Everything You Need to Know About Marketing
We know how tricky it can be for small businesses to keep up with marketing campaigns and social media platforms when they have an entire business to operate. We also get that not everyone can afford to hire a marketing agency in Kansas City. This guide offers some helpful tips on how you can generate more traffic to your website and network in your industry. We’ll go over some marketing vocab, platforms that can be utilized to help you manage your marketing efforts, ways you can get involved in the Kansas City business-owner community, and the best times to post on social media.
Marketing Biz Vocab
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s unpaid (organic/earned) results. Sites that appear at the top of search results are more likely to get website visits, leading to more customers and greater profit.
Content is anything produced and shared in the hopes of generating brand awareness and drawing potential customers to your website or social media pages. It can come in the form of articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.
Targeting is when you research your customer base and go after the most profitable ‘customer types’ (demographics) to increase revenue and save the money that you’re wasting on uninterested users. An example of this would be setting your women’s shoe ads to show only to female users.
Demographic is the statistical data of a population, especially those showing age, average income, and education. For marketing purposes, a demographic might be men in the Midwest, aged 30-45.
Keywords are the words and phrases that internet users type into a search engine, such as Google, to find what websites match what they are looking for. It’s imperative that your keywords are actually related to your product or service, otherwise you draw in traffic that won’t result in profits. In fact, Google won’t bring up your site at all if the keywords aren’t relevant. If your website content is well-written and relevant, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about drawing in the wrong crowd.
ROI (return on investment)is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. It calculates the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment cost. If you choose to go with a marketing agency in Kansas City, you should be sure that they can give you a positive ROI.
Analytics, Advertising, and Academic Tools
Google AdWords is free to sign up for and you only get charged when your designated action is performed. For brand recognition, you can bid on impressions. For sales or email sign-ups, you can bid on conversions. AdWords doesn’t charge you for display ads—you only pay when someone clicks your ad, views your video on YouTube, or calls your business. You can start or stop whenever you like, and adjust your campaign to optimize for conversions. App Ads, Search Ads, Video Ads and Display Ads are all options depending on what you think would work best for your business. Price points depend on the competition for the keywords you’re targeting and the quality of your landing page. You can even measure the performance of your ads to see how many people visit your website and call your business. Use targeting to reach the customers who are more likely to lead to a conversion. Google Analytics is another great tool to track where your website visits are coming from and what pages are the most popular. Lucky Orange records user sessions and tells you what device users are accessing your website from, how long they stay on each page, and what sources are driving in visitors (ie: Google search, direct link, social media, etc.). If you really want a crash course on marketing that does a thorough job of explaining back-linking and SEO, try Lynda.com for $25/month. They offer written content and videos to teach you the basics on all things marketing.
Getting Involved in the Community
You can follow Twitter accounts like the KC Business Journal, KC Chamber, 1 Million Cups KC, Trending in KC, KC Startup Village, Finding Kansas City, and EdibleKC to get the latest news on all things related to KC businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. Besides being informative, they also provide a great opportunity for networking in your area. They’re also a great resource if you have any questions about local KC businesses (ie: taxes, liquor license procedure, etc.). Festivals and city events can draw in business as well, plus they let you meet your customers face-to-face. Lees Summit Downtown Days, for example, allows vendors to sign up and showcase their business at this weekend event. There are also plenty of local groups that meet for lectures, get-togethers, and events. Those who are a part of a marketing agency in Kansas City (or those who just want to learn more about how to market their own business) can attend the KCSEM group for search engine marketing or the social media club of Kansas City.
Here’s a quick list of some local organizations/magazines/events that you can get involved in, or check out this full list of KC business clubs if you have a specific niche group you’re looking for.
Kansas City Food Circle: They connect Kansas City residents with local organic and free-range farmers, hosting organic expos and offering restaurant recommendations.
Cultivate Kansas City: Geared more toward farmers markets and agriculture, this organization provides news on the latest in KC markets and local events.
KC Local Week: this runs in August, but it’s never too early to start preparing! The mission behind this challenge is to get people to shop/dine locally for one week.
First Fridays at the Crossroads Arts District: These monthly events are geared more toward showcasing local artists, but any locally-made products are welcome. It draws in a huge crowd with food trucks, live music, and adult beverages!
KC Makers: Kansas City Makers is a volunteer run organization with the simple goal of building community and resources in the greater Kansas City area. It’s a place for makers, crafters, craft market coordinators, independent boutiques, and other creative folks to share ideas and information, providing blog posts and events around the KC area.
Getting the Most Out of Facebook
Facebook is a social media platform that’s really been tailored to accommodate a business’ needs. Even if you don’t want to pay for advertising on their site, there are plenty of features you can utilize on your (FREE) business page. Through your FB page, you can give visitors the option to order food (through delivery.com or Slice), request an appointment (view services and offerings), or get a quote. Besides your page, Facebook has public features that can also be used to spread the word about your business. Facebook Recommendations is a feature that was rolled out last year to make service and product searching in your area easy. Users simply turn on the feature so their friends can comment on the post with suggestions. If their comment tags a business page with a location, you’ll see the recommendation mapped out and saved in one place. You can even access a recommendations bookmark (desktop only) that lets you ask new questions or help your friends. This might seem fine and dandy for the general public using it, but it’s a money-making tool for you! Search through the recommendation requests in Kansas City for one that matches your business, then comment with a recommendation to your page. It’s as simple as that.
Listing Your Business in Directories
Make sure your business is listed in the right directories to be found by potential customers. Google My Business and websites like FourSqaure and KC Source Link are essential places to start when it comes to getting your local business listed. Setting up a Google My Business Page is easy—all you have to do is go here and enter your business details (address, phone number, category). Once you’ve created your business, your business listing will show up on the side of the screen when someone googles your business. Like this:
From there, people can review your business, find it on Google Maps, and call your business directly from their mobile phones with one click. Another great feature is that you can set up your company’s hours, so people know when you’re open or closed. If there’s an anomaly in your hours, make sure to update your page with that day’s unique hours. That way, customers don’t assume you’re open or closed based on the previously established times. You can include pictures of your business so people can easily find your storefront in crowded cities and get a feel for your business’ environment. There’s even an option now to create a visual tour of your store! Give users a taste of what they can expect from a visit to your store. With your Google My Business dashboard, you get alerts when someone reviews your business on Google. Quickly respond to negative reviews and take the proper steps to resolve issues with disgruntled customers. A marketing agency in Kansas City can make sure your negative reviews don’t destroy your business. Business Insights are also available to let you know how customers are interacting with your business. You can track how they found you and where they’re coming from. Graphs and charts help you visualize the number of clicks your business is getting and the website visits you receive. One of the most convenient features about this system is that it can give a user directions to your business from their location with time and mileage estimates.
Even though Hootsuite offers auto-scheduling, you also have to take into consideration that a LOT of people use platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer for their social media needs. If everyone is using a program that auto-schedules posts for optimal viewing, wouldn’t that make things a little crowded? While Buffer’s followerwonk application posts during the times when your followers are most likely to be on Twitter (and not the entire Twitter community as a whole), keep in mind that your competitors are going to have a similar following. Your stuff will get posted, but it’s going to be competing with a lot of other posts. Make sure your content stands out from the crowd to ensure you can monopolize on this prime-time posting period.
When to Post Social Media
Research has shown that posts with greater engagement (clicks, comments, shares, etc.) have higher visibility on newsfeeds. The best time to get optimal engagement rates is Thursdays and Fridays, when engagement rates are 18% higher. This could be due to people at work turning on their ‘weekend mode’ and browsing through Facebook when they’re supposed to be working. Other studies have found weekends to be the best time for posting, so it’s really important to test out different times and see which works best for your brand. The best time to post is around 1pm for shares and 3pm for clicks. Early afternoon is generally a good time to shoot for. Retweets are the highest around 5pm, but click-through rates spike at noon and 6pm (most likely because people are on their lunch break and check social media right after work).
When to Post Blogs
Blog posts are a different story. If you post during times of higher traffic, there’s probably going to be higher bounce rates with all the other content being published at the same time. Posting at times that aren’t as popular, however, means less people are online to see your content. 70% of people say they read blogs in the morning, and Mondays are the highest traffic days for an average blog. Post at 11am for optimal traffic, and expect plenty of blog comments on the weekends. If you’re able to, post more than once per day for a greater shot at getting inbound links. If this sounds too complicated, you can hire a marketing agency in Kansas City to track when your blog posts get the most action and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
Contacting a marketing agency in Kansas City
If you would rather use a marketing agency than tackle this on your own, feel free to contact us for a consultation. We’re a Kansas City-based marketing agency, so helping local businesses achieve success is what we love to do.