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Tips for Successful Content Marketing

Google and social media platforms (like Facebook) continue to change their algorithms, making it increasingly difficult for a company to reach its audience. Stellar Content marketing can help your company jump some of the hurdles. In fact, Google and Facebook often reward companies with great content. That’s why it’s critical for companies to provide valuable and informative content on their website and social media pages.

 

If you’re struggling to create killer content, follow these tips to help guide you in creating successful content for your company:

Engage with your followers. You’ve probably heard it many times: engagement is crucial for online marketing success. Here’s why: 

 

  • - Part of the algorithm Facebook put in place that decides how many and who of your followers sees a post has to do with how much engagement your post receives. The more people like, comment on, or share your post, the more people will see your post.
  • - Engagement builds trust and loyalty among your audience when you add personality to your company. Add personality by engaging with your audience through conversations and various interactions and not simply posting about your products or serves. This causes people to connect with your brand as if it is a person, and not simply a product or service. You have a much better chance of selling a product or service to someone who trusts you.
  • - Engaging with your audience makes people feel like they’re more than just another dollar in the bank account. People like to feel important, especially by brands they love. So start paying more attention to your audience. Share and like their posts, comments, Tweets, etc.
 

Establish thought leadership. Position your company as a thought leader that provides valuable resources to its audience. Highlighting yourself as an expert in your industry will draw your audience to you. Instead of going straight to Google for information about your industry, people will start going to your website, blog, and following your social media pages to learn industry trends, tips and tricks, and more.

 

Keep it fresh. Keep your content fresh by incorporating new and a variety of content for your customers to read and engage with. Consider mixing up your weekly posts with a guest post or a live product/service demo. Be sure to post on special holidays and incorporate seasonal content into your posts. Use catchy images and high-quality graphics to keep your page looking fresh and not like spam. Incorporate monthly themes, where you focus on certain topics each month, educating your audience beyond their expectations about each topic (thought-leadership!). 

 

Be authentic. With the growth of the Internet and social media platforms, it has become increasingly important to be authentic. Advertising your product, service, or company falsely will always come to light through reviews and comments from customers. Your audience is far more informed than you think, and they will call out a scam without hesitation. One of the top influencers on the web, Neil Patel, put it best when he said, “Authentic businesses inspire and prosper”. Neil Patel advises people to be authentic by:

 

  • - Being real, charitable, consistent, responsive (See, we told you engagement was part of the key), and accountable (If you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to admit it and apologize to your customer)
  • - Providing statistics and facts to back up what you say
  • - Respecting the privacy of your customers
  • - Telling your true brand story
  • - Highlighting your good reputation
 

Engage with your followers. Establish thought leadership. Keep it fresh. Be authentic. Each of these tips will help you create a better content marketing strategy to help your company grow. In combination, these tips will help your company soar!  So, give it a try, and if you’re still struggling, give us a call! We’re here to help you create content and manage your digital marketing in a way that will capture the attention of your audience.

 

 

RELATED: 

Should You Outsource Your Business Blogging? 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


5 Tips for Instagram Success

With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram is the largest and fastest growing social media platform for sharing videos and photos. 60% of users learn about new products directly through Instagram, 70% of users look up a brand on Instagram, more than 200 million users visit a business profile at least once a day, and if you don’t have an active Instagram account, you might be missing out on a lot of business.

 

According to Forrester, companies that are on Instagram have a 4.21% engagement rate, which is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter. Whoa! That’s a lot of engagement, and it’s pretty remarkable for something launched only 9 years ago to be growing so quickly.

The importance of having, and maintaining, and Instagram account to reach more customers can no longer be ignored. But, how do you get started? How can your company break through the millions of content being posted to Instagram every day and increase your business? Here are some helpful tips to start implementing today:

 

1. Start with a Strategy - You have goals for your business, and you should have goals for everything you do in support of your business, including social media. A social media strategy defines how your company will use social media to achieve its communication goals. At the very least, it can be a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals, measurable objectives for using the platform, and the target outcomes you wish to accomplish. It’s critical to start with an Instagram strategy; otherwise you’ll waste precious time and money posting with no end goal in mind, nothing to measure your success, and nothing to improve upon. 

 

2. Upgrade your Instagram account to a business profile – If you don’t already have a business profile for Instagram, it’s pretty easy to set up. First, sign up with a business email so your Instagram profile isn’t linked to your personal Facebook account. Next, follow the prompted instructions on Instagram to enter your account details. After you have completed your account set up, switch to a business profile. Just go to Settings -> Account -> Switch to Business Profile. It will then have you confirm your Facebook business page and update your Instagram account for you.

 

Upgrading your Instagram account from a personal to a business profile will give you insights into your audience that will help you reach them more effectively. You will be able to see how many people you reach on average, what posts are the post popular, what time of day your followers are most likely to be on Instagram and see your posts, and more. This is very important to guide you in adjusting your strategy for the best results. 

 

3. Know how often and what type of content to post (quality over quantity) – This section could be the most important to your Instagram account success. Knowing how often and what type of content to post can be tricky. However, if followed well, these tips should help your Instagram improve.

The purpose of Instagram is to create visual inspiration for your followers. Therefore, following the rule “Quality over Quantity” is extremely important. It may seem like it’s better to post 3x per day for more engagement and followers. However, if you are posting poor content with low-quality images or videos, you might as well forget it. Utilize your Instagram account to tell the story of your brand in an ascetically pleasing way, even if you only post 2x per week. It’s far better to post less often and have high-quality images and videos than to post more often with low-quality work that will make your company look cheap and turn people off.

 

The amount of posts you make per week should also be taken into consideration when you are creating a strategy for your social media. You should never approach a week with no plan for your posts, or with a plan in mind to “just post what comes to you” because often times, you’ll get busy and forget to post. Planning monthly and creating a content calendar can help take the stress off of you. 

It may surprise you to know, major brands post on Instagram on average 1.5 times per day. You should aim to post 1-3 times per day. An extremely important tip is to utilize your business profile to its full extend by digging into your insights and figuring out when your followers are on Instagram. You can adjust your strategy to post on the days and during the times your followers are most active. For example, if you find most of your followers are extremely active on Wednesdays at 7 AM and 9 PM, you should aim to post every Wednesday at 7 AM and 9 PM to reach the most people.

 

4. Post User-Generated Content – One of the easiest ways to keep posts running on your Instagram account, or even on your Instagram story, is to post user-generated content (UGC). In fact, 86% of Millennials say that USC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand, and 68% of social media users between the ages of 18 and 14 take into account UGC shared on social media while considering following a brand. 

UGC is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors or followers. This refers to images, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, etc… where your followers promote your brand. Followers like UGC because it puts the customer front and center and makes your brand more about them. Just be sure to ask permission from the original poster before reposting. 

 

5. Always add a compelling CTA - CTAs (Call-To-Action) direct people into what they should do after seeing your post. The key is to be as creative as you can in order to make people take action. A few CTAs to consider in your next post: ask people to tag a friend, make a comment, give your company a call, repost your post, fill out forms to get exclusive discounts, etc.

These tips should help your Instagram account improve. But, remember… gaining followers and seeing a ROI takes time. If you need help, the team at BIS Design’s is always here for you! Just give us a call to discuss your needs.

 

RELATED: 

Algorithms: How Each Platform Keeps You Engaged 

   

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Stay On Top: SEO in 2019

Hello, 2019! It’s a New Year, which means it’s time to get ahead of the competition and on top of your search engine optimization (SEO). In the next few minutes, we’ll cover these five topics to get you thinking about improving your SEO strategy: Mobile-first indexing, page speed, thought-provoking content, featured snippets, and RankBrain.

1. Mobile-first indexing

As of March 2018, Google started rolling out what they call “mobile-first indexing”. In 2019, this concept will become even more relevant as mobile users rise and Google adapts mobile-first indexing to more and more websites.

Searches on desktops are declining, driving the pressing need for appropriate indexing based on the mobile versions of websites. Due to this, mobile-first indexing was created with the intention of helping mobile users easily find what they’re looking for. So, what does this mean for you? Should you completely disregard the desktop version of your website and solely focus on the mobile? The simple answer is no. Both your desktop and mobile versions will come into play in the New Year. This is why Google’s new strategy is called mobile-first indexing, not mobile-only indexing.

In order to avoid negatively impacting your rankings, ensure your mobile and desktop versions are developed with quick loading times and optimized images and content. It’s important not to sacrifice your desktop version for your mobile version, or vise versa.  

2. Page speed

In the new mobile-first index, page speed has become a huge ranking factor, primarily impacting pages that deliver the slowest experience to users on mobile versions. Slow loading speeds cause users to bounce from 32-90% as page load times increase from 1-5 seconds. Research has shown, consumers don’t like to wait for content, especially while on their mobile devices.

How can you increase your page speed? There are three easy steps you can take to increase your speed. First, you can conduct a page speed test using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Next, take into account the size of your pages; many sites are loaded down with too much information, making it difficult to process. Cutting down on the bulk will help your speed improve. Third, contact your web/SEO expert, like us! We can help determine what steps you should take to improve your page speed (and overall SEO). 

3. Thought-provoking content

It’s time to stop creating content for the sake of creating content. Focus on creating content that solves a problem by offering advice, motivation, and engagement for your customer. Creating exceptional content shouldn’t be forgotten and will likely always be an important key to improving your SEO. Exceptional content keeps people wanting more, bringing them back to your site.

4. Featured Snippets

A featured snippet is a short summary to a user’s search displayed on top of Google search results. The image below is a snippet, and trust us, it’s where you want your website to appear when consumers search for a service or product.

By using snippets effectively, you can maximize your authority, prove that Google chooses your page over competitors, and increase your traffic. You can earn a featured snippet by analyzing keyword opportunities and implementing them into your site, creating strategic content, having a Q&A section on your website, clearly outlining your subheadings, lists, tables, etc., and polishing up any existing snippets.

5. RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm that works alongside Google’s current algorithm, Hummingbird, to improve Google’s search engine by learning and identifying patterns and interpreting unknown search strings. Machine learning is what happens when a computer learns by experience, and that’s exactly what RankBrain does. It intelligently gathers users habits and needs to direct them to the most useful content for their search. It works by taking segments of the entire search and relating them to the most popular searches with those related terms, and as people click on their desired result, RankBrain grows in its search knowledge. RankBrain affects how Google ranks search results. It learns which results are relevant and pushes them to the top.

According to Google, RankBrain is the third most important factor in SEO, after content and links. The key to overcoming RankBrain is to provide users with a positive experience through easy-to-navigate, detailed, and quality content to optimize your site.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the slough of information and ever-changing world of SEO, don’t stress! We’re here to keep you abreast of the changes, and help you implement them into your website structure.

 

RELATED: 

Mobile-Responsive Web Design and Why Your Business Needs it

 


Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Should You Outsource Your Business Blogging?

You may have noticed the blog trend that is ruling the cyber world from Google to social media.  Whether it is fashion influencers or tech gurus and travel enthusiasts, blogging is a trend that continues to grow each year.

 

How does this relate to your business? Blogging is a way to share your expertise and knowledge with your target audience.  In doing so, you are 1) helping to provide information needed by your potential customer and 2) demonstrating your expertise on the subject which in turn keeps the customer coming back to you for further assistance.  You are building trust with your potential customers/clients and this results in more leads for your business. Having well-written and updated blog content on your website also strengthens your relationship with Google which boosts your rankings in search results. 

 

Now that you know why you need a business blog, let’s talk about how you’ll find the time to add this task to your agenda.

 

It is common for small and medium sized businesses to outsource business functions like payroll, human resources, accounting and more to keep the organization lean and flexible.  Outsourcing blog writing? This might seem more challenging – after all, your blog is the voice of your business and a critical part of your content marketing strategy.

 

It is definitely possible to outsource blog posts, and do it well.  Below are two of the most common questions we get here at BIS Designs about blogging:

 

Question 1: Can an outsourced blog writer really capture my tone/style/business personality?

 

Writing is personal and every business feels like they have a unique tone or style they’re looking to capture in their blog.  The very concept of outsourcing might feel like it will cause you to lose some of your business’s personality.

 

Solution:  Take time to educate your writer.  We’ve all heard it, “you get what you put in”, and in this case, it is definitely true. A good writer will research and educate themselves as much as possible but to keep your business personality/style/tone the same, you’ll need to give some details on what makes your business stand out from your competitor.

 

Question 2: Where will the blog content come from?

 

If you give your writer nothing to work with, you get nothing in return worth reading. It’s that simple. You are the subject matter expert for your business. A good outsourced writer will bring your expertise to light in a readable way.  If you’ll provide more information and direction, you’ll get more of what you expect from your writer and overall blog content strategy.

 

Solution: Make a list of topics.  Whether you do this once a month or once a quarter – take the time to send a few topics to your writer. Once your blog writer has a list of topics, he/she can now get started on the time-consuming part of the project - creating engaging content.  The few minutes that you spend concentrating on topics will help to keep your business personality/tone/style alive on your website.

A big perk of outsourcing your business blog writing is that your new writer will bring fresh ideas to the table.  This simply adds new insights that can make your blog better.

 

Fun Fact: The average blog post takes 3 hours 20 minutes to write and the most engaged blog content on the web now has 41% more words than it did 3 years ago. 

 

If you have a blog on your website that you simply don’t have time to keep up or you would like to add a blog to your website but aren’t sure where to start, give us a call! Outsourcing to a local company who can meet with you face-to-face to discuss your marketing goals is a great way to start the new season.

 

RELATED:

5 Benefits of Business Blogging

 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Responsive Web Design and Why Your Business Needs It

Our customers use any number of difference devices to surf the web, including laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.  It has become increasingly important to provide a seamless experience to potential customers no matter what device they are using, your business website needs to be built with responsive web design in mind.

What is responsive web design? And why is it such an important part of your overall digital marketing strategy? Here’s what you need to know on the subject.

Responsive Web Design

A website that utilizes responsive web design will automatically resize depending on the type of device being used to access the site.

Responsive websites intuitively respond to the type of device being used and adjust the layout of a website accordingly, information is more easily accessible and the user experience is much more enjoyable.  No more scroll bars, no more pinching and squeezing to be able to read content and no more separate mobile sites.  Think beautiful, clean websites that are easy to read and navigate on any device.

The Importance of Responsive Web Design

Are you thinking of updating or building a new website for your business? Make sure you go with a web designer (like BIS Designs) that knows how to create responsive web designs.  Here’s why:

Consumers steer clear from websites that aren’t mobile friendly. 57% of mobile users say they won’t recommend a business that has a poor user experience on their smartphones.  Today, mobile users account for nearly half the internet traffic and online shopping, browsing and researching is the new favorite past-time.  If it takes too long to navigate or load a website, the consumer will move on to your competitor.  The key is to be accessible, no matter what device is being used.

You have a limited amount of time to catch a consumer’s attention.  Websites that don’t load within 9 seconds are considered to be low quality and if the site does not fit the screen of a user's smartphone, making it more difficult to navigate, the consumer will leave your site without engaging, and more importantly, no conversion. 

Also important to keep in mind, the higher quality your website, the more stock goes on in SEO.  Google is impressed by a responsive design and knows it creates a better user experience, which in turn puts your business higher in the rankings. 

Here at BIS Designs, we’ve made it our business to create high quality, responsive and seamless websites for our clients, no matter their industry.  Let us improve your customers’ online experience when they visit your website!

RELATED: 

5 Benefits of Business Blogging 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Algorithms: How Each Social Platform Keeps You Engaged

The social media marketing discussion is now dominated by algorithms – almost everywhere you engage, within almost every platform you use, machine learning and data sorting is used to decide what it is you see.

The evolution of social algorithms has, no doubt, made things harder for social marketers. The development of algorithms follows much the same progression as the technical elements of SEO – in order to show searches the most relevant responses to user queries and weed out spammers, Google has had to constantly update its algorithm to stay one step ahead.

 

Now social platforms are in much the same position, which adds a more complex, technical element to the social marketing process.

With this in mind, what do you need to know to ensure you’re on top of the latest social algorithm shifts, and how can you best prepare yourself, and understand the focus of each platform to maximize your business page performance?

Here’s a quick overview of the current state of each platform’s algorithm, based on what I’ve studied of their workings.

FACEBOOK

The most influential social algorithm is Facebook’s. The Social Network was the first to implement an algorithm feed, in response to the flood of spammy posts and junk which had taken over the app as its popularity grew.

Facebook’s algorithm aims to show you the content you’re most likely to engage with – though obviously there’s a lot more to it than that.

To best understand Facebook’s algorithm, you first need to get your head around the basic engagement equation Facebook uses.

Facebook’s News Feed chief, Adam Mosseri, explained this in several webinars, conferences and online publications last year, comparing their selection process to choosing a meal for a friend at a restaurant:

 

This process, says Mosseri, is essentially utilizing an algorithm within your own head – Facebook’s system simply transfers these though processes to a machine, shifting the same core elements into more technical factors – Inventory, Signals, Predictions and Scores.

Here’s the same calculations with Facebook actions replacing restaurant options:

Facebook rates each post based on your individual usage patterns, which, along with a range of other measures, enable it to come up with a score for each post. That score then dictates where each will appear in your feed.

Sound confusing? Yes, it is. These algorithms change constantly so studying and keeping up with the social channel’s updates are crucial to any business social media marketing plan. In basic terms, Facebook measures the likelihood that you’re going to take a particular action which their data suggests is the most engaging, then shows each story to you based on that probability.

TWITTER

Twitter’s algorithm is less advanced than Facebook’s, but they are putting increased focus on their machine learning efforts to boost engagement.

Users were initially outraged that Twitter would even consider changing to an algorithm, but the data has since shown that the system has helped the platform boost performance – as algorithms have on virtually every platform.

Twitter’s main objective with their algorithm is to show you more content you may be interested in – similar to Facebook, though Twitter is more about showing it to you in addition to the other tweets you might see, as opposed to “instead of”.

Even with an algorithm in place, Twitter can still show you almost every tweet, due to the real time nature of the feed. Nowadays, when you first login into Twitter, you’ll see tweets you may have missed, which are basically the most popular tweets from the people you follow. Twitter has also been working to boost engagement by showing you tweets that people you follow have liked, too.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is one of the hottest social platforms at the moment for social engagement.  They have now also implemented a Facebook-style algorithm.  Facebook actually owns both platforms now, so the algorithms are almost exactly the same now. Like Facebook, Instagram’s algorithm is based on your likelihood to engage.

LINKEDIN

Like Twitter, LinkedIn’s algorithm is not as advanced as Facebook’s.  A good example of how LinkedIn’s feed algorithm works is their comment sorting tool – LinkedIn recently published an update on how comments are displayed on each post, based on engagement.

In my opinion, and the opinion of many other LinkedIn users, their algorithm needs some work.  You’ll often see posts from weeks ago in your feed but they are refining their data, and working to show you more relevant content, slowly but surely.

PINTEREST

The last platform has a constantly evolving algorithm to uncover more relevant Pin matches. Their goal is to keep you searching and their system has been upgraded from its initial matching efforts to better highlight relevant content.

Do you have ideas of how these social platforms might improve their algorithms in the future? Tell us in the comments!

RELATED:

Why Your Business Needs A Paid Facebook Ad Budget

Author: Stephanie May - smay@askbisdesigns.com 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 


Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What exactly happened?

If you’ve been keeping up with the national news for the last two weeks, you’ve heard the reports of political campaigns acquiring private data on millions of Facebook users.  It has now sparked new questions about how the social media giant protects user information.

First of all, as a business advertising on Facebook, we are all thankful for the data which identifies personalities and buying trends of users.  This doesn’t mean people’s personal information like credit cards, social security numbers and other secure information was ever shared via Facebook.

What does it mean?

When you “like” a certain post, take a quiz or share a family, friend or business page’s post, Facebook keeps track of this content.  Why? Well, when they know what you like, they know what to put in your newsfeed. 

This all plays a big part in Facebook’s algorithms, which have changed drastically in the last two years.  The algorithms now only allow content that you are interested in to be in your newsfeed.  To me, this isn’t a bad thing at all.  It is a highly intelligent way of keeping users happy and engaged.  For businesses, it also makes it more difficult to advertise because you need to pay attention to what users want to see on a daily basis and tailor your content to that audience.  Otherwise, your content will go unseen.  This is what I do on a daily basis for dozens of business accounts, study trends in order to make sure the business pages are reaching the most customers. 

Now, back to Cambridge Analytica. What’s the big deal? The firm offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior.  This behavior was then, allegedly, used to target voters for the election.  This app has since been removed from Facebook but there are reports that the data still exists, so this is why Facebook is being scrutinized.

What kind of information was collected and how was it acquired?

The data included details on users’ identities, friend networks and “likes”.  The idea was to map personality traits based on what people had liked on Facebook, and then use that information to target audiences with digital ads.

Researchers in 2014 asked users to take a personality survey and download an app, which scraped some private information from their profiles and those of their friends, activity that Facebook permitted at the time and has since banned. 

The technique had been developed at Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Center.  Facebook says no passwords or “sensitive pieces of information” had been taken. 

Facebook has always prohibited this kind of data to be sold or transferred “to any ad network, data broker or other advertising service” so the question everyone has been asking is, was Facebook hacked? No one really knows for sure.

What is Facebook doing to fix the situation?

Really, there isn’t much they can do about it at this point. Once the data is out, there isn’t really a way to recall it. They can conduct all the forensic audits they want, but the information will remain out there in some form, and will likely remain useable and indicative. For damage control, Facebook needs to show users that it is improving, learned its lessons and their systems are actually now better for it.

We’ll see in the next year whether or not users pull away from the social giant or whether it will blow over and everyone will go back to using Facebook as usual.  As already stated, no sensitive information was really obtained but it is simply a matter of users trusting Facebook to keep up with their social habits without exploiting it for political reasons.

What do you think? Does it bother you that Facebook tracks your likes and, in turn, creates a personality profile of your daily habits in order for businesses to advertise to you? We want to know! Let us know on Facebook!

RELATED:

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Content Marketing Strategy

Author: Stephanie May - smay@askbisdesigns.com 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 


5 Tips for Improving Your Emails

When it comes down to it, email marketing is all about getting the basics right.

Yes, you should be segmenting your lists and yes, paying attention to those open rates and conversion rates are important but you also want to invest time in strategies like positioning, voice and value of your emails.  These 5 tips may seem basic but you’ll find that many of your favorite emails coming through your inbox, the ones you open every day, employ the tips in a single email.  For best results, apply liberally.

Create an exclusive club.

Making your email subscribers feel special is a great way to generate excitement for the content or offers you send them.  It’s also a powerful community-building tool. 

Exclusivity can be subtle, like the Apple example below.  Whenever Apple launches a new product, customers camp outside their stores to get their hands on the latest device.  By offering a pre-order, Apple can cash in on that excitement without putting additional stress on their retail stores.  With free shipping as an added incentive, these emails will no doubt drive huge sales before the next iPhone is even released.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask for Feedback.  

As long as you’re not too pushy, it’s okay to ask for feedback. Find a way to ask without making it sound like the feedback is for the company’s gain but rather to help you, as a business owner, find ways to make their service better.  Here is an example:

Get personal.

Email is a great way to humanize your brand.  The inbox is an intimate place, mostly used for personal conversation.  Your presence there is a privilege, so do your best to write like a human.  It’s okay to talk about challenges, obstacles and even failures.  Readers can relate since they are likely facing similar situations, whether in business or in their personal lives.  Even quotes from your company’s CEO can go a long way, like the example below.

Tell readers what to do next.

One big mistake people make with conversion is failure to make the next step completely clear.  How can someone convert if they aren’t sure what to do next?

Conversion rate experts stress this over and over again: “Be clear and direct with your users, telling them exactly what you’d like them to do.”

The idea is simple: just add the webinar to your calendar.  Not only does this reinforce the behavior pattern of clicking the emails, but it also increases the chances that the registrants actually attend the webinar.  Once it’s on the calendar, they will get alerts from their phone and/or computer…it’s like free marketing!

Keep readers on their toes. 

This tip is unconventional, but it’s proven to work.

On one hand, you want your readers to know what to expect in your emails.  In our case, here at BIS Designs, that means a new blog post every Wednesday.  Our readers know there will be a new blog post each week but they don’t know what topic will be covered until they receive an email once the new blog has been posted on our website. 

Conclusion

There are plenty of tips out there about how to increase your open rates but you also want to concentrate on becoming and remaining valuable to your clients and customers. If you have any additional tips to share with us, feel free to share in the comments!

RELATED:

5 Ways to Get Creative with Email Subject Lines

Author: Stephanie May

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


4 Basic Tips of Blogging Search Engine Optimization

Here’s a quick illustration of how SEO works…

Google has developed automatic algorithms that rank your website.  They send out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators that determine whether the website is valuable or useless.  These indicators include things like backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc.

SEO can be considered the art of making sure those crawling spiders are happy with what they find.  It is a very complex field that is always changing but in all that chaos there are a few constants that have remained the same since the beginning. 

1. You need your own domain and hosting.

One thing that beginners need to know is that you need your own domain and hosting.  Free blog set ups don’t do any favors for your SEO efforts.  Why?

People tend to speculate that if you were serious about your website you would get your own name and host it yourself.  Google only wants to point to websites that are considered serious and trustworthy and so this is a basic signal.

Starting your own website, hosting and a business blog can seem intimidating but that’s why we’re here.  We offer multiple packages to meet your needs, which saves you a lot of time.

2. Problem solving with original content.

Keep in mind that Google’s entire purpose is to provide their customers with relevant and useful search results.  Everything they do is built around this goal.

To be realistic, the most important thing you can do for your SEO is create the most useful content that solves people’s problems. If you are solving problems that people are searching for then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked higher in Google.

And “original content” means so much more than just blog posts these days.  You can expand into:

  • Videos 
  • Make tutorials or video posts.  This builds links and traffic from YouTube and does well on mobile devices.
  • Photography
  • Original images and photos can boost your rankings as well as add value to your blog posts. Adding your own logos and sharing to social media is an extra layer of marketing, too.
  • Podcasts
  • iTunes has grown fast as people get better smart phones and spend more time plugged in.  Adding a podcast to your blog will ensure a unique and original addition for SEO. You want to build a relationship with your customers and readers by helping them out.  This will mean more sharing and faster results in your search engine rankings.

3.  Make sure your theme is SEO optimized.

Think of SEO as having two components: the off-site stuff like social media and backlinks and the on-site stuff like optimizing your theme.

Optimizing your theme is important because it helps give Google indicators that you are a trustworthy site.  It also helps Google find your content.  Some of the things to keep in mind when optimizing are:

  • Mobile Response
  • Cleanly coded
  • Fast loading
  • Secure domain
  • Original theme (rather than a pre-made template)

4. Build your social media profiles constantly.

You want to have a big focus on social media for SEO purposes as well as traffic building purposes.

Why?

Because Google is now looking to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance.  If people are sharing on Facebook or tweeting about it, you must have written something pretty good.  The best way for this to happen is to build a strong following, keep them engaged and they’ll see your blog posts as they are shared. 

Commenting and sharing other business blogs is always a great way to build a community and possible cross-promoting opportunities for the future as well.

Are you now ready to get a blog started and make sure your SEO is on the right track? Schedule a meeting and we’ll handle every detail from writing, optimizing your website and sharing to your social media!

 

Author: Stephanie May 

RELATED:

5 Benefits of Business Blogging

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Content Marketing Strategy

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 

 


Why Your Business Needs A Paid Facebook Ad Budget

Whether you’ve noticed or not, organic traffic on Facebook has dropped – and it’s likely impacting your company in a big way.

There are a few reasons that you need a Facebook advertising strategy and budget.  Let’s start with the basics – because Facebook’s algorithm does not make it easy for business pages to succeed on Facebook. 

What does the term “Facebook algorithm” actually mean? And how does it work?

Facebook’s algorithm controls who sees the content that you share.  It’s not as simple as you posting a status update then Facebook pushing it out to all of your followers.  That’s a thing of the past.  Not everyone who follows your page will see your posts.  Facebook is way more intelligent now.  And, there’s a reason for that, but we’ll get into that later.

Adam Mosseri (VP, News Feed at Facebook) puts Facebook’s algorithm in layman’s terms for us.  He says he thinks about it like he would when ordering his wife something to eat at a restaurant. 

The Facebook algorithm process goes like this:  

  1. Facebook considers all recent posts (this is like checking the menu to see what options you have).
  2. Facebook looks for signals that you might like a particular post (like knowing your wife likes salmon).
  3. Facebooks makes predictions on what you like and shows those posts first (like ordering the salmon).

This process happens on millions of devices countless times each day.  And, it’s also the reason why your Facebook business page’s posts aren’t getting as many views as it used to.

Why isn’t my Facebook business page performing well?

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it from a business perspective. The reality is that Facebook is a business.  And how does a business like Facebook make money? You guessed it – paid advertising. 

So why isn’t your Facebook business page making you money? Because the only way for company pages to succeed on Facebook is through Facebook paid advertising.  Facebook’s only real concern is to find ways for more business pages to spend more money.  You can’t blame them.  Any CEO would do the same thing.

The truth is that social media doesn’t work the way it did in the past.

Facebook’s current algorithm is very different than it used to be in 2000.  Back then, you could post anything on Facebook, and it was guaranteed to be shown to your audience. 

This is because posts were served in reverse chronological order.  In 2009, Facebook changed the algorithm to be based on popularity. 

As you might’ve guessed, the Facebook algorithm is changing more frequently than ever.  Simply posting on your page every day without a Facebook advertising strategy or budget is a waste of time.

Here’s what you should be using Facebook for –

Facebook Paid Advertising

The new reality is that businesses on Facebook are unlikely to succeed without putting a budget toward Facebook paid advertising.  In turn, this requires a Facebook advertising strategy similar to how you would strategize for billboard, radio or TV ads. 

When creating a Facebook ad campaign, there are a few key things that you need to consider – like your goals, target audience and the content of your ad.  Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Facebook ad campaigns can get incredibly detailed and complicated, and the platform itself isn’t exactly user-friendly.  We’d love to dive into the specific best practices for executing a Facebook advertising strategy, but that’s a whole other blog

Its Database

What you’re really doing when you create a Facebook ad campaign, is using Facebook for its extremely extensive database.  In other words, you’re using Facebook paid advertising to buy an audience. 

Think about all of the millions of people that use Facebook.  In fact, Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users according to the company’s website.  That’s a lot of people – a lot of people that may be interested in your product or service. 

Think about Facebook’s database as an untapped market.  You may not have their email or mailing address but you have their Facebook profile. 

When you use Facebook paid advertising, you are purchasing access to advertise to millions of people that you otherwise would have had no access to.  Even better, you can segment your audience to the specifics of your ideal customer by choosing preferred age, gender, interests, etc. to give you an incredibly high customer value. 

Organic Posting 2-5 Times a Week

Just because you realize that Facebook paid advertising is more lucrative than simple sharing updates on your company’s page (otherwise known as organic posting), doesn’t mean that you can give up organic posting altogether. 

There’s a huge difference between social marketing and social selling.  Social selling is where you can really see the return on your investment, and it includes your Facebook paid advertising strategy that we talked about in this blog post.  However, social marketing is also essential.

Other than running Facebook ad campaigns, it’s still very critical to be active on your company page.

Think about this scenario – a highly qualified lead that saw your Facebook ad in their newsfeed now visits your company’s Facebook business page to learn more about you.  But, you haven’t posted an update in months because you focused all of your efforts on your Facebook advertising strategy.  That scenario isn’t exactly ideal because the customer doesn’t get any added value, in turn stopping their customer journey. 

This is why it’s extremely important to pay attention to your Facebook advertising strategy as well as organic posting.  It may seem like a lot to balance, which is why marketing companies like us (BIS Designs) are here to ease you into the process. 

Fun Fact: Did you know that the average person will spend over five years of their life on social media. WOW! That’s a lot of time spent on Facebook!

 

Author: Stephanie May 

 

RELATED: 

5 Benefits of Business Blogging 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 

 

 

 

 


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