Wednesday, 01 August 2018 Published in Projects

how to determine your marketing budget

What is your annual marketing budget? No, that’s not the important question, the important question is this “How did you hear about us?”, and here’s why – unless you are quantifying your marketing efforts, you will never know what drives people to your business and where your marketing dollars are making an impact.

If someone orders a sales item that you’ve spent money to advertise on your social media, paid to update your website or had signs designed and printed for your windows, how do you know what caught their eye and created a sales success for your company unless you dig down and ask the question?

Does the question seem awkward to ask?  Practice it and after just a handful of people, it will be part of your natural rapport. Plus, it opens communication with your customers and you’ll get to know them better.  Customers remember where they feel appreciated and heard, and it can be a deciding factor in your getting repeat business.

Make this part of your entire staff’s training.  Create an easy-to-use, trackable system to record the data. Update the tracking system when you make a change.  When you make a change, pointedly ask the question to your patron, e.g. “did you see our ad on the website, too?”, “what did you think of our new sign outside?”, “did you use our app/read our newsletter?”  It’s ok to ask.  It’s ok to drill down.  It’s how you get feedback and it’s how you improve your company.

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 Published in Projects

Do You Need A Secure Website

If your business or website can be found via Google, you’ll want to read this next part: Free SSL certificate offers can do more harm than good.  We’ve been receiving a lot of questions from companies who are receiving email offers and robocalls about ways to make their website HTTPS secure.  We’ll talk about why being certified secure is important in a moment, but first, here are the issues with the offers you may be receiving:

  • They may be a bait-and-switch program.  A salesperson may offer a “free trial” only to begin charging you an exorbitant amount of money down the road.
  • “Free offers” sometimes translate to the option of issuing a self-signed SSL.  Self-signed SSL’s are certificates that an organization may certify for themselves rather than a certificate issued and verified by a trusted Certificate Authority.  While self-signed SSL’s are free of charge so they are appealing, they come with many downfalls, mainly that they will pop up security alert warnings to your site traffic.  This may scare off your visitors, and ultimately it can cost you your customers’ trust and impact your brand reputation.
  • Fake SSL’s exist.  Fake SSL’s means that your web visitors’ information is not properly encrypted and can be intercepted without detection.  It’s important to get your SSL certificate from a reputable and trusted resource.
  • Improperly applied SSL’s can disrupt your site and how it functions, both externally and internally. What seems like a simple security addition may break your email client, or worse.

SSL certificates can deeply impact your company.  Google has been pushing for companies to switch from an HTTP to an HTTPS site since 2014.  The goal is to encrypt sites so that both the company and the user’s data are protected.  This is a very good thing, however, doing so incorrectly can cause headaches, even loss of business and have legal ramifications.

You’ll notice on browsers, like Chrome, that if your site does not have an HTTPS it will be flagged as “Not Secure”. You’ll also notice that if you do a Google search, your company will not have a green lock next to the result.  Not having the green lock can do a couple things:

  • You may drop down in Google’s ranking
  • You may be harder to find in search results
  • You may notice a deep dip in website traffic
  • Customers will hesitate to visit a site that is not SSL-secure, especially if they are entering information such as their credit card number or social security number.

If you are ready to switch from an HTTP to an HTTPs, it is vital to have your site assessed so that nothing is broken by the changeover.  Each and every client is different, which is why A Media Marketing offers a free consultation to determine what is the safest and best practice to upgrade/update a website’s SSL-certificate.  If you’re ready to get your green flag and improve your website’s encryption, schedule your review today. Contact Us Now

 

Tuesday, 03 July 2018 Published in Projects

can a cat beat the social media algorithm

Oh, social media, you had us at algorithm. What I mean by “had us”, is you confused us, toyed with us, and made us change our approach, again…and again…and oh, yes, it will happen again. Anyone marketing on social media knows there have been drastic changes over the past 24 months, and social media platforms are not making it easier.


What’s the algorithm, why should you care, and can you master it?
If your lifestyle is in anyway dependent on marketing and customer reach, you should care about the algorithms employed by sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We could say an algorithm is a deep, dark cauldron full of toad stools and magic beans, that somehow determines our entire social media presence, but that’s overkill. It’s simply an incredibly complex, ever-changing set of parameters that determine what we see, how often we see it, and for some reason thinks it knows better than we do what we’re interested in. Algorithms are understood to be a necessary evil to filter the “best results” for the platform’s customers, and lots of people invest truckloads of time, money, and energy into competing with other algorithms to keep your attention. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy handbook to follow; it takes observation, practice, and testing to see if you are mastering the algorithm.


Social media moguls have been listening to their users about their dissatisfaction regarding the inundation of sponsored ads and are finding ways to maximize THEIR customers’ experience, not YOUR customers’ experience.
(That’s important to keep in mind when planning your marketing approach; it’s best to not put all your eggs in one social-media basket.) Through a process called Deep Learning, Facebook has been a pioneer of sorts manufacturing its newsfeeds into a balance of viral fluffy pet videos, family and friends, and advertising. Whether or not you’re spending ad dollars on a social media platform, you may be noticing that your reach is not going as far for the money you are spending. It’s because through processes, like Deep Learning, the social media platform can guesstimate if your post is going to be engaging or not and determine if they want to use their precious balancing time to promote your particular post.

Do not despair! This does not mean that the big guys, like Coca-Cola and As Seen On TV, automatically receive the bulk of the allotted advertising spots. They may not be getting their dollar’s worth either because their ads do not have what the social media platforms desire:

  1. Connecting, emotional story lines. This is why big brands are partnering with more influencers because influencers can have bookends on their videos and platforms, they can plug an item midway through a video, and so on. The impression goes further when it’s delivered or partnered correctly.

  2. Image recognition. Have you liked more than five posts with cats? Well, then by gum, you are going to see more cats! Deep Learning tracks the images that appeal to you and will show you similar images as often as they can to keep you on their app. Does your brand make the most of image recognition without being tagged as “fake news” or “spam”? Be honest in your pitch. If people like office furniture and you sell office furniture, then show them office furniture. With a cat on it.

  3. Death on Click Bait! Social media has been hit hard by fraud and fake news, often driven through click bait so they are fighting back. Learn what click bait is and how to avoid it.

  4. Engagement. Likes aren’t enough anymore to ensure more impressions will be made. It’s truly about conversation. Struggling with engagement? Ask friends and family to engage. Pay a homemaker, a college student, or a retiree to comment “Wow, that’s great” and then make sure your social team replies with “Thanks, it’s also on sale this week. What color would you like?” or something equally brilliant. Ask questions. Start a poll. Start a hashtag. Be creative, but work on your engagement. Create posts and test to determine what is the most engaging way to involve YOUR audience. Test often because the algorithm changes and what worked in July may not work in October.

  5. Reachability. On TV, sometimes you’ll see national advertisements for products or services that you can’t buy in your area. That’s not as likely to happen on social media because advertisers have the power to select fairly specific demographics and locations, and that impacts the algorithm.

  6. Oh, there’s more. There’s LOTS more. Remember, this algorithm is complex and ever-changing. That’s why it’s important to be fluid, alert, and adaptable.


Want to learn more about social media advertising and the algorithms?
Schedule social media training with Leslie Laney at A Media Marketing. Contact us today!

 

Tuesday, 03 July 2018 Published in Projects

instagram training

You want to reach Millennials and Gen Z’s, huh? Well, then you need to master Instagram and Snapchat and understand the do’s and don’ts of these social media machines. This little nugget of free information will focus on Instagram, but we offer social media training for both.

The DO’s

  • Use IG Stories – It puts you front and center.
  • Tag others. You already know you can tag others in the caption, but did you know that you can tag other IG users/brands in your Story? Write down (or memorize) the username of whom you want to tag. Take or load an image into the Instagram Stories, click on the screen OR tap the Aa icon in the upper right-hand corner to add text. Type the @ symbol followed by the username, a menu should appear and you can select the correct account.
  • Check the video’s audio before posting! Take an amazing video but the audio just doesn’t work or is downright inappropriate? Select the video to upload and hit “Next.” Tap the volume control icon at the top to mute the video’s sound and then click “Next” again. Complete the post and share sound free.
  • Hashtags – second to the image, they are king in IG land and they can be the key to your reach. Pay attention to what is trending and strategize how you can pony with other hashtags to be relevant, inspirational or educational.
  • An Influencer can change your entire relationship with your customers. You can approach an existing influencer or possibly create your own. Or a bit of both!
  • Creativity – Above all, creativity is what is going to capture followers. Whether it’s amazing photos, a notable influencer, or something different (like a scavenger hunt or contest), your followers want to be WOW’ed!


The DON’Ts

  • DO NOT OVERWHELM THE FEED. Go back, read that again. Want to lose followers? Load 50 pictures of something all at once, during the peak viewing time of the day. Sprinkle content. Sprinkle it over multiple days, if necessary.
  • Times they have a changed and using a third-party scheduler is a NO-NO, despite each social media manager’s desire for a social life. Social media platforms want you to use their system, and are cutting down on bots posting. Instead, use the apps built-in hacks, like “Save Draft” so you can pre-load your messaging before your wi-fi-free vacation, and your trusted assistant can log in and launch them for maximum reach.
  • Avoid being BORING! If your business is to sell one thing, you’re going to want a campaign that makes that one thing relatable, and it’s not the same post 200 times. People want to be engaged.


Did you know there is a secret Instagram menu?
Do you want to learn the secret handshake that unlocks it? Schedule Instagram training with Leslie Laney. Contact us today!

Here are some topics we’re happy to help you or your organization with, or you can ask for a custom experience:

The Basics of Instagram – How to add multiple accounts to separate personal from business, how to post, how to create stories, exploring filters and other IG tools

Intermediate Instagram – Social media marketing 101, including an introduction to themes and stylization, posting management, including how to hide offensive commenting, start Live videos and join live videos, hashtags and engagement

Advanced Instagram – Exploring the secret menu, creating IG campaigns, using branded and unbranded hashtags to build user content, the power of influencers, Instagram ads management

Instagram Art – Tips and tricks on how to create interesting Stories and Posts using apps, filters, and built-in features.

Snapchat 101 – Getting started on snapchat, profile management, using filters

Snapchat 201 – Using Snapchat Kit and Snapchat Ad Manager Advanced Snapchat – Planning a Snapchat Campaign

 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 Published in Projects

Are you throwing away valuable information? Social media platforms have realized that if they want to enter the advertising business, they better let purchasers know how their invested dollars perform.  Have you taken advantage of the various tools that each platform is using?  Have you taken the time to experiment with how your audience interacts with your social media engagement?


There are many blogs that will tell you the best time to be on such-and-such a platform is between the hours of 3 pm – 8 pm Tuesday - Thursday or to 6 am – 1 pm Monday – Wednesday, but is that what YOUR analysis is showing?  Knowing your customers’ behavior is key – we know that’s not the first time you’ve heard this – but how is their behavior changing yours?


CASE STUDY:  After two months of experimenting on Facebook with a local health business page, the page managers learned that while their posts were geared towards all ages and leaned towards posting in the afternoon, their audience composition and behaviors were surprisingly different than expectations.  Their audience was in general: early risers, women, over 55+ who logged off in a great percentage by 3 pm, and who were more interested in the uplifting health stories  than they were sales and discount opportunities. This changed the behavior of the page managers.  An effort was made to use softer images and language, focusing on relatable stories that were told from a female perspective, and answered questions that a caregiver might focus on.  Posts were scheduled to take advantage of algorithms that would assure the early risers would find fresh content.

THE RESULT – a 32% increase in post engagement and a 10% increase in organic impressions in just the first week!  What happened after that?  We’ll learn after they check their insights!
What should you do? Learn how your social media provider reports analytics. Experiment with a content purposeful calendar. Schedule time at the beginning and end of each week to appreciate your customers’ behaviors. Adjust your social behavior to best gain traction with the social media algorithm.

Thursday, 01 February 2018 Published in Projects

Social Media Tips for 2018

Can you describe your company, appeal to customers, and provide a wow factor in limited characters? Social media platforms are challenging businesses and marketers to do all three while keeping the shortest attention span ever in mind.

You can do it with these tips and tricks:

  • Write a paragraph describing yourself. Review it for the five most important customer-appealing words and the three most descriptive adjectives. These are now your guiding words, but not necessarily the words you'll use in your profile.
  • Think like a Thesaurus writer. Avoid words that don't shine- why say "happy" when you can say "ecstatic" or "overjoyed?"
  • Think about the words that your target audience would relate to or search for. If you need help with this, go to Google, FB, Instagram, influencer blogs, etc. and write a list of the significant words used by your competition.
  • Set the tone. Are you professional, fun, or flirty? A B2B, B2C, a blogger who loves cats? Handle customer expectations with power words, like "successful" or "speedy."
  • List your service area. Be specific to gain the best footing.
  • Got Freebie? What makes you special and what can you (for very little cost) gift to your target audience? Is it a discount coupon for a future service or a free ebook? Can you offer a networking opportunity or consultation? In two or three words add it to your profile.
  • Drive traffic. Use one of the many shorteners to save characters, possibly even gain analytical tools. Drive engagers to a webpage that continues communicating the best messaging, such as a landing page that gives a special offer for using the link.
  • Remember this is not concrete. You can change, grow, and adapt and so can your profile. Use the terms that appeal to your audience. Plan on reviewing and updating your profile quarterly. Check often to see that the link functions correctly.
  • Ask customers what they would like to see and what freebie would keep them coming back.
Monday, 15 January 2018 Published in Projects

 

 social media engagement videos  Tampa Florida  A Media Marketing

 

Did you know that Video on Facebook has over 5x's the reach than a photo does? Just think, how often have you gone a day without seeing video online... 

Video is an absolute must for marketing your business. And we have created something that is simple and easy for you to integrate into your content calendar. Social Media Engagement Video 5 or 10 packs! These videos run an average of 7 to 10 seconds which is perfect for the ever shrinking attention span. And with the algorithms changing on what type of content is getting delivered to your audiences newsfeed, it is imperative that you are turning your content into video format.

Call us today and schedule a free consultation to see how we can assist you in doing just that! These video packs create economical options for your business to get in front of the eyes of your customers. Call 813-933-2788 or email us today!

Saturday, 06 January 2018 Published in Projects

Marketing strategies are changing at lightening speed! Is your business keeping up?

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • Where and how should my marketing team focus their efforts?
  • How much of my company’s revenue should be spent on marketing?
  • What tactics should I spend the majority of my marketing dollars on?


Having clearly defined goals is the first objective. How to achieve them should follow suit. To gain awareness in 2018, don’t isolate your budget to obvious tactics like event marketing and traditional advertising. Instead, bolster those proven tactics with digital marketing strategies to ensure your brand doesn’t fall by the digital wayside.

Once your plan is up and running, don’t forget to consistently analyze and optimize it. Real-time data is available to measure your program’s success, so be sure to use it to your advantage. If a tactic isn’t working well, turn it down or off; if a tactic is working, don’t hesitate to turn it up. Remember, the only thing consistent is change!

Take control of your companies marketing strategy today! Let us navigate you through the maze of options that exist for your business and help determine your most effective pathway to success.

Call 813-933-2788 to get started!

Saturday, 06 January 2018 Published in Projects

Frustrated woman with social media

Are you staying ontop of the every changing world of Social Media?

Take a look at these trends to keep up with while we move into 2018.

Video is CRUCIAL for Sales

  • Snapchat predicted to integrate live video
  • Consumers want videos – 500 million+ watch video on Facebook daily
  • Brands are heading to You Tube for Lead Generation
  • Live Video, Live Video, Live Video
  • Not making a serious commitment to selling your product or service with video can be detrimental to your business

Facebook Groups will be highly successful

  • "Relationship Marketing" – Buzzword for 2018
  • Focus on building more meaningful connections with current audiences to grow repeat and referral business
  • Serve your audience of like-minded individuals with your expertise

Instagram becoming more popular! #1 choice for Brands

  • 80% of Instagram accounts follow at least one business
  • 15 million businesses use Instagram and Stories Highlights to showcase stories on their account pages

LinkedIn becomes more Business Casual

  • Rumor has it that LinkedIn will start doing what Facebook did last year - using emojis, stickers, polls and GIFS
  • Cool new filters for profile pictures
  • They want to keep up with the cool younger brother of Facebook.

Brands that Co-Create with Consumers thriving

  • Engage your consumers in co-content creative development.
  • Develop content and ideas for products and services with both your consumer and influencers to succeed.
  • Collaborative Storytelling is a Must.

Don't wait! Get your new year started with social media education.

Call or email to schedule your Social Media Training!
813-933-2788 ~ Email Us


Tuesday, 01 August 2017 Published in Projects

NSFW – "Not Safe For Work"


Have you seen the acronym "NSFW" on a post or website and wondered what it meant? NSFW means "Not safe for work", typically referring to the content being a little risqué, taboo, or inflammatory aka you may be reported to HR if you play this in the office.

Ever been surprised by something that's NSFW? It's happened to all of us, even from trusted sources, and sometimes, unfortunately, while we may play a SFW video, we are caught off guard when the next auto-played video holds a completely different message, really loud music, or something, in general that is inappropriate for the workplace or public.Facebook is helping to address NSFW in several ways and as an advertiser/marketer you'll want to take notice of some choices.

First, you'll notice that some business or news providers show blurred image previews so an audience can consent to seeing a graphic image.

Second, there is an option to save a post to view later. This gives a user the choice to view the post in the privacy of their home and solves the problem of being publicly insensitive. You can suggest that your reader do that if you think your content is NFSW.

Third, Facebook has added the ability to caption your uploaded video. Captioning is very important as millions do not turn on their sound, no matter what the post, due to environment, timing, or distrust.

If your post is something that may be NSFW, you may want to use one or more of the features above for your audience, and you can communicate it in your post by stating that it is NSFW.

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