Why Video Marketing is Important to St. Augustine and First Coast Small Businesses

Why Video Marketing is Important to St. Augustine and First Coast Small Businesses

 

Want a powerful way to gain your customer’s attention?

Imagine This

A St. Augustine tourist wants to dine on fresh, local seafood. The tourist turns to her smartphone and queries Google.

While scrolling her search results, she notices a video thumbnail of a chef holding a fish. Tapping the thumbnail image, she watches the chef proudly describe his fresh catch of the day and the recipe planned for it at his local St. Augustine restaurant.

“Sounds delicious,” she says.

The video ends with a link to the restaurant’s website. The tourist visits the site and makes a reservation for her family.

Let’s Imagine Another

A Mandarin homeowner notices brown spots on his lawn. Later that day, he mentions the brown spots to his friends on Facebook. Shortly, he spots a video on his Facebook news feed describing brown spots on Jacksonville area lawns.

“What a coincidence,” he thinks as he taps the video.

A local professional lawn care expert confidently explains what could be causing brown spots on Jacksonville area lawns. The video ends with an invitation to call the First Coast expert if you have brown spots and he’d be happy to visit and check out your lawn.

Homeowner makes the call.

A Little Side Note: That video in his newsfeed wasn’t the coincidence the homeowner thought. The savvy lawn care expert planted that video in Facebook to arrive in that newsfeed when the right interest in that topic was triggered. Facebook marketing will be a topic for a later article—stay tuned. Let’s get back to videos.

Video Marketing Stats that Should Get Your Attention

Videos are a powerful way to tell your business story. It’s a marketing tactic that’s made an impact in consumer communication consumption:

  • Nearly 50% of internet users look for videos on products and services before making a decision according to Google (2016)
  • 53% of smartphone users trend toward businesses with mobile sites providing video content (Google, 2015)
  • Video viewers are 1.81 more likely to purchase than non-viewers according to Animoto (2015)
  • Facebook users are watching 100 million hours of video every day according to Techcrunch (2016)
  • 45% are watching more than an hour of videos on Facebook or Youtube per week according to Hubspot (2016)
  • 43% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses (Hubspot, 2016)

Video consumption is a trend that will grow. 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2017 according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index.

Key Takeaway: Your customers love watching videos

They like videos that communicate information quickly and in a friendly way. Videos are a great way to establish an initial relationship with customers, build trust and sales.

Let’s Add Another Takeaway: Google and Facebook Love Videos

Want to appear on page 1 of Google’s search results for a local topic of interest? You’re 53% more likely to appear on page 1 if you’ve got a relevant video embedded on your webpage or on Youtube.

Can’t get any traction with your Facebook photos and posts? Facebook reach for social video posts do a lot better – over 100% percent better according to various reports. Engaging Facebook Live Videos are getting more preference on the social network.

Small Businesses and the Impact of Video Marketing

Nearly 76.5% of Professional marketers and small businesses that use video marketing are seeing a positive impact on their business according to a recent study by Animoto.

Many of these businesses will be increasing their video marketing in 2017.

How About You?

Have you started using videos in your promotion efforts? If not, start doing so. The stats stated above should be evidence that video marketing is important today, and will grow more so in the future.

Ready to Start a Video Marketing Strategy?

Clearly, regardless of your industry, video marketing can be a huge benefit to your business.

Looking for someone to brainstorm ideas using videos? We’d love to help. Give us a call at (904) 429-4588 and let’s start discussing how you can use videos to attract customers, increase leads and generate more sales from the local market.

Google Preparing a “Mobile-First” Search Experience

Google Preparing a “Mobile-First” Search Experience

Time to Mobilize Your Site!

If your website is mobile-friendly, congrats!

Your site will soon become part of Google’s dedicated mobile—and PRIMARY—search index.

Bad news for non-mobile-friendly websites? These sites will remain in Google’s current and not-refreshed-frequently desktop search index. Basically, these sites will live only in Google’s second class search engine real estate.

This announcement came from Google webmaster trends analyst, Gary Illyes, speaking recently at Pubcon, the digital marketing conference.

While the timeline to this search engine index change is unclear (in months, says Illyes), the ramification is all too apparent: Google will provide two separate search engine experiences.

Simply put, Google searchers will be able to find your site on their mobile devices IF your site is mobile friendly. Otherwise, they won’t find you on their cell phones.

Mobile Users are Online—Big Time!

Nearly 90 percent of mobile consumers turn to search first on their phones to address their need to “know, go, do and buy” according to a recent Google survey.

Earlier this year, a SimilarWeb report, shared on Marketingland.com, showed that 56 percent of consumer traffic is now on mobile devices. The top 10 mobile traffic site categories that receive at least 60 percent of their traffic from mobile devices:

  1. Beauty and Fitness
  2. Home and Garden
  3. Health
  4. Pets and Animals
  5. People and Society
  6. Shopping
  7. Gambling
  8. Auto
  9. Recreation and Hobbies
  10. Sports

 

And those consumer numbers are growing—fast.

Considering that St. Augustine, Northeast Florida—well, all of Florida—is a heavy tourist-based economy, I’d imagine mobile search usage is much higher. How many people drag their desktop on vacation?

Time to Mobile Up Your Site

If you haven’t done so already, it’s past time to make your site mobile friendly.

That means your site experience should look good and be easily navigable on a mobile device (if you have to zoom to read your site—it’s not mobile-friendly).

Plus images and videos should be optimized for mobile devices.

As we reported back in April, 2015 [link: http://bsullc.com/google-to-give-mobile-friendly-websites-a-ranking-boost-starting-april-21-is-your-site-ready/], Google’s been working toward a mobile-preferred search world for a while.

Now, they’re moving on to the next phase of their mobilization of our online experience. Let’s make sure you can move along with them.

If you’re concerned about your site, or have questions regarding its mobile-friendliness, we’ll be happy to provide you with answers. Give us a call: (904) 429-4588.

 

Encouraging Online Reviews Can Help Your Business Get Noticed

Encouraging Online Reviews Can Help Your Business Get Noticed

If you’re in business potential customers have probably looked you up online to read what other customers say about you.

That’s natural. People trust the judgement of the crowd. There’s social proof that choosing this company over another could be a good decision.

A company with many positive reviews and multiple stars will get more notice in a general search than a company that has few or no reviews.

There’s Opportunity in Being Reviewed

If your competitors have little to no online reviews that’s an opportunity to stand out as a top-rated company!

And once you have a system in place to encourage reviews, it will be difficult for your competitors to catch up—if they figure out the importance of reviews.

Being Strategic With Getting Reviews

If you’re new to the review process, let’s talk about strategy. While it might be easy to just get reviews from every happy customer—you should focus on encouraging reviews in specific categories of services and products.

That type of strategy takes a bit of online keyword research and competitive analysis.

For example, a pest control company finds that competitors have many reviews on their residential services and few for commercial. Keyword research determines that commercial pest control—maybe in a specific industry—is searched often by potential customers.

By encouraging reviews in that specific category, that pest control company could overtake competitors and become the top-rated company for that service. Once you’re comfortable in that category, expand your strategy into others.

Getting Reviews

To be honest with you, that’s easier said than done. After all, people are busy these days. But the effort is worth it. Adding a request for review in the customer’s lifecycle experience can be effective.

  • Train your staff to ask for a review whenever they get a compliment
  • Ask long-term clients to give you a review
  • Ask owners of businesses you do business with for a review

How Many Reviews and Where?

The web is awash with places to leave business reviews. However, you don’t have to target every review site to be effective. Think about where your customers might find you online—then make sure they see how good of a job you do for customers.

As a general rule:

  • Get at least six 5-star reviews on Google My Business
  • Get at least five to ten reviews on your Facebook page
  • Get at least five reviews on industry-specific websites such as Zillow.com for Real Estate Agents, Avvo.com for Attorneys, Healthgrades.com for medical professionals, etc.

By the way, the key phrase above is “at least.” Getting reviews is an ongoing process that helps keep you a “top-rated” company.

And if you ever get a negative review, respond quickly and positively. In some cases, the review site might take down the review if it’s unfair; it never hurts to ask. And if you do resolve an issue with an unhappy client, ask that they provide a follow up review.

There’s power in showing how responsive you are at settling issues.

Do you have a review system in place?

How is it working for you? Give us a call, 904-429-4588, and we’d be happy to help you with your reviews.

Write a Powerful Call to Action!

Write a Powerful Call to Action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, I saw an ad for a service that appealed to a need of mine.

The ad had some of the elements of a good promotion:

  • A headline
  • An image and colors to attract my attention
  • Contact information (such as a phone number)

What was missing? Well, a few things really. The ad focused on features instead of benefits. There wasn’t an offer to quickly motivate me, which is needed to get a consumer to respond.

Most importantly, No Clear Call to Action

Call to action, or CTA, is essential to motivate a response to your message.

The ad needed easy instructions on what to do next. Sure, there’s a phone number. I guess they wanted me to call.

It’s the guessing part—a slight hesitation on the part of the consumer on what action to take—that can create mental confusion. Confusion is an obstacle that could mean one less customer for your business.

A simple “Call Today to Schedule Your Service” would have sufficed.

Let’s Dissect a CTA

“Call Today to Schedule Your Service” tells me exactly what I should do after the ad has built a case on why that company can handle my needs.

Consider the CTA the close of your sales pitch. It’s the guide to the next step the customer needs to take to accomplish his or her goal.

The phrase “Call Today to Schedule Your Service” is actionable.

“Call” is the simple, actionable, easily understood verb that sets the stage for what to do next.

“Today” provides an urgency to take action. The phrase could include “Now” instead of “Today.”

“Schedule Your Service” is the payoff—the final destination—to taking action.

Fancying Up a CTA

An added bonus would be to combine “limitations” to create the sense of “urgency.” Consider the emotional impact of:

Hurry! Only a Few Appointments Available this Week.
Call Now to Schedule Your Service.

If you throw a time-based offer into the mix, you can really drive that sense of urgency.

Limited Time Offer! Ends September 15.
Call Immediately to Schedule Your Service.

Test Your CTAs

There’s many phrases you can use to create a CTA. Which one is right for you? Well, that’s what testing CTAs can tell you.

Try different phrases combined with different offers. Track the responses.

Eventually, you’ll discover a formula that drives more engagement for your product or service.

Need Help Creating CTAs that Convert? Don’t wait and risk another customer passing you by. Give us a Call Today at 904-429-4588.

Google to Give Mobile-Friendly Websites a Ranking Boost Starting April 21 – Is Your Site Ready?

Google to Give Mobile-Friendly Websites a Ranking Boost Starting April 21 – Is Your Site Ready?

Heads up! If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your Google rankings could be in for a “significant impact” after April 21. Assume that’s a negative “significant impact.”

On the other hand, if your website is mobile-compatible, it’s eligible for a valuable Google ranking boost. Congratulations!

In February, Google made an announcement that the search engine will expand its use of “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking factor.

Here’s a quote from their announcement:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

So, What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?

Last November, Google started labeling sites as “Mobile-friendly” in their search results. Sites featuring this label provide a better mobile web experience in the eyes of Google.

You can see an example of the “Mobile-friendly” label in the Google search results for St. Augustine’s Raintree Restaurant website. Raintree’s previous website was not responsive to mobile devices and would have been penalized with the upcoming Google changes.

raintreeresults

Last year, Business Solutions Unlimited developed Raintree’s new website to meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

How Do You Determine if Your Website is Mobile-Friendly?

Checking your site’s mobile-friendliness is easy.

First, hop on your smart phone and search for your website in Google to see if the search results identify your site as “Mobile-friendly.”

Second, head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and enter your website address. If you get an “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” message, congratulations! You’re good to go for April 21.

If you didn’t get that response, then make plans for a website upgrade if online search visitors are critical to your business.

Google rarely gives businesses warnings prior to search ranking updates. They’ve given you an opportunity to take action before they make this change to their algorithm. That’s an opportunity many should take heed.

If you want help making your website mobile-friendly, give us call. We’re ready to help.