Social media marketing has become a ubiquitous part of modern business and Facebook is the dominant channel across industries.
With over 1.4 billion active daily users, there’s a great opportunity to reach current and potential customers. However, recent updates to Facebook’s algorithm necessitate a strategic approach more than ever before.
These tips will help you to find success.
1. Create “Good” Content
This may seem obvious, but Facebook rewards content that its users find interesting and helpful.
This wasn’t always the case. For several years, Facebook had been aggressively distributing brand and news content. However, earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be implementing some significant algorithm changes in an effort to make the social network a place that better fosters community between people.
Now, Facebook’s algorithm will favor posts that are highly engaging and promote interaction. It measures this by the number of comments, shares, and likes a post gets, in that order. The higher the engagement, the more Facebook will display that post across the platform.
Many businesses initially assumed that this meant the end of their ability to reach people on Facebook, but we disagree. The key is to focus on creating content that your community will care about. If you cater to your customers, you’ll get the engagement you need.
We believe that advertising is an essential aspect of a good Facebook strategy. It provides a more targeted approach that guarantees reach beyond what is possible by relying solely on organic reach.
Combined with thoughtful content, even a small advertising budget can yield significant results. In fact, Facebook provides the best ROI out of any social media network. This is primarily because of Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities. Because so many people use Facebook and indicate their interests, hobbies, shopping habits, demographics, and so on, reaching the right audience is quite easy.
You can also use highly effective tools like Facebook’s Pixel, which is an easy-to-install piece of code that tracks who comes to your website and what actions they take while there, enabling you to advertise specifically to your website visitors on Facebook.
3. Be Interactive
Facebook requires two-way engagement. You can’t expect your customers to be loyal if you don’t interact with them by responding to questions and comments.
This type of two-way communication will help to build a loyal customer base who will not only use your product or service, but who will also share it with their Facebook friends.
4. Hire a Professional
Don’t be intimidated by Facebook and its changes. We can help you craft and execute a Facebook strategy that supports your greater marketing strategy and the goals of your business. If you’d like to discuss how we can help, contact us today.
A common maxim in business is that good leadership is an essential aspect of success. But what constitutes good leadership?
That’s a question that chief executives, business owners, managers, and even employees should stop and consider. We recently completed an exercise where each of us at GMP wrote our own definition of a good leader, and we realized two things: First, that each person in an organization, no matter their seniority, must be a leader in some fashion to complete what they are responsible for. Second, that individuals each view good leadership in a unique way.
Below, we’ve shared our definitions.
To me, an important trait of a leader is to maintain a positive attitude. Not only are positive people more fun to work with and be around, but it’s important for the leader to be the “rock” of the group.
Whether you know it or not, the rest of your team is often looking at you for strength and confidence. Pay attention to your attitude, words, and even body language. An excited and positive leader motivates a team, creates a better work environment, and ultimately creates better client outcomes.
Leaders are a few things to me. First, they are humble. Success is rarely, if ever, the result of one person’s efforts – and a good leader knows that. They empower their team to succeed, and they make sure that that success is then shared by everyone.
Second, they are passionate. A good leader must love what they do, and as a result, they must constantly learn, try new things, and be unafraid to share their opinions.
Third, they have a clear vision. They know what the goal is and how they’re going to achieve it – and then they clearly and articulately share that with relevant stakeholders
Fourth, they are nice. People like working with nice people. Good leaders are friendly, engaging, and fun to be around. Sure, sometimes leaders need to be stern, but they do so with kindness because they care about their team.
First and foremost, leaders need to know that great teams are the key to success. So, they can’t be afraid to hire people that may be better than them at certain things and to celebrate the accomplishments of their team.
They also have to be able to push their team to be the best. To do this, they have to have a clear vision and goal and be confident in their decisions to accomplish that goal. Hard choices may have to be made in that regard, but making them with confidence will earn a good leader respect.
Finally, a good leader has be a bit humble by doing things like admitting when they make a mistake and paying themselves last.
A good leader needs to be able to put their head down and work, to listen, and to take criticism. They need to be able to apply that criticism to improve themselves and to help the people around them.
As a graphic designer, more often than not, my job entails working diligently and listening to clients’ needs and then using my judgement to adapt the content effectively. Staying focused, taking criticism, and listening help me create the best outcome overall for both sides of a project.
To me, a good leader will lead from the front. A leader shouldn’t ask their teams to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves. They should also lead by example so that their teams understand not only what is expected but are also inspired to work hard.
I also think leaders should be open so that their teams are able to approach them and ask for help!
I believe that someone can be a good leader if they have experience, the ability to inspire, and a persistent demeanor.
To be viewed as a qualified leader by a group, the person must be seen as having the requisite knowledge, which almost always comes with experience. But being knowledgeable isn’t enough, they must also be able to inspire those who are meant to follow them to act and to act as a team.
When they are able to do that, they must then be persistent in striving toward the team’s goal. By that I mean that they must be flexible and take unforeseen setbacks in stride rather than losing their composure.
What Do You Think?
Whether you own a business or work in one, the quality of leadership matters all the same. As you can see by our unique definitions, what constitutes good leadership can vary from person to person.
Perhaps our ruminations will inspire you to take a second look at leadership and how each person in your organization sees it.
What do you do when you think of a product or service you need? You Google it. Then, you most likely choose one of the results from the first page.
Many businesses spend a lot of money on search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure that their website is at the top of those search results. However, the costs associated with an SEO campaign often aren’t feasible for most companies.
Luckily, there’s an easier solution.
Content marketing. Content marketing is a cost-effective method to not only boost your website’s SEO, but to also improve your company’s digital presence.
What Is Content Marketing?
It’s, essentially, the creation of written or visual materials that your potential customer will find both interesting and valuable. The goal is to create something that will resonate with your visitors, so that when it’s time to buy or use your product or service, they think of you.
Technically these materials can be anything from a blog, to online videos, or even a coffee table book. However, only written, digital content can have a positive effect on SEO.
How Content Marketing Can Affect SEO
Search engines rank their search results based on many varying factors that range from the searcher’s location to how relevant the search engine decides a website is to a specific search. The relevance factor is what content marketing can help take advantage of.
Relevance is determined by comparing keywords that search engines catalog from every website on earth with the words used in a search.
You can capitalize on commonly used keywords pertaining to your business by building them into the copy on your website and by producing written content on your website. The best way to achieve this is via a blog that features high-quality content discussing specific topics that relate to top keywords for your industry. As a result, your site will be deemed more relevant and therefore will be featured higher in search results.
Another important component to consider when it comes to content creation is frequency. Regularly adding new content to your site will help to boost your site in search results. Letting your site’s content get old and stale will most likely result in sub-optimal search rankings. Because blogs are typically updated several times a month, they also help to keep your site fresh and ensure that it is more visible to search engines.
Don’t Be Spammy
While that may sound simple enough, you need to adhere to that high-quality requirement.
When businesses first caught on to the fact that all they needed to do was fill their site with keywords to be highly ranked in search results, every business’ website started looking like a massive spam email. Keywords were everywhere.
In response, search engine companies have developed complex algorithms that take things like “natural tone” and “informational value” into account when determining relevancy.
The best way to make sure you are creating content that both contains and discusses relevant keywords and phrases in a conversational tone that is perceived to be interesting and valuable by your potential customers is to answer important questions.
This is really the key to success. You need to make sure you have the answers to the questions your customers commonly ask and the information they need about your product or service. Again, a blog is the perfect vehicle for this type of content.
By providing your visitors with useful tips, memorable facts, or important information, your site and your business will become their go-to place for your product and the internet’s go-to place for search results.
Digital Content Marketer
Most business owners understandably don’t have the time to carry out a comprehensive content marketing strategy. At GMP, our team has the capability to create unique and relevant content that will make your business stand out online. If you are looking to expand your digital reach through content marketing, contact us today.
By: Corey Pontz
Your website is your first impression. When a potential client, customer, or new employee visits your site, it’s essential that their experience is flawless, and that they come away feeling enthusiastic about your company.
To do that you need to make sure that your site doesn’t fall behind the times. The modern web user is savvy and has less patience than ever. They will find mistakes and judge your business on them.
Fortunately, our very knowledgeable web design partner, Corey Pontz of CWP Design Studio, is sharing six of the most important trends in web design that you need to look out for this year – because your customers will be looking out for them!
1. Be Direct
Web users like to get onto a site and get the information they want quickly. When someone has to fish around for what they’re looking for, that tends to be the jump-off point. They will find another website with the same information or product/service that is easier to navigate.
In response, sites are going to be increasingly minimal and direct. Text-heavy and cluttered pages are a thing of the past.
In keeping with the “being direct trend”, animations should not be used to be flashy, but should be purposeful and memorable. This year, you’ll see more animated logos and scroll-triggered graphics. As users scroll, images will animate, which incentivizes scrolling down the page … and keeps users on the site longer.
Also, subtle animation (like content blocks slowly appearing or sliding up on a site) is becoming a common way to give a sleeker, more polished look rather than a static page.
Just as Facebook started allowing the option to choose from several reactions to friend’s posts, users are going to start seeing the ability to choose how they interact with webpages. There will be a growth in seamless interactions that allow users to take multiple actions without navigating to a new page.
4. Sticky Bottom Nav
You’ve probably seen the top navigation bar stick at the top of the page as you scroll down. Now, you’ll see bottom bars stay fixed as well or instead of the top navigation bar.
Whether it’s the top or bottom navigation bar, having it available at all times makes it easier and quicker for users to navigate through a site.
5. Variable Fonts
Variable fonts, which are a single font file that behaves like multiple fonts, are now becoming popular. Text is getting more emphasis across the web – it’s being increasingly used as a visual aid rather than just supporting content. Be ready to see words that change shape and design.
Bots … are … everywhere. These little virtual helpers allow users to ask the site questions, which will help customize the browsing experience.
Instead of slowly clicking through a site or using a search bar to try and find what you want, bots allow users to simply type in or speak a question and it will lead them to where they want to go.
These are especially popular for B2C e-commerce sites. Example: “I’m looking for leopard pump heels.”
How You Can Keep Up
It’s vital that your site looks and feels as relevant and innovative as your company is. But with changes happening faster than ever and users expecting perfection on every site they visit, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed.
That’s why working with a talented web designer and an experienced digital marketer can make your life so much easier.
To learn more about Corey and her team, check out her company’s website. And if you want to make sure your entire digital marketing effort is as good as it can be to take advantage of your website, we’re here to help.
When you think of LinkedIn, do you see it as just another place to post a resume and find a job? The truth is, LinkedIn has become so much more than that.
For professionals and executives whose work depends on networking, LinkedIn is now a place to not only reach people, but to influence them. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on a key competitive advantage.
The Three Key Ways LinkedIn Is Growing
1. LinkedIn has over half-a-billion users
In April of 2017 LinkedIn reached 500 million users. People from every industry, every part of the of the country, and all over the world are using this as their primary professional social network. That means that the vast majority of the professionals you meet are on LinkedIn.
2. LinkedIn has become a content-first platform
When LinkedIn introduced Pulse in 2015 as a way for users to post self-created content and then integrated it into the newsfeed we know today, the platform began to change drastically.
Now, the spectrum of content-based tools on LinkedIn includes e-learning classes, articles written by fellow users and influencers, native video content, and themed channels that direct users to the type of content they want.
3. Users come to LinkedIn to consume that content
Because of the changes implemented since 2015, users have started seeing LinkedIn not only as a place to connect, but to learn.
The proportion of users who visit LinkedIn for purpose of consuming interesting content (as opposed to job searching) has increased from effectively zero percent in 2014 to nearly 40 percent by the end of 2017.
One reason for this rise in content consumption is because of its unique Influencer Program. This invite-only program promotes the self-created content of highly influential figures in various industries for free.
How You Can Take Advantage of These Changes
While the vast majority of us will never be invited to be a LinkedIn Influencer, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have significant influence in your industry by taking advantage of the fact that a growing number of people come to LinkedIn looking for interesting and valuable content.
You can gain the competitive advantage LinkedIn provides by doing the following:
1. Grow your network
In today’s professional world, it’s likely that you meet new people either in-person or digitally on a daily basis. You should be connecting with those new contacts on LinkedIn because it not only stores a new connection’s information and provides an easy way to communicate with them, but because it increases your chances of making the LinkedIn algorithm work for you.
2. Know the algorithm
Because LinkedIn is a content-first platform where users expect to find interesting and useful information, it uses an algorithm that nurtures that reputation.
To ensure that the content on users’ feeds is valuable to them, LinkedIn puts new posts through a filter to gauge quality and then automatically spreads content to those who it believes will like it.
That first two stages of that filter are your first- and second-degree contacts. If you post an article that your first-degree contacts like and engage with, LinkedIn will automatically show it to you second-degree contacts. If they also like it then LinkedIn will analyze it, categorize it, and then redistribute it to others who it thinks will also like it, just like they do with Influencer content.
3. Publish Valuable Content
You can put your experience, connections, and the LinkedIn algorithm to work for you by writing high-quality articles or creating video content about subjects that you know people will find interesting and valuable.
The LinkedIn Influencer network can provide you with clues about what is trending in a specific industry and what information people want to know.
So, Why Aren’t You Publishing Yet?
LinkedIn has grown into a content-first social media platform that you can use to both build your personal brand better than on any other social media channel. If you’re only using it as a place to stay connected with people and look for a job from time to time, then you’re missing out on its huge potential.
If you have questions about how to make LinkedIn work for you or your business, we can help because we already do it with several of our clients. Contact us and we can make it happen.
By Sarah Weddle, Vice President
Blogs may be ubiquitous in today’s digital landscape, but blogging in its current form is quite different than it was when it was first introduced (and referred to as a “weblog”). So, it’s understandable that many people are still confused about the medium and unaware of how valuable of a marketing tool it can be. In fact, one of the top questions we receive from clients is, “What is a blog?”
We’ll start with the answer because it’s simple, really: A blog is an online publication.
That’s all there is to it – although how a blog is executed can vary widely. For example, it can be part of your website or it can be a standalone website. It can be personal (more like a diary) or it can be professional. But ultimately, it’s a place where you publish content that is of interest to your readers.
When it comes to business – B2B and B2C – blogging is a powerful tactic to attract leads. However, you should never start a blog with the intent of generating sales (that is the quickest way to fail). Rather, a blog should be a resource for your customers, providing them with information and positioning your place in the market.
Mistakes to Avoid
This type of content generation is not the right approach for every company – don’t let someone try to convince you otherwise. Ideally, blogging should be just one piece of your marketing strategy. So, determine how it supports the other tactics you have in place and go from there. Consider the following:
Honestly, there is no “right” way to blog. While your posts should be high quality and thoughtful, if you get too hung up on the details, you will be doing a disservice to your customers and your company. At the end of the day, consistency is what’s really important. If you blog with regular frequency and maintain a consistent voice, your blog is more likely to become a highlight of your site.
In terms of your posting schedule, quality is always better than quantity. If your posts are well-written and useful, you will attract a larger audience – and your SEO will improve, as will your leads. The best way to provide value for your readers is to write for them, not to serve the interests of your company. Consider the questions you receive most often and the pain points your customers experience and then address them in writing.
We also recommend that as you develop your blog, you keep a “Blogging Style Guide,” so that there is uniformity among all of your posts in terms of formatting, word choice, and tone.
The Real Value of Blogging
Not convinced? Here are just some of the reasons you should consider a blog for your company website:
Time to Get Started
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to blogging. We can help you develop and execute a blogging strategy that will support your company’s goals and attract new leads. We can also work with your team to craft and publish blog posts that match the tone and brand that your company wants to portray.
If you’re interested in launching a blog or improving the strategy behind your existing blog, we can help. Contact us for an honest evaluation of what blogging can do for your company.
By: Addison Ingraham, GMP Design Associate
Graphic design is an exciting career path that I have been lucky enough to pursue. For as long as I can remember growing up, I have always loved learning about and creating art. Although I didn’t take any graphic design classes until my senior year of high school, my graphic design “career” began as a child, spending hours creating new backgrounds in Microsoft Paint for our computer at home. In fact, my whole family still talks about them!
I love graphic design because while it is a form of art, it has become a practical career. As a graphic designer, I can work doing what I love and not have to live as a starving artist. That said, graphic design does come with its own set of challenges.
Being Under Valued
Designing is not always easy! A lot of times, clients underappreciate the value that design brings to a project or their company as a whole. It’s important for clients the role that design plays in communicating a brand. It may seem easy, but there are a number of best practices inherent in the process, making it more pleasing to the eye.
Underestimating Time to Get the Job Done
It’s easy to forget that designers can be working on multiple ongoing projects for different clients (or departments) at once. Clients may wish that a small project be finished or tweaked immediately, yet realistically, I have many other projects on my plate. Altogether, the design process takes a lot of time from research and prep work to the actual artistic design. If you don’t know designer personally, it’s challenging to understand the amount of time that goes into each creation. Because of this, clients tend to undervalue the cost associated with their design and can expect unreasonable turnaround times.
It’s not a bad thing to be picky when it comes to your company’s design, but it can make the whole experience a bit more difficult. Oftentimes, clients may be particular about what they don’t want their design to look like, but have trouble articulating what they do want. In the end, I want a client to get exactly what they’re looking for, but this process can take more time than normally allotted, leading to increased cost.
Being Full of Ideas
Having a lot of ideas is a great starting point when it comes to a design, but it’s helpful to narrow down your ideas a bit before making any next steps with a designer. It becomes much more complicated when a client wants to try a plethora of different ideas when the project timeline only permits time to develop one or two. For example, if you go to a restaurant with a 12-page menu, you’ll probably end up very confused about what you want to eat. With a shorter menu, it’s much simpler to decide on a meal you’ll enjoy. It’s the same with design. Too many options will lead to much confusion.
Overall, these few things have never deterred me from my job as a designer. Like with any job, there are certain projects that make your work week a little more interesting! At Graham Media Partners, our team provides customized design for all of our clients, whether that be through digital content creation or developing print promotion. If you need help with your company’s branding, contact our team today! I look forward to working with you.
At GMP, we believe that all work and no play leads to poor results. We place a high priority on our company culture and on engaging with one another in a variety of fun activities – away from our desks! We were recently trying to select a team-building exercise and we kept coming back to the idea of an Escape Room. This is a pretty popular activity these days (in fact, Addison, our Design Associate, had participated in two different rooms prior to this!), so we wanted to see if we were up to the challenge.
If you haven’t been to an Escape Room, it’s a pretty straightforward experience. Your group picks a room to escape from – each room has a different theme and level of difficulty. Then, you have one hour to solve a series of puzzles using your problem-solving skills and logic. If you solve them all, you escape!
Of course, when we tackle something at GMP, we go all in. We went right for the hardest room at Expedition Escape in King of Prussia. The themed room we chose was Bank Heist. We had to work quickly to escape the room before the cops arrived!
Were we nervous? Yes. Were we skeptical that we’d get out of the room by the end of the hour? Yes. But we weren’t going to let that stop us from trying.
Spoiler alert: We successfully escaped (with a few minutes to spare)!
It was a true team effort. Five members of the GMP team participated, and we all had a role in solving the different puzzles. Each one required a different way of thinking, so while four of us may have been convinced of a particular solution, one person approached the problem differently and got us to the next clue. Other times, we were all actively participating to complete a puzzle as quickly as possible – the more eyes the better. Rarely was there a moment when we weren’t all involved in the process.
It was so much fun! And we were shocked to find out that only 15 percent of the teams escape from that room. We attribute our success to our teamwork. We listened to each other, we helped each other, and we used our unique skillsets. This is the same way we function in the workplace. At GMP, we’re a true team. We all have different strengths (and weaknesses), and our value is in our ability to work together to find the right solution for our clients’ needs.
We had a great time at Expedition Escape and highly recommend the experience as a team-building exercise.
By: Sarah Weddle
If you’re an office worker, you’ve probably heard time and time again about how sitting at a desk all day is going to kill you. I’d wager at least half of you reading this post are wearing a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or some other device in an attempt to track your steps or make sure that you’re at least a little bit active every day.
In full disclosure, I am one of those (annoying?) people who actually enjoy working out. It keeps me sane, lowers my stress level, and feels good! I have always been a big fan of exercise, playing on sports teams from my youth right up through college. But, as I transitioned into the professional world, I had to figure out how to fit in exercise around a full-time job. We all know the challenges that that presents, but I’ve managed to make it work, with an average of 4 workouts (sometimes more, sometimes less) every week.
Everyone’s situation is unique, with different commutes, job flexibility, family circumstances, finances – there are a lot of variables that can make or break a workout. I am not married. I don’t have kids. This means I have free time that other people don’t have! But, regardless of how busy my life gets, I always make time to exercise. This is especially true when I feel overloaded or stressed at work. Squeezing in a workout – even a small one – can reset my frame of mind (and my mood).
Below are my suggestions for finding a way to work hard and workout hard.
Make it a Priority
This is the ultimate secret to my success when it comes to staying active. Getting a workout in is absolutely one of my top priorities. No matter what else is going on in my life, I will find the time to exercise. If I’m particularly busy with work or have a lot of social obligations, I may not make every single workout, but I will try to fit in as many as I can. Sometimes this means that I wake up early and workout before work because I have dinner plans at night with friends (my preference is an evening workout); sometimes this means I squeeze in an abbreviated workout over lunch because it’s the only free time I have; sometimes this means I just go for a quick walk outside.
This is similar to the first suggestion, but if you schedule your workout like an appointment, you’re more likely to stick to it. This isn’t always possible – things do come up – but a schedule helps. I recommend sitting down on a Sunday, deciding how many workouts you’d like to do that week, and then figuring out how you can fit them in around your other obligations. Then, put them on your calendar and plan for them.
In all honesty, this tip doesn’t actually work for me, but as a marketer, I know the power of social media. So, if you plan to work out, share it on social media. This will make you feel more obligated to actually do it. If you don’t want to publicize it, tell your coworkers about your exercise plans. They’ll likely follow up with you the next day about it, which will, again, make you feel more obligated to do it.
Set a Goal
If you are burnt out or just unmotivated to exercise, setting a goal can help. For me, this typically means signing up for a road race or a triathlon. For someone else, it may mean setting a goal to hit a certain number of workouts in a month or improving a timed exercise.
Find a Workout You Love
Listen, if you don’t enjoy working out, you probably need to try a different type of exercise. There are so many options out there, so figure out what works for you! I love to run. Most people do not. But, there is something out there for everyone, so keep trying new things!
Acknowledge the Season of Your Life
It is unlikely that you will be able to maintain the same level of exercise forever. If you recently had a child, it’s okay to scale back. If you work in accounting and it’s tax season, it’s okay to scale back. Remind yourself that this is just one chapter of your life and it will eventually pass, and then set reasonable expectations for the season you’re in.
Join a Group
For the most part, I enjoy working out by myself – especially when it comes to running. I love to mentally check out and spend time with my own thoughts (or a podcast or TV show). But, when I started training for triathlons, I found that I needed a little motivation to stay committed. First, I joined a swim group at my YMCA. We meet every week for an hour and do a set workout from a coach. I feel like I’m part of a team, and on those days where I don’t feel like getting in the pool (most days, to be honest), I remember that I paid for the class and that people expect me to show up (and will text me if I don’t). I need similar motivation to get on my bike, but as a member of a local triathlon club, West Chester Women’s Multisport, I can always find someone to ride with me, which helps me to stay committed and focused.
If you love what you do, sitting at a desk all day doesn’t seem like the worst thing. At GMP, we work really hard to serve our clients and to deliver results – but we also really value time away from our desks. Prioritizing your health will only serve to make you a better employee (and probably a happier person too). I hope these tips help. If you’re ever looking for race recommendations or a workout buddy, let me know!