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The benefits of Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting is where you reach an audience in a specific location of benefit to your business. In today’s society, it is a great tool for reaching a more qualified audience and getting more value from your budget. Here are the reasons why you should be geo-targeting and the best way to go about it.

Spend your money in the right places

You can literally target people within a specific radius of your business. If you own a clothing store, by targeting the people within a 20-mile radius of your store, for example, you are more likely to generate in-store sales. Google Ads allows you to add a location extension to your ads so people searching can get directions right to your store.

Best and Worst areas

Google Analytics gives you the data to monitor which are the best and worst performing location areas. You can use this data to target your budget in the places that will result in the best return on investment. You may find out you have an audience in an area that you previously would not have considered. As well as finding the best places, you can also choose to exclude areas that you think won’t result in conversions. If your physical location is in Whistler, then using ad budget showing ads to people in Toronto may not be the best move.

Greater overall engagement

If you target people in the right location, your ads will have better overall engagement as they will be more relevant to your audience. By geo-targeting Facebook ads, you can showcase your service or product to someone in their area as they are browsing social media. You can target the area around your actual physical address and promote a sale or offer that is happening at the time. Stand out from your competitors by showing people in the area why they should shop at your store rather than elsewhere in real-time.

Build Loyalty

Having a business in the community can be something you can really use to your advantage. You can post about the community which will make your audience more likely to engage with your business, show testimonials and highlight local things you are proud of. Creating an emotional connection to a local audience will mean good results for your business.

Geo-targeting has multiple benefits and allows you to reach an audience who will be more invested in your brand. At Cloud9 Marketing, our specialists can help you target the audience you want to reach. Contact us for more information.

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.

Benefits of PPC

There are many different reasons why you should be using paid advertising. Billions of people are searching online every day. Pay per click (PPC) advertising now accounts for about 65% of clicks – compared to 35% generated organically. People who click on a pay per click ad are 50% more likely to make a purchase than organic visitors.

If you want to get your product in front of your customers, it is essential to be paying for online advertising. Here are the benefits of using paid digital adverting and why you should be doing it.

Ads are affordable and measurable

Online advertising is a billion dollar industry – but that doesn’t mean you have to spend millions or even thousands of dollars in order to see results. With Pay Per Click advertising, you have total control over your budgets. This means you can spend exactly what you can afford. Google allows you to set daily budgets and maximum cost per clicks. You can bid on keywords and decide the maximum amount you want to pay to have your ad shown when that keyword is searched.

Maximize Return On Investment

Alongside Google Adwords, you can track conversions, monitor impressions to see how many potential customers your ads have reached, in Google Analytics as well. You can instantly see the results of your ads and make changes, allowing you to effectively meet your goals. You can maximize your return on investment by monitoring your cost per click and measuring cost per acquisition. If you are selling a product that costs $100, then spending $10 on a click isn’t worth it – but if your product is $10,000 it would be worth the investment.

Only Pay For Clicks

Pay per click advertising allows you to get the best return on investment as you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. When people see your ad but don’t click on it, this is essentially free advertising. Not only that, you can set daily budgets so you are in total control of what you spend.

Optimize

Google automatically optimizes your best performing ads. You don’t have to worry about which of your ads is the most effective. Google automatically monitors how your ads are performing and show the highest performing ads to more people.

Target a Specific Audience

Digital Marketing allows you to reach a specific audience by targeting exactly who you want to reach. You can allow your ads to reach people within a 10-mile radius of your store who are searching on mobile devices. By reaching a more qualified audience, you can ensure you are getting your message to the people who are likely to become customers.

Digital Advertising is fast evolving and it is important to keep on top of it. PPC ads can boost brand awareness by 80%. Here at Cloud9, we can help you manage your PPC account to get the best results for your business. Contact us – call 604-398-4016 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

In order to gain and retain loyal customers, you have to create a seamless online experience that leaves users with a lasting positive impression of your brand. Every single touchpoint with your company plays a role in converting your customer, so each one must be faultless.

A customer journey map is a visual representation of every experience your customers have with you. It shows you the route your customers take when navigating your website, and allows you to record every touchpoint. Developing a customer journey map can optimize your digital marketing strategy, as you can understand and address your buyer’s feelings, motivations and questions.

Here’s a breakdown of what customer journey mapping is, how it can help reveal gaps or issues within your strategy, and how to get started planning your own map.

What is a customer journey map?

The purpose of a customer journey map is very simple: it helps you understand the route your customers take when buying and using your products and services. It serves to tell the story of your customer’s experience, from their initial engagement with your brand, into hopefully a long-term relationship.

By charting and organizing your customer’s touchpoints with your brand, you’ll gain a holistic view of the process they go through when using your services.

Why do I need it?

A customer journey map is a powerful tool that allows you to clearly understand your audience’s needs. Here’s why it’s so effective.

It gives you clarity

Firstly, it gives you a complete overview of where and when customers are interacting with your business. You can understand the context of your users, and gain a clear picture of their needs, hesitations and potential concerns. From there, you can tailor your online experience and work towards establishing a long-term relationship with customers, based on consistency and trust.

You can address gaps and issues

While you can reward yourself for all the fantastically positive touchpoints you have created, you will also be able to see where you are currently lacking content and losing customers. This works in your favour, so fear not! Understanding where you need to invest time and money means you can immediately develop priorities to address these. You can then take steps to improve certain aspects of your customer’s experience.

Great! How can I create my own?

Now you’re fully aware of the benefits of a customer journey map, you’re probably wondering how to get started? As you can imagine, mapping out the customer experience takes some time, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

We recommend you start out by listing all online touchpoints your company has with customers. Keep it simple, and note what message your customer is receiving at each encounter, and what platform they receive this on. Once you’ve synchronized your messages throughout your customer’s journey, you can put together your map.

Below is an example of a customer journey map from Forrester Research. However, if you fancy something a little more visual, there are many tools such as Microsoft Visio and Glizzy that turn your data into flow charts and diagrams.

 

We understand that customer journey mapping is a complex process! At the end of the day, each and every map is produced differently, depending on your own, personal preferences. If you need help connecting with your customer and improving touchpoints online, as a full-service marketing agency here at Cloud9 Marketing, we would be happy to help. To arrange a strategy consultancy that focuses on your consumer’s journey, you can find us here – we look forward to hearing from you!

build-email-list

An email list is the most powerful way to generate leads, convert sales and connect with people online. Not only does an email list give you a direct line into someone’s daily life, it is also proven to have the highest return on investment (ROI) compared to other online marketing channels. Facebook’s organic reach has decreased to 6 percent of a fan base as of 2014, and even fewer people are seeing tweets on Twitter. With an average open rate of 21.73 percent, it is agreed by marketing professionals that email is the most effective way to reach an audience.

Many businesses fail to recognize the importance of growing, nurturing and getting the most out of a lucrative email list. Too many times businesses implement marketing plans and miss the important step of acquiring an email address, or they do obtain an address but do not follow through with it. Putting email addresses to work for your business starts with having a solid plan. A purposeful email list backed by the intent to communicate, connect and convert should be part of every business’s digital strategy. Here is your guide to building a lucrative email list online.

Choosing an email marketing platform

The first step to building an email list is choosing an email marketing platform that will store and segment your email addresses. Mailchimp is an easy to use platform and is free for lists under 500. Paid email marketing platforms such as Infusionsoft and Convertkit provided enhanced capabilities of managing, segmenting and automating email lists. Once you have chosen your preferred email marketing platform you can begin taking stock of your list.

Taking Stock of email addresses

Many businesses are surprised at the number of email addresses they have already that they aren’t putting to use. Forage through your contacts whether you keep them in a CRM, on a spreadsheets or inside a Rolodex. Add friends and family if you think they may be interested in your products or services. Import all of your contacts into your email marketing platform (making sure you are compliant with email marketing laws in your province or state), and segment the lists into different markets if applicable.

Generating Traffic to your site

Now that you have a solid list of contacts you can begin generating more leads. There are several ways to do this, but the most common ways are through organic traffic which is optimized by SEO, and through paid advertising via Google Adwords and social media.

Generating traffic through a strong organic ranking on the search engine results page is an effective yet time-consuming way to build your email list. Although some businesses may have a steady stream of organic traffic, new businesses should not rely on this source to build their email list at the outset.

Paid advertising is the easiest and quickest way to send traffic to your website. Whether through Google Adwords, or social media, paying per click is a sure fire-way to drive targeted web traffic to your site. Once they arrive the next challenge is making sure they stay and input their coveted email address. The landing page is key to this.

Landing Page Design

Having a properly designed landing page is essential for building a lucrative email list. A well-designed landing page has a single and focused purpose and in this case, that purpose is to collect email addresses. Landing pages generally offer a special, piece of information or deal (sometimes considered an opt-in or lead-magnet), which entice users to enter their email address.

Landing pages should clearly showcase an offer and be free of distraction and clutter. In most cases the form fields should be simple (email address and maybe first name), and be located above the fold (in the top section of the website). With a well-designed landing page businesses can expect about a 1-3 percent conversion rate, this is where the next step comes in handy.

Re-targeting

Even if you have the most beautifully designed landing page and compelling offer, the majority of people who land on your page will not convert the first time around. It’s kind of like dating. You’d be ridiculous to expect someone to accept a marriage proposal on the first date. The same is true with email addresses, people are unlikely to give them up without a little persistence. This is where re-targeting comes in.

Re-targeting (or re-marketing) happens when a tag or pixel is placed on a web visitor’s computer (via your landing page) enabling you to target these people with additional ads online via Google Adwords or social media. Re-targeting ads often feature a stronger call to action whether it be a time sensitive deal, a substantial price reduction or an irresistible offer. Because we know these people have already shown interest in your business, they are much more likely to convert. A separate landing page should be created for each re-targeting campaign.

Now what?

Now that you have a strong and growing list, what will you do with it? This brings us back to the beginning where we discussed having a purpose behind your email marketing strategy. If you’re a real estate agent you’ll likely want to get listing leads or sell houses, if you’re a hotel you’ll want to book room nights, if you’re an online clothing boutique you’ll want to sell products.

You can monetize your email list by selling your products/ services to the list recipients. Don’t get too salesy though. People are wise to online marketing tactics and will quickly unsubscribe if they feel they are being sold to. The key to a lucrative email list is to communicate, connect AND convert.

Communicate, connect and convert (… and consistency)

The people who have opted-in to your email list obviously have some interest in your business, products or services. You have their attention, now it’s time to communicate to them about who you are, or more so, how you can help make them happier/ richer/ calmer/ better people etc. Every industry and niche is different, however if you can use your email communication to enrich and add value to their lives, you are much more likely to connect with them and ultimately convert these leads into paying customers.

The final things we should add about building a lucrative email list is consistency. You may have noticed that it’s a cluttery space online. By consistently staying in contact with your list you will be top-of mind when people are finally ready to purchase a product or service like yours. The lifetime value of a lead can be in the tens of thousands depending on the industry, and those who nurture their lists will be richly rewarded.

So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to get purposeful with your email marketing by building an email list that communicates, connects and converts. Need help? Cloud9 Marketing develops results-driven email marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. We can help you grow your list and convert more sales online. Contact us today for our email marketing and full service digital marketing packages.

search engine optimization SEO digital marketing

Marketing has come a long way in the last few years, if you ask people in the industry many would probably agree there have been more changes in marketing in the last 5 years, then there has been in the 50 years prior. With the explosion of the internet, uptake of mobile and ability to seamlessly track and monitor advertising spend and ROI online, it’s no surprise businesses around the world are diverting their budget to digital in 2016. Here are some key Marketing Stats that are so important to the way a business markets their products and services in both the B2B and B2C space, they simply cannot be ignored.

  1. In 2016 67% more leads will be generated by companies with an active blog

Content marketing is essential for optimal SEO performance and is the best way to drive traffic to your website. Blogging about useful, informative and engaging information that is relevant to your target market will drive traffic to your website, ultimately increasing conversions for your business.

  1. The average person now spends more time online then TV and all other media combined

This should come as no surprise. Smartphones, tablets and computers have become an extension of people’s bodies and people now turn to the internet instead of traditional media like TV, print and radio to get information.

  1. Total spending on Internet advertising is predicted to grow 12.9% next year. The Internet will become the largest medium for advertising in 2016 (ahead of TV)

Internet advertising is cost effective, highly targeted and traceable. These three features along with potential reach have seen the internet surpass TV for total ad spend.

  1. Social ad spending has doubled over the past two years.

Social media advertising is easy, cheap and effective. With platforms like Instagram now offering ad functionality, total social ad spend is expected to continue with double digit growth over the coming years.

  1. By 2019 mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending

As smartphones become more functional, and websites more mobile-friendly consumers will increasingly use their mobile to research and purchase products and services online.

  1. Digital marketing spend is forecasted to account for 35% of total budgets in 2016.

How much has your business allocated to digital marketing this year? Companies have noticed the value of online marketing and larger portions of budget are being spent on digital marketing.

  1. The top four channels for increases in digital marketing spend last year were email marketing (61% of marketers increasing spending on this channel), social media (49%), mobile marketing (40%), and SEO/PPC (38%)

Most businesses have a combination of email marketing, social media, mobile marketing and PPC as part of their digital marketing portfolio. It is getting rarer for companies not to leverage all four of these components to varying degrees.

  1. Mobile commerce is growing fast, 87% of internet users now have a smartphone – mobiles are revolutionizing business

Around the world smart phones and mobile uptake is becoming the norm presenting an enormous opportunity for mobile advertising.

  1. 93% of shoppers buying decisions are influenced by social media

Although social media is not known as the best conversion platform it is absolutely essential for brand awareness and influencing customers to choose your company over the competition. To increase conversions, social media advertising is very effective.

  1. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy a positive ROI

Content marketing is commonly agreed by marketing experts to be the most important SEO element and those who commit to prioritizing blogging are seeing results.

There is no longer a question of having an online presence or not, and a website that’s not producing fresh content, or a social media presence that’s sitting stagnant, can do more harm then good online. The question now is having the right mix of online marketing components for your business to ensure you are reaching clients with the right message at the right time.

At Cloud9 Marketing we specialize in creating customized digital marketing strategies for our clients in Whistler BC and around the world. Whether it’s social media, SEO, web design, graphic design, content marketing and blogging or branding, we deliver results-driven, customer-centric and highly engaging digital marketing services communicating unique brands to the right people at the right time.

Video Mistakes You Might Be Making

It’s no secret that videos are trendier than ever. From hilarious cat videos, to live news on your smart phone, our society is in love with videos. Embracing film as part of your marketing strategy can drastically improve your reach. We are all for video content because we know how powerful it is, when it’s done right that is. Whether you are gearing up to incorporate video into your marketing strategy or already have it implemented, these considerations for a successful video are key.

Concept

Whatever your concept is, make it clear in the first 8 seconds. The first couple of seconds are when the viewer decides if it is appealing or not. This is your do or die window for their attention. Reflect on what audience you are trying to reach and what you are trying to say about your brand, this is your time to shine.

Overselling

Finding the balance between being clear about your product or idea and drowning people in it can be tricky. The goal with any video is to make a lasting impression and call the viewer to action. You want them to remember your brand, and dig a little deeper on their own free will. It’s about creating engagement from the viewer. Rather than spill all the beans, lead them on with excitement and have all the info they’ll be craving ready in another video, or written on your website and point them in that direction.

Feedback

Everyone needs more feedback. Ask strangers in your target audience what they think about your video. Outside sources are best for feedback as your team, family and friends will have a bias.

Call to Action

As mentioned in overselling, each video needs to call the viewer to some kind of action. The call can be just to create curiosity, generate a referral, get a free quote, how to use your product and so on. Maybe all you are trying to do is get them to like your Facebook page, whatever it is, make sure it is clear in your objectives before and after the video is created.

Boring

A few things can make a video boring. If it is too long, it’s boring. If the concept isn’t portrayed in an engaging way, it is boring. If the people in the video are, well boring, it is of course going to be a boring film. Spending a couple of extra bucks to hire someone to film and act in your video could make all the difference. This is something you’ll need to weigh out for yourself, but if you were planning on using Larry, the monotone receptionist as your lead star, maybe rethink that one.

Placement

Now that you’ve created your perfect video, don’t let it go to waste! Placement on your website should be front and center. On YouTube it should be on your own channel which will eventually have more videos to fill the auto play, this will keep your target audience much more excited about your company as there is even more material for them to view. Be sure to cross post on other outlets like Vimeo and Facebook. If you choose to do paid advertisement with your video choose the sites that will appeal to the right demographic, and again watch placement of where your video will be on each page that you are paying for.

We can’t say this will make video-making fool proof, but it is a step in the right direction. When creating or perfecting your video content keep these helpful hints in mind. If you are interested in video marketing but don’t know where to start, check out Cloud9’s video production & marketing services.

digital marketing for real estate agents

Dear Realtors ®,

Have you thought about your digital marketing strategy lately?

We know, you’re busy – you’re busy farming, prospecting, marketing your listings, preparing listing presentations, staying in touch with clients, building your network, and doing plenty of other activities.

This might be a good time to mention that a sound digital marketing strategy can help with all of those things.

There’s no denying that the internet is playing an increasingly large role in the world of real estate marketing — you’ve probably heard the stats about how many prospective buyers begin their housing search online. Listing your properties on MLS, WLS, or whatever local listing service your market uses is one place to start – but it’s only just the beginning.

Consider the following:

  • Your website is often your first impression (you do have a website, right?) A well designed website with useful content creates a great first impression – a fill-in-the-blanks standard template site that looks like every other Realtor’s® site, not so much.
  • Harnessing the powers of social media allows you to connect with your client base on an ongoing basis. It can also help you build your community.
  • If your marketing package for your listings doesn’t include digital marketing components, you are missing out on valuable opportunities – and you are disserving your clients.
  • You know you’re different from your competitors, but how can a client differentiate you from the rest of the pack? Branding goes a long way. If you haven’t developed a branding strategy yet, it’s time to start planning.
  • Postcard mailers. Newspaper ads. Promotional products. All of these initiatives cost a lot of money, but they don’t always give you the most bang for your buck. Invest in your digital marketing, and you might be surprised at your returns.
  • Online presence is no longer considered an added perk – most clients expect it from their real estate agent. Don’t be left behind.

This all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But back to the original point: you’re busy! You’ve got enough on your plate, and digital marketing takes time.

That’s where we come in. Cloud9 works one-on-one with real estate agents to plan, execute, and measure a strategy. You get to call the shots, providing input on content, direction, and themes, while we implement the day-to-day activity. From blogging to branding, from SEO to social media, we do it all.

We’ll work with you to ensure that you (and your clients) are getting the most out of digital marketing, while freeing up your time to focus on other activities, whether than be taking your buyers on a property tour or negotiating a sale on behalf of your seller. You don’t have to be a marketing expert to implement digital marketing – you just need Cloud9!

So give us a call – we promise not to take up too much of your time – and find out how we can help you get ahead of the game. We looking forward to talking with you, and we can’t wait to help.

Yours,

Cloud9