In the Know - April 24-30

This week's In the Know we will look at:

  • Need A Digital Marketing Consultant? 3 Important Questions to Ask
  • Meet Talkshow, the latest viral app the Internet is freaking out about.
  • How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps
  • The Definitive SEO Checklist for Your Business [infographic]
  • The Top 9 Tactics for Finding New Customers Online [Infographic]

Need A Digital Marketing Consultant? 3 Important Questions To Ask

April 26, 2016 - by Brad Friedman

digital marketing consultant

A major component of a small business’s online success lies in their ability to implement an effective digital marketing strategy, which takes on even more significance when you consider the fast evolving pace of the digital marketing landscape.


While some digital marketing consultants come with a hefty price tag, they're generally much more affordable than the alternative - hiring your own digital marketing team. As a rough example of what a digital marketing team would cost, here’s the average salary for mid-career professionals in the digital marketing field.

  • Digital Marketing Manager - $73,000
  • Social Media Manager - $49,000
  • SEO Marketing Expert - $60,000
  • Web Designer - $47,000
  • Graphic Designer - $53,000
  • Copywriter - $55,000

So if you went out and hired a team of experienced freelance professionals similar to the group above, you’d be looking at a pretty steep bill running into the tens of thousands a month. And that doesn’t include the benefits package you would provide.

A digital marketing consultant or agency would cost much less and provide the same marketing value with a twist.


Through the traditional in-house marketing hiring method, the only way you would be able to increase your marketing output to see better results would be to hire more employees.

Consulting agencies have access to teams of skilled individuals able implement changes in a digital marketing strategy at a moments notice.


A team of in-house marketers usually don’t have much time to read up on the latest graphic design, SEO, or social media marketing trends - and they definitely don’t have time to tell you all about them. The same applies to an outsourced team online.

With a digital marketing consultant, you gain access to the latest internet marketing trends from an educated individual whose job is knowing what changes might be lurking around the corner. This means staying up to date with the latest Google algorithm changes and knowing which marketing channels are best suited to your business’ niche.

So now that you understand some of the major benefits that come with hiring a digital marketing consultant, let’s talk about 3 key questions you should ask potential consultant’s or agencies before signing on the dotted line.


You need to get a rough idea of what your prospective consultant has done for customers in the past, both online and off. 

If you want to be really thorough, contact a few former clients and ask about their experiences - this way you get a good idea of how the consultant communicates, as well as what their areas of expertise. It’s also wise to favor candidates who’ve worked in your industry or a similar industry before.


After you’ve got an outline of a consultants track record, you need to find out exactly what it is they can do for your business.

Does their skill set complement your business niche? Have they published any related articles in major magazines or authoritative websites? What can the consultant offer their competitors can not?


It’s vital to have a prospective consultant give you their honest input on your current digital marketing plan. When giving them your plan, it’s also important to provide them with context on your current situation.

If they give you a semi-automated reply that gives you no indication they payed attention to your current unique situation, then you might be better off seeking a consultant whose willing to pay attention to the small details. On the flip-side, if you received a detailed response outlining an honest assessment of your marketing efforts, including your plan’s strengths and weaknesses, then you may have a winner.

There's an endless number of ways from which you can gauge the efficacy of a digital marketing consultant, but knowing what you want in a consultant - as well as what to ask - is the first step toward realizing a more effective digital marketing strategy for your business.

See more at:

Meet Talkshow, the latest viral app the Internet is freaking out about.

April 27 - by Samantha Murphy Kelly


A new text messaging app called Talkshow became the buzzy new social platform on Tuesday for its quirky concept: it’s like “texting in public.”

The iOS-only app lets users host message-based “Talkshows” about various topics, from sports and politics to TV and music. People notify followers when a Talkshow is live, encouraging anyone who’s watching to send messages, post reactions and GIFs or even join in as a co-host. It’s like Periscope for texting.

People can view the public text messaging conversations in real time or after a Talkshow has wrapped; it can also be shared outside the app and embedded on other sites.

After downloading the app, you can find friends on the app via Twitter, Facebook or your email contacts. To kick off a show, you pick your host (or host alone), select a title and an alert will be pushed out to followers. It’s also possible to discover live Talkshows from the app’s homescreen and chime in. And if you feel compelled to jump in as a co-host, you can send a request to do so.

See More at:

How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps

April 29, 2016 - by Stephen Baldwin

Facebook Business Video

Facebook has a tool called “Your Business Story” that lets SMBs create videos highlighting their unique selling propositions in a simple and effective way. The tool's easy to use, and the results  - while hardly Hollywood-grade - are attractive enough to convey an effective message.

Fifteen minutes after we started, the video was on our Page, performing as well  - in fact better -– than much of the other content there.

Interested in doing the same? Just perform the following 6 steps:


Facebook will prompt you to log on if you’re not logged on already. You need to be an authorized Administrator for a Facebook page in order to proceed further. If you’re an Admin for more than one page, choose the page you want to create this business video for.


Facebook “Business Story” videos are simple sequences that dissolve between images you upload. The tool lets you easily select and sequence your photos so that they provide the movement required to tell a story. If you haven’t yet uploaded 8 photos, Facebook will prompt you to do so.

Confirm your photo selections and proceed to the next page.


Facebook only gives you 90 characters to express your business saga, so you’ll need to think carefully about a short statement that describes your business. Your 90 character statement will appear after Facebook’s canned text (“We’re in the business of…”), so choose a statement that makes sense in this context. Once you’re happy with this text, choose “Confirm Your Story.”


You’re not going to find a lot of musical choices here, nor do you have any options to upload your own sound track. Your selections are limited to “rock”, “synth”, “electronica”, and “percussion", and all of the offered tracks sound pretty innocuous (which was probably Facebook’s intent). Still, they’re pretty adequate, especially for SMBs who don’t want to make profound statements.


Facebook wants you to agree to some additional, boilerplate language beyond its standard TOS. These added terms grant it a worldwide, non-exclusive right to display your video around the world. Unless you have an objection to these terms, click “I Agree” and you’re done.

Step 6: Wait about 10 minutes

Facebook processes these videos very quickly: our test video was live on the intended page within about 10 minutes. The video, when it appears, will be formatted in a square (1:1) aspect ratio – which is quickly becoming the standard aspect ratio for social video. You’ll also notice that Facebook has added a gentle, Ken Burns-like “zoom out” effect to your image sequence.



Facebook’s Business video tool won’t please you if your business requires sophisticated video effects or custom audio. But for many SMBs – especially those who want to cultivate a homegrown, “authentic” feel, the attractive, albeit low-tech results are probably more than adequate. And equally important, you can be up and running in less than a quarter of an hour.

See more at:

The Definitive SEO Checklist for Your Business

April 30, 2016 - Nirav Dave

Definitive SEO checklist for small business

The Top 9 Tactics for Finding New Customers Online

April 30, 2016 - Irfan Ahmad

top 9 tactics for finding new customers online

In the Know - April 17-23

I have decided to start a weekly content curated post called "In the Know." Each week I will put together some of the best articles I have found and put them in one place so that you can spend your time doing more important things than searching for what's being talked about each week in digital marketing and social media.

This week we will look at the following articles:

  • How Facebook's News Feed Works - As Explained by Facebook

  • 21 Video Marketing Ideas for Small-Business Budgets

  • 5 Reasons Why Users Unsubscribe to Email Newsletters

  • Organic SEO v Local SEO: What's the Difference?

How Facebook’s News Feed Works
– As Explained by Facebook

April 23, 2016 by Andrew Hutchinson

Facebook’s recent F8 conference was a huge event, with a heap of information on new products, projects and the future ambitions of Zuckerberg's ever-expanding social behemoth.

But there was one session of particular interest that many might not have noticed, one that looked at a crucial element of the Facebook infrastructure which is particularly relevant for for all brands and users. In a session entitled “News Feed: Getting Your Content to the Right People”, Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of Product for News Feed, went through exactly how Facebook's infamous News Feed works, providing an overview which included a heap of helpful insights to help people better understand the driving force that decides what users see on the platform.

Here are the key details of the session, outlining...


In the final segment of Mosseri’s presentation, he discusses how publishers can maximize attention and traction within the Facebook News Feed. Mosseri highlights four key measures to consider.

    Mosseri notes that publishers should seek to write compelling headlines – "Not 'clickbaity' headlines, but headlines that give people a real sense of the content that’s behind that click.” Mosseri says Facebok know that users enjoy this type of content and the News Feed team do what they can to ensure such posts perform well within the system.
    Posting too much promotional content can cause your audience to get less interested in your posts over time, which can lead to reduced reach.
    Mosseri says that this is the most important thing – “if I could leave you with one thing, it would be to experiment and try things.” The key point that Mosseri emphasizes here is that what works for one publisher won’t necessarily work for another – you need to experiment and test different methods to determine what resonates most with your audience, whether that’s long-form content, short-form, video, image posts. The only way to know for sure what’s of most interest to your audience and what they want from you is to try things and see what generates the best response.
    Your publisher tools, like Facebook Insights, are your key guide point as to how your content is performing and your audience response. It’s crucial that you spend time analyzing the data and comparing what works in order to understand what you should be posting and what your audience wants to see. Audience Insights is another tool that can be hugely beneficial in assessing what’s of most relevance to your target market.

- See more at:

21 Video Marketing Ideas for Small-Business Budgets

April 23, 2016 by Barry Feldman  

5 Reasons Why Users Unsubscribe to Email Newsletters

April 14th, 2016 By Chris London

Email is arguably one of the most effective platforms on which to promote a product, service and/or brand. According to an Experian study, email is 20x more cost-effective than traditional forms of advertising. That alone should be reason enough to make email part of your business’s overall marketing strategy. But email marketing only works if recipients follow your newsletter.

Unrecognizable From Address

If the recipient doesn’t recognize who you are, there’s a good chance that they will unsubscribe to your newsletter. Far too many emails today now contain viruses and other malicious software or code, making recipients hesitant to open messages from unknown senders. To prevent this from happening, use a clear “from address” that reflects your business or brand.

Emails are Too Long

Don’t make the mistake of creating long, drawn-out emails. Studies have shown that recipients are less likely to read long emails, which may subsequently cause them to unsubscribe. So, what’s the best length for a marketing email? If you asked ten different digital marketing experts, you would probably get ten different answers. However, maintaining a word count of no more than 750 seems to work well for most messages.

Emails aren’t Personalized

Personalizing your marketing emails can prove invaluable in creating a stronger connection with the recipient and ultimately increasing your chance of scoring a sale or conversion. Assuming you know the recipient’s name, you can use “tokens” to automatically include his or her name in your emails. Personalized emails have been shown to generate six times more transactions than generic emails, according to a study cited by MarketingLand.

Irrelevant Content

You have to think of your target audience and what they are expecting to read when creating your marketing emails. If you send irrelevant content that doesn’t pertain to their likes or interest, some recipients may click the unsubscribe button, never to be seen or heard from again.

Recipients Didn’t Sign Up for Your Newsletter

One of the most common reasons why users unsubscribe to newsletters is because they never signed up for them in the first place. Some business owners may purchase lists of email addresses instead of collecting the addresses by hand. Unfortunately, you really don’t know how these addresses were collected. They could have been collected using automated software, in which case the recipient didn’t sign up for them. The bottom line is that you should avoid paying for email lists and instead build your own list.

-Read More Here:

Organic SEO v Local SEO: What's the Difference?

April 18, 2016 By Isabella Andersen

Who should rank in local vs. organic search?

Brick and mortar businesses with a physical office in a specific location will want to rank high in a local search. The searcher is likely looking for a place to go for a specific product or service, so local businesses need to show up in local searches for their industry.

On the other hand, if you want your business to show up for certain search terms but not for a specific location, you want to try to rank higher in organic search. 

For example, if you sell kitchen supplies online but your business has no physical location and doesn’t serve a specific area, you want to show up in organic searches. Targeting a specific location would mean losing potential customers in this case. 

Can/should local businesses rank high in organic search?

If you have a business with one or more physical locations as well as an online store, you want to be found locally as well as organically. You might also want to be found both locally and organically if your local business has a blog.

That’s where organic SEO comes into play. Search engine optimization is the process of trying to make sure search engines know which searches your business or website is relevant for. 

To rank higher in search results, both organically and locally, your business has to be relevant to a specific search. And to show search engines your business is the right answer for a particular query, you have to state the obvious.

Local SEO

It’s important for your business to show up in relevant local searches because 50 percent of searchers visit businesses within 24 hours of a local search.

Naturally, optimizing a business for local search has more to do with location than with other factors. Search engines need to know exactly where your business is located so that when someone searches for a location, the search engine can find the businesses that are located there. 

To state the obvious for local search, you want to make sure your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) is consistent across local listing directories as well as your website. That is the bare minimum you’ll need for local SEO, though. For more information on being found online, check out this post about why your business isn’t being found online

Organic SEO

This has less to do with location and more to do with whether or not your website is relevant for certain searches. That’s why “pizza” and “pizza recipe” are in bold in the “pizza recipe” Google search. I search for pizza recipes, and the search engine wants to give me pizza recipes.

When optimizing a website for organic search, the intention is to get the website to show up for certain searches. This could be a short term (pizza recipe) or a question spoken into voice search on a smartphone. (What’s the best pizza crust recipe?)

To state the obvious for organic SEO, you need to use specific keywords in headings and paragraphs (Don’t stuff the paragraphs full of keywords, but if you post a pizza crust recipe, you might want to use the words “pizza crust” a couple of times.)

How do they affect each other?

There are also certain SEO practices that help both local and organic search rankings. For instance, when claiming your business page on local listing directories like Google, Bing, Yelp and TripAdvisor, you are also adding a link back to your website.

These local listing citations (your business’s name, address and phone number) help local SEO by telling search engines where you’re located. They create links back to your website, which counts as a link building strategy that helps your organic SEO efforts, since search engines take the number of backlinks into account when they rank websites in search results.  

And on-site local SEO (such as writing a locally focused blog post or updating a page by adding your business’s address) can also help your organic SEO. Search engines like fresh content, so while local SEO helps send out signals of local relevance, it can also help boost your organic SEO efforts.

When they’re done correctly, both local and organic SEO efforts will help improve your website rankings, but when done incorrectly, both can have a hugely detrimental effect on your digital marketing efforts.

Remember that even though SEO is optimization for search engines, it is what helps consumers find your business. While you want to make sure search engines know what your business and your website are about, it's important to think of those potential customers who are searching for your business. Don't just optimize so that Google knows what you do. Make sure searchers can find all the information they'll need about your business, such as exact location, hours, services or products, etc.

-Read More Here:

Stages of a Buying Process in a Digital World

steps on buying process

For any business that sells a product it is important to know that there are stages in a buying process. Of course this is not new news. However, many small businesses struggle with these stages when converting them to a digital marketing platform.

Today, I would like to walk through 6 stages and give a brief idea of how you can utilize each stage in your own digital marketing campaign.

It is important that before you begin thinking through these stages of the buying process, that you understand your target audience, otherwise anything you do to market online will be like throwing darts blindfolded.



To create awareness for your product start by optimizing your website for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Add titles, descriptions, and meta tags where ever appropriate. Also don’t forget to use alt tags on any image on your website. This allows your images to help when your site is being indexed by search engines.

Then buy PPC (Pay Per Click) ads through Google for long-tailed search terms so they can capture the consumers who already know what they are looking for. This can also be done with Facebook and Twitter Ads if your company has a good presence on those social media platforms. 

Lastly, consider partnering with group-buying websites like Groupon or Living Social. Awareness can be spread locally to those customers that never knew the company existed. 

This would be a great start to spread awareness that would continue through satisfied customers on social media and review sites. Of course, not all of these methods may work for your product, but it might help you think of another way that you had not considered.



Once a consumer is aware of their need for a product, they begin to develop focused reasoning for why they need it. This is where building their confidence in your brand is important. One effective strategy is by creating a company blog that writes about topics related to your products while sharing tips on social media.

This would help them become a resource where customers can come for advice and insight. “The beauty of this is that as they find you and like what you’re putting out there, they’ll share it and the effect snowballs” (Payton, 2012).



After a consumer is aware of their need, they begin to research companies that can satisfy that need. Product reviews are important to have since many people look to these first, but differentiation is most important for any business that wants to be successful. 

Here you must find what your unique differentiator is as a company. Once you find this…you must exploit it. Find other bloggers that review similar products that have high followers. Then send them a personal email and offer publicity for their blog in return for a review. Also, send them your product for free to use (if that’s possible).

Go to and find a forum where people would be interested in a product like yours. Basically, look for online communities where your product would draw interest and get involved in those communities. Answer questions and ask for help. This will make you more personable and less a troll that everyone ignores because they think you are just there to advertise.

By doing this and utilizing your own company blog and social media regularly will help generate trust and positive reinforcement to your brand. Overtime these reviews and buzz will populate the first page of Google searches when people are trying to research other companies selling similar products. The more (positive) talk they see of your product, the more likely they will consider you.



The next stage in the buying process is evaluating the product or service and making a selection, which is where demonstrating value and emotional connections are most important. Providing valuable “content and information that enables and empowers your customers to do their jobs better is the ultimate way to thank them for their business, and support their success in ways that will serve volumes to your advocacy marketing” (Batista, 2013). 

This is also where having a blog that shares advice, tips, and insights is helpful not only in differentiation but in maintaining a customer community that builds brand loyalty. You can also demonstrate value by sharing personal stories via social media to humanize your company in a positive light, which in return helps your customer get to know you a little better which is a form of relationship building (Batista, 2013).

A rewards program would also show value to your customer because it creates excitement to get free stuff and return customers. Remember if a customer has narrowed their decision down to you and one or two others, they will look to see who will give them more value over time. The details matter most in this stage.



When shopping in a real store, it’s easy for people to put something in their shopping cart thinking they needed something at the time, but after walking around for awhile they talk themselves out of it. This is why it is extremely important to guide the customer through a very simple shopping and secure buying process (The buying process, 2002).

There are still people out there that are not comfortable buying things online, and they need to feel like they can trust you and your site. Having different payment options like Apple Pay, Paypal, and Google Wallet will help ease some people’s discomfort, but having the “s” after “http” also helps because that indicates it is a secure website.

Ultimately, the idea is to make people feel good about buying from you by giving them peace of mind that nothing bad will happen all while making the buying process as simple and easy as possible.



In the last stage of the buying process it is important to look at the Model of Intention, Adoption, and Continuance which is a consumer behavior framework that shows the importance of continuing your relationship with your customer (Cheung, Zhu, Kwong, Chan, & Limayem, 2003). The idea is that the customer will be loyal to you and return to buy more while being an Advocate for your brand to others (Hawley, 2011). 

When a customer is excited about the experience they had with your company, they will want to share it which is a from of viral marketing. A great way to stay in touch is by getting customers to opt-in to your emails so that they can stay up to date with your latest products and services. You may not be able to control what a customer says or does, but you can at least help guide them to what you want them to do.



The ideas and examples talked about in the different steps would be a great starting point for any company. They would need to be reevaluated the following year to see what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. Every company is different and nothing I say will work for everyone, but the stages are the same and are an excellent guide to build from. I would recommend every company to have a brainstorm session over each stage of the buying process and see how you can improve on what you are currently doing. Remember that no matter how good your company is doing, it can always be doing better.




Batista, A. (2013, July 10). 5 ways to demonstrate value to your customers. Retrieved from


Cheung C. M., Zhu, L., Kwong, T., Chan, G. W., & Limayem, M. (2003). Online consumer behavior: A review and agenda for future research. Retrieved from$FILE/16Cheung.pdf


Hawley, M. (2011, March 07). Research Methods for Understanding Consumer Decisions in a Social World. Retrieved from


Payton, S. (2012, January 20). How to create customer confidence for your new business. Retrieved from


The buying process leads to a decision to buy. (2002). Retrieved from