Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logo

How to Claim and Optimize a Local Business Listing on Google My Business

For a lImage from Luce Media showing Google My Business logoocal business that wants to get discovered in search results, maintaining an accurate Google My Business listing is critical. The listing details (such as the business’ phone number, website, photos, and hours of operation) determine what information consumers see in Google Search and Maps.

Business owners need to take control of the company’s Google My Business listing to ensure up-to-date business information is displayed online. This means creating or claiming the business listing on Google My Business and optimizing the content to ensure accuracy and improve visibility.

Claim and Optimize a Google My Business Listing in Six Steps

1. Search for the Business on Google

The first step is to find out if the business already has a Google My Business listing. Google often generates listings based on information available online, which may or may be fully accurate. An existing listing should be claimed so the information can be updated and kept accurate.

A simple Google search for the company name can reveal whether or not a Google My Business listing already exists. If a matching listing appears in search results, there should be a link that says “Are You the Business Owner” next to the listing. If, however, the business does not show up in search results, it’s important to create a new Google My Business listing and update it with correct information about the company.

2. Request Verification of an Existing Listing

To claim the listing, click on the “Are You the Business Owner” link. Next, sign into Google, search for the business name, and request verification. This will give you control of the listing and allow you to begin optimizing it. In most cases, Google will give you two options to verify the listing, “Mail me my code” or “Call me now.”

If the “Are You the Business Owner” button is not visible, then the listing has already been claimed. Talk to any partners, owners, or marketers involved with the business to find out who has claimed the listing. Double check if there is another Google account linked to the business. If you can’t figure out who verified the listing, you’ll have to go through Google Help to gain access.

3. Confirm Business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)

Once the business has been verified, you can easily edit and update the business details that will show up in search results. It’s crucial that the business’ name, physical address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web – so the NAP data in the Google My Business listing should exactly match what’s on the business’ website.

It’s highly recommended that if you need to make changes to the listing you make those before requesting the verification from Google. If you make the request and then make a change, you’ll quite possibly have to make a second request to get the listing verified.

4. Choose a Single Business Category

Customers and search engines both prefer business’ that accurately represent themselves online. So when selecting a category for a company’s Google My Business listing, it helps to be as specific as possible. Even if the business falls under multiple categories, it’s best to select the single most relevant category to describe the products or services offered. If you aren’t sure which category is the optimal choice for a particular business, search for similar companies on Google to see what categories they’ve selected.

5. Upload Relevant Images to Represent the Business

In order to provide customers with more context in search results, Google likes to display images next to business listings. Google My Business listings with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions as well as a 32% better click-through rate to the company’s website.

If the business doesn’t upload official images, Google can display photos uploaded by the public – which can sometimes result in embarrassing mishaps for the business. Although a business can suggest a ‘preferred photo’ for search results, Google will only use the recommended photo if it truly represents the business.

Here are some tips for setting preferred photos that Google will approve:

  • Upload high-quality photos that give an accurate impression of the store location.
  • Use real pictures of products sold by the business.
  • Keep Google’s recommended file size (between 10KB and 5MB) and minimum resolution (720px tall, 720px wide) in mind.
  • Don’t use stock photos or text-based images.

6. Further Optimize the Business Listing

There are a few more ways to get the most out of a Google My Business listing, including:

  • Keeping the Business Hours Up-to-Date: Google displays hours of operation to tell consumers whether or not the business is open at the time of their search. Remember to update this information if business hours change during the holiday season.
  • Collecting More Customer Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews and take the time to reply when they do.
  • Adding a Description on Google+: Although businesses can no longer edit their descriptions on Google My Business, this field can still be viewed and edited on Google+.

Whether claiming an existing Google My Business listing or creating one from scratch, use the above tips to ensure accurate information shows up the next time a consumer searches. Keep customers happy, keep Google happy, and increase local visibility.

Need help claiming, creating, or optimizing a Google My Business listing? One location or one thousand, we have you covered!

This story first appeared on Advice Local

Couple Using Mobile Device

Today’s Small Businesses Need To Be Everywhere Digital

Can you believe some businesses (and some brands) are still operating like they are in the dark ages? Some local, small businesses still believe a website is a waste of their time; that blogging is for the birds, and social media…what’s that?! Perhaps you think I am kidding, but I’m not. Today, small business must have a “digital everywhere” approach.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, DallasMost brands encounter different issues. Most are up-to-date on basics like having a website and social media channels, and they’re doing some blogging. A big issue for brands is that their teams are operating in silos. This could be because the brand is so big that they and their team members are around the world – regardless, it’s a big problem. Consumers want and expect an experience that is seamless. These silos can cause the experience to be fractured.  Again, it is important to have a digital everywhere approach whether you are in McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen or anywhere else.

In reviewing Fortune 500 brands, you’ll find that most are active and present almost everywhere in this micro-moments world we all live in.

There are more ways than ever for consumers to connect – smartphones, social media platforms, search engines, review websites, email, apps – and let’s not forget physical locations! Establishing your business in all those locations is being digital everywhere.  Unfortunately, the omni-channel cross-platform experience has big gaps. Let’s look at how to resolve a few of these today.

1. Location, Location, Location – the First Rule

Brands must know where their target audience spends most of their time and set up shop there. Track their habits, listen to their needs, wants and preferences across channels, then tailor the marketing approach and message accordingly.

Google tells us that “near me” searches have increased a whopping 146 percent, and this is most likely due to the increase in mobile usage. This requires a targeted plan to show up in these searches.

Claiming listings in Google My Business and Bing, and ensuring the brand is listed on all the major interactive media channels – plus verifying that all citations (mentions) are consistent and accurate – is essential in creating the omni-channel experience. Bad data plagues brands and must be resolved.

2. The Path to Purchase

65 percent of consumers begin their searches on a smartphone before moving on to a laptop, then possibly to a tablet. Understanding this path to purchase is extremely important for tailoring appropriate content.

Considering more than 90 percent of American adults carry and keep their smartphones close, optimizing for mobile is a given. Keep in mind, research reveals that two-thirds of online retail shoppers start the journey on their smartphone but do not actually complete it until they get to their laptop or desktop.

User experience across devices is a must, too. When a consumer adds an item to their cart in the mobile app, it needs to appear in the cart on desktop as well.

3. Mine the Data You Have

No two consumers are the same, but the vast amount of data available from previous campaigns is a treasure trove to be mined. This data can indicate the audience being attracted, what they like, how they think, and so on. Overlay the demographic data with psychographic data and particular purchasing habits to target specific groups and provide personalized shopping ideas for the most loyal customers. Geographic information – the kind that shows where groups are in McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen and beyond – is another way to target specific groups.

Be cautious not to cross the line from savvy marketing genius to creepy stalker. The goal is to use data wisely to create blogs, videos, tutorials and personalized messages to draw in new customers and keep current ones engaged.

Let the Data Be the Guide

Omni-channel marketing is a diverse and scalable way to promote, no matter how small or how narrow its scope. Being in the right place at the right time to reach the target audience when it matters most is the point. A robust plan is necessary to show up in this competitive landscape for big brands and the local, small business.

Wondering if the businesses you represent have a data issue? You can start by running our free online visibility report. Brands of all shapes and sizes are our expertise. We can help you starting today.

This story first appeared here.

Two women working with a laptop that has the words Social Media on the screen

How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media Marketing in McKinney

A survey of small business owners reveals that businesses budget modestly for social media marketing in McKinney and elsewhere around North Texas – which may be a mistake, according to industry experts.

Most small-to-midsize businesses in the United States are now using social media for marketing purposes, according to a recent survey by Clutch, a B2B research firm. Social media, website marketing, and email marketing were key areas of investment.

Some 71% of respondents say their firm uses social media, and 16% say their firm is planning to in the future.

Graphic showing Which Social Media Channels Do Small Businesses Use When Doing Social Media Marketing in McKinneyFacebook is the social platform SMBs use most (86% use it). Instagram is second (48%), followed by YouTube (46%), Twitter (44%), LinkedIn (31%), and Snapchat (25%).

Just over half (52%) of SMBs that use social media marketing post at least once a day.

Many small businesses may not budget much for digital marketing because they have so few employees and limited resources to invest. More than half (57%) of businesses surveyed reported annual revenue of less than $1 million.

In addition, in-house digital marketing teams may not be “teams” at all: 30% (the largest group) of small businesses only have one employee working on digital marketing. This finding suggests that in-house digital marketers may lack the time and resources they need to market efficiently.  This is one of the most important reasons if you are doing social media marketing in McKinney or elsewhere in North Texas, Luce Media is able to improve on what you are currently doing.  We have programs and plans to fit virtually any small business marketing budget.

The adage “you must spend money to make money” is true for digital marketing.

Although the concept is familiar to most small business owners, many still struggle to choose the best marketing methods or to afford marketing at all.

OTHER FINDINGS FROM STUDY

  • The majority of small businesses use both social media (62%) and a website (61%) to market themselves.
  • The majority of small businesses (80%) do not invest in content marketing, and experts warn that they are missing a key marketing opportunity.
  • Websites (54%), social media (51%), and email marketing (36%) are the top three digital marketing channels that small businesses will invest in during 2018.

Over half (54%) of small businesses surveyed will improve their websites and engage consumers through social media, while 36% will direct more resources to email marketing in 2018.

Content Marketing Lags, Despite Cost-Effective Results

Fewer than 1 in 4 small businesses plan to invest in content marketing in 2018, but experts caution that failing to perform content marketing is a mistake for small businesses.

Creating content–such as blog posts, whitepapers, and videos—is a highly cost-effective way to build brand loyalty and boost a business’ ranking in search results.

Keith Gutierrez, vice president of marketing at Modgility(link is external), reminds small businesses that in developing a content marketing strategy, quality is more important than quantity.

“[Content] just needs to be great, quality stuff you can’t find anywhere else,” says Gutierrez.

Small businesses already have what they need to start creating content: they should consider their unique advice and data, then package that information into useful content.

Virtual/Augmented Reality Marketing Sees an Investment Bump

In an effort to keep up with new technology, some companies (12%) will increase their investment in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) marketing.  AR/VR marketing is especially effective for products that benefit from in-person tours, like real estate and travel booking.

Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Social Media Survey included 351 small business owners or managers from across the U.S. with fewer than 500 employees.

To read the full report and source the survey data, visit: https://clutch.co/agencies/digital/resources/small-business-digital-marketing-survey-2018.

To get more information on Social Media Marketing in McKinney and other communities in DFW, please call  (469) 907-1057 or send us a note at our website.  To find out how we can teach you and your employees to deliver on social media marketing, read more here.

 

FB-Insta

Significant Changes to Instagram and Facebook

Facebook  is entering a tough transition period where it won’t take chances around data privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. That’s why it’s moving up the shut down of part of the Instagram API. It’s significantly limiting data available from or requiring approval for access to Facebook’s Events, Groups, and Pages APIs plus Facebook Login. Facebook is also shutting down search by email or username and changing its account recovery system after discovering malicious actors were using these to scrape people’s data. “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way” Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer writes.

Logo for the Instagram appInstagram  will immediately shut down part of its old platform API that was scheduled for deprecation on July 31st. Instagram refused to comment, leading to developer frustration as their apps that analyze people’s followers and help them grow their audiences stopped working. This means if you are using a third-party product, app or connection to post to your Instagram – there is a good chance it no longer works as of today. Several social media sites report hundreds of posts about people’s Instagram accounts not loading today. Here are some details released by Instagram today.

Instagram makes changes effective immediately that will impact users.

The APIs for follower lists, relationships, and commenting on public content will cease to function immediately. The December 11th, 2018 deprecation of public content reading APIs and the 2020 deprecation of basic profile info APIs will happen as scheduled, but it’s implemented rate limit reductions on them now.

There are changes at Facebook as well.  Chief among them is the function that allows Search by phone number or email will no longer work, as Facebook says it discovered malicious actors were using them to pair one piece of information with someone’s identity. Of all the changes, this may be the most damaging to the user experience.

There is a lot more information on the overall impact on users in the next 24 hours.  Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest information.

For a detailed (very technical) description of what happened today go to TechCrunch.

Picture of iPad with words "Video Marketing" on it

Why Video is Important for Growing Your Small Business

The average person will spend over five years of their life on social media. That’s more time than we will spend eating or socializing. In that time, we could fly to the moon and back 32 times or watch the Simpsons series 215 times – whichever you find more useful. So why is video content so important to growing your small business?

Social media has become a big part of our daily lives—so take advantage of it. People aren’t looking at billboards; they hate your spam emails, and please don’t call unexpectedly. Today people spend, on average, more than 3 hours a day consuming content on various social media platforms.

“We’re operating in a world where one good video can lead to a massive social following.” – Mike Henry

People like video content

Video Content - Picture of iPad with the words "Video Marketing" on itIn fact, people say they want to see more video from brands in 2018. The use of video as a marketing tool is up 20% from last year. That means 81% of businesses are trusting video and realizing the importance of it. As a growing small business, you should too.

Video increases website traffic and the length of time people stay on your website. The longer people are on your website, the longer you have to get your point across to them. People have short attention spans, grab ahold of every second you can.

Using a video on your landing page can increase your conversions by 86%. Do you feel like you’re throwing your content out there but no one is looking? Give them a good video to watch.

Tips:

  • You have about 3 seconds to catch someone’s attention in your social video. So skip the introductions and start right away with useful and interesting content.
  • Make sure your videos have subtitles. More people are beginning to watch videos on social media with sound, but there are still many who don’t turn the sound on. Go by the rule; ‘design for sound off, delight with sound on.’

People like to share

Sure, that viral video of cats being scared out of their minds by cucumbers is worth a share. But people don’t just want to share silly cat videos; they want to share your videos too. Make your content easy to spread around.

Landing pages with videos are 40x more shareable. When we like what we see, we want to share it with our friends. People like looking at videos a lot more than they like looking at paragraphs. The average person only reads about 20% of words on a webpage.

There are more visual learners in the world than not. So not only do a lot of people respond better to videos over plain text, most are getting more out of it. You want people to remember your thoughts and ideas. Knowing the way people learn and take in those ideas are essential to your small business.

Tips:

  • Your videos need to be quality. The novelty that anyone can post a video on social media has worn off, and people want something made well.
  • Your video will give you different results on different social media platforms. Test them out to learn which platform works best for your brand.

People Like People

“Using video to connect with a prospect is so much more than a cold call. It humanizes the selling process.” Jill Rowley

People are done with impersonal and cookie-cutter marketing tactics. They want honesty; they want something real. They want to feel a connection with you, your brand, or your product. Most customers throw reason and logic out of the window and use their emotions when making a purchase.

Video provides that face to face interaction that people want. When you have their attention in that way, it opens up doors to make that connection. They can read your physical cues and see your passion. If you can touch on their emotions in an honest and positive way, your video will do much better than one that is empty and fake.

This concept especially applies to small businesses. The mass majority doesn’t have a clue who you are yet – but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to. Take advantage of the fact that you’re not some huge company that people can’t get close to. Let people in, in simple ways. People want to know you, what your workspace is like, who you work with, how you relate to them — your customers. Video will help you do just that.

Tips:

  • Businesses who optimize an emotional connection tend to outperform their competition. Test out different scripts and find which ones resonate more with your audience.
  • Be yourself. Your audience will be able to tell if you’re forcing emotions or trying to deceive them.

What next?

People trust videos to teach them how to do things, to make them laugh when they’re having a bad day, to get to know people, to be told information about life and what’s going on in this crazy world.

So you, as a small business, need to use video content to teach your customers how to use your products, find ways to speak to them about your business and make their day a little brighter at the same time. Use video to help your customers get to know you, and give them information about how you can make their life in this crazy world a little better.

It is important for you to take advantage of every resource you can. Using video content as a part of your social media marketing strategy is one of the easiest and most rewarding resources available to you.

If you’re ready to start growing your small business, call (469) 907-1057 or send a quick email (information@lucemedia.net ) to our team at Luce Media. Let us help you create effective video content for social media.

What Small Businesses Need to Learn From Facebook Insights

Small Business Guide to Facebook Insights [Infographic]

A business can hardly be taken seriously these days if it doesn’t have a Facebook page, but just putting up a page isn’t enough. Marketers who want to get the most out of Facebook understand that they need to keep up with how their pages are doing. Facebook Insights is how they do that.

Using Facebook Insights is a key component to understanding how their pages are performing. The good news is that Facebook Insights has a wealth of information about your page.  The not so good news is many small business owners find themselves using it without the understanding required to take advantage of all it offers.

Today’s infographic, by small business funder The Business Backer, offers a guide that walks you through the tool.

It explains how you can use Facebook Insights to see the following information about the performance of your Facebook page:

  • Overview. This is where you can see your page summary, the promos you’ve run, and recent posts. It’s a good dashboard snapshot of how your page is doing.
  • Likes. There’s much more to likes than what you can see on your main Facebook page. This section of Insights lets you see changes in likes, sources of likes, and more.
  • Reach. This section shows you details about recommendations, comments, shares, and reactions that have happened on your page, and it gives stats about the total number of people who were served any activity from your page.
  • Page views. This is where you come to see the total number of people who viewed your page and the sources of those views.
  • Actions on page. See how many visitors are getting directions, calling, clicking to your website, or taking any other actions on your page.
  • Posts. This section will help you create smarter posts, the infographic explains. You can see when your fans are online and which types of posts work best to reach them.
  • People. Who are your fans exactly? Find out more about them here.
  • Messages. Keep track of messages here.

Ready to dive into Facebook Insights? Check out the infographic below for all the details.


Facebook Insights - Luce' Media

This infographic and story originally appeared here. Courtesy of Marketing Profs

Image of Chess Board

Content Marketing is King…..And It’s Your Move

If content is king, then SEO is the chessboard on which it plays—and if you don’t use strategy in your moves and positioning, your end game will be a losing battle. Content is what your customers can visibly see on your page, the moves you can physically watch on the chess board. Code is like the underlying strategy of the players, the behind the scenes process that drives the action on the board.

Just as the king needs to strategically move about the board, so does your website content. If the king is captured and cannot escape, it is dead…..much like your content. If there is no motion or distribution of your content, you cannot capture your opponent and can end up in a stalemate or worse, being defeated by your competition. The point is this—content marketing must move to be effective.

Below we offer a few key moves to help further mobilize your website’s content:

Develop a Blog: A small business blog is the easiest way for your business to disseminate the information it wants customers to see. You can use this tool to display press releases and other newsworthy information, videos, photos, customer reviews and as a compliment to your social media platforms. This is a key piece to content marketing.

Email Marketing Campaigns: E-mails campaigns are an excellent way to keep in touch with customers, increase their loyalty, and position your company as an expert in the industry. E-mail blasts offer a budget-friendly, direct-to-consumer messaging platform to highlight new products and services, offer rewards or incentives, distribute newsworthy information and provide industry-specific advice straight to consumers’ mailboxes. By including opportunities for engagement, feedback and information gathering, it also provides you with valuable client data which can be used in your future marketing efforts. As a word of caution, people typically do not want advertisements bombarding their inboxes; therefore it is important for the content to be tailored to your audience and be as relevant and focused as possible. Do not pack too much information into a single message. E-mail campaigns are meant to be an ongoing effort, not a shotgun marketing approach, so keep your content targeted, fresh and exciting to keep customers wanting more.

Customer Review Sites: The rise in popularity of sites such as Yelp, Bing, and TripAdvisor is only dwarfed by the increase shown in their effect on consumer purchasing decisions as well as search engine rankings. Studies show that 72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 70% of consumers seek out and choose to do business with a company having at least six to ten reviews. Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing now also factor in the number and quality of reviews to determine page position within their search engine rankings. If your business has a strong review base, chances are greater that your business will appear higher on the SERP (Search Engines Results Pages) and more consumers will be driven to your website—thus generating greater content mobility for your business.

Social Media Marketing
: With all of the social media platforms available to consumers today, and the amount of “facetime” they receive from potential clients, it is imperative that your message shows up where customers are looking. As with any marketing campaign strategy, it is important to decide on specific goals and have a way to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. Many times businesses, especially those who are just starting out, launching new products, or looking to reposition themselves within the marketplace, are simply trying to create awareness. In order to effectively measure the results of this type of social media campaign, you need to focus on engagement as the most applicable metric. The goal of this type of plan would be to realize increases in the number of followers/friends and customer product or service ratings. However, if the reason for your campaign is to push consumers to buy, then the conversion rate from visitor to buyer may be a more relevant performance indicator. Whatever your social media marketing goals may be, make sure they are measurable. In addition to providing another format in which to “move” your content, social media sites are also a valuable customer engagement tool and can help to further increase the motion of your content by driving traffic to your blog, website or other content-based collateral.

E-commerce is played out on a competitive field with an almost infinite number of challengers. Unlike a game of chess where there are two players challenging each other for the opposing king, the competition to become the King of Content moves at a much faster pace but involves just as much strategy—if not more. The key to winning is moving in the right direction and staying one step ahead of the competition. Checkmate!

Hiring a knowledgeable marketing agency like Luce Media allows business owners to focus on running operations and increasing the bottom line, not out the latest algorithm change with Facebook, Twitter or trying to build out a website. In the end, the bigger question maybe isn’t can I afford an experienced marketing agency, but rather how much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do these marketing services in-house. Call us today for a FREE Digital and Social Media Marketing analysis of your company. Reach us at 469-907-1057.

Woman at laptop hands up in frustration over doing social media herself

Can a Digital & Social Marketing Agency Grow Your Business?

The explosion of social media has driven companies to put a big focus on social media marketing over the past few years. As a small to medium sized business owner, you’ve probably thought or had a discussion in your company at one point or another and said, “we need a social media presence.”  The next discussion may center around which person in my business is the best at Facebook or Instagram or Twitter.  Soon, you have put up a dozen posts and not one person has responded to what you are posting.

Word Cloud showing Social Media Marketing in boldThe rise of the internet, indexed search (think Google) and the explosion of social media networks have changed the way that businesses of all sizes communicate their value proposition.

Where once, legacy tactics such as yellow page advertisements or print ads drove traffic to your front door, modern consumers armed with mobile technology expect real time access to information and make buying decisions in a matter of a few keystrokes on their devices.

This means that companies need to ensure that their branding messages are well executed, easily found on the web by sites that attract attention and convert eyeballs into real leads.

If you’re an SME (small to medium enterprise) looking to increase exposure and drive traffic to your website or premises, here are a few things you need to know about working with a digital and social media company.

There are literally billions of people worldwide using social media on a regular basis. Its benefits as a marketing tool are indisputable.

Businesses who take advantage of this can interact with and attract new customers if they are active and take part in social conversations.

In general, the more regularly you can post to your social media channels, the higher engagement and ROI you’ll see. This could mean dedicating around an hour each day to monitoring your social channels, posting relevant content, participating in conversations and growing your following in the process. And there are many times when you do that for several months and the Facebook and Instagrams of the world suddenly change their algorithms……and the rules change.

According to the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 64 per cent of marketing teams report spending six or more hours each week on social media.

For a small business owner who is already spending most of their time on business development and operations, finding spare hours to strategise and dedicate toWoman frustrated with social media social media can be difficult.

That’s why outsourcing your social media management to a knowledgeable third-party is so important – it can take one key business-building task off your plate.

Here are just a few tasks a social media marketing company could take care of above and beyond simply posting messages:

  • Social media strategy – including posting frequency, types of content, keyword research, influencer research etc;
  • Set-up and branding of new or existing social profiles – consistent branding and voice across all your channels is crucial;
  • Sharing and commenting on third-party posts that are relevant to your brand;
  • Engaging in conversations with other users – be it existing or potential customers;
  • Social media monitoring – keeping an eye out for mentions of your company and interacting with those posts;
  • Social customer service – responding to questions or complaints from users;
  • Following relevant industry influencers or potential business customers/clients;
  • Content marketing – helping to develop your own original images, memes, articles, blogs and resources that can be promoted on social media;
  • Newsletter marketing – a round-up of your company news and most popular social posts and interactions.

While that list is probably incomplete, it is just a sample of some things a well round digital and social media company can do for your business or enterprise.  Ask yourself if you have the time and/or inclination to learn all of these individual elements yourself. So, often you are left with a choice: either hire an employee or hire an outside agency. In many instances, business owners lean towards hiring an employee because that has been the de-facto process in the past to solve an immediate need. Additionally business owners may have the perception that an outside agency is far more expensive than hiring in-house staff. The problem with this rationale is that most of the time, owners don’t have a true basis for comparison.

Let’s take a closer look and see what really happens when you compare the two. Disclosures: We used the job position of Marketing Manager for the comparison. Many marketing professionals specialize in one area of marketing, like a social media marketing manager, and may not have the experience that a marketing manager could have. All the salary data is based on the National Average salary for a Marketing Manager in the USA, and was taken from Salary.com.

While the numbers are averages and should be adjusted based on your needs, location of business, etc. The numbers in the following Infographic should give you a better understanding of the approximate costs of hiring each one.

marketing agency

Essentially, the budget needed to hire the right person, purchase all the right marketing tools and implement a digital and social media strategy designed to meet your business goals, become too cost prohibitive when trying to assemble an internal team.

Hiring an knowledgeable marketing agency like Luce Media allows business owners to focus on running operations and increasing the bottom line, not messing around with Facebook, Twitter or trying to build out a website. In the end, the bigger question maybe isn’t can I afford an experienced marketing agency, but rather how much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do these marketing services in-house.

Mobile Phone with words Content Marketing

Social Media Tip for 2018: Content Marketing Really Does Work – INFOGRAPHIC

If you’re unfamiliar with content marketing, here’s a simple definition from Google: “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material…that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”

So why does it matter?

For increased web traffic, a growth in leads, more loyal customers, and that spike in revenue in 2018, a closer look at your content strategy is necessary.

If you are a small to medium and even large business and aren’t already paying attention to content marketing, you may be making a mistake. 86% of B2B marketers –– nearly 9 in 10 –– use a content marketing strategy, and the same is true for 77% of B2C marketers.

Some more numbers for you: Why do content marketing? 72% of marketers worldwide say relevant content creation is the most effective SEO tactic, and most B2B marketers allocate almost a third of their budgets to content marketing.

A recent study of B2B marketers shows there are a host of reasons they have not been able to crack the Content Marketing code.  Yet ALL of them agree that Content Marketing is perhaps the single most effective marketing option available to them. Graphic showing list of reasons marketers have not done content marketing

Whether it’s blog content, videos or viral campaigns, businesses and consumers alike are looking for engaging online content.

One example of content marketing’s success: Companies that publish at least 16 blog posts a month get three-and-a-half times more traffic than companies that publish 0-4 monthly posts.

Now that you know why content marketing is important, learn more about tools that can improve visitor loyalty.

Content marketing is known to be a small business’s best method for acquiring customers since it doesn’t require a huge budget. However, according to various reports, big brands like Apple, Facebook and Google are also investing significant dollars in original content. So, consistent and original content is all the rage — for all types of business.

So, if your business is determined to keep producing high-quality, relevant content on a consistent basis, you might consider recruiting help by hiring a content team. Luce Media specializes in Content Marketing.  Our strategists have a combined 25 years of experience in creating great content at the national, regional and local level.  Let us provide you with a free analysis of your 2018 marketing strategy.

Contact Luce Media today to discuss a content marketing strategy that will work for you.  http://lucemedia.net or call us at 214-938-2364.

Infographic on reasons marketers should use more Content Marketing

Rank on Google Cover

How to Rank Faster on Google

You want to know what millions of online business owners want to know about getting seen: How long does it take to rank well in Google? What does it take to rank faster on Google? Getting that coveted page 1, position 1, page rank (and keeping it) is a company’s dream.  You want Google to love you enough to put your website in this location in their search engine forever.  How do you do it?  The answer depends on many factors.

How to Rank Faster on Google

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):