Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hire a Professional When Diving Into Internet Marketing

When dealing with internet marketing and SEO to increase traffic and sales for your business, there can be a lot to handle.  Allow the professionals to dive into this with you!

Link Building

Link building remains important, but it’s safe to say that this aspect of SEO has changed more than any other.  If you’re concerned that your link building techniques may be out-of-date according to new SEO best practices, turn to a professional like Windy City Strategies.

Blogging and Content Marketing

Content marketing has made one of the biggest jumps in importance ever, given the potential for natural link creation this tactic provides.  If you don’t yet have a company blog or a content marketing strategy in place, you simply contact Windy City Strategies to get one started!

Branding and Marketing

Google hasn’t shied away from sharing its love of big brands.  From the search giant’s standpoint, this makes sense, as customers are often more likely to report positive user experiences on branded sites than on their “no name” competitors.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always good news for smaller websites, who may have lacked the budget, resources, or wherewithal to develop their brands in the past.  If you find yourself in this tenuous position, talk to Windy City Strategies to find the best branding solutions for your business.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you’re in the market for fast traffic, you simply can’t beat pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.  However, given the steep learning curve that’s sometimes associated with this marketing method, you’d be wise to take heed of the resources and advice Windy City Strategies can offer on how to manage these campaigns effectively.

Behavior Flow New To Google Analytics

A new exciting feature that Google has recently released is the behavior flow tool which allows advertisers to see how customers are coming to their website and how they are moving through their website. Google has recently enhanced these results by adding the functionality of Content Groupings support.

Content Grouping lets you group content in a way that reflects how you think your site should be navigated. You then have the ability toe view and compare the metrics. You are also able to drill down into specific URLs and pages.

Here is a video further explaining how this works.

The behavior flow tool is a great opportunity to leverage the data and in turn use that to better optimize websites and improve conversions. Windy City Strategies highly recommends this tool and has been using it for all of our clients. For more information about behavior flow or to find out how to optimize your website better, contact us today.

Massive mobile Marketing Trends in 2014

Five months into 2014 and so much has changed.  It seems like 2014 has begun a tipping year for brands and agencies to finally seriously start thinking about mobile in their marketing strategy.  It’s a totally new media channel that requires simplification, engagement, and quick response.  Companies like Facebook and Yahoo, once completely thought of as a desktop brands, are now calling themselves and positioning as mobile first brands.

Here are the 4 biggest mobile marketing trends for 2014:

1)      Big Data Grows Up:  I think we’re all a bit sick of the term ‘big data’, but it’s been coined that way for a reason over the past few years.  Mobile opens up a world of data that no other channel can provide, with access to a user’s on-the-go lifestyle, consumption habits, social, transactions and is the fabric to connecting to the world around us – it truly tells marketers who their consumer is.

2)      Mobile Ads stand on its own two legs:  Mobile in general has been the little child of desktop in terms of creativity since its inception.  This heavily started to change and take shape in 2013, with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter leading the way.  The data normally speaks for itself, and although standard baby banners show some results – new ad units are trumping the results in terms of quality consumers being acquired or engaging with brands.  The rage is all about native units in 2014, which allows brands to simply embed their message into a publisher’s site / app and match the look and feel of the publisher, without being intrusive.

3)      Value of Sponsorships:  Some of the smartest brands out there are going beyond just the simple idea of running banner ads and looking at sponsoring apps with large reach / frequency (don’t hear that enough in mobile, eh?).  A perfect example of this is taking over and immersing your brand in a sports app.  Just think about the amount of time this demographic opens the app just in one day.  They’re opening the app because they literally see it as a piece of their life, and by placing your brand messaging in a non-intrusive way – you are now forming a new rich connection that is much more valuable than a standard desktop sponsorship.  This is due to the intimacy and brand affiliation with the apps you’re sponsoring.

4)      Quality over Quantity:  With over 1 million apps in the iOS App Store and in Google play, the shift from pure number of downloads to quality is changing every day.  On iOS, the number of downloads directly effects your ranking.  With the number of apps rapidly increasing, the costs to get to a specific rank is beginning to not benefit advertisers like it did in the past. In 2014, the shift to driving quality engaged users, and maintaining them will continue to grow.  Brands should stop looking at a simple ‘cost per install’ or ‘cost per download’ and go beyond to measure in-app events from user registrations, purchases, social sharing and more.  As mentioned above, with a trend towards mobile and social increasing, so should your strategy on how to achieve that.

2014 is an exciting year for the mobile landscape.  Things are really starting to take shape for both marketers to continue to increase the ROI in mobile, and for consumers to finally get the experiences they’ve been asking for.  If you’re not getting this education / testing from your agencies or partners, it’s time to make sure you get ahead of the curve before it’s too late.  Finally, trust Windy City Strategies to put you ahead in the game.

Google’s New Guide To Keywords

AdWords advertisers are always looking for the best practices for keyword targeting for search campaigns, and recently Google provided a new “guide to keywords.”

Some of the new items addressed in the guide focus on the relationship between search queries and keywords which are the main focus of search advertising through Google AdWords.  Items such as the meaning of a users search, the language a user uses, keyword length, expansion opportunities, negative keywords and more are all addressed more in depth than ever before.

As a Google Partner, this new guide is providing advertisers at our agency, Windy City Strategies, with outstanding new opportunities to expand AdWords accounts in order to have a better use of budget, CTR and conversions.

To take advantage of these opportunities and to optimize your AdWords campaign for the best performance online, contact us today.

 

Google Partners Certifications

Being a Google Partners, means agencies like Windy City Strategies have put an effort into making their businesses relationship with Google a top priority. As a Google Partner, agencies, online marking consultants and web professionals have exclusive access to a large range of benefits  which include beta programs, technical support, networking opportunities, training and additional tools just for agencies.

Windy City Strategies gained its partner status over a year ago when the program changed names and was a certificated company before that. The advertising professionals at Windy City Strategies have completed and received high honors in Advertising Fundamentals, Advanced Display and is now taking the new test for Video Advertising.

Google Partners Video Advertising certification will give Windy City Strategies the recognition for expertise specifically in video advertising for YouTube and Google Display Network. With the new certification we will be able to reach brand new clients who are specifically interested in video advertising and help give better support to our current clients who are running this form of advertising.

If your company is interested in video advertising or looking for a reputable company who is a Google Partner, contact the professionals at Windy City Strategies. We are a full service Internet marketing companies who has helped thousands of client succeed online.

Internet Marketing Trends

The Internet is always changing the way information is being shared and has a great impact on marketing. Here are several tips to help you business succeed in our highly competitive Internet Marketing world.

1. Content

– One of the main ways to draw people to your website and  establish authority is by writing valuable and optimized content. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. By doing this, it will allow your company to build rapport with its your clients and potential customers and develop a loyal following.

2. Social Media

– It has been a common practice for many companies to draw in clientele through social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These social media outlets allow businesses to engage with their audience and provide helpful tips and information.

3. Mobile Friendly

– Smartphones are everywhere…. this means your business needs to be optimized to rank high on the search engines and your website is designed to display well on mobile devices. Capturing your audience as quickly as possible is key to driving new business leads and sales.

4. Remarketing

– This form of marketing has become incredibly popular and works by using browser cookies to track visitors and websites. By creating highly creative and eye catching ads you can remarket your business to visitors in a variety of different ways.

While these are some very helpful steps to take your Internet marketing to the next level, it is important to consult with a company like Windy City Strategies who is an industry leader in online advertising and can help businesses of all sizes succeed online. For more information or a free consultation, contact us today.

Stay In Touch With Social Marketing

As many business owners already know, marketing on social networks is crucial to your business.  This is very much a vital part of building and keeping relationships.  Marketing automation can almost double your social marketing effect.  With strategies like these and the help of Windy City Strategies, social marketing can help you build and maintain lasting, personalized relationships with your customers.

If your social marketing is fully integrated with your marketing automation, you can also use it to develop relationships with early-stage prospects, gather data, nurture leads, and turn customers into advocates.  Featured below are ways that marketing automation can amplify the power of your social marketing.

Stay in touch and run social marketing.

With frequent blogs and press releases, our system makes social engagement simple, allowing organizations to place polls on any Facebook tab or company landing page.  Polls are an easy way to collect contact information, and if a visitor shares your content, your marketing automation can also collect that data, which will be tied to their record as a known lead.

Map social engagement to your sales funnel.

If you are mapping engagement to every touch point throughout the sales funnel, you can see clearly how each moment of engagement affects each prospect.  If your social applications are integrated into your marketing automation, you can track individual leads (and customers) as they interact with your campaigns.