Blog Articles from Fawkes Digital Marketing
We feel it is great that companies in Northwest Indiana and really all over the United States are looking to streamline and save money. The question comes to where do you automate and have truly in-personal communication and where do you have that personal touch we all enjoy? Technology has a place to help cut costs. No longer do you need to pay $500-$1,000+ for social media digital marketing management. Technology can help keep costs low and increase your brands reach. Let the computer do the heavy lifting that used to take hours to gather information so that you can focus on what matters; the customer. Let’s look at where technology can (and should) be used, where it can (and shouldn’t be), and where you need to still use that 100% personal touch.
If you are running a business, sometimes you simply can't run all aspects by yourself and need assistance in creating ads and running campaigns. Facebook understands this and has given all business pages the ability to add other people to your page, whether they are your employees or members from other marketing agencies.
Organizations know they need someone in a role that communicates with clients, they know it will improve customer satisfaction, but never want to invest (e.g. it eats into their profits) in such a role. Often an organization will allocate a small part of a person’s (or multiple employees) time to it. This causes a system that actually can be even more inefficient. This is why as an organization we added Lorissa to our team with just one job duty of communicating with our clients. This dedicated position will make certain customer communication happens. We even have set parameters that we will add another person in this position when we reach certain thresholds so that we don’t run into a situation where our coordinator is overworked and create failure in communication. Our project coordinator position, which we call the Time Keeper, has the sole responsibility to communicate with the customer, put in tasks for the team, double-check the tasks that the team did, and get back with the client that the changes are done. This role has no other functions and how it will stay.
We have used several chat clients like LuckyOrange, Drift, Chatlio, and tawk.to for our client’s websites. Recently though what we’ve been doing is dropping those clients and utilizing Facebook Messenger. The price is right, free, and gives the same chat functionality. It also makes it easy for us, as social media managers, to respond to our client’s customer’s even faster. I am going to cover in detail how you can do this (or ask us and we’ll do it for you for our Business Improvement Plan customers).
In all of our lives we have transformations that are key to our personal existence, keys to the success of our company's growth (for business owners), and the success of the customer's that we assist. This week for JM2 of Valparaiso Indiana was truly no exception. We have changed our web design and marketing from being what I would classify as a commodity that any individual could due to a strategic marketing machine. That is a very bold statement and one I think you will agree. In this article you will see how we transformed our brand, our customer service, and our internal processes to become something no other web design company in Northwest Indiana has ever done.
If you are a business owner on Facebook, you'll eventually want to create ads for your business's page. To do this you need to create a Business Manager account, a function created by Facebook that allows you and if you choose to, other team or marketing members to create ads, check in on their progress and share strategies.
Listening whether you are in a small prosperous town like Valparaiso Indiana or a big city like Chicago Illinois listening is the most important trait any company BIG or small can do to be successful in their endeavors. Often a company will think that it’s their way or the highway. They might state publicly it’s all about the customer but the actions dictate and say otherwise. If you’ve been reading our blog and several hundred of you are you now that JM2, my company, is run by humans. Yes, we are inferior beings in that we make mistakes. What makes JM2 different though is our agile philosophy on life where we are quick to adapt and change based on both positive and negative feedback we receive from current and past customers.
We have heard our customers and what they need through both positive and negative feedback. Negative feedback often is some of the best feedback and organization can hear. It’s not because we want that feedback but because the person believes either in (1) driving traffic away from us as they feel scorned or (2) they deeply believe, like us, in local small business and helping them improve. Not every business will choose the improve process and be themselves scorn. We believe no matter the reason for someone giving positive or negative feedback opens an area for not only self-improvement but company improvement. This is why we have opted to create an entirely new position now rather than waiting months, even years, down the road. We pride ourselves in our customer service and what we’ve learned is that a dedicated person between the customer and the team is necessary for success.
I have been physically out of pocket at the office for several months as I have been running in/out of meetings all over Northwest Indiana with our partners and clients. The benefit is the growth we have experienced is great as we are able to grow and employ more awesome people. But that growth comes at a price and today I want to write about what has happened and some hard decisions that I, as the owner and the person ultimately responsible, am making to 'fix' the problem. Now I say 'fix' as I don't know if these will truly fix the problem. I know they won't hurt things but as an agile company we have to change and adapt, do so quickly, efficiently, and constantly evolve.
It's rough, it's beyond uncut, and it's shooting straight from the hip and telling it like it is. There are no circles, squares, or triangles to get out of with us. Those things just don't exist. Our new video and soon pod cast series (just audio without the handsome actors -- okay not actors) deliver news and information related to digital marketing (with a splash of regular marketing), web design, software development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and the latest things as they happen. It will not be unheard of when breaking news in these subjects come out that we'll be fast on the change and streaming it live.
We took on a monumental challenge this past week. We had a new client using Adobe Muse. Nothing special about that beside the fact they learned that Adobe Muse is being retired in a few years and they wanted to be ahead of the curve and were already concerned the product wasn't working the way they needed it to. The largest concern with the Adobe Muse site was they stated the website loaded slow with the fastest page being around fifteen seconds to load. So we took a look and these are our findings with their site.
If you are not working to create content for your business, you are working toward a company that does not grow. Content is King and brings people into your world by telling an important set of stories to bring them into your world. Engagement is Queen and she truly rules the roost. Both need crowns, and both are equal and without either your business will fail. It is truly that simple and let’s look at what content is and how you need to be creating it today.
The first thing to cover is this is not legal advice. This is a culmination of over thirty blog articles and our take on GDPR from our friends at the European Union (EU). First, let’s cover what GDPR stands for. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and ultimately is designed to protect consumers. Personally, I feel this is a very good thing and if the United States legislature get’s it right they will copy it as it’s forcing businesses to be more transparent, honest (our rule #1), and helps make the internet a place people will want to be. In American we might think that these rules might not apply to us. We would be completely wrong with the age of the internet. The internet makes even a brand new, just opened today, one man/woman shop into an international business whether intended or not. Let’s look at what businesses need to do at a high-level to comply with GDPR.
Politics and social media have changed forever due to a recent decision that changes how political accounts function and engage with others online. The questions is, are you ready to deal with the changes?
Okay, okay, it sounds like a bad word but really it isn’t. Really. We just are using the acronym here as it did grab your attention. This article though is intended for those that work on web pages more than your regular every day site users. It is a good read for the non-technical as well as you’ll learn some technical terms but also easy ways to improve upon your website. We recently started adding sites that were having Flash of Unstyled Content or FOUC as it’s called in the web design world. We’ve seen it in the past and we are seeing it more as people that come on board with their existing sites have a ton of data and are not set to load properly. Both items will affect your website search engine optimization or SEO. We’re not going to cover that beyond the most basic of things.
If your entire marketing plan is paid marketing prepare to continually increase your paid marketing overtime. Paid marketing or pay-per-click is an effective way to reach new areas you weren’t previously in or areas where you want to further grow. Paid marketing though is not where you want your marketing efforts to be spent. You need to be looking at building up the content of your website for organic (e.g. free) marketing. Free marketing doesn’t mean it’s free though. It means you must do things the “old fashioned way” by working for it. You need to be updating your products, your services, and start a blog.
Despite a business's best intentions, sometimes you will end up with a client or employee who does not leave on a good note. A situation like this usually doesn't go beyond hurt feelings but in some cases, the level of angst may go beyond a few choice words and turn into a situation where one angry person can threaten your online business presence. Are there steps that can be taken in situations like this? Yes, there are. Let's discuss them.
All too often we see businesses making a big mistake when it comes to the search engines beyond ignoring them or just paying to play. They are still thinking the early 2000’s and the internet on how they worked before they could do a lot of 'self thinking'. The search engines have evolved, yet many businesses have not evolved with these changes. Google is a major force recon with when it comes to the search engines and they are not slowing down with their updates. With over 500 updates per year you need to continue to bring you’re 'A' game to make the search engines work for you. Paying for your search engine optimization or SEO is a short-term fix to a long-term problem.
Many of our clients, friends, and even local competitors we’ve been talking to over the past several weeks and they say we seem to be busy. We are and we know why and are going to tell you how we’re doing in one area. That area is search engine optimization and social media. It’s actually technology that gives us our edge. As software developers we think analytically to grow business. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools to help our small business clients rock it. We get tools that work together that give us insights into what the internet is doing. With that information we can dig deeper than most and spot trends months before others start reacting.
We always see our clients that either we write blog posts for or write their own that they routinely perform better than sites that don’t do any blog posts. There is a secret formula we have used over the years that have allowed us to get all of our clients to the first page almost always. There never is a “magic bullet” that will guarantee you page one results but following best practices, industry trends, and avoiding bad techniques you stand a better chance of being on page one. So, let’s stop the talking and get to some actionable results with Google, Bing, and other search engines.
We have never been fans of sliders as we found them distracting, not helping with your call to action or sales funnel. We won’t deny that having a slider can “look cool” but a website is more than just looking cool. You want to bring people into your sales funnel and buy from you. I will take a sale any day of the week over being the cool kid on the block. There’s more though than just your sales funnel to think about when it comes to a slider on your homepage (or any page for that matter). Let’s look at some of the drawbacks of sliders as well as how you can still have that cool kid wow factor and get rid of those drawbacks.
The world is bigger than we are or is it? That is a question I have pondered for many years. Like many, I have had more setbacks than I care to count. More than some while be less than others. Each set back has set me to a place that has put me where I am today. I have done not only good with my life but continue to strive for greatness. It has been, and continues to be, a personal struggle with the only competition I have; myself.
Email is centralized to a user where information is in a silo that only the one user can truly see. This creates speed bumps, roadblocks, and chaos within an organization. There are ways to fix this chaos by centralizing everything and making these tasks available to the entire team. Not only does this bring visibility into the eyes of everyone within the company but also brings in collaborative teamwork. When workloads for some are less they can step up and tackle items in the work queue and speed the entire process and eliminate one person from slowly down items within the system. This not only helps get projects completed more efficiently but lists start shrinking rather than growing.
The EU on May 22, 2017, past a new law called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This law goes into effect in May of 2018. Many companies, like JM2, have already taken measures to comply with this law. Hopefully, you have been diligent in meeting these upcoming needs so that you don't get hit with fines. The EU is very much behind peoples privacy and this affects anyone that maintains any personal data about individuals. This law also affects companies in the United States! The internet is big and there are no physical boundaries for commerce. The United States is often behind when it comes to laws of personal protection and this one is very aggressive. By being in compliance today you are a lot closer to be ready for when the United States catches up to protecting consumers more.