Maximize website at maximizedigitalmedia.com

7 Signs It’s Time to Redesign Your Website

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Ready to Blast Off?

Have the Perfect Website to Launch
your Digital Marketing Campaigns

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Similar to anything in life, there are cycles – doing your laundry, working out, and even stages in your life. It’s no different with digital marketing. We’ve talked about how to reach your customers online, but there’s more to it than that.

The fact of the matter is, what looked and functioned amazingly in 2012 isn’t going to hold up 5 years later. Design, just like your underwear, should always be changing. There’s new advancements in technology every day, people are interacting differently with their environment, and brands that influence design style are more prominent through social media.  But, having a good-looking website is only one piece of your game plan to blast off into 2017 into unknown territory.

We’ve compiled 7 mission-critical red flags to look for when deciding whether it’s time to upgrade/update your website.
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PERCENT
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of Mobile Search users have found a new company or product through use of their smartphone.
(Google, 2015)

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1. Your Website Doesn’t Look Good on Mobile

There are several website design approaches you can take to make sure your website’s functionality is working for your audience, but the best one is Responsive Website Design. Today, more users are using their phone to find information or shop. This means your website will potentially (if search engines are finding your information relevant for users) be in front of more eyes, more often and more frequently. Here are some things to consider:

  • Does your website layout fit to the screen without scrolling horizontally?
  • Is the text readable?
  • Is information easily found?
  • Are your call-to-actions loud and distinct?
  • Can people navigate from page to page?
  • Can a customer successfully check-out with minimal clicks?

If you answered “no” to one of these questions, chances are it’s time for you to look into getting a mobile responsive website. Just one of those questions can lead to a user leaving your website without the information or product they want and go to a competitor.
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WordPress Login
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2. You Can’t Update Your Site

At Maximize, we believe in empowering our clients. We don’t ask that you become expert designers, but do provide training that will have you feeling comfortable about changing a paragraph, uploading images, managing inventory — if you want that ability, you should have it. HTML websites require people who know developing language to build and edit your site. This, as you may know, is not functional for people on a budget.

Now, Content Management Systems (CMS) are on the rise for their easy-to-use interface. WordPress  is by far the most popular of the bunch. Building your website on an CMS platform allows you to manage your website with minimal coding knowledge. The only downside is setting up WordPress onto a domain will most likely require you to start fresh.

If you do not have the ability to edit your website, whether it is due to restrictions set by your website designer or because your site is designed through HTML, you may need to start thinking of empowering yourself as a business owner with a site you can manage.
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3. No Social Media Outbound Links

Your social media and website should work hand in hand. With the role that social media plays in our life now, it is crucial to have activity that is engaging and valuable to your potential customers.

By having social media links visibly on your website, you’re encouraging visitors to follow further for updates and special offers. Your website often offers static information (pricing, product information, history of your company), but social media is dynamic and ever-changing. Ideally, you should have both header and footer links promoting your social media pages.

If your website has no links to your Facebook, Twitter, etc… you’re missing out on providing a valuable connection to your customers that can increase your brand loyalty.
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4. Search Engines Can’t Find Your Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to making sure you’re found online. Ranking on page 1 on Google is a hard task, but sometimes… maybe your website isn’t ranking at all? Graphics and design refreshers are great, but ultimately you’ll need to understand that SEO is an ongoing process.

Website design with keyword infused into the elements help organically boost rankings. For example, if all of your images are saved as the filename from a digital camera (ex: IMG495883.PNG), that’s not offering anything relevant. You want to name images using keywords related to the image contents & your keyword strategy. SearchEngineWatch has a good guide on how to optimize images for web use.
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Is the text on the page written well? That’s a question people tend to have. By focusing on creating keyword relevant headlines and mentioning locations in your post, you’re able to boost into local searches for the keyword + location. Having a website that is not optimized for SEO can hinder you greatly and there are tools (on WordPress, especially) that allow easier management than hand-coding.

The most important thing to remember is SEO is an ongoing process. It can take 30 to 90 days to see a result. For further questions about SEO and getting to page one, please view our FREE guide on Thinking Like Your Customers.
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5. Your Site Looks Outdated

A good general rule of thumb is to have your website evolve every year or so. Whether that’s a full redesign or not is up to you, but elements should change to reflect your business’s growth. Unfortunately, you have around 5 seconds (if you’re lucky) to make a good first impression on your site visitor. Modernizing buttons, call-to-action areas, and streamlining content can make a big change in how your website is presented.

Right now, minimalist styles are huge! For example, if you’re a Pool Cleaning company, you don’t need to slap water images, dancing water drop .gifs or the sound of rushing water on your website. A simple white background instead of a rippling pool of water texture allows your audience to digest information clearer.

Drop the Comic Sans and leave the clip art alone — the early 2000s are long and gone. Your website is a reflection of you and thus, should look its best.
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6. Your Site IS Outdated

Okay, so we talked about graphics, but what about the content on your website? Google is definitely in favor of having fresh content written for users. By creating new valuable content on a semi-regular basis, you’re showing the search engines that you’re relevant.

A great strategy is keeping your “About” page up to date and adding new services to your website when they are available. We’ve seen websites with team members that have been gone for years! It is important to not only appease to the search engine gods, but to also keep important information visible.

Your website should also have the capabilities to have blog posts. Blog posts are crucial for giving important content to people browsing on certain topics. Is someone looking for a way to fix a leaky sink? If you’ve written a blog post about fixing a leaky sink with relevant advice, there are chances your blog post will appear and provide you a chance to make a great first impression, and perhaps gain that user’s business if they are within your service area.

Bottom line: if you can’t update the site (as we mentioned) or have out-of-date content… Houston, we may have a problem.
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Outside of Maximize Digital
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7. Phone’s aren’t ringing

Web traffic is what everyone wants. It’s casting a wide net, but if you don’t have the right strategy… there may not be any fish there. You can have an awesome website, but ultimately, is your phone ringing? Are you getting purchases? We highly suggest you have Google Analytics installed on your account so you can monitor web traffic at the source. You want to be able to find where visitors drop off in their visit to your website.

By understanding the conversion funnel, you’re able to speak with a designer to make stronger call-to-actions, bigger buttons, more compelling headlines, and genuinely how to improve problem areas on your website.

Ultimately, we want to ensure your site is nicely designed, but if it’s not functioning… it may be time to look at a strategy. Design and function go hand-in-hand: without function, there can be no good design. Smriti Chawla, marketing specialist, Visual Website Optimizer, which provides A/B and split testing tools says: “Once you know the problems, you can hypothesize design/content solutions to fix them and use A/B testing to validate your hypotheses.
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FREE eBOOK.

Get a FREE copy of our eBook on “Understanding & Defining Your Business’s Digital Foundation”.

Responsive Website Design eBook preview cover

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Schedule a FREE consultation with us to discuss how your business can get started!

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Responsive Website: Your Business Foundation In A Digital World

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Beautiful Responsive Website:

Your Business Foundation In A Digital World

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As a society, we are at a point where a significant number of buying decisions are made based on what the internet has to say about you as a business. When you have a strong digital presence you control the conversation. Your website is the foundation. Your online reviews, mentions, and listings build upon that foundation, but always at the root lies a beautiful responsive website.

As business men and women we walk into a room representing our company in the best light that we can – dressed well, hair is combed, we wear an approachable demeanor, and communicate in a way that instills trust. Normal. Expected. Demanded.

What’s the look of your business online? Does it instill trust? Does it help educate the prospect enough for making the sale with ease? To put it in even more simpler of terms, does your company’s web presence help you or hurt you?
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BILLION
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In 2016, Statista reports 1,667 billion dollars of offline sales were Web-Influenced.

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Consider some of the big department stores: more and more are shifting their distribution channels to more aggressively focus on online sales. Some caught on early and others are just now reacting to the definite shift in consumer buying habits. A prime example of reactive strategy is Macy’s – closing 68 stores in 2017. The Macy’s January 4th press release outlines the shift in distribution strategy. A whopping 250 million dollars will be invested in growing their digital business. Yes, it’s Macy’s. Yes, not all of us have 250 million to invest in digital, but perhaps we can apply the same business practice at a smaller scale.
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Let’s say you have a parts shop. You could expand the customer pool you serve buy taking your inventory online and giving people who aren’t local an opportunity to buy quality parts with the customer service and expertise only you can provide. Customers would be coming to you at their own convenience and not have to worry about leaving work early to go buy a part. Have a sports apparel store? Die hard fans are looking for the gear only your shop can provide!

Don’t want to sell online? Use your website as an educational vehicle to help shorten the sales process, or to simply let people in search of the very solution you provide know you exist. Then, present a clear method for how to purchase your products or services.
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The key to a great responsive website is USER EXPERIENCE (UX).

Great UX can be broken down into many factors, but the most important are laid out just below.

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User experience has to be pleasant. Navigation throughout the website should be of great ease and information should be presented in a way where text and imagery bring balance.
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Make website visitors feel like winners. Give them that piece of information or solution they were looking for or didn’t know they needed. Give them something that allows for continued interaction/communication with your business.
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Allow for speedy loading and for speedy navigation through a website page. Website visitors will be viewing on devices with different screen dimensions, so you want to make sure they don’t have to scroll too far to get the valuable piece of information.
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There’s a strategy for every website, for every business. We’re strategists here at Maximize. Whatever the goal for your business’s website, we help form the strategy for website content (images, videos, text) with which the website will be built from. You can expect to sit down with us and talk about your current digital presence, business goals, and future plans for expansions to services, products, or distribution. We make sure your investment in your digital presence has longevity and can grow with your business.
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FREE eBOOK.

Get a FREE copy of our eBook on “Understanding & Defining Your Business’s Digital Foundation”.

Responsive Website Design eBook preview cover

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Schedule a FREE consultation with us to discuss how your business can get started!

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How To Reach Your Customers Online

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Whether you’re a local business with a store front (office, warehouse, etc.), or a business who serves its customers strictly online, the question always will come – “How do I reach my customers online?”

Let’s look at this from two angles… Continue reading How To Reach Your Customers Online

Does your business REALLY need a Facebook page?

One of the toughest things about being a business owners is wearing “many hats”. When you wear many hats, you’re the CEO, the customer service representative, the technician, the support, and now you’re expected to be the social media guru?! We get it, it’s hectic! However, one of the biggest things you need to consider is that your customers are online. Your customers or potential customers are most likely looking you up online for business hours, your website, reviews, just to see if a business like you exists near them.

That brings me to the topic of Facebook pages. The question you probably have about them is simple…

Do I need a Facebook Page for my business?

The short answer is yes, but the long answer is ABSOLUTELY HELL YES. 

By having a Facebook Business Page you’re putting the cherry on top of a strong digital presence and adding a place where you can be found. You’re improving your brand authority.

Let’s start with a story!

On September 14th, I celebrated my 8 year anniversary with my fiancé. It was a special occasion, and his gift to me was a vintage vinyl record player. It was gorgeous! I can proudly blast my Fleetwood Mac albums until I’m tired of hearing Gold Dust Woman. Point being, I wanted to also get my fiancé an album to have for the record player as well. So what do I, the novice vinyl collector, do? I look it up online!

I didn’t know if there was a record store in the area or if I’d have to do my shopping online. By looking up “Record Store Lakeland” into Google, I found a gem that was in the downtown Lakeland area! The Wax and the Needle was perfect for my needs… but if they did not have Facebook, I may not have been inclined to reach out. Why? They didn’t have a website. I try and stick to looking for businesses with either a Facebook Business Page or a website, mainly because this shows that they’re credible and reliable.

wax-and-the-needle
I was able to find out all the information I needed and got a good idea of the brand by their social media posts. This allowed me to feel more comfortable reaching out and visiting the store in person, a large issue that millennials are having. I had a great experience I wouldn’t have been able to have if this small business did not have a Facebook page.

Why are Facebook Business Pages beneficial?

The above is just an example how having a Facebook Page is beneficial. While we highly encourage you to have your own website, Facebook business pages offer similar functions as a “mini-website” with its own review system, comment system, photos, and ability to list store information such as your address and store hours. As part of a general online strategy Facebook helps SEO, as a properly optimized Page will show up in search results along with your website, solidifying your brand as a trusted one.

Facebook is a hub of all things social. You’re connecting with your audience, so of course there are benefits to this. Having a presence on Facebook is valuable for many reasons including brand exposure, customer relations, driving website traffic and promoting online offers. It’s kind of like one big buffet – you choose exactly what you want to focus on and are free to dabble around.

But I can already hear you: “I don’t have time to manage a Facebook Business Page!” Don’t worry, I get it. You’re wearing many hats, remember?

Luckily, Facebook Business Pages aren’t as complex as you may think. You’re able to upload photos of happy customers or of your goods with some insightful commentary that encourages your clients to feel good. By showing your story and thinking of an amazing content strategy, you don’t have to do much of anything than… well, show up!

Your story can be as simple or complex as you want, but maintaining a level of activity keeps your customers thinking of you. You can post directly from your phone or tablet to your Facebook Business Page, which is perfect for busy business owners like yourself. Facebook offers a lot of options to help you work with your schedule. For example, you’ll find yourself able to schedule content ahead of time and set up Facebook Message Autoresponders (which allows you to always give the customer acknowledgment). You don’t have to drop what you’re doing to manage your business page for three hours a day – this makes telling your story more flexible.

By posting once a day and responding to messages in a timely manner, you’re giving customers value and customer service. You’re showing that you’re active and involved, connected to both customer and community.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@maximizedigital” display_mode=”box”]Become a piece of real estate in your customer’s mind. [/tweetthis]

Having a Facebook Business Page allows your business to not only rank better through search engines, but to improve your visibility in the social world. Your customers are most likely using social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or elsewhere… so it’s time to make it official!

giphyWhat’s the disadvantage to Facebook Business Pages?

To be clear, nothing I’m going to mention here should deter you from setting up a Page. But there are some things you should know from the jump that aren’t perfect and could take some getting used to.

Thanks to algorithm updates in recent years, Facebook does not share your content as much as you’d hope for it to. With Facebook hoping to push Facebook Ads and boosted posts, organic (or “free”) posts are less likely to reach all of your audience and bleed into non-fans Facebook feed.

Don’t let this detour you! Although you may need to spend some money to really start reaching audiences outside of your established customer base, Facebook’s Ad system can really help promote your business to where your users are most likely are.

Unlike other advertisements, Facebook Ads are cost efficient.

With ads:
  • You’re always in control since you choose the budget and audience
  • Ads can be optimized reach people more likely to take action.
  • You can edit your budget or stop them at any time.

The cost of Facebook advertising is reflective of your ability to reach and engage with your target audience. Although “cost” heavily relies on your goals and what you constitute as success, these universal strategies that I’ve outlined above should put you on the goal line. The rest is up to you.

If you’re looking for a strong social media campaign that can reach thousands of potential customers, we’re able to help you! Maximize Digital Media is skilled in providing short and long term campaigns that help achieve specific goals for clients such as new fan acquisition, audience conversion from fan to customer, fan and customer engagement, lead generation, and more!

How to Promote Your Event Beyond Your Friends

Reaching Beyond your Friends – Getting Results for Online Event Promotions

Facebook is a versatile tool for building relationships and raising awareness of your business or non-profit organization’s events. Getting the word out about your upcoming fundraiser is crucial for your event’s success, so it’s important to remember that your personal network might not be enough to get you the results you seek!

One of the most common ways to Facebook for business promotions and events is through your personal networks. This is a great way to start, and hopefully you already use this strategy regularly!

If you are trying to sell tickets to an event, gain sponsorships or silent auction items, you will need more than just your network to get the word out! Sharing with your friends is great, but chances are, your friends are friends with your friends, so your circle might not be big enough to get the word out effectively.

Here are some tips to help you take your event promotion beyond your network and in front of people you don’t know, but who might want to attend if they know about the event in advance and can make plans to attend.

Start early.

As soon as you have the date for your event confirmed, get the details online somewhere. (Preferably your website!) You’ll want to sell tickets, sponsorships and organize your silent auction items and donations online as much as possible. Today’s busy world requires that there is a way for people to take action online, as opposed to going to a specific store or physical location to purchase tickets. If you are not able to use the Internet for these functions of your event, you will likely miss a lot of people who would otherwise buy tickets. We recommend developing a strategy about 150 in advance of the event date.

Advertise Differently

Today, advertising is more than a PSA on the radio, an ad in the newspaper and some posters at the local chamber of commerce. If you want people to attend your event, it’s imperative that you shift your advertising strategy to coincide with the way people consume ads today. Facebook, Display ads, digital ads on highly trafficked websites and cross promotion with other organizations are going to yield greater results than some of the traditional advertising methods – and they are not nearly as costly. A strategic Facebook ad campaign, 120 days before the event can capture a great amount of data that can be used when the event date draws nearer!

The Easier the Better

People want fast and easy. The more complex the purchasing process is, the more difficult it will be to convert social media “likes” to sales! Using tools like EventBrite and Sign-up Genius can help organize the people on your planning committee, but make sure these tools make it easier for the people buying tickets. We recommend an event website whenever possible, especially for annual/recurring events!

Create a Website

There are so many online options for events. Some of them are FREE. If you are creating a signature event that you will continue to use year after year, you will want to consider investing in a professionally designed and developed website. The reasons you should have your own website are plenty. And will be covered extensively in a future blog post.

Set Specific Goals

Trust me, we know how crazy it can be planning your event. Things never go exactly the way you plan them. In the beginning stages of your event planning, set specific goals, based on your data from previous years. If you have no data from other events, or if this is your first event, think about the information you will want to have next year that will make the planning easier.

Some Goals To Consider

A List is Gold.

You can build an email list automatically. If your attendees have a blast at your event, it’s likely they will want to attend again next year. Getting their email address when they purchase tickets, or enter a contest to win a prize is the best way to ensure they don’t miss the event next year! You’ll need an account with an email provider (we love MailChimp) and a way to collect email addresses – preferably online – think about automating the process, to save time.

Increase Engagement with Event Sponsors/Donors

Are you currently using online tools to recruit sponsors? What about those silent auction items? Remember, people want fast and easy. If you aren’t currently making your sponsors and donors lives easier with a simple link to sign up and pledge their commitment to your event, you are likely missing out on some great opportunities. Some of those unanswered emails from extremely busy people might not be rejections. It might mean they simply don’t have time to open the .pdf you sent them, or time to return your call. But if the information is available on your website, and they can commit online, you’ve just made life easier for everyone!

Track Visitors to Your Website

Data is a powerful thing. If you have a website and you are selling tickets on that site, you will learn so much more than if you were sending traffic to a link on a 3rd party’s site. You can learn about the behavior of your website visitor and learn so much about your marketing efforts. Things like where are you getting the most traffic (email, Facebook, online advertisements, Google)? These days, most 3rd party event/ticket sales options include the ability to embed your ticket sales on your site, so you are able to gather meaningful data about your marketing.

Event Promotion – We would love to help you plan a winning marketing strategy for your next event. Please give us a call or send us an email so we can learn more about your organization and how we can help!

Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

How does your audience feel about your brand? What emotions and feelings do they have when they think of your product or service? Asking those questions help create awareness of how others will perceive you. Tailoring your digital assets to perform well or ensuring you have great SEO on your website is only half the battle of digital marketing. Sure, you have the right pieces in place, but is the meat of your marketing enough to keep your business thriving and favorable among an audience?

Take a second and think past the scope of results and making a profit. Stop and ask yourself if your marketing is relatable to your customer. Are you making them FEEL anything?

People ignore design that ignores people. – Frank Chimero

 

Maximize Digital Media - Wells Fargo Ad
Wells Fargo Print Advertisement featuring a theme of ‘optimism’

Emotion should be your #1 digital marketing tool, and marketing decisions should always be made with the emotion you’re trying to evoke in mind.

At its core, your business and the problem it solves should make people feel a certain way. Honing in on what you want your clients to feel isn’t as simple as choosing “happy”. Think about this: what roots your business and what helps it grow?

For example, bank advertisements tap into feelings of confidence, optimism and friendliness. Banks want customers to feel like they’re there to help you and believe things will be okay so long as you take that first step with them. By channeling that in their advertising, they’re reaching to their audience in a relatable way.

Think about sports brands. Sports marketing strategies revolve around excitement, determination, and the risk of winning or losing. That type of advertising is bold, daring, and pulls the audience right into the action. Invite your customers to come along with you for more than just a transaction. CONNECT with them.

Think about a product that you purchase time and time again, your “old faithful”. Why do you do it? I’m fond of Dove hygiene products – but why? The reason is often attributed to a feeling. Dove products make me feel feminine, secure, and confident – three feelings that they showcase in their advertisements. (Plus, let’s be real, their products smell nice.) By creating market strategies rooted in those emotions, you can reach audiences on more than just a superficial level.

But how do you bottle emotion in advertising?

There’s no secret formula, but it’s not as complex as you may think.

  1. Identify and understand your target market.
  2. Learn their problems, pain points, fears, desires, and goals.
    • Tune into feelings like fear, loss, belonging, risk, love, confidence, and security.
  3. Tell a story that speaks to all of those things and helps build up the brand on an emotional level.
    • By using those feelings, you’ll be able to create advertisements, content, and a brand that persuades people subconsciously to take actions they may not have normally made. It’s not tricky or skeevy to use the subconscious to influence your customers. Make your emotion honest, influence for the right reasons.

Making your advertising less about your product and more about the experience your audience will have is a true, honest way to advertise. Tell a story, a personal one, that evokes a legitimate emotion.

In the above clip from the Pixar film Ratatouille, you’ll see exactly how impactful emotion is. Your goal is to evoke emotions so strongly that it brings your audience back to a specific time. Think about how many bakeries try to play off Grandma’s old recipe for cookies. It’s because it’s an experience that nearly everyone can identify with and almost always has warm, fond memories. When someone feels that, they’re more inclined to support that business to get that feeling again. It’s simple! If you create your ad campaigns and business around profit, you are in danger of slipping away from connection to manipulation.

Still not sure? Use emotions from your own stories.

Make an honest attempt to reach your clients by telling your own story. Tying in your own story brings a new transparency to your business. People root for underdogs because they see themselves in them. They see the power that other people have and feel inspired to take action themselves. By bringing some emotion from your life to your business, you’re inviting people along for your journey. You’re getting them involved before they even buy a product.

Bottom line, create marketing strategies that speak to your consumers and potential customers like they’re real humans with real feelings, memories, fears, and goals.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Wix

This is my face when you show me your website made in Wix.

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 I really hate to be the person to crush dreams. Really.  I come across friends of mine from college who are upstarting their business and since money is a concern, they go with Wix. Imagine the sirens from “Kill Bill” when someone says they use Wix. Can you feel the dramatic zoom in on my narrowed eyes? Yup, I hate Wix. It’s one of my major pet peeves.

Wix.com is a “cheap” alternative to hiring a web designer. It offers often outdated, uneditable, and restrictive control over your website. Sure, $9 a month (a minimum) seems to sound appealing but in reality, you’re spending a lot more. Buying a domain, having hosting, and most importantly, paying to remove ads from your site are all additional cost to ensuring your business has a website on Wix.

To make matters worse, Wix has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. Using the hashtag #ItsThatEasy during their Superbowl ad this year just grinded my gears. Web design isn’t easy. That devalues the whole process of work web designers put into their client websites. Do you think Band-Aid would promote a gauze or bandage where you can set a serious wound itself with the hashtag #ItsThatEasy? Do you think Black & Decker would promote for people with no understanding of construction to use their products remodeling a house because #ItsThatEasy? No. Web design is a visual and technical language that no template can replace.

What lures people in so quickly is the “templates” they offer. Promoting their ‘stylized’ templates appeal to certain looks in each genre: a template labeled Photography will showcase visuals over content while one labeled Business has a more traditional website style. These are very cool – really. But, their “100’s” of templates can only offer so much. How long will it be until someone else who wanted a “cheap” website has the same website design as you, but with THEIR logo plastered on it? I’ve seen it happen and it’s more awkward than having the same prom dress as your arch nemesis in high school. Yeah, it’s THAT bad.

Just because you put a bow on it doesn’t mean it wasn’t fit into a box and shipped to millions of people.

One of the scariest things to me is the inability to take your files or content with you. Remember how we wrote about how you need to own your digital assets? This is no different! What if Wix ever changes their rates, shut down, has an attack on their service or is down for maintenance? You have nothing to show for the $9 dollars a month you’ve paid for – what, a year? You will not own your own website this way. You will be dependent on cookie-cutter templates, limited support, and paying more just to use a custom domain. My hosting company offers backups, data restoration, migration, and customer support. Wix? Not so much. You’re stuck in this box and I hope any Wix users reading this will realize just how small that box is.

Plus, it totally sucks with SEO since their DIY coding/templates are made to look pretty, not crawl well with search engines. WordPress offers a plethora of free plugins that allows you to control how your website ranks and what keywords it is targeted to. Wix is barebones and doesn’t offer much. Bummer.

I’m not hating for no reason! Trust me, you’ll thank me.

I have three friends who are all professional photographers. One of them took classes, researched, and put a lot of time in understanding the function and form for photography. The others? They just bought an expensive digital camera. While the educated photographer does fine, the other two still get a lot of business. The educated photographer puts more thought and work into her art form than the others. Her shots are framed perfectly and timed perfectly, colored perfectly, and are superior in every way. The problem is that the average consumer can’t tell the difference or doesn’t value the difference.

You may think I’m being critical and judgmental, but I’m not!

The mass majority does not know how to tell apart differing qualities. To apply this to Wix, it’s simple: people are lead to believe that they are paying to have a site that not only looks good but functions well. I’m not saying you’re a horrible person for using Wix, but be aware that there are other options! Options that give you exactly what you need and will allow you to have a website tailor made for you. Web designer or not – you deserve better than something that fits in a box.

Like my photography friends, the time taken to learn their craft as opposed to buying a fancy camera doesn’t matter if the client can’t tell the difference. That cheapens the entire industry. When you package everything into a neat box and present it as what they need, of course people are going to buy into it. I don’t blame them. It’s much more than visuals and how good your website looks.

If the struggles of a web designer and their industry are the least of your concerns, the aforementioned points brought up in this article should be top priority.  At the end of the day, you’re still investing more than you should for the service you’re receiving. YOU DESERVE BETTER!

You won’t truly own your site, you’ll live in a boring pre-made web design box, and your site won’t rank as well as it could.

So… why should anyone use Wix again?