[Case Study] How Real Entrepreneurs Crush Digital Marketing


Maine Canine Behaviorist Judy Moore

Are you still on the fence about whether digital marketing will grow your business? Do feel that you’re just trading hours for dollars, so your income is limited? Do you feel trapped by where you live and work in terms of entrepreneurial growth?

Sometimes all you need to shift your perspective is the story of someone just like you, who made some changes and saw huge results. Judy Moore is that person.

In my Agents of Change Podcast, I interview digital marketing experts each week on topics like SEO, social media, email list building and more. Lately, I’ve been adding a new segment called “From the Trenches” where I interview not experts, but the people who are doing the work in their own business or the company they work for.

Judy was a recent interview, and how her business has changed in just over a year will hopefully inspire you to take some of the same calculated risks to grow your own business past the limits of location or how many hours you can work in a day. 

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How to Manage and Monitor Your Kids’ Screen Time


Managing and Monitoring Your Kids' Screen Time

Managing your kids’ screen time: the modern parenting dilemma. Do your kids spend too much time on their phone or tablet? Are you worried about them sharing inappropriate texts or pictures? Concerned about cyberbullying or online predators?

These are concerns a lot of parents share. I know that I was worried about my kids binge watching Netflix or texting their friends late into the night. I considered downloading an app that would help me manage and monitor their screen time, but I ended up coming up with a different approach.

If you’d like to get your kids to spend less time on their screens and make good choices about their iPhone, iPad, and Android time, you may want to watch this segment I recently recorded for 207, the evening news program on Maine’s NBC affiliates.  (more…)

The Best Free or Cheap Stock Photography Sites for Your Blog


Best Free or Cheap Stock Photography SitesIf you’re looking for ways to get your blog read, your emails opened, and your social posts shared, then you need an eye-catching image to reel readers in and get them engaged. However, if you’re publishing to your blog a few times a month, or sending out emails weekly, or filling Facebook with daily posts (not to mention Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.,) those photos can get expensive.
While I’m a strong believer that you shouldn’t cut costs when it comes to your website photos—especially those homepage photos that will be seen by thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years—when it comes to blogging and social media sometimes “good enough” is, well, good enough.
 
That being said, there are some great options for legal stock photography that you can use for your content marketing. I decided to put a few popular sources to the test, as I was looking for an image for this post. 
 

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Sullivan Insurance Launches Responsive Website


Considering a website redesign? Wondering what you should include or not include? From mobile decisions, to creating a vibe that attracts the right type of clients (while dissuading the wrong type of clients,) there’s a lot to consider. Here’s how one business did it.

The ClientScreen Shot 2015-02-03 at 9.20.16 AM

Sullivan Insurance, in Ipswich, Massachusetts, is a full service, independent insurance agency. They pride themselves on being comprised of team of caring and conscientious insurance professionals, along with having access to dozens of the finest insurance carriers in the marketplace.

Currently, Bernard M. Sullivan Insurance Agency serves the insurance needs of more than 5,000 individuals and families as well as over 1,000 business’s throughout New England.

The Objective

The client was looking for a website that would help  generate more qualified leads, by having prospects fill out a form to be contacted for an insurance consultation and free quote.

They were finding that a lot of the leads they were receiving from their old website were from people who were not qualified for their services. Whether it was leads from people who lived in other states, or leads from people who were looking for a quick quote online, rather than to establish a relationship with an agency – they weren’t reaching the right target demographic with their old website. 

In fact, many of the leads they were attracting were folks who had been cancelled or non renewed by their current insurance company for things like nonpayment, bad driving record, other criteria that didn’t make them good prospects for Sullivan Insurance.

Sullivan had the ultimate goal of attracting more leads from homeowners and business owners living in the greater Boston (North Shore) area, who were interested in protecting what’s most important to them – rather than leads from those who were shopping around based solely on savings.

Additionally, Sullivan wanted to drive leads that were interested in developing a relationship with their insurance agency.  People who wanted to work with an insurance professional who could explain the difference in coverage, give real examples of claim circumstances, and be an advocate for them and their business both in the community and with the insurance company.

In order to attract the desired type of client, Sullivan needed a new, professional website that conveyed the high level of expertise and caring their agency possessed. They also needed a website that they could manage and update themselves.

The Tools

We used WordPress to develop a fully custom, responsive website designed to attract and convert the desired target demographic.

We included a quote feature that indicated the nature of the insurance plan a given prospect needed – and set up a system that would email the appropriate agent to follow up with these prospects according to their specialty. 

We also incorporated important lead generation tools such as an email sign up button and a search function within the company blog.

The website was also developed to be responsive, making the mobile customer experience just as seamless as desktop user experience.

The Outcome

Sullivan Insurance now has an attractive, professional, mobile friendly custom website that places the agency in the perfect position to attract and obtain their desired customer base.

The website is fully optimized for important SEO keywords and phrases, which also places the agency in the position to appear in search engine results higher among the exact people who may be looking for their service.

Sullivan Insurance now has a website that accurately reflects their high level of professionalism, customer service, and caring towards their clients.

In addition, the website now has a smooth conversion funnel that makes the process of starting a relationship with their agency fast and easy – whether they’re browsing on a desktop or mobile web.

Responsive Design = Mobile Friendly

The responsive design means that customers who are using a smartphone or tablet will have the same high quality experience with Sullivan’s website as those who are using desktop computers. 

Responsive websites are optimized for both the desktop and mobile web.

As the quality of mobile optimization becomes increasingly more important for search engine optimization, having a mobile optimized website also helps Sullivan in organic search rankings as well.

Site Visitors Can…

Prospective clients can now easily get in touch with an agent specialized in the area of insurance they need, by simply submitting a request for a quote. Existing customers can start the process for submitting a claim, pay their bill, or submit a service request.

Further, visitors can quickly learn more about Sullivan Insurance with easy access to the company blog and social media channels.

It’s easier than ever for prospective customers to move down the sales funnel with the information they need laid out neatly for them. And for existing customers – the ability to access the services they need, the moment they need them is literally just a couple of clicks away.

Katrina Crowell
Maine Digital Marketing Consultant

Marketing Your Local Business: Waltz and Sons Propane


Market your local businessDoes marketing your small business on social media confuse, frustrate, or even intimidate you? Do you feel like you’re stuck at the starting gate? Are you not sure how to move forward? 

Well, you’re not alone! Which is why we wanted to share this great story of one of our clients, Waltz & Sons Propane. 

We’re super lucky that we get to work with smart, interesting, creative clients here at flyte. And I’m not just saying that to be flattering (though what’s the saying about flattery again?) – we really do work with some amazing people. 

One of my favorite parts of my job as a Digital Marketer at flyte is to train clients on how to use digital marketing to meet (better yet…exceed) their business goals. I love helping clients rock at digital marketing! And one client who’s totally rocking it with their digital marketing right now is Waltz & Sons Propane. 

With Facebook videos that gain over 2.5K organic views, a YouTube channel filled with high quality, professional videos, and an average daily organic Facebook reach of nearly 200 people per day, it’s clear that the Waltz & Sons team is awesome at heating up both homes and social media. 

THE GOAL

Waltz & Sons Propane TrucksWaltz & Sons came to flyte for a total brand refresh, complete with website redesign, new logo development, and the creation of a strong online presence. 

They had a bit of experience with Facebook, but weren’t “experts” with the platform for digital marketing. They were hoping to eventually run their own page in a manner that effectively reached their ideal customers. 

They also wanted to gain visibility through video marketing and were looking for marketing guidance, along with tactical assistance to make this goal a reality. 

Waltz & Sons Propane VideoTHE STRATEGY

We developed a custom training schedule to get the Waltz team up to speed with social media best practices and comfortable using their “priority” platforms – mainly blogging & Facebook, with YouTube being a platform flyte would manage. 

We developed an Editorial Calendar based on keyword research, and provided hands on training on pre-scheduling posts, content curation, and image creation. We also showed the Waltz team how to share their YouTube videos on Facebook for maximum impressions & engagement. 

We provided additional training on how to create engaging, search friendly blogs as well. 

The mix of hands on, in-person training and strategy development would later prove to be effective. 

THE OUTCOME

“We worked with flyte to re-brand our company & create an online presence.  Their professionalism along with their knowledge & depth of online media and marketing made it a seamless process for us.  We can’t thank them enough for guiding us through the process of developing a new logo, website, Facebook page and Youtube videos.” ~ Sandy Waltz, Waltz & Sons Propane

Empowered by the coaching we provided, Waltz has created an active Facebook community with 200 Likes gained in less than three month. While that may not seem overwhelming, this is a business with a very localized footprint and all of their likes were gained organically.

Most of their organic posts generate at least a few hundred impressions – with some earning over 6.5K organic impressions. Their page fans are engaged, often leaving Waltz & Sons Propane Fireplace Pilot Videocomments or other “reactions” to each post.

The video marketing strategy we worked with Waltz to implement has driven thousands of organic Facebook (i.e. non-paid) views on each video that’s been shared thus far. And this, being only a couple of months since they launched their new website & digital marketing initiatives. 

And their Facebook page has started to generate leads – which ultimately is the goal with digital marketing. 

They have an optimized YouTube channel that sends leads straight to their website from each video, and they have an engaging, modern looking blog that will continue to help them reach more customers & increase search visibility. 

A little digital marketing and strategy has gone a long way towards generating new business. 

Along with an awesome new logo & website, Waltz was able to use our training & initial digital marketing strategy to create a solid online presence for their brand that should continue to grow as they keep up the amazing work. 

If you’d like training for yourself of your staff on how to use digital marketing as a tool for reaching your business goals, be sure to contact us today. Please feel free to connect with us in the comments or on social media. 

Katrina Crowell
Professor of Rocking at Digital Marketing

5 Annoying Facebook Marketing Tactics You Need to Stop Doing Right Now (And What to Do Instead)


5 Annoying Facebook Marketing TacticsYes, we all know that Facebook’s organic reach for business pages is way, way down these days. It’s tougher than ever to reach people on the world’s most popular social network, even those who already like you.

But that’s no excuse for anyone to engage in these five incredibly annoying Facebook marketing tactics that will alienate—rather than engage—your audience.

And yes, I’m talking to you. And to me. I’ve probably been guilty of a couple of these things. Although not #2. Never that one.

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What Google Really Wants From Your Website


What Google Really Wants

Do you feel that SEO (search engine optimization) is all smoke and mirrors? That the rules are always changing? That you get conflicting answers from SEO experts on how to optimize your site for search?

Don’t you just wish that you had a cheat sheet for what Google is looking for so you could rank higher?

Well, now you do. Google recently officially released their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. This is a document that Google provides their raters—actual human beings—to help evaluate page quality across the web.

In short: this document details how Google evaluates web page quality. If you understand what they’re looking for, you can create pages that both rank higher and provide better value to your site visitors (aka future customers.) 

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Don’t Sleep on These 4 Facebook Ads Manager Tools


Facebook Ads Manager PostThese days, there are so many incredible digital advertising options available to marketers, it’s often a matter of drilling down to the best opportunities, rather than figuring out where to find your audience.

Yet, with all of the social media options out there, Facebook continues to be an extremely powerful advertising platform for many a business.  

And for good reason – Facebook has continued to step up their game with options for advertisers: Power Editor, Business Manager, Facebook Ads Manager…the options are awesome, and appear to be growing.

The cool thing is, even though Facebook has added more ad platforms to their offerings, they’ve continued to add advertising goodies to the Facebook Ads Manager. 

Let’s review four Facebook Ads Manager Tools you don’t want to miss out on: 

Saved Audience 

Facebook Ad Manager - Saved AudienceIn the not so distant past, the only way to create a custom audience was through the Power Editor. And don’t get me wrong – this is a fantastic tool.

But, you have to check this out as well: You can now save audiences you’ve selected via interest, geographic, behavior, etc. targeting in campaigns you’ve run through Ads Manager.

You can then choose to target ads at your saved audience for any future campaign for the given account.

It’s as simple as checking off the “Save Audience” box before saving your target audience & budget as you create your campaign.

This is a great time saver if you’re doing a lot of creative or objective testing, because you can easily select the exact same audience each time.

It’s also a great way to manage the testing of new audiences, by allowing you to give each audience a descriptive name. 

Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads through Facebook Ad ManagerYes – You can place Instagram ads through Facebook ads manager! And the process is refreshingly drama-free.

To place an Instagram ad through Facebook Ads Manager: Connect your company Instagram account for your Facebook Page.

Then, select (or rather – choose not to deselect) Instagram Feed placement after you draft your creative in Ads Manager.

Instagram ads support many objectives: website clicks, conversions, app downloads, and video views.

Post engagement is slowly rolling out as Instagram ad objectives as well. And all can be managed through Facebook Ads Manager.

To make what could be a long story short – when placing Instagram ads, remember that the size and shape of the posts are different than Facebook, as is the audience mindset as they engage with the Instagram platform. 

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Ads Manager - Facebook PixelIf you’ve been in the Facebook advertising game for a minute, you’ve probably used the conversion tracking pixel on the regular.

You also may have come across the new(ish) Facebook pixel, which is an upgraded version of the tracking pixel that tracks events, conversions, and audiences (for retargeting).

According to Facebook, the “Facebook Pixel” will replace the conversion tracking pixel by late next year.

So if you haven’t used the Facebook Pixel yet – get on it!

Like the other tools I’ve mentioned, the Facebook Pixel can be generated through Facebook Ads Manager. From the main menu, select “Tools,” then Facebook Pixel, and then follow the instructions for creating and installing your pixel.

This is an excellent tool for tracking and reporting on important ROI metrics like Cost per Action, and Conversions. 

Enhanced Reporting

Facebook Ads Manager - Customized ReportingI’ve noticed a lot more opportunity when it comes to creating customized reports in Facebook Ads Manager. In the past, we could easily track campaign objective metrics, but things have taken a turn for the better.

I’ve been pretty pumped about how deep we can dig into campaign metrics through Ads Manager as of late.

We can customize reports by performance, engagement, delivery, video engagement…the list goes on.

We can further breakdown the data by delivery, action, and time/date. And all reports can be exported to Excel. The awesomeness of this is self explanatory 🙂 

One other report I’ve really been digging is Audience Insights, which gives you a glimpse into who your most engaged audience(s) really is. What pages they like, what shows they watch, where they live, etc.

This allows advertisers to have a stronger understanding of their target audience, making it easier to paint a picture of your true business “avatar”.

So, what’s next? 

The features above are a few of the pretty sweet tools available to us through Facebook Ads Manager.

If current trends continue, I’m sure we can expect more amazing tools to roll out as 2016 gets underway. What are your favorite Facebook Advertising tools and tactics? Hit me up in the comments to discuss!  

Katrina Crowell

Advertising Tools Collector

Websites and Apps That Do Good


Rich Brooks on 207Looking for a way to make a difference this holiday season? (Or really any time, as you could be reading this in June.) We’ve got a collection of websites and apps that will pair you with the perfect volunteering opportunity, let you bootstrap an entrepreneur from around the globe, code your way to good karma, and even help the blind to see.

I stopped by the 207 studio the other day to chat about a bunch of different online tools that help people make a difference. You can watch the segment below. 

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