10 Reasons You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy to Dominate

The way to market your service or product has changed significantly since the introduction of the internet. And where once it was all about advertising in a one-way stream of messages, the new age of digital marketing is about communication between you and your customer base. Sometimes the hardest part about a digital marketing campaign is knowing where to even start, and then trying to figure out how to get where you want to go.

Do You Currently Have a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Over the past decade, the number of small businesses incorporating a digital marketing strategy has increased significantly from about one-quarter to about 45% of companies hopping onboard. Although that is a great improvement, that still means that over half of businesses are missing the boat.

Traditional marketing and branding is still a highly necessary part of your overall success, but digital marketing differs because it is more interactive and communicative. If you aren’t employing both types of ways to reach your niche market, you are missing out on a huge percentage of potential.

Ten Reasons Why you Need a Digital Marketing Strategy

1. You Have No Direction

It is nearly impossible to get where you are going if you don’t know where that is or the path to get there. Digital marketing isn’t about throwing everything out there and hoping something works. It is a targeted way to devise an overall campaign so that everything you do is relative and works in combination to get to your end-game. If you aren’t analyzing what is working and what is not, or haven’t a clue even how to, you are likely throwing time, money, and resources out without getting much for it.

2. You Haven’t Clearly Defined Your Audience or Niche Market

The key to a successful digital marketing campaign is knowing who your audience is. Clearly defining what niche market you serve is integral to using targeted marketing to interact with them.

3. Your Competitors are Doing it Better

When devising a marketing campaign, you have to know who your competitors are and analyze what they are doing right and wrong to differentiate your company. If you aren’t learning from the competition to get and stay ahead, they might leave you in the dust.

4. You Don’t Have a Clear and Concise Message

For content purposes, you must have a clear and concise message that states who you are, what you are about, and what your philosophy or brand stands for. A clear message across all mediums is important to establish not just brand familiarity but also brand loyalty through the message that you send. Once you find your message and your voice, use it consistently across all forms of digital marketing like social, email, and blog content.

5. You’re Not Staying in-Tune With Your Customers

Opinions change over time, and to remain relevant and successful, companies have to be in-tune with what their customers desire. They can only do that through the use of feedback to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Using feedback from clients, surveys and online reviews is the best way to be on the pulse of what your customers think and feel about your message, your products, and/or your services.

6. You are “Disintegrated"

A machine works best when all of its parts are in sync. If you have separated your traditional marketing from your digital marketing strategy, then you might find yourself disintegrated. Your online representation should have the same tone, brand, and message as your offline marketing. Consistency across marketing channels is key!

7. You Don’t Invest Enough Efforts Into Your Digital Presence

Digital marketing shouldn’t be an afterthought or something that you just “throw together”. Because the internet has changed the way that consumers find companies and products, if you aren’t investing your time and resources into digital marketing, you are making yourself obsolete.

8. You Aren’t Evaluating What Works and What Doesn’t

Just as important as it is to use all the digital marketing tools at your disposal, it is critical to not duplicate your efforts. Make sure that you are continually evaluating where your efforts are being spent so that you aren’t throwing money out by doing the same thing in ten different ways. Evaluate what all of your efforts are doing to look for any overlaps. Adjust or get rid of strategies that aren’t working and double down on the things that are.

9. You’re Not Staying One Step Ahead

The way to remain relevant is to make yourself important in the marketplace. For a successful digital marketing campaign, you have to be willing to diversify, stay ahead of the game, and continually look for holes in advertising and marketing to insert yourself. Your audience will likely change over time, so you have to know when things are shifting, and shift your message and campaign accordingly.

Coronavirus has really shown how important it is to adapt to the current market and has forced a survival of the fittest mentality on businesses.

10. You Aren’t Using All the Tools Available

There is an endless number of ways that companies can segment and reach potential and existing customers. You have to do both; retain your customer base and find new audiences. That takes using all the tools of digital marketing that you can. Those tools change rapidly though, and keeping pace is the only way to ensure that you aren’t missing opportunities to grow your business and your bottom line.

Most businesses understand the value of marketing and advertising. In the new age of the internet, marketing has changed. And it is no longer about placing an ad and hoping your niche market will see it and reach out. Digital marketing is about creating a two-way channel with your audience to find a strategy that works through communication and feedback, as well as refining your message and establishing your digital brand presence.

Are you doing all you can to use the powerful tools at your fingertips?

If not, let Fu Dog Media help you create a digital marketing strategy to achieve your business goals. Contact us today to get started.

Is Drone Photography Right for Your Business? 7 Reasons to Incorporate It Into Your Marketing

Drone technology has come a long way in just the past few years, giving small business owners who use it a leg up on the competition. It has a wealth of benefits for small and large businesses alike. And for the small cost of purchasing one and learning how to use it, you reap huge rewards in cost savings, marketing, customer satisfaction, and time management.

It is also an excellent way to reduce risk for many industries since the drone becomes your eyes for hard to reach and dangerous places. These are just seven reasons, of many, that drone photography is not only your window to the world; it can bring your business to new heights!

Drone Photography for new website coming soon: pepperspressurewashing.com

You Can Ditch the Crappy Cell Phone Pics

We are in the business of making you look good online, but we can't do that without great photography. Professional quality photographs make all the difference in your website design and your overall digital marketing strategy and web presence.

Instead of pulling out your cell phone to snap a picture of the $60,000 pool you just built, you can send the drone up for easy, spectacular shots from the air. For roofers, siding installation companies and other construction industry companies, you can get great images of your finished work from your drone to incorporate in your website portfolio, your social media timelines, and to share with future customers as proof of the quality work you do.

Social Media Marketing Exposure

There is one thing that scores high on social media marketing, and that is beautiful full color images and stunning video! Posting your drone in action to your social media accounts will captivate your audience and provide them a post to engage with. Drones allow us to easily create images and videos that can really show off our work. And since social media is all about branding yourself as the latest and greatest, drone photography is an excellent tool to show off how tech-savvy you are. When your competitors are posting bland and static images, you will be stealing their thunder by showing an incredible bird's eye video or photo of your drone capturing your amazing work.

Zoom Down Aerial Video

Zoom Up Aerial Video

Rich Content for Your Website

One of the best ways to increase your SEO rankings and lead conversions is through content that is rich and engaging. But when it comes to things like pressure washing and roofing, there are only so many things that you can say. People are visual. Drone photography is something that offers an amazing perspective and let's potential customers see your work up close and in dramatic fashion. Using drone photography and videos on your website also shows that you are more advanced than the other businesses out there that haven’t incorporated it. Compare two roofing websites, one that incorporates aerial photography and one that doesn't, and you will see a huge difference.

Give Your Customers What They Can’t See for Themselves

When it comes to roofing, gutters, and construction, traditionally, the customer has to have faith in the contractor they choose to do the work. Since the consumer can’t get up on the ladder themselves to see what you do, they have to believe that you are telling them the truth. Once more, although you can take a picture, or describe to them what you see, it doesn’t tell the whole story. And sometimes it is not enough to push them to act when they should.

Drone photography gives them a bird’s eye view of what they would see if they were able to climb the roof themselves. They no longer have to rely on your eyes or your words; they have full images to back up your evaluation and assessment. And when people can see for themselves what is really going on and how serious it is, they are more apt to follow through and invest in fixing the problem before it becomes more problematic.

A Lot of Bang for Your Buck

Unlike other technology that can be both a serious investment cost-wise and hard to tackle, drone photography is relatively easy to grasp and not too expensive. The images that a drone delivers are high-quality, stunning, and in real-time. Typically with the type of businesses who can integrate drone photography, 1-2 new jobs added from drone photography will pay for your investment.

Drones bring your evaluation a little extra professionalism and your recommendations become a little more reliable to accept because people can see for themselves. The small price it costs to use drone photography pales in comparison to the rich benefits that it provides your overall brand and customer satisfaction.

Aerial Photography in Eleuthera, Bahamas

It Shows You Are Cutting Edge

With small business, things change very quickly. What better way to show your customers that  you are on top of your game and on top of your industry?

Updating your technology, along with your website and social media look, just looks like you care about always providing the most advanced products that your industry has to offer. It also creates goodwill when you show your clients you care about investing in them, by investing in yourself. And drone technology is an excellent way to be exciting, new, and cutting edge in any field.

Caribbean Drone Photography for AirBnB Rental

Reduce Employee Risk

Every time that either you or your employee climbs a ladder to get up on a roof, there is a great risk involved. Not only do you want to be safe yourself; you want to limit your risk of a slip and fall accident that can wreak havoc on your workers’ compensation premiums. When you use drone technology, you can send a machine to do the risky work while you sit back and reap the benefits.

Also, there is no need to have a team of people to evaluate, one to capture, and one to spot while the other does the dirty work. You can do the job of many without anyone having to do much of anything besides maneuver a drone where it needs to be to be your substitute. Take the risk out of your risky business and have more peace of mind.

Aerial photography taken for gutterboyzsc.com

Aerial photography taken for gutterboyzsc.com

Drone photography is an up and coming technology that saves time, money, and risk for many industries such as roofing, gutter work, and construction. It is also very inexpensive and requires very little education to operate and become certified.

And best of all, aside from all the benefits that you get personally, drone photography helps to enhance your web presence and your social media with more engagement and excitement. For the small cost of a drone and a little learning curve, you can get ahead of your competitors, so what are you waiting for? Drone photography is worth every penny of investment you make, so get on the bandwagon now and put your business ahead of the pack.

Be Present—Reap the Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your Website

The coronavirus era has presented a host of challenges for large corporations to small businesses alike. Those who learn to adapt and find new opportunities to accommodate their customer base will not only survive; they will thrive long after, life as we know it, has returned. With people maintaining social distance, and some being in complete isolation, giving your customers a way to reach out without leaving home is essential.

And if you haven’t yet incorporated a live chat to your website to make contacting you easier, now is the time! Live chat is the best way to convert a visitor to a customer. And it is also an excellent way to build loyalty that will far outlive the coronavirus.

Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your Website

Customers Prefer the Convenience of Live Chat

Even before the coronavirus forced us all to communicate remotely, live chat was an excellent way to provide convenience to the consumer. When people visit your website, reaching out to contact you takes an extra step to seek you out. According to Statistica, “51% of consumers are more likely to stay with or buy again from a company if they offer live chat support.”

And, “20% of the shopping population prefers using chat to contact a retailer over any other communication method.” When you make contacting you for information, ordering goods, or to provide support easy via live chat, you are likely to enhance the consumer’s experience and create loyalty for the future.

Live Chat Software

It Saves Money

At a time when small businesses are scrambling to find cost-effective solutions to cut their operating budgets, live chat is an excellent tool to eliminate the need for a call center. And since it is text-based, you can communicate and help more than one customer at a time. When you are on a call, you have to give someone your undivided attention.

And you can only help one customer at a time. With text customer service, you can have one agent working with many people at once. That cuts down on employee hours since they can multitask and allows one employee to service many people at the same time.

More Quality Control

Live chat allows you more quality control when dealing with customers. If there is ever a question about a previous exchange, there is a written transcript of the conversation. That not only allows you to have the evidence you need about what transpired, should you need it; it gives you a way to keep track of your customer issues so that you can analyze where you are getting things right.

Live chat also allows you to track conversations according to things like keywords, customer demographics, support outcomes, or sales channels. The ability to comprise a database with rich information is an excellent tool to use for further live chat sessions, sales, and marketing.

Being Available When Your Customers Need you Most

There is nothing more frustrating than needing help and not being able to get it. With a live chat, you can be available more hours like during the evening and on weekends. That will make you more responsive to your customer’s needs. And it will also build trust between you and the consumer.

When you provide people with the assistance they need, that isn’t just a Q&A section on your website, it eliminates frustration and hard feelings on the part of the consumer. And even better, your employees can work remotely, so you aren’t paying them to sit in an office idle. Being available when your customers need them is important now, during the coronavirus era, more than ever before. And the trust that you build will last for years to come.

Live Chat Software

It is an Excellent Tool for Service as Well as Sales

Live chat options are excellent for all types of small businesses. They not only help to increase sales, but they also help to provide service to your customers at a moment’s notice. According to Forrester Research, live chat helps to reduce customers from dropping out during the purchasing process.

Therefore, it helps to increase sales and overall profits. “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” A live chat is also a great tool to discern where along the chain of purchase consumers drop out most often so that you can pinpoint those weaknesses in the process, and work to eliminate the potential that a customer will not follow through.

Gains Advantage Over Your Competitors

Although live chat is becoming quite popular, not many small businesses have it available to their consumers. If your website offers the ability to support the consumer, and to answer questions, you are going to beat out the competition that doesn’t have the added convenience. When you are available more often, provide instantaneous service, and get consumer's questions answered fully when they need you most, they will always choose you over another provider, period.

Studies show that although 80% of companies believe that they offer their consumers “superior” customer service, only about 8% of customers agree that the same businesses offer “superior” service. So if you think that you are doing a great job providing the service that your customers need, you might want to think again.

You Can Respond More Quickly

The average wait time for consumers with live chat options is about 23 seconds, and usually no more than forty-two seconds. When you compare that to email, where the response time is about forty-five minutes to as much as seventeen hours, that is a huge advantage for customer satisfaction.

And although social media users expect that they will receive support within about five minutes to the same day, the top 100 U.S. retailers take about 24 hours to answer via Facebook, and eleven hours to respond to Twitter. That is a staggering difference between communicating with a consumer who needs support, wants to place an order, or just has a general question. The amount of goodwill that being immediately available builds, is immeasurable.

Take Action, Install Live Chat on Your Site!

Now more than ever being innovative by reaching out to your consumers where they live is critical not just to survive the coronavirus era, but to thrive in the post coronavirus boom. At Fu Dog Media we have partnered with livechatinc.com to provide our clients with the most advanced live chat tools available in the industry. Live chat options not only build loyalty and goodwill between you and the customer; they save you time and money. And they will position you well ahead of the competition.

LiveChat Chats iPad

Contact us today and we’ll set you up with a FREE 15 day trial and install everything.

Keeping Work and Home Life Separate – 8 Hacks to Avoid Work From Home Pitfalls!

For many who work in the corporate world, the idea of being able to work remotely from home seems like a dream. But like anything in life, with the coronavirus forcing us all to take social distancing measures, working at home can begin to feel like anything but a dream. Although there is an abundance of advantages that come from being able to roll out of bed and be at work instantly, there can also be some substantial disadvantages if not properly planned for.

Being able to go from work to home life instantly is both a blessing and a curse. If you don’t set boundaries, the lines can begin to blur. Studies show that people who work remotely, on average, work as much as 40% more per week than those who commute to an office.

Boundaries are important to reduce the risk of burning out, developing the imposter syndrome, and losing motivation. But sometimes that is easier said than done. If you are someone who is finding themselves having a hard time going from work to home when working from home, these are some quick tips to keeping the two separate and you moving forward.

1. Set Normal Work Hours

Not everyone operates well in the nine to five world, which is why remote working is ideal for many. But once you find out what hours you are most productive, set them and don’t veer from them unless necessary. So you might not be a nine am starter; be a seven am'er.

Just make sure that your hours are set at 8 hours a day just like they are when you are within the confines of a workplace. Or, what you will find is that your workday might start to increase, you might find yourself not staying on task and extending your workday, or you might find that you are working overtime and burning out.

2. Put Mobile Devices Away When “at Home”

Once you have left the office, you likely return home with a sense of accomplishment. When working from a home office, it can be really easy to let the day go on forever. All of those little things you failed to do when at work can wait until the next day, but when you work from home, there is always time to go back and continue.

Commit to putting your day to rest when the day is over. That means putting your mobile devices away and leaving them for the morning. Working from home does not mean that you are on-call around the clock, so don’t get sucked into going back for more. It will still be there the following day when you are back at it during “office hours”.

3. Get Dressed For The Day

What sounds more amazing than spending the day in pajamas? But the thing about not getting ready for work is that, eventually, it becomes monotonous and loses its luster. It is important mentally to separate the day into work and home life, which includes the outfit you wear.

Although it might not seem like a big deal, wearing comfy clothes and pajamas day after day can start to put you into a slump. Even if you aren’t going anywhere, make a special point to change your outfit daily. It is alright to go casual, but not to the point of wearing sweat pants all day, every day.

4. Have One Out of Home Activity Planned Everyday

After a while, living behind the same four walls can begin to feel more like a prison. With technology as it is, you can literally sit home and wait for everything in life to come to you. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Every day, make an activity plan to get out of the house.

Regardless if it is running to the grocery store or hitting the trails for a nature hike, removing yourself from the same monotony will help inspire and motivate you. If you include some exercise in your plans, it will also help to enhance your mood, save you from anxiety and depression, and help you to be more productive and creative.

5. Have a Separate Space for Work

Although the living room couch might be super comfortable to sit down and get your work done, there are too many distractions that might get you off course. Also, it can work to blur the lines of when you are working and when you are finished. Find a room to design your workspace that has ample light and good lighting. A good ergonomic desk with a keyboard is also essential to keep your posture strong. And when you sit up tall, your body receives more oxygen, which will boost your brainpower and make you more focused throughout the day.

6. Get Up at the Same Time Everyday

It might be super alluring to hit the snooze button over and over. After all, when you work remotely, you don’t have anyone standing over you or monitoring when you make it to the office. But it is important to maintain a schedule, which includes a time to get up in the morning. Routine is going to be king to keep on schedule and motivated. It might seem like sleeping late is a great idea, but what you might quickly see is the lines between work and home life blending, and procrastination at its highest. Even if you take a little extra time in the morning for your coffee, set an alarm and stick to it!

7. Listen to Music to Accommodate Times of Stress and Lulls

Although some people might think that music is a distraction, what studies show us is that listening to music is highly motivating and enhances your productivity and creativity. There are going to be the same natural lulls and chaos during your at-home day that there are when you are in an office. Create playlists that help to keep you on task. Whether it is soothing music during times of deadlines and stress, or uplifting music to help you get through those tasks that feel like torture, music is a great way to relieve stress and also to stay focused.

8. Planning Ahead Will Help Keep you on Course!

Working from home is hard enough when it is just you, a computer, and a mobile device, but add some children and pets and what you have is a recipe for a shortcoming. Not only will it potentially make you feel like a bad parent because you have to work, if you don’t have a plan in action, you probably won’t be able to complete your job with the same attention that it commands.

Self-motivating and working from home can be difficult, but you can do it!

This whole pandemic has thrown you into a new way of working. If you were thrust into a new work from home position, it's probably taking some adjusting. Follow these quick tips, and the transition should be smoother and it will help you embrace and thrive in your new workplace.

Take Advantage of COVID-19 Downtime To Prepare Your Marketing for the bounce back to come!

One of the hardest parts of the COVID-19 era is not just losing business, but also having so much downtime to be in your own head. When the distractions of cleaning out closets, yard work, and do-it-yourself projects run out, all you are left with might be worry about the dwindling business atmosphere. That's why now is a perfect time to focus your attention on your digital marketing strategy.

Things have been so good for quite a while, and what we have seen is that small business owners barely have had the time to answer simple questions about how to proceed with their marketing. While you have the time, use it to your advantage, and get started on the recovery boost that is right around the corner by doubling up not pulling back!

Is Your Website Outdated?

You have been so busy with the day to day operations of supply and demand, your website has probably been the last thing on your mind. But as the days of social distancing and isolation drone on, people are hitting the internet with unprecedented numbers. That is giving them time to research services in the area that are on their to-do spring list, who delivers, and what errands they can do via the internet to check off of their sitting idle list.

If you update your website now, you will create a better impression. And you will also beat out the competitors who think now is the time to tighten their marketing belts. A little upgrading goes a long way not just to impress existing and potential clients, but also to signal Google that you are at the top of your game, which will catapult your website ranking.

How is Your Long-Term SEO Campaign Working for you?

Hopefully, you understood from the beginning, that your SEO digital marketing plan was a long-term process. Many small businesses who are feeling the crunch of the economic slowdown and fearful of a recession are cutting back on their digital marketing efforts when they should be going full-speed ahead.

Your SEO presence will not be felt today or tomorrow, but it will when the COVID-19 era is behind us and daily life has returned to normal. If you drop things now, you are going to lose a ton of ground. It will be like starting all over again. And worse, because your competitors probably will not, they will gain steam.

So, shortly, you will have to work twice as hard to catch up while they are reaping the benefits of hanging on. SEO is much like the rabbit and hare fable… slow and steady wins the race. We can help you win it by staying the course and doing what we can to gain exposure.

How About Your Social Media Marketing?

Unlike any other time in history, people are glued to their social media. Social media marketing is all about creating a brand, growing it, and enhancing customer familiarity. The timing could not be better to captivate your audience with positive messages that will build a favorable bond with your consumers that will last long after the COVID-19 scare is behind us.

Boost your efforts and keep your message both informative and inspirational, and it will pay off ten-fold in both the near and distant future.

Beef up Your Local SEO

People are responding to the request to stay home. And when they do need to venture out, they don’t want to go far. Now is a perfect time to beef up your local SEO. Make sure to maximize your Google my Business page and update your Google Maps listing to keep customers up to date and boost your visibility.

Also, now is an excellent time to think about pay per click ads. Not only do statistics show that the cost of them might be dropping as much as 6%, due to less competition, but their conversion rate is also going way up. A long-term SEO strategy is important for your future success, but a successful PPC campaign can help to give you a boost that will help you in the short term. Then, your SEO efforts will keep you there for the long run.

Content Marketing and Keywords

Content marketing is the way that Google picks up timely and relevant keywords and keyphrases to categorize your business and match you to an organic search. But it is not a once and done proposition. Although the business might be slowing, Google's efforts are not. They continually update their information due to recent content to rank your business.

And although cutting your content efforts might seem like an easy and quick way to tighten your belt, it will do a whole lot of damage to your Google ranking. Freshening up your content via blogs and static content according to what people are currently searching, is critical to saving all the ground that you have made. If you drop the ball now, you will be playing catch up for a very long time.

Think Outside of the Box and Stay Current

So many things have changed in the SEO world while you were busy doing what you do best, paying attention to your service or product. Now is an excellent time, while you have time, to consider new changes that will enhance your visibility and ones that your competitors aren’t taking advantage of.

If you haven’t updated your Apple Maps listing, do it now. Statistics say that more people are using Siri to find local businesses, and Siri only uses Apple Maps data. So make sure that you not only have Google Maps maximized; but also that you have thought about new up and coming ways to make it easier for your niche market to find you via the internet!

Remember – COVID-19 is a Temporary Situation

At Fu Dog Media, we understand that everyone is fearful of the COVID-19 fallout. But it is a temporary situation. And if we look to the fact that China, who experienced the worst of it, is now recovering to business as usual in just three months, we are more than halfway in. And, hopefully, we got a bigger jump on its effects thanks to public health measures. Now is not the time to tighten your marketing budget, it is time to double down.

Take advantage of the downtime to make sure you are prepared for the boost that will follow by making a list of all the ways to not just stay afloat, but also to forge ahead in the months to come. Contact Fu Dog Media today to go through your checklist and start marking things off!

Digital Marketing in the COVID-19 Era – Breathe Deep and Think Rationally for the Future!

You undoubtedly have seen many companies release their response to the COVID-19 crisis. The reason why corporations and large businesses alike have gone on record with their words about understanding the hardships that many are facing is to relate to their consumers and to demonstrate their concern. You are never too small of a company or business to reach out to customers during these trying times.

In fact, it is the best way to create a sense of community and goodwill that will last long after social distancing and isolation are behind us. One key thing to remember is to keep your messages inspirational and positive. Remind your customers that out of struggle comes growth. And also that it is during these times of hardship when the goodness within people shines through, which includes how your company shows your empathy for those around it.

Calm Fear and Anxiety by Keeping it Positive

People are on high alert, with reason, and your job as a leader in the community is to fight against fear and help people to channel it in positive ways. Your customers want to be reminded that the COVID-19 conditions are temporary. And also that you are doing everything as a company to still service customers, but in the safest way possible while observing the CDC's recommended procedures for COVID-19.

Don’t just use epithets to lift their spirits, use factual knowledge that will give them hope and bring back a sense of reality versus panic. Be more transparent than ever, as people need your authenticity as a business owner to shine through.

As a small business, just one full week into social distancing and shutdowns might feel like it is a disaster.

And for many, financially, it has been. But remind your customers and yourself that now is not the time to give in and give up. Once the virus is over and cases around the world have plateaued, things will not just return to normal, they will be ripe for businesses to forge ahead for a strong second half of the fiscal year.

There is still time for small businesses to meet their revenue goals. When panic mode sets in, you may think it is time to pause your marketing efforts. However, if you do so, you are opening the door for competitors to overtake you at your time of weakness. The businesses who continue to forge ahead for the next month or two will come out ahead.

Forward Thinkers Excel – Just Look at History

Throughout history, there have been times of economic growth and others of decline. The one thing that all businesses that excel after times of recession show are that those who stay the course outperform those that cut their resources and shrink their marketing efforts.

According to studies focused on analyzing stats across historical recessions, the data is conclusive that you should not waiver on your marketing efforts, especially during downtimes such as this. According to Forbes magazine, there is one tried and true fact, and that is the adage, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”

Examples of how great campaigns during times of hardship work are:

  • Kellogg’s “Snap,” “Crackle,” and “Pop” campaign during the Great Depression in the 1920s helped grow their company profits by 30% and positioned them as leaders in the dry cereal industry. At a time when other companies brought their marketing efforts to a standstill, Kellogg doubled down. And it more than paid off when they left competitors, who ceased to take advantage, in the lurch for decades afterward.
  • In the 1973 recession that spanned over two fiscal years, Toyota, who was the front runner, was tempted to drop their marketing and advertising budget. But they saw the threat of Honda’s popularity, so they stayed on course with their marketing campaign. In 1976, Toyota was far ahead of both Honda and Volkswagen who did not increase their efforts. And Toyota quickly became the top carmaker in the country.
  • McDonald's was by far ahead of the other fast-food restaurants when America hit the 1990-1991 recession. Seeing themselves as the market leader, they scaled back to weather the storm. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut didn’t, and they went full force ahead. As a result, Taco Bell’s sales increased by 40% and Pizza Hut by 61%, while McDonald's sales decreased by 28% in the following year.
  • During the 2009 recession, Amazon took advantage of a weak economy not by cutting costs, but instead by growing their technology. They released the Kindle, which took off with fervor. Their sales, due to their efforts, grew by over 28%.

Although these are examples about big businesses and corporations, the same principle holds for small businesses. One inarguable fact is that life will return to business as usual. And what you want to do over the next couple of months is to keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds for when it does—not disappear and let your competitors steal your share of the marketplace.

Now is the Time to Double Down!

One unprecedented difference between this recession and others is internet use. People who are practicing social distancing, or even lockdowns, are finding themselves with time on their hands and nothing to do. While stuck at home, they are hitting the internet like never before. Social media marketing is all about building your brand through engagement and brand familiarity. So now is not the time to throw in the towel, it is time to double down.

Although you can make predictions about when people are viewing their social media during regular times, you can safely assume you are going to get maximum exposure whenever you post throughout the COVID-19 era. The opportunity to build your brand and create familiarity has never been so rich! It is a unique scenario of having an incredibly captive audience.

What Makes Your Business Beneficial During These Specific Times?

Now is the time to set your business apart from the rest by telling your audience how you can benefit them most. Do you deliver? Is your business able to help people online rather than in-person? If you are a small business owner, think of ways to deliver your services without contact and then advertise. Although it might appear that having your work out club shut its doors is detrimental, get your trainers online and offer in-home training. Or, for dentists, offer online consultations.

You have a captive audience who is looking for things to do. Think about the ways that you can innovate your business practices to provide them with services from home. The key to growing any business is to adapt and innovate in the face of new demands. So instead of seeing this time as devastation for what you can no longer provide, think outside of the box to see how you can find a niche to overcome.

Once you find your new in, make sure to double down your social media efforts to reel people in. You will reach an entirely new audience if you do. And then when the COVID-19 era is over, you can resume business as usual. Or, you can continue to offer services that do well.

Find Mediums to Bridge Social Distancing

The only way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is through social distancing. But that doesn’t mean people don’t still need services! If you have a business that can provide online sessions or use the many different connection platforms available, then not only will you not miss out, you can profit! Things like Zoom Video Conferencing and Skype can keep business running as usual. And since they are highly popular and simple to use, people might find that it is a better way to connect even in good times.

Maybe you are a business that can use technology such as drone imaging to inspect people’s roofs? Are you an HVAC company that can perform contactless services to your customers? Going digital  will give your customers confidence in your service during this time of panic.

SEO Has Always Been a Long-Term Strategy!

Hopefully, you understood when you began your SEO digital marketing that it was a slow and steady process. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that you build over time. It isn’t a flash in the pan, but a way to gain exposure and brand familiarity that happens with time. Now is not the time to pull the plug on your efforts.

If anything, it is time to enhance them. Never before have people been so tied to the internet, which is why you should make sure that they find you first. The reason to stay strong, or perhaps even increase your budgeting efforts, is two-fold. One, you are getting the most exposure time possible right now. And, two, in weeks when the COVID-19 era is over, you will beat out the competitors who tightened their belts and dropped their efforts.

Stopping your SEO efforts now could set you back for months or longer. For those companies who pull their efforts, it could be like starting over again. Now is NOT the time to disappear, it is the time to go at it harder than.

Reduce Fear… Panic is NOT Your Friend

Although it might seem that scare tactics help to motivate people to take action, too much fear makes people shut down. It is important to discuss COVID-19 and how it affects your services and industry, but don’t be a fear monger and present the worst-case scenario.

And, in the same respect, don’t panic yourself! As a small business, we understand how devastating and scary it is to see all of your hard work disappear almost overnight. But the key to staying in the game is not to give up. When panic rules, people begin to pull out and that only makes things worse.

Before you take any action with your marketing, take the time to breathe and think through things rationally. Just like any life-altering event, it is essential to take the time to mull over the entirety of a situation before decision-making. Especially in marketing, making knee jerk reactions can end up costing you a lot.

And the last thing you want to do is throw out all that you have accomplished, or to miss out on what could be one of the most lucrative opportunities possible because you fed into the pandemonium and made rash financial decisions.

The Importance of Local SEO Will be at an All-Time High

Now more than ever it is critical to focus your SEO marketing efforts locally by using things like Google my Business and Google Maps. People are wanting to stay as close to home as possible. And they are going to pick the first service they find within their area.

There are many ways to foster your local presence, which will cost you nothing. And now is the time to find out what they are and maximize them! Also, to catapult your business to the top spot and get noticed, pay per click ads might be the ticket.

You’ve got the Time – Use it!

Times have been very very good for many small businesses. Most of the companies that we deal with haven’t had time to really sit down and think about the wealth that digital marketing provides, or the steps they should take to beat the competition. Now, while you have time, use it to your advantage. Things like web design, PPC, content marketing, SEO and updating your web pages to make them more appealing are critical.

And they are something that might have fallen by the wayside! What we have found at Fu Dog is that half of the battle of helping our clients with a highly effective digital marketing plan is getting them to focus when so many other things are going on. You have the time to really analyze your digital marketing needs, make critical decisions, and devise a plan to come on strong both now and for the future. So put that time to good use! Make a useful list of the ways to engage potential and existing clients and check them off. Or, pull out that list that has been on the back burner and let’s get to work.

We are in the Same Boat – Let's Steer it Effectively!

At Fu Dog Media, we get it. We are all in the same boat, and understand that it can be very tempting to tighten your belt and make cuts to help your business survive. But making marketing knee jerk decisions based on fear and panic is never the smart way to go. Breathe deeply and think about the real facts: Coronavirus will only last for another couple of weeks to months. And what you are doing now will affect how well you will bounce back. It will also affect how well you fare against the competition who pulled back when they should have gone full speed ahead.

As hard as it is to keep your eyes forward-looking and your brain forward-thinking, it is the only way to weather this storm and to come out the other end not just surviving; but thriving.

Take the rational road and consider what steps you take now and how they will not only affect you tomorrow or next week; but months from now when life as we know it returns. You have the time to take advantage of some unprecedented good things in digital marketing if you think rationally and allow us to help! Set up a digital meeting with Fu Dog Media today to discuss the wisest steps to take for your long term success during such a tumultuous time.

Everyone Wants Results NOW…But Digital Marketing is a Long-Term Strategy!

As humans, when we want something; we want it NOW. But as the old saying goes, “All good things come to those who wait”. We are all creatures with the desire for instant gratification, especially when it involves the internet and social media. But unfortunately, the digital marketing game is not about the here and now, but rather planning now to reap benefits for the long-term.

Throughout time, industry and businesses have had to put in their dues to be successful. And it also took a combination of many different advertising and marketing strategies to get there. Although the internet has made it appear that things should come instantly, when it comes to marketing, the same rules apply – patience and persistence are the only way to success. That is why I tell my clients that the digital marketing process is a progression with a long-term goal instead of the goal being a flash in the pan. As we all know, a flash in the pan will eventually go out. With a good digital marketing strategy, your business will continue to burn bright forever.

Content Marketing Is All About Continually Updating!

Content marketing is focused on a happy-medium between good information, valuable tools for your clients, and keywords to signal search engines. But it isn’t just about writing one blog or finding amazing content for your static pages. Google isn’t a once and done service that puts everyone in categories where they hold their place forever. It is an entity that continually searches the internet for content that reclassifies, reorganizes, and ever-changes by the minute – literally.

Content is an ongoing process where you have to supply the right words, in the right succession, and provide quality to have the viewers not bounce to another page and continue to return to view. That is a whole lot of requirements necessary to be successful. That is where blogs are so critical. Updating your website blog by continually seeking the right keyword trends and what people are looking for is the only way to stay above the competition.

Content marketing is like swimming; if you aren’t moving forward, you will sink.

Also, as the internet changes, your content has to change too. Although most business owners create their static pages like “about us” or their “services” page and never alter them, to stay on top with Google searchers, you have to stay in tune with the demands of the market. Google is as good as Google is because they don’t rest on their own merits. As soon as you think you have figured out the game and what they are looking for; they shake things up. Things like adding location pages to areas you serve with their own URL address is an excellent way to give yourself a more physical address when your real one is different for areas that you want to target. That is just one way, of many, to use content and innovative ways to trigger Google to help your niche market find you. Content requires that you be ever-changing and always one step ahead for the long-term.

Videos are Amazing, But Have to be Innovative and Engaging

The world has become inhabited by the easily distracted. Videos are one of the best ways to captivate your audience and have them engage. People don’t want to just read about how well your product works or how good your restaurant food is; they want a demonstration and an explanation. That way, they can sit back and be passive, while still getting all the information that they need.

But videos are costly and timely to produce. And once they have been played once, they will probably not be watched by the same viewer gain. Therefore, updating relative videos, making your own, or even allowing others to post videos is an excellent way to get your audience engaged. And also a fantastic way to get them to stay tuned to watch again and again.

Social Media – A Perfect Way to Build Brand Image

The average person spends approximately two hours and thirty-three minutes engaged in social media per day. That is a significant amount of time that is easy to tap into. Social media is a spectacular way to show your products and services. But most importantly, it is a place where you want to build your brand image. Your brand image is the impression that you create for your customers. And your branding is a way to create customer familiarity which breeds loyalty.

But social media is something that you have to update regularly to keep people engaged. With all of the images that the average person sees in just one day alone, you have to work diligently and for the long-term to capture their attention and to create a relationship with them. It is a time-consuming and arduous process. But the good news is that once you create a bond through your social media, it will keep people coming back for more.

And if you can create a good enough campaign, people will seek you out and enjoy what you have to offer. The best way to keep an audience is to captivate them. And for branding, that means hounding them with images and visions of who and what you are, your company culture, and what you believe in. That takes a long time to develop! And, once done, just as long to maintain for the long-term.

Think of Digital Marketing in Old Fashioned Terms

Rome was not built in a day. And, unfortunately, since it didn’t innovate and change things up when necessary, it all fell apart. The digital marketing world requires the same steadfastness to stay on top. Sure, you want to be the buzz today…but you also want to be the buzz tomorrow and the next day.

And if you can’t be the flash in the pan always, you want to ensure to keep your branding and marketing light shining for the long-term. So if you want to grow a successful business, and most importantly keep it there, join us to use persistence, industry knowledge, and good old fashioned rolling up your sleeves to get where you want to be – and stay there. Contact FuDog Media today to discuss a long term digital marketing plan for the success and future of your company.

Digital Marketing Mythbusters…Don’t Always Believe What you Hear! Myths debunked here!

There is a reason why the show “Mythbusters” was so popular when it debuted.

We all have those things that we accept as fact, but they are based on no such thing. No, your blood is not blue until it hits oxygen and turns red.

Yes, it is totally okay if you wake someone while they are sleepwalking. And, no, there is no such thing as the five second rule. In fact, the amount of bacteria that is transferred to a piece of food when it hits the floor is the same no matter how long you let it sit there.

So, you think that you know all there is to know about digital marketing. Or, you believe that what you do know is actually fact, and that you are doing things to foster your business, not hurt it. But, do you know for sure? We are here to debunk the most common seven myths that most people believe about digital marketing practices and how they work.

Marketing Myth One: More Traffic to Your Website Translates Into Increased Revenue

All you have to do to increase your bottom line is drive more people to your website and kaboom…your profits will soar!

The reality is that yes, you want to drive people to your website, but not all traffic is the same. The only kind of website traffic that will translate into profits are the ones that can convert leads to sales.

Traffic is not just the number of IP addresses that make it to your page. Traffic is the audience that makes it to their intended target because behind those IP addresses are people who have the motivation, desire, problems and need for solutions.

What you have to do to make that traffic viable is to communicate to those people who do make it to your website that you have something valuable for them to invest in. You have to give them cause to take action and use your product or service, not just make it visible to them.

So, you can argue that more traffic might increase your bottom line. That part might not be a myth. What is not true is that just getting people to your page is enough to convert them to increasing revenue.

More traffic means more sales, but only if you have the right type of traffic and if you focus on the quality of the traffic flow rather than the quantity, which leads us to the second myth…

Marketing Myth Two: Your Ads Need to be Appealing to a General Audience to Attract as Many People as Possible

In the same respect that more traffic converts to more money, appealing to everyone across the board as being the goal of digital marketing is, likewise, not true. More customers do not always mean more sales.

If you run a campaign and throw out a huge net in hopes of catching everything, what you end up with are a whole lot of things you need to throw back and not a lot of what you were searching for. If you don’t specify your message to your target audience, you might appeal to more people.

But, in the end, you aren’t going to have the right message to get the specific niche that you are trying to capture. It is like fishing in the middle of the sea to get as many fish as you can instead of figuring out where the species of fish that you want to catch live.

So what is the answer?

It’s alright to use a campaign that not everyone is going to get, or an image that isn’t going to catch everyone’s eye. The key is to find out what makes your intended target tick, what gets them to focus attention and use that marketing to attract them.

The goal is not to appeal to everyone on earth. The goal is to appeal to everyone on earth who might be interested in using your product and service. And to do that, you have to find out not only what they are looking for, but what sets them apart from everyone else.

Marketing Myth Three: Email is as Dead as a Doornail

Sure, email might not be the end all be all that it used to be before things like instant messaging and texting came along, but there is no end to it. And the potential that it might present for your business is still valuable!

Although click-rates for email might be lower than other mediums, they tend to generate a lot of sales. In fact, the DMA found that for every one dollar that a company spends using email marketing $38 was generated in revenue. That would indicate that no, email is not dead, not even by a long shot.

Once more, according to Campaign Monitor, using email marketing is more effective than both Twitter or Facebook at generating leads that convert into sales. When you combine that with the fact that everyone, yes, even your grandma uses email, that says a lot!

Email is not on the decline, statistics from Statistica show that the number of emails both sent and received, is somewhere around three hundred billion, not million, literally billion, and that number is increasing every year.

Marketing Myth Four: All You Need to Succeed is an Excellent Ad, Campaign, Landing Page, etc…

A lot of digital marketers will tell you that all you have to do is get one thing right and the revenue will start pouring in. They believe that if they come up with the right ad, slogan, campaign of combination of things, the end result will be an instant success. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if that were only true?

The problem with their philosophy is that it neglects what the facts show, most customers aren’t a one-hit wonder. What I mean by that is it usually takes more than one look or glance to get a customer on the hook. In fact, there is a process that the average consumer goes through before they go from a “first glance” to a “sold.”

When we can explain the complexity of converting a stranger to a sale to our clients, they quickly see that you can’t build your business or your brand on just one hit campaign. There are several steps and processes that you need to go through before you have them hooked.

Instead of focusing on a one-hit wonder campaign, you have to create many different streams and campaigns to generate both engagement and awareness to the consumer. Once you get them to subscribe to one campaign, you shoot them another, and then the target is to get them to convert to sale by campaign three. It isn’t a once and done proposition. And anyone who tells you it isn’t, isn’t doing the groundwork necessary to make you a success.

Marketing Myth Five: Don’t be Creepy by Retargeting

No one wants to be a stalker; that isn’t cool. That is why most marketers stray away from retargeting ads to their consumer. They fear that the general public will get creeped out by being followed around the wide web. But do consumers really feel that way?

According to a study done by Wishpond, retargeting ads are viewed much more positively than negatively. That is why savvy marketers know this little secret and use it! Retargeting is one of the best and most efficient ways of bringing people back to your website. And we all know what that means…don’t we?

  • Website visitors who have been retargeted with a display ad are 70% more likely to convert
  • Over 70% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart and only 8% of those lost consumers return to complete the purchase
  • Ad retargeting brings over 25% of lost consumers back to finalize their sale

The more they visit, the more likely they are to bite. In the same study done by Wishpond, it was revealed that most digital marketing professionals would insist that retargeting is the best use of marketing there is.

So, no retargeting is not creepy. Not to retarget gives the consumer the impression that you aren’t all that interested in them, and overall, that you aren’t all that interesting.

Instead of focusing on a one-hit wonder campaign, you have to create many different streams and campaigns to generate both engagement and awareness to the consumer. Once you get them to subscribe to one campaign, you shoot them another, and then the target is to get them to convert to sale by campaign three. It isn’t a once and done proposition. And anyone who tells you it isn’t, isn’t doing the groundwork necessary to make you a success.

Marketing Myth Six: Content is King

Just because you find something that catches and sounds official, that doesn’t mean it is. There is a great argument brewing that content needs to take off the crown and take a step back. The reality is that the online content is quickly exceeding the demand for it. But that isn’t really the problem.

For purposes of marketing success, content marketing isn’t just about putting out a good blog. Content marketing is about something called full-funnel, or the concept that content is there only to lead your potential consumers through the process of awareness to evaluation ending in conversion.

If content is done correctly, it educates potential prospects about what they have to know to appreciate the full value of what you produce or service is and why they need it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be content. There are many ways to get your point across including lead magnets, a podcast, a webinar, or a video.

So is content king…the answer is definitely yes! But not in just one medium or forum.

The best way to convert potential consumers is through using all the content avenues possible to get them to realize the value of what you are offering so that they “gotta have it”!

So, sorry…. That is one myth that can not be debunked, brought up to date yes, but wrong, no!

Marketing Myth Seven: SEO is all in the Keywords

Early in the dark ages SEO was pretty simple. You found a keyword, you used it, your audience found you. And once you found that keyword, you went about stuffing the heck out of your pages to signal search engines “come find me.” Then, there was a point where you don't want to appear to be stuffing so you used hidden text (BTW, huge no-no).

The problem is that many SEO professionals still treat keywords like they are the magic key that will open any door. Don’t misunderstand, keywords are important! But if you want to beat the SEO machine, you have to consider more than finding the right word to punch in and wallah!

You have to consider not just the keyword but the intent that people have when they do a search to really understand a word’s importance and then make sure that you write content that is targeted toward the intent.

Google is Google because Google knows what Google is doing…am I right? Their entire success relies on people having a good experience using their search engine. So if someone does a search and they don’t get what they want, that isn’t going to make them happy or leave a good impression.

If you can make content based around exactly what the intention of the viewer is looking for, then they will stay put on your site. And when they do, Google counts it as a very low “bounce rate,” which means how long someone stays on your page because you had the information they needed instead of bouncing to another page. The lower your bounce rate, the higher your ranking.

So keywords are enough to get them there, but to keep them there you have to provide what a consumer is researching or looking for. So, keywords are still necessary but only to the extent that they point you in the right direction as well as the internet browser.

So, what do all of these myths have in common?

Although the myths we presented were in fact mythical, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t based on some truth. It pays to understand what the myth is to alter what works and what doesn’t. For instance, yes, people are okay with retargeting so that is a myth.

But, no, they do not want to be inundated hundreds of times a day…that IS stalking. More traffic does not necessarily convert directly to more sales. But if you have more traffic and give the necessary tools to those who need it, you have a higher likelihood that you will convert.

If there is one thing that is true about digital marketing, it is ever changing. So, what works today might not work tomorrow. That is why it is important to understand the process, not just the cliff notes.

At Fu Dog Media we take great pains to stay ahead of the game, to recognize what is truth inside of the myth and to always stay ahead of the game to keep you ahead of your competition. Contact us today to discuss how we can convert your SEO into successful sales.


We’re just as excited about growing your business as you are.