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Why You Should Create Subtitles on Videos

Marketers and content creators are always looking for the next big thing to help send their brand’s message. And in the last few years, it has been video. Video continues to skyrocket on all social media platforms. But for many companies, it’s not yet perfect. Why? Because they don’t use subtitles! If you don’t already, consider adding subtitles to all of your videos. Here’s why.

Deaf or Hard of Hearing Viewers

This should go without saying. You want your content to be accessible to everyone. And lip-reading is harder than you might think. Impossible, really, if your video is full of voice-overs! Rather than making Deaf or HOH viewers guess at what your actors are saying, provide subtitles or at least a summary under the video on your website.

Commuters or People at Work

On the rise of videos in social media, viewers found a new peeve: videos playing automatically, and usually at high volume. Rather than announce to everyone what they were watching, they skipped over videos quickly. Even though many platforms now have Mute as a default volume setting, scrolling past can still be a problem if you don’t have subtitles. However, adding subtitles can guarantee a higher viewer count, since people can watch them silently on their train or bus commute, or while on break.

Communicates the Message

Even if your viewers don’t eventually follow through, subtitles help get the message across more easily. Whether your audience members are auditory or visual learners or some combination, having both can reinforce the message in the video.

Multi-Lingual Videos

As companies become international and the Internet continues to grow, many social media users view videos in different languages. In the United States and Canada, a large portion of your customer base might not even speak English as a first language. Including subtitles on your videos facilitates the latter’s comprehension of your message. Plus, having subtitles means you could transport your content more easily to other countries to expand this base.

SEO

Yes, you can use subtitles for your SEO! Closed-captioning can make your videos more searchable, increasing your viewers and site traffic. Plus, you can more easily use your scripts as future content. Who wouldn’t want content made simpler?

How to Create Subtitles

Most video creation apps allow you to add subtitles right away. If the app you’re using doesn’t include this feature, you can easily add an .srt file with your subtitles. These tutorials can help you out with creating subtitles for your videos, and attach them to Facebook videos.

Make sure your text isn’t too small, or that it doesn’t form a block of text. Just include a line or two that keeps up with what the actor is saying. Even if you have to leave out a few filler words, that’s okay. Your viewers might keep on scrolling if they can’t read the text fast enough.

 

Don’t fall behind the times! Get subtitles onto your videos today, and keep your hard work accessible to all!

Why Snapchat is a Must for Your Business

Snapchat is paving the way for the future of social media marketing. All of the features and content updates to the app thus far have only increased the effectiveness of the app in reaching a larger audience, making it one of the great up and rising social media platforms for businesses. Just to throw some numbers out, Snapchat has over 100,000 daily users. Another noteworthy statistic is that there are 10 billion daily video views each day for the companies that participate. With the potential in those numbers in mind, here are a couple of reasons why Snapchat is paving the way for social media marketing and should be implemented in your digital marketing strategy.

Unbelievable Reach

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media platforms on the market today. Snapchat reaches over 60% of all Americans with a smartphone and ,on top of that, more than 70% of Snapchat’s users are millennials between the ages of 18 and 34. Like it or not, millennials are the future target of marketing because they will be entering the workforce and spending money. If you want your company to get a competitive advantage in the long run with marketing, adopting the right platforms and targeting the right audience is key.

Snapchat has the potential for reaching more consumers than any other platform. This means that anyone with a smartphone has access to it. The potential reach is growing everyday as more and more millennials and non-millennials download and start using the application. To put this in perspective, Snapchat now has more users than Twitter and is quickly catching up with Facebook and Instagram. With Snapchat being the fastest growing social media platform, the reach alone is enough evidence to adopt this platform in your digital marketing strategy.

Brand Awareness

Snapchat is the king of brand awareness. There are multiple features that allow brands to spread their name effortlessly. A couple of the big ones are as follows:

Snapchat Geo-filters

Geo-filters are simply amazing. Geo-filters are very simple to set up and they are really cheap. The way that geo-filters work is that a company will design a filter that will be used for promotion or brand awareness. After the design is completed, you buy a geographical location where people can access and use the filter you created. After your filter has been up live on the app, it will run in the specific location(s) for 24 hours, then it will disappear unless you pay for those locations again. There are plenty of companies and organizations that have successfully used these filters, you can see them here. Whether you work for a big company or a small company, this Snapchat feature is cheap enough to be worked into your budget and it is definitely worth it.

Snapchat Stories

Snapchat stories are revolutionary for the social media world and the marketing world. Just how stories work for each user, the business stories also disappear after 24 hours. The content and advertisements within these stories are watched more than videos and content on Facebook, with Snapchat coming in around 10 billion views each day and Facebook having around 8 billion views each day. The biggest difference between the video viewing experience on those two platforms is that Snapchat is more interactive and has more engagement. In order to view a story on Snapchat, the user has to manually click on the story, which is very different than the automatic video play feature in Facebook. This means that those who view your story actually want to see what you have to offer. After clicking into the story, the user again can swipe to whatever story or video is most interesting to them, thus increasing user engagement.

These features are just the beginning. Snapchat is going to continually update their platform and introduce more attractive features that companies can use to their advantage. The biggest question is, are you going to be an early adopter? Or are you going to fall behind and get lost in the digital crowd?

Need Help?

Struggling to figure out how to make your marketing effective? We have your back! Here at Divvy, we provide valuable digital marketing strategies and social media content for you to help your online presence by stay engaging with your audience, maintaining consistency, and keeping up-to-date with content. Contact us to see how Divvy can make a difference for your company today!

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Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

An online presence is essential in your business succeeding in today’s world. What worked 10 years ago is not going to work now. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local business on the world wide web. That’s right – your customers are Googling you (or your product/service) and if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a potential conversion.

Having on online presence shows that your business is changing with the times and you aren’t afraid. Instead, you are ready. It shows customers that you are adaptable and more importantly, modern. Today’s consumers are using the internet to ask questions and find answers. If you’re not online then your potential customers are turning to your competitors for solutions. That means you are losing out on business and money. Are you convinced of your need for an online presence yet?

Accessibility

The internet never sleeps. It is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People are now using Google to find out things like “how to smoke salmon” to “how to vote”. Eighty-nine percent of consumers use search engines to research a product or service before making a decision.

The key to being a top result and getting clicked on is to fully utilize your site’s SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO allows your site to be seen by search engines, and thus by consumers. This type of accessibility can’t be replaced by a billboard or brochure.

Ask yourself this: What would consumers ask Google that your business, product, or service would solve?

In addition to SEO, an online presence allows for you to adopt a greater audience. People from all over the world will be able to see your product or service and some of them may even buy it.

Credibility

Today’s consumer relies on word-of-mouth and online reviews now more than ever before. When was the last time you saw a movie without hearing or asking if it was worth going to see?

Establishing an online presence on social media, such as Facebook, and Google, Yelp and other virtual rating websites builds your business’s credibility. These sites allow previous customers to provide a rating out of 5-stars and a summary of their experience with your business.

Why is that important? It goes back to the movie theory; consumers nowadays check social media sites and rating platforms before hiring a company or buying a product. Many consumers are wary of business’s lacking an online presence. Afraid of getting a negative review? That’s a rational fear, but you have the ability to monitor your business’s rating and respond to false or fake reviews, establishing and accrediting your online presence even more.

Reliability

That leads us to reliability. The frequency of your posts on social media, the interactions between your consumers and your business online, and the quality of your content all leads up to one thing: the impression your business has on current, previous and potential consumers.

If you are frequent and professional on your social media, website/blog, and review sites, you are going to leave a lasting positive impression with your followers.

Interactions + Frequency + Quality = Impression

Having an online presence is more than a simple website and Google+ page. It requires brand consistency, frequent postings, quality content, and professional interactions. It might sound like a lot of work, but it is well worth it. Don’t ignore this marketing technique; it is the modern way to built and maintain a successful business.

 

Do you need help with your social media strategy or SEO? Divvy offers marketing consulting for both singular businesses and multiple franchisees. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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What are Hashtags? Do’s and Don’ts

Hashtags are a key player in today’s social media on the world wide web. The dreaded and often misunderstood hashtag is used to organize, find, and unite specific topics. It is a way of grouping messages, topics and keywords together. Doing so correctly increases social media engagement and brand or company visibility. In order to fully utilize the power of the hashtag, you need to understand it. Follow these Do’s and Don’ts before your Tweet, Facebook post, Pinterest pin, or Instagram.

The Hashtag Explained

The hashtag symbol is the pound (#) sign. You decide what word goes after it, whether it be a keyword, message, or topic. You pick the word and place a hashtag (#) at the beginning, and you have created a hashtag.

A word is not hashtagged unless it begins with the hashtag symbol (#). Hashtags relate to social media users and invite them to join in on conversations, such as the hashtags #MotivationMonday and #MustRead. Essentially, the hashtag is a way of categorizing your content to be found more easily. Pinterest users, for example, will search for specific hashtags, such as #DIY or #swimsuit to discover content related to those words and phrases.

Why Use The Hashtag

As stated above, the hashtag makes your content discoverable. It helps users find “trending,” or popular, content relevant to specific interests or keywords. The key to use hashtags correctly is to hashtag keywords that you image others would use when looking for content related to your message.

Hashtags: Do’s

  1. DO Hashtag Relevant and Unbranded Keywords. Don’t hashtag your company name. Instead, hashtag a keyword or phrase relevant to your company and let that add to your brand. Coca-Cola for example used the hashtag #MakeItHappy for a social media campaign.
  2. DO Follow Relevant Hashtags. This is great to learn of other companies or people who may be opinion leaders in your field. On Instagram, you can search for a hashtag and the app brings up related hashtags. This a great source to turn to if you aren’t sure what you or your business should be hashtagging.
  3. DO Hashtag Words Together. If a user is searching for a blue rug, they will search the hashtag #bluerug, not #blue and #rug. Be specific with your hashtags in order to reach the right audience.

Hashtags: Don’ts

  1. DON’T Go Too Long or Clever.  #NoOneCanReadAnythingThatGoesThisLongPleaseStopIt. Enough said, right? It is recommended to clump no more than three to four words per hashtag together. One and two word hashtags are the most user-friendly. The longer the hashtag is the harder it is to read and in today’s fast paced world, users will scroll right past you if it is too much or too hard to understand – so don’t hashtag sarcasm or jokes. Keep it short and simple!
  2. DON’T Have More Hashtags than Words.  We’ve all seen the posts with way too many hashtags. Having too many hashtags in your post can come off as spammy and unimportant. Don’t have more hashtags than words in your post and you’re on the road to successful hashtagging.
  3. DON’T Hashtag the Same Word Repeatedly. Because hashtags are meant for categorizing keywords, hashtagging the same word more than once in the same post is a waste of time. Example: Laying out in the #sun and soaking up the #sun rays is the BEST way to enjoy the #sun today! Okay… you like the sun. We get it already!

 

If you need help with social media content and strategy, Divvy can help! Call our office or fill out the contact form below. We look forward to working with you!

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How to Write a Press Release for Your Business

Knowing how to write an effective press release is essential for your business! Press releases are a useful tool for getting free publicity and promotion of products. They are the vehicle for communicating a newsworthy message. This means whatever it is that your business is doing needs to be presented in a way that is eye catching and interesting to the reader. With these basics in mind and the following tips below, you should be able to write an effective press release for your business.

Inverted Pyramid Style.

The first step in writing a press release is knowing the correct format. Press releases are written in what’s called Inverted Pyramid Style, meaning the most important information is at the top of the release, and the information becomes less important with each paragraph thereafter. This is because of space limitations. In the print newspaper days, journalists would often omit parts of the releases due to low space, and cutting out the least important or least relevant information was the best way to do so. Writing in this style allows for journalists to simply cut off the last few paragraphs, leaving the newsworthy part of the message intact.

press release writing inverted pyramid style

This type of format is essential in press release writing, so make sure you’re release is following it correctly. Journalists won’t re-write a press release when they have a handful of  correctly written press releases they can choose from. Also, like this format, your writing needs to be to-the-point and concise. Avoid fluff in press release writing. Reader’s won’t finish a release that’s full of fluff.

The First Paragraph.

All press releases start with what is called a lead, or the first paragraph, but before you write out the lead be sure to write the date and city in which the release is being originated. Once that is done you can write the lead, which answers the 5 W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how). If you are an avid news reader, you’ll notice that most press releases answer the 5 W’s and H in just one sentence.

 

Make sure that all of your sentences, including the lead, are less than 30 words. This helps with keeping sentences straightforward and helps with the reading score, or level of difficulty. Assume that your audience is a smart 6th grader, so avoid using business jargon or difficult sentence structures.

Sounds Good and Reads Easily.

Make your press release sound good by adding quotes in from your CEO or other influential employees related to the purpose of the press release. This means your CEO might say something like, “This is the best thing since sliced bread,” and you need to edit his quote to make it sound better and get approval from him before sending the release out.

 

Also, keep a factual tone in your press release. Avoid emotionally-charged words and sentences. News is unbiased, and your release needs to be the same.

 

Read the press release several times before sending it out to make sure it reads easily. Change any unfamiliar words, incorrect spelling, or grammar errors as you read it. A good rule of thumb is to read your press release out loud at least 3 times. You will notice things by reading it out loud that you may  not have noticed reading in your head.

One to Two Pages and No More.

Press releases should be one page, maybe two, but no more. Lengthy releases are less likely to be published, and for that matter, read through completely!

Concluding the Press Release.

Once you are done with writing the copy, conclude with three pound signs (###) center justified after the last paragraph. The pound signs indicate the press release copy is complete. After concluding, enter once and underline the words,”For more Information:” and list your contact information, such as your name, company, address, phone number, and email on the space below.

 

These are some of the basic principles of press release and news style writing. If your business needs help with it’s public relations strategies, you can call us or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in maximizing marketing and public relations efforts!

 

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How to Write A Good Blog Outline

Just like writing a great paper, writing a great blog post starts with a solid outline. Outlines are the vehicles that drive the writing process. It is essential to have a working outline before writing a blog post to avoid confusion and disorganization. Follow these 6 simple steps to write a good blog outline:

What’s the Big Idea?

The big idea of a blog post is similar to the thesis of a paper. It is the central point and unique angle to the post. You need to determine what it is that you are trying to do for your audience. Remember this when determining your big idea: you want to either motivate, educate or inform your audience. Deciding which of these you will do will guide your outlining and writing.

How did you come up with the idea for the blog post? Did you feel inspired on the topic or did you read an article online or in print? Whichever it is, make sure you back up your points with a solid understanding of the information you are presenting. Make yourself credible by adding in statistics, quotes, or other related information.

Title it.

Next you need to create a working title. The most important rule with creating a great title is to be as specific as possible. You can always come back and reword the title, but for now you need to have a good idea of what you will be writing about specifically. For more information on writing a blog title your viewers will love, click here.

Write it Out.

This is where you are creating a basic understanding for the body of the post. This can be done in sentences, bullets, or headings and subheadings. Try one of each until you figure out which is most comfortable for you. Either way, you need to create main points, and then sub points (and if necessary, points for sub points). Always check to make sure each point is supporting the big idea, and change accordingly.

You can also add in any specific details you want to address in your post when you’re completing this step. Make a not of where it will fit, and you can work it in when you’re officially writing your post.

Revise and Reorganize.

Now that you’ve written the main ideas down for your post, you need to step back and make sure it flows coherently. Rearrange as necessary, and check for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes as you go.

Links, Links, Links.Links, links, links

If you can, look for links that relate to other posts you’ve written. You can also link to other sources with similar topics that may help your audience gain a better understanding of the topic you are writing about.

Fill in the Blanks.

Now that you’ve created the body of your outline, it’s time to go fill in the blanks. This is where you will write your main ideas in one word for both the introduction and conclusion of your post. You can also think about ways to transition between main points, if necessary. Lastly, remember to include a call to action in your conclusion.

 

If you follow these 6 simple steps when writing a blog outline, you are sure to write a smooth and straightforward blog post. If you need help with social media management and blogging, Divvy can help! We provide personalized service and help in these areas, as well as other areas of digital and print marketing. Find more about Divvy here or fill out the contact form below.

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I Hate Marketing (Why??)

Marketing is key to helping your business be successful and current. So tell us, why do you hate marketing?

…Because All Marketing is Spam

If you hate marketing, chances are it’s because you’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s poorly designed marketing campaign that inundated you with advertisements that you didn’t sign up for, didn’t interest you, or just felt like spam.

Nobody enjoys being spammed, and maybe you hate marketing because you don’t want to feel like someone else’s spam. But not all marketing is spam. In fact, when done correctly, your clients will love your marketing campaign. Avoid appearing spammy by directing your advertisements to the people who want them. Instead of sending mass emails to everyone and anyone, connect with people who want to hear from you by providing option in your store or website to sign up for emailed news and discounts.

…Because Marketing is Ineffective

Maybe you hate marketing because you’ve tried it before, and it hasn’t worked out for you. It might have felt like a huge waste of time and money. In marketing however, there are a couple key facts to remember. One, not everyone will love your stuff, and that’s okay. You don’t need people to love your stuff. You just need to reach the people who need what  you are offering. If you can design your marketing campaign to reach those people and you have a good product, you’ll find success. Which brings us to the second point: (Two) results take time. Yes, it may be more than a day or a week or a month, or even a year. But as long as you adapt your marketing plan to meet the needs of your potential clients, you can be successful.

…Because Marketing is Boring

If you think of marketing and you imagine ugly postcards in the mail (junk mail), then chances are you won’t be very enthusiastic about marketing. However, marketing doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, that’s one of the beauties of marketing – you must use creativity to reach your potential clients. This is your chance to think outside the box and stand out! Create a direct mail campaign that will interest them. That’s what we did with our Divvy marketing campaign.

In short, the key to designing good marketing content is making something you would want to receive. Don’t use techniques you hate, and maybe – just maybe – you won’t hate marketing.

If you worry that your content is boring or that people already know all about your product, chances are, they don’t. Explain what your product is all about and what makes it different. Also mix it up! Don’t post the same message on twitter every day or every week. Keep your clients interested by providing new information about your products or information that relates to your products. If you can get passionate about your product, other people will too. But if you are bored with your marketing campaign, your clients will be too.

…Because There’s Too Much to Do

Maybe you hate marketing because there’s too much to do. Staying on top of a variety of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.) can easily become intimidating. Not to mention trying to find clients to build a basis for direct mail campaigns and email coupons to. And blog posts? Psh! Who even reads those?

In the long run though, staying on top of social media will help (For more information as to how, browse other articles on this blog, such as The Benefits of a Business Blog). Start with what you have, and build from there. Create a marketing plan that helps you stay on top of your social media and marketing campaigns. If you find yourself falling behind, adjust as necessary. If blogging every day is too crazy, knock it back to four times a week, or two, or one. The key is to stay active and consistent. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have enough time. For your business to be successful, make time to market.

Do You Still Hate Marketing?

If we haven’t convinced you, and you still hate marketing but need to get it done, contact us! We only hate bad marketing. Let us show you what good marketing looks like.

 

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Jedi mind tricks for greater online attention

The world is buzzing with anticipation for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and we are as excited as anyone to see our favorite heroes–the Jedi Knights–in action once again.

There are so many honorable attributes to a Jedi: their lightsaber skills, their acrobatics, their discipline and self-sacrifice. Probably their most envious is their ability to influence peoples minds through the force. With that kind of power, sales would be the easiest job in the world!

But the truth is, Jedi mind tricks do exist, and anyone can develop this ability! But these Jedi mind tricks are less about forcing your way into the minds of others, and more about forming mental and emotional connections with your target audience, which then helps you gain greater online attention.

yoda jedi mind tricks

Use the force

Yoda is historically the smallest Jedi Knight, but he wields tremendous power within his small frame. You may be a small company, but you can unlock your true potential by mastering these social media skills.

Optimize your social channels

Google has started a bidding war on their front page, and companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to obtain a spot on it. Smaller companies cannot compete with that kind of fire power, but rather than accept defeat, start a rebellion on your social media channels.

While the big companies are spending their time and money getting SEO for their website, you can be loading your Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn page with keywords so that your page will rank higher.

For detailed instructions on how to do this, read the Word Stream blog.

Start the conversation

Post thought provoking articles on your Twitter feed. Share your opinions and ask for your audiences insight. Even if you have a small amount of followers, these types of conversations can quickly spread across the internet.

Automate your social media posts

Maintain an active presence on social media by using automation software such as Sprout Social or HootSuite. This allows you to schedule content ahead of time, so even on days when you forget to post or don’t have time, you can feel confident that something is going out.

Be a leader

Establish a reputation for being the first person to share your opinion on industry trends, or things you notice could be improved. Share what others are saying in your community, and encourage your audience to speak up. You will find that people will come to you, and that will greatly improve your business.

If you need help with your social media or would like to try a free Divvy Demo solution, fill out the contact form below.

 

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How is your business marketing measuring up?

It’s easy to measure success in the finance department–are this months numbers bigger than last months numbers. However, focusing solely on financial growth blinds your eyes to areas where your business may be excelling. Areas like marketing optimization, customer experience and innovation frequently go overlooked, but they are some of the most influential factors benefiting your business.

Broaden your view and you may realize that your business is performing well, or could be performing better in some of these areas.

Brand Health

Are people reviewing your business online, and are the reviews favorable? Reviews are just one way to measure brand health; Twitter and Facebook are equipped with insightful measurement tools that can help you gauge public perception. Are people “sharing your voice” by retweeting or reposting? Look at your social media insights and find out.

Marketing Optimization

Are your marketing efforts going unnoticed by your target audience? The most common answer why this happens is because you’re not speaking their language. Research your audience. Talk to them face-to-face. Learn their likes and dislikes. Once you truly understand them as people, you will know exactly how to get them to act.

Revenue Generation

This seeks to answer what percentage of revenue is generated by marketing. Google Analytics can show you in detail which paths your customers are taking online to reach your site. Tallying how many online sales were referred by your social media content is the most effective way to measure revenue generation.

Operational Efficiency

Have your marketing team answer this one question — did we make more than we spent? Did you design an expensive direct mail piece that was widely ignored? Are you paying for SEO or PPC but generating less revenue online? Finding effective and inexpensive solutions is the key to improving operational efficiency. Many successful companies accomplish this by getting their product featured in the news, or talked about by influential bloggers.

Customer Experience

Marketing isn’t only about making money, it should find ways to save it too. Accomplish this by answering your customers questions before they even ask. Last year, Sony was having a troubleshooting problem with one of their products, and noticed that one of their customers was providing answers online. They published their answers on their website and avoided hours upon hours of phone calls from confused customers; saving the company $350,000.

Innovation

Another money saving technique for improving products is to have your customers innovate it for you. Domino’s asked their consumers to submit their own pizza topping combinations and recipes, and agreed to compensate successful recipes with a percentage of sales. One of their customers made over $27,000 last year for their recipe, while Domino’s made many more thousands from their innovation.

Finally, to answer the question, how is your business marketing measuring up? If it’s not where you expected, we’ve highlighted some important areas where you can improve.

Let us help you get started. Contact us below.