Simple Social Strategies

Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, having a social media presence can increase brand awareness, humanize your brand, and allow you to reach your target audience and potential customers. However helpful it may be, utilizing social media for your brand may feel overwhelming. You may have questions like: what should I post? How often do I want to publish content? What do I want the brand voice to be? What graphic style do I prefer?

We can help you answer all those questions, but what will help your social media presence the most is to remember one thing: keep it simple.

Less is much, much more.

With over 3.96 billion social media users worldwide, it’s no wonder that social media can be overwhelming.

Anyone who regularly posts on Twitter knows how restrictive the character count can be. Even after the restriction was increased to 280 characters, it’s often challenging to fit your whole message into such a small space. However, by keeping your message short and sweet, a simple message can help your brand stand out.

Simple Social Strategies with FUEL Marketing

Although the limit for Facebook posts is 63,206 characters, the ideal length for a Facebook post is 40-50 characters, according to HubSpot. Especially in a space known for its rambling updates and overshares, keep your content focused on exactly what you want to say, without any extra frills. Focus on maintaining quality information and nixing any filler words. No need for complicated composition and extensive exposition in your post copy. It’s Facebook, not an academic forum.

Go for graphics.

Using visuals is an easy way to capture attention and communicate a lot of information in a small amount of space. Whether you implement infographics, quotes, behind-the-scenes shots, or dynamic photos, high-quality, powerful visuals are the way to easily reach your target audience.

A study analyzing nearly 60,000 websites found that most people only read 20-28% of the words on a webpage. When words are replaced with images, interest, attention, interaction, and subject retention skyrocket. Simple, clean, eye-catching graphics can help convey your brand’s message in a text-saturated space.

Simplicity reigns supreme.

Cutting down your content to feature simple essentials can be difficult. Here at FUEL Marketing, we’ve worked with many companies to reframe and rephrase their social presence to efficiently share their message. If you’re interested in a social media shape-up, contact us today!

Tis’ the Season for Programmatic Audio Advertising

We all enjoy getting into the holiday spirit. And what better way than with holiday music or storytelling. Where do you go for on-the-go holiday hits? You guessed it…music and audio streaming services! So, whether you’re trying to connect your product or service during the holidays, or want to consider doing so in 2022, digital audio audiences are growing faster than ever and now’s the time to promote your company to these tech-centric and active folks.

This is where programmatic audio advertising comes in, and we’re here to help guide you on the ins and outs of advertising in this new media.

What is Programmatic Audio Advertising?

In simple terms, programmatic audio advertising is running ads on FM/AM digital streaming and pure-play music platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Audible, and Podcast services, just to name a few. These digital audio ads are streamed into popular devices like smart speakers, factory car audio systems, tablets, mobile and more.

What are the benefits?

Other than the sheer amount of reach you will be able to attain, audio ads are proven to be more trustworthy to the listener. Most people on digital audio services or apps are already on their phones, so you have an engaged audience with the ability for an immediate CTA with websites at their fingertips. According to eMarketer.com, over three-quarters of US internet users listen to music or podcasts through a digital service/platform each month.* emarketer.com article on content/digital-audio-advertising, 2019/2020.

Audio ads are also able to reach a more affluent and well-educated audience base. For example, podcast listeners tend to have higher levels of education and household income– plus, they have a genuine interest in tuning into everything said. Because of this, your company will be able to harness a valuable audience and have an added impact with their undivided attention.

What are the targeting options?

With programmatic audio ads, you will have the opportunity to dial in your targeting even further than before. Using audio targeting data, you can promote to audiences within specific genres, moods, topics, niches, and demographics. Some examples of fine-tuned audiences could include parenting, sports, travel, beauty, news, etc. Getting specific with your audience selections can also be a great way to connect your brand with specified interests. For example, a home show exposition/event (or home improvement store/chain) may consider placing an audio commercial on DIY podcasts, promoting events or services to a captive audience.

How do I get started?

Great news! Here at FUEL Marketing, we offer programmatic advertising placement services. If you’re interested in reaching a targeted or more valuable audience, contact us today. Fill out the contact form below and let’s share some audio advertising magic!

Why a Media Mix is a (Really) Good Thing

Here at FUEL Marketing, we believe that now, more than ever, is a great time for advertisers to branch out and try new mediums. A media mix, or often known as a marketing mix, is the blend of communication tactics that an advertising agency will deploy to effectively market their clients’ products or services.

Why is now the perfect time to consider adding more advertising avenues? In recent months, the marketing world has seen many changes, including Facebook’s iOS update, current global events, and what could be considered digital fatigue. Then, add the new news of the biggest social platforms, Facebook and Instagram, being scrutinized further by congress …well, 2021 keeps throwing curveballs!  However, we’ve always led by asking our clientele, why put all your (marketing) eggs in one basket? With so many growing opportunities and emerging platforms, as well as tried-and-true advertising methods, there are many reasons why a media mix is a (really) good thing.

Diversify Your Campaign

Having a diverse marketing mix allows a brand to test campaigns and see better results, preventing the potential bad habit of relying on just one technique to reach their target audience. If a brand is only using one advertising channel to advertise their products, there is no other method to help reach people. Having a media mix will help increase and balance the ROI and will help deploy the most effective tactics.

Lift Your Messaging

Give your campaigns a lift! Lift mediums, which are support media or channels that will accentuate CTA digital methods, help provide consumer excitement and better campaign results. For example, an e-commerce social ad competes with many other digital messages; however, with a “lift” you’ll notice CTR (click-thru rate) stats will increase by including a well-placed billboard or audio campaign at the same time. With a more robust budget, another ad channel to consider is OTT (over-the-top) digital video placement, which is TV or film content consumers watch online or on digital networks/platforms. OTT allows commercial placement to reach an individual consumer exactly as desired. A potential consumer will then watch a digital video/television commercial and then see a logo/message on a local billboard, creating a better recall to then take action when a “Buy Now” social ad appears in their feed.

Grow Your Reach and Exposure

By deploying new tactics and multiple ad channels, your campaigns will gain more reach, impressions, and overall brand exposure. It’s been said that it takes the average consumer seeing an ad over seven times before they are poised to take action or convert. So, why not make that conversion happen quicker and reach that customer through multiple channels or platforms?

With an advertising strategy that’s methodical and optimized correctly, a media mix can help elevate your company to the next level.

Contact FUEL Marketing below to get started!

5 Reasons Why Market Research Is Key

You may be wondering what market research actually is. In simple terms, it’s the act of collecting, analyzing and understanding crucial information to help your business solve various marketing challenges.

You may also be wondering why it’s important. What makes market research important is that it can bring new insights and opportunities that may have been missed before.

Here at FUEL Marketing, we believe that there are five significant benefits to market research:

1. Make Better Informed Business Decisions

Making difficult business decisions is inevitable, but having data to back up your decisions can make things easier. Instead of using random criteria for those decisions, you can return back to your market research data. Based on that information, you can decide whether or not this decision will drive more customers, reach more people and meet more needs.

Some important decisions that can be made by reviewing your market research are:

  • How to price your goods or services
  • Whether there’s a demand for a new product or service offering
  • Which products or services to remove and which ones to improve upon
  • Whether or not to open a new storefront location

2. Know Who You’re Talking To

Knowing who your customers truly are can be your golden ticket! There’s no point in marketing a product or service if you don’t have the right insights. Getting to know your customers on a personal level is key. Some things to consider are: How do your customers differ in their likes and dislikes based on their demographics? What are their concerns when they communicate with you? What attracts them, scares them or motivates them?

An easy way to learn more about your target audience is to conduct surveys or crowd source on social media. You may also employ a research agency or marketing firm that specializes in research, if you want to conduct an in-depth study.

Also, pay close attention to what kinds of content your customers are engaging with. This will give you insights into what topics, visuals and messages appeal most to them. You can gauge these metrics over time and begin to recognize key behavioral patterns in your audience.

3. Find Opportunities for Growth

Running market research initiatives regularly within your business can help you uncover new opportunities for growth and improvement. You may find that there are untapped customer bases that could greatly benefit from your products or services. You may also find that your products or services are in need of some improvements.  Maybe there are collections, add-ons, or other upsell items that would increase your profits.

Through market research, you might find potential business partnership opportunities. These types of opportunities usually lie within a business that already has a valuable and time-honored relationship with your target audience. By combining the power of both brands, your reach and success will be mutually beneficial.

4. Stay Up to Date on the Latest Trends

Market research is a great way to stay on top of the hottest trends. As times and consumer behaviors change, so must a business. Trend research can often be done by analyzing your top competitors and what they are doing right. This can also show you what new products or services are trending with your customer base.

Some things to consider when trying to stay up to date are:

  • Consumer purchasing behaviors
  • Popular advertising platforms
  • Product features and improvements
  • Preferences in packaging
  • Overall messaging
  • New technology

5. Know Where to Advertise

While some businesses may be successful selling on social media, others may not. This is where your market research report will come in handy. If your research confirms that your target audience spends a lot of their time on Instagram and hardly any on Facebook, you’ll then know to direct your social media ad budget to Instagram.

Online ads like pay-per-click and social media can often narrow down audiences with exactitude. With these ads, you can target beyond demographics. You are able to target based on interests and life events, among other measures. Once you know your true customers, your business will be able to amplify its potential targeting.

We should not forget the power of traditional marketing mediums like billboards, posters, mailers and flyers. Even though­ these results can be more challenging to track doesn’t mean that they can’t be effective. If you have many customers who are often stuck in traffic or commuting, college students frequenting campus, or other in person scenarios, consider engaging in traditional marketing for further reach.

In conclusion, market research is effective and valuable if you are willing to put in the time and effort that it takes. Of course, this alone won’t guarantee that your business will succeed, but it will give you the data you need to make thoughtful and strategic decisions. To learn more about how market research can benefit your business and maximize your marketing strategies contact us at [email protected].

Why Summer Advertising is a Good Idea

Take advantage of engaged audiences

Summertime=screen time! With school out of session, more people, especially children, their parents, those that don’t go away for summer vacations, and other seasonal workers, are on their phones and consuming more media than they normally would. It’s a great time to take advantage of these engaged audiences and capture those conversions. Whether it’s through social media and digital ads, tv commercials, billboards, or other mediums, your ads and marketing efforts are sure to reach audiences that are otherwise preoccupied during other times of the year.

Build up excitement and momentum

Another benefit of summer advertising is that your company can build up excitement and momentum for the festive seasons like back-to-school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. It’s important for marketers not to break momentum and maintain consistency. You’ve built a strong marketing strategy, so why not keep that moving instead of starting from scratch when the cooler months come? Don’t lose out on connecting with audiences you worked hard to build and retain.

Steal the spotlight

Don’t be afraid to steal the spotlight. Some of your competitors may stop their marketing efforts during the summer months. Use this to your advantage and ramp up your company’s marketing efforts. This will allow your business the potential to dominate your given industry when others are going dark.

Try something new

Last but not least, your audience’s behavior changes during the summer. Use this change to try something new and take creative risks. If it’s successful, add it to your repertoire, if not, no sweat. Many people schedule home improvement projects while the weather is nice, so take advantage of sales and promotions that would benefit those folks. The warm weather also inspires consumers to get out-and-about. Capture that foot traffic with creative signage and eye-catching visual displays. Also, don’t forget to consider the holiday shopping behavior of your audiences. It’s beneficial to run promotions that correlate with exciting life events and major holidays, like graduations, Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. 

With FUEL Marketing’s assistance, you can be confident that your business is on its way to reaching its fullest potential. Our main goal is to find and implement marketing strategies that work for you and your budget, regardless of the season. If you’re ready to retain a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency, contact [email protected] or learn more about us–and start adding a team of experts to your company today. 

Best Marketing Practices for Franchisors and Franchisees

Congratulations! You’re the proud new owner of a franchise…now what? If your goals are to build a strong, loyal customer base and grow your business, it can’t be done without consistency and a solid marketing strategy. By getting back to the basics, you’ll be sure to have the foundation needed to drive growth and brand awareness. 

Here are some key marketing practices that we recommend for franchisors and franchisees:

Understanding Franchisor/Franchisee Relationships

The franchisor/franchisee business relationship is quite unique and vital to understand. Ultimately, the franchisor is providing a structure for the franchisee to follow, yet it’s up to the franchisee to take responsibility for his or her business growth and success. Because there is a level of autonomy for each franchise location, there are still rules and regulations that need to be followed. This can be contentious when franchisees and franchisors disagree on certain marketing strategies. There is often a lot at stake for all parties involved, but with trust, open communication, proper training and tools and commitment, you’ll be well on your way to building a healthy, long-term franchisor/franchisee relationship.

Consistency is Key

When building a brand identity, it is paramount for your customers to have a consistent experience at every franchise location, but creating a unified experience is not where it ends. The marketing efforts of the franchisor and the franchisee should also be in alignment. By providing franchisees with a book of brand guidelines, this prevents the franchisees from straying too far from the brand’s messaging and overall look. 

Although it’s critical to have brand cohesion across the franchise as a whole, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for some personalization by the franchisee. You can incorporate personalization by giving franchisees the tools they need to run their businesses on their own, including geo-specific marketing campaigns, direct to customer operations and an easy-to-use CRM system. 

The Future is Digital

It’s safe to say that digital marketing is the future, but that doesn’t mean that traditional advertising mediums are out the window. Although there is still a time and place for radio, television and printed media, the shift towards digital marketing is proving to be more significant and yielding more sales and leads than ever before. A great place to start with digital advertising and marketing is to implement SEO and utilize social media, PPC and Google ads. 

Analyze and Evaluate

With any marketing campaign, it is essential to ask the question: was it worth it? It’s always a good idea to understand your ROI, which can be calculated by dividing the profit earned on an investment (the cost to bring in a new customer) by the cost of the marketing investment. Once you have this information, it’s easy to assess what is working and what might need improvement for future campaigns. 

Hiring Marketing Agency

Having a marketing strategy is one thing but implementing it can be a complex and overwhelming situation for some. If you are looking to get maximum results and take a little off your own plate, then hiring an agency to implement your marketing and advertising strategy may be the way to go. The first benefit of hiring a marketing agency is that an experienced team of professionals will be working to deliver top-notch work with fresh and innovative ideas. You also can count on an agency to deliver efficiency and consistency, have access to the latest technologies and relieve you of some stress. Before selecting an agency, always do your due diligence. Finding the right marketing company will ultimately make your life easier while saving you time and money.  

To learn more about how to maximize your marketing strategies and reach your business goals, contact us at [email protected]

Top 3 Reasons to Hire a Full-Service Marketing Agency

Most companies consider it sound business practice to outsource critical functions such as accounting, legal services, financial consulting and sales. So, why not outsource advertising, marketing and public relations?

If you want to grow your business, plus save time and money, it’s time to hire a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency. Based on your goals, you’ll discover the true value of harnessing the power of experts to create and implement a customized marketing communication strategy—a strategy that will propel your business forward.

So, how do you find the best firm for your needs? Ideally, the firm you select will be your agency and partner for many years. Your agency should help your business grow. And, in turn, the agency should be growing too. Therefore, look for a firm that has a history of long client and long staff tenure.

While there are many beneficial reasons for hiring a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency, here are the top three reasons:

1. Team of Specialists

When you work with an agency, you’ll be assigned a team of experts to work with your company including account strategists, media buyers (traditional and digital), graphic designers, content creators, social media specialists, PR specialists, audio and video producers and web designers/developers. These marketing experts provide expertise that most businesses normally would not be able to afford. In most cases hiring an agency is less than a salary and benefit package associated with hiring just one internal marketing person.

2. Time and Cost Savings

Hiring an agency can save time and money. Rather than coordinating numerous projects with multiple vendors, using an agency allows all projects to flow through a single point of contact, usually the account executive/coordinator. The benefit to you is that you only need to manage one relationship. Consequently, since agencies book advertising for numerous clients, they are able to leverage their media relationships and secure deep discounts. Experienced media buyers also negotiate package deals, added value opportunities and complimentary media placements. They are experts at analyzing media options and finding the best media mix to reach your target audience and maximize your ROI. Additionally, your team of experts are the first to know of new media vehicles and proactively provide targeted opportunities throughout the year.

3. New Ideas

Some companies are concerned that an outside advertising, marketing and PR firm will not know how to market their products/services as well as the company itself. However, ad agencies have experience in a variety of industries and are often able to provide a fresh perspective as well as an unbiased opinion. Also, an agency can even help refresh your brand image by developing a new company logo, tagline and a style guide. Agencies can also help refresh your website. They have experienced web designers and developers that can update your website’s design, content and perform search engine optimization which will improve your organic search results.

All these reasons support the fact that agencies are advantageous to growing your business. If you’re ready to retain a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency, contact [email protected] or learn more about us–and start adding a team of experts to your company today.

B2B Marketing: 3 Strategies To Know Now

According to current research studies, the average reader’s length of stay on a blog is only 37 seconds. Therefore, it’s more critical than ever that B2B marketers provide a content-rich, targeted experience online for B2B buyers. And while B2B marketing is certain to be different in 2021, here are some key strategies to employ that can result in garnering more consumers for your business.

1. Easy Lead Generation

Increasingly B2B consumers want a more personalized B2C-like customer experience. This includes a faster response time and 24/7 availability. While B2B consumers want a more individualized experience, conversely, they want to supply less information upfront. Market industry research indicates that the majority of B2B buyers said that “excessive form field requirements” would deter them from completing a contact form, with over 50 percent stating they wouldn’t submit a form if “too much personal information” was required. And, the same percentage of respondents stated that if the form included an automatic email subscription, that would deter them as well. So, less is more when it comes to form-filling.

2. Real Time Interaction

“Live” interaction in 2021 will continue to be important for lead generation. Live chat and live webinars are some of the most successful tactics in the marketplace. When surveyed, almost 100 percent of B2B buyers said that the most successful “hook” in the lead generation tool box were webinars, especially those that included questions and answers. As more consumers retreat to working from remote locations, plan to engage in many more webinars this year.

3. Targeted Content Marketing

Also critical to B2B marketing is content marketing. Results from a social media and content industry study show that the top three types of content B2B marketers use include social media content (95 percent), blog posts/short articles (89 percent), and email newsletters (81 percent). Understandably it’s important to utilize different content types, formats, and platforms based on knowledge of the target audience.

And, not only is targeted content a positive asset for B2B marketers for social media, it’s considered essential for a successful search campaign. Google studies reveal that over 71 percent of B2B researchers begin their research with generic Google searches and the majority of researchers, who are online, use search specifically to research business purchases. It’s paramount to create key-word rich content, but selecting the appropriate platform for content is key as well.

In conclusion, if you want to cultivate new B2B consumers in 2021, simplify your lead forms, engage in “live” tactics and create targeted quality content, not only for your website, but for your brand’s social media, blogs and email newsletters too. To learn more about how to maximize your B2B strategies, contact us at [email protected].

Three Keys to a Successful Website

Your website is your brand online and providing a great user experience on your website is a major key to success. Current research studies show that it takes .05 seconds for visitors to decide whether they will stay or leave your website. Here are a few elements that help ensure that visitors not only stay on your website, but also engage with it.

1. Design

Does it really matter what a website looks like? Yes, it does. For example, cluttering with multiple headlines, boxes, offers and heavy text will confuse your target audience and they will navigate away from your website. This is why hiring a professional designer is important. A designer will guide you in determining the best message, images, colors and fonts–as well as the best use of white space and symmetry for your website. But that’s not all that a designer does. In addition to an overall design, an expert designer will make certain that it’s mobile friendly. Increasingly, customers use their mobile devices as part of their shopping and decision-making processes. Consider that the design of your website should adapt easily to various screen sizes and have all the information shoppers or visitors are searching for when they access your site via mobile devices. Keep the design simple and make the content shareable. This includes an easy-to-see click-to-call phone number, address (linked to mapping) and menu.

2. User Engagement

Your website should provide optimal user engagement. Informational architecture (IA) has a large role to play in this. The primary objective of IA is to structure the website content in a way that is easy for users to find what they need, without investing a large amount of time and effort. The interaction design focuses on context, content and users. To create a strong IA for your website (new or existing), follow these steps:

  • Learn what the customer needs
  • Audit the content of your existing website and update it
  • Effectively group and classify your website content
  • Develop the hierarchy of your website for easy navigation
  • Use wireframing for the development of your website.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A website can have a great look, excellent layout and well-written content, but if users are not able to find your website through an online search, it will be ineffective. This is where SEO enters into the picture. Once you create and launch your website, work with a website expert to immediately optimize it for search. SEO techniques involve a carefully-devised strategy, including analysis of search patterns and behavior of the target users.

SEO will need to be continuously reviewed and updated, so spend the time and money necessary to ensure your content appears near the top of search engines. That means focusing on many SEO factors including:

  • Consistently creating valuable content and sharing the content so others can potentially link to it.
  • Using great headlines that attract attention and encourage user engagement.
  • Knowing how to use keywords effectively and choosing the right keywords based on your business.
  • Correct use of H1/ H2 tags, meta descriptions, images alt attributes, links and other content techniques.
  • Continually optimizing the speed and performance of your website.

In conclusion, remember your website serves as your brand and ultimately your business online. The website will be available every hour and every day for your business. That’s why it’s important to invest the time and resources to make it the best it can be. To learn more about creating a successful website, contact [email protected] today.

Staying True to Your Brand: Authentic Marketing

The importance of staying true to your marketing message cannot be overestimated. Many companies overlook this important tenant in the rush to acquire new customers. However, being authentic and consistent is the key to not only targeting new customers, but also maintaining them. If you consistently deliver outstanding products and services over time, while being aware of trends, your customers will stay with you, because they know they can count on you.

Understanding Your Audience and Brand

You may assume that what you offer has universal appeal and that the target audience is everyone. That’s not true. Your products and services have a target audience that can be defined. The goal is to find ways to identify these people so you can create marketing campaigns that speak to them directly.

One of the challenges that most companies face is that they are too close to their own brands. This is why it’s important to seek the assistance of a skilled advertising, marketing and PR agency.

By seeing your brand through new eyes, an agency can identify potential weaknesses and aspects that consumers may find offensive or even difficult to understand. Taking this important step allows companies to create marketing messages and campaigns that fully address any possible brand concerns, before they occur.

Consistent Brand Messaging

In advertising, marketing and PR, “messaging” refers to how your brand is communicated (while also adhering to your style guide and product positioning) via various media. For a brand to having staying power and remain a focal point in customers minds, true and consistent messaging is essential.

Being true to your brand does not does not mean communicating the same thing on every media channel. It’s okay to communicate different topics and use different creative layouts, but certain design or communications guidelines must remain the same so that your customers instantly recognize your brand when they see your ads or marketing messages. Remember, it’s important that the quantity of output does not override your ability to provide consistent, quality content. For example, do not use social media just because you have a Facebook page. It must play a role in your marketing plan.

Choosing the Best Media Channels to Reach Customers

What’s the best way to reach your target audience? Start by thinking about how your target audience gets information. Do they use social media, streaming movies, television, radio, newspapers, websites or online searches? Or a mix of some or all of these?

Again, there is no absolute answer on the best channels to use to reach a target audience. It depends on your goal. For example, a local business, looking for a local audience, does not need a nationwide online search campaign to reach its local target audience. Instead, it’s probably best to create a campaign that’s geotargeted locally, which could include a local online search campaign and/or even a local newspaper ad, to garner the most favorable results.

In the end, your overall goal is for your message to be part of the information stream that your target audience uses. The added benefit of being true and consistent with your messaging is that your brand remains top of mind for the products or services you provide. To learn more about creating an authentic brand for your company, learn more about FUEL Marketing or contact us at [email protected] today.

Four Key Tactics for Marketing in the World of Education

Marketing in the educational arena can be competitive and complex. So how can you determine the most effective marketing strategy and approach? Your school, college, university or educational organization can attain marketing success by following some key tactics.

1. Review your marketing strategy often

Regardless of your budget, it’s important to schedule time during pivotal points in the year to review and refine your marketing plan. Not only will this help provide a focused approach (to capture candidates and fill open spaces), but it will also ensure future students see your organization’s name and marketing campaign throughout the year. After all, candidate recruitment is a year-round process.

2. Use a multi-medium marketing approach

Print is not a dead medium (especially in the realm of education), but make certain your organization is utilizing a multi-medium approach by being featured in such mediums as broadcast, digital and social—plus direct mail and outdoor (when relevant) too. And, don’t forget promotional items like pens and water bottles. These items are essential to distribute at events. Continuing to keep your name top of mind, in as many mediums as possible, is an excellent investment in your organization’s future and success.

3. Become a top page Google search result

When parents and prospective students are conducting online research for educational providers, it’s critical to be a top result. It’s well-known that Google is one of the most important search engines; and, Google paid advertising is an effective way to help drive traffic to your organization’s website.

Because there is a large amount of competition in Google paid advertising, it’s important to be fully informed when creating your Google advertising campaign. For this reason, it’s a good idea to work with marketing agency experts who are experienced in search engine marketing, otherwise it can become very costly.

4. Engage in social media and share testimonials

Prospective candidates expect your organization to have a strong social media presence across key channels such as Twitter, Facebook and/or YouTube, either through posts or paid advertising. Facebook, YouTube and your website are excellent channels to share positive reviews and testimonials from past parents, teachers and students to help showcase your organization’s success. In addition to testimonials, include awards and any recent testing results on your Facebook page and/or website too. These are all great validations of your educational excellence, which can be incredibly influential in acquiring new candidates and keeping your organization’s name top of mind.

To learn more about how to improve your educational organization’s marketing strategy now, email us at [email protected].

FUEL Marketing: Local First

As we look forward to celebrating Utah’s special July holiday, Pioneer Day, it seems the perfect time to focus on what matters most—supporting Utah.  We’ve all seen messaging asking us to “Shop Small” or “Buy Local”. However, rather than simply promoting “buying local” for a day, week or month of the year, we are suggesting the importance of a larger role—being stewards of our local community. 

“By choosing local every day, we can make choices that have a dramatic impact on our local communities, economies and environments. While it may not be possible to buy everything, we need or use from local independent businesses, we are advocating that people choose local to maximize the impact of their daily actions and purchasing decisions,” said Donna Foster of FUEL Marketing.

Money Spent Locally Stays Local

Many studies have shown that money spent at a locally-owned business stays in the local economy and continues to strengthen the economic base of the community. True local businesses bank locally, use local accountants and marketing agencies, advertise in local publications, purchase inventory from local manufacturers and use local service providers.

A statewide Utah economic study finds that adding just a tenth more of your spending into the local economy would dramatically boost Utah’s economy by $1.3 billion per year (money that currently leaves the state by national companies in nightly deposits). Another staggering positive statistic reveals that locally-owned businesses return 53 percent of their revenue into the local economy through profits, labor, reinvestment and charitable giving, compared to the 13.6 percent of return that we receive from the national chains. In fact, local businesses return over four times more to the Utah economy than chain retailers.

“One of the greatest things an individual can do to support the local community is to patronize its locally-owned businesses. Compared to national competitors, local independent businesses recycle more money back into the local economy and give greater support to a community’s civic needs,” said Brad Plowman of FUEL Marketing. “As a local business owner, we see that local businesses, like FUEL Marketing and many of our clients, are better positioned to respond to the special needs of the community, and we are more tied to the community’s future.”

Since 2003, FUEL Marketing has been an independent advertising, marketing and public relations firm located in the Salt Lake City community, and committed to growing its state’s workforce and economy. For more information and to learn more about on how you can support local businesses, contact [email protected].

The importance of shopping local graphic

10 Reasons to FUEL a News Release: PR Beyond the Obvious

News releases are an effective and formidable tool for delivering your message. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to deliver content. A well-written news release can be the cornerstone to building your company’s reputation, garnering media attention, securing media interviews and increasing your online authority. Are you ready? 

What’s the first step? You need a newsworthy approach. 

You might be asking–how do you create content that is attention-getting during these challenging times? 

Your business is full of newsworthy content that can make great news stories. But, it’s the telling of the story that pushes the needle. Traditionally, news releases share something new or “newsworthy” with mass media and other targeted audiences. A well-written news release is not only newsworthy content, it should also be well-timed, engaging and worth creating in the first place. 

The obvious reasons to create a news release include grand openings, launching new products and celebrating an event or anniversary—to name a few. But there are many more that you may not have considered. Here are 10 newsworthy reasons to create your next news release:

  1. Sharing helpful tips or educational information
  2. Providing free training or resources
  3. Hosting a webinar
  4. Re-publishing a blog post
  5. Announcing an accomplishment or certification
  6. Naming a new hire
  7. Revealing a new partnership or collaboration
  8. Publicizing a company event connected to a major holiday or national event
  9. Publicizing an event or happening related to a local or national news story
  10. Introducing a new service

It’s important to keep in mind that a news release is not an ad, but rather an appeal to catch the interest of mass media and other targeted audiences.  A news release should always lead with a news angle. It’s not an opportunity to advertise bargain pricing.  And, opinions should be expressed or attributed to authority figures and/or accredited organizations. 

Finding a way to make almost anything newsworthy is the mark of a great public relations specialist or writer. To learn more about how to FUEL your business and create news releases that capture attention, contact [email protected].

Taking Advantage of Facebook and Digital Media Now

Recent research studies confirm that people staying at home are consuming more content, news and videos than ever before. And, they are also using more online communication tools.

Facebook reports a 50 percent increase in messaging, with voice and video-calling more than doubling on Messenger. With a large percentage of usage centered around messaging, groups, and livestreams, Facebook has revealed that many of these features are not monetized and Facebook is seeing a decline in revenue.

Despite this, many people are returning to Facebook who had previously abandoned the platform over privacy concerns. While Facebook may be experiencing a decline in revenue, this is good news and a great opportunity for companies to consider Facebook platforms. It means there is an opportunity for advertisers to see less competition and increase market share with either a small increase in budgets or no change in their current budgets.

Today, as opposed to last month, there’s a better opportunity to reach more people at the top of the funnel through PPC and paid social ads. 

Here are a few opportunities worth exploring now, as people consume more content:

  • Google display ad and Microsoft ad expansion 
  • YouTube and in-video ad placement options.
  • Pinterest.

And remember, at some point, various mandates and restrictions will be lifted. When that happens, consumers will be eager to get outside and engage again. Whether online advertising will be the same as before the Coronavirus is yet to be determined, but it’s a good time to prepare for any and all future business developments.

To learn more about how Facebook and digital media can fuel your business, please contact [email protected].

Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations During Uncertain Times

During uncertainty, the best way to reassure your employees, clients and customers is to communicate. While we cannot control the current societal crisis or COVID-19, we can control our response to it. It’s time to go beyond minor adjustments to marketing messages during the coronavirus. The plan must extend to your advertising, marketing, website, social channels, public relations and more.

Here are six tips that FUEL Marketing recommends to help you formulate a plan that communicates the impact of the current situation and your next-steps to your clients and customers.

  1. Utilize Paid Advertising. Shift your unused budget for events and conferences into paid advertising channels such as direct mail, TV, radio and online advertising. Recent studies have shown that people’s use of their desktop computers and mobile phones has increased 33 percent because of self-quarantine and working at home national directives. People are also utilizing other media channels more regularly. This means advertisers have an improved chance of their ads being seen, more so now, than ever before.
  2. Focus Your Messaging. This is a great opportunity to adapt your messaging to your audience’s pain points and let them know how you can assist them through this time. Show you care. Although we are all practicing social distancing, people seek connection during times of uncertainty. Consider a message to customers to show you’re aware of the issue and offer helpful resources.
  3. Empathize on Social Media. Once your messaging has been defined, make sure your social channels reflect it. Now is the time to focus on what your customers are going through first. Your company’s needs are second. This doesn’t mean you need to stop all other social efforts, but you should increase focus on being compassionate. 
  4. Create Valuable Content. Your customers count on you even more than usual during uncertain times and crisis. Announce changes or impacts to your business. Take a critical look at your existing content and identify what needs to be updated or created to ensure your content truly resonates with your customers. Create content that is appropriate within a variety of channels such as TV, radio, digital/online, social media, website homepage updates, news releases or statements and dedicated website landing pages.  
  5. Engage in Public Relations. There’s a lot happening in the media right now, and reporters are busier and more sensitive than ever to tone-deaf or irrelevant pitches. Work with a public relations specialist to ensure your messaging is mindful of current events. 
  6. Optimize Your Website. Now is the best time to ensure your website is fully optimized and ready to act as a resource for any prospects who are searching for solutions once the market adjusts. High search rankings will continue to be crucial for brand visibility and rankings are achieved by having valuable content on your website. It’s also important to assess your site’s strengths and weaknesses with regards to SEO, traffic performance and conversion rate. If you need to make changes, plan to do them now. 

These are challenging times and it’s important to have your Go to Team. We’re standing by with experts from marketing, design, public relations and social media to website and media placement to help you be successful.