The Cloud9 Marketing blog covers trending digital marketing topics, industry tips and advice as well as, resort marketing tactics.

woman using mobile phone and desktop to search for products

We all know that the last few years have seen a dramatic rise in mobile searches. But how prominent actually is it? Studies have shown that even though most searches are done on mobile devices, 80% of conversions still happen on desktops. Here is how you can tailor your strategy for today’s modern consumer.

Think about Mobile

You need to think about what your audience is looking at when they are using their mobile phone. Users are usually spending time texting, scrolling social media and doing some basic searching. You can use this to think about how you can reach your audience. Creating ads that are engaging that won’t seem disruptive, will help reach customers at an earlier stage of the sales funnel. You should note as well that mobile devices account for more clicks. While most conversions happen on a desktop, you should still make sure you adjust mobile bids to get the best results for your campaigns.

Send customers to stores

You may be surprised to hear that 90% of sales still happen in actual brick and mortar stores. Use this information to send customers straight from their mobile devices into your physical store rather than solely focusing your mobile efforts on directing customers to your website. Consumers use mobile devices to access coupons, compare prices and check reviews to make sure these elements are all optimized.

Think about the sales funnel

You can reach the right audience at the right point in their sales journey by thinking about the sales funnel. If you tailor your mobile ads to consumers first showing interest while creating desktop ads aimed at increasing conversions your sales will dramatically increase.

Boost Shopability

Customers who want to buy, often want to buy right now. Make it as easy as possible for them to complete an online purchase. You can add chatbots to your site to help users who have questions.

Smarter Search Strategies

You will find by creating a smarter search strategy you will generate more conversions. Make sure your business listing is up to date with the correct address and opening hours. Use ads to promote local instore inventory and have an in-store pick-up option.

Analytics

Don’t forget to use analytics to analyze data. You can use the results to tailor your strategy to make sure you’re reaching the right people at the right time to sell more of your product.

Here at Cloud9 Marketing, we can help you maximize conversions. Book a free consultation now!

 

computer showing trending topics

You don’t need to be an SEO wizard to know that engaging, SEO-friendly content is the key to generating organic traffic. Here are some ways to help you stay on top of trends and produce relevant, engaging content.

Trends

If you’re already seeing lots of articles on a topic, it’s a sign you’re already too late to produce anything worthwhile. Getting ahead of a trend may seem like an impossible task, but there are many tools out there to help you. You can look at Google Trends to show popular rising searches related to your keywords. Take advantage of hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about trending topics that your audience are interested in.

Look for opportunities

Creating content about trending topics doesn’t mean you have to create something totally from scratch. Look at what your audience is interested in and what your competitors are talking about. Think about what has worked well in the past and how you can link this to the trending topic.

Create engaging, shareable content

You should think about what the best format is for your topic. Think about whether your message would work better on a video, a blog or even a cartoon. If you want to create content that people want to share, you need to reach a wider audience. You want your content to be found and shared, so it needs to be optimized for both search engines and for sharing. You should follow search engine optimization best practices and make sure you include clear sharing links.

Repurpose across platforms

Sharing a link to a blog post on Facebook is great, but it isn’t always the best way to generate viral content. You should think about how you can repurpose across different platforms. Make a YouTube video summarising your blog topic, or address the article on Facebook live. You can even include it in your business’ Instagram story or share your blog to Facebook groups. Creating an email campaign with the link, or connecting with influencers are also effective ways of getting content out there.

Creating content your audience will engage with and share isn’t as difficult as you might think. Struggling and want some help? At Cloud9 Marketing, we have content wizards who will help you.

summer marketing

Staying on top of trends is something that is essential to every marketing strategy. Summer is the time to heat up your marketing plan. Here are some ways to keep your strategy looking fiery and how we can help you.

Go Mobile

You may think it seems obvious but the warmer weather drives more people outside and away from their computers. You need to adjust your marketing efforts to mirror this. Think about how well optimized your mobile site is. If you are using paid advertising, increasing bids on mobile devices will create positive results.

New ideas to boost engagement

Summer is a great opportunity to try new ideas to boost engagement. Just because your business is winter focused doesn’t mean that you should drop off the radar in summer. Think outside the box. Contests are a great way to engage with your audience. Get them to post their summer pictures or share your posts.

Get involved with the community

Summer events mean plenty of opportunities to reach out to the community and connect with a new audience. Sponsor a sports team or even create your own event. By having fun with your marketing strategy you can build solid relationships that will benefit you later in the year.

Pick a theme

Choosing a theme for your summer marketing strategy can be really effective. Tell a story around it using tactics that build on each other throughout the summer.

Focus on visual content

The sunshine means people have less time to consume content, therefore you really have to grab their attention. You can post images with shorter captions, do a vlog, or even start a podcast. Creating downloadable content that people can view when they don’t have cell phone reception is effective too. You may find that social platforms that are more visual, such as Instagram are more effective in the summer.

Evaluate last year

It’s always important to take some time to step back and think about what worked last year and what you could have done better. Evaluate the results and build on successful campaigns and learn from unsuccessful ones.

Build momentum for Fall

If your business is seasonal, you want to be using summer as a time to plan your marketing campaigns for the winter and build momentum coming into fall! Network with new and potential clients, or create buzz for a product or service that you will launch once the summer ends.

Need help with your summer marketing strategy? Book a consultation at Cloud9 Marketing today!

Search engine optimization

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, we all know it can be very time-consuming. But it doesn’t all have to be hard work. Here are some simple SEO wins to help you get ahead of the game.

Remove outdated and low-quality content

 You may be reluctant to remove low-quality or out of date content but it can negatively effect your ranking. You should start by first identifying the pages you want to prune. Using software like Screaming Frog will help you with this by crawling your site and identifying a list of URLs with their position on Google and impressions. You don’t just have to delete pages, however. Most of the content you’re removing can be redirected to a stronger higher quality page. Although if you can’t find a relevant page, you should let the pages go to a 404 – page not found.

Tip: utilize your 404 (Page Not Found) page by adding a search option.

Improve content

You don’t have to get rid of every low scoring page. Building upon what’s already there is an easy way to improve ranking. You can use your previous Google history and develop it. Review your Screaming Frog results and use the pages that rank anywhere from position 5 to 30. You can improve content by ensuring pages have 300+ words, are useful and well written. Using a plugin like Yoast will give you a readability score which you can use to improve content. Make sure you answer frequently asked questions and include long-tail keywords you want to rank for. Adding media to your page will encourage viewers to stay on the page longer, thus improving ranking.

Update internal links

You should review and identify your internal links from time to time to ensure they are still relevant. Using a site like Screaming Frog will help identify any redirect chains.

Page load speed

You may have heard the words ‘page load speed’ but not be sure what they mean in terms of SEO. Simply put, if your webpage takes too long to load, potential customers will likely leave your site. Though these improvements require an element of technical skills, the results will cause a significant improvement.

You can help by upgrading from a budget web hosting site. Cheaper web hosts can be overwhelmed with traffic. By investing in a higher quality web host, you’ll be surprised what it does for your site speed.

Optimize

Optimizing images and media files will increase the swiftness of your site. You can reduce the file size by resizing, making sure the image is saved in the correct format (JPEGs are best for photos whilst PNG files are best for images with solid areas of colour) and compressing the file. WordPress has some great plugins for compressing images.

Don’t worry you can leave the JavaScript/ CSS weird complicated stuff to us.

We know that SEO can seem a bit daunting. You don’t have to worry as we’re here at Cloud9 Marketing to help with all your SEO needs. Want to see how your site’s performing? Book a free consultation or a site audit!

 

phone showing social media strategy

Devising a proper and effective social media marketing strategy can make a massive difference to return on investment from your social media efforts. Every post should be well thought out and aligned with your brand and goals. Here is how you can devise a proper strategy and how we can help you stay at the top of your game.

Set goals and measure them

It may sound basic, but if you don’t have any goals, you won’t be able to track what you are achieving. Establish your objectives and set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based Goals. If you follow this framework, you’ll find tracking your own progress far easier. Use data from Analytics to see where you were when you started so you can monitor how far you’ve come.

Learn your audience

If you want to engage with your audience, you have to understand their social media needs. By tailoring your posts to mirror what your audience are engaging with, you will get better results. Don’t just guess. Use analytics to see where your audience comes from, what their interests are and how they interact with your brand. Studies have shown that when this data is used properly, it results in a 40% lower cost per referral.

Research your competition

Having an insight into what your competition is doing well can work wonders for your own social strategy. You can find opportunities by analysing competitors. If your main competitor is marketing heavily on Facebook but not on Instagram, you can use this as a chance to build a fan base on that platform.

Find inspiration

For the best content plans, you need inspiration. Have a look at your favourite accounts and see how they are delivering their content. Ask your followers what they like seeing and what they’d like to see more of. Informing your followers about events in your area or industry news will help you to appear as an expert in your field and gain more of a following.

Create a content calendar and schedule posts in

Creating a content calendar not only makes your content varied but ensures that you post regularly at the times that your followers will engage. Make sure you schedule in your posts, so you don’t have to dwell on whether you’ll remember to post.

Here at Cloud9, our team of social media experts can help you devise the perfect content strategy for your business. We have a range of social media packages tailored to suit our different client needs. Book a free consultation today!

Marketing business concept on the virtual screen

Spring is in the air! You may be aware the longer days and beautiful sunshine in Whistler mean it’s time to dust off the ceiling cobwebs and clean all the places you’ve been neglecting all year. But spring cleaning isn’t just important for your house. Here are the top ways you can spruce up your digital marketing strategy.

Check Your Goals

You can’t tell if you’ve made any progress if you haven’t set any measurable goals. Set specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-based goals (SMART Goals.) Use Google Analytics to work out what you want to achieve. Break these down so you have an achievable figure to work towards. By having proper goals, it’s a lot easier to track your progress and check your marketing strategy is where you want it to be.

Freshen up your strategy

What’s working? What’s not working? What were you doing when you had high levels of engagement? Think about how you can create a new strategy that will engage with your audience and reach the people who are more likely to become customers. Devise a social media content plan and focus on engagement.

Ensure your branding is consistent

Having a strong brand can really help your business be recognized and grow. But if you’re not consistent with your branding, it can confuse your customers. You should take a look at your online profile, fonts, colour schemes and print ads. Make sure they are consistent across the board. If you find they’re not, evaluate what you like, and create some brand guidelines. If you don’t think your brand looks modern or relevant anymore, it might be time to think about rebranding.

Explore all social platforms

Social media is an essential tool for engaging with your audience and getting your brand voice out there. Make sure you are utilizing all platforms to reach a wider audience. Each have their own merits so make sure you don’t overlook any.

Check social platforms are closely monitored

Studies have shown that users expect an almost instant reply from a business they have posted to on Twitter. Check all your social accounts are properly monitored. Replying to both good and bad comments in a timely manner can really help build trust and connect with your customers.

At Cloud9 Marketing, we have experts to help you in any area that you’re finding difficult. Whether you want to devise a more solid social media strategy, want to produce more original content or want help with branding we can give you all the advice you need! Book FREE a consultation now!

video marketing

Video marketing is a growing trend. By the end of this year, video traffic is predicted to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Here are the reasons why you should make video content part of your marketing strategy and how you can achieve results.

Increase conversions

Studies have shown that having a video on your landing page can increase conversions by as much as 80%. It is far easier to build an emotional connection and gain your viewer’s trust through video marketing. You can create a picture of your brand’s message and show your audience why they should purchase your product.

Google Loves Videos

You’re 53 times more likely to show up first on Google if your site has a video on it. Users will spend more time on your site when watching a video. Google views websites with longer page sessions as more valuable to users, thus ranking these pages higher. It is important to optimize your videos for SEO and ensure your title has keywords, your video is relevant and is above the fold on your site.

Measure it

You have access to a whole range of data to monitor how well your video is performing. View count on Youtube shows you how many times someone has watched your video for more than 30 seconds. This is a great way to monitor how many people your brand has reached who have engaged with the content. Play rate is an important piece of data for marketers. It shows the number of people who were shown your video (impressions) vs the number of people that watched it. Using this data, you can make changes to improve the quality of your video. You can also use data to see how much of your video people are watching and how many conversions a video is creating.

Encourages social shares

You’ve all seen a cool video that you’ve wanted to share with your friends right? With viral videos on the rise, 92% of mobile users have said to have shared a video. Creating strong social content that your audience will share, is a very simple way to direct traffic to your site and build a social following.

Live Video opportunities

If you want to stay on top of trends, live video is an exciting way to engage directly with your audience. A Livestream survey found that 80% of people would rather watch a live stream than read a blog. Staying on top of market trends means you are more likely to successfully promote your brand and generate more conversions.

Video offers lots of opportunities to reach a more engaged audience, grown your brand and increase conversions. At Cloud9 Marketing, our experts can help you take video marketing to the next level. Book an appointment for a free consultation today.

Google-analytics

Google Analytics is a very valuable tool for business owners. More than just numbers, here are some ways you can enhance your campaigns by using analytics.

Get to know your web visitors

Enhance user experience by understanding who is visiting your website. By monitoring who your customers are, you can adapt your site to match their needs. If you find that most of your web visitors are visiting on mobile devices, then you can make sure your site is more mobile friendly, so these visitors are more likely to convert. You can also view reports for age and interest categories, a useful tool as you can use this data to adapt your site to make the content more relevant to these users.

Understand your best content

Viewing metrics such as bounce rate which shows how many people left your site after viewing only one page, page sessions and seeing which individual pages have been popular can really benefit the overall usability of your site. If you are finding that certain pages are less popular, you can adjust the content so they mirror the more popular pages and therefore generate a better response. Understanding how your content works will really help to improve site engagement.

Helps with SEO

Google Analytics can help you to understand where your audience is coming from. You can link your account to Google Search Console which will show you what your audience is searching to get to your site. This data will allow you to adapt your content to include these terms.

To Check you are achieving goals

Goals are something that every business owner wants to establish in order to know they are making progress. Without data, you cannot tell if you meeting those goals. You can set goals directly in Google Analytics and measure how you are performing against them. It is also possible to track conversions so you can see how many newsletter signups you have as well as the results from your e-commerce store. If you have linked your Analytics account to your Google AdWords account, you can directly measure the return on investment you are getting from your ads by comparing your ad spend to your conversions.

It’s Free

You don’t have to pay anything to use this service. Collect all kind of data which will make your business more profitable and it’s totally free to use.

Want to monitor your Google Analytics data but don’t know how? Fear not, here at Cloud9 we have experts who can help you analyze data and meet your goals. Contact us for more info.

 

 

Top Marketing Trends 2019

It is important for small businesses to keep on top of trends, especially in Digital Marketing. Here are the top things you should be doing in 2019 to get the most out of your budget and beat your competition.

Instagram

Social media is a rapidly growing industry. With over one billion active users worldwide, Instagram is an essential tool to connect with your customers. 64 percent of US adults aged 18 to 29 claim to be using the platform. Being an exclusively visual platform, users can post videos and pictures. Posting regularly on Instagram- at least twice a week – is a great way to connect with your customers. You can also use paid advertising options if you are looking to target a wider audience.

Live Video

In a survey conducted by Livestream in New York Magazine, 80% of the 1000 people surveyed said they would rather watch a live video that read a blog. In 2019, there are many live video platforms you can use, including Facebook Live, Youtube and Instagram. You are able to reach a more engaged audience as they have opted to tune into your live stream. This great tool for new product reveals, staff intros, how to videos and advertisements, is also cost effective and doesn’t take time to produce.

Chatbots

While only 15% of Americans currently claim to have used a chatbot, this is something that is predicted to grow rapidly within the next 2 years. Chat boxes pop up on web pages and answer customer’s questions, usually outside of business hours. It’s a great way to engage with your customers 24/7 and gain a better understanding of their needs. Plus once chatbots have been set up, the cost of maintaining and updating them is low.

Strong Content

The purpose of online content is to provide accurate relevant information to your customers. This will not only educate them but help to drive sales. Good content doesn’t have to be keyword heavy. It needs to help solve a problem and be useful to your customers. Make sure to add relevant, well-written content to your company’s blog and keep your website up to date.

Ever-Evolving Marketing Strategy

Staying on top of ever-changing digital marketing strategies is essential for your business to move forward. Something that is relevant now, may only be an effective strategy for half a year. Understanding Google’s rapidly changing algorithms, will help you to meet their criteria and better place your ads. Here at Cloud9 we stay up to date with fast-changing digital strategies so we can help with what will work best for you. Contact us by calling 604- 938- 4016 or email clientcare@cloud9marketing.ca.

Struggling to find the time to manage your social media platforms on top of your business demands? We have the perfect solution with our Whistler Curated Social Media Content Package!

Did you know that poorly managed social media can actually be more damaging to your brand then having no social media presence at all? Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With a projected 25% annual growth in the next 5 years, proper management of your social media channels is essential.

Stimulating Content

Social media algorithms mirror that of Google. This means that content that is stimulating and gets lots of engagement will show up higher on a News Feed. We want to help you to reach your customers by producing high quality, Whistler relevant content that stands out and looks professional.

Timing is everything

Social Media gives you the opportunity to engage with customers on a new level. We understand that you may not have the time to post regular updates to reach customers at the right moments.

Here at Cloud9, we not only produce high quality content but also feature events, and weather updates, engaging with a community who ‘wants to know.’ We post as things are happening- keeping your feed relevant so you don’t have to!

Your Competition Is Already Doing It

Today’s generation expects companies to be involved in social media. From ‘Checking In’ on Facebook to Geo Tags on Instagram, you need to show your customers that you are on top of your social media game. If your brand is not appearing in the feed of your customers on a regular basis you’re really missing a massive branding opportunity.

Posting sporadically or seemingly random content can disengage users and even cause them to believe your business has been shut down!

Don’t Have The Time To Manage This Yourself?

We know that devising an effective social media strategy may not be at the forefront of your mind. That’s why our Whistler Curated Social Media package offers you an affordable solution, ensuring your channels appear well managed, professional and timely. Curating content is the process of sharing interesting and relevant content, created by other people. It is a great time saver and really helps to diversify your content.

What It Involves:

We share Whistler photography, engaging videos, professionally designed graphics, event coverage, real time weather updates and more. This allows you to continue to post to your channel brand specific content occasionally without having to worry about it being inconsistent or irregular.

All our content is Whistler focused, sharing a joint goal of promoting all that Whistler has to offer. It is not brand specific, enabling development costs to be split between clients. You will receive the same high quality, professional content as a client who was paying several times this – but for a fraction of the cost!

Anything Else?

But that’s not all.. you also receive a monthly newsletter with photos and blogs that you can post to your website!

What’s Included:

-Regular High Quality Whistler Content

-Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

-Blog Content & Photos

-Automated Monthly Report

What’s Not Included:

-Brand Specific Content

-Social Media Advertising

-Message or Comment Monitoring

-Strategy or Results Meetings

*Additional Services are always available for a fee.

$250 p/m + GST

Contact us today at: clientcare@cloud9marketing.ca or call: 604-398-4016