This show is all about helping your business. We're going to give you a rundown of some basic digital marketing tactics every business should be doing and exactly how to do it. Plus, we've brought in some special guests to get in on the fun!
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Glyna: Good morning!
Pari: Good morning!
Sarah: Good morning! A full house today!
Glyna: Yeah, this is exciting.
Sarah: It sure is. Okay, so today's show, it's about two things. One, we're going to give you a rundown of some basic digital marketing tactics that every business should be doing. And then on top of that, we're going to show you how to add these strategies into your marketing plan. And to top it all off, we have two amazing guests joining us today. So, let's get in on the fun, and let's get started.
Glyna: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to Marketing Mix. We are so excited to have two extra special guests with us. Really, they seem like family and part of the Fusion One mix anyway. You've already seen them. But every week, Sarah and I try to come to you with all kinds of different digital marketing topics. That's where the mix comes in. So, let's see where everybody can find us, Sarah.
Sarah: Oh, sure. Real quick. Okay. Every week you can find us. We go live on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. And this always is streaming on our Podcast, Marketing and a Mic. You want to make sure that you go ahead and subscribe to that. It's very wonderful. Everything is just resources for you for digital marketing. So, we are so excited this morning to have Pari Barzegari with the Shelby Chamber, as well as our own Kelsi Nicholson with Fusion One. And we have got a great show lined up today. So, Pari, what you're going to do is, you've got your list of digital marketing questions and you're going to fire them out to us and we're going to answer them all. And all these questions are centered around your must-have digital marketing concepts that will truly do wonders for your marketing.
Pari: I am ready. I'm going to have to put my listening ears on too because these are some great questions that I need the answers to. So, my first "firing" is, what is one thing that every business on social media should be doing?
Sarah: Okay, I'll start with this one. Hands down, video. And I'm going to tell you there are many companies out there that still aren't embracing video and they really should. And the video content now has become so versatile. I mean, there are so many different types of videos out there. And it's for good reason. It's because it does so well. So, my advice would be to start incorporating all these different types of video forms. And what do I mean by that? Like Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, Facebook Lives, Instagram Lives, TikToks, because TikTok is now doing a whole thing for TikTok for Business, YouTube shorts. And add all these into the mix and see how they perform and engage with your audience. But it's just really important to do it.
Kelsi: Absolutely. Organic video is doing so well. And a lot of people are hesitant to incorporate video into their content because they think it needs to be this grand production, they need to hire a videographer or have somebody in their corner that already knows these tools. But really, just get in there and do it, because authentic video makes a very strong impact. And for people out there that don't want to be in front of a camera, you don't want people to see your face, if you don't have something tangible, like a product to show on your videos, why don't you consider doing a screen share option and use your voice as audio to provide advice for your audience? I think that would make a really big impact.
Pari: I feel like I'm getting my hand slapped right away this morning.
Glyna: Don't do this. Do this. Don't do this. Yeah. I was going to talk to you guys about doing a TikTok. I was wondering if we could do it in our chair. We should have come up with something at this point.
Sarah: Cue the music.
Pari: Flash mob. That was great advice. So, are there any basic changes that small businesses can make to their website that will help with their local SEO?
Glyna: Well, as anybody who's ever watched us knows, we love SEO and because it makes people money. I mean, it makes a business's money. But Pari, at a very basic level, the website should have a separate page for each location your business has. So, that'd be the number one thing. So, say we're in Chelsea but we also have a location in Huntsville, a location in McCalla, all of those need to have separate pages talking about those different locations. And then you also want to try to have separate pages for your services or product lines. Now, these are going to be the services that you want to highlight the most. If you have some that are one-offs, you don't necessarily have to have a separate page. But that would be the first couple of things that I would do. Because when you have separate pages, it's going to make the search engines easier to find your content and be able to interpret what it means on your website. So, the faster that they can crawl your website and find more relevant information, they are going to improve your search engine rankings a lot quicker than somebody that doesn't have these things done.
Sarah: Yeah. That's really good advice. A way to think of your website is to think of each one of these pages as like its own vehicle that's going to help local customers find the information that they need. So, when you separate it out like it's got its own route, it makes it so much easier for the search engines to connect the consumer to that information that they're looking for. If it's hard to navigate, if it's hard for them to find once they're on your website, it's going to be even harder for them to find when they're searching for that stuff. So, you also want to make sure that your website includes NAP. And what NAP is, is your name, address, and phone number on these location pages. And embed on Google map. And again, this is just another tool to make it really simple, locally, to find certain information when those local customers are searching.
Glyna: Yeah. And real quick on that NAP. You want to make sure that it's exactly the same everywhere you put it, whether it's just another tip, another reminder. You want to make sure your name, your address, and phone number appear exactly the same all over the internet, including your website. So, just wanted to squeeze that in.
Pari: Great advice. I will get super grumpy when I have to scroll through five pages to pull an address for some reason.
Pari: I love that one. Grumpy, get your NAP. You all have it.
Sarah: Get your NAP in.
Pari: All right. SEO is a big part of digital marketing. What are some steps small businesses can do to tighten up their SEO?
Kelsi: Okay. So, SEO is a huge part of digital marketing. SEO is the pathway to get more online traffic, get people to your website, and get your phone ringing. So, it needs to be in involved in your overall digital marketing plan, absolutely hands down. So, something that small businesses can do or keep their eye on to help with their SEO is, every so often you need to go on your website and check out that speed, that load speed of the website. It's a critical factor in your SEO and your website shouldn't take any longer than two to three seconds to load. So, keep an eye on that. Also, check your mobile versus your desktop and keep that in mind. You might need to be removing plugins that are outdated or are no longer needed and that can help improve the speed. And then if you want to check like an actual speed, you can use a website called gtmetrix.com.
Glyna: Yeah. Great info. And Kelsi knows all of this because she is one of the people that if you build a website with us, she's on that backend, making sure all this stuff works. So, she has become the SEO queen. So, great information. Another thing that you can do to help your SEO is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Oh my gosh. Okay, you guys. We used to call it mobile-geddon when it first started it was like mobile-geddon is here. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you may as well just blow it up. We literally saw one this week, you guys. It's the end of 2021 that was not mobile-friendly. And what does that mean? Okay. When you are looking at it, whether you're looking at it on a desktop, a laptop, a cell phone, you want to make sure that it is easy to navigate. It is a clear picture and that it looks the same on all devices. So, SEO and all the search engines love it. If it's mobile-friendly, if it's not, you may as well just go ahead and blow it up. So, if the formatting is off and it takes too long to load and Pari, as you said, if you have to mess around and try to find the information and you can't find it, I mean, you may as well forget it. So, how do if it's mobile-friendly? There's a lot of different ways, but the easiest way is we're going to put up this link. You can check to see if your website is mobile-friendly by going to search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. But we can put that in the comments or if you need more information, of course, we can shoot that over to you.
Pari: That's perfect. We can rename the show Pari's Pet Peeves.
Glyna: Ah, well, that's a good idea for another show.
Sarah: Pari, you were talking about before of, if you can't find information, how frustrating that is, but how frustrating is it when you are going to a website and it's not loading?
Pari: Oh yeah.
Sarah: It's taking a while to load and then you click to another page and it's not loading. And it's like, all right, forget this.
Kelsi: Onto the next one.
Glyna: Well, yeah, you're going to the next person. They're going to get your business. Right?
Pari: So, help us out and tell us what's the best way to build engagement and followers on social media.
Sarah: So, I love this question because, with social media, I've done a lot of digging and just research and you have these influencers that are like, "I got 10,000 followers in one week". And the thing of it is, is it's like everything, it needs to happen organically, or it's going to be very short-lived. So, really one of the best ways to increase that engagement, increase followers, is to actively comment, engage, and follow other people's pages, other people's content, sharing it, doing all that stuff. It's that whole "givers' gain" concept, but it is time-consuming, I'm not going to lie. You have to be diligent about it and it has to be ongoing. But it works. And it's one of those things of like we talk about like SEO building equity. It's like, this is you building your equity is if you are actively going out there and commenting and liking because if you are just focusing on your page and putting content on your page, you're not going to get that reach. So, my advice on this would be to set aside a goal or maybe a timeframe each week to actively do this. So, it could be something like 30 minutes a day, I'm going to do 5 to 10 new followers, 10 new comments, or one share, whatever it is, set your goal and just do it every week and you watch it grow.
Kelsi: That's really great advice. And, and the key here is to be intentional about it. I know that we've all seen, especially on Instagram recently, there's a lot of spammy-looking stuff out there. So, you don't want to spend your time trying to get through it really quickly and just going on random people's pages and commenting like emojis only. Be intentional about it. Really try to make a connection with other local businesses and your customers on those platforms and try to implement a little bit of a strategy about it. If you're just going through and trying to get comments and followers as quickly as possible, you're not really strategizing. If you take your time, you can actually pay attention to what other people are doing on that platform and use those ideas to incorporate into your own posts, your own branding, all of that.
Pari: This one's hard for me, but I did want to ask why are blogs so important?
Glyna: Well, I'll start it with this one, the word "blog" itself. I mean, what the heck does that mean? That's usually what, most people are scared of that word. I've been doing this for 10 years and every time I mention a blog is like blank stare. They're like, That sounds too complicated and I don't even know what it is. But really a blog is just a place to show that you are the expert and to put your resources there. So, the SEO gods love blogs. Now I will preface this in saying it, they love blogs if you keep them up. If you put one blog there and never come back, they don't love it. But if you keep it up, they love to come back because they really love that fresh content. The last thing they want to do is send people to websites that are outdated, that don't have anything new going on. Because it gives that impression, you say that first impression, if it's just an old dead website, you haven't updated a blog for two years, it tells something about your company. Maybe don't treat your customers or your company as you need to. So, anyway, blogs are very important and a great way to get the crawlers to come visit you.
Sarah: Yes, I totally agree. And if you guys think about this, what the search engines are trying to do, Pari and anybody else out there, is they want to give the searchers the most relevant and useful content. So that means everything needs to be up to date because they want to give you the best information. So, that's why blogging, and as Glyna said, consistently is so important is because you're putting fresh content up and it's keeping your website active. And blogging also helps your business in another way, build brand authority with your customers. I mean the more helpful content that you're putting out there and the more stuff that you share, the more trustworthy that you appear to your consumers. You become like a good expert or a resource. So, at the end of the day, search engines want the most relevant content to display in their search results. So, if you're consistently putting out fresh content via blogs and it's useful, it's only going to improve your online visibility.
Glyna: And yes, Sarah, that's a very important thing that you bring up. And we talked about the video earlier. If you're more comfortable shooting a quick video, use that as a blog. You can put it on YouTube, but that's a real easy way to make a blog post and is another way of getting people engaged. So, anyway, just want to throw that in. It doesn't have to be written. It can be a lot of different things.
Sarah: That's a good point.
Pari: Y'all know I can write nonsense all day, but when we are all writing our blogs, is there anything important to include that will help with your SEO?
Kelsi: Absolutely yes. I would say one number one is your keywords. So, if you are trying to figure out what your keywords are first, you can think, if I were trying to find my service online, what would I type in Google to find me? If you still can't figure that out, you can use a tool called Google Keyword Finder or UberSuggest to help you pinpoint your industry-related keywords. So, when you're writing content for your blog, you want to make sure that those key keywords appear throughout your blog, but in an organic way. And by that, I mean, you don't want to just go in and stuff those keywords to the point where it's not making sense, where it sounds like a robot wrote your content. That's not going to get you very far on the consumer end or on Google's end. So, you want to balance it, no keyword stuffing, your blog is not a turkey. Be strategic about it and make sure it flows really well. Write for humans first, and then the search engine second.
Glyna: Very good. Yes, that's very, very important. This is before all of you guys' time. But when we first started this so many years ago, people would actually put the keywords. If it was a white website, they would put the keywords in white writing all around the website everywhere. Nobody could see it because it was white because they thought that the more that they stuffed it on the website, the better. Which it was for a while, but I mean, now it would torch your website basically. Just a little fun fact for the day.
Kelsi: It was clever until Google caught on and then they were like, no.
Glyna: Exactly. They're going to find out no matter what. So, as Kelsi said, let's make it look natural. Let's not be doing crazy, silly things with your keywords. Besides keywords, there's a thing called backlinks. And again, this is something that people get a blank stare like I have no idea what you're talking about. Okay. So, backlinks, let's talk about them for a little bit. You want to make sure that your blog or anything that you're writing does have them included. Backlinks are any link from some other place back to your website. That's as simple as it is. They could be links from previous blogs, your videos, your service pages. It's basically taking them to another page. So, it links back to your site. You also want to link out to other helpful sites that are trusted resources. So, just like these links that we're giving you guys today, those would be very good links for us to include in a blog or anything that we're writing because it points back to our website and gives us more credibility. So, backlinks again, along with credibility show how trustworthy your site is and, really, how many other relevant sites you have linking back to you is a big deal in SEO.
Sarah: And I want to say one thing real quick, Glyna, you were talking about different forms of blogs. What Kelsi does, and she's an absolute mastermind at it is at the end of all of our shows, these shows, Kelsi will take the transcript from our show and she'll add these little links that we've talked about and she'll add other links to some of our pages or previous blogs. So, she'll take this video and she'll post it as one of our blogs. And so that's what Glyna was talking about, different kinds of workarounds of how you can still get content on there. We always talk about recycling your content. This is like another thing to just extend the life of the stuff that you're doing.
Glyna: If you're going to take the time to plan all this and do it, by all means, put it everywhere you can and use it as many times as you can. So, great point.
Pari: I feel like I hang out with y'all enough, you wonderful ladies, to know this, but I have no clue. So, what is a Title Tag and Meta Description and why should businesses care about it?
Sarah: So, let me tell you, this is one of these things, a title tag and a meta description that every single one of us has seen. We just don't have a name attached to it. So if you go into Google right now and you do a search, a title tag, and the meta description is basically that snippet that you see in the search results that summarizes what that article's about. So, if you were searching for, we'll just say something like, I don't know, I can't think off the cuff here, but whatever you're searching,
Pari: I'm usually on Web MD. So, I'm like “cold and cough”.
Sarah: Exactly. "Sign of a sinus infection". So, you'll get all these little articles that will pop up. And it'll give the title of it and then you'll read that little meta description, and that's what that is. And what does that do that helps you determine, am I going to click on that or not? By that little snippet there. So, this is why it's so important is because they are typically the first encounter that you are going to have to that content. So, in other words, it's like your first impression. And so you're giving that consumer that first impression of almost being like, pick me, click on me, and you want them to click on that so that they go to your article. And again, that's that whole thing that helps build your visibility, the more people that click on it. So, that's why it's so important. If you're going to have these blogs or articles, whatever you're going to have, that you have a really strong title tag and a meta description.
Kelsi: Exactly. So, you're doing all your SEO over here to help yourself rank on that, on those first pages of Google. So, how you strategically put together your title tag and your meta description is going to be that added filtering for the consumer, for the user to go "okay, out of all of these results, which one of these articles is probably going to answer my question?" So, when you are constructing your title tag, the title tag doesn't necessarily have to be the exact same, verbatim, title of your video or your blog. It needs to be relevant because you want them to click on it to get your information, but it needs to have your keywords in it, at least the one for that blog. And then, you only have so many characters, so you need to really be intentional about it. You're trying to make that title tag the hook, and then think of the meta description as like a little bit of a buffer. So, your title is going to catch their attention first, but then most likely if they see that title and they're like, oh, I think this is it. They're going to look at that at meta description, get a little bit more of a blurb about what your content's about. And that's going to be the determining factor if they click. So, you want to make sure your title tag and your meta description have your primary keyword in them. But your meta description is more of a way for you to elaborate on what your content is about and provide a hook for that person to click. So, if your content includes a how-to or a guide, or you have something catchy that you could say to make them want to click, you want to put that there in your meta description.
Pari: I feel enlightened. And I think that goes both ways, right? Because I do have companies that will tell me, people are calling me for a service I don't provide. So, maybe it's somewhere on their website, that's picking it up and they need to be, be more careful about putting it out there if they don't want those phone calls.
Glyna: No, you're right. And Kelsi can tell you, we find businesses all the time that aren't even putting what they do out there in these descriptions. Which is even more detrimental to them in their SEO. Like if you're a pest control company and you do termite services, but you don't have any of it listed in any of these things, then yeah, you're hurting your company because they can't find it.
Pari: That makes sense. So, y'all help me with this one. Social media is so saturated. What are some ways small businesses can build more brand awareness? So important.
Glyna: Oh, definitely. And there are so many choices in social media these days. So, one way to take advantage of it is to go inside the platforms and create smaller groups or communities within those platforms. Believe it or not. Some people may think they disagree with us, but Facebook is still the number one social media network. However, more and more people are still creating that smaller, more intimate setting. So, you can create niche communities within that platform. And because of this social media platforms are starting to create these features more and more to start capitalizing on this more, like I said, intimate need. And, people want to be noticed. They don't want to be a little fish in a big sea. They want to make sure that people are catering to them as well.
Sarah: Yes. And that's the thing with a lot of these social platforms, they're for a lot of different things. They're for personal use and business use. So, it's difficult to carve your way through it if you're a business owner, but having these small groups is so helpful because you're going to find yourself within where your audience is. So, one recommendation would be a Facebook group. So, you could create your own group. You could join a group. And if you do create your own group, you could actually put a link in there, back to your main Facebook business page. You can also within that Facebook group create little subgroups. And this would be little subgroups if you want to sell merchandise or if you want to do some sort of a fundraiser, whatever it is. But again, it's more targeted and it's more specific to your niche audience, which is really who you're trying to attract live audio rooms. This is something that's come on Facebook. And it's like really come out with a bang. It's just another way to connect more intimately with members. And, one of the great things about audio is you don't have to be camera-ready, which we all love.
Glyna: Yeah, really. No makeup day.
Sarah: Yeah. Right. You don't have to see my face. So, that's another thing that Facebook has introduced, I've seen them more and more and they're prioritizing them. If you just were to look on the Facebook interface, they kind of encourage you to start. They'll have a little button here, do you want to start your own group? Do you want to start your own room? So, another thing too, Facebook live, Instagram live, as we mentioned earlier, live video is still such a great opportunity to connect with your followers and build your brand, so, highly recommend.
Kelsi: And you mentioned audio rooms, Twitter has just recently released a new feature called Twitter Spaces, which is essentially the same thing where you can create little chat rooms within Twitter to have audio conversations with a multitude of people. So, you can leverage that for your business as well. And then YouTube Community is a new feature designed to help businesses engage with their audience outside of the videos that they've uploaded to their channel. So, it's a great way to promote your videos or any products or merchandise you sell. And I have to say too, as far as the audio rooms go, you may think that's strange. Like why don't I just pick up the phone and call this person that's inquiring? But, I'm telling you my sister's a Gen Z, and she doesn't use those normal means to communicate. She only uses social media platforms to communicate. And that's going to be the future when she and that generation really gets involved in businesses. I could see things like this really taking off.
Pari: I believe that.
Sarah: Yeah. I can only imagine because my sons, sometimes surpass me in technology.
Pari: And I will say, I'm not a good note-taker. So, I like having this to come back to and review in those audio clips too. So, next question. Are online ads worth the investment for businesses?
Glyna: Well, we get asked this a lot, especially these days, people hear a lot about especially Facebook. They now have their new Meta. They have all this stuff going on. People are like, what is happening to online ads? So, let's talk about that a little bit because technology, I mean, it's just going to keep changing all the time, but it helps us in a way. Changes the capabilities of the online ads, and really it's making space for even larger capabilities for people to advertise. So, think about this, you have so many possibilities. Now you can do interactive ads. You can do voice ads, there are video ads, or something called native ads, text ads, and so on. No wonder we're all feeling like we're getting hit from every direction. Because they're so, many opportunities.
Glyna: So, because there are so many different types of online advertising and the reach capabilities that each one has, they can be very effective for businesses. And we've recently really jumped on the bag on, bandwagon, that was just combining those, of YouTube ads. So, that's something that you might really want to research and see if it would be good for your business or have us research it for you.
Sarah: Yes. And let me tell you why we're a fan of YouTube ads. So, a couple of things, first YouTube ads has now expanded its ad placement. So, what that means is that they're dedicating more space for companies to insert at their ads and they're actually making a lot of it. Remember how we used to be able to just skip real quick? I'm sure we're all seeing it now where we're like, wait a minute, we can't skip here.
Pari: Where's the button?
Sarah: I didn't have to watch this. So, they're increasing that space for people and it's helping advertisers to put their ad in there and give it time so that it's actually being viewed. So, they're doing a lot to help that. And why that is so important too, is because YouTube is humongous. So, because we are devoted to YouTube, we're going to sit there and watch that ad. So, it just gives you that visibility. So, a few other things why we like YouTube ads is, one is that they have the most like robust targeting capabilities that I think is edging them out a lot of where it's all these different features to help find your niche audience, which is what it's all about. And then lastly, it's really cost-effective. So, you really only have to pay for an ad once somebody watches it for a certain amount of time and whatever the length is that you set up and if they click through it. Other than that, you don't have to pay for it. So, it's very cost-effective and easy to budget. So, we're big fans of it right now.
Pari: That's awesome, I'm always worried about my spending. So, what's the best way to know if you're spending on marketing is actually working, doing something for me?
Kelsi: That's so important. There's really nothing worse than pouring a ton of money into your marketing efforts, and then not being able to gauge what that investment has done for you if it's helped you grow your business at all. So, there are a lot of tools out there that you can use to collect data on your marketing efforts and see what's working. See where you should invest your money and where you really shouldn't. Because let's face it, there are so many opportunities out there in digital marketing, you could pour millions of dollars into it if you weren't being strategic about it. And you end up not really getting that much of a return. So, we recommend Google Analytics, for one, it is one of the best free tools out there that any website owner can use to track and analyze their traffic. But you can also use that tool to figure out which keywords are bringing in more traffic, and you can make tweaks and adjustments based on that information. So, you can get information on who's visiting, how many purchases have been made with your eCommerce, things like that, and where that traffic is coming from exactly. So, we definitely recommend Google Analytics. And then obviously, if you're with Fusion One, we have Dash, which I'm a total nerd about it is awesome.
Sarah: Yes, it sure is. And that's the thing, I mean, I know Glyna and Rob, they come across this all the time. When they sit down, it's like, hey, let's take a look at your marketing. And they have no idea, they've signed up for stuff, and they're like, I just signed up for it because I was told, that's what I need to be doing. They don't have any clue if it's working or not. And it's really sad. So, it's almost twofold of they're setting up something that maybe they don't need and they're wasting money and they have no idea if it's working, or if they're trying to do some of these things themselves and they don't realize that there are actually free tools out there that they can use. So, we talked about online ads, one great thing about using online ads is AdWords. And this is another thing, It's going to give you data to check out the performance of your ad so that you can see what's working and what's not working. So, if you've got these ads out there, it's going to give you all of this data collection to say, hey, here's your reach, here's your click-throughs here's your, this, that. And you can make little tweaks. Also for social media, if you've got a business page, there's like a wealth of insights of where it's going to tell you, every post, every video, everything it's going to tell you how they're performing, the best time of the day, who your audience is. So, it's there as well. That's another good point we want to make.
Glyna: Okay. I can let out my breath because, I've been sitting over here on my soapbox, just waiting to say something. I can't take it, why do I have to go last on this one? No, I'm just kidding. Oh my gosh, okay. Even as recently as last week, Rob talked to somebody spending, get this number guys, 1.2 million dollars a year on their digital marketing. That's not just all their marketing, that's just their digital marketing, but they had no idea what they were getting from it. He was like, oh my gosh. And then the more he dug into it, they were not of getting any return and it was done poorly. Anyway, that stuff really makes us upset and very, very mad that people are getting ripped off. So, please talk to us even if you don't work with us so that we can tell you if you're getting your money's worth or not. So, the simple way that we take care of this is by putting call tracking numbers on everything that you do. We can analyze it, make sure that you know how many calls you're getting. Our tagline is More Calls, More Business because that's what we want to bring you and make sure that you're getting. I'll get off my soapbox on that, but please know that you're getting what you're paying for and we can help you with that. So, with that, I guess that's a wrap and gosh, I think that was a ton of information. I really want to thank Pari. I want to thank you so much. I know it takes a lot out of your day to join us, especially this morning. I want to thank you and Kelsi, of course, it takes a lot out of her day too, and doing her SEO and stuff to join us. We really appreciate that. And anybody who's watching, if you want more information on any of these digital marketing topics hit us up, we'd be glad to have that conversation with you. And we will be seeing all of you next Friday. So, until then, have a great week.