Author: Callie Garrett

hacking
Digital

Hacking: Is Your Website at Risk?

Being hacked is pretty common. From large-scale companies to small businesses, everyone remains a target to online hackers devoting their time to stealing information and money from innocent online users every day. Take a look at our SSL Encryption Blog regarding how many hacking attempts go down every day. Hint: it’s a lot. So, how do you keep your site safe?

 

Updates!
Hackers simply go with the flow when it comes to intensifying their skills. Every day software companies release security enhancement updates to not only better their products, but also outsmart the savvy hacker. Keep everything on your site, computer, and mobile devices up-to-date at all times, and you’ll have a much lower chance of a cyber-attack.

 

SSL Encryptions
We’ve already mentioned this a good bit, but SSL encryptions are a great way to make sure your business is secure and all the information that flows in and out of your business is locked down and secure.

 

Secure your Passwords
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to internet security. Making sure your passwords are random, somewhat lengthy, and including symbols and capitalized letters can throw hackers pretty easily. Be creative and random! An example of a great password would be, x!Gh72T?.

 

Make Sure Your Site Has Security Plug-ins
Webpage creation and host engines, like WordPress, allow your business to buy or download a plethora of security plug-ins and add-ons to your site to ensure it’s safe and protected. Beware of rip-off security systems though, some of these do very little for your business, but cost a pretty penny.

 

BG Digital Group has a web development team that can help you meet your needs and protect your webpage. Whether it be adding plug-ins, SSL certificates, or monitoring updates, we have you covered! Call us today to see how we can help protect your webpage.

Posted by Callie Garrett
thankful
Uncategorized

We’re Thankful for our Clients

It’s that time of year again! The time where we enjoy cooler weather, eat delicious treats, and take a few minutes each day to reflect on our blessings. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, from good health to strong friendships, but most importantly we are thankful for our clients!

 

We have the best clients in the world. But they’re not just our clients – they’re our family, our partners. This year what we’re really thankful for is each and every one of them!

 

We represent clients all over North Carolina and beyond expanding over a wide range of industries. On a regular basis, we find ourselves working on several different, exciting tasks. One second we’ll be in the woods, crawling through mud to get the perfect shot, and the next we’ll be in a conference meeting strategizing the next realistic step for a brand. Our clients definitely keep us on our toes.

 

Because of our partnerships with our clients, we are also able to do work throughout our community with our #MarketingThatMatters program. Our 2017 sponsorships included: The Buddy Pelletier Surfing Competition, The Harbor Hustle 5K,  Young Life of the Crystal Coast, The North Carolina State Manufacturing Conference, the Carteret Community Theater, the Beaufort and Morehead City Police Departments, The Boys and Girls Club, and the North Carolina Pickle Festival!

 

At BG Digital, we work within your budget to create a lasting impact on your business’ growth. We look at every aspect of your business, big or small, and work to create an advertising plan that works to reach your goals without breaking the bank. We have digital advertising gurus experienced in Google AdWords, digital ad design, and social media management, and they’ll be ready to help you set a budget, stick to it, and get results. Call us today to talk about your options and let us help you get started on a digital advertising campaign that is perfect for your business.

Posted by Callie Garrett
local search
Digital

How Local Search Directories Help People to Find You

The days of the traditional phonebook have come and gone, but people still need some ways to find your business. Today, people rely on searching the internet, specifically Google, for your information, to identify business locations, details, and ratings. From Google, oftentimes Yelp!, Yellowpages (YP.com), Trip Advisor, and Google Listings are the first pages to pop up in the search engine results. These pages feature some of the best content about your business, including links, in-depth reviews, directions, and more.

 

Here’s a few reasons why listing your business on these directories can seriously benefit your business’ online footprint:

 

Increasing SEO
Having your business listed in online search directories is one of the fastest ways to boost your SEO rating other than the time-consuming method of creating content. Reviews featuring keywords, mobile optimization, and listing of true facts and details regarding your business, including its address, phone number, etc., all highly contribute to SEO on Google, and can help your business move to the top in terms of search results. Make sure your information is always up to date!

 

Credibility
People have come to trust and heavily rely on sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor for important information regarding using a business. In fact, according to CNN Money, most people prefer reading reviews on third-party websites more than on the actual business site that’s owned and managed by the business.

 

Increased Visibility
This reason makes the most sense when thinking about how search directories can benefit your business. If your page is listed on many more sites than just your own, it’s inevitable that your name will pop up more often after being searched on traditional search engines. In fact, you can have your site listed on over forty sites easily, making your business name and information pop up constantly.

 

Interested in getting your name out on these sites? Give BG Digital Group a call today. We can help you get your business listed quickly and accurately. This can be time-consuming because you want to make sure that all information is accurate regarding your business on every platform, but let us pick up the slack and get this done for you. In time, your business will be filling the search results and bringing in new customers.

Posted by Callie Garrett
social media campaign
Social

Is it Time to Have a Social Media Campaign?

As of 2017 a whopping 81% of the U.S. population uses social media. Social media is defined as social networking sites, online picture collaborations, and messaging and forum sites. While you’re familiar with social media for personal use, social media for businesses is a different ballgame. In fact, some businesses completely operate through social media. Whether you have an online business or are looking to implement a new social marketing plan, an effective social strategy can increase both awareness and sales. Now, when is it time for your business to launch a social media campaign and how do you measure its effectiveness?

 
You’ve established a Consistent Brand
Social media is about strong branding and building relationships with potential and current customers. Whether it’s Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, keeping a brand consistent on social media creates a persona for your business that customers can learn and connect with, bringing them closer to making purchases. Your followers become your brand ambassadors, essentially advertising on your behalf.

 
People Love Your Product
Have you gotten a great response for your product(s) or business? Maybe you need to communicate in real time about deals, your hours, events, new products, or just keep a personal connection? It may be time to develop a social media plan. This social media plan will help with keeping your customer relationship strong. Make sure you know your target audience and select the right social media platform to keep connected.

 
How do I Measure my Social Media Performance?
Measuring whether a new social media campaign is working is easy. Are you reaching your target market with your posts? Have social media ‘influencers’ noticed your brand? Does a high number of followers suggest a successful campaign? Sometimes. Most social media platforms have tools to track your campaigns by monitoring who is looking at your posts, if your posts have referred people to your website, or if a post fell flat. This way you’re able to see what works and what tweaks need to be made to better your campaign.

 

We have a stellar social media team here at BG Digital Group, and whether you’re in need of starting a campaign or cleaning up a current one, we’re here to help. Give us a call today, and we can take a look into what will help make your social media marketing matter.

Posted by Callie Garrett
artificial intelligence
Agency News

Benefits of Using an Agency v. an Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Whether you have a small business or a large-scale company, you may have heard of artificial intelligence (AI) apps and programs designed to minimize your workload for marketing your business. A lot of these programs are geared toward trying to prove why they’re a better fit than hiring an agency. While this is true in some aspects, the true formula for achieving better results in business is utilizing both AI and an agency. In fact, most digital marketing firms use these programs to help their clients achieve results and interpret the information to provide custom advice on advertising direction.

 

According to LinkedIn, one of the greatest strong points of artificial intelligence is using it for monitoring ad performance and giving information on how to create great content that’s both SEO friendly and full of substance. While you could use this software on its own, that won’t give you information or direction on how to integrate the results in your marketing plan.  A seasoned marketer can give you this on a personalized level. Artificial intelligence monitors content and directs you on how you can maximize everything you put out to the world in terms of social media and content creation. As a firm, we take advantage of this daily to ensure that your ads are performing the way they need to.

 

There’s other types of AI platforms that advertise their ability to completely take over your marketing plan, and those are platforms that likely have millions of customers to attend to every day. Using these platforms can not only diminish your customer service levels, but also conform your business to formula marketing, which is not only common in businesses but also very similar amongst most businesses as well.

 

Losing that personal touch in marketing can result in decreased performance while lessening communication between the client (you) and the provider. While it’s great to utilize AI in marketing, it’s better to combine it with the amazing customer service provided at a firm and real-time communication between a team and you. There have been many debates over AI in the tech community in recent times, and it seems like the line is drawn between troubleshooting and figuring out the limits of using computer programs vs. human help.

 

Hiring an advertising agency will allow you to meet with seasoned, educated professionals in the field. It will allow you to be able to voice your concerns and opinions to someone who controls your marketing and understands your needs at any time of the day. Marketing is about personalization and setting your business apart from the rest in a world of constant conformity. At BG Digital Group, we are driven to show you that our marketing matters, and your business isn’t just a number to us. We want to be with you every step of the way, know every detail at hand, and take your business to the top. We want to keep marketing personal.

Posted by Callie Garrett
advertising budget
Traditional

Tips to Plan a Great Advertising Budget

Marketing and advertising are some of the most important and essential aspects of planning and maintaining a business. To execute a good marketing plan that will be sure to promote growth, you need to perfect your budget and maximize every cent spent. Here’s a few tips about planning a great advertising budget:

 

Define Marketing Within Your Main Budget
According to Entrepreneur, a new company, defined as one to five years old, should devote about 12% to 20% of gross revenue to marketing. An old company, defined as five years or older, needs to devote between 6% and 12% annually. The marketplace has evolved to be extremely competitive. It’s rare to find a truly niche product, and with product development rates and online advertising usage higher than ever, it’s important to give your company an edge in advertising by having a strong defined budget.

 

Define What Areas Need the Most Attention
Once you have an overall marketing and advertising budget for your company, your next step should be to determine how to allocate your budget into areas of advertising that suit your needs. How do you want to market your business to your customers? What target customers do you want to reach? What media do you want to use? Are you interested in traditional media like billboards, newspaper and TV or are you interested in using digital solutions found with Google AdWords or social media advertising? These are all questions you need to ask yourself and discuss with your advertising agency.

 

Track How Your Ad Dollars Have Been Utilized
It’s easiest to maximize a budget when you can see how your past budgets have performed. By looking at the results and return on investment, you’ll be able to determine what areas are lacking in performance and which areas could use a budget cut or increase in spend. This way, you know what works and no penny goes to waste.

 

BG Digital Group can help you manage and plan your marketing budget, no matter the age of your company or the size of your budget. Regardless of budget size, we will help you maximize every bit of your monies. Give us a call today to see what we can do for you and how we can help you reach your business goals.

Posted by Callie Garrett
blogs
Digital

Blogs and Emails: How Do You Know Your Target Audience is Reading?

Creating a successful blog or email campaign is about one thing:  content. Here are a few tips to help make your emails and blogs reader-friendly and visually appealing, while helping your business’ SEO and rating on Google.

 
Using Plug-In’s and Automated Email Software
There are a lot of great marketing monitoring tools to help you and your advertising agency monitor how your content is performing, what people are reading, and how you can improve your SEO rating. For blogging, Yoast is a great tool to utilize keywords within blogs, perfect blog titles, manage URLs, and perfect meta descriptions for every bit of content on your website. Another great program for monitoring email performance, sending mass emails, and creating new content for emails is MailChimp. With MailChimp, you can utilize social media, content creation, and data analysis all within one single program.

 
It’s All About the Content
Now that you can track how your content is performing on multiple platforms using plugins and ad software, you need to create sharable content. What does this mean? It means keywords, originality, and links galore. Ensuring relevant keywords pop up in all your webpage content, whether it be blogs, emails, or copy on your website, is absolutely essential to a great SEO rating on Google. The key is making sure your content has keywords and links but, more importantly, that those keywords are original to your company and flow naturally for the reader . Repeated, unoriginal content with weak headlines will guarantee a low-open and click-through rating for your blogs and emails.

 

BG Digital Group creates visually appealing and engaging content that continually helps our clients have a competitive advantage. Blogs and email marketing work best in tandem with blogs providing readers timely and relevant content that emails further promote through clickable links leading back to the client’s website.

 

Our team knows exactly what it takes to receive a great SEO rating, and we have all the tools and programs to do it. Our experts can connect your site with Yoast and manage your MailChimp account, while explaining how you can track and create your own content using these platforms. Call us today to talk about your options for both blogging and email automation; we have all the right ideas to make your marketing matter.

Posted by Callie Garrett
social media event coverage
Social

Leveraging Social Media and Marketing to Promote Your Event

A well-managed, well-executed and highly-publicized event seems easy enough to achieve, right? Wrong! Effective event marketing takes weeks, months, sometimes years of preparation, especially for annual events that must keep up with social media’s ever-evolving trends and platforms. Social media is essential to successful events in today’s world. Not only does it give attendees a place to network, share pictures, memories, and engage in real-time with festival planners and goers, it offers a way for those interested to stay updated and have a vision of the event before it happens. Social media has become a critical and cost-effective tool to use when promoting events, and it allows marketers to leverage traditional advertising and digital advertising, driving down budgets, to reach a broader demographic.

 

When trying to figure out how to marry social media with traditional event coverage, it’s important to have all the details laid out about the event beforehand. Hiring an advertising agency with extensive live event social media management experience to execute your vision can be a major help, as an event can end up being a lot more work than planned. Knowing all the details, including the event’s brand image, a detailed schedule of events and guest appearances, logistics information such as parking, and a list of those in leadership roles will help an agency establish an effective marketing plan for your event and hash out a detailed social media schedule, which helps reduce last-minute chaos and allows festival management to focus on their event needs and tasks.

 

Make sure to utilize social media to boost awareness of the event, along with promotions during the event. Of course, traditional media like posters, flyers, and multiple medium ad campaigns are useful for reaching a direct local community; however, social media makes targeting those willing to travel for events easy. In the past, distance marketing was expensive and oftentimes not considered worth it for the price. Now, it’s easy and affordable to market anywhere in the world, and what better way to reach record attendance rates than to pre-promote at a low cost?

 

We know how time consuming it can be to plan an event from top to bottom, let alone market it and provide effective live coverage throughout the event. At BG Digital Group, we have extensive experience in providing award-winning event coverage, whether it be leveraging social media and marketing or purely social media marketing. Want to know more about how marketing an event works when working with us? Check out our recent case study on the Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City.

Posted by Callie Garrett
bg at mfgCon
B2B

What We Learned at mfgCon: Lessons in B2B Marketing

In a business-to-business (B2B) world, marketing to other businesses presents challenges that are different from marketing to your average consumer. How do you choose which specific outlets are right for you to achieve your full-service approach?

BG Digital Group recently attended the mfgCon in Winston-Salem, NC.  We met several amazing, dynamic people within the NC manufacturing/engineering community and gained perspective on the needs of these B2B companies.  Here are a couple common questions/areas of interest among this demographic:

How important is social media when marketing to a business rather than directly to the consumer?All businesses are run by a person, a human being (or team of them).  Therefore, while the social media approach and platforms chosen may be slightly different and B2B marketing more focused on efficiency and logic rather than emotion and entertainment, creating a consistent presence is still essential.  Most notably for the B2B world is LinkedIn.  Our President, Chery Pigott, presented specifically on LinkedIn – read her key points in our blog here.

If we already have an in-house advertising team, what are some ways an outside agency can help us fill in gaps?We found that many companies do have in-house marketing teams; however, very few of them had the ability/budget to hire full-time staff to tackle ALL avenues needed to optimize awareness to their potential customers, as well as current clients.  While BG Digital Group prides itself on being a full-service marketing agency and we encourage brand consistency by having only one hand in this pot, we understand that outsourcing some services may be necessary.  We’d like to be the extension of your marketing department and offer services such as professional consulting, social media management, blog writing, email design and deployment, digital marketing, and commercial video production, just to name just a few.  We encourage all businesses to create the largest footprint possible and take full advantage of the range of media available.

We have a professional and experienced team at BG Digital, and whether you’re in need of starting a campaign or cleaning up a current one, we’re here to help. Give us a call today, and we can help you make your marketing efforts matter.

 

Highlights from our time at the conference:

Posted by Callie Garrett
b2b marketing
B2B Social

Social Media in the B2B World

Are you interested in learning how social media can enhance your online presence and give your business a much-needed boost in the B2B market? Whether you were an attendee or are just looking for some helpful tips, here are the highlights from our presentation at mfgCon.

KNOW YOUR GOAL
One goal of B2B is branding and knowing your audience. Your target audience in B2B is typically business owners and other companies as opposed to the consumer, so by gearing your social media approach towards their likes and interests you’ll be able to start building your company’s brand. If you’re struggling to build that audience, see what your competitors are doing/using and then put your own business’s twist on it and take it up a notch.

DEFINE YOUR PERSONALITY
When using social media, you want to define a brand personality. This will help engage your audience and attract new clients. Social selling is a great tool you should incorporate into your B2B marketing plan when trying to attract an audience. Social selling is using social media to introduce prospects into your funnel. The goal is to find clients that could benefit from your product and then build a relationship by providing helpful content and value.

EXPAND
Though LinkedIn is proven to be the most effective social media site for businesses with a 63% effectiveness rating, Twitter is a close second with 55%, and YouTube is at 48%. Taking advantage of these other social media sites and using them to complement your overall marketing strategy can take your social media presence to the next level.

Content for your Social Media platforms:
Content can be as simple as a photo and short text on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. These images and/or graphics are perfect for starting a social media presence because you can post multiple times throughout the day without taking up much of your time. Try branching into creating original content for your business, through SEO-rich blogs on your company website or videos that convey your brand personality while providing viewers with valuable product information through tutorials, demos, product insights, etc… This kind of content goes much more in-depth, giving followers an inside look at your company, industry and products. Though they require more time and effort, they can really help you personalize your content and show your expertise in your field.

Well-planned content will help engage your audience and increase your brand awareness throughout the industry. If you have any questions or would like to talk further, connect with us online on Facebook and LinkedIn. Better yet, shoot us an email at sayhello@bgdigitalgroup.com.

Posted by Callie Garrett