Tag: Digital Marketing

Two ways to get started in voice first

2 Ways To Get Started In Voice First

Below are two ways to get started in a world that is quickly becoming voice-first.

Launch a Flash Briefing

Flash briefings are the equivalent of news flashes and are available on the Amazon Echo and through the Alexa mobile app. Just say “Alexa. Play my flash briefings” and individual flash briefings will begin to play one after another.  

Every Echo comes with a default set of flash briefings from a few selected media. But briefings can, and should, be personalized to each person. At present, there are 8,600 flash briefings serving approximately 30 million flash briefing listeners.

Your organization can add its own flash briefing. Briefings are typically 2-5 minutes long each – but must be under 10 minutes – and can be on any topic you’d like.

If you already create content in video form, then consider ripping the audio and using that as the source for some or all of your briefings. If you create written content then that can be the basis for someone speaking the equivalent into a microphone.

If you’re not currently creating content, then this could be an opportunity for you to tell your story, document the journey of building your organization or conducting quick interviews with industry experts.

Once you have the flash briefing, you can also distribute the same content via a daily podcast on the major podcast platforms. That’ll kill multiple birds with one stone.

Create a Sonic Brand

Major brands either already have, or are rolling out, sonic brands. A sonic brand is the equivalent of a visual logo but in auditory form only. A good example of a sonic brand is the Intel jingle that you hear as the logo is drawn on the screen.

Most big brand TV commercials feature sonic brands – aka jingles – while their logos are drawn on the screen. What’s different about a sonic brand is that those big brands are now using just the jingles on voice-first platforms such as smart speakers. MasterCard just recently gained publicity by rolling out their own new sonic brand and accompanying voice-first features.

Wanting our own sonic brand, my company brainstormed on what we’d sound like. We quickly realized that we’ve used a typing keyboard sound in conjunction with an animated version of our logo in video format for the past two years.

That short video clip – aka a “bumper” video – served as an introduction to all video content that we create. We isolated just the audio from the bumper and what we had left was our new sonic brand.

If you have a bumper video, consider doing the same thing. If not then you can scour the internet for audio that you can commercially purchase and use for your own purposes. Look for a sound that is 2-3 seconds long. Once you’ve found it, and acquired the rights to it, use it everywhere: at the beginning of videos and voice first audio, and at company meetings. Over time people will begin to relate that sound with your brand, the same way they relate a logo to your brand.

Digital Marketing Strategy

How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Having a digital marketing strategy is a must for companies looking to compete and grow in the modern business world. For companies looking to invest in digital marketing, getting started can seem like a daunting task.

With so many factors – websites, advertising, SEO, social media, etc. – digital marketing may seem more complicated than you want to deal with.

What you need is one, simple, step-by-step digital marketing strategy to get you set up and on your way.

How will this guide help you?

  • It is a checklist of all the foundational pieces you’ll need for an effective digital marketing strategy.
  • It is a guide to creating a successful approach at every step of the buyer’s journey.
  • It is a collection of resources that go into detail on specific topics you may have questions about.

Download This Guide For Later

Starting Your Digital Marketing Strategy: Getting All Your Pieces in Place

Before you can design your lead-generating monster of a digital marketing plan, you need to have all of your key assets in place. With each one

You’ll need:

  • A website that serves as your lead-generating home base
  • A Google My Business Listing for businesses with local clientele
  • At least one social media channel depending on your business

Foundations of your Digital Marketing Strategy (14)

A Website Designed for Leads

The first order of business is your website. If you don’t have one, you need one. If you already have one, odds are that it could use a little bit of help on its way to being a lead-generating machine.

Let’s jump right into it with some simple, actionable points.

If You Don’t Have a Website…

As you might expect, if you don’t have a website, you need to get one. But it’s important to pick the best option for your needs and your budget.

There’s a few ways you can go about creating a website to serve as a base for your digital marketing strategy.

how-much-does-a-website-cost (1)

The first way is the DIY route. This route has grown in popularity in the last few years because of the improved, easy-to-use programs such as WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. They are specifically crafted to make web design easy for those of us who aren’t quite professional coders.

As you might imagine, they’re the most affordable option, but as you also might imagine, there are some downsides to the DIY route. For example, if your site is hacked or if there’s a glitch in an important contact form, you very well may be out of commission until you get professional help.

Doing your own website has its upside – mainly the cost – but we would not recommend it unless your budget requires it.

The second option is to outsource your website creation and/or support. While you may pay a little more than your standard domain name and hosting fees, you get a substantial boost in security and capability.

When You Do Have a Website…

So you just recently built a website? Or you’ve had one for a while now but it’s not generating leads as you had hoped?

There are several key elements you should be aware to help improve your website’s effectiveness: performance, user experience (UX), and search engine optimization (SEO). We will get into SEO later when we talk strategy.

Let’s start with website performance and how it affects your digital marketing strategy.

A website that performs poorly is like trying to win a drag race in a car missing several tires, a steering wheel, and an engine. If your website is missing key design and content elements, you’re not going to outperform your competition.

If your website is going to help you grow it will need to:

  • Load in under 3 seconds
  • Keep your visitors focused on relevant information (no distractions!)
  • Be updated with engaging content
  • Have a blog to build your keyword rankings in target areas

Website optimization seo

Setting Your Google My Business

If you’ve ever searched for something local on Google, then you’ve probably seen a Google My Business listing.

In an effort to connect people with what they are searching for as fast as possible, Google has prioritized their local business listings, often times above the normal search results!

For example, we are located in Chesapeake, VA, and if you search “best digital marketing agency” on Google in our area, there are a few ads and then the Google My Business listings. And you’ll find us right at the top!

google maps my business listing

This applies to any kind of search query that Google thinks might be looking for something local. Whether that’s “dentist near me” or “best coffee shops in (your city)”, try a few, and you’ll see what comes up.

Don’t have a My Business listing? Check out Hubspot’s step-by-step set up guide!

So why is this important for your digital marketing strategy?

Google My Business is the fastest, easiest form of SEO for companies focused on local clients. Google makes it easier to compete for smaller local companies instead of making you go up against the SEO giants for keywords relating to your services or products.

To the important question, how do you improve your My Business ranking?

Improve Google My Business

It may require a few updates up front, but improving your business listing is a very simple, steady stream of interaction that will take you no more than 10-15 minutes per week. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure all information fields are filled out and correct
  2. Post one simple post per week to let customers know about sales, events, or whatever else you are up to
  3. Solicit reviews. The more, the better! You want both more stars and more reviews.
  4. Respond to reviews. Not only will it show you care, but it will also tell Google that you are an active business that cares about its customers.

Having a Social Media Presence

Some business owners groan when they think of social media.

For many, social media doesn’t seem worth their time, but with a new generation of consumers, an inactive social media is like having cobwebs on your door.

If you want to know about social media strategy, we will get into that below.

Social media is an important part of your brand because it gives your customers an opportunity to stay engaged with your brand and become ambassadors for your brand by interacting with you.

But if you’re still wondering if you should even get started, we would recommend opening a Facebook page for your organization.

Facebook is a great starting point for your social media presence for a few reasons.

Facebook percent of mobile users

First is that Facebook is the most popular platform, especially in tandem with the rise of mobile. Facebook is used by a whopping 90% of mobile users.

The other reason we recommend Facebook as a starting point is the comprehensive nature of Facebook’s features to promote your company. You can (and should) do much more than just make posts occasionally! You can create and share events, integrate a call to action, post job openings, and dabble in easy paid promotions all in one place.

Building Your Foundation

If you’re serious about digital marketing, start with these pieces of your foundation. With a website, a My Business listing, and a social media presence, you’re ready to begin building out your digital marketing strategy!

Online Advertising: Fastest Returns

Online advertising is the fastest way to jumpstart online traffic and business growth. It lets you cut to the front of the line, meeting the right customers at just the right time.

There’s a few different ways you can advertise. If you’re planning on doing this yourself, we recommend you start with one, get to know it, then expand to other platforms.

Honestly, we recommend outsourcing it rather than investing all of the time necessary to become proficient enough to make it worth your time. If that’s an option you’re considering, check out our by-the-numbers comparison: In-house or Agency?

Digital Marketing Agency vs. Inhouse

If you are planning on doing your own online advertising, here’s a more thorough strategy guide on how to maximize your ROI – The Best Online Advertising Platforms and How to Use Them

For now, we’ll give you a high level view of your options with online advertising.

Online Advertising Pillar Page (3)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is popular among businesses because of its ability to put you in front of your ideal client at the very moment their most likely to need your good or service.

When doing search engine marketing, you’ll have success if you focus on three key keyword strategies:

  • Use Low Competition Keywords – Try to find keywords with fewer advertisers competing for them to lower your costs.
  • Use “Longtail Keywords” – These are longer keywords designed to filter out prospects who may be interested in offers that are similar to yours but not actually yours. Add in geographical or any industry keywords for more precise targeting.
  • Target Intent Keywords – Don’t just target categories. Target actions. For example, an HVAC company would target “air conditioning replacement/installation/repair” instead of “air conditioning”.

SEO Keyword Strategies

So where do you do this?

We would recommend Google Ads as a good starting point. Google has the overwhelming majority of web traffic, but we will warn you: if you’re not experienced with Google Ads, they will be more expensive and less efficient at first.

Another easy starting point is Google Express, which you can manage right from your Google My Business listing. It’s like Google Ads Light – it’s a little bit easier to use as well if you find Google Ads confusing.

Once you feel comfortable with Google Ads, a second option is Bing. Bing still gets 10% of all Internet search traffic. According to ComScore Desktop Search Engine rankings, Bing gets approximately 123 million searches per day!

To make Bing even more interesting, their average user is older and more financially established than the average Googler. All of this combined with less advertising competition makes Bing an intriguing option for online advertising.

Bing user demographics

Display Advertising to Build Your Brand

Another form of online advertising is display network advertising. When done correctly, these can be some of the lowest cost per click (CPC) advertisements you can run.

They have a lower click through rate (CTR), but ultimately, you get far more clicks for your dollar.

You can use these to build brand awareness, retarget website visitors, and more! For more on these strategies, check out the Display Ads section of The Best Online Advertising Platforms and How to Use Them.

Best online advertising platforms

Social Media Advertising

Advertising on social media can serve a variety of purposes in your overall digital marketing strategy.

As you might have guessed, you can use advertising to build your social media following with page and post boosts, but you can do a whole lot more than that as well!

Best online advertising platforms

You can use Facebook ads to precisely target your audience based on their demographics (age, gender, geography) and psychographics (interests, affiliation, etc.). You can also use what’s called a “Facebook pixel” to retarget users from your website.

With these off-platform goals, you can leverage social media’s immense data pool to target your ideal clients.

SEO: Building Your Brand Organically

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), the entire goal is to be the first option presented to individuals who are searching for your goods, services, or brand.

SEO is the long-game strategy, but by consistently doing a few simple things, you can build up your brand to the point that leads will frequently come in organically (without spending more advertising dollars).

These key things should be a part of your SEO strategy.

(Keyword) Content is King

The goal of SEO is to help Google see that your website is relevant to people searching for your potential goods and services.

Some people think this means you should just start “keyword stuffing” – filling up every page with an abnormal amount of keywords.

Take the example below who apparently does custom software. Does this read like a normal person would write? No! And now Google knows this too. This kind of content will no longer help you rank higher in search engines.

keyword stuffing

You want content that is genuinely useful to your visitors. Take the time to create quality content on your website, targeted at your core keywords.

So what do you do? Blog, and blog frequently! We recommend at least two quality blog posts per month.

Optimize for CTR and Session Duration

As we noted, Google wants to see that people who come to your pages are finding what they need. They look to two main statistics to determine how useful your content is.

The first one is click-through rate (CTR). CTR means that when people visit your page, they click on something there that takes them to a new page. Google interprets this as them having found something they were looking for or at least something interesting.


What does this mean for you? Make sure your site has clear, simple navigation options to help people find what they are looking for quickly. Also, include useful or entertaining resources on your pages to engage your traffic.

Successful Backlinking Leverages Real Life Networking

When some people think of SEO, they only think of someone behind a desk, typing away, but the most successful SEO efforts leverage real relationships, events, and more.

A significant part of your SEO value is a tactic called “backlinking”. To put it simply, backlinking is getting links to your website on other websites. Not only does this drive traffic from their website, but it is a significant part of how Google determines what websites are more trustworthy.

how backlinks work

There used to be a strategy where SEO marketers would try and get their links spread around thousands of websites whose sole purpose was building backlinks. Over time, Google caught on and began penalizing backlinks from websites that didn’t have a good “domain authority”, or high credibility.

If you’re just getting started with backlinking, we recommend holding off on spamming websites for backlinks. Instead, leverage your personal and social networks to build up links.

Offer to guest post on someone’s blog. Distribute significant company milestones or events to your local news outlets. Anything you can do to provide value to someone else in exchange for a link leading back to your site is a good start!

Engaging Your Audience with Social Media

For many business owners, social media seems like a hassle or it’s just too confusing to really be worth their time. But why is it that the most successful brands put significant time and energy into building their social media following? Because it works!

Social media is not an arm of your sales team. It doesn’t work for many businesses because they only post “buy this” or “we have a special sale” and expect their audience to love it.

Now we aren’t saying that you should never post a sale or a product on your social media, but if that’s all you do, your social media will be a flop!

We’re here to help you get started in the right direction with your social media.

creating a content strategy

Creating an Effective Content Strategy

There are three things you need to know about making a content strategy.

First, your content needs to revolve around your audience, not just whatever you want them to know. You need to plan content that engages them for a variety of reasons.

  1. Address topics they are passionate about
  2. Educate them in a way that helps solve their problems
  3. Engage your network directly by interacting on their posts
  4. Get your followers involved in the content creation process

Use the Right Tools to Save Time and Create Better Content

A common complaint of business owners with social media is that it takes too much time. They don’t remember to go on and post the things they’ve planned. Tools can help you!

Start saving your time with a scheduling tool! If you use Facebook, you can do it through “Publishing Tools”. If you use any other platforms, you can leverage a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.

best social media platforms

Warning: Don’t fall for the trick of automated social media posting. Most people see right through it, and it reflects poorly on your brand.

Up your social game with some simple, inexpensive visual tools too. Need some help making attractive graphics? Canva is like Photoshop for all of us who aren’t exactly “creatives”. Or make attractive videos with Veme.ly that boost engagement and reach.

Take some time to surf the app store to see all the new tools that come out every month!

Pick the Social Media Right Platform(s)

Every social media platform is unique with its own audience and specific behavior styles. For your brand, you want to find where most of your audience is “hanging out” online and build a presence wherever they are.

We recommended Facebook above because it is the most all-encompassing platform with the most users and the most functions. But what else is available?

Let’s round out our top 5 social media platforms. Facebook and what else?

How to use instagram strategy

Instagram: Visual Brand Building

Who It’s For: Brands with interesting products, events, office life, or anything else visual.
How to Use It: Post frequently with pictures that show the personality behind your brand. Include events, staff members, and anything “behind the scenes” that you can!

how to use twitter digital strategy

Twitter: Engagement and Personality Brand Building

Who It’s For: Brands whose ideal kind of prospect is already active on Twitter
How to Use It: Twitter is half what you post and half engaging with other people’s tweets. To get the most out of this platform, be extremely proactive in conversing with other users.

LinkedIn digital marketing strategy

LinkedIn: Prospecting and Network Building

Who It’s For: B2B companies looking for new clients and reputation building
How To Use It: Way too many people treat LinkedIn like a resume. It’s not. Use it like a business card instead! Expand your network, engage your dream clients. You want to build your personal brand by showing that you are knowledgeable in your industry.

snapchat digital marketing strategy

Snapchat: Fast-Paced, Curiosity-Driven Entertainment

Who It’s For: Brands with much younger clientele
How to Use It: Snapchat content needs to engage your audience immediately, creating intrigue, laughter, or some other emotion right out of the gate.

Creating Your Plan of Action

So what’s your next step? You have 3 options.

If you don’t have much breathing room in your budget for digital marketing, use this as a guide to help you get started. Keep it simple, and don’t spread yourself too thin. Don’t try to do everything at once. Instead, become proficient at a few things to make them really work for you.

If you have some financial flexibility, you can bring on an employee or even an intern to help bring some specialization to your team.

It should be noted though that you can get more expertise for the same price by outsourcing with an agency. The only time we recommend you start with an in-house employee or team is if you have a high volume of content for social media that you need full-time commitment for.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to work with a digital marketing agency, let’s chat! See what we’re all about, and give us a call or shoot us a message!

Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing is quickly emerging as the advertising of the future. Unlike print, radio, and television, the financial barrier to entry is lower and the ROI is always trackable thanks to tools like Google and Facebook’s analytics. As more and more businesses look to get their feet wet with digital marketing, a common question arises: should I hire a digital marketing agency or a new employee?

If You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency…

A growing number of companies are going the route of outsourcing their digital marketing needs to agencies rather than trying to hire an in-house specialist, but why is that?

Digital Marketing Agency Virginia Beach

Here are some of the reasons companies turn to digital marketing agencies:

1. Lower Costs

Plain and simple, you will generally get more for your money by going with an advertising agency. When comparing the cost of a full-time employee and an ad agency, think of them both in terms of monthly expenses.

A full time digital marketing employee starts around $35,000 a year if they have minimal experience up to $90,000 a year, which comes out to just under $3,000 or up to $7,500 a month plus benefits. This also does not include the money you will spend on the advertising itself.

On the other hand, a digital marketing agency can cost anywhere from $500 a month up to $5,000 or more depending on the firepower you want. Additionally, rather than getting one person’s experience and expertise, you can get an entire team worth of talent for the price.

(See our article How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost for a full break down of options and pricing.)

2. More Specialization

As we mentioned above, one key difference between hiring a digital marketing agency and an in-house employee is that with the agency, you get a package deal of talent.

Often times, if you hire an excellent digital marketing specialist in-house, they are likely to be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. They may be decently familiar with tools like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, SEO best practices, user experience, and social media marketing, but their knowledge of these tools is often not as deep as someone who spends all of their time using a specific tool. For example, your employee might know the basics of SEO, but do they know how to optimize your site for the rapidly emerging market of voice search? Do they know how to make seamless websites that provide exceptional user experience so that Google boosts your rankings? Usually, those would be a stretch for a single employee.

By hiring a digital marketing agency, you can add a digital advertising specialist, an SEO specialist, a user experience specialist, and a social media specialist to your team for less money than it would cost to have an in-house marketer.

If You Hire an In-House Marketing Specialist…

Some companies elect to bring on a new team member full time to handle all of their marketing needs. After all, marketing is not a part-time need for a company that is serious about growth – new customers and more cash flow are a must. Bringing on in-house help also has its advantages.

Digital Marketing Agency Virginia Beach

Here are some of the reasons businesses bring on a new employee to handle their digital marketing needs:

1. Full-time Attention

Depending on the digital marketing agency you might pick, you don’t necessarily have the guarantee that you will get all the attention your digital marketing goals need. If they are distracted with other clients or not well structured, there is a risk that a digital marketing agency won’t provide the work hours you need.

A strong full-time employee will be more constantly available than an agency, but again, that is also dependent on the quality of the digital marketing agency you would otherwise bring on to help you.

One thing to keep in mind when comparing the two is that you really aren’t getting more work hours out of a single employee. With a single employee, you might get one 40 hour week, but with a team of specialists, you’re more likely to get 4 to 5 8-hour weeks collectively. Ultimately, you’re still getting roughly the same amount of work hours devoted to your marketing.

2. Better Brand and Culture Familiarity

Sometimes, businesses decide to hire in-house because they feel a full-time employee will have a better chance at really understanding the company’s brand, goals, and voice. To an extent, this is true as an individual who spends every day immersed in company culture will pick this up better than a remote employee or team.

The best digital marketing agencies overcome this challenge by frequent communication and by listening to your vision and needs, but there’s not a guarantee that they’ll nail it.

3. Closer Communication

One final reason business might choose to hire a marketer in-house is that they expect communication to be faster and smoother. In some cases, this is true, but it’s not a guarantee. Some employees may be more disorganized, and a strong digital marketing company will meet and excel all of your communication needs.

Making Your Decision

At the end of the day, the most important number is your ROI. Accordingly, your decision should be made based on what will get you the best ROI and grow your business. Between the two options, determine which approach will result in the most successful advertising efforts. While you can’t know for sure ahead of time what your ROI would be, you can do a cost-benefit analysis that will help you figure out which one is most likely to produce better ROI:

Cost of an Agency: Monthly Retainer (see range above) + Advertising Spend
Cost of an Employee: Salary + Benefits + Vacation + Advertising Spend

Benefit of an Agency: More Specialized Services + More Money For Actual Advertising
Benefit of an Employee: Full-time Attention + More Understanding of Company Culture and Brand

If you want to learn more about how working with a digital marketing agency looks, get in touch with us! We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about what to expect and what option is best for your business.

How to Use Amazon Alexa Flash Briefings to Grow Your Business

Want a new way to deliver content to customers and prospects? Amazon’s Alexa may be just the tool to help you grow your business with one of her many features: Flash Briefings.

What is a Flash Briefing?

The Amazon Echo and Dot are voice-activated devices that can perform a multitude of tasks by giving them simple voice commands.

Saying, “Alexa, play my Flash Briefing” triggers a short news or information update that you, the listener, can customize from thousands of content options. Each “skill” can be up to 10 minutes long (although that is not recommended) and on a host of topics including tips, industry news, inspirational quotes, professional insights, whatever have you.

Think of it like a custom playlist for your favorite short podcasts. Pretty great, right?

Alexa Flash Briefing Terminology

You’re probably wondering: ‘What does is a skill?’ ‘Who is Alexa?’ ‘How is she going to grow my business?’ Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:

  • Alexa: Amazon’s virtual voice assistant. She answers all your questions, plays the music you request, gives you your Flash Briefing, essentially anything you ask her, she will give you an informed answer.
  • Skill: Kind of like the apps on your smartphone, Alexa has different skills that each customer can personalize. Some examples of available skills include trivia, cooking, weather, traffic, and news.
  • Flash Briefing: A succession of quick, personalized overviews of news and other content including business or financial advice, music, podcasts, sports, etc. You pick them personally on your app and they’ll be ready for you every morning.
  • Flash Briefing Skill: This is a more specific type of skill. It can be broken down into smaller categories of course (the topic of your flash briefing).

Tips for a Great Flash Briefing

Tip #1: Post Frequently

One of the most commonly asked questions associated with creating a flash briefing is: “How frequently should I publish content?”

Well, here’s the thing, Amazon asks you this exact question when you are setting up your Alexa Briefing and provides you with three options: weekly, daily, and hourly. So while, yes, you have some options here, we strongly recommend publishing daily. This is the way we’ve chosen to grow our own Flash Briefing and podcasts which you can check out here.

But, if you think that daily might be a bit more than you can handle, just dedicate yourself to publishing high-quality content at least once a week.

Tip #2: Keep it Short and Sweet

People engaging with Alexa want brevity; they’re not taking significant portions of their day to listen to her (or you) ramble on. While Amazon allows Flash Briefings to be up to 10 minutes long, keeping it under two minutes ensures that your listeners aren’t getting bored and skipping through.

Tip #3: Record a Few Episodes at a Time

This is especially critical if you have made it your goal to post daily. Our CEO, Erik Olson, the host of the Journey to $100 Million daily Flash Briefing, will brainstorm a series of ideas and record them all in one sitting. This is a technique called batching and it’s a great method of increasing productivity because you aren’t losing time switching between tasks.

Tip #4: Publish at Peak Times

Mornings are the key to getting your Flash Briefing to the most listeners because that’s when most people are listening as they go about their morning routine. The optimal time to publish is 4 AM ET and if you can’t bring yourself to get up that early and publish manually every day (totally understandable), there are tools to automate them. Try Effct, SoundUp, or Invocable.

If you’re working with an RSS feed platform, you should be able to schedule out your episodes well ahead of time. 100% recommended.  

Tip #5: Optimize Your Skill Title and Keywords

Just like you do with your website, Pinterest, and other mediums where you promote your business, you want to take advantage of every field by maximizing SEO

Give your Flash Briefing a short, clear name that tells users what it is and contains at least one important search term. 

Amazon allows you to select up to 30 single words as descriptive keywords. These and your description are prime real estate for your podcast. Include words that people search for related to your content or industry.

Tip #6: Promote Your Skill on Social Media

Share your Skill with your social network by alerting them of its very existence on social media.

Maybe 1-2 times per week add these posts to your posting schedules on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus, even Pinterest. Entice them with teasers to create curiosity and provide clear instructions on how to access your Skill.

Write a social media post, send an email to your subscribers, add a link to your email signature, and include a link on your social profiles.

6 tips for a great Amazon Alexa flash briefing

Where to get content for your Flash Briefing

If you’ve managed a podcast before, you know that there can be significant overhead in the production process and generating ideas is a big part of that. And Flash Briefings can run that same course. Or they could be much simpler. Here are some ideas:

  • If you have an existing podcast, take the best, most concise content from each episode and split it into 1-3 minute segments to post over a week or two.
  • Try conducting interviews with industry specialists. Ask a couple of questions and get their insight for your listeners.
  • Flash Briefing content can be recorded audio or text-to-speech, which is significantly less of a time commitment. Text-to-speech means that you provide Amazon the text you want and Alexa will then read it.
  • Subscribe to industry publications and use that for content ideas to cover in your Flash Briefing.
  • Repurpose your old content. Maybe you have blog posts that you can refurbish for your Skill. The key here is to not use time-sensitive content and to pull from the pieces that performed the best on your website to make sure it resonates with listeners.
  • Tease new content. Whether it be new products, services, or blog posts, you can share it in Flash Briefing format. Give a teaser then at the end tell your audience where to find more content on your blog, podcast, etc.

So, How Can Alexa Grow My Business?

According to the most recent data, an estimated 57.8 million people own an Alexa device. Add to that the number of people that have downloaded the Alexa app, which doesn’t require the purchase of an Amazon product, and that is a ton of visibility you could get on your Flash Briefing.

Because Flash Briefings are short, they require less time to produce, which equates to a lower overall production cost. That gives you time to invest elsewhere or publish them more often. Simply put, due to the large audience that your flash briefing could potentially reach, it can yield a greater ROI than other advertising methods.

It’s safe to say that voice interactions are a way of the future. Even though the audience for Flash Briefings isn’t huge now (primarily because it hasn’t been largely advertised by Amazon), it’s popularity is set to skyrocket, similar to that of podcasts. When that time comes and you already have an established Flash Briefing, you’ll be poised for success.

Why is a call to action important

Why You Need a Call to Action

This morning, I was stuck in traffic for just a couple minutes waiting for a light to turn and I looked up and saw two billboards. A lot came to mind when I saw the billboards. One of the billboards was relatively high quality – very large on an actual billboard. The other one was a marquee in front of a business – more on the low budget side of the spectrum.

Is a High-Quality Ad All You Need?

Let’s start with the billboard. You can you tell it’s high quality, probably produced by an agency. I don’t know who did it – but when you look at it, you see smiling faces and that’s about it. If you look hard enough you’ll see who the advertiser is – it’s a children’s hospital. Or basically it’s an organization that supports children that are sick. Very noble. But what I’m wondering is, what’s the call to action?

Customers without a Call to Action?

As someone that looks at that billboard I have to assume that I’m the target audience. What can I do with what I’m looking at?

I am currently reading a classic advertising book. It’s called Ogilvy On Advertising. The author is David Ogilvy, and he feels very strongly that every single ad should sell something. So what does the billboard sell?

Now, granted they’re not selling directly for the healthy well-being of kids. But, I don’t know what they’re selling. I’m not sure why they spent the money that they spent to get that message out to the public. And, again, I’m just passing by on my regular drive to work. If I’m not their target audience, which I have to assume I am, they showed me the advertisement. If I’m not the target audience, then why are they showing it to me?

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

The second one is a relatively low quality, low production cost marquee. This marquee is for selling used car tires. Although their ad might not be the most attractive, the call to action is quite strong. I know what I can buy there – it’s very clear. I understand that I can buy used tires, and I even know how much the used tires are gonna cost because they put them on there. Not only that, but as a matter of fact they even had their normal price and a special.

They have a call to action which is the phone number that they have listed right there on the ad. So if I’m sitting here in traffic and I need tires I could call them right now on my phone. Also, that marquee is perfectly located because it’s right in front of their business. If I need tires and I don’t want to spend a lot of money, I know what I’m going to pay.

Not only that, but I can easily turn my car into their parking lot. It’s perfect, it’s highly targeted, and it’s relevant. I’m driving in a car, that uses tires; they’re selling tires. There’s a call to action, there’s pricing. It’s perfect!

Even if you’re going to advertise in something like print, you always have to think about what is it you’re selling and what’s the call to action. If someone absolutely loves your ad and business model, but has no where to contact you for the product/service they love, then what is someone supposed to do with the information that you’re giving to them? If you do not have a call to action with whatever type of advertisement you may be pursuing, you are missing out on countless leads.

What Goals Should I Use to Calculate ROI?

What’s the Best Way to Calculate ROI?

With marketing, your goal for ROI is usually either brand awareness or lead generation.

If it’s brand awareness, it’s very, very difficult to tell what your return on investment is, because you don’t see an immediate impact. But, with lead generation, you do. You see leads come in. They’re either someone emailing you, a contact us form, or it’s a phone call.

In order to calculate the actual return on investment, you need to figure out how many leads you got first, and then determine what percentage of those leads will likely turn into sales.

Now, there may be a step in-between, like appointments, but in the end – leads turn into sales.

How Much is a Sale Worth?

To our next question to calculate your ROI: how much is a sale worth? We need to answer this question so we can compare it to our marketing cost to acquire the lead.

For a lot of our clients the sale value depends on which product or service was sold. Maybe 10% of the time, it’s a $200 sale. Another 50% of the time it’s a $1,000 sale, and the rest of the time it’s a $10,000 sale. Your business is probably broken up in similar ways. The key is, you need to break it down, and estimate what you think a sale is worth and what the conversion of leads to sales is.

Once you do that, then you have the information for revenue. That’s your top line, you’re going to divide here. On the top you have revenue that you’ve generated. On the bottom you have the amount that you spent on marketing. You’re just going to divide the two.

Simple Math

Let’s say you generate $10,000 in revenue and you spend 2,500 hundred dollars, so your return of investment is 400%. If you’re doing some marketing and you can’t do that calculation, or your marketing agency can’t do that for you, that means you’re probably not actually generating leads, you’re creating brand awareness. Is brand awareness good? Of course. But, if it doesn’t generate leads, it’s not paying the bills, and I think pretty much everyone that is reading this, wants leads, they want bills to be paid. Brand awareness is a nice secondary.

4 Components to Marketing Any Business

4 Components to Marketing Any Business

For a business to grow and acquire revenue, it must attract new customers. Every start-up company and established corporation needs a solid marketing plan that generates leads and results in higher conversion rates. The first step to marketing your business requires a brand that effectively communicates its purpose to the world.

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© 2019 Array Digital LLC
© 2019 Array Digital LLC