Category

Small Business

How to Use Social Media at Trade Shows and Events

social media management | Prairie Giraffe | Wyoming

You’ve paid your fee’s, rented your tables, you’re purchasing your SWAG, and all your marketing signage is being cranked out by the local print shop. You might think you have all your bases covered, but what is going to drive people to your booth? Is this an “if you build it, they will come” situation?

While you will get a lot of people walking by wouldn’t it be better to get people to stop by and actually look for you because of what they have seen online?

Your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are places for you to let people know what’s going on with you and where you’re going to be. It’s a place for you to connect with your customers and attract new customers. Your channels are a community, not just a series of impersonal ads. Social media is about connection and engagement, not just “impressions”.

With that said you can use social media to reach those who are interested in your business or services or have done business with you in the past. A trade show or event is a perfect opportunity for you to connect with your customers and leads. So follow these tips to drive foot traffic to your booth and create a buzz around your product or services.

 

Before the Event

  1. Find out if the event has a specific hashtag for the event and use it on your Social Channels (ie. #NEWCAHomeShow). A few weeks and up to a month before the show start dropping in the official hashtag for the event into your announcements and posts. Hashtags are a great way to get your posts into a larger community (others using the same hashtag) and get noticed by people who have not liked or interacted with your page.
  2. Like and follow the pages and or social channels for the Event Sponsors, the Event Page (if there is one) and the Location. Such as the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, NEWCA Home Show, and the Camplex. This is a great way to support the event sponsors and get updates about the event.
  3. Share the event on your business page. Let everyone know your booth number and what you will be selling. Linking to the events page or website is also a good idea and with help get the word out to others who may not have known about the event.
  4. Share pictures or videos of what your customers might look forward to seeing from your company at the show (This is a good time to launch a new product or service – start getting people excited).
  5. Take this pre-event time to invite people directly that you would like to see at the show. Visit your email list and send out an invite to past customers and leads, inviting them to come see your booth and let them know what they will be seeing from you there. Also, consider an incentive for these special invites (i.e for those who show the invite at the show, they get a coupon for 10% off, or even something as simple some of your higher end SWAG?)
  6. If you are a B2B business check out your LinkedIn Connections and send an invite to them as well. This can be a great way to get some face time with a decision maker who may have been too busy to come see you otherwise.

 

At the Event

It’s the big day! Don’t lose the momentum you’ve been working hard to create. Keep people interested with the following:

  1. Post a picture of your booth. Make sure to let people know where at the show to find you. Circle your space on the event map and post it with the picture. Make finding you as easy as possible.
  2. Go LIVE! Show your customers what they are missing and what you have to offer. Use Facebook live or Instagram Stories to show people where you are, what you are doing, and talk a little bit about your products and services. This would be a great time to talk about the value your product brings. What makes you different. Chances are some of your competitors are going to be at the show and this is a great way to stand out.
  3. Encourage customers to take pictures of your booth and post it on your page! Offering a small incentive (discount on products or services if they do) or a chance at a prize!
  4. This is a great time to collect “Likes” – a Like can be used as an entry for any raffles you are doing (you could also collect emails as well).
  5. You are going to get busy at the event. Keep the buzz going by scheduling posts, tweets, or updates before the show to post during the show.

 

After the Event

  1. Announce the winners of any drawings in a live video at your location so people know where you are located.
  2. Follow up on emails or leads you collected. Don’t let those leads grow cold. Follow-up with anyone you collected contact information from. This is really an opportunity to impress. Even if someone didn’t have a question, but just gave you their email in exchange for a free gift, send them a thank you for stopping by your booth. This is a great way to remind them of you without being too “salesy” right out of the gate.
  3. And most importantly keep the momentum going – If you generated a lot of new likes don’t lose their interest! Take advantage of all your new followers and keep them engaged with interesting and exciting information about your products or services!

 

These are just a few ideas to help you get the most out of your next Trade Show or Event. Check back for more tips, advice, and strategies and be sure to follow the NEWCA Home Show page on Facebook! Of course, if all of this sounds Greek (or geek) to you, we would love to discuss the ways we can help. 

 

 

How to Focus Your Ads on Real Buyers

adwords | Prairie Giraffe | Wyoming

You set up your first campaigns on AdWords. You researched all the different options. You avoided the pitfall of AdWords Express and you launch your campaign.

You are selling Widgets. The finest Widgets in the industry. You read all the blog posts and know everything there is to know about how to choose the top keywords related to your Widgets.

Your ad copy is great, your call to actions are on point, and from all your research you are pretty sure you will place near the top.

Then something happens:

A month goes by and you aren’t getting as many good leads as you thought you should be getting. You go in and look at your campaigns and everything looks right. You are getting a good number of clicks. People just aren’t buying like you thought they would.

Perplexed you click on the little button labeled Search Terms.

There are searches for “blue widgets”, “red widgets near me”, “widgets for sale”, etc. Further down the page, you start seeing “cheap widgets”, “how to make your own widgets”, “free widgets”, etc.

No Negative Keywords

You have just made an expensive mistake, but an incredibly common one. You didn’t set any negative keywords.

Negative keywords are keywords you don’t want your ads to show for. Some keywords you should add to all of your campaigns if you’re selling a service are:

  • How to
  • Cheap or cheapest
  • where to buy
  • Price

If you’re selling a product:

  • How to
  • Cheap or cheapest
  • Price
  • Make

There are many others but those are good safe words to block right from the start. The goal is to avoid price shoppers so you don’t spend money on people who are not looking to buy. Some you won’t know until it’s too late.

If you are advertising for a restoration company who cleans up smoke damage. You may not know to add “smoking” to your negative keywords, until you get a search for “how does smoking affect your body.”

In this case, you should probably add smoking as a negative keyword and maybe consider changing smoke damage to an exact match or more restrictive match type. You probably just fell victim to broad match and now you are paying $5 for someone who wasn’t even looking for your services.

 

Age and Gender Demographics

Now that you’ve set up some negative keywords and are stopping unwanted clicks from people who aren’t even looking for what your selling. It’s time to go over to campaigns and then demographics.

Look at age and gender. If you own a business that primarily caters to women it may be a good idea to narrow and target your advertising to women.

Or take a look at how old your average conversion is. Some will be Unknown, but there can be some interesting and useful insights. For instance, if it costs $20 to convert a 34-year-old at 12%, but $12 to convert a 60-year-old at 34% CTR.

Armed with this info, you can adjust your bid to increase when dealing with the younger harder to convert demographic. This may not always be a good idea. But, since you know it’s cheaper to convert the 60-year-old you can divert that budget to the harder to convert customer and increase your conversions all around.

Or go the opposite direction. Reduce the bid for the harder to convert audience so your ad moves further down the page. That way you are more likely to only get noticed by those who are really interested in your products or services and are actually reading the copy on the search results.

You don’t want to pay for people who are just clicking on the top of the page.

Location Filtering

Where does your customer live? If you are selling in a particular city you need to limit the locations where your ads will show.

By default, your ads will try to show to the whole US. This is a costly mistake. You will be amazed how fast you can blow through your daily budget by advertising to the entire country when you only work in a small area.

To set this up go to your Campaign and then settings. Then Locations. Enter the location you want to advertise in. Zip code, city, county, state, etc. Don’t forget to save your selection.

 

These are just a few of the options you have to narrow your audience and start attracting more serious buyers. Let us know if you have questions. We’d love to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Page Local SEO Tips You Can Use Right Away

local seo, search engine optimization, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Getting your business “out there” locally.

Building a website is not enough to get your local business in front of local customers searching for your services.

You need good solid SEO to make sure your customers find your content and search engines know what you do and what you’re writing about.

If you’ve dipped your toes into the sea of information about Search Engine Optimization you probably went cross-eyed and had that sinking feeling that accompanies a test you haven’t studied for.

You may also have come across articles informing you that there are some differences between SEO and Local SEO for Small Businesses.

It’s enough to make a grown man cry. But fear not. Rome wasn’t built in a day and this problem can be solved with a few actionable steps.

So where do we start:

1. Start by Optimising Your Logo

Rename your logo file. Include your business name and location in the file name. Don’t forget to add this info to the Alt Tag as well. Remember, search engines can’t read pictures. Don’t neglect your Alt Tags.

2. Add Your Business Details

Make sure you at least have your Name, Address, and Phone Number or NAP on your contact page. We highly recommend adding them to your footer as well so that information can show up on every page and post.

3. A Map and Directions

This might be too simple, but if you want people to visit your business tell them how to get there. And show them with a map.

Most themes have a map module and if they don’t WordPress has tons of plugins to allow you to add a map to your site.

 

4. Page Titles and Descriptions

Page titles are a great place to sneak in your location. Leaving your title as “home page” is a wasted opportunity. Descriptions are another place you can include your locations as well as your services.

 

5. Content and Links

Make sure the information you are including on your pages and content is useful. Don’t stuff keywords. Google is not buying your products. People who have a problem they need to be solved are.

Write for them. And, while you’re writing for them you should include links to other useful information and other local businesses. The goal is to solve problems for customers and bring value. Not impress Google.

 

6. Language and Geo-tags

Let search engines know you are in the US. It’s important to not leave them guessing.

 

7. Dive into Schema

Schema.org markup tells search engines what you provide, what your page is about, where you are located, which image is your logo, etc. It’s important to know it make sure you have the correct information marked up.

 

8. Present Your Team

Have your team on your website. Chances are if you’re a local company your key employees are from near where your company operates. Their names are associated with your region.

 

9. Local News and Announcements

Are you holding a seminar, offering a new product or service? Make sure you include them on your website.

Also,

Link to your social posts and be sure to drive traffic to your site with those posts.

 

In Conclusion:

Some of these tips may be too much for you to put to work. Schema markup can be confusing and Schema.org was created for geeks and not business owners.

So if you can’t get all these put to work, focus on the following:

  1. Say where you are based
  2. Say who you are and what you do.
  3. Use your location in page titles.
  4. Rename your image files with information relevant to your business and location.

Once you have this done, head over to Schema.org and try to do the same thing using Schema markup. Remember though, you are writing for people.

If all else fails, talk about what you do, where you are located, and solve problems.
(click to tweet)

If all of this sounds like greek to you drop us a line. We would be happy to help you get your local SEO headed in the right direction.

Why you need Managed WordPress Hosting

managed wordpress hosting, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

If you have a WordPress website or are thinking about creating a website you have probably run across the term Managed WordPress Hosting. You may have noticed it seems to cost significantly more with little explanation. We wanted to expound on the difference and which one you should probably choose.

Most of the low end hosting you may have seen during your search for the perfect host is Shared Hosting. These hosts keep costs down by packing as many sites as possible onto their servers. If your site is small with not much traffic (as most sites are in the beginning) this option may be a good solution.

When should you consider moving?

Let’s get this out there right away, we recommend moving to a Managed WordPress Solution if your website is tied to your lively hood. If you are making money from your website you need professionals watching your back. Making sure that if the unthinkable happens you are back up in no time.

The purpose of Managed WordPress Hosting is to give you a completely hassle-free hosting experience so you can focus on running your business. Here are just a few of the advantages of Managed WordPress.

 

Speed

Speed is more important than ever. Especially since 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. With professionals Managing your WordPress core, updates, backups, caching and more you know your site will stay snappy.

 

Security

Cheap shared hosting requires your constant attention to keep your site backed up and updated. With Managed WordPress Hosting your site’s security is constantly monitored and if something should get through your site is restored for free.

Did you know most “hacks” happen when your CMS is out of date? Check out this article from Cloud Living explaining why you should always keep WordPress and any other CMS you might be using updated. With Managed WordPress Hosting, WordPress is updated and backed up automatically every night.

Completely Optimized

Database, WordPress, CDN, everything is optimized to run as fast and securely as possible. No more worrying about what you don’t know.  In addition to maintenance and upkeep, Managed WordPress servers are specifically configured for WordPress.

 

Dedicated Resources

Unlike cheaper shared hosting plans you have the dedicated resources of a VPS Server. Your site will not be packed in with hundreds or even thousands of other websites all fighting for the same resources.

 

Guaranteed Uptimes

Your server is managed. Someone is always watching to make sure your site doesn’t go down. Even if you should suddenly have a surge of traffic. With most shared hosting plans you are looking at your site being shut down, crashing, or being charged high overages if you exceed your allowances for site visits.

 

Who doesn’t need Managed WordPress Hosting?

If you have a small hobby blog or are just starting out with WordPress you really don’t need Managed Hosting. We would recommend signing up with SiteGround instead. They have amazing customer service (seriously, just Google it and see for yourself) and affordable rates for those who are just getting started. Once you outgrow their service or start earning a living off your WordPress site then move over to a managed solution.

The one exception would be eCommerce. This also ties back to the beginning when we said: “if your website being tied to your lively hood.” If you’re going to be making money off of your website we highly recommend going with a Managed WordPress plan from the start.

Have questions or need more information? Contact us about Managed WordPress or any other Hosting question you may have. We’d love to help.

 

🙂

 

 

4 Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Facebook Ads

facebook ads, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

How do you follow your favorite stores online? You go to Facebook and Like their page. You love the videos they share of their latest products or creating a something amazing or delicious. You feel closer to those businesses, develop a relationship, and engage with them more than other businesses who don’t make the effort to share their activities and day to day with you.

Who stays top of mind with you? A local company who exclusively advertises on Google or a business who has an active Facebook page and uses ads to target those who have interest in what they sell? The answer, of course, is the latter.

Customers are going to use Google to find solutions to an immediate need. However, Facebook is a great place to develop the long-term relationships that will pay off with return business and connections to the larger community in your industry. Facebook is the people ask their friends who they recommend. You want to be on there and ready to be recommended by those you have done a good job for in the past.

We have gone down this rabbit trail enough. This is not a post about why you should be using Facebook. This is a post about why you should be putting ads on Facebook. Here are just a few of the reasons you should be advertising on Facebook.

 

1. Your customers are on Facebook

Facebook is where people are at. Facebook boasts over one billion active users. If you’re trying to reach a particular group of people they are most likely on Facebook.

 

2. Target people in your area or who are interested in your products

Facebook ads can target people who are interested in your products and services. While these are not warm leads they are not cold either. This is far better than cold calling and other methods which are intrusive and can leave a bad taste in peoples mouths.

For a local company being able to target customers Geographically is huge. Being able to target an area within a certain distance of your shop and combine that with interest or affinity targeting will really help bring in the leads.

 

3. Charts and graphs

Facebook ad results are tracked. Using insights on your page and Facebook Ads Manager you can see exactly how your ads are doing. Who’s looking at them? Clicks, likes, reach, cost per engagement. All these metrics let you make decisions moving forward and let you see if your ads are working.

Ad’s without analytics are not nearly as effective. Stabbing in the dark is not a good use of your money. Not satisfied with the results tracking from Facebook? Connect your Facebook ads to Google Analytics and see even more details. Here’s an article from Social Media Examiner on how to do it.

 

4. Keep customers coming back

Facebook is a great way to keep your customers informed on what you are doing and why they should come back. Ads can target those who have already shown interest in your Facebook page and visited your website.

Using Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, you’ll install a snippet of code on your website that will place a cookie on the computers of those who visit your site. With this installed on your site, the code will send information back to Facebook about which pages were viewed on your site by a specific visitor.

-acquisio.com

Building custom audiences helps move people through your funnel and closer to a decision to buy.

Facebook ads should be part of your inbound marketing strategy and are one of the most affordable options for online advertising. Contact us if you need help getting started or just don’t have time to create ads but know you need to. We’d love to help.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Social Media Manager

Social Media Management, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Have you ever gone to your favorite bagel shop’s Facebook page expecting a lively page wishing you a happy (insert holiday 🙂 and maybe some specials, a few posts on how to prepare your favorite bagel from home, and other useful info? Only to find a ghost town.

It’s disappointing. Today we even expect our dentist to have an active social media channel. We want to see if they are closed the Friday before Christmas. We love to be able to ask if they accept our insurance or if they recommend a certain type of toothpaste. We want to feel connected.

It’s Not Just You

If you are not managing your social media channels you belong to a large club. There are an astounding number of businesses who started a Facebook page, posted some obligatory test posts, and never looked back.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to miss out on all those opportunities to make a good impression on your potential customers. You can engage with your current customers and remind them why they want to come back.

You need a Social Media Manager.

 

Not an intern or someone’s son who spends entirely too much time on Reddit. You need someone who understands that while you want an active page you are a business and need to do more than entertain (unless your business is entertainment). You need to stay top of mind with customers and you need your posts to help establish and maintain a relationship. Here are some of our top reasons you need a Social Media Manager:

 

We Come Up With New Content.

You need fresh content and you need to stay on brand. Your social media manager should gather what you want to say. Events, sales, services, company BBQ’s, whatever, and create the posts to promote your events and business.

 

We Give You Back Your Time.

Creating all that content takes time. A good Social Media Manager will take the burden of planning, creating, and posting. Giving you back hours of time each week, while making sure your business stays top of mind for your customers and potential customers.

 

We Help You Establish Your Business As An Authority

When people see you have an active social media presence where you are sharing the day to day of your business as well as providing value to your community you show you are an authority in your industry. It’s a great way to show you know what you’re talking about without being arrogant.

Increase Engagement From Your Followers

Social Media Managers keep an eye on and help facilitate an active social media page which will encourage engagement from your followers. Likes, shares, comments. All of these things come from an active channel with followers who come to you to solve their problems.

 

Attract New Customers

Ultimately what all this comes down to is a Social Media Manager is there to help you attract new customers. We’ve gone over how you either don’t have the time or don’t want to spend the time crafting content and strategizing campaigns. However, you need to Establish Authority and Increase Engagement.

 

Where Do I Start?

The items in this list are necessary to help you grow in the modern world where your online presence is just as important, if not more important, than your storefront. Your Social Media Manager can help take this burden off your plate and spend the time to get you on the right track. Our goal is to communicate to your audience what you want to say.

If you’re ready to stop waiting for someday and start getting your Social Media Channels attracting new business contact us. We’d love to help you get noticed and stay top of mind. 

What is Google My Business

google my business, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

 

Have you ever Googled your business or one of your services? You open your browser, type in your top service, then bang, right there in .0068 seconds your competitor across town pops up. 

It’s frustrating. You know you know you have this service listed on your site. You know you have it linked to from various citations around the web. You know you put in headers and that the keywords are on the page. But still, right at the top is a list of 3 other businesses ahead of yours.

 

Google is trying to help ….. really.

You see this is where Google is trying to be helpful for its end users, and where you can be left behind. Even if your SEO is great, if you haven’t listed your business on Google My Business you will be behind your competitors. Google is trying to show its users relevant businesses that perform the service you searched for from local businesses. We find that a lot of times distance is the tiebreaker as well. Which is great. If two businesses are equally matched then the distance I have to drive to get there is going to be a big factor in me having a good experience or not.

 

Now Google may eventually pick up on who you are, where you are, all that but this is your chance to tell Google through their My Business product what you do, where you are located, hours, and more. This is your “listing” on Google itself. It’s your chance to say what you do and not leave it up to the interpretation of indexing robot spiders.

 

So how do I get started?

 

Signing up is relatively easy. Just head over to Google and Search My Business. Or go Here.

 

google my business

 

Go to start now and Google will walk you through their sign up process. If you already have a Google account you would click Sign In. Either way, if you try to sign up twice, Google will pick up on it and direct you to the correct gateway.

 

Once you are signed up it’s time to enter information about your business. They start with Name, Country, Street Address, Etc. If you have a service business without a physical storefront you are going to want to click the box at the bottom that says “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location”  that way Google will list you as having a service area and not start sending people to your house.

google my business information

 

Once your information has been entered you hit continue. If you checked that you have a service area you will then drop a pin on the map and set that area’s size and scope.

If you have a service area and a physical storefront of some kind you set that on the next page as well.

 

google my business prairie giraffe

 

Now it’s time to verify your business.

Google want’s to be sure you actually exist. One sure fire way of getting that done is to send you a postcard. This postcard will have a code on it that you will have to enter into your My Business account on the location you just created under Verify. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to receive the card. Once you receive it that verification process is easy.

 

prairie giraffe my business

 

Once you verify your business it’s time to input your information

 

prairie giraffe marketing

 

On the left-hand side, you will see a menu where you can enter your info, see insights, reviews left on Google, create posts and message clients. We will go over messaging clients and creating posts in a future post. For now, just enter your business info. This is where you can give Google as much information as you want. You can upload pictures of your company and employees in action, enter your hours, what you do, different services you offer. You can even access your Analytics and AdWords Express accounts (if you choose to go with Express, which we recommend you not).

 

Taking back control

 

What it comes down to is Google My Business will actually give you a sense of control over your business. SEO, SEM, and how your website was built can be really overwhelming. Even Google Analytics can be a bit much. Google My Business is the place where you can simply state what your business does and see how you’re doing out there. It’s also a great place to create posts and let your customers and potential customers know if you have a sale going on. All of these things let gain some control of your online presence and move forward with confidence.

 

Need help setting up your Google My Business Account? We would love to help! Drop us a line or give us a call. We can get you set up in no time.

Creating Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing

inbound marketing, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Imagine sitting down at your computer and writing. You write an amazing how to blog post. It’s just the right length, you address a problem with directional drilling, you identify the underlying cause of this particular issue with directional drilling, and you provide a solution to solve this problem.

The solution sells for $150,000, which is 10% less than your nearest competitor, and our solution can be implemented in half the time.

It’s a guaranteed win. You are a content marketing superstar and will go down in history as an energy industry genius/tycoon.

You then click publish and go live with this amazing piece of content on americangirlblog.com. A blog for young girls and collectors of the American Girl Doll.

 

Know Your Audience

 

This sounds ridiculous. But, how many of us are doing this same thing by not knowing who our customer really is? As foolish as it is to sell expensive high-end drilling equipment to 11-year-old girls, it is also foolish to try to solve problems your customers don’t have or sell products your customers don’t want.

We need to know who our customer is and how to reach them. How old are they? Where do they spend their free time? Where do they look for the solutions to their problems?

Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to be where they are looking, grab their attention, and solve their problem.

 

No… You Really Need To Know Your Customer

 

Many business owners have a problem with either not knowing who their customer is or assuming their customer is just like them. Yes, many businesses are started by scratching your own itch. However, times change and sometimes we don’t remember what it’s like to not have the answer.

Luckily this is a day in age where we can learn what our customers are looking for. What are their problems? What do they search when they are trying to solve those issues.

 

Creating Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing

 

The solution is creating Buyer Personas. A Buyer Persona is a profile for a fictional customer that is based on fact.

Create your Buyer Persona by looking at your customers or potential customers and answering the following questions:

Who exactly are your customers and what specific problem are you solving for them?

What are they trying to achieve:
Name:
Age:
Gender:
Address:
Occupation:
Married (Y/N):
Children (Y/N):
The specific problem you can help with:

5 Places they spend their time online/offline to resolve this problem:

 

You may be tempted to try to solve more than one specific problem, but let’s just stick to one for now.

Go ahead and copy the questions into a Google Doc. Then start answering. Answer the questions as completely as possible. Some of these questions may not seem important. “Why do I need to know that my customer is married?” Well, there are a few reasons.

For one, do you need to target your customer or your customer’s spouse?

 

Digging Deeper, Getting Creative, Overcoming Obstacles.

 

What if you don’t know some of these answers? What if you haven’t sold anything yet?

Then I would start in places people ask questions. Some good places to start are Quora.com or Facebook.

Start with Quora and type your service or product.

marketing prairie giraffe

 

In this example, you are a house painter. Here you can see what potential customers are asking, where they are and what they are looking for. Looks like they are asking where they can find you and how much you charge. This is good to know because you can come right out of the gate answering these questions on your website.

Facebook is another great source. Typing in your product or services will reveal some of your competitors and who follows them, groups you can join full of information that pertains to your business, and public posts from people talking about your industry. From there you can see profiles, which go along way to helping you accurately and factually answer the questions on your Buyer Persona.

If you already have an active business page on Facebook then head over to Insights and go to “People” on the left. There you can see valuable demographics on who has been visiting your page, how old they are, where they live, gender, and more.

 

inbound marketing prairie giraffe

 

Once you have your first Buyer Persona completed create another, and another, and another if necessary. You want to get a complete picture of who your customers are for each product or service you sell. Now that you have your Buyer Personas completed you can start targetting your website, content, marketing, videos, social media, and anything else to that buyer.

Tying back into your inbound marketing, this is a lot better than stabbing in the dark and hoping you get it right. Or having to go back to cold calling and hoping you resonate with the person on the other end. Who wants to do that.

Do you need to create Buyer Personas for your business but don’t have time? Contact us. We would love to sit down and create your Buyer Personas for you so you can start reaching the right people and moving some product.

 

 

 

HTTPS vs HTTP Why Your Website Needs an SSL

ssl encryption, SSL, site security, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Secured vs Unsecured

 

This is an oversimplification, but to get us started. If your site has HTTPS in front of your URL, then your website has an SSL/TSL certificate and the traffic between your server and the end users browser is encrypted. If your address starts with HTTP, then it is not.

Google Chrome and other browsers have started to warn users that the sites they are visiting are not secure. If your end user (or yourself) transmits sensitive or private data between their computer and your server, that data can be grabbed by anyone between them and the server and stolen. The information will not be encrypted and can be read by whoever is intercepting that information.

This all sounds scary and it kind of is. Chances are you are not trying to get your customers identity stolen. You are probably just trying to take online orders for cakes, cards, or widgets of some kind. However, by asking for the data, you should know the risks and how to keep your customers safe.

 

Security is Important to Google

Now, why does that matter to you? (beyond the risks to your customers)

Google started “shaming” sites that do not use Encryption. The browser will call you out and give the user an explanation of what about your site is insecure. Whether it’s mixed content (a mixture of Secure and Insecure content) or you are missing an SSL altogether.

 

non encrypted site security

 

Motherboard has a great article on the coming “shaming” from Google and what it means for you.

Google made this announcement back in September 2016. You can read that here. There is a lot to digest in both of these articles, but if you have nothing better to do or you need something to put you to sleep they are great reading.

 

 

 

While above is the current examples of the treatment of HTTP pages with passwords or credit card form fields, and below is where they are moving to. As you can see your customers will know when their information is at risk. All the more reason to install an SSL and secure your site.

 

 

SSL Now Affects SEO

Ever since this announcement, encrypted sites have been gaining an edge over their nonencrypted competitors.  Neil Patel explains SSL and it’s implications for your site and traffic here.

If you had any doubts about securing your site those will be gone after reading Neils post. You don’t want all your hard work and money to go out the window. You need your efforts to be seen by search engines as safe so they can get in front of your audience.

We will go over installing an SSL in another post. Installing a certificate is not as simple as turning on a switch on your website. There are things to consider. Do you have a multisite network with subdomains were a wildcard certificate is required? What level of security do you need?

Need help making the transition? Not sure where to start? We would be happy to discuss your options with you. Just leave a comment below or reach out to us.

Have you already made the transition to a secure site? What issues did you encounter?

Update:

PixelPrivacy is a great company who wrote a guide on SSL and HTTPS. They have awesome guides for all types of web related security. Check out their guides and let them know what you think.

Content Marketing Fundamentals

social media marketing, Social Media Management, consulting, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Creating content for Social Media

Creating content for Social Media with the purpose of marketing your product or business? Here are a few fundamentals…

First thing’s first. You need a Marketing Content Strategy. Just posting willy-nilly without a plan isn’t effective and doesn’t help you accomplish your goals. A little bit of planning will help you convert followers into customers. The first step in developing a Content Strategy is understanding your business goals as a whole. Here’s a Content Strategy Walkthrough from Hootsuite that could help you get started. 

Starting from there you can begin to brainstorm how Social Media can help you accomplish those goals. Then comes the planning – who is the audience, what do they want to see, what are we going to say and when should we post, what is our budget for boosting these posts? Finally the execution of actually creating the post and scheduling them. If you need help with creation, design or scheduling we can help.

 

Reviewing your results and process is a must!

A key part of your strategy should be a review of the process and the results of your posts. Ask your team question like how did the process go, what could have made it easier or faster for the next time, and analyze that data. Did your content create sales, did you gain new followers, did it generate dialogue between you and your followers? From what you learn, adjust your strategy accordingly.

Also, remember is that you want to have variety so your followers aren’t seeing the same format over and over and tune you out. You can mix up the medium you use – you can use videos for one post and a great image for another, or maybe a link to your blog for another. While you want to make sure you have brand consistency you don’t want all of your post looking cookie cutter.

 

Content Types

Another way to add variety to your content marketing is the type of content you post. Three great content types to rotate through are:

  1. Relevant – Is what your marketing important for the now (Do you sell candy and they make great stocking stuffers? That would be a great post for November or December)
  2. Valuable- Do you have a special going on?
  3. Educational – Why does your customer need your product or service? How can you educate your followers?

By rotating through these content types you can make sure you are creating and maintaining value for your audience. Providing value is what lets you keep their attention, build trust, and eventually sell your product. People will naturally gravitate towards the businesses that have helped them out in the past, especially when that business didn’t gain anything from the transaction (immediately). If you help someone or attempt to help someone, by providing valuable information, they are far more likely to return to you for more solutions and pay for them, than if you just tried to sell to them.