Importance of Houzz

Home Sweet Home: Why Your Business Should Be On Houzz

If you’re in the renovating business or are in the process of renovating yourself, you’ve likely heard of Houzz. It brands itself as “the new way to design your home.” What this means is the days of perusing home catalogues and shopping for hours at furniture stores are ending, and a new era of home design is here. Houzz offers a comprehensive platform for businesses and customers to connect through photos, discussions, and community. It can be a lot to take in, but we’ll have you feeling at home on Houzz in no time.

 

Which Businesses Should Use Houzz?

Here’s the thing: residential housing is a vast category. In order for Houzz to serve its audience, it needs to be as vast as its topic. That means there isn’t just one kind of business involved. If it can be found in a house, you’ll find it on Houzz, and that’s great for your business. You’ll find people looking for information on home improvement, remodeling, building, decorating, and so much more. The main page scrolls FOREVER with content including everything from interior design tips to products to people’s before and after projects.

Importance of Houzz

What’s more, you don’t have to be directly related to home improvement to “home” in on Houzz. Home stagers, photographers, environmental services, and landscaping can all be found there as well. If your business model involves improving people’s quality of house and home, you should be on Houzz.

 

Why Should Your Business Be on Houzz?

This is the age of renovations. Increasing housing costs are pushing people towards fixing the houses they already have instead of buying new ones. There are over 35 million users (and very likely significantly more now) using Houzz, and that’s a huge market to tap into. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s what the site focuses on. People respond well to images, therefore submitting your projects and products provides significant exposure for your brand.

 

Facebook Ads and Following

How to Use Paid Ads to Grow Your Facebook Following

So, you’ve got your Facebook Business page set up and you’re posting regularly. You’ve even got some likes and shares. That’s great! But why stop there? With over 1.79 billion users active on the platform every day that’s a lot of real estate to cover, and your content can only reach so far without a little help. That’s where Facebook Paid Ads come into play.

Let’s start with the basics.

 

What is a Facebook Paid Ad?

According to Facebook, “With Facebook Ads, you can create targeted ads to reach different audiences and meet your business goals.” It seems pretty straightforward, but let us elaborate.

Facebook Paid Ads are a simple and cost-effective strategy for your business to reach a specified demographic. You can promote your custom ads and content to reach an audience of your choosing. What’s more, you can use the ads to collect data that will help you improve the ads to increase their efficiency.

 

How to Build An Effective Facebook Ad

When you’re building your ad, there are a few important factors to consider:

 

Choose Your Audience
Deciding which demographics you want to target is one of the most important parts of optimizing your ad. Choosing a broad range is effective for some businesses, but you’re more likely to see results by narrowing your terms. For example, if you’re selling video games you might want to target men and women between the ages of 15 and 40 with interests in video games and entertainment, since that’s where your customers are likely coming from. If you’ve optimized your audience to your business, you’ll reach people who will want to follow your page.

Create a Compelling Message
Your Facebook Ad has limited space, so make sure you’re saying exactly what you want to. Are you offering a deal? Hosting an event? Showcasing products? Make your message relevant to your audience and give it a call to action! Don’t forget to add an image, too. Ads with photos are much more likely to attract attention than those without.

Switch it Up
Why make only one ad when you can make two? Creating more than one ad gives you multiple sets of analytics so you can determine which ads work and which ones don’t. If you find your ads are working well, it’s still important to switch them up every so often so the message doesn’t stagnate. People get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, so keep it fresh!

 

You’re all set to get started! Facebook Ads are meant to be easy, and Facebook has some great resources to help you get started. If you’ve got questions, give us a shout! Cargo Digital is here to help.

Halloween marketing mistakes

4 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid this Halloween

Supernatural claims, tricking instead of treating, comments in the catacombs, being invisible? If it sounds more spooky than marketing-related, you couldn’t be more wrong. Our team compiled the 4 marketing mistakes you should avoid this Halloween to make sure you’re not just serving ghosts of customers past! Take a look:

Now that you know what not to do, contact our team at Cargo Digital to learn more about how we can help your business thrive well beyond the holidays.

Happy Halloween!

Ace Marketing Team

How to Build an Ace Marketing Team

Marketing. It’s the oil that keeps the cogs of a business turning. It’s essential for brand awareness and identity, and attracts people to your business. When it’s that important, you need a great team working with you to make those things happen! So what does it take to build an ace marketing team?

 

Know the Roles

Before you hire anyone you need to know what you’re hiring for. There are some key components to every marketing team.

 

Digital Marketing

If you’re not marketing in the digital world, you’re falling behind. Digital marketing experts can navigate all aspects of the web, including SEO, social media, and the intricacies of Google.

Content

You’ve heard it before. “Content is king.” That’s why you need someone specifically assigned to creating content for your brand. Another great thing about Content Marketers is that they’re often jack-of-all-trades, so if you need a place to start, this is a good one.

Data

Who are your customers? Where are they shopping? What engages them? This data can determine whether you attract new customers and keep your current ones. Marketing Data Analysts are information gurus, able to collect and analyze trends and statistics to show how effective your marketing strategies are.

Inbound Marketing

Wouldn’t it be nice if customers came to you instead of the other way around? That’s what Inbound Marketers are for! They are in charge of the customer experience. The customer decision journey is changing, and you need to be engaging them on their level.

 

Find Where They’re Hiding

Now that you know what roles to fill, how do you find these diamonds in the rough? Some of them likely come from marketing-related fields already. Your digital marketing candidates might be managing social media or doing website design or SEO strategy for a competitor. The content creators might be in journalism, recent graduates with English degrees, or communications specialists. Your data junkies might come from the finance field (gotta love those spreadsheet skills). Inbound marketers love connection, so checking out LinkedIn is a good start!

 

Rethink Traditional Hiring

Found someone amazing but they don’t fit the role? Create a role for them. You don’t want to miss out on an amazing hire just because they’d be a better video content creator than blog writer. And don’t forget, it’s just as important to have someone who fits in with your company culture and your team, so make sure to take that into consideration when making your choice.

 

Have questions? Get in touch! We’d love to connect.

website

What Makes a Website Visually Appealing?

In many cases, your website is the first experience people have with your brand. That means you have to make it a good one! People respond to visual cues, so how can you take advantage of that with your website design?

Choose Your Message

What is your business? What do you want people to take away? When you’ve only got a few seconds to impress before they click the back button, you want to make sure that you’re giving people what they’re looking for right off the bat.

Take our site for example:

Cargo website

What do we do? You know the answer right away; it’s the first thing you see.

Choose a Header Image

The other thing you see when you get to our page is our header. People love images and videos, so make good use of them on your homepage and throughout your site! Don’t just choose any old image though. Pick one that will connect people to what you do and offer. Make sure you have the rights to the photo, too, or choose one from a stock photo site. Pexels has some good advice on how to optimize your header.

Decide on Font and Colours

Fonts and colours have power! They are tools through which your message is received. That’s why your font choice is important. Don’t go too crazy on the colours, either.  A basic understanding of colour psychology can help you decide on a colour scheme.

Commit to Responsive Design

Stats show that 65% of people have a better opinion of a brand if they have a good mobile website experience. We live in an age of portable technology; the internet is at the tips of our fingers. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re falling behind your competitors. What’s more, having a mobile responsive website actually improves your SEO (and getting points with Google is what every website wants)!

Keep Things Simple (But Not TOO Simple)

A good user experience is what keeps people on your site longer. Don’t make things harder for them with too many images and links. That being said, a webpage that has no description of services or information about the company isn’t useful either. The trick is to have enough info to keep people engaged, but not so much that they drown in your content.

Have more questions? Get in touch! At Cargo Digital we’re happy to help.

 

Pokemon GO

Attracting Customers to your Business with Pokémon GO

Within 13 hours of Pokémon GO’s release, it topped the charts in the App Store, turning this augmented reality game into North America’s new reality.

Pokémon GO is currently the most popular game for mobile in North America (move over, Candy Crush!) There are over 21 million people active on the app daily. That’s a huge demographic. What can you do to attract these users to your business?

Take Advantage of PokéStops

PokéStops are where people get in-game items. You can find PokéStop locations here.

  1. Attract People

Found a PokéStop by your business? Amp it up with Lure Modules! These attract more Pokémonand peopleto the stop. This is a “pay-to-win” option (they’re available for real money in the Pokémon GO store), but it’s a valid marketing strategy. Don’t forget to announce the time you plan to drop the module on your social media!

  1. Be Open Minded

Whether you’re capitalizing on the PokéStop or not, it’s going to attract trainers. Not every person playing will be a customer, but discouraging people from playing nearby will ensure that none of them will be.

  1. Future: Sponsorship

Currently, Niantic (the Pokémon GO creator) isn’t accepting submissions for new PokéStops, but there’s talk of sponsorship opportunities in the future. Keep an eye out to get your business on the PokéMap!

What If There are No PokéStops Nearby?

You can still use Pokémon GO to attract customers with no stops nearby.

  1. Take Advantage of App Setbacks

Pokémon GO is a notorious battery drainer. If you’ve got plug-ins and Wi-Fi at your location, advertise yourself as a free charging station! People will stay until their phones are charged, enticing them to spend their time (and likely money!) at your business.

  1. Have a Pokémon GO Special

  • Are people catching Pokémon in your store? Get them to screenshot it for a discount or dollars off their purchase.
  • Offer a discount for people who bring in a specific Pokémon.
  • Encourage current customers to take pictures of Pokémon caught with your merchandise.

Get creative! You know what works for your business.

  1. #UseSocialMedia

Most people playing Pokémon GO are also on social media. Invite people to come to your business on your channels! Advertise your Pokémon GO specials and ask people to tag your business in their posts about the app. That’ll get your name out there (you could even add a promotion to boost results)! Look up #PokémonGo. There are new tweets about it every few seconds. People are talking, and you could be part of that conversation!

Pokémon GO isn’t GOing anywhere soon. Get on board and enjoy the ride! And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! Cargo Digital is here to help.

hashtag

3 Steps to Effectively Use Hashtags

Ask anyone under the age of 20 what the symbol is and they won’t call it a pound sign. This harmless little sign has now taken on a whole new identity, one you must adapt to to remain modern and appealing on today’s social media channels…but how?

When done right, hashtags can improve your visibility online, extend your reach, and much more! Of course, too much of a good thing can be a really bad thing and hashtags are no exception to this rule. Even #millennials don’t want to see #useless #hashtags #EverywhereTheyGo, because #That’sTotallyAnnoying. See our point? With these tips, you’ll be using hashtags successfully and engaging your superfans in no time!

Choosing the Ideal Hashtag for Your Business

Make sure you create a brand hashtag that is short, easy to spell, and unique to your company. Remember, short and sweet is always better. If your business builds homes, a hashtag like #BuildingTheHomeOfYourDreamsIsWhatWeDo is less appealing and memorable than #DreamHomesByBusinessX. The same goes for a campaign hashtag. For a promotion, keep its unique hashtag short and simple so fans remember it easily and tag it whenever it’s relevant! Easy, right?

Using Trending Hashtags

Slapping an octothorpe on any old word isn’t doing you any favours. Your best bet is to use hashtags that are already trending on social media channels. Again, this comes with a word of warning:  less is more! If you spam a trending topic with too many posts or hashtags that are irrelevant to your business or post, you run the risk of irritating your potential audience. How do you know what’s trending? A few great resources, like hashtags.org and Trendsmap can help you discover what’s trending and what you can use to boost your social media reach. See? It’s not so hard!

Social Media Platforms

What social platform will you be using? Let’s run through the most common platforms together and make sure you’re hashtagging like a pro. Using hashtags on Facebook isn’t actually useful in boosting engagement, so you can drop them altogether. If you’re a die-hard hashtagger, limit your usage to one or two tags per post. Similarly, using less than two hashtags is most effective for Twitter as well. To optimize Google+, you can simply increase it to three tags. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Instagrammers use upwards of 11 for optimal performance. Remember though, don’t overdo it either. Got it? Great!

Now you’re ready to get out there and hashtag your way to success! With our suggestions, you can grow your social media following, extend your reach, and so much more. Still hesitant? Let us know! Cargo Digital is ready to help whenever you are.

customer relationships

Tips to Build Customer Relationships

Building great customer relationships is essential to the success of your business. If your customers don’t feel connected and loyal to you and your brand, they’ll easily go somewhere else. But how do you effectively build those relationships? The following tips will get you started to better, more fulfilling relationships with your customers.

Communication

Communication is the key to any relationship, and the same holds true for your company’s relationships with customers. Whether the contact is through email, telephone calls, or even in-person meets, your clients will love increased contact!

Email Marketing

A quick newsletter is an inexpensive way to keep that contact with clients. Newsletters are easy to create and can highlight specials, news, and more!

Humanity

No matter what you do, never treat your customers like they’re numbers. Even if they’re on the other end of a screen, they’re still human, too. Try to remember something about them, more than just their name. Remembering a personal detail of a person can dramatically affect how they feel toward you, and your company.

Learn

Everyone makes mistakes and companies are no different. When those mistakes happen, admit to them quickly and learn from the feedback your customers present to you. By taking ownership of those mistakes and working to correct them, you show the integrity of your company.

Honesty

Don’t make promises to your customers that you, or the company, just can’t keep. Most people would rather hear the truth than an elaborate series of explanationsand possibly liesabout why something can’t be done.

The most important element of building customer relationshipseven more important than all these othersis to remember the Golden Rule. Always, no matter the circumstance, treat your customers the way you’d want to be treated. There are threads of this throughout every other step, proving it’s, by far, the most important.

Communication and integrity are key to building, developing, and even maintaining those customer relationships. If you’re looking for more ways to grow your customer base and those relationships digitally, contact Cargo Digital today!

facebook following

Building an Organic Facebook Following

Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is one of the most debated systems around. This algorithm determines who can see your posts and where they show up in the Newsfeed.

There are four main components of the algorithm:  interest, the creator, the post type, and the recency of the post. We’ll explore these components and how to build your following organically.

 

Interest

The first thing Facebook considers is how interesting users find your content. Followers will see more of your posts because they’re already interested in your page. How much interaction a post receives is also factored into the algorithm. The more people who like, share, and comment on your post, the more people it will reach!

 

The Creator

The performance of your page’s past posts is measured against posts from other users. This is where it helps to be more active on your pages! Remember, though, more activity doesn’t always equal more interest.

 

Post Type

The type of post plays a role in how much interest and reach a post receives. Typically, photo-based posts on Facebook rank higher than text-only posts. Images allow users to take in information more quickly than text-based posts.

 

Recency

There are over three million posts made to Facebook every hour, and how recently you posted will matter! The Newsfeed algorithm takes publishing time into consideration when determining where your post should appear.

 

How to Grow your Audience

The best tips to grow your organic Facebook following are simple. The first, and likely the most logical, is to be active on your page! If you’re not posting, there’s nothing for your audience to interact with. Varying the content you post can also impact on your follower numbers. Different types of posts appeal to different members of your audience.

By responding to comments, reviews and creating a dialogue you can see a big difference in the engagement level of your audience. Be social and use your accounts to connect and engage with your followers!

If there’s one thing that will work against your business page, it’s spamming. Ensure you post the best content by curating it carefully, based on the wants of your audience. By posting only curated content, your followers are more likely to be engaged!

This information, and these tips, could help you grow your own Facebook following without having to spend any money! Still need some help with your social media audience? Cargo Digital is here to help.

 

customer behavior

Using Customer Behavior to Personalize Sales

 

Marketing automation is every marketer’s dream, but is it taking away from the personalized service your customers have come to expect from your brand? It doesn’t have to be that way! There are tools and strategies available to help you personalize your sales system. You can use customer behavior to help your customers feel they’re getting the individualized attention they deserve!

The number one way to achieve a personalized feel to your sales funnel is to examine customer behavior. If you’re an online shopper, you’ve undoubtedly received weekly, if not daily, newsletters and ads from the stores you frequent. Some of these ads may display items on sale, or going on sale, but if their email campaign is good and they’re examining your behavior, they’re much more targeted.

Have you ever received an email from a company reminding you that there are items in your shopping cart? This is the perfect example of an email campaign based around customer behavior.

Amazon does an excellent job of making personalized recommendations to their customers based on recent purchases. Their clients receive these recommendations both through email, and right on the site when they log in. They take marketing personalization to the next level this way! Their final, and very influential, personalization strategy comes in the form of cues on the website informing customers that other people who bought the item they’re purchasing also bought these. These cues are reminiscent of small impulse purchases at the grocery store till.

Regular newsletters and updates sent to your clients and customers are also an important way to increase engagement with your business or brand. Even something as simple as a post-order email thanking the client for their purchase can improve sales and the personalized touch the client feels, making them more inclined to use your services again!

Is your business doing everything it can to increase the personalized touches your clients feel? Customized pop-ups, newsletters, and targeted email campaigns based on customer behavior improve your sales conversions? Cargo Digital would love to help you personally connect with your clients.