by Caroline Aurigemma & Daniella DiMartino
Partnering with social media brand content creators, also widely known as “influencers”, is now one of the top ways for a business to gain visibility. By tapping into this potentially cost-effective resource, your business or organization’s brand can ultimately increase awareness, reach your target audiences, and expand your reach exponentially in real-time.
When an influencer collaborates with a brand, they often create content — posts, stories, reels, videos, newsletters, etc. — to share a first-person point of view of the product, service, or business to their followers. Social media influencers can often offer more value to brands if they have an established niche audience and quality organic engagement.
Choosing relevant and applicable influencers that will accurately represent your brand and promote your products or services can be challenging to handle while you are trying to run your business. And you might not be sure this is right for you. There are multiple types of influencers, from the up-and-coming influencers to influencers with millions of followers to regional influencers. If you are thinking of adding this tactic to your current strategy, reach out to your local social media marketing company to help you get started.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Working with Social Media Influencers
1. Build trust and expand reach
When working with an influencer, celebrity, or expert to promote your product or service digitally, their followers will instantly see this as credible and trustworthy information. Because these influencers work tirelessly to create a community within their platform, their audience is willing to be influenced. When your brand collaborates with an influencer, it gives the notion that your brand is a leader within the industry.
2. Increase brand awareness
Influencer marketing can truly expand your reach and following in the digital realm of social media. Your brand, your story, and your voice will begin to emerge with their posts and stories and their followers will begin to understand your story better. Keep in mind that the main focus of an influencer’s job is to stay on-trend in order to grow their following and stay relevant. By collaborating with an influencer, your brand will be seen as on-trend or “hot!”
3. Effectively reach your target audience and beyond
When working with relevant influencers, your brand is directly placed in social media users feeds who are already interested or participating within your niche.
4. Drive sales!
When influencers mention or tag your business, your brand begins to drive sales. In “The State of Influencer Marketing: 10 Influencer Marketing Statistics to Inform Where You Invest,” a 2020 article published by MediaKix, Rochelle Bailis reported that, 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. It may be nerve-wracking to put your brand in the hands of a social media influencer. However, nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
5. Create long-term partnerships
Connecting and engaging with an influencer for a one-time barter or partnership can definitely bring more clicks and sales to your business, yet this may not happen instantly. We recommend tracking engagement, follows, interest, and sales within the timeline of the partnership. Depending on your analysis, think about investing with this influencer as a long-term relationship. Just like it takes time to build trust with your brand and your customers, the same goes for influencer marketing.
With the rise of influencers, more and more businesses are using this marketing tactic to reach a much wider audience, gain more followers, post interactions, and creditability. Based on an Influencer Monetization 2021 study from Insider Intelligence and eMarketer, Jasmine Enberg reported that “more than two-thirds (67.9%) of U.S marketers will use some form of influencer marketing this year (2021). That’s expected to increase to 72.5% in 2022.”
If influencer marketing sounds beneficial to your brand, take your time in finding the right influencers who align with your brand’s mission and voice. The goal is to have a creative representative for your product or service who you trust to spread the word on all of the good that you do!
Want to know if influencer marketing is right for your brand? Drop us a line, we’d love to help!
Caroline Aurigemma is the Social Media & Communications Specialist at Katy Dwyer Design. Caroline is a Hudson Valley native who has found a passion for helping small businesses grow their social media presence.
Daniella DiMartino was the Director of Marketing & Communications for Katy Dwyer Design through May 2022, a full-service marketing firm based in the Hudson Valley, NY. She has a passion for writing and creativity and blending them into her work.
If you are in business, you’ve probably heard the term SWOT Analysis. But SWOTs have a tendency to be mysterious or overwhelming, and most business owners, managers, and marketers don’t do them as often as they should. Keep reading, and in no time, you’ll be SWOTing like a pro!
What is a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a useful tool for business owners, managers, or anyone involved in decision-making at any stage of a business. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. When performing a SWOT analysis, you are looking strategically both internally and externally at your business. In the same way a therapy session with a friend can be helpful by talking through your problems and issues, a SWOT Analysis is helpful because you are putting down on paper the things that are driving you forward and holding you back. Without identifying things like internal weaknesses or external opportunities, you can’t address them and move past them and grow.
A typical SWOT analysis is laid out as a 4-square grid, with Strengths and Weaknesses either in one column or row, and Opportunities and Threats in the other column or row.
S = Strengths
The “S” in SWOT stands for Strengths. Strengths are internal to your business. For instance, a strength may be an expertise or product your business has that others in your industry don’t. Another example may be longevity in the marketplace or 5 star reviews on Google.
W = Weaknesses
The “W” in SWOT stands for Weaknesses. Like strengths, weaknesses are internal to your business. Examples of internal weaknesses might be a small staff, an integral team member who has decided to move on to another job, an off-the-beaten-path location, or other issues that you could potentially overcome.
O = Opportunities
The “O” in SWOT stands for Opportunities. Unlike strengths and weaknesses, opportunities are external to your business. These are things happening externally that present a potential opportunity to your business. An example may be a competitor going out of business, a new technology that you can use to improve your sales or operations, or a newly identified market that you can sell to.
T = Threats
The T in SWOT stands for Threats. Threats are also external to your business. Of all the boxes in your SWOT analysis, threats are the ones you have the least control over. A good example of threats are some of the issues many people are used to dealing with these days, like supply chain problems, transportation slow-downs, pandemics, and a lack of job applicants.
How to do a SWOT Analysis
Now that you know the basics of a SWOT Analysis grid, how do you perform a SWOT Analysis, and what do you do with it?
When performing a SWOT Analysis, for the best results, include more than yourself in the room. Bring in a few top executives in your business, or a few staff members whose opinions you value, or even a mentor or colleague if you are a solopreneur.
Then get down to brainstorming and talking through the four boxes. Discuss and jot down your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Talk through possible opportunities and threats. Write them down in the appropriate grid.
Don’t walk away if you only have one or two items listed in any of the grids. Make sure to dig deep and identify all the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats as you can. Aim for at least four or five per box, more is fine too! Just make sure they are all truly relevant, and that your strengths and weaknesses are only internal, and your opportunities and threats are only external.
Once you feel you have fully explored your SWOT Analysis, what do you do with it? A SWOT Analysis isn’t a sales projection or an annual budget (hard numbers you can work towards and abide by). A SWOT Analysis isn’t a contract or a handbook. It’s a jumping-off point.
Once you have filled in your SWOT grid, you now have the beginnings of a road map for the next phase of your business. Using the SWOT Analysis, make a plan to:
Capitalize on your Strengths
Address your Weaknesses
Maximize your Opportunities
Overcome your Threats
Why and When to Perform a SWOT Analysis
When there’s a change in your business or industry
Many businesses that pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic did so by starting with a SWOT analysis, identifying what some of their strengths were, and capitalizing on them in this major change in their industry. For instance, clothing stores that saw a dip in sales due to people not working, and therefore not needing new clothes identified the strength that they were set up to make, sell, and ship clothing, and maximized the opportunity that all of a sudden, there was a need and market for face masks. When there is a major shift in your business or industry for whatever reason, be it positive or negative, a SWOT Analysis is a good first step to determining your pathway forward.
When you want to take your business to the next level
Sometimes there isn’t a shift in the marketplace, but you are looking for a shift in your business. Perhaps you want to add a new service, hire new staff, sell a new product, or maybe even enter a new industry. Or, maybe you are at the beginning or end of a business, working through an early business plan or planning for business succession. Take the time to start with a SWOT Analysis so you have your finger on the pulse of your business and can make those decisions with a true understanding of what you have to work with, or maybe even what might be up against you.
You don’t need to do a SWOT Analysis weekly or even monthly. But you also may not be up against any major decisions or shifts in your marketplace over the course of a few years, and if that’s the case, you should still be doing a SWOT Analysis on a regular basis. Plan to do one at least once a year. You may identify a threat you need to pay more attention to, or an opportunity you hadn’t thought much about. It’s a useful tool to help drive your business forward.
A SWOT Analysis is one of the tools we use at Katy Dwyer Design when working with a new client on marketing initiatives. If you’re looking to take your brand or marketing to the next level, consider contacting us today!
activate your ROI
by KATY DWYER
Ready to take your business and your ROI to the next level, but not sure where to start? Here are some winning strategies to consider…
taking the mystery out of google ads
by KERI JADROVSKI
Confused by Google Ads? Not sure what the terminology means or what your reports are telling you? Start here…
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your own marketing materials and website, tweaking messaging in the hopes of striking just the right chord, considering what changes you can make with the hope that the next small adjustment or creative spin will be the magic bullet that converts all your visitors?
A Passive Strategy
While the work we put into our websites and the content on them is indeed important—it’s where conversions, and maybe even transactions, happen, it’s where people who have heard about your business come to find out more, and it’s a home base for your fans—what good is the content on your website when there are masses of potential customers who don’t even know you exist and aren’t visiting your site?
Looking inward and taking charge of what you can easily control may be satisfying but it’s not rewarding. At least, not on it’s own.
Activate your ROI
You probably know that ROI stands for return on investment. Let’s use investors (the people most comfortable with investment) as our beacon. What do investors do? They invest money in multiple funds, stocks and/or ventures looking to grow their money. But they never invest in just one stock. Investors don’t put all their eggs in one basket.
Like investors and their money, don’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket. You wouldn’t be alone. Many businesses put too much stock in their website, and expect it to do all the work for them. Interested in a real return on investment? Put some time and money into ways you can reach your target audience, specifically those who may not even know you exist. And spread the wealth.
To get customers onto your website, you need to get off your website.
Read the Room
The surest way to reach an audience who doesn’t know you exist is to put yourself in their shoes. Who are they? Where are they? What do they do, for work? For fun? What do they listen to, read, watch, or search for online? Are they on social media? Do they spend a lot of time on their smart phones? Where do they eat? How do they travel? Do you have one audience or many different types of audiences? How do they make decisions? Where do they make decisions? Or, who makes decisions for them?
It’s time to step outside the confines of what you control, and move into the realm of Advertising. And, yes, that means spending some money. In this age of digital, you can feel confident in knowing that the money you spend on most digital advertising will lead to some clear understanding of ROI. You can never know the exact path of every dollar, but if you want to start reaching the masses and mix it up a bit (which is what you need to do), you need to be prepared to spend some money.
There are so many advertising avenues to choose from, and the trick is to find the right marketing and advertising mix for your business. It may take a few tries to get the recipe right, but with so many different possibilities, you’re sure to find the right blend. Keep in mind, we don’t recommend all these strategies to all clients. A healthcare business would certainly take a very different approach than a restaurant, for instance. Some of our favorite strategies to bring about real ROI include (but are not limited to):
- Google Ads (Search, Display, Video, Shopping ads)
- Social Media Advertising
- Streaming Radio
- Streaming TV/Video
- OOH or Out of Home advertising (such as advertising on Buses, Bus Shelters, Subways, Billboards, etc)
- Speaking engagements (giving seminars, speaking at events)
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
With the right mix of these winning strategies, you will be on your way to an increase in traffic to your website, customers on your doorstep, and measurable ROI!
by Keri Jadrovski
You (or your marketing team) are running your first Google Ad campaign. Congratulations! Google Ads can be a successful strategy for your business when your campaigns and ads are set up, monitored, and adjusted properly for the best results. But Google Ads, and the platform used to run them, can be daunting and confusing if you’re a Google Ad newbie or if you’ve come back to the platform after a hiatus and you’re unfamiliar with all of the changes Google has implemented recently. We’d like to share some simple tips to help you understand what to look for when running and/or monitoring your Google Ad campaigns.
What metrics should you pay attention to?
We recommend monitoring your campaigns’ performance by considering several metrics together. The specific goals of your campaign (sales, web traffic, phone calls, etc.) will determine which metrics are the most important to pay attention to, but here are some general recommendations that can be applied to most campaigns:
This number tells you how often your ad was shown in search results. You aren’t paying for impressions, but you are bidding on that right to be seen. This is why your budget is important. Your budget determines how much Google bids against your competition so that your ad will show up in the search results for a particular keyword. But if you aren’t paying for impressions, what ARE you paying for? Clicks. Google Ads is considered a PPC campaign (or a Pay Per Click campaign). Google isn’t the only option for PPC. When you run a Facebook ad, for instance, that is also a PPC campaign.
Your Click-Through Rate (also referred to as CTR and sometimes called Interaction Rate) is the percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked through to your website. It’s the clicks (or calls, depending on the actions a user can take with your ad) that you actually get charged for. Don’t expect your click-through rate to be a high percentage number. Though it varies from business to business and campaign to campaign, a good click-through rate can be as low as 1 – 2%. Some businesses will experience higher CTR, such as 5% – 10%.
Your bounce rate is something you may also be paying attention to if you are monitoring your Google Analytics (which you should also be doing!). The bounce rate is the percentage of people who clicked through to your website but left without visiting any other pages on your site. Unless you are running a campaign that directs to a landing page, with no other outlet, this is a number that you want to be low. A 50% bounce rate is a good bounce rate.
The pages per session analytic is the average number of pages on your site that were viewed per session. How you analyze this number will be relative to the size of your website. A small website (with maybe 5 pages and a short path to conversion) will likely have a lower pages/session ratio. A larger site, perhaps an eCommerce site with many products, will likely have a higher pages/session ratio.
These are, by no means, the only important metrics to pay attention to, but in combination, they can give you an idea of how many people saw your ad, clicked on it, and either left your website right away or explored other pages on your site. This information may help you identify if your ads are performing well or if adjustments need to be made.
What else should I pay attention to other than the metrics?
Pay close attention to the search terms. This shows you exactly what people typed into Google that resulted in them being served your ad. These are insights you can use to adjust your keyword selection.
People are searching for a term that has nothing to do with your business
Is your ad being served to people who aren’t really looking for you? For instance, you have a pottery shop where you sell your custom pottery, but people who are searching for Pottery Barn are being served your ad. Worse than that, people are clicking on your ad when they’re looking for Pottery Barn, and then, of course, immediately bouncing away when they realize they didn’t get to the website they intended. That’s costing you money and hurting your bounce rate at the same time.
The above scenario is an opportunity to add negative keywords. Negative keywords are words or phrases that you do not want your ad to be found for. You can control Google Ads so that your ad won’t appear for specific keyphrases and exact matches, like “Pottery Barn,” but will still show up when someone is searching for something like “Pottery Gifts Near Me.”
Keywords vs. Search Terms
Keywords are the whole point of Google Ads. You identify the keywords you want to be found for and your ad appears if your bid wins the right to show up. Keywords are what YOU specify; search terms are what people are actually typing into Google when they search. Through Google Ads, you can see which keywords and separately, which search terms, are performing best for your campaign. Which keywords or search terms have the best click-through rate? Which keywords or search terms cost the most? You may even find that some of your keywords aren’t popular enough to even rank or that some keywords are simply not delivering your ad. These are all important data points to pay attention to.
Keep in mind that low-performing keywords may not be costing you much, but pausing them can shift the daily budget towards more competitive bidding for the high-performing keywords.
Don’t let all the digital marketing lingo, like CTRs and impressions, scare you away from stepping into Google Ads. When done well, including monitoring regularly and adjusting as needed, running PPC campaigns can help your business reach its goals quickly and efficiently. Hopefully, we’ve taken some of the mystery out of your Google Ad reports.
Keri Jadrovski is the Communications Coordinator at Katy Dwyer Design, a full-service marketing firm based in the Hudson Valley, NY. She enjoys writing relatable, engaging content and helping businesses and organizations tell their stories. Connect with Keri on LinkedIn.
FREE audit checklist!
by KATY DWYER
A quarterly check-in of your digital footprint is necessary! Learn what should you be auditing with our handy FREE checklist…
making your website accessible
by KATY DWYER
Making your website accessible is just good business sense. It’s not easy, and there’s no magic wand, but you should invest the time and money in this important endeavor.
When spring has sprung (or at any change in season), consider this the perfect time for a marketing audit! No fear, this isn’t about financials and the tax man isn’t coming to audit you. But it does mean a thorough review and update of all your marketing information digitally lurking around the internet.
Why plan a marketing audit?
A quarterly check-in of your digital footprint is necessary! Most small businesses are busy running the day-to-day of the business, so when you put up your website or start social media, you have a tendency to set it and forget it. But your digital presence isn’t like a crock pot that you can walk away from and forget about while it does the work for you.
What do I need to audit?
Start with your website. Your website should be the most reliable source of information about your business, so make sure it’s up-to-date with all the relevant information: hours, products, services, menus, prices, contact information, location, and more. Make sure your website is functioning as it should be and is in good health.
Your Social Presence
Social media is fast becoming the first source of information for consumers about a business. Many will search Instagram, for instance, before even searching Google. So you should treat it as another primary source for your customers to learn about you. Make sure your social presence is accurate, active, and engaging. That goes for your Google My Business listing as well!
The data being collected by Google Analytics and Google Search Console is priceless. You may not be taking full advantage of it right now (or maybe you are, and KUDOS for that!). But if you decide to up your marketing game one day and hire a marketing firm, they will find the data incredibly useful as they begin on their journey to your ROI. Make sure both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are connected to your website and tracking properly.
If you are running any digital ads or pay-per-click campaigns (such as using Google Ads), make sure you are checking in on them regularly and tweaking them accordingly. This can be the difference between spending money to make money or throwing your money away.
How often do I need to do an audit?
This can vary for everyone. I recommend at least a quarterly audit. Some businesses have information changing more regularly than that, such as restaurants updating menus or shops changing their hours more often. Others don’t see much change over the course of a year, but checking in every three months will get you in the habit of being more aware of your digital presence and more apt to update your information as soon as it changes.
Download our FREE Checklist!
Lucky for you, we’ve created our own Marketing Audit Checklist! You may have items to add, and not everything on this list may pertain to your business. There may be much more information floating around online about your business than you were even aware of! And you may not have realized that changing your hours, for instance, only on your website doesn’t make them change everywhere. There’s work ahead, but this checklist can help! Good luck!
Marketing automation sounds like a perfect solution for someone who doesn’t have the time to focus on their marketing, doesn’t it? It says it right in the name! It’s Automatic. But, is it?
What Marketing Automation IS
Marketing Automation means using a software or platform that will automate marketing tasks for you, sometimes across multiple platforms, like social, email, search, web, and even text. For instance, a social media platform like HubSpot or SproutSocial is a form of marketing automation. Load up all your social posts for the month, and the platform will take care of posting to multiple social pages, without you having to navigate to each social platform and post there.
What Marketing Automation ISN’T
Marketing automation isn’t a plug-n-play solution. Marketing Automation doesn’t “do it all for you”. Marketing automation is a way to automate the steps of a campaign, not build the campaign for you.
Here’s an example: Acme Products sends out a sale email to their customers. 30% of the list opens the email. 70% don’t. Acme has set up their marketing automation so that the 70% receive a follow-up email 3 days later. And of the 30% who opened the email, 5% clicked on something, so the marketing automation platform is set to send another reminder to the 25% who didn’t.
Most marketing automation has templated “funnels” (or flow charts) built in for easy implementation. However, the campaign itself: What are you selling? What’s the message? What’s the benefit? Who’s the target audience? That’s not built in. That still requires a knowledgeable marketer or team of marketers to develop a strategy and build the tactics that will be used in the campaign.
Marketing Automation PROS:
- Eliminates a good deal of repetitive tasks once the platform and campaigns are set up
- Built-in tools to quickly and efficiently develop campaigns across multiple platforms (i.e. social media, email marketing, digital advertising, content marketing, landing pages, etc)
- Automation platforms typically include some sort of sales tracking or CRM feature to help quantify your ROI and nurture leads
- Usually includes a dashboard that brings all your metrics into one place
Marketing Automation CONS:
- Requires a good deal of time and effort to get a marketing automation platform set up and ready to use
- Cost: Serious investment in the software (varies by platform, some can be $10K or more per year)
- Not a replacement for marketers, branding, or creativity
- Requires a dedicated employee or team of people to run (the cost of the platform isn’t the only cost)
The bottom line: before you get blinded by the allure of marketing automation, make sure your marketing has a team of knowledgeable professionals behind it to help make marketing automation a win-win.
how do I “social media”
by KATY DWYER
Question from a Business Owner: There are so many social media options. How do I choose what to use and where to focus my limited time?
stop marketing and start engaging
by KATY DWYER
I am a marketer, and I want you to stop marketing. Yes, you read that right…