Blogging: Why Every Company Should Be Doing It 

By Steve Hoag

benefits of blogging

 

Blogging isn’t just for teenagers who want a virtual diary anymore. It’s mainstream now, which means everyone is getting in on the action. Blogs are being used in a ton of ways today like showcases, developer notes, news editorials, etc. Companies are paying more and more attention to blogging because of what it can mean for online business, especially in the B2B market. For instance:

Blogs help to increase search engine rankings.

SEO is a huge part of any online marketing effort, and blogging is a great way of improving search engine rankings. Having dozens of articles with keywords, and linking to them from social media networks can help significantly. Not to mention doing guest blog posts on other reputable sites to link back to your company website. A strong SEO program is one of the best marketing tools, and a solid blogging presence will help to facilitate this.

Blogs are a low cost, easy to share method of attracting attention and traffic.

Running a blog is very affordable compared to other marketing initiatives. It is also highly effective when done right. Blog content is so easy to share and build traffic with, it’s ridiculous. Focus on writing content that your audience enjoys, and be persistent in sharing it on social media. People love free content, and social media is the best way of reaching a ton of users quickly. Traffic building doesn’t happen overnight, so define your sharing process and stick to it.

Blogs help to improve thought leadership.

Another benefit of blogging is that it can improve brand equity and credibility online. Blogging is a great way of showing off what you know and do. A strong blog presence can make a small company seem much larger than it is. For instance, if people see you constantly sharing quality content about digital marketing, they will be more likely to come to you when they need marketing help or want to acquire your services. An ounce of perception is worth a pound of performance!

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, March 18, 2014 6:36:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise inbound marketing SEO SMB social media social media marketing web trends

Responsive Design: Why Every Company Should Have It In 2014 

By Sherry Kinavey

responsive design

The Internet doesn't revolve around computers anymore. Users access the Internet with a variety of devices. This raises a significant problem, because businesses need to ensure everyone can access and display their site properly.

What's the point in having a fancy site if only a handful of people can access it?

Websites are the brick and mortar storefronts for online businesses and need to be kept in tip top shape in order to succeed.  One way of doing that is employing responsive design.

The variety of devices with Internet access is only going to increase.

Technology is advancing at an insane rate. Desktops used to be the norm. Now we have laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, game consoles, and iPods. And all of them have internet access. Not to mention products like Google Glass are just starting to hit the market.

The variety of devices with internet capabilities is going to continue to grow. There's no slowing down, which means your website needs to adapt to these new technologies to maximize accessibility.

2014 will be the year responsive design becomes a staple in web design.

Responsive design isn't something that is just a fad that only big companies are going to use. It's useful for every business, large or small. More people are using multiple devices to access the internet and this generates demand for responsive design. Not to mention that more design/dev firms are offering responsive design, and portraying it as a must-have feature. There is a lot of push and pull marketing going on with this technology, and online businesses are stuck in the middle.

Not having a responsive design in place will affect your bottom line.

Responsive design is becoming increasingly important to businesses as more people use multiple devices to make purchases online. Ignoring this segment of users will severely limit the effectiveness of e-commerce by reducing accessibility and reach. This will eventually impact the bottom line for many companies as leads and sales are lost. You may have the best product on earth, but it won't matter if the user can't properly access your website to purchase it. Responsive design is all about optimizing website accessibility to maximize sales. Get on the bandwagon while you still can! 

View User Profile for Sherry Kinavey
Posted by Sherry Kinavey Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:32:00 AM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB web design web development web trends website

Social Media: An Infographic Story 

By Steve Hoag

Social media is taking off in a big way for business and it's important to stay on top of all the latest statistics and trends. The best way to do that is with some awesome infographics. We looked all over and got a bunch of great pieces of content for you to check out. Enjoy!

 

fascinating social media statistics

 

H/T to Entrepreneur.com , bufferapp.com , florentlemens.com , and mediabistro.com for the great content!

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, March 5, 2014 7:21:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB social media social media marketing

Twitter: Why It Needs To Be Part of Your Online Marketing 

By Steve Hoag

twitter marketing strategies

Social media as a marketing tool isn’t a recent development. Companies are being barraged with reasons to use social media as part of their strategy. There are many different social media networks, making it equally as important to know which ones to leverage. A general rule of thumb is that you should be active in some way on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. In this article we will focus on why you should be using Twitter specifically.

Twitter has more reach than LinkedIn and Facebook.

Facebook may have more users, and LinkedIn may have great search features, but when it comes to overall reach Twitter is #1. In order to see a company’s post you have to be a fan of it on Facebook or LinkedIn. This means that someone has to search through different companies for you and then like your page. This isn’t the case on Twitter. All posts are public and can be seen everyone without users having to follow you. You can even create high exposure, targeted tweets by using certain hashtags.

Twitter is instant.

Twitter is the instant messaging system of social media, while Facebook and LinkedIn are the equivalent of email. Communication in Twitter occurs rapidly, and things move faster than on other networks. You may have to wait a day or two to get a response on other networks, but most replies come in a day or LESS on Twitter. This makes it great for on the fly networking, lead generation, and public relations. Not to mention that many newsworthy developments in the world are publicized on Twitter before mainstream media catches wind of them. I’m not saying you should forego Facebook and LinkedIn, just that you should ensure that Twitter is part of your online strategy.

Twitter’s public nature makes it easy to identify and interact with leads.

This point ties into Twitter having more reach. Twitter makes it easier for consumers to connect with businesses, and vice versa. Its search features make it straightforward to track down prospects. Most profiles on Twitter are public which helps to increase visibility. Twitter also helps businesses identify what conversations to focus on by organizing them with hashtags. Both of these features simplify the process of interacting with leads in a personable and professional manner.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, March 4, 2014 6:47:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C SMB social media social media marketing web trends website

The Ultimate Website: Three Must-Haves 

By Steve Hoag

website must haves

 

Every website needs a few crucial components to be at the top of its game. Some of these change with new technology, but many stay the same. As a business, you need to ask yourself do you want the ultimate website? Or do you just want a run of the mill solution? If you are willing to make a serious business investment in your future then keep reading!

Responsive Design.

Responsive design was a trend, now it’s becoming a staple. People aren’t visiting websites with just a PC like they were before. Millions have smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and smart TV’s. It’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that anyone can view your website properly from any device. If one person can’t see your website, that means one less potential sale. It might not seem like much, but these numbers can add up quickly! By including responsive design you are helping to maximize your online reach. Don’t do the opposite by overlooking this feature.

A Clear, Intuitive Structure.

Another crucial component of every great website is a clear and intuitive structure. Confusion is one of the biggest enemies when it comes to web design. People need to quickly know exactly what they’re looking at, and where to go on every page. Too much clutter can lead to higher bounce rates and missed opportunities.  Don’t use too many menu items. Keep it as concise as possible.                                                                

A Compelling Story.

Storytelling goes back thousands of years. People have enjoyed hearing stories since the dawn of civilization. Storytelling doesn’t only happen in books or fireside stories. It happens on every business website too. It’s extremely important to tell a great, compelling story. You need to be able to guide every user through a persuasive narrative about your company, products, and value proposition. Don’t make them feel like they’re reading through a product spec sheet. You are selling your company as much as you are your product. In order for consumers to invest in you, they need to believe in your story and vision first. A compelling story that flows through every facet of your website is a major step towards accomplishing this.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:36:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB web design web development web trends website
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