Category Archives: Marketing

Facebook Earnings Increase

Facebook has had a major increase with many people using this website, but it still has to grow in both numbers of users and revenue. The major reason Facebook has seen a decrease is from people accessing Facebook on a mobile device, rather than using it on a desktop computer.

Facebook recently released their second quarter earnings for the year and the findings reveal that the number of active mobile users have increased by 51% over the last year to 819 million monthly users. Ever since Facebook updated its strategy in mobile advertising, there have been more that 1 million active advertisers, many of them including local businesses. This creates a great opportunity for not only these companies but a little bit of hope for our economy.

As for advertising, the numbers shot through the roof with an astounding $1.8 billion in revenue, which is a 61% increase from last year.  Almost half of the money that was earned from advertising, which was $1.6 billion, came from mobile advertising.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “People on average are spending more time on Facebook than ever before.” The numbers are there to prove it, showing that users spent over 20 billion minutes on Facebook during the month of June.

For more information about Facebook for your business, contact Windy City Strategies.

How A Marketing Campaign Is Effective For Your Business

Setting up an Internet marketing campaign is essential to every business plan because it can help you build customer relationships and awareness for your company. When implementing an effective marketing campaign, there are a few important factors that can increase potential customers and let your brand be known.

Having valuable content with relevant keywords and phrases on your website will make other businesses within your industry work harder to compete with what is on your site. Everyone’s end goal is to show up naturally on Google in the first spot.  To start achieving this goal, review the content on your site and make sure you are staying competitive with other businesses.

PPC & SEO Campaign :  A PPC or SEO campaign will allow your company to be found easily and increase your rankings in popular search engines. With a PPC plan in place, you are able to set your own budget to control your costs and see results immediately, unlike waiting for your organic search to show up. Certain SEO techniques can drive more traffic to your site, and help give your company better search results.

A successful marketing campaign will require you to separate yourself from your competition.  Think about what is unique about your company or why your customers should choose you over other brands. Take that information and use it to your advantage so people will remember you. Grabbing the attention of your viewers will make you stand out in the crowd.

Contact Windy City Strategies for more information about how you can get started with an Internet marketing campaign today.

Do You Have An Effective Content Marketing Strategy?

An effective content marketing strategy is an essential factor in delivering your business’s message to your customers. By developing a strong content marketing strategy, your ability to attract and retain the attention of your targeted audience will significantly increase, which will provide you with optimal end results, allowing for the success of your business.

 

Who Is Your Audience?

Your content marketing strategy must start with your targeted audience. By determining what you are selling and who you are selling your products or services to, you can have a better understanding, allowing your content to be relevant and effective. Also, you should consider things such as your customers’ demographics, their particular needs, as well as their online behavior. Our Internet marketing team can create content designed around both your business’s needs and your customers’.

What Kind of Content Is Your Audience Looking For?

It is important to consider the type of content your audience will be looking for. Do they prefer the use of videos or articles? It is important to ensure you are including relevant forms of content on your website, which will ultimately help drive traffic to your site. You can also use a variety of forms of content, especially when your targeted audience is composed of various types of buyer personas.

Do You Have A Blog?

One of the most popular content marketing strategies today is blogging. Blogging provides your business with the opportunity to not only create more index-able pages but also provide you with more credibility within the search engine rankings, increasing your ranking amongst your competitors.

In order for your business to be successful in today’s technological world, it is important that you implement an effective content marketing and Internet marketing campaign. For more information, or help developing your content marketing strategy, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Creating An Award-Winning Website

When creating a website, web design has five key tenets: content, appearance, usability, standards compliance and feature functionality. An award-winning site must be easy to navigate through, no bugs, visually-stunning, seamless to use, and must be filled with information that is worth consuming. Follow the 4 secrets below if you want to have an award-winning website:

  • Using White Space To Your Advantage: When your audiences view your site, the website should be user-friendly and sophisticated. Utilizing white space throughout your site can highlight key elements and make the content pop. Having a simply-designed website that has plenty of white space will make your audience want to stay and explore.
  • User-Friendly Homepage & Navigation:  Make sure your products/services are accessible on the homepage and ensure the navigation bar is intuitive and conspicuous to use on both mobile and desktop platforms. The 3-second rule is one way to test your website and to see if it’s top notch! Make sure all text is clear and easy to understand. Only show a few quality graphics on each page and content that will catch your readers’ attention.
  • Having Customer Reviews / Offers & Promotions: When having an e-commerce site it’s wise to have a few positive reviews your customers have left for you. You could also have a few specials going on, and have coupons/ promotions posted to your site. This gives your readers that extra incentive to take things to the next step in wanting to purchase a product from you.
  • Responsive Design: Having a responsive design allows you to have content to be viewed on any screen; this includes both desktops and mobile devices.

If you have questions on how you can have an award winning website, give Windy City Strategies a call!

5 Reasons Your Business Needs A Facebook Account

Social media plays an important role in advertising and marketing today’s businesses, especially when it comes to small companies. With more close to two billion active Facebook accounts, the most of any social media platform, there are several reasons your business needs a Facebook account:

1. Build Relationships with your Customers: Not only do businesses that use Facebook have a good way to connect with their customers, but it is an effective method to spread the most important word-of-mouth referrals. By building these relationships, businesses can personalize their marketing efforts based on their audience, building offers and promotions based on their customers’ demands.

2. Gain Exposure: In addition to building relationships and spreading your name, your business will be generating awareness amongst others, free of charge. With every “like” or “share” of your business’s page or post, the greater your social media exposure will be, ultimately increasing the chance that your page will be seen by hundreds of people.

3. Increase Traffic to your Website: There are a couple of ways you can drive traffic to your business’ Facebook page. One of the most effective ways is when your users utilize FourSquare to “check-in” to your place of business, which lets their Facebook friends know that they are at your business location. Another way is by sharing any of the products or services they may have purchased from your business on their Facebook account.

4. Advertise your Business: Facebook allows you the ability to advertise on their network, allowing you to effectively target your customers. With Facebook’s Custom Audiences service, you can target your customers using email lists or you can use Partner Categories, which targets a specific industry, to better influence your desired audience.

5. Provide High Quality Customer Service: There is nothing more important to a business that input from their customers. By utilizing a Facebook page, your business can reach out to their audience to generate suggestions for future products or services, solicit feedback, or most importantly, show your customers how much you value them, making you stand out form your competition by offering high quality customer service.

Windy City Strategies specializes in customized Internet marketing solutions for businesses big and small. For more information, or to get started on an Internet marketing campaign to boost your business, contact us today.

 

Starting An Internet Marketing Campaign? Follow These Helpful Tips

An effective Internet marketing campaign plays a huge role in attracting potential clients to your website. This not only increases business and potential revenue for you, but it also enhances the branding and validity of your business’s products or services.

Starting an Internet marketing campaign may seem intimidating, however, our professional Internet marketers at Windy City Strategies have some helpful tips to help get you started:

Tip #1: Consult with an Internet marketing firm. Not only will they help you start an effective Internet marketing campaign, but they will also have the ability to implement a plan that is right for your specific business and needs.

Tip # 2: Understand the importance of SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is important in creating an effective Internet marketing campaign. By improving and promoting your website amongst search engines, you can better drive traffic to your website.

Tip #3: Create a blog. Blogs are a great way to not only interact with your current potential customers, but it also helps you to become an expert in your industry. Blogs are also beneficial in creating more pages for your website, which also helps you to be found easier amongst the search engines.

Tip #4: Write a press release. Another great way to gain exposure is through a press release. Online press releases about your business are also a great way to be found in the search engines. This is also helpful in announcing any news or partnerships that you may have.

Tip #5: Have a user-friendly website. By ensuring your visitors can access your website from any device, you can produce a positive and user-friendly experience, which will bring your customers and potential clients back to your website.

For more information on how we can help boost your business with our customized Internet marketing campaigns, contact us at Windy City Strategies today.

Why your Website Needs HTTPS

Ever since Google announced a couple years ago that the security of your website will affect its rankings on Google, there has been a huge push to get SSL (secured socket layer) on websites who previously used HTTP. If you are unaware of what HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) does, here’s a brief summary: in essence, HTTP is the format in which all data is sent across the general internet (excluding the deep web, for obvious reasons). This format breaks apart the data being sent into small pieces called packets, which are then sent to many servers and computers until the information reaches the correct IP address.

This method of data transfer has been around for ages, nearly since the beginning of the internet. However, HTTP easily allows for a middle man, an attacker, to gain access to the data being sent. For obvious security reasons, most people don’t want their sensitive information to be looked at by anonymous third parties. This is where HTTPS and SSL come into play. SSL, as mentioned earlier, is the standard for setting up a strongly encrypted link between a web server and a web browser/computer.

In order to ensure the data is truly being sent through an SSL secured website, the website URL will display https://yourwebsite.com rather than http://yourwebsite.com. This additional layer of security creates a peace of mind for most users online.

Not only is Google cracking down on websites that have yet to get an SSL certificate, but so are payment authorization companies. Most websites will not be allowed to take credit card information – or any private information – unless the website is fully encrypted through the use of an SSL certificate.

If the vast majority of the previous information flew right over your head, here’s what you should take away: in order for your website to be ranked higher on Google, and therefore be seen by many more people, it is important to get an SSL certificate which will fully encrypt your website and reduce the risk of your website being hacked and your user’s information stolen. If you have any questions or would like to get a quote for the services you are looking for, feel free to contact us at Windy City Strategies, and we’ll promptly get back to you.

How to find the Right Keywords

Perfecting your client base is crucial to your success and the overall growth of your business. The best way to do so is by consistently updating your keywords used for your advertisement campaigns and SEO titles and descriptions. To properly ensure you are going about the process correctly, there are a couple tips and tricks you should keep in mind.

  • Test Keywords with PPC: In order to properly understand how your keywords are being looked at and processed, you should use some of your pay per click campaign budget towards keyword testing. When you do this, you will spend a little now to gain a lot later.
    • To properly do this, you should begin with broader terms you feel might apply to your business and then slowly work your way into more narrow and specific terms. If your business sells fake flowers, begin with broad flower terms and work your way into more specific names and colors.
  • Compare Keywords: One thing many advertisement campaigns fail to do is compare keywords against one another. Once you have a list of relatively effective words you plan on using, begin to sort your advertisements by playing with the synergy of the words and their context.
  • Know your Audience: Understanding what demographics your advertisements and business is targeting is crucial to determining which keywords will be most effective. If you are selling professional grade laptops, you will likely not want to have children or the elderly viewing your advertisements.
  • Control the Websites: When you are running advertisement campaigns, you will typically have control over which websites you do and do not want your advertisements to show up on. This is known as whitelisting and blacklisting, a technique that proves time and time again to be very effective in more efficiently targeting possible clients.

Having the ability to control who sees your advertisements and when they see it is crucial to building an effective advertisement campaign. If you have any questions or would like to become better versed in developing a powerful advertisement campaign, be sure to contact us at Windy City Strategies.

How Efficient Is Your Ad-Targeting?

The best way to get your business name out on the internet is through direct ad-targeting; it is imperative that you push your services and products towards the correct audience, however, it is very common for your ads to be targeted toward the wrong people.

To ensure your business is not wasting money trying to attract the wrong clients, you should take several steps to better target your advertisements.

  • Keywords: Nearly all advertisement agencies enter keywords into a complex algorithm to identify which websites your ads should be posted on. The keywords you submit are the MOST important part of your ad-targeting campaign, a detail that cannot be stressed enough. You must evaluate what your business is, what services or products you are trying to sell, and whether or not your pricing is appropriate for the audiences you are targeting.
  • Advertisement Efficiency: If you use a service such as Google’s Adsense, then you have access to a wide array of unique tools to better target your advertisements. One of the most important tools focuses on the efficiency of your campaign: the number of people clicking on your ads versus the number of people not clicking or viewing your ads. This number is the best way to determine whether your ad-targeting is working or not and should be looked at on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Whitelisted Websites: Finally, it is crucial to your business’ advertisements’ success that they are being displayed on the proper websites. If you are a technology company, it is unlikely you would want any of your ads being displayed on a website promoting the Amish way of life, it’s that simple. You must ensure your advertisements are being displayed on appropriate sites for your goals to be met.

If you or your business have any questions, be sure to contact us to begin your business’ successful future.

Windy City Strategies Named One Of The Top Digital Marketing Agencies

Windy City Strategies was named one of the top 19 digital marketing agencies in the Chicago area for 2017 by Expertise.com.

In order to be at the top of the list, the digital marketing companies that were reviewed had to meet certain criteria, such as:

  1. Reputation- A history of outstanding customer service and happy customers.
  2. Credibility- Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.
  3. Experience- Based on years of experience and education.
  4. Availability- Approachable and responsive to their customers.
  5. Professionalism- Provides service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

According to Expertise, Windy City Strategies made the list due to the following:

“Windy City Strategies has been one of the city’s premier digital marketing firms for more than a decade, providing targets solutions and innovative tools designed to help businesses succeed and grow. The award-winning company’s range of services includes customized website design, local and national search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising to draw in revenue and reach broader markets. The company also offers a free AdWords audit to first-time customers, giving businesses valuable insights into ways to improve current online tools and strategies.”

If you are interested in learning more about why Windy City Strategies is one of the best digital marketing companies in the Chicagoland area, then contact us for more information today!