We Have The Insights

Date: March 22, 2018

The Des Moines Register has been the trusted local news source for Central Iowans for over 150 years. Just as our news coverage evolved from print-only to a multi-platform news source, our advertising capabilities have evolved too. Our local advertising experts and award-winning designers still know our local community, but now we’re part of the USA TODAY NETWORK so we have access to research and insights from national leading data companies to further strengthen your ad campaigns.

Our Data & Insights Partners

We don’t just give you the data, we give you the story of how the data translates into insights that drive your revenue. Below are some of our strategic data partners. Did we mention we don’t charge extra fees for these insights?

We also use these resources to build your campaigns: ComScore, Kantar Media and SEM Rush. Plus, our local advertising experts and colleagues at ReachLocal are continually optimizing your ads throughout the duration of your campaigns. ReachLocal is multi-year Google AdWords award winner.

On top of all our external partners, we have the raw data of how our thousands of campaigns, in varying industries, performed in the 100+ markets across the USA TODAY NETWORK. Last year alone we delivered more than 200,000 leads and interactions for over 26,000 digital media clients, and ran more than 85,000 integrated digital advertising campaigns.

Why Data & Insights Matter

There is too much information available to be making business decisions on assumptions. If you don’t know the demographics and behaviors of your core client base, you could have the most visually stunning creative in the world and have your campaign fail due to poor ad placements. Our resources mentioned above help us identify who is in your core audience, what interests them and the best avenues to reach them with your messaging.

Contact us today to further understand your target audience and to begin building successful campaigns.

We Can Drive Results

Date: March 22, 2018

We are obsessed with driving results for our clients. On top of our local marketing knowledge in our community, we have an entire network of experts we can tap into to ensure we’ve created the best strategy for our clients. As part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, we’ve run thousands of successful campaigns across many industries and markets.  We also have access to national data and reporting platforms, award-winning designers and optimization specialists to bring your campaign to life.

Last year alone we delivered more than 200,000 leads and interactions for over 26,000 digital media clients, and ran more than 85,000 integrated digital advertising campaigns.

Check out these stats from two of our recent campaigns.

Client: Northshore Urgent Care & Wellness Center

Overview: Having recently rebranded, Northshore was looking to drive traffic to their location without the benefit of brand recognition. Northshore only advertised with us, so all results are directly attributed to our campaign.

Strategy:

Results in the first month:

 

Client: Roberts Camera

Overview: With more than 50 years in business, Roberts Camera struggled to grow its photo, video and electronic business in a declining industry. They needed to attract new and younger customers to increase sales. Using our research tools, we identified growth potential and key audience segments.   

Strategy:

Results:

Download this case study to see how we generated an ROI of 183% for a bar and restaurant company with locations in three states.

Contact us today to learn more about the results, revenue and ROI we drive for our clients.

Tax Reform 2018: Addressing the Changes

Date: January 30, 2018

The holiday season was busy enough and then major tax changes were announced right in the middle of all the office parties and family gatherings. Some people were able to make the time to understand the changes and make educated decisions to prepare for 2018 taxes, but many others are left with more questions than answers.  While the announced changes don’t affect this current tax season, now is the optimal time for accountants and financial advisors to educate their current and prospective clients on how best to prepare for the changes throughout 2018. So, where do you start?

Make it easy to understand the tax reform

Searching “tax reform” on any search engine produces hundreds of thousands of articles laced with tax and accounting jargon that could make even the most seasoned financial advisors’ eyes glaze over. Think about separating the changes into buckets of clients groups or personas. For instance, the tax changes that will affect married people with kids differently than it would retirees or singles. We recommend using this buyer persona workbook to help develop your tax reform personas. Then, create content around each persona that speaks to their current circumstances. Here are some ideas for content creation:

The key to all this content is making it simple to understand and relating it to real-life scenarios. If you’re an accountant in a small office and are by default in charge of marketing, we suggest having friends outside of the industry review your content to gauge readability.

Reaching your tax clients

Once the content is created, it’s time to share it with your persona groups. The obvious option is to put your content on your website. However, you need to also push it out across various ad platforms so people know you have the tax reform tips and insights. This not only solidifies relationships with current clients, but builds trust with people interested in finding a new financial advisor or accountant. You can repurpose the content you created to develop ads or ad campaigns that direct people back to your website.  Here are some of our favorite and most ad impactful platforms:

 

These are a few ideas to kick-start your tax reform advertising campaign. Our team at Register Media is eager to discuss your goals in-depth and develop a strategy that fits your business. Contact us today!

The Biggest Shopping Days of 2017

Date: October 25, 2017

The 2017 holiday retail season could be the tipping point for a variety of trends, from Black Friday sales to mobile-dominated shopping. Being ready on the biggest shopping days is essential for holiday success. Here’s a handy guide to help along the way.

Veterans Day: Mobile's first peak

     When: Saturday, November 11

     There are several days in which mobile conversions peak over the holiday season, and Veterans Day is the first one. Be sure to have your mobile presence and marketing locked and loaded in advance so you can capitalize on the first       the first of many peak days.

Gray Thursday: Turkey and shopping

     When: Thursday, November 23

     Consumers who can’t wait for Black Friday hit stores and websites on Turkey Day, gobbling up great deals. Thank your best customers with special offers and rewards for their loyalty. Not open? Put the deals online. Don’t sell online?           Send out a targeted email with deals that are good as soon as you re-open your doors. Whichever path you choose, promote it well beforehand via email, social, and your website.

Black Friday: Still a big deal, despite digital

     When: Friday, November 24

     Though Cyber Monday has surpassed it in terms of gross dollars, Black Friday remains a crucial shopping day. In fact, many experts now class Black Friday not as a day but a period of time that can exceed two weeks, starting well             before Thanksgiving. Why? Because it pays for retailers to plan ahead and build momentum with a well-thought-out, multiplatform marketing strategy.

Small Business Saturday: Shine your brightest

     When: Saturday, November 25

     Consumers spent a record $16.2 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2015, up 14% over the previous year. This is a huge opportunity for local retailers to emphasize a local presence and attract shoppers. Build your big day around           what makes your store special and offer unique specials. Multiply your promotional power with tie-ins to charities, your local chamber, and other businesses.

Cyber Monday: Draw digital shoppers

     When: Monday, November 27

     Boosted by double-digit growth in mobile shopping, Cyber Monday is the king of the holiday shopping scene. If you sell online, tease your Cyber Monday shoppers well ahead of time. If you don’t sell online, make the most of Cyber               Monday by using mobile and online advertising to promote your business.

Giving Tuesday: Caring and sharing locally

     When: Tuesday, November 28

     Giving Tuesday is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate why local businesses are vital to thriving communities. This special day, when the focus is on giving back, gives you an opportunity to showcase everything your business             does to makes a difference. Why not offer a percentage of the profits to the good causes your business supports?

Green Monday: The busiest for business

     When: Monday, December 10

     Historically the busiest day of the month, the second Monday in December marks the start of the home stretch. Gross sales often approach Cyber Monday totals. Consumers don’t expect as many deals, so it’s a great day to highlight           unique services and high-quality items.

Free Shipping Day: Get it to them free by Christmas Eve

     When: Friday, December 15

     Consumers love free shipping, and participating in Free Shipping Day is the retail equivalent of fishing while they’re biting! While it isn’t free for you, free shipping often leads to larger purchases and reduces shopping stress.

Super Saturday & Christmas Eve: The procrastinator’s big-spending ball

     When: Saturday, December 23 & Sunday, December 24

     The last Saturday before Christmas and Christmas Eve are the two of the most frenzied shopping days of the season. Panicked procrastinators and cool-headed bargain-hunters jam stores and sites before the clock runs out. You’ll              need top sellers, a full staff, delightful deals, and plenty of gift bags and boxes.

We’re here every day

From holidays to every day, we’re here to help your business shine. Contact us today!

 

 

Sources:

Editorial Staff, “Final 2015 Desktop Holiday Online Sales Reach $56 Billion, Up 6% Vs. Year Ago,” ComScore, January 8, 2016, comscore.com.

Editorial Staff, “Lessons Learned from the 2015 Holiday Shopping Season,” Newgistics, 2016, newgisitics.com.

Editorial Staff, 2016 Holiday Headquarters Reports Series, 2015, National Retail Foundation, nrf.com.

Kraus, Elizabeth, “Move Over Black Friday: 9 Holiday Shopping Days to Help You Build Business During the Holiday Season,” DB Squared Inc., November 2013, dbsquaredinc.com

Leinbach-Reyhle, Nicole, “Small Business Saturday Spending Tops $16.2 Billion,” Forbes, December 1, 2015, forbes.com.

Small Business Saturday Statistics, Grasshopper.com, 2015

Tuttle, Brad, “The 5 Big Lessons of the 2014 Shopping Season,” Money, December 2014, money.com.

A Merry Mobile Holiday

Date: October 17, 2017

The shape of things to come

When researchers crunched the numbers for the past couple of holiday shopping season, one fact stood out like a high-flying reindeer. Purchases made on smartphones and tablets exceeded $12.6 billion, rising 59% over the 2014 season. Given mobile’s continued growth, the implications are clear: retailers who do not have a solid mobile strategy for the holiday season will likely be left out in the cold. How can you make the most of mobile in the crucial fourth quarter?

Searching for success

Today’s shoppers rely on their phones and tablets for search on-the-go. That’s where your mobile strategy begins. Your business website should be optimized to rank high in search results.  Your listings in any online directories (Google Places for Business, Yelp, Citysearch, mapquest, etc.) should be accurate and up-to-date. Finally, make sure Holiday business hours and closings are accurately represented everywhere your business appears online.

Make it work on mobile

Speaking of your website, its design and functionality should be tailored to please mobile users. As Americans spend less time on their desktops and more on their smartphones and tablets, they have shown little patience for sites that prove slow to load and difficult to navigate on mobile devices. Your site’s search box should be large and easy to use. Keeping it permanently displayed will significantly boost onsite search activity from mobile users. Keep copy on webpages light, focusing on specific, necessary information. And make sure photos and other graphic elements are sized and compressed to speed load times.

If you sell online, do everything you can to optimize your checkout process. Final purchase is often the clumsiest part of mobile shopping, and you don’t want to lose customers at the most critical moment in their experience.

Your mobile advertising strategy

Whether you sell online or not, mobile advertising is an ideal way to promote your business. Reaching consumers on the move at the busiest time of the year is essential to holiday retail success. You can go the extra mile with powerful tools like geo-fencing, which allow you to present your store when consumers in your vicinity search for everything from product categories to specific brands. It can also block your competitors’ ads within a defined geographic area. This ensures your site becomes the ideal showcase for your holiday offers.

Remember that Americans use their smartphones and tablets to access their email, as well. Despite being in use for over two decades, email remains one of the most potent, cost-effective digital marketing tools around. Make sure your holiday emails are formatted to work well on mobile, and contain worthwhile offers. Keep subject lines and calls-to-action strong. And in the spirit of the season, make your email list and check it twice, eliminating expired, duplicate, and inaccurate addresses. 

The social side

Of course, Americans use their phones to interact with social media, too. Your presence on all appropriate social sites needs to be engaging, up-to-date, and in line with the rest of your holiday messaging. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter offer excellent opportunities to showcase products and services.

Your holiday helpers

If you feel like you’re behind on your holiday marketing efforts—mobile or otherwise—don’t worry. We’re here to help with winning strategies that grow your brand and your business. To learn how we can make your holiday sales season merrier, contact us today. 

Drive Holiday Sales Using Social Media

Date: October 12, 2017

Despite the digital and mobile surge in holiday shopping, social media has puttered along in terms of direct attribution for sales. 

Last year social media channels (limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) were responsible for a meager 1.7% of sales, according to a report by Custora. It is likely there will be little change in that share, given only 9% of internet users surveyed plan to make holiday purchases directly via social networks.

Don’t discount the power of influence 

Despite limited direct sales, social media contributes a significant amount of influence over purchases by pushing consumers further down their consideration sets and purchase funnels. 

The top ways in which shoppers use social media while holiday shopping include:

NOW is the time to plan 

Holiday creep means it is critical to get social channels in shape for the holidays NOW. Like all great marketing endeavors, the first step is to build a plan for activating and maximizing social activity during the holiday season and through the end of the year, if one doesn’t exist already. 

To get started, here a few suggested tactics to fold into your social media plan to help you make the most of your channels this holiday season:

     Today: Prepare you pages 

 

     Early November: Set the tone 

 

     Mid-November: Be a tease 

 

      Early December: Get them engaged 

 

      Mid-to-Late December: Pique their interest 

 

     Post Holiday / Early January: Keep them interested 

 

We can help you socialize 

Throughout your social media holiday efforts, there is a place for investing in social media advertising. This will help break through the congestion and ensure your messages are seen widely. Relying entirely on organic impressions and traffic will limit the ability of social to impact sales severely. 

These suggestions are only a portion of what should be a comprehensive and robust activation plan. If you’re having trouble building out the rest of your social effort – or you’d like some support with refining it and adding scale through advertising, give us a call. We are expert social media marketers, and we would love to position you for success this holiday season.  

 

Contact us today to get your holiday promotions started!

 

 

 

1 “What Role Does Facebook Play in Holiday Shopping?” eMarketer 18 Dec 2014 

2 “Holiday Shopping Survey 2015” Market Track Report Qualtrics 21 Sept 2015 

3 “29th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey” Deloitte 29 Oct 2014 

4 Morell, Katie. “How to Promote Holiday Sales Using Social Media” Open Forum American Express 15 Dec 2010 

5 “Charitable Giving in America: Some Facts and Figures” National Center for Charitable Statistics 30 Sept 2015 

Trending Now: Beer / Wine / Liquor Stores

Date: October 09, 2017

Nearly 70% of Americans buy alcohol on a regular basis, with 12% reporting they have purchased alcohol online recently (within six months), according to a recent survey by The Harris Poll. This may only represent a fraction of overall sales, but the trajectory of online sales looks promising. The majority of online buyers expect to purchase even more alcohol online over the course of the next year, and 11% of in-store buyers expect to try online shopping for alcohol within the year.

Who is buying online?

Relative to who purchase their alcohol exclusively in-store, online shoppers are younger, more male, more affluent, and more urban.

What are they buying?

You may assume because the majority of online shoppers are young, urban men their tastes skew towards beer. While they may be consuming beer, among recent online purchases, wine dominates with 42% of sales. Liquor or spirits follow, included in 35% of sales and beer lags at 29% of sales (sales may include multiple purchases).

Ready to start selling?

If you’re considering adding e-commerce / m-commerce functionality to your website and business model, be sure to start with an exploration of regulations—several states prohibit shipping, and if you open your business up for online sales, you may attract non-local shoppers. Be ready to accommodate on-site pick-up, too, as half of online buyers choose to pick up their purchases in store.

We can help!

Finally, if you invest in a digital storefront, advertise it! We can help you build a comprehensive communications strategy to help folks learn about your offering and drive traffic to your store, both in person and online. Contact us today to learn more. We’re ready to help your business grow—and thrive!

Source: “One in Ten Alcohol Buyers Purchase Alcohol Online” The Harris Poll. Mar 2017.

Are you planning your holiday marketing yet? Your customers are!

Date: October 04, 2017

We all know actions speak louder than words. Consider this, while 59% of consumers say November is when it feels “right” to see a holiday advertisement 47% of holiday shoppers start thinking about what they’re going to buy for friends and family in October (or earlier!). Businesses need to stay top of mind with non-holiday related messaging starting as early as September.

And this year could be a record setting one in terms of consumer spending. This year’s holiday retail season is expected to see continued growth. Retail sales in the U.S. during the months of November and December are expected to increase as much as 4% (for a total of $682 billion) up from $655.8 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation.

How do you capture your share of these dollars? Stay ahead of the shopper with a comprehensive digital plan that includes social media, an engaging website, and search retargeting. Social media and search retargeting is the preferred channel for staying top of mind for consumers, as it allows you to target a consumer based on age, demographic information, geographic location, and then follow the consumer through the decision making, and ultimately the purchasing funnel.

Once the time is right for the consumer to spend, your promotions need to be active and in front of your target audiences. 62% of respondents go straight to search engines when researching a potential purchase for the holiday season. Half of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same. If your business doesn’t have a strong digital presence during this time, chances are you will be eliminated from the consumer consideration set from the start.

Search engine activity during prime holiday shopping increases even more due to mobile device usage. 82% of shoppers search for store information on their mobile devices while they’re conducting holiday shopping. As consumers become more and more comfortable with purchases via mobile smartphone, it is estimated that by the end of 2016, 25% of all retail ecommerce sales in the U.S. will take place via mobile devices.

Activating and managing a digital presence early enough in the holiday season is imperative to capture consumers’ ever evolving “holiday creep” shopping behaviors! Be where your customers are – before they even realize that they are your customer!

We can help. We offer products and services to build, maintain and grow your digital presence.

We’d love to talk more with you – contact us today! 

 

Sources: National Retail Federation, 2017; G/O Digital, Pays to plan Holiday Marketing Strategy in August, 2015; G/O Digital, Holiday Purchasing Habits: A Digital Advantage for Local Businesses August, 2015; eMarketer, A Happy Holiday Season Expected for Retailers, 2015; Google, Understanding Consumer’s Local Search Behavior, May 2014

Expand Email Marketing with Match-Back Reporting

Date: August 28, 2017

Match-Back Reporting: Go beyond open & click-through rates

Knowing how many people opened your email and clicked through the links is valuable information.  But, it’s even more valuable when you can pair that data with a list of people who actually purchased from you. The Match-Back Report compares the database of contacts included in a recent targeted email campaign to an advertiser’s submitted contact database in order to identify customers who made purchases, became a lead, etc. after receiving a campaign’s email(s). 

Example of how it works:

An auto dealer completed two targeted email campaigns with us within a 60-day period. The auto dealer provided us with a database of their customers who bought a car within the 60-day period from campaign transmission, plus 30 days after the last transmission. We compared the auto dealer’s customer database to the database that the targeted email campaigns were sent to and communicated how many customers were matched in both databases.

Click here for an infographic to further explain the Match-Back Reporting process. 

 

Contact us today to learn more about Match-Back Reporting. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Data-Driven Recruiter

Date: August 10, 2017

In order to be the most efficient and effective recruiter possible, you know you need streamlined processes, less budget spend, quicker and better hires, and lower turnover. This is the ideal, and it might sound unattainable, but it’s really not: data-driven recruitment will deliver it all right to your table. 

The success is all because of the keyword: data. Data is detailed information that surrounds everything in your sphere: you, your team, and the candidates you want to hire. It’s always there, and there’s always more of it to discover. When you place a job ad, there’s data. When candidates click an ad, you guessed it, more data develops. 

Data equals information, but knowing it exists and using it effectively are two different things. That’s where data-driven recruitment comes in: it makes the most informative data accessible for you and your team, as well as for all of the automated processes that your heart desires. Here’s how. 

 

#1: Your Process and Overall Efficiency Will Improve 

The ultimate goal of a pool of high-quality hires doesn’t have to equal a heftier workload when you use data-driven recruitment strategies. With the right technology, recruiters and hiring managers gain access to data that streamlines decision-making without the burden of information overload. 

LinkedIn explains that data analytics greatly improve recruiting efforts, yielding lower hiring costs and higher efficiency. Unfortunately, 75 percent of recruiters don’t take advantage of it. 

Data not only helps you find great candidates, but it also lets you reach them in effective ways—all while spending less time in the process. For every decision that hiring managers and recruiters make, access to data reduces guesswork, saving both time and costly errors. 

 

#2: It Will Keep Your Eye on the Ball 

The list of possible hiring metrics is indeed vast, but if you cut through the noise, only a few stand out with “major impact” potential. The problem is finding and analyzing meaningful metrics while not overloading resources your team might not have to spare. With data-driven recruitment, culling down metrics is within reach. 

Recruiter.com says identifying these key metrics will minimize unnecessary time wasters so you can focus on what really makes a difference in quality candidates: 

Without data-centric technology, those metrics would require a whole new team—which means more money and more company resources. With data on your side, they’re simplified for easier access; analytics turn metrics into usable information that improves sourcing, candidate, and new-hire quality. 

 

#3: No More Missed Connections 

Time is precious, and time is money. Companies waste so much time with ads that never hit the mark, or endless interviews with unqualified candidates when the ideal one was overlooked during a rapid flip-through of resumes. And speaking of money, how many budget dollars are spent on poor ad placement and missed candidate opportunities? Now imagine a place where job reqs and top candidates gravitated toward each other like magnets to steel. That’s the ultimate goal, and good news, it’s an attainable one. 

A data-driven recruitment process reduces the volume of missed opportunities by leveraging job matching technology that accurately matches job seekers and employers based on real data—not keywords. It’s complicated on the tech side, but that’s not where you come in—the good news is that it’s simple and effective for recruiters and hiring managers. Just look for sites that have job matching technology fully integrated. 

The right job-matching platform will work in real time, putting the right jobs in front of the right sets of candidate eyes at the right time. If job details or candidate skills change, real-time job matching changes right along with them. The process is always evolving. If the candidate adds a new skill to their profile, they stand a better chance of seeing a job ad that matches it. The same thing happens in real time if job requirements change. 

Just make sure you don’t get fooled by ineffective or mis-labeled technology. Job boards throw around the term “matching” loosely and incorrectly, so just know this: if it’s based on keyword search, it’s not true matching. 

 

#4: Modern Technology Will Do Your Busy Work for You 

The days of all-things-to-all-people classifieds are nearly over—the truth came out that they were a waste of everyone’s time. Even if candidates use relevant search terms, it’s truly hard for them to find ads amongst all the noise. And on your side of things, great applicants are equally buried. For passive candidates (this includes most people), job ads stand almost no chance of attracting top talent. All this noise has led to a very inefficient recruiting process where recruiters spend lots of time and money posting the same job on many different sites and trying to determine which site actually worked the best in terms of performance and quality.  

Luckily, like all tech sectors, online recruitment is very smart these days. You’ll want to seek out site to post your jobs that features something called “programmatic job ad distribution.” Programmatic job ad distribution technology uses big data and predictive analytics to automatically find the right people in the sites where they spend the most time. In other words, it chooses the right sites to promote the job ad based on how well the site has performed in the past. This technology offers much better performance without all the hassles and costs that come along with posting jobs on multiple sites and trying to determine which ones actually provide the results you need.  

 

#5: You’ll See into The Future 

Your job would be so much easier if you could see into the future, right? Well, you kid of can now. Predictive analytics, part of the data-driven recruitment wave, is the next best thing. Made possible by artificial intelligence, current and future job ad campaigns are optimized based on performance data from the past. Not only are job ads positioned for the best audience, ad performance and candidate behavioral trends add more data for better results in the future. 

Predictive data doesn’t just improve ad placement—it also improves candidate quality by evaluating a broad range of targeting metrics and incorporating them into future recruiting efforts. For example, you could measure new hire retention and other performance metrics. Combined, data builds a predictive strategy that not only puts ads where they perform best, but also where they will find candidates who are interested, qualified, and more likely to stick with the company. 

The good news is that you don’t have to be a data-scientist (or even super-tech-savvy) to take advantage of predictive analytics in your recruiting. Just look for online recruitment solutions that have it built within their platform like the recruitment solutions available at jobs.desmoinesregister.com. 

We can help you put data-driven recruitment into action so you can enjoy a faster recruitment process with fewer errors, less budgetary waste, and the jewel in the recruitment crown: better quality candidates. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch below or call us at 1-888-692-5564 or email desmoinesjobs@gannett.com to get started.  

What Can Your Media Do For You?

Date: July 25, 2017

Any media partner or agency you consider will have a lot to say about themselves. They’ve got history to share, audience segments to highlight, winning campaigns to showcase. And any of them, including us, can brag all day if you let them. But when it comes to selecting a media partner, it’s not about who they are—it’s about what they can do for you.

Whether you’ve got a polished campaign that is ready to launch or you need help building a marketing strategy from scratch, you need to consider a potential media partner’s background, reach, and offerings through the lens of your business needs.

Who are they?

Where you advertise matters more than ever before: from the ever-evolving preferences of consumers to the rise of fake news, you need to find ways to be relevant while also protecting your brand. In order to do both successfully, businesses need to consider the reputation of the media outlet as well as the type of content their ads will run alongside.

When interviewing prospective media partners, ask probing questions about their longevity, reception, and reputation. And don’t be afraid to do a little independent research, as well. While they may try to focus the conversation on the successes of their advertising clients, take some time to examine their content and the quality of their products and services.

What do they offer?

From marketing strategy to creative development and traditional media to digital marketing, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to a media partner or agency’s offering. But don’t let long lists of products and services leave you dazed and overwhelmed.

Before approaching a potential partner, take stock of your current capabilities against your needs. Do you have the marketing expertise in-house to develop a sound strategy? Do you have access to the tools and resources needed to analyze your current customer base and identify prospects? What resources are available for keeping up with trends and getting ahead of the competition? Do you have the creative resources to build ads? Do you have a marketing staff to launch and optimize your campaigns? Once you know what you need from a media partner, you can begin the process of finding one that works best for you.

Who can they reach?

Arguably, this is the most important question of all. Because no matter how award-winning the content or robust the suite of services, it won’t matter if your ads aren’t reaching the right audience.

Before you begin delving into a potential partner’s audience demographics, you need to identify who your target customers are. Then, with that data in hand, you can define the quality of a partner’s audience through the lens of the customers you need to reach.

How will they work with you?

Here’s where knowing more about a partner’s client history comes into play. But it’s not just about results, though that’s clearly a priority. You should also consider what experience they have with your industry, how they approach projects, and who your main point of contact will be. The operative word is “partner.” You want a media partner who will work with you closely to understand your business, its goals, and how to achieve them.

Ready to Find the Right Partner?

We’ve got the expertise, insights, audience, and tactics to reach your target customers. But don’t just take our word for it. Download our Media Partner Workbook to evaluate and compare local media partners and agencies.

Reach Consumers Online Across Generations

Date: July 11, 2017

For marketing to be effective, it needs to reach the right audience, and reach isn’t just a matter of selecting the right marketing tactics. Before you launch any marketing strategy, you need to know and understand your target audience—from the Silent Generation to Millennials and beyond. Looking at common traits within these groups can make your marketing more effective.

Download our Audience Marketing whitepaper to learn how to get the most out of your marketing budget. In this whitepaper, we provide an overview of each generation of consumers and discuss how you can best reach them in your digital marketing campaigns.

Can You Trust Your Media Partner?

Date: July 10, 2017

The most recent election shed light on the fake news phenomenon: fantastic, click-bait headlines that sensationalize misinformation and propagate lies. This element breads quickly on social media, garnering millions of likes, shares, and even followers. Sometimes these sites offer something as seemingly innocuous as a less-then-factual celebrity list, but they can also spread toxic, unsubstantiated “news” that can create confusion and cause hysteria. USA TODAY offers a look at how to spot fake news, but the truth is fake news outlets are always inventing new ways to lure in readers.

Where You Advertise Matters

In addition to serving up dubious information, these sites also serve up digital ads (and lots of them). Though traffic to these sites may be high, advertisers must weigh the potential reach against both the quality of the audience as well as their brand reputation. When it comes to digital advertising, an impression is not an impression—where you advertise matters.

For the “why” behind fake content, all you have to do is follow the money. The more visitors a site gets, the more ad revenue for its publisher. When evaluating a media partner or ad network, consider their content and decide whether or not you’d like your brand associated with it. And don’t forget to take a look at the ads currently running on their sites, as well. Fake, illegal, or misleading ads are even more prevalent than fake news. Google’s report, “How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016,” will give you a good idea of the types of ads to watch out for.

Google and Facebook Cracking Down

Both the search giant and social media’s reigning king have taken steps to ban fake news sites from using their advertising services. Google took action against 340 bad sites in 2016 [2] and has booted 200 fake news sites off of its ad network. [3] Additionally, the company took down 1.7 billion ads in violation of its policies and guidelines (up 136% from 2015). [4] Facebook continues to work on how it can curb fake news and clickbait stories from the site using new algorithms and other proprietary tools. [5]

Advertisers Growing Leery

Even with increased efforts to stop fake news, advertisers are increasingly cautious. In online advertising, brand safety is no small consideration. According to ComScore, ads delivered beside unsavory content can:

According to a recent survey, 96% of advertisers are concerned about fake news in programmatic advertising. Though 31% plan to reduce their ad spend, 55% intend to put more pressure on their media and marketing partners to ensure their ads appear on reputable websites. [7]

A Media Partner You Can Trust

We’ve got the credible platforms, authentic content, and valuable news that your customers trust. With our marketing expertise, insights, and tactics your ads will reach the right audience when they’re ready to buy. But don’t just take our word for it. Download our Media Partner Workbook to evaluate and compare local media partners and agencies.

Sources

[1] “How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016,” by Scott Spencer; Google; 01/26/2017

[2] “Google Cracked Down on 340 Fake News Sites Last Year,” by Elias Leight; Rolling Stone; 01/25/2017

[3] “Google has banned 200 publishers since it passed a new policy against fake news,” by Tess Townsend; Recode; 01/25/2017

[4] “Google Increases Regulation Of False Ads And Fake News,” by Charles Warner; Forbes; 01/25/2017

[5] “Facebook takes a new crack at halting fake news and clickbait,” by Mike Snider; USA TODAY; 05/17/2017

[6] “Brand Safety: Another Case for Increased Trust & Transparency in Digital Advertising,” by Andrea Vollman; ComScore; 04/06/2017

[7] “How will "Fake News" affect online ad budgets?;” Brightroll from Yahoo!, 5/30/2017

Data Speaks Louder than Words

Date: June 26, 2017

Advertising that speaks to one customer may strike another as complete nonsense. From one generation to the next, it can seem like you need to know a whole other language just to be understood.

There’s a good reason for that. Just as the Tower of Babel split us up by language, the differences dug by time, technological, and cultural shifts have divided us across generational lines. The good news is, you don’t need a translator to speak to everyone from the Silent Generation to Generation Z—you just need data.

Give Your Messages Meaning

You marketing messages will only matter if your target audience cares about what you’re trying to say. And, when it comes to what consumers care about, they tend to be pretty self-involved. So, you need to get to know them. That’s why it’s important to do your research to understand who your current customers are and discover what motivates potentials. Not surprisingly, age, cultural influences, and lifestyle can provide insight that will help you do everything from selecting the right advertising formats and platforms to crafting messages that inspire action. 

Insight Is What You Need

The Beatles believed that all you need is love, but that’s not the case when it comes to marketing. What you do need is research and insights to grasp who your consumers are and how they behave. Though there are sub-segments based on everything from geography to psychographics, understanding what makes each generation unique will take you a long way.

Let’s look at some key traits of each generation.

The Silent Generation – This group was born before 1946, and there are over 20 million of them in the U.S. They’re loyal shoppers and avid gift givers. Though they tend to respond best to traditional media, they’re going online with increasing frequency.

Baby Boomers – Much has been said about this highly sought after demographic. These are people who were born between 1946 and 1965, and there are over 70 million of them in the country. They redefined American culture and broke long-standing traditions. Though traditional media still resonates, they’re largely online.

Generation X – The name doesn’t say it all. This much-overlooked group is between 36 and 51 years old, 65 million strong, and at the peak of its spending power. Sandwiched between the much-hyped Boomers and the up-and-coming Millennials, this generational middle child is busy balancing work and life. Though they’re no strangers to traditional media, they’re tech-savvy and connected.

Millennials – Though they’re far from meek, this generation is poised to inherit the title for most sought after demographic. Millennials are known for being brash and bold, and, by some estimates, there are over 90 million of them in the U.S. Due in no small part to its evolving consumption habits and affinity for technology, this large, influential generation is forcing marketers to rethink advertising strategies.

Generation Z – There may not be much in their wallets yet, but this group of youngsters is tugging at their parents’ purse strings. These kids were born after 1995. And this group isn’t done growing, but current estimates have their numbers at over 80 million. Their consumer personalities are still developing, but they love technology and live life between screens.

Reach Across Generations

We’ve got the resources, insights, and strategies you need to reach and motivate all your target audiences. Download our Audience Marketing whitepaper today to learn more about who your customers are and how to appeal to them.

Source – “American Generation Fast Facts;” CNN; October, 20 2016

Marketing is Meaningless

Date: June 12, 2017

It’s a no-brainer. Unless your marketing is smart, it just won’t be effective. Think about it. If you’re running ads without knowing who your customers and prospects are, what they’re habits are, and which tactics are best to reach them, how can your ads inspire action?

Not convinced you need market research for brilliant campaign results? Let’s look at what market insights can help you do.

Understand Existing Customers

How well do you really know your customers?

That’s not a philosophical question. To understand your customers, you need to know more than what they buy. Knowing your top sellers isn’t enough because it’s not about you. It’s about why your customers buy from you, what need your products or services fill, when and how they’re most likely to shop, and who they’re shopping for.

You can start by compiling the customer data you do have (e.g. names and physical and email addresses) into a database. From there you can build questionnaires and surveys to help you learn more. Once you have a wealth of geographic and demographic information (e.g. age and marital status) you can begin digging in and segmenting using trusted research to assign psychographic factors to your customer base.

Understanding your existing customers can help you do everything from retaining them to upselling add-ons to expanding your products and services. With data in your back pocket, your investments in innovation and marketing will be less risky and more likely to be rewarding. 

Identify Potential Customers

How can your business grow without new customers?

Your business isn’t just a matter of the present; you need to know where to find protentional consumers to ensure you have a bright future. Luckily, if you’ve gained insight into who your current customers are and what inspires them, you’ll know where to find potentials.

Though everyone would like to believe they’re a unique snowflake, the fact is that we all have hundreds of thousands of doppelgangers when it comes to data. Using trusted resources, you can work to learn who you customers’ lookalikes are, where they’re located, and how to reach them. Using your customer data to build buyer personas will elevate your marketing efforts.

And don’t forget, it’s still not all about you—well, your customers to be exact. Your competitors have customers, too. While you won’t likely have access to their consumer data, you can look at what these businesses are doing to attract and retain their customers. Examine everything from offerings to advertising to find ways to enhance your own products and services, refine your messaging, or find new niche markets.

Build a Meaningful Strategy

How can a marketing campaign be successful without a strategy rooted in research?

Marketing strategy is bigger than discovering your advertising audience—but not much. No matter what your business goals, you’ll never achieve them if you’re marketing to the wrong people. And how can you develop messaging or select the right tactics if you don’t know what will resonate?

When it comes to bringing your strategy to life with advertising, every aspect should be tied to research. From the colors and images to the copy, each element should be carefully designed to attract the right attention, engage the right audiences, and entice the right consumers.

Select the Right Tactics

How can your tactics be effective if they’re not reaching the right people?

It’s not about the formats you employ; it’s about how well they work to capture the attention of your current and potential customers. This is particularly true what it comes to digital advertising. Digital formats allow for a level of audience targeting and optimization that just can’t be matched by traditional media.

Your digital media mix will likely have to be as diverse as your customer base. The good news is, digital advertising allows for precision when it comes to audience targeting, ensuring your messages reach your target customers. From mobile and video to email and social, consumer insights can help you select and fine-tune your methods and messaging across demographics.

Are You Ready to Gain Insight?

Research is only as good as the strategists interpreting it—and we’re the experts at making sense of it all. We analyze buckets of data to understand your business needs and deliver insights that find, motivate, and convert your customers. Our marketing strategies are rooted in research, and they drive results.

Download our Audience Marketing whitepaper today to learn more about who your customers are and how to appeal to them.

Build a Marketing Strategy that Works

Date: June 01, 2017

Anyone can buy digital ads, but advertising alone won’t deliver results. Digital advertising is just the visible tip of the iceberg of what should be a cohesive marketing strategy. To build a strategy that works, you need to consider your business goals, identify your target customers, discover the consumer journey, and develop custom messaging before you begin investing in advertising tactics.

Download our Digital Marketing Strategy Guide to build a plan that works. We’ll take you through each step of the process from developing your initial goals to reaching them. You’ll get a grasp on what an effective digital marketing strategy looks like. And, more importantly, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge necessary to develop your own strategy.

The Real Power of Digital Advertising

Date: May 22, 2017

Digital advertising is more than just the online equivalent of traditional formats such as print, television, and radio. There isn’t a one-to-one ratio between print and display or television and video. With the rise of the Internet and the advent of the smartphone, digital is always with us, making its reach unsurpassed. But the real power of digital isn’t reach, it’s its ability to reach the right audience at the right time.

Audience Targeting

More than any other format, digital allows advertisers to target audiences based on age, location, and behavior. Audience targeting is a powerful tool for not only maximizing your ad budget, but also reaching the consumers who are most likely to buy. Furthermore, knowing and understanding the audience allows marketers to fine-tune ad messaging to inspire consumer action.

Get to Know Your Customers

You may think that no one knows your customers like you do, but when it comes to targeting, you can always know them better. Digging into details like who they are, where they live, and why they buy will help you discover ways to find and convert consumers just like them.

Here are some questions to consider.

Who are your current customers? Look at any customer data you’ve already collected for demographic and geographic information. If there are holes, consider doing an incentive-based survey.

Who is your competition targeting? If you’re competing for the same customers, it makes sense to look at how and why they win business. Evaluating their approach can help you find opportunities to improve your own.

What drives people to buy your good and services? Once you have the who, it’s time to look at the why. Looking at the psychographics can help you determine why people choose your goods and services, which can help you expand to new targets.

Build Buyer Personas

Once you have a better idea of who your current and potential customers are, it’s time to bring them to life. Buyer personas allow you to create fictional representations of these people to inform your marketing strategy. Giving these people backgrounds, goals, and challenges will allow you to think of them more concretely. With a solid understanding of how they are and what they want, you can begin to see where and how your brand fits into their lives.

Build a Strategy Around Audience

Knowing your audience is just the beginning for creating a digital strategy—actually, it’s more like step two in the process. First you need to determine what your business goals are. And there’s even more work after that, but don’t get overwhelmed.

Download our Digital Marketing Strategy Guide today to get starting building a marketing plan that works.

Is Digital Video Replacing Television?

Date: May 11, 2017

Today’s digital environment is changing the way that consumers watch TV. Nearly half of American households are now subscribing to at least one digital streaming service like Netflix to watch their favorite programming, and since 2013, the number of people leaving cable for good has outnumbered those who are joining. [1]

This transformation in the way that people consume media has significant implications for businesses who want to reach their local audiences through video ads. Digital video trends suggest that digital video is already replacing television when it comes to marketing to today’s consumer. Below, we will discuss the latest digital video trends and what they mean for marketing your local business.

Digital Video is Changing the Marketing World

Did you know that 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching videos? [2] Today’s consumer is watching more digital video content than ever before. Just as digital video is changing the way that individuals consume media, it is also changing the way that businesses market to their ideal buyers. Many brands are now starting to deliver video ad content to their target audiences through a variety of online channels like YouTube and Facebook, which provide a powerful platform for reaching new consumers in their target audience.

What’s more is that many consumers prefer this type of content. An Animoto survey reveals that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it. [3] A HubSpot survey also found that 43% of consumers want to see more video content. [2] As digital video continues to increase in popularity, it will be increasingly important for brands to make sure that they are taking advantage of this opportunity to expand their online reach.

Digital Video Trends Impact Local Businesses

In the end, the shift away from television and toward digital video is good news for local businesses who are trying to reach a more targeted audience. Local brands can take advantage of this new media trend by creating unique and relevant video content that is targeted toward their ideal local audiences. Rather than showing one commercial to everyone like you would with a television spot, digital video allows you to optimize your budget by targeting the specific internet users that are most likely be interested in your product or service.

For instance, let’s say that you are offering a service that is aimed at young professionals in your city. You can create quality digital ad content with messaging and imagery that appeals to this population, and then use the sophisticated targeting abilities offered by different channels like Facebook to make sure that your video content is delivered to those who are most likely to use your service.

We can help

Are you ready to attract more relevant customers with digital video? Our team helps local businesses just like yours develop and implement digital video strategies that are aimed at maximizing exposure in the local market. Contact us today to get started.

Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about how digital video inspires consumer action.

Sources

1 “The future of television, Cutting the cord;” The Economist; July 16, 2016
2 “Where Marketers Go to Grow,” by Lindsay Kolowich; Hubspot; June 14, 2016
3 “The 2015 Video Marketing Cheat Sheet,” by Megan O’Neill; Animoto; May 07, 2015

Don’t Buy Ads!

Date: May 08, 2017

Build A Marketing Strategy

Digital advertising can be amazing—an amazing waste of budget. The blanket approach to building awareness that may have once applied to traditional advertising just doesn’t work online. With digital marketing, it’s less about the number of tactics and channels in your campaign as your business goals, the audience you’re targeting, and the consumer path to purchase.

Digital Tactics aren’t Strategy

There’s no shortage of digital tactics, and with the speed of internet innovation, there isn’t likely to be. But not all digital ad formats are created equal and, depending on various factors, some tactics are more equal than others. Even the most effective tactics for reaching audiences across demographics should only be employed with a sound strategy in place.

Let’s look at some of the most effective ad formats as well as how and when they might fit into your marketing strategy.

As you can see, each can fit into one or more stages of the consumer journey, but none of these can stand alone. Foundational and supporting tactics such as display, SEO, PPC, and social media are also needed to drive intent and inspire action.

Build a Marketing Strategy

Before you can decide which digital tactics to use and when to use them, first you need to determine what you’re trying to accomplish. The answer many seem obvious: increase sales. But there is more than one way to do that, and the more specific business goals (e.g. increase awareness, build loyalty, upsell customers) call for different methods of achievement. And aligning your goals is just one step, then you must consider audience, sales cycle, messaging, and more.

Need help planning for success?

Don’t let digital marketing overwhelm you. Download our Digital Marketing Strategy Guide today to get starting building a marketing plan that works or contact us today.

3 Tips to Show Up the Competition

Date: May 02, 2017

When it comes to competing against local business and even big-box stores, it’s easy to be myopic. You may find yourself too focused on what they’re doing, how they’re advertising, and what they’re offering. But to show up the competition, first you have to show up—in local search results.

Online search is an indispensable and influential tool for consumers. Purchases great and small are made based on both casual and in-depth research performed on everything from desktop computers to smartphones. If your business doesn’t show up in their searches, you’ll never win their business or beat the completion.

Sound Strategy Beats Deep Pockets

Nearly every local business has the same challenge: working with a limited marketing budget. The good news is, with search marketing it’s all about the strategy. The key to maximizing your marketing budget is choosing strategies that allow you to compete with larger brands without breaking the bank. Below, we’ll cover a few strategies that help you remain competitive in the busy online marketplace.

1. Use PPC to Complement SEO

Pay-per-click or PPC ads are a great tool for local businesses that are ready to compete with their larger counterparts. These ads appear at the top of the search engine results page when users look for keywords or phrases that are similar to what your business offers. Though you may already be working to rank in the search engines through search engine optimization efforts, SEO can take some time to work its magic. PPC can supplement your SEO strategy by providing more immediate results.

This strategy allows you to successfully compete right alongside bigger brands without having to match their budget. When done correctly, this digital marketing tool is not only more cost-effective than other alternatives, but it can often be more successful, allowing you to maximize your marketing budget.

2. Own Local Search

Local customers are looking for brands just like yours online. But how can your business cut through the noise of the busy online marketplace to focus on these local consumers? The answer is local search. Local search allows you to reach out to consumers in the locations you serve to let them know that you are in their location and ready to meet their needs.

Local search helps you maximize your marketing budget because it allows you to target those who live in the areas that your business operates in. By creating local listings and optimizing them for search engines, you can bring more local consumers right to your business.

3. Mobilize Your Search

More and more consumers are using their mobile devices to search for local businesses. If your business isn’t showing up in those mobile searches, you’re likely missing out on an opportunity to reach new customers. Not only you focus on local mobile search, but you should also have a mobile-friendly website that’s easy for on-the-go mobile users to navigate.

In addition to mobile search, you can also use mobile advertising to zero in on the local customers you want to reach. Hyper-local ads allow you to maximize your marketing efforts by serving your ad content to local consumers who are most likely to visit your business.

We Can Help!

Are you ready to start maximizing marketing efforts? With access to national insight and tools, we provide premier digital marketing solutions that help local brands gain a competitive edge. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Is Emerging Media Worth the Risk?

Date: April 26, 2017

It seems like every month there’s a new digital marketing trend that promises to be the best way to reach your consumers. With so many trends emerging each year, it can be hard for local businesses to determine whether they should invest or wait out the hype.

Risks of Adopting New Digital Marketing Trends

Though you may be excited to be one of the first local businesses to try out new marketing tactics, doing so can be risky. When you think about all the marketing trends that are no longer used, like 3D and QR codes, it’s easy to see how brands can find themselves wasting a considerable amount of their marketing budget on emerging media that never quite takes off.

With that in mind, one of the biggest risks of adopting new digital marketing trends before anyone else is that you never know whether they are here to stay or only hot for a moment. If these new tactics end up being a flop, then you may find yourself in a position where you have spent too much of your time, money, and energy investing in campaigns that just don’t work.

Benefits of Investing in Emerging Media

There is a lot of exciting new media being used by businesses today to market their brands. Just a few of these digital marketing trends include virtual reality, wearable technology, Facebook Messenger for business, and Snapchat ads. Being the first to use emerging media like this can offer a range of benefits for local businesses.

For one, there is a chance that these marketing trends may be successful, opening exciting new opportunities for your brand. Another benefit is that it can help your business gain a competitive edge. If you are adopting these new trends before your competitors, you’ll be more likely to stand out in the crowd.

Conclusion: Proceed with Caution

When it comes to emerging media, the best advice is to proceed with caution. While most local businesses are looking for a competitive edge over larger brands and other local businesses, they must be conscious of their limited marketing budget and resources.

New digital marketing trends that do not require a huge investment of time or money may be worth the risk, especially if you adopt them before your competitors. For unproven methods that require more of an investment, it may be best to wait awhile and see if the media lives up to the hype.

We Can Help!

If you find it difficult to navigate all the latest tools and trends in the industry, we're here to help. Our team of digital marketing experts has access to national insight and resources that can help your local business stay ahead of the competition by identifying the trends that are here to stay. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Four Tips for Beating the Competition Online

Date: April 24, 2017

In today's digital marketplace, not only do you have to compete with other local businesses, but with large companies that operate worldwide, as well. That’s why it’s vital that you use digital marketing to stay one step ahead of the competition. From improving reach in the local market to improving engagement with your target audience, there are many ways you can gain a competitive edge.

1. Boost Your Local SEO

While you may already be working on search engine optimization, local SEO can help you increase the amount of relevant local traffic to your site. Start by researching the keywords and phrases that local consumers are using to find you. Then work to optimize your site content to incorporate these keywords. You should also claim your business listings on Google and other local directories, which will improve your search engine rankings.

2. Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Investing in PPC can also help you surpass your competition by increasing relevant traffic to your website. Since PPC advertising costs money (and the cost can add up quite quickly), it's important to be strategic with your ads. The key to successful local PPC campaigns is to focus your efforts on the products and services that sell the best. Make sure that your ad copy is localized, and you may even want to include the zip code in the text or URL to stand out and capture the attention.

3. Create Quality Content

One way that you can work to stay ahead of the competition is to create quality content that appeals to your target audience. Use keyword research to understand what local searchers are looking for, and incorporate these topics and keywords into your content strategy. Be sure to use an easy-to-read format with subtitles and bullet points as well as compelling visual content that can keep your audience's attention.

4. Use Mobile to Reach Consumers On-the-Go

Mobile-friendly is no longer just a nice option—it’s a must have. To reach the growing number of consumers using mobile devices your business website needs to be optimized for mobile consumers. Mobile marketing tactics like geo-targeted advertising can help you reach local consumers who are researching products and services in their moment of need.

(5) Let Us Help

Want to know more about staying ahead of the competition with digital marketing campaigns? Though these digital marketing tips are a great start, getting expert help might be just what you need to take your marketing to the next level. Our team has access to national insight and resources that can help your local business gain a competitive edge. For more information or a free digital marketing consultation, contact us today.

Premier Marketing Optimization Technology, Powered by ReachLocal

Date: April 12, 2017

You’ve got a beautiful, professional, simple website that is mobile-friendly and optimized for search.

You are actively managing your social media accounts.

You advertise across a healthy mix of traditional and digital channels.

You feel great about your marketing strategy.

… and then something changes.

 

Perhaps you need to cut your budget. Or you find the same tactics are no longer generating the customers you need. Maybe there is a macro-economic shift and you’re impacted in a recession. Regardless of the cause, the time has come to look more closely at your marketing efforts to ensure you’re not only reaching but also converting prospective customers.

How do you get started?

First, you need to understand your true return on marketing investment, ideally down to the level of which marketing channels are delivering customers best. From there, you can look at ways in which you can reallocate dollars to drive more customers to your business and make your marketing dollars work harder.

There are a few different ways in which you can uncover your marketing ROI. You can build out trackable URLs and create custom phone numbers for each channel. You can build different offers to identify which tactics respond best to promotions. These efforts will help you understand your ROI better, but they can be time consuming if you are not an expert at tracking across multiple platforms.

Another option is to let us dig deeper into your marketing efforts using ReachEdge™ technology, which is powered by ReachLocal. ReachEdge allows you to tap into important marketing data so you know how effective your marketing is and how well you’re converting prospects into customers.

 

Get the free guide to learn how ReachEdge tracking software’s reports work to:

Give you detailed information about your prospective customers, like their name, location, and the exact days and times they interact with your business (either through chat or calling)
Tell you how many contacts you’ve gotten from your website
Show you which marketing sources are the most effective at getting you actual customers
Provide the rate at which you’re converting prospects

If you’re curious about ReachEdge technology, connect with us here to learn more about this proprietary technology we put to work to help you maximize your marketing potential. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to face uncertainty with your marketing efforts.

Premier Website Development Services, Powered by ReachLocal

Date: April 10, 2017

Websites are a critical and central component of any digital strategy: they are how current and prospective customers find and connect with products and services. With more than 70% of local customers checking out local businesses online prior to purchasing or visiting brick and mortar stores, having a website is important to activating and controlling the conversation. Websites provide an opportunity to communicate multiple levels of information, and they act as a “home base” for content efforts and digital initiatives. Websites are also a cornerstone of brand-building.

But simply having a website isn’t enough.

Websites fuel digital efforts, such as search, which is built (largely) on and for websites. And search engines like Google are not only optimizing content that is designed to be mobile-friendly, they are penalizing content that isn’t.

There are a couple of ways you can build a site for mobile, either as one designed specifically for mobile screens or as a responsive site. Responsive sites automatically adjust to different screen sizes – from desktop to laptop to tablet and smartphones – and can help alleviate some of the headache of always having to update for new formats. It might seem like having a mobile-friendly website is a novelty, but nearly half of consumers looking for local products or services search on mobile first, and if your page is hard to navigate, odds are they’ll leave quickly. In fact, Google has stated 85% of visitors will leave – or bounce – from a site that is poorly designed.

A mobile-friendly design makes sense, but what else does your website need in order to be successful? First of all, along with having a mobile website, you’ll want to be sure to have a simple, clean and professional design to your site. Visitors should be able to navigate it easily and find all of the pertinent information they are seeking, such as contact information and / or a contact form. You may want to consider adding live chat functionality to your site, to connect with visitors immediately. Don’t forget to highlight your other communication channels, such as social media and email newsletters, if you have those channels activated.

It might seem silly to mention this, but you’ll want to make sure you have your logo included on the site in a prominent and recognizable way (usually in the header area). Simply having your business’s name in text might make it blend in and get lost.

Finally, you’ll want to be sure you have up-to-date and current content on your website. Outdated hours or menus or services can cause headaches for both your customers and employees. Going beyond text and adding images, graphics, blogs and video to bring your business to life will benefit you both in search and by creating different opportunities for engagement with website visitors. This is arguably the most challenging part of building and maintaining a website: the never-ending need for content. But don’t let that overwhelm you! There are ways in which you can create a compelling content plan that aren’t as time- and labor-intensive, and we’d love to partner with you to identify ways in which you can create a robust website content plan.

Once you have your website built, you can start to think about layering other strategies, such as search. We can help. We offer products and services to build, maintain, optimize and grow websites, however big or small the need may be. Connect with us here. We’re ready to put our team of marketing experts to work for you.

Premier Social Media Solutions, Powered by ReachLocal

Date: April 05, 2017

When you think of social media marketing, chances are you’re thinking Facebook ... and that’s absoslutely right (after all, more than half of the population uses Facebook), but there is much more to social marketing than just Facebook.

Social media is a quickly evolving world where customers are behind the wheel, but that doesn’t mean getting run over! Being a part of the conversation is critical to protect your brand’s reputation online.

To get started in social media, be honest about what you can handle. If it’s just Facebook – then keep it simple and start there. You don’t want to create accounts only to abandon them.

You will want to make sure you have claimed your business on Google My Business and other local search and review sites like Yelp. Wait ... doesn’t that fall within search marketing? Yes – and no: there is a fuzzy crossover area between search and social where review site listings will show up in search results, and they will impact what customers are seeing about your business.

Because review sites and local listings are everywhere and touch every segment, you need to be a part of that conversation. It doesn’t mean deleting comments – it means addressing concerns in an authentic and transparent way. Check out how this short blog post about how you can handle negative reviews. Today’s consumers expect it, and if you aren’t actively responding to this need, they will speak on your behalf.

The intent isn’t to paint a completely negative picture for social media, because engaging customers on a personal level really is essential to build a meaningful relationship. And, when done right, you will turn your best customers into brand evangelists. Check out our complimentary ebook “The Social Media Landscape for Local Businesses” to dig deeper into how to get started with social media.

You might also be curious about investing in social media ads – if it’s necessary, and if so, how much and how often should you do it? Before you get started, check out these three questions to ask yourself before you start advertising on Facebook, courtesy of ReachLocal.

If you think you’re ready to start buying social ads, or if you need help building out your social media strategy, connect with us here. We’re ready to put our team of marketing experts to work for you.

Premier Search Solutions, Powered by ReachLocal

Date: April 03, 2017

Search seems so simple, doesn’t it? Make a website and you show up whenever someone is looking for your products or services. And while that is the intent, search is much, much more complicated than it might seem.

In order to show up in search, you need to develop your site’s findability – meaning search engines need to be able to find you and understand who you are and what you do. This is where search engine optimization or SEO is critical. SEO is an intricate recipe of creating original content, webpages on your website, and structuring it so that you show up in natural search results.

While SEO might seem like an overwhelming and thankless task, it is among the most cost-effective ways for delivering ongoing organic traffic to your website. It keeps you top-of-mind when customers are looking for you and it helps you to stay competitive. Register Media has teamed up with ReachLocal, a recognized global leader in digital marketing, to deliver premier search marketing solutions. Check out ReachLocal’s five reasons you really need SEO, and five more reasons you really need SEO.

A challenge with SEO is that it is like a marathon: you need to keep going over time in order for it to be worthwhile. To kickstart your efforts, PPC is advantageous in driving traffic to your website. This is how you add fuel to your search fire and drive customers to your page – businesses have seen more than a 50% incremental lift in clicks when combining SEO with PPC.

 

How do you set up your search advertising for success?

 

  1. 1. First identify top local search terms – you can do this through Google Adwords.
  2. Next write targeted search ad copy – your ads should be an honest reflection of what you offer. Stuffing keywords into your ads will only work to hurt you if they are not relevent.
  3. Geo-target your ads – if you draw the majority of your customers from a tri-county area, there is no reason to advertise outside of it. Search gives you the power to control where your ads are seen.
  4. Don’t forget to include ad extensions ... you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to call you or find your location on a map quickly.
  5. Optimize for mobile searchers ... remember, mobile is everything. And search engines are optimizing their content and prioritizing sites that are more mobile-friendly.

 

Learn more about how you can optimize your PPC efforts with ReachLocal’s blog post Mastering PPC: 6 Questions to Answer to Help You Optimize Your PPC Campaign. You can also download ReachLocal’s “Essential Guide to Local Search Advertising” for a deeper dive into search.

After you’ve covered your bases with search, you can start to think about how you build meaningful relationships with your customers. And social media is the perfect place to do so. We’ll tackle that next week.

If you’d like to learn more about search marketing or the ReachLocal and Register Media's relationship, connect with us here. We’re ready to put our team of marketing experts to work for you.

We’ve Teamed Up With a Local Marketing Powerhouse

Date: March 30, 2017

Today marks an exciting new chapter at Register Media: we have teamed up with ReachLocal, a recognized global leader in digital marketing, to fuel local business growth.

We are committed to solving local business’s toughest challenges, by utilizing a combination of local media assets and integrated marketing expertise. Adding ReachLocal’s breadth of experience, deep insights, and cutting-edge technology takes our solutions to the next level of effectiveness, delivering results and growing local businesses.

 

Who is ReachLocal?

ReachLocal has been a leader in local marketing for more than a decade, providing award-winning digital marketing services. In 2015, ReachLocal was recognized as a Google Quality Score Champion, an award reserved for Premier SMB Partners who have the highest average AdWords Quality Score during a predetermined judging period. ReachLocal’s deep expertise in digital marketing is put to work for local businesses, with high-quality campaign setup (selecting the best keywords, writing great text ads, and using all appropriate customizations in the right way to increase performance) and managing campaigns for optimal performance with proprietary conversion and tracking software.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the exceptional work and top-notch tools Register Media and ReachLocal have to offer, including search, social media marketing, website development, and conversion tracking.

If you’d like to learn more about the ReachLocal and Register Media relationship, connect with us here. We’re ready to put our team of marketing experts to work for you.

Engage Your Audience with Stellar Content

Date: March 10, 2017

Have you ever heard the phrase “content is king”? Well, that’s not exactly true—at least not of all content. While creating quality content on a regular basis is vital to gaining greater visibility online, it’s simply not enough for local brands. No matter how well-written and informative your blogs, videos, social media posts, and other content pieces, they aren’t worthwhile unless they’re significant to your target audience.

One of the greatest content mistakes that companies make is choosing inappropriately targeted topics. [1] If you want to see results from your local content marketing, it's vital that you learn how to increase engagement by creating content that’s relevant and interesting to your target market.

Identify What They Want

If you want to create engaging content that converts, you need to have a detailed understanding of your target audience. This requires a bit of research. Dive deep to learn how they consume media. For example, do they stay informed by reading industry blogs or watching videos? Do they prefer to listen to monthly podcasts or would they rather get their information through a mobile news app?

When it comes to determining which topics to focus on, go back to your research to see what your audience cares about most, what they find interesting. Create content around topics that focus on their greatest challenges and pain points. It may also help to look at the analytics for content you have previously published to see which topics and channels were most popular in the past.

Once you have a better understanding of which types of content your target audience enjoys most, you can use this information to develop an editorial calendar.

Increase Engagement

Once you understand what your audience wants to know and how they prefer to learn, you can finally start to develop compelling, relevant content that resonates. However, your work isn’t done yet—crafting great content is only half the battle. You need to promote your content through the channels that your audience frequents most. Remember, your customers cannot engage with your content if they can’t find it.

Ultimately, where and how you promote your content will depend on the audience you’re trying to attract. Though social media is popular among many different age groups, different platforms can be used to target different demographics. For example, if your business is trying to target women in the 30 to 49-year-old age range, you may want to focus your efforts on Facebook and Pinterest. [2]

We can help!

Need help creating and promoting content? We have the expertise and creditable platform you need to inform your target consumers. Our branded content provides unparalleled opportunities to reach and convert local customers. Contact us today. 

Sources

1. “6 Reasons Great Content Fails,” by Pamela Vaughan; Hubspot; 11/10/11

2. “Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy,” by Michael Patterson; Sprout Social; 05/04/15

Top 5 Ways to Reach Your Audience Online

Date: March 09, 2017

One of the biggest challenges that local business owners face is bringing in more customers on a regular basis. Whether you’re a contractor offering plumbing services or you own an upscale ladies’ clothing boutique, you can benefit from stepping up your digital marketing game to reach your target audience online.

Are you ready to start reaching out to new customers in your community? Use the following tips to start boosting your online traffic as well as bring more customers into your business.

1. Create Content that Emphasizes Local SEO

You may already know a little bit about SEO and how it helps you connect with consumers who are searching for products or services that are relevant to your company. But, did you know that local SEO can help you narrow your focus even further to reach customers who are in your city and the surrounding areas? Using locally-focused keyword phrases on your website and in your content can help you reach more local, purchase-ready consumers.

Want to know more about SEO, download our quick overview guide.

2. Connect with Local Consumers on Social Media

Social media helps local businesses reach new customers while also engaging current customers, which helps to foster positive brand relationships. Make sure that all of your social media profiles contain the most up-to-date contact and location information for your brand. Be sure to share any special promotions or deals that you offer, and include other fun and relevant content that your followers are likely to share with their friends and family.

Looking to get started with social, download our Social Media Landscape eBook.

3. Take Advantage of Online Advertising Opportunities

Though some digital marketing tactics are completely free, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore effective opportunities for paid promotion. With digital advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and social media marketing, you can reach your target audience in the places they frequent most. Search ads can help you reach customers who are looking for relevant topics on search engines. And with remarketing ads, you can even draw in consumers who left your website without making a purchase.

Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about the latest trends in digital adverting.

4. Establish Review Site and Directory Profiles

Review sites like Yelp and directories like Trip Advisor are great resources for local consumers and visitors to find the businesses they need. Establishing profiles on these sites and encouraging positive reviews from your current customers helps you attract qualified leads when consumers use these sites to search for local companies.

5. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Mobile-friendly is no longer optional. In today’s mobile marketplace, more and more consumers are searching for local brands on their smartphones and other mobile devices. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you may be turning local customers away without even knowing it. Creating a responsive website that is easy to navigate and read from a mobile device will help you reach and convert more local customers who are searching for products and services like yours.

We Can Help You Reach Them

When it comes to your digital marketing, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re ready to find your local partner in all things digital marketing, contact us online today. Our team of experts will take care of all your marketing needs so that you can focus on your core business.

Ready to Make an Impact?

Date: February 21, 2017

When you combine digital marketing with motion and sound on a powerful platform, your marketing messages leap off the screen. High impact ad units grab consumer attention, engaging them fully, encouraging interaction, and driving conversion.

Combine mobile, video, and more

In recent posts, we’ve looked at the power of mobile and video to increase reach and engagement. When you combine those formats with high impact ad units, you increase interaction rates, driving ROI and making a lasting impression on your target audience.

Consider the Gravity high impact ad unit, an exclusive immersive ad experience from the USA TODAY Network. As the homepage loads, Gravity takes over to the screen, offering a cinematic experience. This format requires interaction and allows viewers to decide whether or not they want to view or skip the content. The completion rates for Gravity ads are 80% for ads under 20 seconds and 46% for one-minute ads. [3] This is dramatically higher than the 40% average completion rate for skippable pre-roll video. [4]

Capture the right kind of attention

High impact ads are conceived and designed to work seamlessly on an advertising platform while standing out from the surrounding content. It’s a delicate balance, but one that pays off when done well. Quality is key, both for the ad unit and the ad itself. Because just attracting attention isn’t enough.

In a recent online survey, 84% of respondents stated that obnoxious ads negatively impact their opinion of the website and the brand advertised. Additionally, consumers said that “most online ads today don’t look professional and are insulting to their intelligence (63% and 56%, respectively).” [1]

Leverage a quality platform and its audience

Don’t let those stats discourage you. Understanding the way consumers think is always a good thing. And there is hope. When your ads are high-quality and appear on trusted websites, audiences are more receptive.

When advertising is relevant to the content that surrounds it and appears on credible websites, consumers react much differently. When looking at native advertising specifically, research showed that 90% of people say relevancy is a top concern, and 63% said it needs to be contextually relevant to editorial. And, notably, there was a 33% lift in perceived credibility on well-regarded news sites. [2]

Ready to become the experience?

When done well, high impact ads don’t interrupt the user experience, they become the experience. And when they appear on creditable sites like [newspaper.com], audiences are more likely to sit up and take notice. 

Want to know more about the latest in digital advertising? Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more. Or contact us today online.

Source

1. “Why People Block Ads (And What It Means for Marketers and Advertisers),” by Mimi An; Hubspot; 7/13/16

2. “Infographic: Native Advertising Grows Despite Budget and Transparency Concerns,” Adweek; 2/16/15

3. Moat metrics and PointRoll video data. Aug 2014 – Jan 2015 on USATODAY.com

4. “Why Balancing Skippable and Non-Skippable Ads Creates Better Brand Awareness,” Adweek; 5/12/16

Your Customers are Mobile. Are You?

Date: February 15, 2017

As of 2015, 64% of American adults own a smartphone [1], and it’s safe to say that percentage has only grown. For many, mobile devices are the primary way they access the Internet. In fact, one study showed that the average individual checks their phone about 46 times a day [2]. These statistics strongly suggest that mobile devices have now become an integral part of the modern consumer’s lifestyle.

The rise of mobile presents limitless marketing opportunities. The Internet is no longer tethered to the desktop—consumers can get online anytime, anywhere. Can you say the same for your brand?

Mobile marketing is a must-have

Mobile marketing is vital for any business that wants to take advantage of the opportunity to reach more consumers. Four out of five consumers use their smartphones to shop, and 40% of shoppers will consult three or more channels before making a purchase [3]. These numbers show just how powerful mobile devices can be in the purchasing process. Mobile marketing helps ensure that your brand is present when consumers are ready to buy.

Additionally, many consumers are beginning to leave the desktop behind. One study shows that mobile now represents 65% of time spent on digital media [4], and desktops are becoming more of a secondary touch point for many digital users. Because of this, neglecting mobile marketing can mean missing out on connecting with a considerable portion of your target market.

Strategize to stay with them

When it comes to mobile, there is more than one way to attract and engage customers. Here are just a few mobile marketing strategies that you can use to grow your audience:

Mobile-friendly is not optional

While you work to create dynamic and effective mobile marketing campaigns, it’s also important to ensure that your website is optimized for your mobile audience. Since ads often drive consumers back to your brand’s website, you need to make sure your website is easy to navigate and read from a mobile device.

Need help mobilizing your campaigns?

Are you ready to reach consumers wherever there are? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and mobile solutions to reach your consumers at home and on the go. Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about adding mobile to your advertising mix. You can also contact us here.

Source

1. “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” Pew Research Center, 4/1/15

2. “Americans Check Their Phones 8 Billion Times a Day,” by Lisa Eadicicco; Time, 12/15/15

3. “7 Mobile Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind,” by Chris Warden; Carnival.io

4. “All digital growth now coming from mobile usage — comScore,” by Greg Sterling; Marketing Land, 4/3/16

Video is Worth . . . $28 Billion

Date: February 13, 2017

Though some businesses are hesitant to invest in digital video marketing, it is quickly becoming the norm. If you ignore this significant opportunity to connect with consumers, you may very well be left behind in the fast-paced, competitive digital marketplace.

The new gold standard

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. But how much is a video is worth?

According to the latest marketing statistics—quite a bit! Consumers love watching video content, and businesses big and small are starting to take notice. In fact, one study predicts that digital video ad spend will reach $28.8 billion in 2020 [1], which will make video the fastest growing format on both desktop and mobile devices.

Video marketing is an effective way to attract, inform, and engage more consumers. As digital video continues to gain popularity as a marketing device, more and more business owners are investing in short digital videos. In this post, we’ll discuss types of digital video marketing and how this visual tactic can quickly and effectively expand your audience reach.

Move them with motion

Your consumers’ attention is pulled in multiple directions at once. Video content helps catch their eye and keeps them engaged longer. There are many ways to use video to reach, inform, and delight your target audience.

Here are just a few types of digital video marketing:

Videos like these keep audiences interested across devices. Most successful video content incorporates audio, captions, animated elements, or interactive live links that drive traffic back to your website.

Give them what they want

Naturally, you’re always looking for ways to stay competitive in the digital marketplace. This means investing in strategic marketing tactics that will maximize your budget. The most significant benefit of digital video marketing is that the medium is continually expanding its reach and popularity. Currently, over half of U.S. residents watch videos every day, and 78% of Internet users in the U.S. watch online videos each week [2]. This presents a tremendous opportunity for tapping into a growing audience.

Consumers are also more likely to engage with short digital videos on your website or across social media, especially with features like captioned auto-play on Facebook, which allows users to watch video content silently in public places, even while they are on-the-go. Not only does video content attract the attention of an often busy and distracted modern audience, but it can also help with influencing purchasing decisions. By incorporating your content into one of the most engaging digital marketing formats, you can encourage customers to act.

We can help!

Are you ready to move the needle? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and digital video solutions to reach your target customers. Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action. You can also contact us here

Sources

1. “Digital Video Advertising Continues to Expand,” eMarketer 3/21/2016

2. “29 Big Online Video Marketing Statistics That Media Brands Need to Know,” TubularInsights 5/23/16

Three Steps for Reaching Your Target Audience

Date: February 13, 2017

If you're like most local business owners, you have a limited marketing budget to work with and need to find ways to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts. Identifying your target audience is a vital first step to ensuring that your marketing campaigns are successful. No matter how long you’ve been in business, finding your target market is an active part of development—especially as your company grows. When you improve or expand your product line or start offering your services in a new location, you’ll have to reconsider who your target consumers are and how you can reach them.

1. Develop Buyer Personas

If you want to learn how to find your target audience, you need to start with research. If you're a new business owner, start by determining which types of local customers you want to attract. If you already have an established business, you can get a lot of the information that you need from your current customers. Consider the demographics, interests, and geographic locations of your best or ideal clients. These are the same types of consumers you’ll want to reach with your digital marketing efforts.

Once you’ve done some research on your ideal customers, it’s time to develop buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictionalized profiles of the consumers you want to attract. These profiles contain demographics as well as information about customers' interests, motivations, and buying behavior. This information will help you later as you work to develop targeted messaging that appeals to this audience.

Ready to develop buyer personas? Download our workbook.

2. Identify Channels and Platforms

Now that you know who your target audience is, it’s time to determine how you can best reach them. From blogging and website content to digital advertising to social media engagement, there are a variety of digital marketing tactics available to you. The key is to choose those that your target consumers use most.

With most online shoppers using search engines to get the information they need to make a purchasing decision, search engine optimization (SEO) is a great tactic for reaching any audience. [1] However, when it comes to social media, you’ll need to choose wisely to avoid spreading yourself too thin. For instance, the majority of Snapchat users are younger, so if you are targeting an older audience, you might be better off focusing on a platform like Facebook.

Need help navigating the social media landscape for your business? Download our eBook.

3. Reengaged Customers and Prospects

Once you’ve implemented a marketing campaign, your job as a marketer isn’t over. It’s important for local businesses to develop marketing that is aimed at customers during each step of their buying journey. That’s where tactics like remarketing and email marketing can come in handy.

Remarketing campaigns allow you to reach out to a customer who visited your website by displaying ads for products they showed interest in. This can help you stay top of mind with interested consumers and help you close sales you otherwise might’ve lost. Email marketing is also a very effective way to foster relationships with your past and potential customers. Using this tactic, you can take advantage of previous exposure by maintaining an ongoing conversation with your target audience.

We Can Help You Reach Your Audience

Are you having trouble marketing to your ideal customers? Maybe you still need to learn how to find your target audience. We would love to be your digital marketing partner. Our team of local marketing experts can help you identify your best customers and develop winning strategies to reach them wherever they may be. If you’re ready to start seeing real results from your marketing efforts, contact us today.

Source

1. “Most online shoppers are using this one tool before they decide to buy,” by Andrew Meola; Business Insider; 04/06/16

Advertise Without Advertising

Date: February 09, 2017

Have you ever noticed content from a company that didn't quite feel like an advertisement? Perhaps you were browsing Facebook or Instagram and saw an image that you thought was just a regular part of your feed. Or maybe you searched for something on Google and clicked on the top result without realizing it was an ad. Advertising content like this has become immensely popular with modern marketers because it allows you to connect with and engage target audiences without being intrusive. As a local business owner, you need to consider adding branded content to your media mix.

Informative Content

Also known as native advertising, branded content is a form of paid online advertising that closely follows the natural form and function of the platform on which it appears. Visually, native ads match the design of the content platform they live on, making it look and feel more like natural content. Better still, they also function like natural content, adding value for viewers beyond pure advertising.

Some examples of branded content include in-feed branded ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These ads resemble natural visual and written content rather than in-your-face advertisements. Another example would be content recommendation widgets, which often appear at the end of a piece of content to entice readers to click on a related post. Additionally, there are search and promoted listings, which are relevant ad links placed at the top of the search engine results page.

Flexible Formats

Branded content offers unlimited opportunities to reach your target audiences. Whether it’s appearing on their mobile devices or in their favorite publications, branded content is everywhere they are. And it’s only limited by your imagination. Just as branded advertising is a chameleon that blends in with the content surrounding it, it can also be as versatile as the platforms on which is appears, especially when it comes to digital. Branded content can include:

Don’t let the thought of creating compelling content intimidate you. The good news is you needn’t have a team of writers or a production studio in house. Media partners will work with you to produce quality content using the same team that tells their stories.

More Effective

Here are just a few of the benefits that branded advertising offers:

In an age where consumers have become so over-exposed to advertising, it is important to find less intrusive ways to promote your business online. Creating and publishing branded content on the channels your target audience is most likely to visits provides visibility for your business and helps build brand affinity with both new and old customers.

We can help!

Are you ready to let your brand do the talking? [Media Group Name] offers an unparalleled platform for you to give audiences an in-depth view of your business. To learn more about branded content and the latest in digital advertising, download our Digital Trends whitepaper. Contact us to learn more about digital advertising. 

Don’t Just Beat the Competition

Date: February 07, 2017

If they’re not nipping at your heels, they’re eating your lunch. When it comes to the competition, you probably know all the clichés and the stories behind them. And while the clichés may be true, it’s important to remember the moral of their stories. Because if your focus is on battling your competitors, you may just lose the war.

It’s not about beating the competition, it’s about winning more business.

Take down even Goliath

Don’t let the deep pockets of the big-box stores, franchises, national brands, and more-established local businesses intimidate you. Whatever your budget, you can use it effectively to take down even the biggest giant. It’s how you spend your marketing budget, not how much you spend.

Win the arms race

If they’re running a half-page ad, you should run a full page. If their commercials run once an hour, yours should run twice. Right? If you’re looking to win the biggest ad spend award, that’s the path to victory.

But being bigger doesn’t necessarily mean being better. When it comes to advertising, the most effective weapon in your arsenal is strategy. It’s not about running the most ads or using the most tactics—it’s about reaching the right audience. That’s the key to winning more business (and yes, beating the competition in the process). Everything from how you advertise to the content of your ads should be driven by who your audience is and where they are.

Stay ahead of the pack

To throw another cliché your way, you need to stand out from the crowd to reach your target audience. Once you understand your target demographics and their behavior, you can start thinking about how to capture their attention. From up-and-coming Millennials to ready-for-retirement Boomers, there is no magic bullet when it comes to selecting advertising tactics. It takes an integrated marketing strategy, with a variety of messaging and ad formats to reach consumers at every stage of the buying cycle. Finding the right media mix is how you keep your brand top-of-mind with current and prospective customers (and how you edge out the competition).

Consistently raise the bar

Despite death knell that’s been tolling for close to a decade now on traditional media, vehicles like print are still thriving. The death was more of an evolution. Traditional media is moving into a support role as digital tactics move to the forefront.

The rise of digital marketing is giving advertisers more opportunities to reach consumers than ever before. From banner ads to pop-ups, digital advertising is everywhere. But if you want to connect with consumers and inspire action, you have to raise the bar with innovative, interactive ad formats. Whether it’s the unlimited reach of mobile, the captivating pace of video, or the in-depth coverage of branded content, premier digital ad formats perform better and make a lasting impression.

We can help!

Are you ready to win? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and tactics you need to reach your target customers in meaningful ways (and eliminate the competition). Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action.

Five Ways to Find and Engage Your Audience

Date: February 01, 2017

In order to make the most of a limited budget, you need to be strategic. If you want to create successful digital marketing campaigns that drive traffic to your site and increase sales, you need to identify and understand your target audience. Though you may have an idea of the type of customer you would like to attract, without formally defining your target market, there is a good chance that many of your marketing efforts will fall flat.

Before you can begin to develop effective digital marketing campaigns, you need to define your target audience and identify the best tactics for reaching it. Below, we’ll discuss tips that for finding and engaging your target audience.

How to Define and Identify the Target Audience

Clearly defining who you are trying to reach is an important first step in developing a successful content marketing plan that is both strategic and efficient. Here are a few ways to define your audience.

1. Get insight from your current customers.

One of the best ways to better understand your ideal customer is to take a close look at your current customers. Review customer data that you have collected over time to better understand demographic information like age, gender, and marital status. Then, go one step further by surveying your customers to find out more about their likes, dislikes, habits, fears, and challenges. This will give you more insight into what you find most important, which will help to tailor your message to this audience.

2. Develop detailed, data-driven buyer personas.

Once you’ve gathered some insight from your current customer base, it’s time to create buyer personas. These are profiles of your ideal customers, which contain demographic information as well as a more in-depth description of what these consumers need and what you care about. Buyer personas will help drive strategy for your digital marketing campaigns.

How to Reach Your Audience

After you’ve worked to identify the target audience, what your biggest challenges are, and what value you can provide them, it’s time to learn more about where they are and how to reach them. Here are a few ways to engage your audience.

3. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is a must-have for any business that wants to compete in the digital marketplace. By producing content that emphasizes keywords, phrases, and topics relevant to your industry, you can work to rank higher in organic search results, making it easier for your target market to find your business.

4. Be active on social media.

Social media is an excellent platform for reaching local and global audiences. With sophisticated targeting features on social media platforms like Facebook, you can ensure your content is seen by your target audience.

5. Reach more customers on mobile.

More and more consumers are engaging with and searching for brands on their mobile devices. Not only is it vital for you to have a mobile-friendly website, but these companies can also take advantage of mobile marketing opportunities that use geo-targeting and other features to reach mobile customers.

We can help!

Are you ready to discover your target audience and connect with them in innovative, engaging ways? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and tactics you need to reach them in meaningful ways. Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action. Contact us for more information!

Digital Innovation Inspires Action

Date: December 12, 2016

Digital marketing isn’t new, and some of it is so last century. It’s not that banner ads don’t have their place (think building brand awareness), but if you’re looking to turn advertising spend into sales revenue, you need to focus on innovative, engaging ad format. Click to download Digital Trends whitepaper

Digital is here to stay, and the technical enhancements are growing exponentially—along with the opportunities to connect with target audiences. What was once never dreamed of is now commonplace. Don’t get intimidated by the sheer depth and breadth of the options available. We’ve put together a Digital Trends whitepaper that will help you choose the right formats for your business.

Visit our Premier Digital Solutions page to get the whitepaper. You’ll learn the basics behind mobile, video, and branded content, as well as the latest stats on how these tactics are reaching audiences and changing consumer behavior.

Are you ready to connect with consumers

The Biggest Shopping Days of 2016

Date: November 07, 2016

The 2016 holiday retail season could be the tipping point for a variety of trends, from Black Friday sales to mobile-dominated shopping. Being ready on the biggest shopping days is essential for holiday success. Here’s a handy guide to help along the way.

Post-Election-Day Weekend: Consumers cut loose
When: Friday, November 11 – Sunday, November 13

With each side predicting disaster if the other wins, presidential elections can cause shoppers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. This year’s volatile campaign has many Americans more than ready for the election to be decided. Retail traffic tends to drop during election week. But once the campaign is over, Americans get out and spend. Offering specials the weekend after Election Day allows you to get the jump on your competition and the holiday season.

Gray Thursday: Turkey and shopping
When: Thursday, November 24

Consumers who can’t wait for Black Friday hit stores and websites on Turkey Day, gobbling up great deals. Thank your best customers with special offers and rewards for their loyalty. Not open? Put the deals online. Don’t sell online? Send out a targeted email with deals that are good as soon as you re-open your doors. Whichever path you choose, promote it well beforehand via email, social, and your website.

Black Friday: Still a big deal, despite digital
When: Friday, November 25

Though Cyber Monday has surpassed it in terms of gross dollars, Black Friday remains a crucial shopping day. In fact, many experts now class Black Friday not as a day but a period of time that can exceed two weeks, starting well before Thanksgiving. Why? Because it pays for retailers to plan ahead and build momentum with a well-thought-out, multiplatform marketing strategy.

Small Business Saturday: Shine your brightest
When: Saturday, November 26

Consumers spent a record $16.2 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2015, up 14% over the previous year. This is a huge opportunity for local retailers to emphasize a local presence and attract shoppers. Build your big day around what makes your store special and offer unique specials. Multiply your promotional power with tie-ins to charities, your local chamber, and other businesses.

Cyber Monday: Draw digital shoppers
When: Monday, November 28

Boosted by double-digit growth in mobile shopping, Cyber Monday is the king of the holiday shopping scene. If you sell online, tease your Cyber Monday shoppers well ahead of time. If you don’t sell online, make the most of Cyber Monday by using mobile and online advertising to promote your business.

Giving Tuesday: Caring and sharing locally
When: Tuesday, November 29

Giving Tuesday is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate why local businesses are vital to thriving communities. This special day, when the focus is on giving back, gives you an opportunity to showcase everything your business does to makes a difference. Why not offer a percentage of the profits to the good causes your business supports?

Green Monday: The busiest for business
When: Monday, December 12

Historically the busiest day of the month, the second Monday in December marks the start of the home stretch. Gross sales often approach Cyber Monday totals. Consumers don’t expect as many deals, so it’s a great day to highlight unique services and high-quality items.

Free Shipping Day: Get it to them free by Christmas Eve
When: Friday, December 16

Consumers love free shipping, and participating in Free Shipping Day is the retail equivalent of fishing while they’re biting! While it isn’t free for you, free shipping often leads to larger purchases and reduces shopping stress.

Super Saturday & Christmas Eve: The procrastinator’s big-spending ball
When: Saturday, December 17 & 24

The last Saturday before Christmas and Christmas Eve are the two of the most frenzied shopping days of the season. Panicked procrastinators and cool-headed bargain-hunters jam stores and sites before the clock runs out. You’ll need top sellers, a full staff, delightful deals, and plenty of gift bags and boxes.

We’re here every day

From holidays to every day, we’re here to help your business shine. Contact us to learn more.

 

     Sources:

          Editorial Staff, “Final 2015 Desktop Holiday Online Sales Reach $56 Billion, Up 6% Vs. Year Ago,” ComScore, January 8, 2016, comscore.com.

          Editorial Staff, “Lessons Learned from the 2015 Holiday Shopping Season,” Newgistics, 2016, newgisitics.com.

          Editorial Staff, 2016 Holiday Headquarters Reports Series, 2015, National Retail Foundation, nrf.com.

          Kraus, Elizabeth, “Move Over Black Friday: 9 Holiday Shopping Days to Help You Build Business During the Holiday Season,” DB Squared Inc., November 2013, dbsquaredinc.com

          Leinbach-Reyhle, Nicole, “Small Business Saturday Spending Tops $16.2 Billion,” Forbes, December 1, 2015, forbes.com.

          Small Business Saturday Statistics, Grasshopper.com, 2015

          Tuttle, Brad, “The 5 Big Lessons of the 2014 Shopping Season,” Money, December 2014, money.com.

Your Secret Holiday Sales Booster

Date: October 31, 2016

In 2015, purchases made on smartphones and tablets exceeded $12.6 billion, rising an astonishing 59% over the previous year. With figures like that, it’s no wonder mobile has been the hot marketing topic of 2016. Mobile is hip, trendy, and a gadget-lover’s dream. So it might surprise you to learn that the cost-effective, sales boosting secret weapon in your 2016 holiday marketing arsenal isn’t mobile. Or social. Or even cable. It’s email—the decades-old marketing workhorse of the digital age.

Holiday Email Marketing

Research-backed results

A 2015 Internet Advertising Bureau study evaluated the influence of digital ad formats on shoppers who had purchased clothing and electronics. Researchers surveyed adults in all age brackets, including Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers. Email advertising was the number one influencer for apparel purchases across all age groups. It outranked internet ads, broadcast TV, cable TV, and social media.

Email advertising was the top influencer for electronics purchases, as well. It was the leading influencer with adults ages 35 – 54 and 65+ and tied with Internet ads as the top influencer in the 55 – 64 demographic. Email ranked second only to Internet ads in the 18 – 34 group. Other formats, including social, mobile, and blogs, lagged far behind.

It’s how shoppers stay in touch

Meanwhile, another study found that 82% of millennials rank email as their most preferred channel for interaction with retailers. That’s right, the generation that drove the social media revolution relies on email to stay in touch with retailers.

Perhaps these results shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, email goes wherever consumers are, arriving on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets alike. Best of all, email advertising is extremely cost efficient, offering an ROI of nearly 4,300% (DMA). 

Tips for a smart start

If you haven’t developed your 2016 holiday email campaign, here are some tips to get you started:

Count on us for help

If you’re feeling the stress of the fourth-quarter crunch, don’t worry. We can help you create a powerful holiday email campaign in record time. To learn more about the many ways we can help you grow your business, contact us today.

 

     Sources:

          Garcia, Krista, “Retail Email Marketing Benchmarks and Trends in the US,” eMarketer, 24, September, 2015, emarketer.com.

          Google, Mobile Path to Purchase, Think with Google, Google, November, 2013, thinkwithgoogle.com.

          Green, James, “Holiday Marketing: Take Some Cues from 2015 Trends,” Marketing Land, July 15, 2016, marketingland.com.

          Mail Chimp, Resources, August, 2015, mailchimp.com.

          Sruoginis, Kristina/Research Staff, “Holiday Shopper Playbook,” Internet Advertising Bureau, November, 2015, iab.com.

          Wurmser, Yory, (with Carr, Tricia, Costa, Ricky and Garcia, Krista), “US Holiday Commerce Preview 2016,” eMarketer, September, 2016.

Tactics Put Strategy into Action

Date: June 27, 2016

Your marketing strategy lays out your big-picture marketing plans in support of your business strategy. But few people talk about strategy without mentioning tactics. Others use the words interchangeably. What exactly are tactics? How do they differ from strategy? And why are they essential to success?

Simply put, strategy is the plan that puts tactics into action. As Chinese military genius Sun Tzu wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.” Strategy without tactics means your business is all plan and no action—or all reaction. Tactics bring your strategy to life by identifying objectives and creating and implementing plans to achieve them. They address the immediate and ongoing needs required to ensure strategic success.

Go back to the Four Ps

The Marketing Mix—the same Four P’s that help you map out your marketing strategy—is essential to devising your tactics. The Marketing Mix outlines four areas in which you can create effective tactics:

Product
Price
Place
Promotion

Product: Built-In Tactics

When companies create products and services that are solutions to real-world consumer wants and needs, product development functions as a marketing tactic. Consider line extensions. Prior to 1982, Coca-Cola only sold diet soft drinks under the TaB and Fresca labels, fearing a product named Diet Coke would tarnish their flagship Coke brand. Research eventually told Coke execs that they were wrong. Consumers wanted a Coke-branded diet product. Consumers were actively demanding a product that didn’t exist—and became a huge hit when it did.

Price: Price-Tag Tactics

Pricing often functions as a tactical means for achieving strategic goals. For instance, a company interested in growing market share may keep the price low to generate consumer trial. A company pursuing a luxury goods strategy will avoid any form of discounting and keep prices high as a tactic to maintain a super-premium image.

Place: Territory Tactics

How, where, and when consumers purchase and receive products can also function as a marketing tactic. Companies following a luxury-goods strategy must be very careful about this aspect of The Marketing Mix. Offering a luxury product at exclusive boutiques strengthens branding and ensures large margins, but may restrict overall sales. Selling a luxury product online—or even in department stores—is often a tactical error. It may derail the overall business strategy by reducing margins and diminishing the brand.

Other products need to be as widely available as possible, because convenience and access drive sales. Diet Coke is available at nearly all grocery stores, restaurants, food trucks, convenience stores, and entertainment venues. It’s available from online retailers, and sold in vending machines everywhere from offices to interstate rest stops.

Expanding distribution through new or diverse platforms or new locations may serve your products and services well. But whatever your place tactics, they should always be in line with your overall strategy and branding.

Promotion: Tell Your Story Tactics

Once you’ve established your target market, your promotional tactics will power awareness, branding, sales, customer loyalty, and more. Today, there are more ways than ever before to let people know about your product or service, where to find it, and how to buy it. And the digital revolution has turned promotion into true, real-time, two-way communication.

Promotion can be sub-divided into a number of tactical opportunities:

Metrics measure effectiveness

Most of your promotional efforts can and should be measured using a variety of metrics. Metrics empower you to adjust your tactics and maximize results. They can even indicate that it’s time to address your strategy. Anytime you use paid media as a promotional tactic, the representatives of the advertising platform should be able to provide you with detailed regarding your results. If they cannot, go with someone else.

We can help.

If you’d like to put measurable, results-driven tactics to work for your business, contact us . We’d love to partner with you—and help turn your business plans into action.


Sources:

Ferrell, O.C., Hartline, Michael, (2012) “Marketing Strategy,” South-Western College Publishers

Perrault, William, Jr., Cannon, Joseph, McCarthy, E. Jerome (2014) “Essentials of Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Approach,” McGraw-Hill.

Owyang, Jeremiah, (September 10, 2013) “The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics,” Web-Strategist.com, Web Strategies, LLC.

Reis, Al, Trout, Jack (1997) “Marketing Warfare,” McGraw-Hill

Editorial Staff, (2016) “The Marketing Mix and the 4P’s of Marketing,” MindTools.com, MindTools, Inc.

Strategize Your Way to Success

Date: June 22, 2016

In The Art of War, the ancient Chinese military master Sun Tzu wrote that “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Tzu’s insights have kept his book relevant in military and business circles some 2,500 years later. But what exactly is strategy? How is different from tactics? Why does it play a starring role in so many success stories? And how can it help your business succeed?

You need a plan

A strategy is a long-term plan to achieve major goals. It focuses on the big picture, not the day-to-day details. Your business strategy is your long-term plan for the future of your business. It defines your goals, explains how your company can achieve them, and establishes how you will allocate your resources along the way. A company’s overall business strategy will likely be supported by other strategies that serve it, such as a purchasing strategy, a manufacturing strategy and a marketing strategy. Remember, whereas tactics are action driven, all strategies are idea based.

Your marketing strategy maps out your big-picture marketing efforts in service of your business strategy. It defines how your company will communicate with consumers in order to influence their buying decisions. A successful marketing strategy can raise awareness and stimulate sales.

Build a strong strategy

A variety of components come together to form the building blocks of a strong marketing strategy, including the following.

Get the four P’s in the mix

As you formulate your marketing strategy, you can test and strengthen it using a tool known as The Marketing Mix, or The Four P’s. The Marketing Mix challenges you to ask essential questions about your product or service.

The answers to questions like these will help you determine what makes your product or service unique, how it stacks up against the competition, and how it will be perceived by consumers.

If your marketing strategy can’t stand up to questions like these, it needs to be reformulated. If it can, it’s ready to be implemented. The Four P’s will continue to play a vital role as you turn your strategy into reality. They will be essential to devising your tactics—the actions you take to implement your long-range plans. 

We can help

If you’re struggling with your marketing strategy, or would like help evaluating or implementing it, we’re ready to lend a hand. Contact us today. We love partnering with clients to understand their businesses better and developing marketing strategies that will move the needle and deliver results.


Sources:

Perrault, William, Jr., Cannon, Joseph, McCarthy, E. Jerome (2014) “Essentials of Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Approach,” McGraw-Hill.

Editorial Staff, (2016) “The Marketing Mix and the 4P’s of Marketing,” MindTools.com, MindTools, Inc.

Westwood, John, (2011) “How To Write A Marketing Plan,” third edition, Kogan Page.

Watkins, Michael D., (September 10, 2007) “Demystifying Strategy: The What, Who, How, and Why,” The Harvard Business Review online edition archive, hbr.org, Harvard Business Publishing.

To Native App or Not To Native App?

Date: May 31, 2016

Does your company need its own mobile app? If you’ve been asking yourself that question lately, you’re not alone. Most businesses realize that reaching today’s consumers requires a strong mobile presence. Google has developed a set of must-read resources on the phenomenon of “micro-moments”—the vital mobile interactions your business needs to be present for in order to reach potential customers. Google’s research makes it clear that a mobile-responsive website and an effective search engine marketing strategy are essential to success. But it doesn’t provide a definitive answer to your native mobile app question.

If you’ve reviewed some of the current statistics on mobile apps, your head is probably spinning. To date, over 100 billion—yes, billion—apps have been downloaded from the Apple Store alone, and the number of downloads continues to increase exponentially every year. Beyond the number of apps downloaded, it is important to examine how consumers spend time with them. According to Flurry Analytics, global app usage increased by 58% in 2015, with personalization apps (emojis, wallpapers, etc.) leading the way. News and magazine apps followed, while utility and productivity apps rounded out the top three. Lifestyle and shopping apps came in fourth.

Mobile App Growth

Do mobile users prefer to utilize apps or surf the web?

When it comes to how smartphone and tablet users divide their time between apps and mobile web, in-app time overwhelmingly trumps mobile web time on both devices.

Average Time Spent on Mobile

This data appears to present a strong argument in favor of developing an app rather than relying on a mobile-optimized website to engage your customers. But beware of oversimplification. Consider this surprising fact: for most businesses, apps are not a means to reach new customers. They are a way to better serve existing customers through faster, more streamlined, more personalized, more robust user experiences that might not be possible through a mobile website alone.

So, rather than taking usage trends at face value, take the time to understand how your customers use their mobile devices. Ask yourself, your customers and your stakeholders what problems your app would solve for them. If you determine that an app is a good fit for your customers’ needs and a smart move for your company, there are several ways you can go about developing your own app:

Option #1: Mobile Web App
JT Mudge is among some of the best commentary regarding mobile web apps. Mobile web apps operate using a mobile web browser instead of being downloaded directly onto a device via an app store. Each has its own merits and disadvantages, and some companies, like Facebook, choose to develop both. In general, mobile web apps are potentially less expensive to develop, more freely accessible to users, and constantly operate on the most recent version. Native apps are generally faster and can access features of the mobile device, including the camera and push notifications. Ultimately, choosing between these two app delivery methods depends on how you need the app to work.

Option #2: White Label App
These are existing apps that can be rebranded as your own and include certain features that can be tailored to fit your business’s needs. They are less expensive and less time-consuming than starting from scratch with your own custom app, though usually less robust.

Option #3: Partner App
Hiring an agency or development company to develop and maintain your app is definitely the more expensive route, but is potentially worth the investment and longer time to market. If your app requires more features or more complex functionality than a white label option affords, a partner app is the way to go.

Remember, any app strategy needs to start with thorough research and a clear understanding of your end users’ needs. Shiv Kamal tells us the top 4 reasons why apps fail are poor market/audience research, ignoring platform nuances (i.e., Android vs. iPhone), poor user experience and improper testing. Avoid these pitfalls, and your investment should pay for itself over time.


We can help.

Of course, your app strategy must fit within the broader scheme of your marketing, communications and sales strategies.

Boost Customer Response with Responsive Design

Date: May 25, 2016

It’s 2016. Odds are your business has a website. You’re probably sending emails to your customers, too. But do you know how customers experience your website and emails across various platforms? If not, you need to know about responsive design.

Responsive Design for Websites

Responsive design uses your website’s domain, content, and layout to deliver an identical, seamless experience across any device, no matter the size of the screen. This makes it easy for customers to navigate your website, regardless of their location or choice of mobile device. But the value of a responsive-design based site goes far beyond user friendliness, as these facts from Google research and updates make clear:

In 2015, Google confirmed that more of its searches come from mobile than desktop.

Last year on Google “Mobilegeddon” day, the company released a new algorithm that gives mobile-responsive websites higher rankings in Google’s mobile search results.
Google’s Micro Moments study shows that consumers expect to find accurate information at the exact moment they need it. If they can’t navigate your website with ease from their mobile devices, they’ll quickly move on to another site.

Unsure if your website is responsive? Google Design is a tool that demonstrates how websites display across different screen sizes.

Responsive Design for Emails

Today, over half of all emails opened are accessed on a mobile device. That means responsive-design emails are just as important as responsive-design websites. A report from Yesmail shows that, while the open rate for mobile-responsive and non-responsive emails is almost equal, 58% of mobile clicks come from responsive-design emails. A very important statistic, since clicks can lead to conversions and revenue generated.

Despite the data documenting consumers’ increasing reliance on mobile devices to open emails, American businesses still struggle to implement responsive-design email. In fact, only 17% of brands use responsive design in all of their emails, while 44% use it some of the time or not at all [6]. If you’re creating and sending emails without involving a design team, be sure to at least test your emails by viewing them on your personal mobile devices. We strongly recommend you test all emails on various devices from different manufacturers (cell phones and tablets, Android and Apple) and in various email platforms (Outlook and Gmail).

If you’re not currently using responsive design, you can meet your customer’s expectations and get a leg up on the competition by implementing it today. Here at [insert media company name] we have a dedicated team of digital experts who have extensive experience creating responsive websites and emails. Contact us today for your free consultation.

We’re always responsive.

We’re on top of the latest trends and technologies that will help you propel your business into the future. We can help you reach your business goals and build your brand. We offer a diverse portfolio of advertising, digital marketing, and data intelligence products and services. To learn more, contact us today!

Buy Digital Direct From Publishers

Date: April 19, 2016

Programmatic Ad Buying vs. Direct Ad Buying: Do Businesses Need Both?
When it comes to digital advertising, do businesses need both programmatic ad buying and direct ad buying? The short answer: Yes.

But before getting into that, it’s useful to break down the difference between a programmatic ad buy and a direct ad buy. Programmatic buying is when you use platforms like Google AdWords – non-human software – to target your audience, purchase ads, and monitor your results. With direct ad buy, on the other hand, you go straight to the publisher, and work with their ad team to strategize your campaign. Programmatic marketing ads are usually cheaper than buying direct, but the latter has numerous benefits that make it a useful tool to incorporate into your digital strategy.

Human-to-Human Contact
Programmatic ad buy systems make it fast and easy to get started, but working direct with a publisher means being able to design ads and strategize placement with the help of a real person. They’ll have expert knowledge on existing traffic patterns for that particular publication and a guarantee of what the publication’s viewership and circulation are like, and can set you up for success from the start.

Diversity of Media
Programmatic marketing ads are changing to better accommodate larger media formats like video and images, but buying digital ads directly often gives you an even greater chance of optimizing these formats. You’ll get more ad size options—such as full-page—and can be more flexible with file size. 

Know What Ads Will Look Like
Working directly with a publisher also lets you know exactly what to expect when your campaign runs. Not only will you be able to pick ad placement and pair it with the most appropriate content, but you’ll also have additional sets of eyes verifying that everything looks as it should.

Buying Direct
Did you know digital advertising is poised to make up 67% of all digital display spending in 2016? Being able to access your audience with creative and high-quality content they’re guaranteed to see can be a major boost to success. It comes at a higher cost, but when combined with programmatic marketing ads, gives you a broad outreach and the specific targeting you want.

If you haven’t been using direct buys, it’s time to explore how they can work to boost your campaign results. At Register Media in Des Moines we can help you develop the right blend of programmatic and direct ad buys for you on DesMoinesRegister.com and our extended network of websites. Contact us today to get started.

Best Practices for Advertising on Instagram

Date: March 23, 2016

It may come as no surprise that Instagram—owned by Facebook—is one of the fastest growing social networks. Now that “sponsored posts” are available to the public on Instagram, they have become a popular form of advertising for brands that want to reach younger audiences.

Here’s what you need to know about advertising on Instagram and other best practices:

Get to know your ad options.

The key to creating Instagram ads that will meet your unique goals is getting to know each ad type:

Focus on creating stunning visuals.This may be easier said than done, but Instagram is all about strong and creative visuals. Instead of reformatting ads from other platforms and re-posting to Instagram, work to develop original images that are concept-driven and utilize a simple composition. The more unique and inspiring the visual, the more likely viewers are to engage.

Include branding on your images.

By incorporating branding elements into your Instagram ads, you can work to promote brand recall. Whether you use a logo or even just your brand colors, it helps viewers associate your company’s remarkable visual content on Instagram with your brand. According to an eMarketer report, users are highly engaged with branded Instagram ads, but targeting and creative design are still necessary elements.

With the right tools, your business can grow your audience on Instagram. The social media experts at Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa, are ready to help you connect with more consumers through social media advertising. Contact us now to learn more about our social media marketing solutions.

5 Easy Ways to Boost YouTube SEO

Date: March 22, 2016

Video continues to skyrocket as one of the most appealing forms of content for marketers and consumers, but with more and more advertisers producing video, how do you stand out? By strategically using keywords and other best practices, you can optimize your YouTube video content to improve rankings in search. Improve the visibility of your YouTube videos in search results with these five expert video optimization tips.

1. Keep Your Keywords Handy

Conduct keyword research as you would for website SEO. Use your targeted keywords as much as possible in YouTube’s available video text fields. You’ll also want to perform additional research into what are known as “video keywords,” or those that Google typically places on the first page of search results.

2. Produce Quality Content

You need real views to help boost your search engine rank, so make sure your YouTube content is compelling. Nearly 97% of consumers say they are willing to share a brand’s video with friends – but only if it’s quality.

3. Add Keywords to Your File Names and Titles

Even the file names of your videos provide an opportunity to use targeted keywords, so make sure you don’t upload your video with a generic file name. Instead, make sure the targeted keyword is in the file name. For video titles, make sure they are long enough to fit in a keyword organically, yet short enough that your viewers will quickly know exactly what you’re offering.

4. Fill Out Video Descriptions

Your video description fields offer the chance for you to place keywords three to four times. Aim to create video descriptions over 200 characters in length to avoid keyword stuffing, and if your goal is to drive traffic to your site, include your website URL.

5. Transcribe the Video

Transcribe the video using the ‘Closed Captioning’ setting in YouTube. Depending on the video length, it may take an investment of time to do so, but it will help boost SEO in the long-run.

Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa is your full-service media partner for video optimization, SEO, and everything in between. Contact us today to learn more.

6 Common Email Marketing Mistakes that Violate CAN-SPAM

Date: March 11, 2016

Since 2003, commercial emails have been regulated by the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing), which gives businesses legal guidelines on what they can and can't do when contacting customers. While this doesn’t apply to one-on-one emails or to those that occur after a transaction, it does cover nearly every other email you send from your business.

If you are found in violation of CAN-SPAM, you will be liable for $16,000 in penalties per email, so make sure you steer clear of these six email marketing mistakes:

1. Readers Can’t Unsubscribe

Readers have to be able to immediately let you know if they want to be removed from a subscriber list. If you send emails to someone who doesn’t want them, you are spamming them.

2. You Don’t Actually Remove Them

If you don’t sync your unsubscribe requests with your list management program, it is up to you to make sure that an un-subscriber has actually been removed from the list within ten business days of his or her opt-out request.

3. They Can’t Tell Who You Are

Don’t hide behind a fake email address; it’s spam. Make sure your company name is in the “from” and “reply” fields so readers are clear that a legitimate business is contacting them.

4. Your Subject Lines Are Deceitful

Your subject lines are what will boost open rate, but they also have to be clearly correlated with what is actually in your email message. Readers should know what they are about to open, but avoid these words that can send your message straight to spam.

5. You Leave Out Your Mailing Address

It is easy to forget about including your physical address in the body of your email, but it must be in all of your commercial emails to abide by the law.

6. You Don’t Keep an Eye on Outside Agencies

If you work with another agency for your email marketing, it is up to you to make sure that every email sent on your behalf is compliant with anti-spam laws, since you will be financially responsible for any violations.

Want to learn more about CAN-SPAM? The experts at Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa, are here to help. Contact us to ensure your strategy abides by anti-spam laws.

A/B Testing—What Is It?

Date: March 07, 2016

Making changes to your digital media campaigns can take time and resources – time and resource you may not have. That’s why it’s a good idea to test different optimization strategies before making campaign-wide changes.

Enter A/B testing.

A/B testing allows you to compare the effectiveness of one ad compared to another—ensuring that any changes you make are well-informed and worth the investment. Below, we break down what A/B testing is and how it can help set your campaigns up for success, as well as simple tips for getting started.

What Is A/B Testing?

A/B testing—often called split testing—is a process in which two versions of the same asset are compared: 1) the control (Test A); 2) the test (Test B). Both versions are then randomly served to your target audience. Your analytics will show which test is more effective and drives more results.

How Does A/B Testing Work?

When you perform a test, you first identify the element of your media that you want to compare. Then, create an alternate version you want to test. Both versions are evenly released to your audience. The results of the test will help you track which variables are performing best, and which aren't. A/B testing is essential when you are thinking about changing an element of your web pages or digital ads, because it allows you to test your changes before making irreversible changes.

How Can You Get Started?

With A/B testing, you can test just about any element of your various media assets. Color can have a profound effect on consumer purchasing activity, so test out colors on your CTAs and sign-up buttons. Email newsletters are another popular place to start A/B testing, as you'll be able to figure out which subject lines resonate most with your contacts based on open rates. Finally, testing out how different content types perform on social media can be an excellent way to learn more about with what your audience prefers to see and engage.

A/B testing and conversion optimization are an important part of every digital campaign you run with Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa. Contact our team today for a free consultation.

Meet the Expert: Mallory Wilson

Date: March 03, 2016

Mallory Wilson, Territory Account Executive, Register MediaMeet Mallory Wilson, Territory Account Executive at Register Media. Mallory is one of our top local sales executives, known for building strong community relationships and creating custom, creative solutions for her clients. So, how did she get started in advertising? And, what’s her greatest success thus far? Find out in our latest Meet the Expert.

Q: What’s your role with Register Media?

A: I am a Territory (Local) Account Executive working mainly with the businesses in the Waukee, West Des Moines, and Clive areas. I work with clients to understand their marketing needs and provide integrated, targeted solutions.

Q: How did you get started in advertising?

A: I began working in advertising when I started at Register Media as an Account Manager three years ago. In this role I supported multiple Account Executives. I worked in conjunction with the Account Executives to build unique and innovative solutions for customers, worked directly with the clients on the creative for their ads, while enhancing my knowledge of our products and services.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the next big trend advertisers should watch out for in 2016?

A: Social media and mobile.  Social network use on mobile devices continues to grow (especially with the older generations), and I don’t think it’s slowing down anytime soon. It is the modern day word of mouth. It’s imperative for businesses to have a strong presence in the space, and with the amount of information consumers share on social media, it allows us to directly target our intended audience.

Q: What’s the most exciting business growth you’ve witnessed with a client?

A: A B2B manufacturing company was looking for a new paid search provider to help increase its e-commerce sales. This business was a bit ‘non-traditional’ compared to many of the other accounts with which I had worked. With the help of our digital strategist, our team was able to dig in, learn about the business and its goals, analyze the web traffic, and ultimately increase e-commerce through paid-search and retargeting. Through this relationship, and exceeding the goals and expectations of the client, we are now servicing many of the business's franchises across the country.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

A: At age 10 I decided to become a vegetarian, I will ride my 8th RAGBRAI this summer, and I dream of being on a gameshow… preferably Wheel of Fortune or Hollywood Game Night. 

Want to learn more? Connect with Mallory via the channels listed below, or register for our next Bytes & Brews seminar, where she will be leading a session on email marketing techniques for local businesses.

Email: mwilson2@registermedia.com

Phone: 515-205-6507

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mallory-wilson

About the ‘Meet the Expert’ Blog Series

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward. Meet more of our experts here. 

Top Reasons NOT to Delete Negative Online Reviews

Date: February 29, 2016

Do you know what customers are saying about your business online? Now that customers can quickly post feedback on Google, Facebook, and sites like Yelp, your online reputation can be the first thing new customers find when they do a web search for your company. Rather than disabling or deleting online reviews, here are three reasons why online reviews—good and bad—can benefit your company:

1. Online Reviews Improve Your SEO

When consumers do research on a company or product, they are likely to make purchasing decisions based on product or service reviews. By enabling customer reviews on your site, your product or service pages are likely to index for related search terms, which will draw users into your website to learn more.

2. Business Reviews Build Consumer Trust

Nowadays, online customer reviews are considered almost as trustworthy as personal recommendations—meaning reviews have the power to boost sales. Keep in mind that leaving negative reviews on your site isn’t detrimental to your brand. As more and more consumers are become wary of fake reviews, seeing a few “less than perfect” reviews here and there can actually build brand transparency and authenticity.

3. You Can Show Off Great Service

The customer service process doesn't end when a product is sold. Online reviews help you continue to provide service to dissatisfied customers, who you may not have even been aware of otherwise. Respond to bad reviews politely and show your desire to help find a resolution. Unhappy customers are 95 percent more likely to return to a business where they've had a dispute resolved.

Reputation management starts with monitoring your online business reviews, and the experts at Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa, can help you create a reputation management program that will strengthen your relationship with customers. Contact us today for a marketing consultation.

4 Reasons to Create Landing Pages for Digital Campaigns

Date: February 24, 2016

If you walk into a store, ask for the paint aisle, and get directed to the flooring department, would you feel confident in making a purchase from that store? Probably not.

The same goes with your digital advertisements. If someone clicks on an ad for a specific product or service and is routed to a brand’s homepage or “about us” page, he or she will likely leave your site to investigate what your competition has to offer.

Linking your ads to customized landing pages that are product- or service-specific helps guide your customers through the purchasing process. A well-made landing page boosts conversion rate and customer satisfaction. Here are four more reasons to create landing pages:

1. Improve Your Search Rank: The more landing pages you have on your website, the more opportunities you have to be indexed by search engines. This means that your landing pages can improve your brand’s visibility while also making it easier for customers to buy products and services online.

2. Generate Contacts and Leads: If you add a form to your landing pages, you can capture information from visitors who are interested in your product or service offerings, but who may not be fully ready to make a purchase. Add these leads to your database and administer follow-up emails until they are ready to purchase.

3. Offer Customers a Next Step: When a visitor clicks on your ad, it’s clear they’re interested in what you have to offer. Your landing page should serve as a vehicle through which he or she can find the information needed to learn more about and/or buy your product. Keep important information above the fold of your landing page for immediate visibility, and include a clear call to action, or CTA, that inspires your customers to act.

4. Easy Optimization: Unlike with other digital assets, landing page optimization isn’t a complex or tedious process. It’s easy to A/B test elements of your landing pages—from the language in your headlines to the colors you use—to see what resonates best with your audience. Commit to regularly performing A/B tests and watch your conversion rate skyrocket.

At Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa, we offer an advanced digital advertising network that gets your ads seen, as well as the copywriting expertise to craft the perfect landing pages for your products and services. Contact us today for a free marketing consultation.

How to Share Google Analytics with Your Marketing Partners

Date: February 16, 2016

By granting your marketing partners “read” access to your Google Analytics account you can share valuable information with your marketing agency without giving the agency the ability to make any changes within your account.  You’ll gain valuable insight from a third-party source and ensure the entire marketing team is aware of and accountable for how their efforts are performing with your audience. Sharing website analytics just takes a few simple steps, but the benefits of doing so will affect your marketing success now and in the future.

How to Give "Read" Access in Google Analytics

Sharing access to your Google Analytics account is simple to do. Once logged in, click the “Admin” tab, go to User Management, and then enter an email address where it says "Add Permissions For." To set the role as a User, not an Administrator (Users can read the information but can’t modify anything,) make sure you select "Read and Analyze" next to the text box. Removing access is equally easy—just click on the "delete" button next to the name.

The Benefits of Sharing Google Analytics with a Marketing Partner

Sharing your Analytics account has advantages. Your marketing agency will be experienced with how to optimize Google Analytics usage and can help you and your team become more confident in assessing your data. Having another set of knowledgeable eyes look over and interpret your data will ensure that you’re making the best possible decisions for your business.

Another benefit of sharing your analytics account is that you also cut down on the time you or another internal team member needs to spend aggregating, understanding, and disseminating this information, thus streamlining the entire process. Marketing agencies with shared analytics access can be proactive, instead of reactive, with the data and are accountable for the success of their campaigns.

Ready to partner with a media agency that understands your business and values continual campaign management and optimization? Contact us today for a free marketing consultation.

Don’t sleep on the Silents

Date: February 08, 2016

The Silent Generation

The Silent Generation is composed of people who were born prior to 1946 and is the smallest generation in the world. According Nielsen 2016, there are over 20 million people in this generation, accounting for 6% adults living today.

The Lucky Few

This generation is also knows as the Lucky Few. Why? They were born during the commotion of the Great Depression and World War II and enjoyed transitioning into their adulthood in a prosperous time of the 1950s and 1960s. They worked in an economy with higher employment rates than the generations before and after them. They benefited from improved health, a more generous safety net, and exited the job market ahead of the past recession. Their median net worth is $194,800, growing 48% since 1989.

Loyal Lifestyle

The Silent Generation is very loyal. They live by traditional values and enjoy giving back to their communities by volunteering. They’re also very money conscious. Because the vast majority of this generation is on a fixed income, they enjoy loyalty programs and coupons. As avid readers, they’re well informed and interested in finding the best deal. According to recent surveys, 81% people between 65 and 74 years old and 86% of those over 75 said that they have read a newspaper, book, or magazine within the past 24 hours.

Traditional Consumers

Traditional media such as newspaper and magazines (coupled with loyalty programs and coupons) are the best way to market to this audience. They prefer information in a hard copy that outlines the features and benefits of products, and they respond well to testimonial advertising. They also prefer lifestyle images versus a collage of product photos in their marketing messages.

Though this generation is less likely to go online compared to other generations, they use social media to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. They also search the Internet to seek out information on products and services; 50% on the Silent Generation conduct online searches.

We can help.

Need help marketing across generations? We can help. We’ve done the research, and we’ve got the tools to target audiences from the Slients to Millennials and beyond. Contact us and one of our multi-media sales executives will be in touch to help you attract more customers.

Sources:  Nielsen, 2016;  Wikipedia;  2008 book, Elwood Carlson, The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby boom;  Bloomberg, 2014; Encore Perception Marketing; The Hummingbird-Creative Group; The Pew Institute; The Marketing Spot; Mary Habres of Encore Perception Marketing

Meet the Expert: Allison Butler

Date: February 08, 2016

Allison Butler, Register MediaMeet Allison Butler, Territory Account Executive. Allison came aboard our organization less than a year ago and has already made a big impact on our business, as well as those she works with every day. Amidst an exciting transition from our Recruitment to Territory advertising team, Allison is ready to leverage her breadth of experience in multi-media advertising to support local businesses within Ankeny, IA.

Q: What types of businesses do you work with on a day-to-day basis?

A: I started my career at Register Media 7-months ago as a Senior Account Executive on our Recruitment team. In this position, I assisted recruitment clients with their hiring needs through Register Media’s toolbox of print and digital products. I recently made a switch to our local/territory team, focusing specifically on Ankeny, to broaden my knowledge and experience in media sales. I now partner with local businesses of all different industries and verticals, creating customized strategies to drive sales of their services and/or products.

Q: The advertising industry is always changing and evolving. How do you stay up-to-date?

A: Working for Register Media, owned by Gannett and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, allows me access to a wealth of knowledge and training materials. Every two weeks we have the luxury of attending a one-hour digital training session that covers everything from our specific product offerings to new trends in our industry. Beyond that, I like to read a number of different media blogs, as well as follow different media agencies and thought-leaders on Facebook and other social media platforms to stay up-to-date and informed.

Q: Give an example of a time you helped a client succeed.

A: One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of working with recruitment and human resource executives is expanding into the digital space. As job seekers shift the way they consume employment information, we strive to help our customers do the same. I recently helped one of my largest recruitment clients break into the social media world by utilizing our premium partnership with Facebook to serve digital employment ads within the platform. I’m happy to report rave reviews from said client; she is receiving more applications than ever and is thrilled with our shift in strategy.

Q: How did you get started in advertising?

A: I began working in advertising right out of college, where I was an Account Manager for a small agency downtown. I worked in this position for a year and a half, gaining an immense amount of knowledge on the ins and outs of client management as well as the media industry as a whole. I believe supporting an Account Executive was a great stepping stone to the role I have now. It allowed me to observe all aspects of the process and better assist my clients now that I am an Account Executive myself.

Q: What’s your favorite brand to follow on social media?

A: Lululemon. As a fitness junkie, this brand is a natural fit for me. I really admire their balance of content-driven posts paired with information that genuinely helps their audience. Yes, they post about new products, as any good business would, but they go above and beyond by sharing information about meditating, self-help, personal growth and empowerment. Their brand voice is one of genuine kindness and encouragement and always leaves me feeling fulfilled.

Q: Favorite past-time or hobby?

A: My favorite past time is antiquing. I love interior design and finding the perfect piece to add to my loft. I believe wholeheartedly in finding beauty and value in something that has come before me. There is something special about knowing a piece was loved and cherished by someone else and that I have the opportunity to do the same. I believe you should love the place you choose to call home and garnish it with pieces you adore.

Want to learn more about Allison? Connect with her via email at abutler2@registermedia.com or on LinkedIn (click here).

About the ‘Meet the Expert’ Blog Series

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward. Meet more of our experts here. 

4 High Impact Ad Units with High ROI

Date: February 05, 2016

User engagement and conversion are likely among your top goals for your online advertising efforts. But, how can you be sure you’re attracting the most audience attention possible and maximizing your ROI? One way to ensure your ads are optimized for engagement is to invest in more exclusive, high-impact advertising formats.

High impact ad formats—including interactive takeover, pre-roll, gravity, and pushdown ads—are great options for businesses looking to drive target audiences to their website:

1. Interactive takeovers attract user attention.

Creative video ads are known to capture the attention of otherwise distracted users and have been proven to boost audience recall of brands. Interactive takeovers are an effective way of displaying video on an online advertisement in a very visually-appealing manner. Interactive takeovers auto-launch and overlay on the targeted page, giving the user the ability to play a video directly on the ad. Click here to view an interactive takeover ad in action.

2. Pre-roll ads make sure videos get seen.

Like movie previews, pre-roll ads are video ads that play before a user can access the desired video content. Businesses are investing in pre-roll more than ever because this format ensure ads aren’t “skipped over” and the content is viewed.

3. Gravity advertising takes viewer experience to the next level.

Gravity advertising immerses viewers in a high-quality viewing experience. Gravity ads are designed to play on any device at full-screen and remain true to original design no matter the format. This is the highest quality ad format available for businesses with stunning visual content to promote. Click here to view a gravity ad in action.

4. Push down ads make your content the focus.

While banner ads sit above or on the side of webpage content, push down ads actually push the page’s content down to make room for the ad. Users can open and close the ad at will. The responsive sizing guarantees that pushdown ads stay true to design on across all devices. Click here to view a pushdown ad in action.

How to Access Premium High Impact Ad Units

High impact ad units yield higher engagement and more customers to your business, but premium ad units aren’t available just anywhere.  Register Media is the exclusive vendor for premium ad placements on www.DesMoinesRegster.com. Contact us today to learn more.

3 Reasons to Advertise in Your Local/State Newspaper

Date: February 01, 2016

Advertising is nothing new. However, over the past decade, businesses have had to adapt to new digital media trends in order to meet consumers online. And, it has paid off! The problem with focusing solely on digital, however? You’re missing out on a major touchpoint for many affluent and engaged customers in your city and state: newspaper.

In fact, print advertising continues to provide the highest ROI of all advertising platforms. Read on to learn more reason why we believe a diverse media strategy that integrates both digital and print can help you maximize the reach of your business and boost engagement.

Newspaper Ads Reach a Targeted Audience

Even in a “digital world,” newspapers are still one of the most effective ways to reach specific audiences based on age, location and socio-economic status. Newspapers have very targeted and engaged audiences, which is particularly useful for local and regional businesses that want to centralize their message.

Additionally, print is still a preferred channel for many news-seekers—in fact, half of newspaper readers say they only read print editions. Plus, considering most newspapers have both print and digital editions, your local newspaper representative will be able to help you maximize your reach (and budget!) by creating an integrated campaign on both platforms.

Print Advertising Fits your Needs

Another benefit of investing in print media is that you’ll generally have far more flexibility in ad placement, design and budget. Your newspaper advertising representatives will work with you to create a customized media schedule that will reach your target demographics within a specified budget. He or she is also there to help guide the design process, so if you do not have internal design resources, you still have access to quality creative.

Print Media Converts!

The goal of your print advertising efforts is to convert readers to customers. With the ability to provide trackable links and QR codes, a print ad can be tailored to drive measurable traffic to your website.

It’s time for you to develop a marketing strategy that integrates both digital and print advertising. Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa, can help make sure your efforts are integrated and efficient. Contact us today to learn how you can expand your presence and maximize your conversions through print and digital advertising.

Meet the Expert: Andrea Markowski

Date: January 11, 2016

Andrea Markowski, Register MediaMeet Andrea Markowski, Register Media’s Multimedia Producer. Andrea has been with Register Media for 8 1/2 years – with the first 5 years as a part-time freelance photographer for Juice Magazine, then moving into the full-time Multimedia Designer/Producer roles for the B2B Marketing team. With over 11 years of experience in Multimedia Design, Photography, Marketing and “web stuff,” as she calls it, Andrea is excited to exercise her talent and passion on your next video project.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your education.

A: My passion is live theatre, and I hold a BA in Theatre (as well as a BA in Secondary Education, Speech & Theatre emphasis). My theatre background (acting, directing, and tech) is invaluable for the video production I now do. I also have a Commercial Art degree that has served me very well in my career as a designer. My Video Production certificate has helped me turn my world of static graphics and photos into video, which is a very natural progression of my skill set. I’ve also been slowly working on a Website Development degree over the years.

Q: How did you discover your enjoyment and talent in video production?

A: One of my many side jobs over the years was as an office assistant for a local talent agent. I worked on the pre-production side of video, modeling, and film for about 10 years in this capacity. However, it was always more interesting to me to be on set and see the finished product. When I had the chance to learn video production, I jumped at it. Working on a project from scripting and planning, to equipment set-up and shooting, to post-production editing and motion graphics is the most fun (and most work!) I’ve ever had during my career.

Q: In your option, how is video shaping the marketing landscape? Any video trends to look out for in 2016?

A: There’s a stat out there that says, “If a picture is worth 10,000 words, a video is worth 1.8 million words” (Forrester Research). It is infinitely easier to communicate emotion with video, and it’s often said people tend to buy something based on how it makes them feel.

Video isn’t just the future—it’s now. Consumers remember more of your message if it’s delivered in a video and are also more likely to take action after viewing a video. Video spend by marketers has been steadily increasing over the years because it gets results! It’s even estimated that 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2019. (Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2014-2019 White Paper)

Video will move to mobile even more in 2016 as we use smart phones and wearables increasingly in our everyday lives. One hot trend is short, bite-size “tip” videos, like Buzzfeed’s Tasty. It’s easy to see why these little gems have gone viral.

Q: Can you give us an example of a brand that are doing video “right?”

A: Unilever’s Dove brand’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” (now called “Dove Self Esteem Project”) has been hugely successful and has relied heavily on video. In fact, Ad Age named it the #1 ad campaign of the 21st century (so far). Good video elicits an emotional response while at the same time telling a story, and Dove’s campaign has done just that. They succeeded in selling soap but also in starting a social campaign that’s been going strong for 10 years.

Q: Give us an example of a video you’ve produced recently.

Q: What advice do you have for businesses interested in video?

A: My No. 1 piece of advice is to not be afraid of video. It can be overwhelming and many people don’t know what the process entails or how to go about even starting – that’s what we’re here for! My job is to do all the heavy lifting. All you really need is an idea, and we can run with it.

Also, I’d recommend thinking of one goal you’d like to achieve or problem you’d like to solve. This can be as simple as introducing yourself to potential customers (personality video), sharing a current customer’s satisfaction (testimonial video), demonstrating your product (how-to video), showing your unique selling proposition (branding video), or even showcasing your facilities (tour video). For other ideas, think about what information YOU would find helpful in a video from some of the businesses you frequent.

Q: Fun fact?

A: For a short time after college I was a professional actor with a small touring children’s theatre company in Michigan as a singing, tap-dancing purple crayon named Penelope. I’ve also been a hand model for print and video over the years.

Want to learn more about Andrea and Register Media’s video marketing capabilities? Connect with Andrea via email at amarkowski@registermedia.com or LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/andreamarkowski.

About the ‘Meet the Expert’ Blog Series

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward. Meet more of our experts here. 

Meet the Expert: Kristi Langill

Date: December 16, 2015

Kristi Langill, Register MediaMeet Kristi Langill, Advertising Account Executive for Register Media. Kristi comes with over 15 years of experience in helping local businesses develop and execute marketing strategies that deliver. Find out how Register Media has allowed her the freedom and flexibility to pursue both her personal and professional passions.

Q: What’s your role with Register Media? 

I have been a Local Account Executive with Register Media for over 2 years. I have been in marketing, sales and management for 16 years. I help my clients penetrate the market and strengthen their business. We meet monthly to discuss their goals, how their current ads are performing and how we can optimize their campaign to give them a greater ROI.

Q: How did you get started in advertising?

I began my career working in Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN. While there, I worked throughout the entire Midwest Market. I primarily worked in selling technology to businesses. This gave me the ability to partner with companies and help them identify ways to become more efficient and excel in the market. When my husband, Eric, and I decided to move back to Des Moines, I ventured out on my own. I started a Work-Flow and Time Management firm dedicated to helping small to medium sized businesses simplify their processes and ultimately achieve their goals.

Three years ago, Eric and I had the cutest little boy you have ever seen. I began looking for an opportunity that would allow me to pursue my professional passions and spend more time with my family. At that point I began looking for a company in the Metro area with a cutting edge suite of products, brand recognition and integrity. That’s when I found Register Media. Working at Register Media gives me the flexibility to be with my family and the support to provide my clients with the level of service they deserve.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the next big trend advertisers should watch out for in 2016?

In the state of Iowa we will have many changes in advertising during 2016. I feel there are two that will be of the biggest impact for local businesses.

In 2016, Millennials will officially outnumber Baby Boomers. And if we want to engage with millennials, video is the No. 1 way to do it. They prefer to watch shows, entertainment, and those crazy cat videos on YouTube, Snapchat and Vine over conventional avenues like television. Next year, we will see video move to the top of marketing strategies. We will also begin seeing live streaming video in many campaigns.

We must not forget Mobile. The number of consumers who do spend their internet time on mobile passed desktop users a while ago. At a bare minimum, companies need to have a mobile-optimized and responsive website. They should also be looking to custom apps, mobile-targeted campaigns, and geo-targeting their audience down to a street level. For example, if a person is in Des Moines at the State Wrestling Championship they will see a custom ad for their sports equipment store, or for their restaurant, hotel, or a special for sports physicals at their clinic.

Q: What’s the most exciting business growth you’ve witnessed with a client?

I will let some of my clients speak for themselves:

“When our business decided to focus more on digital than print, Register Media and Kristine Langill helped us make our goals and took us beyond even our expectations. Kristine and her team explained where to put our ads and how to target our main customers. I was pleasantly surprised to have my customers commenting how easy it was to find us. Our business has grown more since we have partnered with Register Media than we could have hoped for.”  James Knudson, Owner, Knudson Transmission

“United Way partners with Register Media each year to recognize and thank the many people and organizations who contribute to the success of our campaign. Kristine Langill is our go-to person for developing an ad campaign that meets our goals and works within our nonprofit budget. Thank you!” Donavan Honnold, Marketing Officer, United Way of Central Iowa

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I have two beautiful children. A three year old little boy, Ronin, and a 1 year old little girl, Nyla. I married my best friend, who happened to be a wonderful Chef, and we have been married 8 short years. Though we hate the word, we are true “foodies” and we adore wine. But all of those things are rather normal. I would say one “fun fact” about my life is that in the early 2000s I hung out with Tony Hawk and Tom Green. I will save the details for another time…

Want to know more? Connect with Kristi!

Email: KLangill@RegisterMedia.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kristinelangill

About the ‘Meet the Expert’ Blog Series

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward. Meet more of our experts here. 

[Infographic] Marketing Stats for Lawyers in Central Iowa

Date: December 07, 2015

The winter holiday lull will be here before you know it. And while ramping up again in January is certainly important, the real peak time to position you for a strong "next year" are right now. Did you know: 76% of consumers go online to search for an attorney. 76%! If you haven’t built an online presence and aren’t advertising your services online, these people will see your competitor’s websites, but not yours. See what else we uncovered in our infographic below.

               Marketing For Lawyers Infographic

Ready to start thinking about your 2016 marketing strategy? Contact us today for a fully integrated approach to legal marketing. 

Meet the Expert: Charlotte Kralik

Date: December 07, 2015

Charlotte Kralik, Register MediaFor Senior Key Account Executive Charlotte Kralik, keeping up with the fast-past automotive industry has become second nature. Backed by over a decade of auto experience, she builds marketing solutions that put automotive dealers ahead of the curve. So, what does her average day look like? And what does she do in her free time? This and more in our latest ‘Meet the Expert.’

Q: What types of businesses do you work with on a day-to-day basis?

A: I have worked with Automotive Dealers for the past 11 years. I find the industry especially exciting because it’s constantly changing, and there is always a demand for vehicles. Not only is the industry changing, but the way people consume content is drastically changing, too. My job is keep up with these changes and offer multimedia solutions that meet a dealer’s needs in a very data driven landscape.

Q: The advertising industry is always changing and evolving. How to you stay up-to-date?

A: For automotive industry news, I stay up-to-date on new research and trends via Automotive News, Cars.com, dealer websites, etc. For general advertising news, I frequent AdWeek.com and use social media to stay on top of the news. Beyond my personal research, Gannett does a great job to provide consistent training to ensure all employees grow with the industry.

Q: Give an example of a time you helped a client succeed.

A: A large dealership was looking to increase car sales during a peak time in the month. We worked together to find the best solution to target in-market shoppers. We built and implemented an integrated digital solution that included email and digital display (desktop/mobile). The solution targeted in-auto market shoppers in specific geographic areas. The solution yielded an increase in sales that month as well as provided ongoing data for continued growth.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work each day?

A: My clients. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to work with exceptional business leaders each day. They are the true experts on their business, and I learn from them every day.

Q: Favorite past-time or hobby?

A: I love to spend time with my daughter, Evelyn; son, Conrad; and my wonderful husband, Caleb. I can’t forget our two dogs, Lucy and Dezi – they’re part of the family too. I also enjoy cooking and spending time on Pinterest.

Do you share Charlotte’s passion for auto advertising? Stay connected via email at ckralik@registermedia.com and/or Twitter @ckmkralik.

About the ‘Meet the Expert’ Blog Series

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward. Meet more of our experts here. 

8 Content Marketing Strategies for Landscaping Businesses

Date: December 06, 2015

You’ve placed your ad in the Yellow Pages, secured your radio spot and plastered on your billboard – now what? These days, “commercial” messaging is not enough to bring in new leads to your landscaping business. Consumers make key purchasing decisions based off of the relationships they form brands.

Cue content marketing.

Content marketing is about building your reputation and visibility, NOT about promoting your products or services. It’s about adding value to the people who consume your content.

Case and point: there are a number of reasons to use content marketing to reach customers. 1) You’ll position yourself as a resource to consumers and an industry thought-leader; 2) You’ll drive traffic to your website; 3) if done right, your blogs can boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Let’s get started!

1. Start a Blog

If you don’t have a blog on your website, you need one. Especially for small businesses with small advertising budgets, blogs are a free way to showcase your products and expertise. Having a blog with even a few targeted topics means prospective customers can come across your blog at any given moment and learn about your business. If the customer finds value in the tips you have to offer, you have a far greater chance of receiving a call to help them with their next landscaping project.

2. Invest Time & Resources

But not so fast – yes, content marketing is a free strategy to connect and engage with customers. However, it does take dedicated time and resources to do it right. Whether you have an internal marketing personnel or outsource to your local agency, make sure everything produced is working toward the same strategic goals. Success won’t happen overnight. Stay consistent with your content marketing efforts, and your landscaping business will reap the reward later on.

3. Think: What Do My Consumers Want to Know?

Don’t be afraid to share bits and pieces of your “insider” knowledge. Think about the day-to-day questions your customers ask you. If you’re not on the grounds, survey your employees. Give your online audience just enough information to expose your expertise. After all, when it comes down to choosing a vendor for home-landscaping, a consumer is much more likely to choose the landscaping company that gave him or her great information on the “Top 10 Landscaping Tools Every Home Owner Should Have” than the company that didn’t.

4. Conduct Keyword Research

Just like you wouldn’t buy an expensive landscaping tools without doing a little bit of research first, you should not start building content for a website without some research to back it up. Let data on what people are actually searching for online inform what you write about and how you write it. Google has a free Keyword Planner tool that can give you quick insight into keyword volume in your service area. Including high-volume keywords in the header and body of your content, such as “landscaping Des Moines” or “best landscaping companies,” can be the difference between showing up as the No. 1 search result or being buried somewhere on the tenth page.

5. Get Visual

Don’t just tell your customers about your expertise, show them too! Images and photos are the most important tactic in optimizing your content marketing efforts. Every page on your website, including each blog post, should have a relevant image associated with the text. Images can be used within the body of the page to break up text. Rule of thumb: include one visual for every 350 words.

6. Share It

If you build it, He will come? Not so fast. Simply posting a blog to your website will not ensure it will be read. Instead, reach your customers where they’re already at by posting to your social media accounts.  When you distribute on your business’s social media channels, make sure to include an eye-catching image. Studies show Tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets. Don’t forget to make it easy for readers to share on their own social media pages as well. Share buttons make content 7x more shareable than content without them.

7. Promote It

Facebook algorithm updates have made it harder for businesses to reach followers organically. In fact, research shows if you aren’t putting advertising dollars behind your business’s Facebook posts, you may be reaching as few as 1-2 percent of your followers. Consider promoting special deals and offers, job listings and your best-of-best blog content to reach more consumers. Facebook offers sophisticated targeting options to increase the number of people you want to reach and eliminate the demographics you don’t.

8. Repurpose It

There’s no reason your landscaping blogs have to have a short shelf live. Get creative about how you can transform your content into new content. Turn a blog into an infographic. Consider creating videos based on your top-performing blogs. Look back at old, outdated blog content and update with new research and re-socialize. The opportunities are limitless when you think outside of the “content box.”

It takes time and effort to create an integrated content marketing strategy that drives new business your landscaping company – time that could be spent building new relationships with customers! Whether you’re in need of a consultant, copy writer or website overhaul, we can help. Contact us today to get started.

[Infographic] 5 Employee Morale Boosters for the Holidays

Date: December 02, 2015

Gift wrap, and parties, and holiday deadlines. Oh my! As managers and business owners, we know the holidays are an incredibly busy time for our employees both professionally and personally. We also know the holidays present a unique opportunity to give employees a boost of morale and a bit of holiday cheer.

From holiday gatherings to volunteer opportunities, we have the tips you need to keep happy and motivated employees during the holidays into the New Year and beyond! Plus, don’t forget to scroll down for five holiday-inspired employee morale boosters every business should implement.

Employee Morale Infographic

1. Volunteer Together

Studies show that 97 percent of employees who volunteer with their company also report being happy with their employer. Organize an employee-wide volunteer opportunity right before the holidays hit. Bonus: choose an organization that aligns with your organization’s mission. You’ll build comradery between your employees, while making a lasting brand-impression in your community. Need ideas? Check out VolunteerMatch.org to find volunteer opportunities in your area.

2. Offer Flexibility during the Holidays

One of the top reasons employees seek out flexible work options is work-life balance — something that can be difficult to achieve during the holiday season. You can position your workplace as the desired place to work by allowing flex-time to work from home or a few abbreviated Friday afternoons during the busier times of the season. Tip: workplace flexibility is something to tout when recruiting new hires.   

3.  Give a Holiday Bonus

Holiday bonuses can come in all shapes and sizes. You may be used to giving performance-based bonuses to employees before the holidays, but have you considered on-the-spot bonuses to reward hard work immediately? Gift cards, vacation days off and other smaller holiday bonuses are great employee morale boosters. You can also allow employees to recognize others with employee-to-employee bonuses. Peer bonuses can help build a stronger and more supportive team.

4. Host an End-of-the-Year Awards Ceremony

The No. 1 reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. On the flip side – praise and commendation from managers is the top motivator for performance. Integrate an end-of-the-year award ceremony into your holiday party to recognize outstanding work. You’ll reward your best employees and motivate the others – both of which lead to a more productive workplace.

5. Start Your Superstar Search!

Chances are your business is in the market for new talent to join your team. While this may not seem like a direct employee morale booster, hiring outstanding employees can have a positive impact on the whole team. Studies show that departmental-level output increases by 54 percent after the arrival of a star employee. Bringing in the right employees at the right time can be the greatest gift of all.

Don’t wait to start your job search until after the New Year – the best time to bring in your best employees is NOW! Contact Register Media today to start the search for your next superstar employee.

How the Latest Facebook Changes Affect Your Small Business

Date: November 30, 2015

Many small businesses turn to Facebook as their social site of choice for engaging and interacting with prospects and customers. But the platform is constantly evolving, frequently implementing new features and changes that users must adjust to.

Keeping track of the Facebook changes that matter to your small business can be hard, so we’ve done it for you. Here are two recent, major Facebook changes that will likely affect your small business...

Change #1:  Increased users’ control of Facebook Newsfeeds

The Facebook platform now allows users to define which friends’ and pages’ updates they want to see first in their Facebook newsfeeds. This is part of an ongoing effort to give Facebook users more control over the content they see on the site.

How it affects your SMB:

This new feature means there’s little guarantee that your followers will see all of your Facebook updates. It’s up to you to encourage them to add you to their “see first” list by offering quality content that educates and engages.

 Your business may have to rethink their current strategy to account for this change. Start by checking out our recent post on tips for effective social media marketing.

Change #2: Facebook has changed its definition of a “click”

The second Facebook change actually works in favor of SMBs. Knowing that brands use Facebook advertising to drive business goals, the social site has redefined what a click means in its PPC campaigns. Facebook used to charge for all ad clicks—including likes, shares, and comments—but now only charges for clicks that help advertisers meet their campaign objectives, such as:

How it affects your SMB:

Increased exposure without the additional cost of Facebook-specific engagements? It may sound too good to be true, but the platform instigated this change in an effort to help businesses better optimize their campaigns against their stated goals. Now, Facebook’s ad analytics align more closely with campaign objectives, and if your SMB cares mostly about link clicks, you’re likely to see a better return on ad spend.

Register Media can help your business navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media and paid advertising, and develop the most effective content strategy to increase Facebook engagement. Contact us today at Register Media in Des Moines, Idaho.  

Top 25 Keywords for Plumber SEO

Date: November 25, 2015

How do you get your business in front of customers searching for things like “HELP my kitchen sink is overflowing!!”? The answer: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. And one of the most important components of SEO is Keyword Research. You need to know what people are actually searching for in order to optimize your site for keywords that will actually drive valuable traffic.

Check out the top 25 keywords for plumber SEO (besides “plumber” and “plumbing” of course) – broken out by keyword type. Then, try Googling each search term to see where your business ranks. Hint: if you don’t see your business in the top 10, we can help!

Localized Keywords for Plumber SEO

Optimizing for a wide range of keywords is important for meeting customers at each stage of the purchasing process. Localized keywords are most often searched on mobile devices when a person is on the go. Google results for these keywords are hyper-localized to the zip code a person is searching from.

Keyword Average Monthly Searches (US)
Plumber near me 4,400
Local plumbers 5,400
Plumbing Des Moines 90
Plumber Des Moines 110

Broad Match Keywords for Plumber SEO

Broad match keywords are an important part of SEO. Small businesses tend to have stronger opportunity and engagement with broach match keywords than with generic term likes “plumber” or “plumbing.” Broad match keywords typically have moderate competition/cost and click through rate.

Keyword Average Monthly Searches (US)
24 hour plumber 2,900
Emergency plumber 6,600
Affordable plumbing 2,800
Bathroom plumbing 1,600
Garbage disposal repair 6,600

Long Tail Keywords for Plumber SEO

Long tail keywords might not be the biggest traffic drivers to your site, but if you rank for a long tail term, you are likely to have higher conversions due to its specific nature and low competition.

   Keyword      Average Monthly Searches (US)    
How to unclog sink                                  12,100  
How to unfreeze pipes 2,900
How to unblock garbage disposal 12,100
How to replace a garbage disposal 1,900
Septic tank pumping cost 2,900

 

Symptom Keywords for Plumber SEO

Next time you are looking for new keywords, ask yourself: What symptoms appear to a consumer that my product will fix for them? Symptom keywords are usually searched when a person needs your service right way.

Keyword  Average Monthly Searches (US)
Plumbing problems 4,400
Water heater leaking 5,400
Blocked drains 5,400
Clogged toilet 12,100
Clogged shower drain 1,600
Frozen pipes 8,100
Septic tank problems 2,400
Toilet overflowing 1,600
Clogged sink 3,600
Garbage disposal not working 3,600
Garbage disposal leaking 2,400

Optimizing your website for all types of plumber keywords is important for your SEO, and SEO is important for connecting your business to more customers. Contact us to talk to a representative about a keyword strategy to boost your search rankings – and number of leads!

[Infographic] Put Your Business Where Your Customers are Looking

Date: November 19, 2015

When you own a business, every dollar counts. It’s the reason you’re so selective about where you choose to advertise – you’re looking for the most reach for the least amount of money. That’s where we step in! No other local media source reaches more Iowans than The Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com. Check out a few more reasons to advertise in Iowa’s No. 1 news source:

 

No. 1 Local Media Source

Want to reach a niche audience? The Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com are the No. 1 source for:

  • Local restaurants and nightlife
  • Local entertainment options and things to do with family and friends
  • Information about shopping, bargains and deals
  • New and information about my community
  • Community activism
  • Coverage of local schools and education
  • Politics
  • News about local city government and county government
  • In-depth investigations and watchdog reporting of corruption and waste
  • Local crime and court news
  • Local business news
  • Coverage of Iowa Ag
  • Iowa State sports coverage
  • University of Iowa sports coverage
  • Local high school sports
  • Local young professionals
  • Local human interest stories

A Top Local Media Source on Social Media

The Des Moines Register is more than just a print product. The Des Moines Register is Iowa’s go-to-source for news and breaking stories on Facebook and Twitter, as well:

  • No. 1 local media source on Twitter
  • One of the top three media local sources on Facebook

Reach More Iowans than Any Other Local News Outlet

Between the Des Moines Sunday Register, the daily Register and DesMoinesRegister.com, The Des Moines Register reaches more than half of Iowa’s adults – and so can you when you advertise with us:

  • 55% of total adults every week
  • 51% of adults 25-44 each week

Put your business where your customers are looking! Contact us today to start advertising in Iowa’s favorite source for news, The Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com.

Source: Third party studies of The Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com audience conducted by Nielen Scarborough Custom Research and Research Now.

CareerBuilder Gives Access to Resume Database

Date: November 19, 2015

Hiring managers and HR professionals are seeing more challenges today than ever in recruiting quality, passive candidates. What is a passive candidate? Passive candidates are workers who currently have a job and are either actively seeking, or open to a new job. According to a recent study released by Jobvite, 51% of U.S. workers are passive candidates. 

This brings the total of all workers in the U.S. who are “on the job market” (meaning employed and looking, unemployed and looking or employed and open) to a staggering seventy one percent. Reaching the passive candidate can often be tricky when they are open to an opportunity, but not actively seeking at the time your company’s opportunity opens up.

CareerBuilder's Resume Database

So, how do companies reach and engage passive candidates? By using CareerBuilder’s resume database. CareerBuilder has recently given hiring managers and HR professionals access to all candidates active or non-active within their database. Companies can now complement their job posting strategy by proactively reaching out to candidates for those “hard to fill positions” or those positions that need an “immediate fill”. This new platform puts the company’s recruiting team in the driver’s seat by proactively driving up the quality candidate pool.  

Resume Database In Action

Still not convinced? After a training session with a valued client on the resume database they began using the platform and all of its unique capabilities over 30 days. The client has since hired several quality candidates and is now expanding into other markets. The client noted that although skeptical of time investment at first, the ROI has helped bridge the gap of several of their challenging recruitment initiatives.

CareerBuilder remains the largest database of candidates at over 38 million total candidates (growing at a rate of 15,000 per month) and companies understand this is the best channel for allocating recruitment budgets. Complementing a job posting strategy with a proactive approach puts your company steps ahead of your competition in finding the quality, passive candidates you need. Contact your recruitment rep today or call  515.519.3488 if you're ready to get started.

Click here to learn more about CareerBuilder's Resume Database.

Source: Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, 2014

5 Tips for Better Social Media Marketing

Date: November 18, 2015

Social media marketing is a great way to promote your content to a large, engaged group of users. But like any other marketing effort, social media isn’t something your business should jump into without careful thought and planning. Below, we’ve listed five social media marketing tips that you can incorporate into your social strategy for increased effectiveness.

1. Determine which platforms to use.

There are many different types of social media—with new ones coming on the scene all the time—and there is a variety of ways you can use them creatively to promote your content. Take the time to research each medium’s audience and best practices for posting to determine the social platform that’s right for your business.

2. Distribute responsibilities across a team.

Social media management is a lot of responsibility to put on a single person. We recommend coordinating your content strategy across your business to ensure your posts are varied but the messaging remains consistent. 

3.Create a social media guide.

The best way to ensure that every member of your team understands your goals for each social channel is to create a guide that outlines your strategy for each. Include information on brand voice, types of content to post, and posting frequency to make sure you’re all on the same page. 

4.Use a content calendar.

A content calendar is key for organizing your social media marketing efforts. Create one that shows the content that will be posted daily from each of your social channels and share it with your entire team to keep your content strategy cohesive across the board.

5.Follow the 70/20/10 rule.

A best practice for maintaining an interesting social business account is to follow the 70/20/10 rule, which says that 70% of your posts should be brand and business-related, 20% of your posts should be shared from other sources, and 10% of your posts can be self-promotional.

Incorporating these tips into your social strategy will help you more effectively market your business and increase its social media success. If you’re looking for assistance creating an effective and engaging social media strategy for your business, contact Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa today.

5 Go-To Strategies for HVAC Marketing

Date: November 09, 2015

We feel it in the air – the temperatures are cooling and the leaves are falling. Fall is here and winter is just around the corner, which means peak selling season for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) companies. Chances are if you’re in the industry, you’ve heard or even tried all of the traditional marketing techniques to reach new customers and keep existing customers happy. 

But is it working for you? Incorporating these five go-to techniques will take your HVAC marketing strategy to the next level.

1.Think Mobile, Think Micro-Moments

Google launched a new website, Micro-Moments, in May to house insights on the way mobile has evolved and changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions. The term “micro-moments” refers to the opportunity (and challenge) brands have to be visible right in the moment when target consumers choose to pick up their mobile phones during their decision making.

For example:

Case and point: your customers are searching for you when they are on-the-go. If you aren’t bidding on “symptom” keywords, such as “furnace repair,” or optimizing your website, you’re missing out on key opportunities to reach consumers at the point of decision making.

2.Diversify Your Advertisements

Did you know 77 percent of contractors spend over half their budget on Yellow Page ads that provide little to no ROI? That means that if an HVAC owner were to sign a Yellow Pages contract for $4000 a year, they’d need about 400 leads, or over one call a day, to break even. The likeliness of this many calls coming in is unlikely at best.

Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Diversifying your advertisements is the most effective way to get in front of new purchasing audiences. If you haven’t already, work with your agency partner to create and implement a HVAC marketing solution that seamlessly integrates social media, print advertising, pay-per-click, direct mail and email marketing. You’ll reach a wider, more specific audience because of it.

3.Take Advantage of Co-Op Advertising

If you haven’t asked your agency partner about your co-op advertising opportunities, chances are you are missing out on free advertising dollars. Tip: our co-op advertising blog is a great place to start if you want to learn the basics. Many HVAC manufacturers offer co-op programs for their distributors to co-promote product and store. Co-op funded companies may withdraw from the funding for approved marketing and advertising activities, such as print, radio, television, billboards, truck wraps and more. If you are interested in learning more, start the conversation with your vendors/manufacturers early – many co-op agreements are due before the end of the year.

4.Event/Charity Sponsorship

Balance is the key to building a strong, successful marketing plan. Yes, advertising and marketing your products are important, but so is engaging and interacting with your consumers. Event and charity sponsorships can be an effective way to position your business as an authority in your industry and/or a supporter of good-will in the community – and doing so will likely set your business apart from your competition. Look for opportunities in your communities that complement your brand and mission. Take Mechanical Air Service for example: the company started Outreach Cooling and Heating in Southern California  in order to reach low-income families. When you get creative about community engagement, you can open the door to new and targeted audiences.

5.Plan Ahead

December is the peak sales month for appliance retailers. In fact, December accounts for 9.5 percent of total sales within the heating, ventilation and cooling sector.* In other words, now is the best time to get ahead of the purchase cycle and reach customers as they begin to research and evaluate. Start your HVAC advertising campaign early. Then, when sales slowdown, offer special promotions and/or non-traditional activities to increase traffic.

Does increasing revenue dollars while decreasing wasted spend sound appealing to you? These five strategies are proven to boost your bottom line, and Register Media can help! Download our Home Improvement white paper or contact us today at 515-207-8244 to discuss a customized HVAC advertising solution, so you can focus what matters most to you – owning your small business and meeting the needs of your customers.

*Source: "Estimates of Monthly Retail and Food Services Sales by Kind of Business: 2013." Monthly Retail Trade Survey. U.S. Census Bureau, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

Integrated Marketing: Home Improvement

Date: November 09, 2015

The challenge of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the Home Improvement industry is to stay top of mind when potential clients are gathering information about their next project and at the same time being present when customers have an immediate need or emergency. The best way to reach and impact the largest audience in a targeted strategy is to deploy a fully integrated campaign of print and digital advertising.

"Three of the top five non-family emergencies are related to the home, such as water damage and heating or cooling outages.*"

Download the Integrated Marketing: Home Improvement White Paper to help build the blueprint for your next advertising campaign. 

*Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2015

Download the Integrated Marketing: Home Improvement White Paper

3 Ways Video Advertising Will Grow Your Business

Date: November 09, 2015

Video advertising can seem intimidating to businesses that haven’t utilized it before. Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may think that online video is too costly to produce or that their message won’t be adequately conveyed via video. However, the reality is that online video advertising is a powerful channel through which any business can effectively promote their company or products, often at a lesser cost than traditional methods, such as TV spots.

Below, we explain why video advertising works and why it will work for your business.

Why Video Advertising is Effective

The benefits of incorporating video advertising in your online marketing strategy are numerous, but below we’ve listed the most important three. 

1. Video ads resonate.

Unlike static ads, video ads “stick” in the mind of viewers—in fact, 80% of internet users surveyed remember the video ads they watch. By taking advantage of online video, you’ll be creating content that resonates with consumers, and your brand and message will stay in their minds long after they view your ad. 

2. Video content engages.

If you’re looking for an advertising medium that not only attracts consumers but also engages them, video is a great choice. Video not only resonates more with viewers, it also compels them to learn more or take a next step, with 46% taking some action after viewing a video ad.

3. Video content gets you found online.

Another benefit of incorporating online video into your digital marketing strategy is that it will help you get found by consumers, faster. Websites containing video are 53x more likely to appear on the first page of Google results, and with the average web user spending 16 minutes and 49 seconds each month watching online video ads, they’re likely to stick around long enough to watch yours.  

Why Video Advertising Will Work for Your Business

By now you understand why video ads are effective, but you may be wondering if they’ll work for your business. Good news: video advertising works for any business with a story to tell or a product to promote. Video is a compelling visual medium for all consumers—in fact, after watching a video, consumers are 73% more likely to make a purchase. And best of all, it doesn’t matter who you’re targeting because people of all ages are just as likely to search and view online videos.

If your business is looking to create a video advertising strategy or produce quality video content, contact us today at Register Media, in Des Moines, Iowa. 

How to Segment & Personalize Email Marketing Campaigns

Date: November 06, 2015

Email marketing personalization encourages casual prospects to become loyal customers. A recent G/O Digital article highlights the importance of personalization and segmentation when it comes to email marketing.

Email Marketing Continues to Be an Important Digital Channel

Even though potential customers are busier than ever, email marketing remains a vital channel. That’s partially due to the fact that customers now keep their smartphones on almost all the time. A Pew Research Report reveals that 44 percent of smartphone users keep their phones next to them at all times. That means your email is near customers almost as soon as it reaches their inbox.

But to ensure an email is opened and read, you’ve got to go the extra mile. That’s where personalization and segmentation enter the picture.

Three Steps to Email Marketing Success

We recommend taking the following three steps in order to boost email open and click through rates.

  1. Segment your email list: Segmentation means to group customer data around specific, measurable interests. By reviewing your existing sales and email data, you may be able to pinpoint common interests that lend themselves to groups or segments. Once customers are grouped according to interests, it’s easier to send targeted emails based around those interests.
  2. Build a strategy around data: Use the data from step 1 to create, build and measure your strategy. Each email sent should target a specific segment and offer information specific to that segment’s interests. Map out the journey for prospects in each segment and tailor your email messages and offers to guide them through each step of their journey.
  3. Create content around segments: As you learn more from your customer database, you can tailor your content better around core segments. Measuring the open and click rates of these efforts provides feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

By monitoring, measuring, tweaking and improving each campaign, you’ll continue to build your email marketing efforts to increase open and response rates. Using data to build effective digital marketing campaigns makes sense and offers marketers a scientific, fact-based way to implement new campaigns.

If you need help launching or improving your own email marketing campaigns, contact the experts at Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Meet the Expert: Kari Ratkovich

Date: October 30, 2015

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward.

Meet Kari Ratkovich, Senior Key Account Executive:

Q: What’s your role with Register Media?

A: I am a world-class sales and integrated marketing executive, with robust experience in multiple industries: healthcare/medical, finance, insurance, and home furnishings. 

Q: How did you get started in advertising?

A: I’ve always had a passion for helping people find solutions to be successful.  Prior to working at Register Media, I was a retail sales manager and freelance ghost-writer—so this was a natural fit. 

Q: In your opinion, what’s the next big trend advertisers should watch out for in 2016?

A: I feel we are going to see significant changes to the digital landscape and how consumers engage with content.  Native brand-view concepts and testimonial-based marketing will (if not, they should) make their way into many integrated marketing plans. 

Q: What’s the most exciting business growth you’ve witnessed with a client?

A: A large university was looking to grow enrollment and increase awareness of their extensive undergraduate programs and their MBA program.  We partnered and implemented an integrated digital solution—including paid search and programmatic digital display (desktop/mobile) to reach very specific audience groups within a five-county area.  Our solution exceeded the inquiry goals the university had set, and out-performed other tactics they were doing with other vendors. 

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

A: I love Hawkeye football, Pinterest, and tequila on the rocks. 

Q: What’s the best way to connect with you?

A: I’m always connected to phone and email, but you can also find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Kari Ratkovich
KRatkovich@RegisterMedia.com
515-238-4317

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kariratkovich
Twitter: @KariOutLoud

You can connect with Kari and our other Register Media representatives by contacting us today. Don’t forget to visit our blog later for more features in our ‘Meet the Expert' series. 

Remarketing Best Practices & Common Mistakes

Date: October 02, 2015

On average, only about 2% of visitors will convert after looking at a brand’s site for the first time. This is why it is vital for you to reconnect with visitors after they have left your website. Retargeted ads are an effective way to do this when executed properly. Developing a successful retargeting campaign involves following a few simple best practices.

Strategies for Your Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting is a great way to ensure your brand remains visible once viewers have left your website. To begin, you will want to segment your audiences by sorting them into groups based on their website behavior. This information helps you create a better retargeted ad experience by directing them to pages or offers that they will most likely be interested in.

Once you have segmented your audience and created ads that are targeted toward their unique needs, you can conduct A/B tests to determine the type of content, value propositions, and durations that work best in converting the most leads into paying customers.

Avoid These Mistakes While Remarketing

Retargeted ads have a higher average click-through rate than display ads. However, they can begin to overwhelm a viewer who has been overexposed. That is why it is essential to use frequency caps in order to control how often visitors will see your brand’s retargeted ad. This helps you avoid giving the wrong impression or irritating the person and having them go with a competitor.

Another common mistake that you will want to avoid is over-relying on your remarketing campaign to bring visitors to your site. Though this is a great strategy for reconnecting with consumers, it is not the only tactic you can use to move prospects down the funnel. Strategies like organic search and email lead nurturing are also very important for helping move visitors to the point of conversion.

Are You Ready to Jumpstart Your Marketing Strategy?

Retargeting is a great tactic to have in your digital marketing toolkit, but it takes much more than this one strategy to get the results you want. If you are ready to reach more leads and increase your marketing ROI, then Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa wants to hear from you! Contact us today for more information.

3 Easy Ways to Expand Your Email Marketing List

Date: September 29, 2015

Email marketing is a great way for small businesses to connect with customers at every step of the marketing funnel. Not only is email a great tool for attracting new leads, but it has also been found to be effective for nurturing leads, retaining customers, and influencing sales. The average return on investment for email marketing is approximately $44.25 for every dollar spent.

If you want to benefit from the strong ROI that email can provide then it is essential that your business works to grow its email list. Below, we offer some simple ways that you can start expanding your list today:

1. Ensure that your opt-in form is prominent on your website.

Include a simple sign-up form on each page of your website. This guarantees that no matter which page the visitor is viewing, they will have the option to sign up. Another option is to utilize a pop-up or slider feature on the site in order to make sure that your opt-in form is impossible to miss. These tools are versatile, allowing you to control who sees the pop-up and when.

2. Make signing up for the email list as easy as possible.

Signing up for emails should be easy as the more barriers you create, the less likely the visitor is to sign up. For instance, making visitors click through content may cause them to give up before they have given your company their email. A simple, one-step process is the best way to make sure that visitors can quickly and easily sign up for emails.

3. Offer incentives for signing up.

Visitors are more likely to sign up for your emails if you are offering them something up front. Whether this is a discount or valuable content, offering incentives can help you entice visitors to sign up for your email list. Another option is including email sign up as a required part of a contest or special promotion.

Are you ready to take your email marketing to the next level? The experienced marketing team at Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa wants to help your business develop an email strategy that brings in more leads while increasing ROI. Contact us today for more information.

7 Stats You Need to Know about the Iowa Caucus

Date: September 23, 2015

Both Democratic and Republican Caucuses will be held on February 1, 2016 in Iowa – and millions of dollars will be spent on local advertisements leading up. Poltical advertisers and PACs, are you placing your campaign dollars in the most effective spots? These seven numbers will give you the answer.

325,000

Over 325,000 Iowans braved the cold in 2008 – the last fully open Presidential race – to participate in the Iowa Caucus.

99%

Our Gannett Digital Network reaches over 99% of the Internet population, including USAToday.com.

150

For over 150, we have delivered the news Iowa depends upon which is why we are Iowans’ choice for community news and information, investigative reports, and most importantly, political news.

5 Billion

That is what The Hill is predicting will be spend by candidates, parties, and political action committees this election cycle; just for the campaign for the White house! How you spend it, and where matters!

86.7%

In 2014, Iowa had a competitive U.S. Senate race and a Governor’s race which increased total web traffic to DesMoinesRegister.com by 86.7% from the year prior.

10

According to National Journal, some groups are already being charged premiums (up to ten times regular rates) for television placements. Because television inventory is limited, it will only get more expensive. Digital advertising doesn’t work like that.

1

First. That’s what Iowa is. We are first in the Nation in vetting presidential candidates. As such, our audience is highly engaged in the process from now until Caucus night.

 

Register Media is the region’s leader in reaching your key constituencies, getting your message out to those who will cast votes for you at the ballot box. Contact us today to learn about our political advertising solutions. 

Responsive Web Design & Other Website Best Practices

Date: September 21, 2015

So your company has a website that looks good and is optimized for search engines. Your work is done, right? Not quite. In order to attract and convert as many prospects as possible, it is vital that your company’s site is following current website best practices. In this post, we will take a look at which best practices your business should be following.

Website Best Practices

The key to having an effective website is to create an engaging and highly functional experience for all users. This comes down to the design of your site and the content that fills it, as well as how it works across every device.

Here are some tips for making sure your website is effective:

So, how is your website doing? 

Do you need help making sure that your website is firing on all cylinders? Our web experts would love to help you make the most of your company website and increase conversions. Contact Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa for a free website consultation today!

Should You Start Planning Your Holiday Marketing Strategy Now?

Date: September 14, 2015

Though developing a holiday marketing strategy may be the last thing on your mind, consumer buying patterns show that making your plans before fall can help ensure you’re ready for the holiday shopping season. A recent research study by G/O Digital found that almost half of those who shop for the holidays start their preparations in October or even earlier. If you start planning your digital marketing strategy now, you will be ready for the upcoming season.

Increase Visibility Before the Holiday Season

Even though the research study indicates that most consumers don’t start making holiday purchases until November or December, they do start making purchasing decisions much earlier. That is why it is essential for your company to increase its visibility well before the holiday shopping season hits.

One great way to remain visible online is through social media. By engaging your target audience in the months leading up to the holiday season, you are more likely to stay in their minds as the holidays approach. When they are ready to buy, they will remember your brand and will have already included you in their holiday shopping list.

Facebook ads are an excellent tactic to utilize in your holiday marketing efforts because its targeting features allow you to narrow your reach so that you are putting your ads in front of consumers who will be most receptive to your message.

SEO is another important factor to increasing your company’s visibility. According to the G/O Digital study, 62 percent of consumers rely on search engines to help them make holiday purchasing decisions. By identifying which keywords you want to target for the holidays, you can get started on building your ranking early so that you are well positioned by the time the holidays hit.

Get a Jumpstart on Your Holiday Marketing Strategy

If you need help tackling your holiday marketing strategy, we would love to speak with you! Register Media in Des Moines, IA helps businesses just like yours prepare their holiday marketing. Click here to view advertising opportunities in the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.

Who Will Win the Iowa Caucus?

Date: September 03, 2015

The kickoff to the caucus / primary season is only months away and there are still a handful of contenders vying for the keys to the Oval Office. Coincidentally, our political team just released the latest poll (in case you’re interested) and while we don’t have any opinions on the numbers, we do have a piece of advice:

Don’t miss out on a tremendous opportunity to engage a key audience in the campaign: OURS. 

No one in the state of Iowa produces more or better political news coverage. And the people of Iowa agree. When asked last fall which media outlet was their favorite for political news, The Des Moines Register was their top choice.

Overall, our products engage your key constituency:

55+

45-54

35-44

The choice this election season is clear: To break through the noise and win the Iowa Caucus, campaigns big and small must think outside the box. Choose Register Media today!

Use Online Business Listings to Reach More Customers

Date: August 31, 2015

Local SEO can get a bit confusing, with many different factors that can have an impact on it. One simple, must-have strategy for boosting local SEO is claiming your online business listings. Data from Google shows that 97% of customers shop for local businesses online. Claiming your map listings helps you make sure that your business is showing up on the search engine results page, especially for local users who are searching for your businesses like yours online.

Use Location and Map-Based Services to Increase SEO

When it comes to online marketing, you want to be visible where your customers are. Many consumers are using map and location-based apps to find out more about local businesses. By creating listings or pages with these services, your company can reach even more buyers who are looking for the services that your company provides.

Not only do these services help you reach new consumers, these listings can also improve your SEO and increase your SERP rankings by setting your business apart from those who have not yet registered with these sites. Here are just a few ways to optimize your business listings:

Cast a Wider Net with Map Business Listings

In addition to creating a listing on location-based apps, your business will also want to take advantage of business listings on services like Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp and Apple Maps Connect. You may be tempted to just post a listing on Google because this service is connected to Google search, Maps, and Google+. However, it is best to take advantage of all your options by placing business listings through multiple services. This will help you reach a wider and more diverse online audience.

Are you reaching your online customers effectively? Register Media in Des Moines, IA is ready to help you increase leads. Contact us today for a free online marketing consultation.

Meet Your Customers Along Their Digital Journey [Infographic]

Date: August 18, 2015

Potential customers have more information at their disposal than ever before. Social media, mobile devices, review sites, and search engines have transformed the way that people experience the buyer’s journey and thus the way they make purchasing decisions. As the infographic from our digital fulfillment partner G/O Digital shows, it is vital for small businesses to understand this digital journey in order to effectively connect with customers during each step of the process.

Click here to view the infographic.

Reaching Customers on their Journey through Digital Marketing

We have previously discussed micro-moments and their role in the buyers’ journey. These need-to-know or need-to-do/buy/go moments are vital opportunities for your brand to connect with consumers when they are most likely to buy what your company offers.

In addition to taking advantage of micro-moments, brands also need to make themselves visible in other ways. Though a particular need usually starts the consumer on their digital quest for knowledge, a striking ad can also get consumers interested, even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. This is why it is important for brands to use an integrated online marketing approach to reach as many customers as possible.

Changing Buying Behaviors throughout the Digital Journey

Many consumers are no longer going to a local store to research a product. Instead, they are taking advantage of all the information that is offered on the Internet. This digital journey looks a bit different for each customer depending on the person, their needs, and their preferred digital channels. Some will ask for input from family and friends on Facebook, while others will use Google to research products. Knowing what approach that your target buyer will take is the first step in mapping out their journey.

Once your business connects with a prospective customer, how will it reconnect with them throughout the buyer’s journey? Will it be through blog content, remarketing ads, or email? You need to determine which channel your target prospects will respond to the most and utilize that. Content and offerings also need to be tailored to each stage of the buying cycle and provided in the right order.

Are you ready to start taking advantage of micro-moments? Register Media in Des Moines, IA can help you understand the digital journey your buyers take and how to connect with them along the way. Contact us today for a free digital marketing consultation.

Win New Business with Targeted Display Advertising

Date: August 07, 2015

Some marketers believe that targeted display advertising is something that only makes sense for enterprises and that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) wouldn’t benefit from this method of marketing. However, the reality is that with today’s display advertising platforms, businesses of any size can utilize (and get returns from) these types of ads. In this post, we will take a look at how SMBs can use display ads to attract more customers.

Why Display Advertising?

It is a common misconception that display advertising is not appropriate for smaller businesses because it does not perform on a smaller budget. According to Trada’s research, when display ads motivate users to act immediately, it is just as likely to take the form of a search as an ad click. This shows that just because users are not clicking on the display ad does not necessarily mean that the ad is not directing users to your brand.

With data-driven targeting and retargeting abilities, display ads have become more effective and accurate in helping businesses of all sizes reach their target market. New real-time bidding technology has also made the ad buying process easier for smaller and less experienced ad buyers. In combination with search engine marketing, targeted display advertising can help you boost business by driving conversions.

Types of Display Ad Targeting

Once you are ready to jump into the world of targeted display advertising, you need to decide which type of targeting will best help you reach your target customers. Targeting typically falls into two categories:

Register Media in Des Moines, IA helps businesses of all sizes reach their audience through targeted display advertising. Contact us today to start reaching your audience with this powerful marketing strategy.

How to Break Through the Political Noise

Date: August 06, 2015

Whether you are advertising for President of the United States or a local city council race, breaking through the political noise will likely prove to be difficult this election season. Not only will television news be covering every inch of every campaign but political ads will own the limited television and radio airwaves.

So, how do you break through the clutter and the mute button? You must get creative.

Whether your goal is to raise issue awareness or introduce your candidate to highly engaged voters, Register Media has the tools, the media inventory, the expertise, and the engaged audiences to leave a measurable impact on the voters. 

As political ad spending continues to surge, campaigns must choose the optimal ad formats for cutting through the noise. Recent research indicates that standard ad placements just don’t cut it anymore: full-screen interactive ads are critical for ad recall.

When looking at digital ad recall by ad format and device, 58% of smartphone users recall full-screen interactive engagements. For cross-device users, 43% recalled full-screen interactive ads. (Undertone, High Impact Advertising Across Screens” conducted by Ipsos Connect, July 22, 2015.)

Our audience constantly and consistently picks up our paper for the latest news and information on politics. In fact, according to Thoroughbread Research from December 2014, Register Media is the number one sources for political news across all mediums. 487,000 people read our Sunday edition across the state, while our website receives 17.2 million page views each month with 1.5 million unique visitors.

When you work with Register Media, you get a partner who is a leader in local, state, and national political coverage, and with our new partnership with Bloomberg Politics, unprecedented reach. 

To engage our audience, we have a few creative strategies for you to consider:

Political Podcasts

The Des Moines Register is producing the first-of-its-kind ten-episode podcast with high-profile political guests like former Kansas Senator and one-time presidential candidate Bob Dole, current Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, and many more. This podcast which will be released via iTunes, Google Play, and USA Today offers an incredible opportunity to sponsor content to be heard by countless political news audiences.

Iowa Caucus App

Political junkies from inside and outside of Iowa will be utilizing our exclusive Iowa Caucus app which gives users access to up-to-the-minute news and candidate schedules. This app provides advertisers with unique advertising positions in a primed environment of political news readers.

High Impact Ad Units

The opportunities to engage deeply with our key audiences is exponentially improved with our new high-impact advertising options on DesMoinesRegister.com. These include things like pushdowns and homepage takeovers, transitionals, and pre-roll video on targeted content. 

Gannett Digital Network

Also, as a part of the Gannett Digital Network, we have the opportunity to place your message across 99% of the Internet including USAToday.com, our flagship product.

Print Products

Finally, The Des Moines Register, distributed across the state and producing the news Iowa depends upon, continues to serve as a significantly viable avenue to break through the noise of television and radio. Unlike television and radio with their limited inventory, all of our solutions offer nearly limitless positioning between now and the Iowa Caucus with the audiences you need to engage.

The choice this election season is clear: To break through the noise, campaigns big and small must think outside the box. Choose Register Media today!

How to Use Facebook Marketing to Reach More Customers

Date: July 29, 2015

With 1.28 billion users regularly active on Facebook, this powerful social media platform presents many excellent opportunities for companies to reach and engage with their customers through online marketing. A report by Salesforce states that one in five minutes spent on a mobile device is spent on the Facebook app. These are all opportunities for your brand to be reaching more customers through Facebook Ads.

Changes to Facebook Advertising

Recently, Facebook has made some changes to their platform, which has made it essential for companies to use paid Facebook ads in order to reach their fans and customers. Though some businesses were not happy to hear this, Facebook still remains one of the more powerful places to get the best results when it comes to online marketing.

Using Targeted Facebook Ads

One of the great features of Facebook advertising is the ability to target who will see your ads. This allows you to narrow your reach to only those who are more likely to buy your product. This social networking giant has data on 1.2 billion people, and you have access to that data through the targeting criteria, such as job title, location, marital status, age and interests.

Once you have targeted your audience, you need to make sure that the ad content will stand out in their Facebook feeds. The best way to do this is to use eye-catching visuals and encourage engagement by asking a question or requesting some feedback. You can also use free materials such as guides and reports as a way to get more information on your new leads.

Improving Your Facebook Marketing

If you are ready to start seeing more results from your Facebook marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa has a team of social media professionals who specialize in developing and managing effective social media strategy. Contact us today to find out how you can bring in more leads through Facebook marketing.

Using Micro-Moments to Connect With Your Customers

Date: July 23, 2015

Every day there are many small moments taking place that influence consumer decisions. With the prevalence of mobile technology, mobile devices are increasingly becoming a bigger part of this process. Whether a person wants to know more about a product before buying or is just looking for a nearby place to have lunch, these moments when customers are ready to take action, also known as micro-moments, are important opportunities for brands to connect with their customers when they are most receptive to the brand message.

Why Micro-Moments are Important

Mobile devices have changed the way that we consume information. Mobile users are able to find out what they want to know instantly and from nearly any location. According to Google, 91% of smartphone users look up information on their smartphones while they are in the middle of a task. This easy access to information has also changed the buyer’s journey.

Customers now expect and appreciate when companies can deliver what they need when they need it. The key to reaching customers when they are making decisions during micro-moments is to understand what the customer needs in those moments and deliver the appropriate content.

The Role of Mobile Advertising

The companies that do not take advantage of these moments will be missing out on an important opportunity to connect and build lasting relationships with their target customers. In fact, 69% of online consumers believe that quality, timing, and relevance of a brand message influences their perception of the brand.

The best way to ensure that you are effectively reaching customers during micro-moments is to create a mobile advertising strategy that anticipates customer needs and reaches your audience on-the-go. Through targeted mobile marketing that includes mobile search and display advertsing, businesses can be there in the moments that matter most.

Develop a Targeted Mobile Marketing Strategy

Register Media in Des Moines, IA is a premier Google partner that helps companies reach their target customers during these important micro-moments. Through mobile advertising and search engine marketing, our team can give you the tools you need to start reaching more qualified buyers. Contact us today to get started.

What’s New in Political Advertising?

Date: July 17, 2015

The race for the White House may be crowded and getting larger by the day, and here at Register Media we are busy planning the next six months of political activities for our engaged audience. The fact is, there is only one place to go for an engaged political audience: Register Media’s Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com

Iowa will host the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1, 2016, for the 12th consecutive presidential election cycle.

Whether your goal is to raise issue awareness or introduce your candidate to highly engaged voters, Register Media has the tools, the expertise, and the engaged audiences to leave a measurable impact on the voters.

Our audience constantly and consistently picks up our paper for the latest news and information. 487,000 people read our Sunday edition across the state, while our website receives 17.2 million page views each month with 1.5 million unique visitors.

When you work with Register Media, you get a partner who is a leader in local, state, and national political coverage, and with our new partnership with Bloomberg Politics, unprecedented reach. 

In the last four years, our mobile news readership has skyrocketed, video has become a favorite medium, social media moves mountains, and print still matters.

Competitive Races, Limited Assets

It is predicted the major candidates, parties, and Political Action Committees will spend upwards of $5 billion3 nationwide to attract and engage voters. In Iowa, candidates and interest groups are already campaigning for the presidential nomination.

This competition is going to make inventory extremely tight on television and radio. But not for us. Register Media is the perfect media partner for you because we will have significantly more inventory and unique partnership opportunities to connect with voters than anyone else across the state.

Political Events

Content Adjacencies

These assets provide a great opportunity to engage Iowa residents and voters in a unique and compelling way, with great results.

Multimedia Campaign Elements

A Century of Experience

For over 150 years, we have delivered the news Iowa depends upon; that tradition continues today with enhanced digital options to merge with our print reach. We offer the best audience to drive political engagement for your issue or candidate.

We are Iowa’s favorite choice for community news & information, investigative reporting, education and school news, things to do, college sports, and most importantly, political news.

Our award-winning newsroom has earned 16 Pulitzer Prizes with their outstanding news coverage. Our news offers our own polling information, public meetings with candidates, and a new partnership with Bloomberg Politics.

As the region’s leader in reaching your key constituencies for over 150 years; Register Media gets your message out to those who will cast votes at the ballot box.

Click here to learn how you can sponsor these unique events.

What is Native Advertising and Why You Need to Try It?

Date: July 16, 2015

Native advertising has been around for years. Remember the Reese's Pieces used in the movie E.T.? That subtle product placement was a native ad. It occurred naturally within the content of the movie, so viewers weren't even aware they were being marketed to.

It's important to build trust with prospects in order to increase engagement. Native ads are the perfect vessel to do this, as they are usually designed to educate or entertain the consumer. Modern native ads have been increasing in popularity, and it's important for small businesses to understand why.

What Does Modern Native Advertising Look Like?

While product placement in movies and television hasn't gone away, there are more options to experiment with native advertising. Today, native advertising is more commonly associated with online publications.

Online users seek out these online sources to get high-quality content. Because these sites are designed to deliver information to visitors, native ads are easy to slip in. The ad will become part of the content that's there and ideally add value.

Promoted Tweets, suggested Facebook posts and full-page ads are more examples of native advertising.

How Native Advertising Can Benefit Your Content Marketing Strategy

If you're putting the time into creating high-quality content that people want to see, you want it exposed to as many people as possible. Online publications are looking for content that will make their site more attractive, so if you're able to fill that niche for them, you're going to get the exposure you want.

If you like numbers, native ads have proven to be a good investment. Research from IPG Media Lab found that visitors looked at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads. The native ads also brought an 18% increase in purchase intent and 9% increase for brand affinity.

Register Media Group Helps with Native Advertising

Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa, can help your business develop and launch a native ad campaign. We'll help you define your audience, create the viral content you need and get it distributed through the appropriate channels. Contact us today to learn more.

The Recipe for an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Date: July 07, 2015

If content marketing were easy, everyone would be an expert. But with a little work, your company can be on its way to developing quality content that converts. Before you begin developing material, it’s important to research your target market and create a solid content strategy that informs and drives your content creation. After you know who you are targeting and what resonates with this audience, you are ready to begin.

Developing a Content Strategy

The first step to creating a content marketing strategy is developing clear goals for your content. Readers will need different types of content at different stages in the buyer’s cycle, and it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish each step of the way.

After you have clearly defined your content strategy goals, research your target market. With this information you can create target personas, or sketches of your ideal customers, based on basic details and demographic information you have collected. These personas should be at the heart of your content efforts.

How to Create Great Content

What’s the secret to creating content that engages your target audience? Expert SEO Consultant, Alan Bleiweiss suggests optimizing your content using the QUART test: Quality, Uniqueness, Authority, Relevance, Trust.

Use the following tips to make sure your content passes the test:

Make Your Content Marketing Strategy a Reality

The team at Register Media in Des Moines, IA is ready to help you with your content strategy. We start by using robust research tools like PRIZM clusters and Nielsen data to help you better focus your content efforts. Our experienced team of writers and creatives can then help you reach your target market by developing engaging content and distributing it through powerful channels such as the Yahoo! Display network. Contact us now to get started.

Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Matters

Date: July 02, 2015

As more marketers find success using inbound marketing tactics, content marketing has become a popular way for companies to effectively attract and engage consumers. Content marketing emphasizes creating original content and curating relevant material as a way of establishing credibility and informing customers about products and services. If you want to be successful in your content marketing efforts, it is essential that you develop a content strategy with your company’s unique goals and target market in mind.

How Content Marketing Affects Your Bottom Line

Depending on your content strategy, the material you publish can be used to accomplish a number of different goals. Content marketing helps you generate more leads, nurture customer relationships and further develop brand awareness. Not only does content marketing help you turn more leads into customers, it is also cost-effective. According to Kapost, using inbound marketing tactics, such as content marketing, can save companies an average of 13% per lead. Engaging with customers through content, be it blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc, can help you get more out of your marketing budget.

Importance of a Content Marketing Strategy

Customers tend to respond well to businesses that regularly publish original content. In fact, according to a recent study by Demand Metric, 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 82% feel more positive about a brand after reading their content. The key to successfully reaching these customers is creating a content marketing strategy.

The first steps to creating an effective content strategy are to define your company’s audiences, determine what content they care about most and discover which channels are most effective for reaching these consumers. By tailoring your brand’s content to these unique audiences, you can better engage with these target consumers through your original and curated content.

Planning Your Content Strategy

Does your business have a solid content marketing strategy? Register Media in Des Moines, IA has experience helping businesses like yours develop and implement content marketing strategies that help get you more qualified leads. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you improve your content marketing.

Where to Find an Engaged Political Audience

Date: July 01, 2015

There is only one place to go for an engaged political audience: Register Media’s Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com.

Iowa will host the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1, 2016, for the 12th consecutive presidential election cycle.

The field of presidential candidates, especially those seeking the Republican nomination, promises to be crowded. For Iowans, that means months of stump speeches, handshakes, and political advertisements.

Register Media is the best way for candidates and advocacy groups to spread their message and capture the attention of voters.

Much has changed since the last election cycle. Digital targeting is savvier. Online ads are more creative and engaging. But one thing remains the same – The Des Moines Register readers are a highly engaged audience.

Our award-winning news and political coverage reaches nearly 500,000 weekly Sunday readers and garners 17.2 million monthly page views. Over the past 150 years, we have developed and honed our connection to readers. We understand them. We connect with them. And they come to us for news and information every day.

Our audience constantly and consistently picks up our paper for the latest news and information. 487,000 people read our Sunday edition across the state, while our website receives 17.2 million page views each month with 1.5 million unique visitors.

When you work with Register Media, you get a partner who is a leader in local, state, and national political coverage, and with our new partnership with Bloomberg Politics, unprecedented reach. 

Let’s start with what happened at DesMoinesRegister.com in 2014. During that election cycle, there were competitive races in three of the four Congressional districts, a U.S. Senate campaign, and a gubernatorial campaign in the state. For the calendar year 2014, total web traffic was up 86.7%.

Already in 2015, our political traffic is up 7.75% from a year ago, and 166% from seven years ago. Over the next six months, Iowa will play host to the Iowa State Fair and the ever-famous Soapbox, and the Iowa Caucuses.

During the last two presidential election cycles, our digital platforms have seen a massive increase in traffic and engagement. For instance, our total site visits during the Iowa Caucus increased by 99.1% from the 2008 Caucus to 2012.

But who is that audience?

Register Media is Iowa’s favorite source for politics on all media channels.

Overall, our products engage your key constituencies:

55+

 

45-54

 

35-44

 

We are Iowa’s favorite choice for community news & information, investigative reporting, education and school news, things to do, college sports, and most importantly, political news.

Our award-winning newsroom has earned 16 Pulitzer Prizes with their outstanding news coverage. Our news offers our own polling information, public meetings with candidates, and a new partnership with Bloomberg Politics.

As the region’s leader in reaching your key constituencies for over 150 years; Register Media gets your message out to those who will cast votes at the ballot box.

 

Check out your options on the back page and contact us today to reserve your space! Call us today to connect with this audience: 515-518-1707

Sources:

1) Thoroughbred Research, December 2014    

2) Scarborough, Des Moines DMA, R2 2014

3) http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/230318-the-5-billion-campaign

Meet the Register Media Experts

Date: July 01, 2015

As technology continues to evolve, Register Media is at the forefront of driving new opportunities for businesses. Whether it’s print or digital advertising, we’re here to help your business achieve success. In our ‘Meet the Expert’ blog series, we’ll connect you with members from our team who know the tips and tools to move your business forward.

Click the links below to meet more of our experts!

Meet Kari Ratcovich, Senior Key Account Executive

Meet Charlotte Kralik, Senior Key Account Exective, Auto

Meet Kristi Langill, Senior Key Executive

Meet Andrea Markowski, Multimedia Producer

Meet Allison Butler, Territory Account Executive

Meet Mallory Wilson, Territory Account Ecexutive

How to Get Political Results in Iowa

Date: June 26, 2015

Advertise to Iowa Political Voters

Need to deliver political results in Iowa prior to the Iowa Caucus?

There is only one place to go for an engaged political audience: The Des Moines Register and DesMoinesRegister.com is that place.

Iowa will host the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1, 2016, for the 12th consecutive presidential election cycle. The field of presidential candidates, especially those seeking the Republican nomination, promises to be crowded. For Iowans, that means months of stump speeches, handshakes, and political advertisements. Register Media is the best way for candidates and advocacy groups to spread their message and capture the attention of voters.

If you're looking to connect with and engage this political audience, download our detailed audience analysis which also details our unique advertising opportunities this fall. 

Files:

Download Attachment: How to Get Political Results in Iowa

The 5Ws & H of Co-Op Advertising

Date: June 23, 2015

Co-op advertising can save a retailer money, extend the scope of its advertising and help create an effective and professional image for the business – yet it’s often overlooked. Why? Because it’s an advertising alternative manufactures, partners and advertisers don’t talk about enough. “The 5Ws & H of Co-Op Advertising” is designed to break down the barriers and open up the conversation surrounding the untapped impact co-op advertising can have on local business.

What is Co-Op Advertising?

Co-op advertising is an alternative advertising agreement between a manufacturer and a member of the distribution chain (distributer, dealer, wholesaler or retailer). Manufactures reimburse distributers, within the framework of a shared cost agreement, to advertise products to their local market. The four most common co-op agreements include:

Specific advertising requirements are generally set by the manufacturer in a co-op agreement. This may include, but is not limited to:

Who is Co-Op Adverting For?

Simply put, co-op advertising is designed for manufacturers, distributors, dealers and other advertisers of new consumer goods, products or services. Generally, large manufacturers already have co-op advertising plans established to which smaller partners apply to gain access to advertising dollars.

The amount of funds distributed by the manufacturer are determined based on the size and sales of the partner. For example, if a partner sells $5,000 per year of the manufacturer’s product or service, the business will get a smaller percentage of the total co-op funds than a retailer selling $25,000 per year.

When is Co-Op Advertising Available?

Co-op advertising opportunities are usually set by the manufacturers at the beginning of every fiscal year. Other optimal times to shop around for co-opportunities are when it’s time to promote new products and/or increase seasonal sales.

Where is Co-Op Advertising Placed?

Co-op advertising extends to all walks of advertising: from traditional print and online to email blasts and in-store promotional materials. The channels available to the partner through a co-op agreement are typically decided by the manufacturer.

Why is Co-Op Advertising Valuable?

There are a number of reasons why co-op advertising is mutually beneficial for brands and their partners. For starters, co-op advertising lends itself to cohesive marketing campaigns that are fluid and consistent between the manufacturers and their individual partners. Second, through co-op agreements, lesser known businesses can increase brand awareness and trust by associating with well-known brands. Lastly, co-op advertising can save partners money while allowing them access to creative advertising assistance to which they may not otherwise have access.

How Do I Get Started?

Start by making yourself aware of your manufacturer’s co-op program, if any. Then, comb through advertising guidelines to ensure compliance and reimbursement of your advertisements. Or, simply contact a vendor, like Register Media, with expert staff who know co-op guidelines and can secure those advertising dollars for you.

The bottom line? A well-planned, structured co-op program has the potential to strengthen partnerships and reap rewards (and profits!) for all parties involved. 

How Online Video Can Boost Your Business

Date: June 22, 2015

Ask any company that has found success with Inbound Marketing, and they will all tell you the same thing – content is essential to attracting and converting more customers. Yet many businesses seem to forget that video content is a part of that mix.

Customers want to understand how a product or service works and benefits them before they buy. Online video is a great way for companies to inform potential customers about their offerings while also showing their personality. Compelling video content not only captures the attention of qualified leads but also helps to improve SEO and increase conversion rates.

How Video Content Improves SEO

With Google’s Universal Search, which encompasses more than just written online content, videos have become an important part of a company’s online marketing strategy. In fact, according to MarketingLand, 62% of searches that appear on Google include video content. In addition, YouTube has become the second-largest search engine on the Internet.

What does this mean for your business? If your company is not including video in your online content strategy, then you could be missing out on a powerful opportunity to bring in more customers. In addition to being favored by the search engines, online video also helps improve SEO by building links and creating the opportunity for more shares on social media.

Increase Conversion Rates with Video Advertising

Video content also has a positive impact on click-through and conversion rates. According to research by Conversioner, search results with video content have a 41% higher click-through rate than those that are plain text, and 73% of consumers surveyed are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video. Helpful, information-rich video content can not only boost your search engine rankings, but can also help promote conversions after customers have clicked on your page.

Get an Online Video Strategy that Works

Do you need help creating a video advertising strategy? Register Media in Des Moines, IA has a team of marketing experts that are ready to help your business develop an online video strategy and create compelling video content that helps you reach and convert more customers. Contact us today for more information about how we can help your business.

Next-Level Email Marketing Tips

Date: June 15, 2015

When it comes to converting prospects into customers, email is one of the most important marketing tools that a business can use. In fact, about 95 percent of consumers use email and 91 percent of them are checking their email daily. Because of this, it’s important for businesses to follow email marketing best practices and utilize email marketing services.

Modern Email Marketing Best Practices

Gone are the days of blasting out thousands of messages in hopes of getting one or two of them to stick. Today, savvy marketers know how to target the right people and lead them down the path to a sale.

This can be achieved by using the following email marketing best practices: 

1. Go Mobile

The most recent numbers have 66 percent of all email in the United States being read on a mobile device. Optimizing for mobile devices means creating layouts for your messages that are easy to read on little smartphone screens without leaving behind the other 33 percent who use a desktop or laptop computer. The most common solution is a responsive design, which adjusts the email based on the size of the user's screen. 

2. Planning Is Crucial

You need to have a specific goal in mind and then create a path to achieve that goal. Do you want to boost sales? Increase leads? Do you want clicks to a landing page? To your blog? Who are you targeting? How often should you message? Figure all this out before crafting any content.

3. Personalization and Targeting Are Key

One of the biggest roadblocks to success is sending out an irrelevant message. When a potential customer gets a message that appears to be irrelevant, they will assume you are shooting in the dark and will not take future messages seriously. Personalization means more than using someone's first name in your headers; it means really understanding your audience to tailor the content, the offer, the timing and the layout of your messages. When a consumer feels like you are paying attention, they will return the favor.

Jump Right In!

Ready to get started on your email marketing plan or take it to the next level? Register Media, based out of Des Moines, Iowa, can help you develop a strategy that will drive results.  Contact us today to learn how.

Why You Need It: Online Reputation Management

Date: June 08, 2015

The rise of social media and increase in the use of mobile devices have made it easy for customers to share their thoughts and experiences about companies with others online. With this comes a new concern for businesses – online reputation management.

Reviews and social media shares can be a great way for businesses to gain exposure online, but just as praise for a company can go viral, so can negative reviews and comments from unsatisfied customers. Online review management and reputation monitoring help businesses increase the effectiveness of their customer service and improve their brand image.

Why Managing Your Online Reputation is Vital

Edison Research reports that 79% of customers who complain on social media are doing so in order to let their friends know they are dissatisfied with the brand. Though dissatisfied customers are unavoidable, online reputation management offers companies the opportunity to remedy the situation and improve company practices. With this in mind, companies need to monitor what their customers are saying online in order to identify areas for improvement and avoid further negative exposure online.

Online Review Management

Online review management is an important part of managing your company’s online reputation. Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth advertising. Customers often take to review sites like Yelp and Google to voice their opinions and make recommendations, and other customers take these reviews into consideration. According to a survey by BrightLocal in 2014, about 88% of customers take online reviews into account when judging the quality of a local business. With this in mind, businesses need to make online review management a part of their reputation management efforts.

Start Managing Your Online Reputation Today

Is your online reputation in trouble? In other words, do you have tabs on what people are saying about you? The digital team at Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa has experience helping companies like yours monitor and manage their online reputation to improve and maintain a positive brand image. Contact us now to find out more about how we can help you better manage your company’s online reputation.

3 Ways to Boost Generation Y Marketing

Date: May 28, 2015

There has been a shift in marketing to include more of a focus on millennial buyers. According to a report by CEB Iconoculture, the millennial (or “Generation Y”) market is made up of 75.7 million people with $1.68 trillion of estimated purchase power. The spending habits of this group of buyers differs from previous generations as they are less brand obsessed and more cost-conscious. They also value unique experiences and sharing these experiences with friends.

In order to engage and delight this audience, marketers will need to rethink their approach to advertising to create more effective Generation Y marketing that appeals to the values that millennials care about most – passion, sharing, discovery, and diversity.

The following are three ways to make your millennial marketing more effective:

1. Develop useful and shareable content. As one of the most tech-savvy generations, millennials have become quite good at research and love to share information with others. This means that any content you provide should be both useful and shareable. Create content that offers valuable insight in a visual medium that millennials will respond to, like an infographic.

2. Use social media to engage with customers. Millennials respond best to content that doesn’t feel like advertising, and social media is a great place to engage with these tech-savvy buyers. Encourage engagement by asking questions and replying to comments and concerns through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Use a friendly and conversational tone when creating content and offer users a way to provide feedback on your products.

3. Customize the millennial advertising experience. As a generation concerned with unique experiences, millennial buyers want a customized buying experience. Quizzes and contests are a great way to engage this audience because they offer people a unique and engaging experience that they will remember when it comes time to purchase.

Enhance Your Millennial Advertising Strategy

Are you ready to start seeing results from your millennial marketing? Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa helps businesses create strategies that reach and engage this important audience. Contact us today to find out how we can help you better reach the millennial market.

A Business Guide to Surviving “Mobilegeddon”

Date: May 18, 2015

On April 21, Google made an update to its mobile algorithm, which has made mobile-friendly website design no longer optional for companies who want to compete online. “Mobilegeddon,” as some are calling it, has impacted many companies who do not have websites with a responsive design. If your mobile traffic has taken a hit recently, this could be the result of the Google algorithm update.

How Mobilegeddon Could be Affecting Your Business

The Google algorithm change ranks company websites that are optimized for mobile devices higher in search results than those who do not have a mobile-friendly website design. With 60% of online traffic coming from mobile, this fall in mobile search rankings can translate to a significant decline in new customers and revenue.

How to Cope with Google Algorithm Change

The best way to adjust to the changes brought on by Mobilegeddon is to make sure that your company has a mobile-friendly website. You can start this process by taking into account the features that Google tests for, such as text sizes and content that can fit on the screen and be read without scrolling or zooming. Links in your content should also be easy to click on. Also, make sure to not use software that isn’t compatible with many devices, such as Flash video.

By making updates to your website to give it a more responsive design, you are not just appealing to Google - you are also offering a better overall customer experience for mobile users. This helps to keep those customers on your site and encourages them to return in the future.

Need Help Surviving the Mobilegeddon?

Has your web traffic taken a hit as a result of this Google algorithm change? Register Media in Des Moines, Iowa has a team of quality web design and development professionals that are ready to help your company create a more effective and responsive website. Contact us today to see how you can thrive in the wake of Mobilegeddon.

10 Things You Need to Know About Marketing to Baby Boomers

Date: May 13, 2015

In today's marketing sphere, we hear a lot of chatter about Snapchat and Instagram and how to reach Millennials. But what we don’t hear a lot about is how to market to their parents: Americans older than 50. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, make up about 44 percent of the U.S. adult population and control about 70 percent of the country’s disposable income. They’re a real force and a critical component in the U.S. economy – and they shouldn’t be ignored in your business’s marketing strategy for these ten reasons:

1. They’re spending money.
When Boomers enter their retirement years, they go through a unique life transition from making money to spending money. No longer bound by a strict family budget and a 9 to 5 job, they have more money and time to invest in their hobbies and interests, such as shopping, traveling, entertaining, and socializing. 

2. They’re driving technology growth.
Yes, younger generations are typically the first to embrace new technologies but once these technologies go mainstream, Boomers are the ones who drive the growth. They’re using technology in a different way than their counterparts, too. Baby Boomers adopt technology as a way to stay socially and intellectually connected to the contemporary world, as well as maintain their physical youth and appearance. Leveraging this demographic in your marketing strategy is important for the sustainability and longevity of your business model.

3. They’re online.
Each month, 45 to 64 year olds spend an average of 29 hours each month using the Internet on a computer. This makes them the second heaviest users of the web. The bottom line? Baby Boomers are online. They’re searching for products and services online with the intention to buy – are you being found?

4. They’re mobile.
If you think mobile advertising is limited to Millennials and Generation X, think again. In fact, about 89 percent of Boomers have a cellphone – many of whom have completely ditched their landline. Limiting your mobile strategy to younger demographics will exclude an increasingly mobile market.

5. They’re social.
About one-third of all online and social media users are Boomers. They’re a major contributor to the growth of social networking. In fact, from 2011 to 2012, their usage of the social networks nearly doubled to 42 percent. They are just as active in the primary social networks, Facebook and Twitter, and even more active on business-related social networks, such as LinkedIn, compared to the average consumer.

6.They’re watching less video online.
Know your audience. While Boomers spend a large portion of their time online, they spend less of this time watching online video than Millennials and Generation X. When marketing to Boomers, adjust your video marketing budget and reallocate to channels where you’ll capture the right audience. Note: magazine and newspaper consumption, both online and digital, skew older. 

7. They’re living longer.
Many brands put an expiration date on the consumer. But the truth is, most Boomers are not diminished or disabled by age and are still buying and consuming as much as ever. If you sell a generic product, like tissues or toothpaste, there is no reason for you to target younger generations over the older. 

8. They’re brand loyal… sort of.
Here’s what we know about Boomers and their brand loyalty: it’s the same as other age groups. Don’t assume that just because a Boomer’s mother used your brand, he or she will, too. Boomers are generally open-minded and eager to try new things. Assuming Boomer loyalty to your brand is just as risky as assuming they are too stuck in their ways to give it a try.

9. They’re happier.
You might think the older generation lives like their best years are behind them, but studies show people get happier as they age. Marketers must view this demographic as optimistic and spirited consumers who are just as likely, if not more, to actively explore and engage in new activities as newer generations. 

10. They’re often forgotten.
Despite what we know, the value of marketing to Baby Boomers is often overlooked. The AARP reports Baby Boomers alone account for approximately half of all consumer spending, but only 10 percent of marketing dollars are aimed their way. If you’ve not considered this niche group in your marketing strategy, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect and build revenue.

Baby Boomers are actively purchasing and consuming, but it’s your job to meet them where they are. When determining how to market to this important demographic, consider this: compared to the average adult, Baby Boomers in the Des Moines DMA are 33 percent more likely to read a Sunday print edition and 39 percent more likely to read a daily print edition.** 

Register Media is your one-stop marketing solutions organization with the tools and resources to engage the right audience – from young professionals to Baby Boomers and beyond. Tailor your consumer reach by contacting us online today to learn more.

Sources: 
Nielsen BoomAgers
**Scarborough R2 2014 Report in the Des Moines DMA

3 Mobile Advertising Tips That Will Get You More Leads

Date: May 04, 2015

Though mobile marketing was once seen as an optional part of a company’s overall marketing mix, current data suggests that companies who are not emphasizing mobile may be missing out on an important opportunity to reach their customers. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 90% of American adults own a cell phone and 60% of cell phone owners use their phones to access the internet.

As more and more people get connected through their mobile devices, marketers and business owners will need to stay up to date with mobile marketing strategies and trends in order to compete. Stay ahead of the game with these 3 mobile marketing strategies:

1. Move beyond mobile-friendly to mobile-specific.

Most business owners have already begun to make their websites mobile-friendly, but in 2015 this may not be enough. One survey suggests that 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within 1 hour. To experience the benefits of these significant conversion rates, business owners will need to shift their focus from mobile-friendly to mobile-specific design in order to capture and hold the attention of the consumer on the go. With mobile specific design, you essentially create your website from the ground up with mobile devices in mind.

2. Focus on content marketing specifically for mobile.

While the number of mobile users continues to increase, marketers must also begin to create content with this specific consumer in mind. Mobile marketing companies are beginning to increase mobile video advertising as many customers are spending more of their time viewing video content online. In 2013, 40% of YouTube traffic was from mobile users, compared to 6% in 2011. This significant percentage jump shows the power that video content can have in grabbing the mobile user’s attention.

3. Location specific mobile advertising is a must.

A 2014 survey from MarketingLand shows that 72% of mobile users are more likely to take action on an advertisement that is specific to their location. If you are not already utilizing location-specific mobile advertising to connect with consumers in real time, now is the time to start!

Are you interested in harnessing the power of mobile marketing? Register Media, based locally in Des Moines, Iowa, can help you hone your mobile strategy. Contact us today for a free digital audit.

SEO & PPC: Better Together

Date: April 30, 2015

Odds are that you’ve heard of pay-per-click advertising, or PPC. Most marketers are also very familiar with SEO, or search engine optimization. But have you ever thought of putting the two together? Pairing these two strategies can produce incredible results.If you want to understand how to combine SEO with PPC, however, the first thing you have to do is understand how each strategy works to generate leads.

What is SEO?

The main point of SEO is to create useful, high-quality content. Doing so doesn’t just help push your company’s results to the top of a search engine results page—it also helps you to attract and maintain an audience of potential customers.;

It’s important to remember that search engine optimization usually takes a while to produce results. A good campaign can take several months to hit its peak. SEO accelerates over time and builds upon itself, meaning that although these results require patience, they are also long-lasting. 

What is PPC?

PPC campaigns are more immediate. This form of marketing helps you to ensure your ads are only shown to a specific target audience, generally people who search for things related to your business and industry. As the name suggests, you only have to pay the site for hosting your ad when users click on it. A good PPC campaign generates leads and drives traffic to your website.

Quality content on your website is, of course, vital. But in particular, PPC campaigns must offer something compelling to keep the audience on your site after they do click, such as a special offer or interesting article. This will keep them from continuing their search elsewhere. 

How Do They Go Together?

Would you rather have results that are long-lasting, or results that occur quickly? It’s not too much to ask for both, and every company needs the two together. Because it takes a while for SEO to hit its peak, PPC can be used to boost your search results in the meantime.

But even once you get your SEO campaign in full swing, you shouldn’t discard your PPC program—you should run both so they can work together. This provides you with insight into the best keywords you can use, and also ensures that your results will be displayed in both paid and organic results. This helps increase your credibility and ensures your site will reach both the people who are more likely to click on the first links they see as well as the ones who prefer to use organic links.

Together, SEO and PPC can dramatically improve your company’s marketing strategy, but having a team that can help you combine the two is just as important. Register Media has the capabilities to bring your strategy.

Source

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2015/02/07/how-long-does-seo-take-to-start-working/

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