Happy Social Media Day!

Click here to learn how to conquer Social Media Day like a boss!

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Does your website make the grade? Let us Evaluate it for free!

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For the month of July, PIP Triad will be offering a Free Website Grader for your business. We will evaluate your site based on the key points of a well designed website.

Overall Site Performance, Readability, Security, Mobile & Responsive Friendliness, Popularity, SEO Effectiveness & Content Keywords, Speed, Social Ranking & Marketing, and Site Structure

In today’s world, having a great website can mean the difference between being a
mind-blowing marketing machine and a total miss. Let us help by giving you the tips and tools you need to conquer the internet with a top-notch site.

Contact us today to get started!

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Five Easy Tips For Finding Your Instagram Audience

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You’ve already missed your window of opportunity to be an early adopter for Instagram. The app now boasts 400 million monthly active users sharing 80 million+ photos per day.

But don’t worry, because it’s not too late to start using Instagram for business. If you can find a way to tell your brand story with beautiful, captivating images and clever captions, you can find an audience on Instagram.

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter or Pinterest, Instagram is a mobile-first app — the only top mobile app that began as a mobile platform, rather than as a website. In May, the app unveiled an updated user interface and a new icon. Instagram has also been gradually rolling out paid advertising capabilities that marketers can easily integrate and access through Facebook ads.

But before you jump in, you should understand that Instagram is a unique community. That means copying the same ads you use for Facebook may not be the best strategy.

Instagram advises businesses to start with a clear goal in mind. Decide whether you want to drive awareness, website traffic, or app downloads. After that, you just need great content!

Here then, are five easy tips for finding and building your Insta-audience:

  1. Give images a cohesive look. Use the channel to reinforce your company’s personality. Sure, include your logo or watermark image, but keep supporting your ongoing brand identity in addition to the current campaign.
  2. Share beauty and quality. Selfies may be popular, but that’s not a sustainable strategy for brands. Share gorgeous photos that look as professional as possible. If your story involves quality, it should be evident in the quality of your photography.
  3. Use keywords for #hashtags. This helps people to find your images. You can piggyback on popular hashtags or get creative and invent your own. If yours catches on and other people use it, a user-generated collage of images gets created. You can include up to 30 for now.
  4. Include additional tags. Help people find your images by tagging people with the Add People function, or include a geotag for the location.
  5. Keep copy brief. Pay off your image with a clever caption. Use little (if any) copy in the image itself. The caption space has no limit, but longer text may get cut off in your followers’ newsfeed (with the indication that “more” can be seen by clicking). If your story requires longer copy in the caption, go ahead and tell it. If you keep it interesting, people will read it!

Feature of the Week: UNC-G Bryan School of Business

Yesterday, we finished a very special install at the UNC-G Bryan School of Business. This was a photo taken by a UNC-G student of the UNC-G Bryan School of Business campus. We enlarged and mounted the photo to PVC boards and installed them using aluminum standoffs. As part of the project, the customer also wanted to paint the wall behind the photo display. We helped them decide on a color by choosing several paint chips from a local home improvement store using colors in the photo.

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3 Powerful Reasons to Embrace Social Media as a Customer Service Platform

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Integrated marketers take note: In 2014 alone, nearly 840 million customers took to social media platforms like Facebook to relate a negative brand experience. So if social mediaisn’t already part of your customer service strategy, it’s time to start thinking about it.

Social media is the great equalizer, putting customers on equal footing with the brands they buy and companies from whom they purchase. Even the rich and powerful—think Taylor Swift—aren’t above taking to Facebook or Twitter to vent their frustrations with a company. Beyond damage control, using social media for your customer service is a smart way to gain other important benefits for your business:

Satisfy demand for instant gratification

Gone are the days when customers will tolerate waiting in a queue for 30 minutes to ask a question or get help with a product—not when they can jump onto social media. And you shouldn’t be far behind. According to one survey, 42% of customers expect a response within
60 minutes. For integrated marketers already engaged in social listening, you should be able to meet this challenge, and make your customers very happy.

Take relationships to the next level

Instead of sending a customer to an 800 number or other channel, communicating on social media helps you put your best food forward, and be human, sympathetic, and relatable. Simply engaging with customers on social media is a good way to build brand loyalty, according to a report published by Texas Tech University that looked at how Starbucks used Twitter to create more positive interactions with customers. And from anSEO perspective, the more mentions of your brand, the better.

An easy way to delight customers

Your customers want to be able to ask questions and get answers from a single channel—not having to call a number or anything else that makes them feel like they’re jumping through hoops. MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut says customers want to be not only empowered, but delighted by customer service—and using social is a good way to do it.

Rewards outweigh the risks

Even though using social media as a customer service platform requires you to be nimble and may leave you feeling like your company’s reputation is wide-open and vulnerable, the payoff can be significant: increased loyalty and engagement, and better SEO. Visit our Social Media Marketing archive for more tips on integrating social media into your marketing mix.

7 Myths About Digital Marketing That Keep You From Growing

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According to eMarketer, businesses spent more than $170 billion in digital marketing in 2015. The industry is experiencing exploding growth that all businesses should tap into. However, those that lack experience are held back by some myths attached to digital marketing. And they may be keeping your business from growing. So, let’s debunk some of the myths holding you back from getting the maximum results from your online marketing.

Myth 1: SEO is dead

Truth: SEO’s obituary has been written many times. SEO has evolved but is far from being dead. What worked in 2010 doesn’t work in 2016, and what works this year may change in the next couple of years. You just have to keep on top of the trend. SEO is a great form of marketing as it brings in people that are actually searching for your content. But with lots of websites creating great content, it is a struggle to rise to the top. Big brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their SEO campaigns. You need to be strategic if you want to compete.

Myth 2: Social media only works for few industries

Truth: Every industry can benefit from social media profiles. Social media is all about connecting with your customers and spreading the word about your business. Social media can be a powerful and efficient channel for just about any industry. Strategic implementation of social media marketing can bring exposure, open communication and provide returns. But not all social media channels are equal and you shouldn’t put equal emphasis on all of them. If you’re a B2B or B2C company, you need to find the social network that suits your business. For instance, while Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter may be best for a B2B company, other social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook work better for a B2C retailer. Similarly, service companies need to approach social media differently than a retailer.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Content Marketing 101: The Art of Storytelling

Myth 3: You should move all your marketing online

Truth: Digital marketing has the potential to get your information to audiences wherever they may be. But digital marketing is not the whole picture. You should see digital marketing as one part of your overall marketing plan. Obviously huge numbers of customers get their information online, read reviews and make purchases online. However, there are still a good number of audiences reading magazines, newspapers, billboards, and watching TV. For your marketing to be successful, you need a good mix of both traditional and digital marketing working together toward a common objective.

Myth 4: Mobile consumers do not convert

Truth: Mobile is responsible for the majority online traffic. In 2014, mobile internet use overtook desktop. Your business will struggle if it is not optimized for mobile. E-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay pull in huge numbers of mobile sales every day. Effective mobile optimization is key to converting mobile visitors.

Myth 5: Content marketing is a waste of time

Truth: Many small business assume that the work is finished once their website is up and running. But, you need consistent new, quality content to help your search engine visibility and continue engagement with your target audience. Content marketing is inextricably linked with SEO campaigns, enabling you to bring in audiences searching for your content. Plus, no one likes reading outdated content – your customers may question the viability of your business if your last content update was the launch of your website.

Myth 6: You should constantly redesign your website

Truth: There is no need to redesign when your current site is doing well. However, you need to test sales pages to see if there is a need to redesign. Redesign only when you need to boost sales, to re-optimize or catch up with current trends. There need to be data to back up your decision to redesign. That said, you do need to add fresh, quality content and keep your site up-to-date. See Myth 5.

Myth 7: A negative online review will destroy your business

Truth: Every business is bound to have one or two unsatisfied customers, warranted or not. Always ensure that you address customer concerns. Consider negative reviews as an opportunity to improve and educate. Don’t ignore legitimate negative comments/reviews – take your time to respond to the customer and assure him that you care about loyalty. Addressing negatively comments/reviews can be an opportunity instead of a setback.