June 27, 2016

6 ways social media can improve customer service

customer-service

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotka

Your business probably already has a social media presence. Surely you’re using social media for marketing and branding purposes. Did you know that you can leverage social media to improve customer satisfaction and increase repeat business? If you’re smart, you’re always looking for the best ways to keep your customers happy. Make sure your social media channels are doing just that.

Be Part of Their Community

In 2016, calling a business (only -gasp- during business hours) or sending an email is akin to sending feedback via carrier pigeon. For most businesses, it’s true that your customers spend significant time on social media interacting with brands. Why expect them to sit on hold or wait days for an email reply when they can reach out to you via social media? You shouldn’t. Continue reading

June 20, 2016

SEO Mega-Checklist: 75 steps to increased visibility for your site (infographic)

Post by Nirav Dave
Capsicum Mediaworks

Let’s be honest. Almost nobody knows everything about how SEO (search engine optimization) really works. It’s a bit of a black art, and Google especially has been less than forthcoming in communicating best practices.

But, over time, you can keep track of what seems to be moving the needle in the right direction for a business or brand. And, honestly, shouldn’t your business be focusing on things like increasing growth and revenue instead of dwelling on the right mix of SEO tactics that will benefit your company?

Those who do this for a living have identified more than 200 SEO ranking factors that Google takes into account. But even that is way too much for businesses and marketers to get their arms around.

So which key aspects of SEO should you focus on?

To help address this issue, we’ve put together a checklist of 75+ actionable On-page & Off-page SEO strategies that, if incorporated correctly, can improve your site’s ranking in the search engine results. Here’s our SEO Mega-Checklist infographic, with accompanying text that explains each item.  Continue reading

June 9, 2016

How visuals can get you that click on Google

google

Use structured data to optimize your content for search

Chris AbrahamIt’s really hard to get Google’s attention. While content marketing is all the rage, it’s also provably effective. But let’s understand: There are ways of wooing search engines beyond starting a blog.

Google loves structured data. In a perfect world, we humans would be communicating in Extensible Markup Language instead of the unstructured data we kibitz on about in our sentences, paragraphs, and articles. We try to make it clearer by using categories and tags, but it’s often for naught.

One way to make things even clearer is to take advantage of structured data that Google understands immediately: events, reviews, recipes, etc. Continue reading

May 26, 2016

4 reasons why your marketing data is important

business-analytics

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaWhat happened in your last marketing campaign? Did it go as well as you’d hoped? How much are you aware of the nitty gritty details behind what happened?

One of the biggest reasons marketing campaigns fail is a lack of data. Although you thought you had enough data to make decisions, you might have missed some important information. You were under a tight deadline and thought you knew enough to create a strong new campaign, but did you have everything you needed? Were you equipped with the right data? Probably not. Continue reading

May 11, 2016

Why influencer marketing is an essential part of brand marketing strategy

Photo Courtesy of Buzzoole

New strategy provides proven effectiveness in reaching target audiences & increasing engagement

Ayelet NoffThe days of classic marketing strategies are far behind us. While big companies still choose to spend big bucks on commercial ads online, on TV, on billboards, and in magazines, this method is losing its efficacy. Consumers are bombarded by so many ads daily that they have learned to completely tune them out.  Even worse, consumers are often experiencing “ad fatigue”, causing them to form negative perceptions of brands due to overexposure to their ads.

So what does this mean for brands? Clearly, companies have taken note of the changing field of marketing and are turning to alternatives. In the field of commercial advertising, this means persistently changing up content and images, as well as employing targeted advertising to gain users’ continuous attention.

Though these are sometimes effective methods to combat consumer’s fatigue, the cost of display advertising is so high, that frankly, for some companies it just isn’t worth it. In fact, many brands are changing their marketing strategies all-together to focus on other advertising methods. Continue reading

May 9, 2016

Sharon Ryan, your newspaper group has a delivery problem

Sharon Ryan was named president and publisher of the Bay Area News Group two years ago.

Sharon Ryan was named president and publisher of the Bay Area News Group two years ago.

JD LasicaIt’s been years since I’ve taken to my blog (which I began 15 years ago this week) to complain about a company or brand. But the San Jose Mercury News has left me little choice.

I’m an entrepreneur, as well as a former journalist, so the one thing I can’t afford is to fritter away time. But I’ve been on the phone almost nonstop with the San Jose Mercury News’ Circulation Department for the better part of two straight weeks.

As a young teenager growing up in North Jersey, my first job was as a newspaper “delivery boy,” as we were called then, and I made a point of knowing everybody on my route by heart, as I raced my bicycle to deliver the afternoon Bergen Record to everyone right after school. If I missed someone on my route, I would be horrified, and would rush out to get them a fresh paper. Continue reading