Rebranding Your Business

In today’s dynamic business landscape, staying relevant and competitive is not just a goal; it’s a necessity. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through rebranding. At Fuel Marketing, we specialize in helping businesses revitalize their image, rejuvenate their identity, and reignite their success through strategic rebranding efforts.

What exactly is rebranding, and why is it so important?

Rebranding goes beyond simply changing a logo or updating a website. It’s a comprehensive process that involves reshaping how a company is perceived by its audience, both internally and externally. It’s about aligning your brand with your current values, goals, and target market while also adapting to the ever-evolving market trends.

Why should your business consider rebranding?

1. Adaptation to Change

Markets are constantly evolving, and what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Rebranding allows your business to adapt to these changes, whether it’s shifting consumer preferences, emerging technologies, or industry trends.

2. Differentiation

In today’s saturated market, standing out from the competition is essential. A well-executed rebrand can differentiate your business from others in your industry, helping you carve out a unique position in the minds of consumers.

3. Relevance

Over time, brands can become outdated or disconnected from their target audience. Rebranding provides an opportunity to modernize your brand and ensure that it remains relevant and relatable to current and prospective customers.

4. Expansion and Growth

As businesses grow and evolve, their brand identity should reflect these changes. Rebranding can signal growth, expansion into new markets, or the introduction of new products or services, helping to attract new customers and stakeholders.

5. Reputation Management

In the face of negative publicity or a tarnished reputation, rebranding can be a powerful tool for rebuilding trust and restoring confidence in your brand. It allows you to turn a new leaf and communicate a fresh start to your audience.

At Fuel Marketing, we understand the intricacies of rebranding and the impact it can have on a business’s success. For example, we successfully rebranded an iconic franchise by creating the popular fitness organization known as VASA Fitness.

Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the rebranding process, from strategic planning and brand positioning to creative execution and launch.

Don’t let your brand stagnate in a rapidly changing world. Embrace the power of rebranding with Fuel Marketing and let us help you unlock the full potential of your brand. Contact us today to learn more about our rebranding services and take the first step toward a brighter, more prosperous future for your business.

Increase Your Impact: Use Google and Bing Ads Together

Google Ads and Bing Ads (also known as Microsoft Advertising) are two of the most popular online advertising platforms. The concept behind both platforms is the same as they allow businesses to display ads on search results and other partner sites, help businesses reach specific audiences, and drive traffic. However, each platform has key characteristics that allow unique advantages. As both platforms continue to advance, it is essential to think of the two as a pair.

Benefits of Google Ads

Google Ads is the most common online advertising platform. It consists of two networks, search and display. Google holds a significantly larger market share of search traffic as people are more likely to choose Google over Bing. This can potentially lead to a larger audience for your ads. Google Ads offers advanced features and formats. The integration of Google Suite allows for ease of transition. The process of granular targeting within this platform provides more options for targeting and more detailed demographic data.

Benefits of Bing Ads

Owned by Microsoft, Bing Ads has three search engines (Bing, Yahoo, and AOL), so when you advertise on one platform, it is shown across all three. Advertisers can obtain an additional, wider reach with this integration. Since there is less competition in the search query, Bing allows your product or service to populate at or near the top of the page. Additionally, as a less popular platform, Bing can bring a higher ROI for some advertisers. Bing’s user demographic represents higher age groups, higher income levels, and a stronger purchasing power. Bing allows ads to run at a specific time in your ad viewers time zone. Audiences are also able to be targeted based on specific devices and operating systems. Google only allows this to be done with display and video campaigns.

The Power of Both Platforms

The decision between Google Ads and Bing Ads typically depends on your individual business objectives, target demographics, and budgetary constraints. Some companies choose to utilize both platforms simultaneously, aiming to extend their market reach and capitalize on the unique advantages offered by each. It’s essential to monitor and adjust your campaigns continually, regardless of the platform you choose, to ensure you’re getting the best possible ROI. Overall, Bing Ads are the perfect complement to Google Ads and pairing the two together will allow you to go beyond your current reach.

To get started with a targeted Google and Bing advertising campaign for your business, contact us at [email protected].

The Power of Full-Service Marketing Agencies: Why You Should Choose One

The business world is ever-evolving and fast-paced. The success of your business – whether it be a start-up or an established corporation – relies heavily on marketing. Reaching target audiences, standing out from the competition, making a lasting impact, and keeping up with industry changes is a full-time job in itself. A full-service marketing agency can be a key factor in helping a brand flourish.

Broad Range of Services

When hiring a full-service agency, you unlock every aspect of marketing. From marketing research to brand management and everything in between, a full-service agency can assist with it all. Most of these types of agencies will offer creative services, media buying, public relations, digital, traditional advertising, social media, and website development. From the initial stages of strategic planning to production, a multidisciplinary agency has the expertise to help a business reach its goals.

Consistency and Cohesion

Target audiences are reached through many different marketing channels and strategies. It is vital for the longevity of a brand to keep content consistent across all platforms to resonate effectively with the target audience. Outsourcing to different agencies can create discrepancies and force the business to spend more time and effort into making sure the presence of a brand stays consistent. With a full-service agency, the team is working together and has expertise in all marketing channels. With this expertise and experience, a company’s appearance will always be cohesive.

Expertise

An agency’s employees, skilled in all forms of marketing, have a deep understanding of consumer behavior across all platforms. This is essential when creating cross-functional campaigns. An in-house marketing team can quickly become costly and time-consuming when updates to media platforms and trends happen. A company will have to spend time and money to train their employees on these updates, whereas a full-service agency has a wealth of knowledge and the time to be trained consistently on technology and marketing updates as well as the ability to adjust to a business’ needs at a moment’s notice.

Creativity

Having an in-house team can be beneficial as they know your brand in and out; however, having the same set of people working on your content can result in a loss of new creative ideas. A full-service agency has a team of many different types of people who can always give fresh ideas that keep up with creative trends.

An agency with knowledge and experience in all marketing channels helps businesses with all aspects of their marketing needs while being the most financially efficient. They are able to keep up with the latest trends, focus on all forms of advertising, try new tactics and strategies, and assist in long and short-term marketing goals.

Searching for a full-service marketing agency? FUEL Marketing has 20 years of experience in brand management, design, media buying and more. Contact us to learn how we can make your brand a powerhouse!

Are Statistics the New Secret Tool for Marketers?

Are statistics the new secret weapon?

During a recent interview, one of our agency partners was posed with a question about the integration of statistics by FUEL’s team into our client strategies. This prompted us to contemplate the frequency and significance of statistics within the realm of marketing.

It’s essential to harness both critical-marketing-expertise and statistical know-how… your new secret weapon in advertising. Marketers should have an excellent grasp of statistics, measurements, and methodologies to craft effective, compelling campaigns. Every aspect of advertising should be driven by data, from the ad messaging to the optimization-roadmap. Utilizing statistics gives marketing recommendations credibility, helps define target audiences, and improves the likelihood of success.

Why should the entire agency have these capabilities?

Media buying is one branch of an agency that uses an immense amount of data including demographics, behavioral analysis and customer sentiment data. When advertising to the public, marketers receive a massive influx of data in return. Key metrics, or KPIs, that help evaluate the performance of an ad include an ad’s traffic, bounce rate, click through rate, and conversion rate. These metrics are constantly fluctuating, and marketers must question what is causing the ebb and flow. Having a big picture view of competitors, market changes, and other outside influences can help identify what is triggering the changes.

Evaluating statistics and implementing findings is a daily task for social and digital marketers. For effective social or digital ads, it is vital to understand how to fully optimize each ad. Tracking the demographic and the frequency rate helps to define the ideal target audience. These audiences can be found by tracking clicks per platform, ages, gender as well as new or returning users.

Statistics in Practice

A statistical analysis of who is buying, when they buy, how many times they buy, and how much money they spend is also crucial to success. Analyzing consumer behavior enables better forecasting and provides a layer of information that will ensure success. On digital platforms, lookalike audiences can be created by using current client data to find people who have similar behavior patterns and are likely to purchase or engage with your brand. Messaging can then be tailored to this more statistically valid group of interested parties.

“A/B testing” is a buzz-term in marketing, and is a method marketers use to compare two versions of ads to determine which performs better. If you have the luxury of time and budget, it’s important to do A/B testing on nearly all your campaigns. This tried-and-true method provides the stats and knowledge to create better content and rationale. Marketers learn what images or layout works best, what colors inspire action, when headlines capture more attention, what CTA drives clicks, and more. One out of eight A/B tests results in a change in ads, and about 60 percent of agencies surveyed state that this testing plays a big role in improving conversion rates.*

Our media team is constantly analyzing and interpreting statistics to determine how to optimize campaigns for clients. Data is an elemental piece of marketing that is required for success. At FUEL, we live by the words of the groundbreaking statistician W. Edwards Deming, “In God we trust. All others must bring data.” For more information, contact us.

* enterpriseappstoday.com/stats/a-b-testing-statistics.html

Understanding Marketing Metrics: A Crash Course

Marketing terminology can be challenging to understand, but knowing the true definition of marketing metrics and terms is crucial for developing successful marketing campaigns and ensuring that you are meeting intended business objectives. Key marketing measurement terms and metrics include KPIs, impressions, reach, frequency, CTR and CPC. This crash course marketing metrics guide will help prepare you to ask the right questions and make better decisions in your next meeting.

What is a KPI?

Everything starts with KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. This is the metric that measures the performance of your company and the effectiveness of your marketing. KPIs can look different for every business. KPIs can also vary based on the objective of the campaigns. Here’s a quick introduction and explanation of some of the primary KPIs that are used in marketing.

Impressions

In plain English, an impression is the total number of times an ad has been seen on a platform. This is a valuable metric for all campaigns but will be the most useful for campaigns that focus on spreading brand awareness.

Reach

Slightly different from impressions, reach is the total number of unique people that have seen an ad. This might seem the same as impressions, but impressions can be higher than reach because one person can see the ad more than one time. For example, if someone sees an ad three times, the ad will have an impression count of three, but a reach of one. By expanding the reach of your audience, the number of impressions will likely increase.

Frequency

Calculated by dividing the number of impressions by the reach, frequency is the number of times a person is exposed to an advertisement. This metric is helpful because increasing the frequency of an ad increases the likelihood they will make a purchase or remember your company/offering. As a rule of thumb, an ad is most effective when it reaches a frequency of three.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

A useful ratio to understand, CTR is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. A “good” CTR will depend on the type of campaign, promotion, and platform, but remember that the higher the CTR, the more successful your campaign will be.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Cost-Per-Click (CPC), is used to determine the cost of showing your ads. It is the total advertising cost divided by the number of clicks an ad received. Your goal CPC will be determined by the price of your product or service.

Measuring key performance indicators is vital to the success of your advertising, because these stats will help you see areas for improvement as well as opportunities for continued success and growth. Understanding what these metrics mean and the power they hold will help you make data-driven decisions and will improve the performance of your campaigns in the short and long term.

Understanding Franchisor and Franchisee Marketing

If your goals are to build a strong, loyal customer base and grow your business, it’s important to have 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 for your franchise.

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

Maintain Strong Franchisor/Franchisee Relationships

The franchisor/franchisee business relationship is 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. 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.

Be Cohesive with the Brand

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.
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.

Consider a Media Mix

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.

Partner with an Experienced Marketing Agency

Having a marketing strategy is one thing but implementing it can be overwhelming for some. If you want maximum results, then hiring an agency to implement your marketing and advertising strategy may be the way to go. Finding an agency that knows the importance of working with franchisor and franchisees. 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].

Dive into Cause-related Marketing

In 2022, consumers and clients alike are demanding more from the businesses they choose to support, emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices along with transparency in their businesses’ environmental and social impacts. 

As these values become increasingly important to driving business, adapting your business model and pivoting strategy towards being environmentally conscious can be essential to the continued success of your business.

One way businesses are leaning into social responsibility and expanding their services towards sustainability is through cause marketing. This Earth Day, let’s dive into cause-related marketing and explore why it is effective and how it could benefit your business.

Sustainable support

Cause marketing is a partnership between a for-profit corporation and a nonprofit organization, such as a charity or foundation. This mutually beneficial agreement helps both parties: businesses are not only able to generate new traffic through these campaigns, but also establish brand loyalty and increase customer retention. For nonprofits, the partnership can increase cause awareness and support of their organization. 

Some examples of successful cause-marketing campaigns include:

  • Ben and Jerry’s multiple impactful collaborations with nonprofits and general ethical causes, including increasing voting knowledge and ability in low-income areas
  • Walgreens and Red-Nose Day, to raise money for children in poverty
  • Warby Parker and VisionSpring, to bring glasses and provide vision tests to impoverished areas

New collaborations

Though these collaborations have the potential to benefit both parties, it is a delicate balance.

Businesses will need to go “all in” on these efforts and do more than give money to good causes. Customers will want to see real action, including marketing campaigns emphasizing the importance of the non-profit’s message, while showing company-wide immersion in backing a non-profit’s ethical and sustainable values.

As generational changes shift to emphasizing ethics, sustainability, and humanity, businesses will benefit by incorporating strategies to keep up with the changes. Cause marketing is an effective solution that, if done correctly, can promise growth and customer retention for your business as well as awareness of the nonprofit. Practicing being ethically conscious and working this into your business model, as well as supporting causes close to the heart, matters to customers, and gives them and you a sense of purpose.

The Media Algorithm: 5 Tips to Reach Your Target Audience

Relevancy is king. In a digital world, people are receiving a constant influx of information, whether from advertising or social media. As stores of information, products, photos, videos, advertisements, and content build, they crowd every media platform. However, web and digital programmers have come up with a solution to quell the waves: the media algorithm.

What is the algorithm?

Algorithms sort content by relevance rather than “publish time”, gradually “learning” what content users prefer to see and serving them media based on this system. Tim Clarke of SEOblog summarized the process when he said, “In 2022, everything will be algorithm-driven and brands should provide a user experience that customers want, or their content will be less relevant.”

To media consumers this algorithm can be a relief–no longer seeing content that doesn’t apply to you can help reduce the constant information overload and can surround you with people, advertisers, and media who reflect your interests.

However, as a marketer this algorithm can seem daunting. How is it possible to get exposure for your ads if the algorithm can filter them out? How can you reach your target audience?

Marketers, it is possible. In fact, it may give you an increased ability to reach, and more importantly, convert your potential consumers. Take a look at what you can do to increase impressions and get conversions despite the algorithm.

  1. Know your audience. To ensure content makes it through the algorithm filter, cater to the target audience’s tastes using copy, graphics, and stylistic elements. Make your content fit their lifestyle and stand out more than competitors. To do this, know your customers inside and out, using extensive market research to know exactly what content appeals to them most.
  2. Less is more. To contrast with the information and content overload, focus on simplicity in content creation. We’ve written another post about the importance of simple content in media HERE.
  3. Publish native video content. Showcase your product in the form of video. Videos are favored by the algorithm. They captivate the audience and allow for more product information in less time.
  4. Post on time. According to a Sprout Social article on social media marketing with algorithms, there are optimized hours during the day when your participants are more active, depending on your target audience. These are the best times to post your content.
  5. Post quality content. This is summarized well in an article by HubSpot called 5 Social Media Algorithms Marketers Need to Know About in 2022 “…this means picking relevant topics, writing delightful copy, and posting compelling images and videos.” High quality, relevant content makes all the difference in appeasing the algorithm and getting engagement for your posts.

Catering to the algorithm may seem difficult at first, but these guidelines help deliver the most relevant content possible to your specific target group of consumers. Follow these tips to use algorithmic content selection to your advantage and increase your brand engagement on social media and algorithm-based platforms. For additional assistance, contact us!

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!

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. 

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.

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].

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.