Tag Archives: GREENCREST

Boost Online Conversions with Ad and Landing Page Updates

Tablet computer and financial charts

Receiving online conversions through paid search campaigns requires efforts in more than just ad copy and creativity. Just as important is how those ads appear and where they’re sending users. When you’re focusing on gaining online conversions, your search campaigns should include features like images, sitelink extensions, reviews, testimonials and more.

We’ll explore some essential ad features and landing page updates that we guarantee will help increase your online conversions.

Ad Extensions

These helpful little tools are a simple, yet effective way to get a little more specific with your ads. Sitelink extensions allow your ad to present additional details below the ads like the brands and products you carry, services you provide, etc. and link each individual topic to its own landing page. When using sitelink extensions, it is important to make sure your landing pages are relevant and show correlating content in order to increase user experience and conversions.

Images

Including images with your ads immediately helps them stand out from the clutter of basic text ads. Google has been continuing to increase the number of images allowed to show on search engine results pages because they know people respond better when they can visually see what is being advertised. If a customer sees the product they’re looking for and follows the ad to a landing page with the same product, they’re more likely to make the online conversion because they easily found what they were originally looking for.

Helpful tip: design a campaign using shopping ads to be able to show even more images, along with product pricing, availability and more!

Reviews

Giving people the option to review your products and services provides even more opportunity for conversions because you:

  • Show users that you’re confident in your excellent customer service and deliver exceptional products.
  • Give users a chance to learn a bit more about the products from a third-party perspective rather than strictly selling the benefits and features in the ad.

Incorporating reviews in the ads and on the related landing pages helps keep everything consistent and makes navigating your site easier and more clear for users, because they’re seeing the same things from the ad represented on the landing pages.

Make sure your reviews are current and up-to-date. In order to keep your reviews showing on the ads, ask customers to review products, rate their experience and more. Reviews that are older than 12 months do not appear on the Google Search Network.

So, while the copy of your ad is extremely important in presenting users with specific information, it is even more beneficial to enhance ads with additional features to help boost online conversions.

Contact the team at GREENCREST and let us help you set up your paid search campaigns, enhance your ads, or increase your online conversions with these search engine marketing updates.

Steps to Creating the Perfect Social Media Post

HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 06, 2014: Social media are trending and both business as consumer are using it for information sharing and networking.

Getting your social media post noticed today takes a lot more than just posting a link or sharing a picture. With so many different social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — it’s essential that you not only create engaging, clever content that entices your viewers to click, but that you also tailor the content to each individual platform. Social media platforms are constantly overwhelmed with content, both good and bad, and it takes mastering the perfect post to help your brand break free from the clutter.

Think of a social media post as a TV commercial or a new podcast. You want the content to be informational, but you have to present it in a creative, engaging way to make sure people watch. The same goes for social media posts. It is important to find entertaining ways to get your point across so people are willing to engage with your post, read your story, or visit your website.

Follow the steps below to learn how to create the perfect social media post for some of the biggest networks.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest and most popular social media platforms of our generation, and it’s often used for personal and work life. Businesses share a wide variety of content, including photos, videos, advertisements and promotions. With an assortment of content being posted every day, it is essential that your brand comes across in a way that stands out. Some guidelines to follow when making a Facebook post include:

  • Post frequently to ensure your brand is being constantly received by your followers. Posting frequency varies by company and industry, but a good rule of thumb is to post at least once a day.
  • Add variety to your content by rotating videos, links, photos, articles and more into your posting strategy. Find which types of content your audience responds well to (and which types it doesn’t) and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Create content that is relatable and “real” — have fun and be personable and conversational with your tone.
  • Don’t be too salesy — this is a personal network, so you want to be personable. Follow the 80-20 rule, and only push your products or services in 20% of your posts. The rest of your posts should be helpful, informational or entertaining to your audience. No matter what, ensure all of your content is relevant to your business and industry.

LinkedIn

Business professionals worldwide have given success to LinkedIn because it has given them a way to interact on a professional level with peers, colleagues and business partners. Therefore, you want your LinkedIn posts to reflect the network’s business-oriented nature.

  • As with any social network, it is important to determine your goal and purpose for using the platform. Is your company using LinkedIn to recruit employees? Customers? Both? Your content should serve your LinkedIn goals and objectives.
  • For many B2B companies, posts that include new business developments, media mentions, interviews with CEOs, or your company’s news can attract prospects.
  • For the job-seeker audience, posts about job openings and company culture perform well.
  • No matter your audience, share relevant information that would help and engage professionals in your industry. Save the cute pictures for Twitter or Pinterest.

Twitter

Twitter is essentially a micro-blog and is known as the “skimming” headquarters of social media. When users scroll through their Twitter feeds, they see hundreds of thousands of short and simple updates that they can read quickly. In order to make an impact and grab a user’s attention as viewers pass your post, make sure to:

  • Present a clear call-to-action in the first sentence of your post and provide a link.
  • Keep things simple — don’t summarize the article you’ve attached or give every detail of the new product you’re launching.
  • Use photos, video clips and shortened links to stand out from the majority of 140-character text-filled posts.
  • Stay grammatically correct — even though your character limit is slim, don’t sacrifice grammar by using abbreviations or all caps; stay professional.
  • Try not to use the full 140-character count. The shorter, the better.
  • Use relevant industry hashtags in order to show up in hashtag searches.

With attention spans shortening and social media engagement increasing, it’s important for companies to be creative and stand out in the clutter. Being personal, professional and engaging are key factors to creating the perfect social media post that is guaranteed to capture the attention of your audience. Tweak your posts to better fit the feel of specific networks, and you’re on your way to creating some awesome content!

Need help creating and distributing your company’s social media content? Contact the experts at GREENCREST with all of your social media and marketing needs.

 

Brand Heroes That Dominate – Creating a Brand That is Memorable

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Every company dreams of making a difference in the lives of its customers. An unforgettable company inspires, motivates and connects with its customers. These companies are the brand heroes that dominate the market.

 

While it takes time to develop an unforgettable brand, these strategies will help you start the process of transforming your company into a beloved brand:

Champion a Cause

While attending a recent meeting of brand certified specialists, I was introduced to LifeProfit founder, Dustin Garis. Our discussion centered about brands that are transforming their marketing messages — better, faster, less cost — to messages about social changes that relate to the brand, with no brand benefits mentioned.

Always menstrual pads, for example, became a brand hero in its #LikeAGirl campaign. Its message centered around changing public perception of the saying ‘you run like a girl.’ Always rallied against the societal stereotype by promoting strong young girls who run fast and hard — the same as boys. As a result, the Always brand has become a hero that stands up for young girls and promotes the strength of women. That’s a great cause to root for!

Innovate Around the Human Experience

This concept revolves around Garis’ passion behind his company, LifeProfit. The human experience is especially important to companies that sell to a younger customer base, given that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences instead of material objects, according to a 2014 Harris Group study.

An example Garis refers to in his TEDx Talk is how Zappos, a major shoe retailer, tapped into the human experience and became an unforgettable company for him. Garis called the company to inquire about a pair running shoes. Instead of trying to sell him the shoes, the salesperson told him to try them out at a mud run near his town and signed him up for the run. Garis took her up on the offer and in doing so, gained “life profit,” thus experiencing a human moment he will never forget.

Be Memorable

Hearing something 1,000 times is less impactful than experiencing it once. You might recall the recent McDonald®’s ‘Pay with Lovin’ campaign where customers were rewarded with a free meal in exchange for calling a family member and saying ‘I love you.’ Or how Coke®’s new campaign, ‘Share a Coke® and a Song’ personalized its products for consumers by adding famous song lyrics on their bottles this past summer—i.e. “Lean on Me,” and “We are the champions.” Or the Expedia ‘Trip-A-Day Giveaway’ where consumers who downloaded its new app were entered into a sweepstakes drawing to win a trip a day. The company also capitalized on the opportunity to survey participants on their spontaneity as it relates to finding and booking last minute travel.

 

The most memorable part of Garis’ message, and one that hits home with us all, is how mundane life becomes if all we do is look forward to the weekend week-in and week-out, spend endless nights watching television and only change our routine a couple of times a year when we take a vacation break. Life profit, as Garis describes it, is not in the number of days you live, but in the number of days you remember. As a business and a brand, we have a unique opportunity to make a memorable and meaningful experience for our customers.

Contact the GREENCREST team to discuss how we can help you create marketing, advertising, and social media content that will be memorable to your customers!

 

Marketing to Millennials – Everything You Need to Know

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Millennials are the generation of the future, and therefore tend to be some of today’s biggest decision makers. In marketing, whether you’re trying to promote a new brand or product, bring awareness to your newest startup or influence consumers’ purchase decisions, it’s important to do so in a way that is best received by your desired audience. If your audience happens to be the millennial generation, however, this can be a little tricky. You’re likely going to have to do more than just inform them about product benefits or store discounts; you need to get them excited.

Traditional marketing methods are a thing of the past to this generation. Millennials desire fun, new, exciting technologies and marketing platforms (it makes them feel “ahead of the curve”), so marketers like yourself have to work harder and smarter to make authentic connections through these platforms.

Below is a list of some of the newest, interactive platforms you should master to best reach millennials:

Snapchat

Snapchat allows individuals to take photos, customize them with text or filters and share them with the world – or whichever part of the world they want. The photos or videos have a lifespan of just a few seconds, and then they are gone forever. “Stories” is a newer feature that allows users to keep up with the rest of the world, but it’s also an opportunity for advertisers to reach specific markets.

Whether you’re hosting an event to launch your startup, or you want to promote your new product line, Snapchat stories give you the chance to give users an inside look into your brand that they may not have known of or seen from traditional advertising. It’s much more exciting to see other millennials out at an event supporting a new company or product launch in real time than it is to read a newspaper article that recaps what went on three days earlier.

Periscope

Similar to Snapchat, Periscope is another rising social media platform that gives people the chance to look directly into the lives of others in real time. The app gives users an up-close and personal look into your brand by providing them with live streaming of events, broadcasts, Q&As and more.

Millennials love having what feels like unlimited access to everything and anything happening in the world, and Periscope promotes this notion with its easy access to thousands of people, companies and locations. If you want your brand to stand out in the crowd, hosting frequent talks and events on Periscope is sure to help!

YouTube

Increasingly, YouTubers are becoming the new A-list celebrities to teen and millennial generations. To this generation, YouTube stars seem more relatable; they aren’t movie stars being paid to endorse companies and brands. The “human” factor makes these individuals and their posts much more relatable to the everyday person. However, while the individual may not be the one endorsing a brand or product, their YouTube channel can be. For advertisers, posting your content on related YouTube channels is a great way to catch the attention of these young viewers.

For example, if you work for a hardware company and have a new brand of tools that you’ll be carrying, you can advertise on a YouTube channel of an individual who posts do-it-yourself home repairs. His/her viewers will click one of the videos to see how to hang Halloween decorations, but see your ad for the new tool kits you have before the video starts. While this isn’t as interactive as Snapchat or Periscope would be, you’re still reaching millennials in their environment, which means you’re more likely to make a lasting impression than if you just threw your ad in the next publication of Better Homes & Garden Magazine.

Of course, technology and social media are bound to endlessly change and advance, which means marketing strategies will too. Make it your goal to keep up on the latest social media and technology trends, and you’re bound to come up with some great ways to reach the millennial generation. Just remember to be unique, be creative and – most importantly – be human.

If you want to learn more about reaching your audience through these platforms, contact the social media and marketing experts at GREENCREST to get the answers!

Storytelling, with Science, Can Strike a Chord in Advertising

 

health, technology, internet, food and home concept - close up of woman reading morning news from tablet pc computer

Science has proven that words have the power to move people to tears, to action and — yes — to purchase. John P. Kotter, a professor of leadership at the Harvard Business School, once said, “Never underestimate the power of a good story.” Kotter believes in the power of a story to strike a chord in people and, perhaps, to motivate them to change.

 
Researchers at Emory University in 2012 found that certain metaphors — “the singer had a velvet voice” or “he had leathery hands” — activated the sensory cortex of the brain. Similar phrases — “the singer had a pleasing voice” or “he had strong hands” — didn’t cause the same reaction.

Smell-a-vision

A 2006 study in Spain that was published in NeuroImage showed that when people read words with strong odor associations — coffee, perfume or cinnamon — the primary olfactory cortex of the research subjects’ brains lighted up.

 
A recent series of Post Cereals commercials uses such key words to play to the viewer’s sense of smell. One of the commercials shows Diana Hunter, a Post Cereals employee, talking about her job as a cereal packager. The happy employee tells a story about how she went grocery shopping after work one day, smelling of cereal. At the store, people were sniffng around her saying, “Mmmm, I smell cookies.” Diana says she told the people, “Aw, you just smell me! I just got out of work. That’s Honey Bunches of Oats. Don’t eat me now!”

 
Since we don’t have smell-a-vision, the words play to the viewers’ olfactory senses. The commercial also does a good job of letting a happy employee tell a story about her job at the cereal plant.

Emotional connections

Research has also shown that we all spend about one-third of our time daydreaming. Yet a really good story will make us sit up and pay attention.

 
By now, for example, we all know which of the commercials that ran during the 2016 Summer Olympics caught our attention and touched people. Those same ads are probably the ones you’ve been seeing in your news feed because the ads take the power of words and move a person to action, even if it’s just sharing it on Facebook.

 
The Procter & Gamble “Thank You, Mom” spot is one such ad. It shows athletes in dangerous, dark, demoralizing situations — a tornado headed toward their home, some men whistling catcalls at a young girl and a coach yelling at a young athlete. Through it all, the athletes’ mothers are always there, encouraging them to move on until we see the athletes’ victorious moments on the Olympic stage.

 
The commercial concludes with a simple statement: “It takes someone strong to make someone strong. Thank you, Mom. … P&G – proud sponsor of Moms.” That spot is meant to tug at the heartstrings — make you cry, even — and make you remember that P&G cares about all moms, the same moms, consequently, who do the household shopping.

 
The sounds — from the scary scream of a tornado at the end to the cheering adulation of the Olympics crowd at the end — help pull viewers into the emotion of the story. The bond between the child and mother plays to the connection that many viewers have had or want to have in their lives.

 
Top brands know the power of the brain to make that emotional connection, and they capitalize on that neuroscience by using storytelling to capture an audience.

 

Let the GREENCREST team help you tell your customers the perfect story! Contact us for all of your marketing and advertising needs.

 

7 Ways to Succeed at Project Management

team-meeting

At GREENCREST, we’re a little biased when we say we have the best project-management team in the region. Our project managers love what they do, and they enjoy working with our clients and the various industries our clients serve. And, they’re really good at their jobs.

When it comes to project-management, it may surprise many people to know that success sometimes depends more on people-management skills than tactical and organization skills.

Yes, successful project managers need to be very organized. After all, their job is to bring a project into completion, on time and on budget. They need to determine and manage a detailed project scope, create timelines and deliver a quality product to the client. They need to be the ones who keep meetings organized and focused, and they need to create and assign actionable tasks. However, in order to implement this flawlessly, they first and foremost need to be excellent communicators.

Project managers can have a vast amount of knowledge and time-tested methods, but they need the soft skills necessary to motivate their team to perform with excellence. Their team members are their most valuable resource – the true difference between success or failure. Therefore, project managers need to embrace their role as a leader in order to provide the best for their clients.

 

Choose the right team members

When hiring or choosing people for a project team, it is important that team members have the right skill set and attitude to create high-quality, creative and strategic solutions. They should thoroughly enjoy what they do and desire to stay current with industry trends and changes. They should be experts in whom the project manager can trust to provide the best solutions possible for the project.

Define roles and responsibilities  

It is critical for the project manager to define and communicate every team member’s role and responsibility in order to follow the proper processes and procedures. Who is responsible for each stage of the project? Who makes the final decisions? Who needs to be consulted before decisions or actions are made? Who needs to be informed of certain changes?

Motivate your team and celebrate success

As leaders, it is important for project managers to understand what motivates individual team members. Not every team member is going to be enthused about every project. Project managers need to find and use an aspect that will get a specific team member excited and eager to take ownership of his or her role in the project. Equally important is the celebration of success and accomplishments. There is nothing more motivating then being recognized and thanked for quality, hard work and creative ideas.

Listen before making decisions

No matter how much technical knowledge a project manager may have, it is important for him or her to rely on the expertise of the team, their boss and the client. Project managers must listen to what the client has to say about the problem, the situations surrounding it, the business goals, objectives and the industry. They must listen to different team members’ ideas and solutions, and they must respect and value everyone’s opinions. The project manager must also take detailed notes and ask the right questions to challenge and make team members think through their solutions and answers. This will help create empathy and build rapport with your team and clients, and challenging them will help procure the best results for the project and for the team members’ professional growth.

Know your strengths and limitations

Project managers should know their own strengths and limitations, as well as those of everyone on their team. This will help determine who is best fit to implement certain tasks, and it will help the project manager to create reasonable expectations. For example, when developing a project timeline, the project manager should consider the different pace at which each team member works and leave room for revisions in the timeline and budget.

Delegate wisely

Knowing everyone’s strengths and limitations also helps project managers delegate wisely. Good project managers know what they can and should delegate, as well as to whom they can delegate certain tasks. Delegation also enables team members to take ownership of the project and develop leadership skills.

Stay calm and strong when problems arise  

When issues occur, a project manager’s job becomes increasingly difficult. As leaders, it is critical they keep a calm demeanor and focus on working with the team to find a solution. When a project manager becomes visibly stressed or frustrated, it can affect the entire team and weaken morale. When they stay cool, calm and collected, it helps the team stay focused on the goal rather than the problem. It also mitigates the risk of ruining relationships, trust and respect.

 

Overall, project managers need to have excellent communication and people-management skills in order to flourish at their jobs and deliver a quality project. They must stay flexible, listen and constantly communicate details and updates. Building trust and respect with clients and team members will lead to successful, quality results.

Have you had a chance to work with the GREENCREST project-management team? If not, contact GREENCREST today to learn how we can help you with your marketing, advertising, public relations, website and social media needs!

 

Public Relations Tools You Can’t Live Without

Business Strategy

 

Smart marketing plans include public relations, which requires a dedicated staff using the right public relations tools to get the job done. Public relations is a crucial component of marketing and, when done effectively, can change the game for your company’s overall marketing strategy. Today, there are many helpful tools to help you stay at the top of your game.

 

Traditional public relations — such as media relations, sending press releases and pitching story ideas — and public relations technology — such as website SEO and social media — are both important for a successful marketing campaign. These public relations “tools” will help with all aspects of public relations, from pitching stories to monitoring social media.

 

A Passion for News

If you don’t follow the news, your company could be missing out on some big coverage opportunities. Read or watch stories so if you see a story developing that could relate to your product or service, you can capitalize on that and share your own news. If you don’t know what’s going on in your community and in your industry, you can’t take advantage of relevant stories.

 

Relationship Building with the Media

Just as reporters have to know their sources, you have to get to know your reporters. If you have a good relationship with a reporter, they are more likely to reach out to you when they cover a story in your industry. Relationship building takes time, but has a big payout.

Start building these important relationships by calling publications to find out which reporter covers your industry and ask for their contact information. Although it takes a while to build a media list of contacts, it’s worth it. Once you’ve identified these reporters, read their stories, follow them on social media and keep in touch with them — even when you don’t need anything from them. That way, when you do pitch a story to them, they will know who you are — putting you one step closer to getting the story you want.

 

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a tool Google offers that helps you monitor various topics, people, etc. For example, if you created a Google Alert about McDonald’s, you would receive an email notification anytime a story was posted about that company.

Google Alerts are helpful in media relations as well. Once you create the alert, you will receive emails when a story runs that mentions your company. This is not fool-proof — sometimes stories run in the media yet they won’t show up in a Google alert if the story isn’t posted on a website. However, using Google Alerts does lessen the need to scour the web for hours, searching for news mentions.

 

Social Media Management Tools

Social media greatly changed the marketing game, giving people unlimited access to companies. Customers can now interact with brands all day — whether that be at 2 a.m. or midnight — so it is important to monitor comments, likes, shares, etc., constantly to address any issues.

Social media management dashboards have grown over the years and can now provide comprehensive reports about your followers, their locations, their activity and more, for multiple social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These tools help identify which social media strategies are working and which aren’t. In order to stay on top of your social media efforts, your public relations team should have some form of social media management.

 

With these four public relations tools and more, you’re sure to find success in your marketing strategy. Take advantage of all of the tools available to ensure you’re doing the most for you company!

 

Does your company need help with public relations? GREENCREST has you covered! Let us create a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan for your company! Contact the GREENCREST experts today!

 

5 Marketing Myths that Cost Companies Customers and Sales

 

website design and development

 

There are dangerous marketing myths that are currently holding companies back from increased profits. The truth is, good marketing is integrated and includes a blend of social media, brand development, advertising, public relations, and website and search engine optimization (SEO).

Many companies are still struggling to incorporate essential aspects of digital marketing into their business plans — such as social media and mobile marketing — because they think it is too expensive or they don’t need it. However, with the continuous growth of e-commerce and social media, companies can’t afford not to invest in marketing.

 

Let’s take a look at the five most common marketing myths and how to overcome them.

 

1. “I have a small budget and I can’t afford marketing”

Some companies don’t want to invest in marketing because they don’t see the value. However, a solid marketing plan can help boost awareness, improve sales and help a company gain more customers. Marketing is an investment, not a one-time purchase.

 

2. “I already have a marketing plan”

 While companies may have a marketing plan, it is often incomplete. The best marketing plans encompass an integrated approach — such as print advertising, public relations and trade shows — and digital media — such as social media, website/SEO and mobile marketing.

A comprehensive marketing strategy evaluates the worth of various marketing tactics and implements the best traditional and digital media options for a company and its budget.

 

3. “My business is doing well, so I don’t need to invest in marketing”

While business may be doing well, that can change in an instant. No new business pipeline can mean you’re out of business if a customer has to cut their budget or chooses to go in a new direction.

Marketing is a great tool to engage with customers, nurture prospects, generate leads and boost sales. Positive interaction with clients will help them remember your company and create a lasting relationship. And, nurturing inactive clients can encourage them come back to you.

 

4.  “We already advertise, so we don’t need marketing”

Advertising is an important part of an overall marketing strategy, but it’s not the only part. Various tactics contribute to a successful marketing plan, not just advertising.

It can be difficult to select which marketing strategies to implement, but it’s important to evaluate which will work best for your company.

 

5. “Social media is a waste of time for my business”

Not being on social media is a lost opportunity—it decreases your business’s online credibility in the eye of the consumer. In fact, many customers, especially the millennial generation, research a company and their social media sites before making a purchasing decision.

While every social media outlet isn’t the best option for all companies, it is important to research the target audience. Social media allows companies to interact with clients and build meaningful relationships that can greatly impact customer purchasing decisions, thus affecting the bottom line.

 

We can help!

If you’re not sure where to start, GREENCREST can help. GREENCREST specializes in traditional and digital marketing strategies. We can help your organization navigate the marketing world and create a solid, integrated marketing strategy. Speak with a marketing expert today!