Category Archives: Good Practices

So, You’ve Been Burned By Your Digital Marketing Agency…

burned by your digital marketing agency

A number of our clients come to us with burn scars—battle wounds from working with a digital marketing agency who either could not or would not live up to what they promised to deliver.  Sometimes an agency is overwhelmed, does not understand the client’s brand, needs, or the agency is simply dishonest. Regardless, at the end of the day, your brand may be suffering from serious burn scars.

Having a negative experience with a digital marketing agency can carry some advantages. Ultimately, the experience makes you wiser and more knowledgeable about what to do and what to avoid when you start shopping around for a new agency.  That being said, how can you make sure you are signing a contract with an ethical and competent agency; one that will deliver a product built on best practices while understanding your brand and helping it grow the right way? The answer? You need to do some homework before signing on the dotted line. Dig deeper to discern the true nature of an agency before contracting with them.  Here are a few things to consider before choosing a digital marketing agency.

Ask Others

Asking others about reputable agencies can go both waysask for recommendations and references. Query colleagues, business partners or other brand owners in your industry about which web agencies they used.  You will probably get recommendations for companies you should contact and some companies you shouldn’t. Once you contact a digital marketing agency, don’t be afraid to ask for references of recognizable (i.e. easy to find online and well-established) brands they represent. You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without doing some background work, why would you trust your website or online presence to just anyone?

Is The Price Too Good To Be True?

If you have a few proposals from different agencies in front of you (which you should), and pricing between them is radically different, you need to seriously be asking WHY. 

Typically, pricing variations within a digital marketing agency are based on four things: team, technology, process and expertise. Someone that comes in really cheap may be relying on some kind of automation service and/or outsourced contractors to produce and disseminate content and/or build platforms. This may be totally fine in certain cases with certain companies, but diligently assess the quality and customization of their work for other clients.

Outsourcing, if very well managed, can be totally great; however, experience has taught us over here at Alter Endeavors to keep all of our services US-based simply due to communication and timelines. It makes us a little more expensive, but we are also able to control the outcome of services rendered much more closely, quickly and efficiently. This may change for Alter Endeavors if we ever come across an outsourcing resource that we feel meets our needs.

Technology can also mean automation. Some automation, especially when it comes to analytics and goal tracking is great. For example, we created Catch Engine to help automate some aspects of lead generation or review acquisitions, but not everything. If any agency says they can have you simply fill out a survey and then put you into their system for insta-automated-magic success, run away as fast as you can. Things need to adapt and change constantly, and artificial intelligence isn’t far enough along (yet) to replace the human element in this process.

Speaking of process, ask about it. Cheap pricing can possibly mean an agency is new or inexperienced or dishonest enough to simply ignore the need for a process to discover and help achieve brand goals online and off within a promised time frame.

Lack of experience or expertise may also be a reason for cheap pricing. The agency may be hungry and is willing to work for peanuts in order to build experience and their portfolio. It may be that an agency, although inexperienced, could be able to quickly adapt and grow into an effective marketing machine for your brand, just be careful that their inexperience does not cost you time, money or reputation.

On the flip side, seriously question higher-priced agencies. Just because they are the most expensive does not mean they are the best either. Ask the same questions above and vet them further with the following techniques as well.

Have More Than One Conversation

Just like if you were buying a car or a house, don’t be pressured into doing something you are not ready to commit to.  For many small to medium-sized businesses, the budget required to create a website or maintain a social presence is not insignificant.  Before entrusting any agency with your funds, interview them more than once.  You want to make sure that the digital agency is a good fit for your brand.  Be honest with the agency about your needs and timeline and a reasonable agency will do their best to give you a good idea of what they can accomplish and how they can meet your needs. Good agencies will tell you upfront when they are not a good fit for your brand, but will then suggest someone they think might be—something we do over here at Alter Endeavors more often than folks expect. 

Ask About the Team

If you have met with a representative of a digital marketing agency in person, more than likely, your first point of contact will be someone working in sales.  As the conversation progresses further, don’t be afraid to ask to speak directly with someone you will be working with.  The process of building a website is very intimate—you will be entrusting this agency with passwords, your email and more.  Ask to be put in touch with your potential point of contact.  A good relationship with your point of contact is necessary, especially if you might be signing up for an ongoing social engagement. You will be corresponding with your account manager on a monthly basis or more.

Know Your Goals

Sometimes a less than satisfactory website or failed social campaign isn’t the result of an incompetent agency, but a premature or undeveloped business idea.  In order for an agency to execute a solid product, you need to enter knowing your goals and your business. A deadline, eager business owner or half-baked plan can lead to a hastily put together website or social media presence that doesn’t truly represent the brand or achieve the desired goals. Put the time and thought into developing your business, sales funnel and calls to action first.  If you don’t have all the details ironed out, it’s not a deal breaker.  You may need to build extra time into your website building or social media planning process so that your agency can assist with your overall branding strategy.

No agency is perfect, including Alter Endeavors, but great agencies know this. Great agencies have systems in place to deal with infrequent mess-ups and failures. They are also constantly proving that their successes far outweigh the occasional, inconsequential blunder. There is definitely a difference between an agency who can help your brand thrive online and an agency who cannot —maybe even hurt it. Want to start a conversation with Alter Endeavors about your online presence?  You can ask us ALL the questions (we don’t mind).  Our goal is to build a powerful and sustainable online presence that will help you grow your brand!

How to Build Trust Online – The Trust Relationship

build trust online

Internet users are exposed to thousands of online ads daily, but how can your businesses stand out from the rest?  Trust.

Cultivating business relationships requires that you build trust online. Someone must have confidence in you or your brand before handing over money to purchase a product or service, contacting you for more information or progressing your businesses relationship to the next level.  Consumers are already highly attuned to looking for markers of trust in the real world.  The restaurant parking lot is packed—the food must be good.  This store is well maintained and the restrooms are clean—management must care about the customer’s experience.  The clothes in this boutique feel well-made—these products are high-quality.  How can you translate this physical experience into a digital one?

Your online presence is more than just a website, Facebook page or Yelp reviews.  You don’t need to become caught in the false idea that you must be on every social platform, but must understand that a complete digital marketing strategy and web presence encompass multiple pieces.  These tips can help you evaluate your current web presence and digital marketing strategy or create a digital marketing strategy and develop an online presence if you are just getting started.

Truth

You can’t have trust without truth.  There is no way to manufacture trust or “fake it till you make it” when it comes to building online confidence in your brand.  Today’s consumers can easily tell the difference between the genuine and the phony.  No marketing team, agency or expert can help you build trust online and establish your online empire if you don’t already have a legitimate business.  Before embarking online, conduct an honest gut check of what you already have in place.

Out of Date or Up to Date?

Are tumbleweeds rolling through your social profiles that haven’t been updated since 2014?  Is your website over 5 years old or not optimized for mobile?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are out of date!  Why should it matter whether you are out of date or up to date?  If you are going to put the effort into doing something, why would you leave it half-done?  An up-to-date online presence demonstrates that you care.  I want to patronize a business that extends effort, is consistent and cares about all aspects (even the small details) because that means the business values me and will take care of me as a customer.  An updated website is like having a clean floor in your brick and mortar establishment.  Active social accounts are like having an employee greeting patrons as they walk in.

How Do I Contact You?

How easy is it for a potential customer to get in touch with you?  Online users shouldn’t have to search on your website to find a phone number or physical address (if your business has one).  Creating clear CTAs or Calls to Action helps guide your potential customer down an intentional path that you have created for them. The path or funnel makes it easy for them to understand your business, purchase a product or service or take the desired next step.  Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram also make it easy for customers to get in touch with you.  Do you have someone monitoring your social channels, ready to respond to mentions, tags or inquiries?  Building trust means that a customer doesn’t have to scour the web for an email address to complain if there is a problem or find out more before pressing “Add to Cart”. When you are accessible online, it is easier for your audience to ask questions, connect with you and do business with your brand.

Be Upfront

While you can’t manufacture trust, you can build faith in your business through transparency and value.  Blogs, social content and web pages that preemptively answer questions, give helpful tips or provide free, valuable content help forge relationships online.  People understand that you are trying to sell something, but you can make their life easier while also building brand affinity.  Educating your client, offering a solution and alleviating concerns all before a purchase is even made, demonstrates to your audience that you understand their point of view.  The more time a client spends on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase from you.  Display customer video testimonials on your website or encourage happy clients to leave a review after taking a Catch Engine survey.  What happens if your client is not satisfied with your product or service?  Do you have a guarantee or return policy?  If you do, make it easy for your client to know what will happen in a worse case scenario.  You can also follow up with clients who had a negative experience and stymy negative reviews with a Catch Engine survey. Transparency around your process and policies will empower customers to easily make a purchase decision, confident in the fact that they can trust your brand to make things right.  An active social presence where you respond to positive customer reviews, mishaps and shoutouts further expose your commitment to serving all customers.

You can’t fabricate integrity, but you can build trust online by implementing a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.  Let’s have a conversation about your online presence!

5 Reasons You Should Trust Your Social Media To An Agency

Social Media

As a small business owner in 2016, chances are you recognize the value of being present on relevant social media channels. For those who are just getting started, we bet the thought of handling social media on your own has crossed your mind. And we understand! After all, who knows your business better than you!? But it’s important to be honest with yourself and understand 5 reasons you should trust an agency with your social media…

Quality Content Takes Time

Time is an incredibly valuable resource, especially to entrepreneurs, and people tend to underestimate the hours of research that social media management involves. A well-rounded social media strategy includes original content as well as relevant curated content. Original content includes images, infographics, and blogs. Curated content should be from a mixture of community and industry sources. Beyond creating and curating quality content, there are the tasks of scheduling the posts, responding to comments in a timely manner, and researching the ever-changing industry. Most business owners don’t have time for all of this, but we do.

Social Media Must Be A Priority

For those who do manage their own social media, there are most likely times where it gets put on the back burner to devote more attention to other aspects of the business. It’s easy for one day of skipped posting to turn into a week – which goes against one of the major rules for social media management: consistency is key. When you outsource your social media, you are paying for an expert to make it a priority. When business picks up and attention is needed elsewhere, the quantity and quality of content will not suffer.

Social Media Requires a Big Picture Approach

At Alter Endeavors, my job as a Content Strategist is to ensure that your audience understands your overall brand and mission, before addressing the niche crowd. It’s important not to alienate visitors or readers by using technical language or assuming a general introduction isn’t necessary. Outsourcing social media helps maintain a consistent image for the brand and prevents the channels from turning personal or unprofessional.

Trust the Experts

You are an expert in your field and we are experts in ours. Changes in social media aren’t always front page news, but they do have the capability of affecting your business. From new posting options to play with, altered algorithms to consider and a wealth of new apps and websites that assist in content creation, our research is never done. At Alter Endeavors, we make a point to spend time reading the fine print and adopting best practices that ensure longevity.

Do What You Enjoy

We have clients in a variety of industries and they all love what they do. We have immense respect for those who pursue their passions and we are happy to say that everyone at Alter Endeavors has done the same. We love working alongside our clients to bring their vision to life. Some days call for perfecting an image on Canva and researching the brand’s competitors, while others are spent drafting blog posts with a coffee mug that says “It’s Blogging Day!” in hand. The work required to assist a brand in their online marketing efforts varies from day to day and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Web Design Mistakes – 3 That Seem Like Great Ideas

Is your Website “Naughty or Nice”? Are there web design mistakes that seemed like a good idea at one time?

web design mistakes

We’re in November, which means it’s officially the holiday season and digital marketers can pound holiday metaphors into oblivion. At Alter Endeavors, we’re always happy to audit a website and give feedback. We fundamentally believe that every website should be unique in its branding, calls to action, and user experience. Over the years, we’ve seen a wide array of web functionalities and marketing ideas that are designed to increase engagement or conversions. Most of them work, but here are a few ideas that seem “nice” but are actually web design mistakes that could end your website up on the “naughty” list.

1. Slide Show Carousels

If I’m a business owner and my business offers different service lines or promotions, a slide show carousel may seem like a great idea. It allows pictures to scroll through so that users can see my business’s versatility. But, that’s the problem. Your website should be designed to optimize interaction. When someone visits your website, they should be clearly directed towards the engagement that maximizes conversions for your business (or your call to action). By presenting multiple options, such as a carousel, you’re actually encouraging users not to click further into the site. Need more proof of how a carousel can frustrate users? Click Here.

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Carousels can also be web design mistakes because they create an issue in regards to load time. When the page is pulled up, all of those images must load as well, which increases your load time. How does this translate to dollars? According to a recent study, for every second your website takes to load you are losing 16% of your traffic. If a carousel adds an extra second or two to your load time, you’re potentially losing up to 1/3 of your traffic before visitors even see the site. And while load time isn’t a major factor in Google’s search algorithm, it does play a part—so there’s that to consider.

2. Keyword Stuffed Copy

There’s a reason that black hat tactics exist in SEO. Because originally they worked. Keyword stuffing was a very popular technique 5 years ago because the content was designed to be recognized by crawling google bots rather than the users. In that respect, keyword stuffing seems like a “nice” idea to boost your SEO rankings. However, keyword stuffing is a web design mistake and a fast way to end up on Google’s “naughty list” and actually hurt your SEO rankings.

First, Google’s algorithm changes frequently. It’s designed to find optimal content for the user based on their search. Over time, Google’s algorithm advanced to the point where it is able to recognize what is valuable content and what is not.

Second, keyword stuffing is not designed to create easily digestible content for the user. Often times, the content overwhelms the user. Optimized content should encourage the user to engage further—either taking them deeper into the site or directing them towards a call to action. As Amy Renken of Amy Renken Writing Services put it, “when writing content for the internet, focusing on appealing to the human audience is just as important as writing for the search engines bots.”

3. Autoplaying Videos

If you’re considering a video on your homepage, first, I would like to highly recommend this idea. Video creates a palatable means of engagement with visitors and even helps your SEO rankings if executed properly. However, multimedia such as video that “autoplays” can actually decrease engagement on your site and are widely considered a mistake for website best practices. Here’s Sarah Murphy’s take, from our video partner Golden Arm Media:

“Autoplay videos on your homepage take viewers by surprise, particularly because of the audio. Instead, when a viewer clicks play to view the content, they are already more invested because they had to opt in to view it. It gives them the chance to be curious first, and dig deeper. Forcing it upon them with autoplay is an almost guaranteed way to turn them off before they have the chance to learn about your company. Just think about when you’re reading an article online, and a video ad starts playing—it’s not a very pleasant experience.”

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Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

In whole, these are three ideas that seem like a great concept on your site but could actually put your website on the “naughty list” with your users and customers. Rather than a carousel, focus on one clear call to action. Instead of keyword stuffing, create content that is relevant to your business focused on creating engagement. Finally, video can be an excellent way to reinforce branding or give further insight to your business—just don’t force it upon your users!

Local Social Media for Brick and Mortar Businesses

local social media for businesses

When devising a local social media strategy, the benefits of customizing the approach specifically for a business and its customers is invaluable. Sure, there are general guidelines that apply to almost every industry, but the blog I wrote about Social Media for Service Based Companies is not the same advice I would give for brick & mortar establishments. If you’re a small business owner with a set locationhere is the best way to market your business on social media.

One of the main differences between local social media for service based companies and brick and mortar establishments is the end goal. For service based companies, we are constantly driving traffic to the company website, specifically the contact page. There is stress put on educating the public about the need for the service in question and demonstrating that the company is an expert in its field. For brick & mortar establishments, the goal is to drive traffic to the location! Convincing people to stop by a restaurant or clothing store means appealing to a want that can be fulfilled immediately. Hungry? Stop here for lunch. Need a new outfit? We’ll outfit you! The recommended platforms don’t change, but the way they are used most certainly does.

Facebook is an opportunity to interact and showcase a businesses’ involvement in the community. It is also a way to highlight the brands a store carries or if applicable, the local farms a restaurant sources ingredients from. Facebook also allows event pages to be created in order to generate buzz for any upcoming special events or merchandise sales. Facebook should be updated consistently and with a variety of information that is relevant to the customer base.

Twitter has proven to be an excellent way to manage customer service. A brand’s Twitter feed can include much of the same information that is on its Facebook newsfeed, but posted multiple times a day. Interact with audiences that you are hoping to attract by retweeting or mentioning them in your own tweets. Make sure to reply to any comments, complaints or suggestions in a professional and friendly manner. Keep in mind that there are brands that have built a following by the way that they respond to customer comments on social media, whether it is diligently (JetBlue) or with humor (Skyscanner Jen).

We love Instagram for brick & mortar establishments. This is an opportunity for restaurants to flaunt appetizing photos to the foodie community and for clothing stores to capture the attention of fashion influencers. With this platform, it pays to research popular hashtags and to have an ongoing rapport with repeat customers and ignite discussion with active Instagram users. We suggest that the filter used for images stays consistent and that the wording of the captions matches the messaging on all other platforms. This is a good time to define whether your brand is for or against the use of emojis!

One of the most impactful and easiest steps for local social media you can take is to double check that all of the pertinent information about your store (address and phone number) is easily found across all social platforms. For restaurants, this means linking to your menu and providing numerous photos. For product-based stores, it’s important that sales are publicized and that store hours are made apparent. At Alter Endeavors, we make a point to occasionally view our social media profiles as visitors, where we check links and think like a potential customer.

We live in a day and age where the question, “How did you hear about us?” is as commonly answered via “Facebook” as “ word of mouth.” Just today, I visited a coffee shop after seeing pictures of their decor and Nutella waffle on my explore page on Instagram! You don’t need photographer quality photos or fresh daily content, just start by making sure your ‘About’ section is complete!

Viral Marketing – Is It a Myth?

viral marketing

Is viral marketing a myth? One of my favorite requests from potential clients is, “I want to go viral.” or “I want my brand/company to go viral.” When a prospect demands virality (not to be confused with virility), it opens an opportunity for Alter Endeavors to educate and guide a client towards real digital marketing success, defined by target audiences, conversion goals, and user flow. Viral content has very little control over how it spreads and who it spreads to, thus the name. Going viral can be great, don’t get me wrong, but popularity for popularity’s sake does not offer guaranteed exposure to ideal clients…nor does it necessarily help a brand achieve their financial or networking goals. Instead, what about a rock solid marketing framework with creative, engaging content, reached goals, social engagements and conversion numbers?

First, let’s define what “viral” means. When a YouTube video goes viral, for example, it is being shared organically and indiscriminately and freely, like an infection (hence the name…) Content, whether a gif or video or image or story, goes viral because it fulfills some kind of entertainment value. So, when you bring your brand to Alter Endeavors and say, “I want to go viral,” are you really trying to tell us that you want to lose control of your marketing and branding to the masses for 5 seconds of entertainment? Probably not. I think what you mean to say is, “I want to maximize my brand’s exposure to my intended audiences, driving as many people to my defined calls to action as possible and reaching my marketing and sales goal with the budget I have laid out for these efforts.” If this is what you meant to say, then Alter Endeavors is a great fit for you and your digital marketing efforts. Look at companies like Dollar Shave Club and Squatty Potty. Their unprecedented successes were textbook situations of preparation meeting opportunity, which some folks may interpret as “lucky” and others misinterpret as “viral”. Now, the questions is, how do we help?

You are the expert of your business. We provide a digital marketing framework with a a creative edge that will give your message legs online in the most successful way possible. We thrive at helping businesses manage their online presence long-term through continuing our internal education and adapting to change across all relevant digital platforms. By tuning into webinars, reading industry articles, researching new ways to run Facebook ads or participating in other professional development activities like attending Social Media Success Summit (which I am currently attending), our digital marketing efforts on behalf our clients find the greatest success possible with the intended audience. Simultaneously, we think of new and creative ways to help brands engage with a greater scope of their target audiences by engaging with them through new, creative content.

That being said, don’t go floating off into the stratosphere thinking Alter Endeavors is going to make your business an overnight success. Rarely does a company, especially one struggling to stay afloat, experience instant gratification from our digital marketing efforts. Our primary goal is longevity for your brand, helping to establish your business as a trusted and vested member of your community. Whether your community is the physical area surrounding your business, a defined digital audience, or both, the best way to grow a business is through word-of-mouth. Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report finds that 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. A flashy video or the best ad copy isn’t going to help you grow sustainably, building a relationship with customers and having those customers share their experiences with others over and over again will. So, how can you build credibility online?

Through maintaining a consistent social presence, you can remain top-of-mind with current and potential clients, build relationships, solicit reviews, address customers who had a less than stellar experience, feature fan-generated content, thank fans for engaging with your brand, send Catch Engine surveys to drive positive online reviews (and manage bad customer experiences), gather data and intelligence on your topic area, and more.  The strategy we recommend for your business will be tailored to your industry, community and needs.

Our ideal client, those we have the most success with, are other salt of the Earth folks who pursue their brand with passion and integrity.  Join us in growing your brand in a sustainable and ethical way.  Want to get started, contact us!

Going Viral: What to Do When You’re Internet Famous

going viral

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Internet fame comes swiftly and unexpectedly. It starts with a single social media post, and eventually takes the internet by storm. Going viral. What is it that causes one out of thousands of Tweets, posts, or videos a day to become so popular? Digital content goes “viral” for a variety of reasons, and this sudden boost of internet celebrity is always handled differently. However rare internet celebrity status may be, it’s important for businesses or individuals to know what to do with their sudden fame. In today’s blog, I take a look at why content goes viral, how internet fame helps (and hurts), and what you can do should you find yourself suddenly internet famous.

Why is it going viral?

The town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s live feed of an intersection near the town square became an overnight success, often with over 2,000 unique viewers at once. A strong social media presence and promotion on YouTube made the stream’s overnight success possible. Other popular internet memes, such as “LOLcats,” follow a simple formula: the content elicits an emotional response, is easy to understand, and can be easily duplicated. Sharing and promoting your content on sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and others makes it easy to view and share. If your content makes people laugh or smile, you’re more likely to see it spread, and telling a joke that is easy to repeat ensures others are “in” on the joke.

The Good, The Bad

Going viral for the “right” or “wrong” reasons makes all the difference in the trajectory of your internet presence. Grumpy Cat and Doug the Pug, two adorable pets with millions of followers, became popular for arguably the “right” reasons: being cute animals with a humorous social media presence. Conversely, when a mattress store in San Antonio released an insensitive “Twin Towers Sale” ad, the negative online backlash led to the store’s eventual shutdown. Turning internet fame into a success story requires care and cultivation, and monitoring social media outlets to prevent bad PR is essential for making a name for yourself for the wrong reason.

Grow, or Let Go

There are a few ways to grow from or sidestep internet fame or infamy. Interaction with new fans and followers goes a long way; you probably won’t have to do push-ups in the street, but positively acknowledging the sudden hype lets new followers know you’re “in” on the joke. If you find yourself in hot water online, try if possible to avoid stirring up more trouble; if necessary, issue a single note of acknowledgement and apology, then let the issue fade naturally. Keep in mind, internet fame fades as quickly as it comes, so ride the wave of success while it lasts but understand that your fifteen minutes can, and will, eventually end.

“So… how do I become famous online?”

There’s no ultimate formula for online success, and the reasons for why things become popular online vary too much to predict whether your content will go viral before you post. However, making emotionally-charged content easy to understand and duplicate is a tried-and-true formula for many of the most popular memes. The various success stories make internet fame alluring, while the tales of tragedy from online infamy may scare individuals or businesses into staying safe with digital content. Ultimately, staying true to your brand’s message online takes top priority, and if your next post on Twitter or YouTube becomes popular, enjoy it while you can.

Web Presence Management for Your Business: Three Things to Keep Track Of

web presence management

What is the key to web presence management for your business? Here are three things to watch.

As a business professional, the process of keeping all of your web-related information organized can easily go awry. But, the benefits of keeping this info on hand, from website and social media logins to design elements, should not be taken lightly. It’s especially important for our team of developers and designers at Alter Endeavors, and is crucial for us to help you build a cohesive overall web experience for your brand. In this blog, I’ll break down the most important things to keep track of and why.

1. Your Web Logins

One of the first things we ask for at Alter Endeavors is an itemized list of your login information. This includes usernames and passwords from places such as web domain host sites, social media pages, and mailing lists related to your website. Keeping all of this information in one place will not only be helpful for you – especially if you work across multiple platforms – but it also comes in handy if you’re temporarily or permanently handing control of these accounts over to a web design or social media team. Of course, security is important when it comes to such sensitive information; using a password encryption service can help you keep your sensitive information safe.

2. Any specific creative or design information

Becoming familiar with the design elements of your current site is also important. Be sure to keep track of specific things like color hex codes (a six-digit number that corresponds to a specific color), fonts, and template names and sources for your currently-existing site. If your company has a specific color associated with their logo, or a custom font used on their web pages, it helps to have this information on-hand to carry over on other platforms related to your site. Even if you plan to completely overhaul your site’s design, this information serves as a good frame of reference for designers.

3. Contacts

Know which web design companies, graphic designers, and even photographers you’ve worked with in the past. Even if you haven’t worked with them in a while or don’t regularly keep in touch with them, holding on to their contact info can help you in the long run. This especially comes in handy if you’re trying to collect information for something in one of the two other categories mentioned, but just can’t find it. You never know when you may need their help again on a future web design project!

Managing the building process of a website can be a difficult task, but having this information on-hand will make the process run much more smoothly. Not only will you be able to easily hand over web and social media logins and design element specifics to our talented team, you’ll know who to reach out to if you forgot anything or want to hire someone you’ve previously worked with. When it comes to building a website, having everything in one place can greatly improve the experience.

Best Social Media Management: Person > Automation

best social media management

Alter Endeavors offers customized social media management, so we make it our business to know everything there is to know about the ever-changing industry to provide the best social media management. We often push what our social media team can do for a brand versus another company handling it, but that’s not our only competition. Brands that don’t have the time or resources to produce consistent content, but are nervous to hand their accounts over to a social media manager, may choose to use a service that automates their posts. Essentially this means that there isn’t a designated person deciding what and when to post. You decide what topics are relevant to your brand and the service chooses and schedules content accordingly.

While we do rely on statistics and performance data to devise our social media strategy, we only take this method so far. At Alter Endeavors, we boast that social media isn’t just about SEO! If you approach social media as simply a numbers game, you lose something incredibly valuable: the brand’s unique voice. Our strategy isn’t merely to get information out to the public, it is to create meaningful dialogues with your customers and community.

We have a habit of falling in love with the brands we work with. We don’t mean this in the inappropriate sense, but that we become attached to the people we work with and genuinely want to see them succeed in all aspects of life. We are a brand’s biggest cheerleader. We stress and celebrate with you. We are agile in our ability to change directions when necessary and we research your community as if we are a part of it. Think of the brands that you love and continue to be loyal to. There is a chance you are solely a fan because they offer a genuinely good product or service, but when a brand is active in area non-profits or uses local resources… it has the potential to deeply impact consumer decision making.

Alter Endeavors identifies what is unique about a brand and trust us, there is always something, and builds a brand identity that the community is proud to partner with. What we offer, that an automated service cannot, are messages with a personal touch that speak to who you are and what your company mission is. While posting consistent content is important, engagement with your audience is more so. It’s easy to send messages into the void. The key for best social media management is to send messages that are catered to your customer to such a degree that they must respond, or at least react with a quick like.

The Alter Endeavors social media team is proven to be quite good listeners. If you communicate to us that you would like to work some humor into your messaging, we’ll work it in. Who knows, maybe a Twitter account with 149k followers will take notice and reach out!

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Our job is to get your brand noticed by the right people for the right reasons. We achieve this by contributing curated content to the conversation, plus the occasional alliteration. We’re not the only brand with personality and we want the community you work in to get to know yours!

Branding Strategies: Identify your Ideal Client

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As a business owner, branding decisions are often one of the most overlooked aspects. More specifically, how does the business owner interact with his/her brand? Should the brand be centered around the company or the individual? The answer depends on a few factors: target audience, your ideal client, the platform being used and ultimately the comfort level of the business owner.

One of the most important exercises a business owner can go through is defining your ideal client and target audience. For a B2C (Business to Consumer) company, defining your ideal client needs to be specific: who are they, what do they do, how do I start a conversation with this person? For businesses who are B2B (or any other variance that results in the business’ ideal client being another business), the ideal client is based more around numbers, measurables and company culture than specifics such as interests or age.

Based upon this ideal client, your brand should interact differently. If your ideal client is an individual, the ability to connect on a personal level becomes paramount. That’s why you see prevalent terms such as “family owned”, “local”, or “x generation”. The goal is to integrate yourself, the business owner, into the brand to better communicate with prospective customers. A good example of this is the late Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A. Mr. Cathy was heavily involved in the branding of his company and helped his brand connect with their ideal client—families with kids—because of his close engagement. However, if your ideal client is a business, the business owner is faced with a decision: Do I better position myself as an industry expert through my company or as myself? The answer to this question depends on the platform being used to communicate.

As mentioned previously, the primary objective is to establish the brand as an expert in the field. Different social platforms give the business different opportunities to engage with customers. In general, Facebook generates better results through business pages than fan pages or personal pages. As a rule of thumb, one should always have a business Facebook page, even if they are a sole proprietor or the business namesake.

Twitter; however, provides a completely different opportunity. While business accounts on Twitter can provide results, Twitter is primarily used as a medium for news, information, etc. from a specific individual or entity rather than social engagement. Because of this, oftentimes the business owner can increase their results by establishing themselves as the expert and a crucial element of their brand.

LinkedIn is more of a mix of the two. While LinkedIn provides a social media page around the individual, the professional elements of LinkedIn are extremely conducive to building out a business page. Similar to Facebook, every business should control their LinkedIn business page, regardless of whether or not the brand is centered around the individual or business. However, B2B companies are better served creating a page centered around their business and the testimonials of their business rather than the expertise of the owner or founder. Because of that, even for sole proprietorships, it still makes sense to focus on disseminating information from the company rather than the individual.

How involved should you be in your brand? The answer depends on several factors: the target audience, the platform being used, and ultimately how comfortable the business owner feels positioning themselves as the expert in their company. While the answer is different for each company and even differentiates in certain situations, evaluating your involvement with your brand through these lenses will help you boost engagement and ultimately ROI. For more information about setting up social media pages, social media packages or consulting services, contact us today!