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The Power of Influence

instagram on iphone

It’s no secret that the buyer’s journey is constantly evolving. In order to truly create a connection to customers and leave a lasting impression, your brand needs to generate awareness and build trust with consumers in their target audience. Although word-of-mouth marketing is still important, as times continue to change many people are looking online to find the products that their peers or online community are using. In fact, Nielsen reports 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals—even if they don’t know them—over brands.

Building Awareness

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Brand awareness is a necessity for most brands. Whether you’re an established franchise or a small business, it’s important to get exposed to the right customers. One of the ways to get in front of potential audiences is through a brand awareness campaign. This can be vital to an expansion into a new market, product launch, or just to keep your brand in the public eye.

Most brands don’t have the budget to partner with a celebrity,  however, finding micro-local influencers is an option that boasts well for most brands. By honing in on people who are active in the community and have an engaged online following, there is an opportunity for your brand to develop a content partnership that caters to the individual’s needs while ideally using their presence to reach their audience. This tactic not only helps to spread awareness, but it can position your brand in front of an audience by using a source they already know and trust.

Who is an Influencer?

An “influencer” is an individual or publication that may have influence over potential buyers in your target market or industry. This can include:

  • Local guides or publications
  • Individuals with a large social media following on Facebook or Instagram
  • Bloggers specific to your industry (Fitness, Beauty, Lifestyle)

instagram post girl standing

This person doesn’t have to be a celebrity. In many cases, these are individuals who are able to create content that is relevant and engaging to their audience. Whether it’s an Instagrammer who supports local businesses, someone who shares fitness tips, or even someone who does beauty tutorials on YouTube, Google has even found that 40% of millennials say that their favorite YouTuber understands them better than their friends (Google).

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Why are more brands adding an influencer initiative to their marketing campaign?

  • By partnering with an individual or publication that their target consumers already trust, brands are able to share their message through authentic storytelling and content development.
  • Through a sponsored post, feature, event or giveaway, a brand’s message can seem less like a traditional advertising and more like organic content.
  • By finding the right influencer, your brand is able to get right in front of a specific target market that is already active and engaged.
  • Content produced by influencers can be utilized into a current content strategy and repurposed into blog posts, social posts, and email content.
  • There is a potential opportunity for building credible backlinks, which can positively impact SEO.

Do you think that an influencer marketing campaign might be beneficial for your brand to reach individuals on social media? Get in touch! Our team would love to discuss your needs.

 

 

Clutch Award

LSM Named A Top Web And UX Design Company

Clutch Award

A B2B ratings and review company, Clutch, recently named Local Search Masters one of the top web and UX design companies in the United States. LSM’s industry expertise was determined by 5 criteria: services offered, client base, case studies, awards received, and social media presence. Clutch analysts also conducted 5  phone call interviews with LSM clients to confirm their spot as one of the top agencies in the U.S.

“LSM was featured as a top design and digital marketing company thanks to their demonstrated dedication to clients across the U.S. and their consistent high quality work,” said Clutch analyst Katie Wonders. “The Clutch research methodology focuses on clientele, experience, and market presence – LSM has the ability to excel across the board.”

As a data-driven company, Clutch interviews real clients and collects data as they sift through the best B2B companies in the United States. This is LSM’s fifth recognition from Clutch in the last 5 years, as we’ve also been listed as a top SEO agency during the previous 4 years.

 

google my business
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Google Enhances ‘Google My Business’ Listing – LSMinute

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Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!

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google my business

Google Enhances ‘Google My Business’ Listing

What Happened?

  • Business owners can now highlight products and offers/promotions directly from their Google My Business (GMB) listing. This piggyback’s off last summer’s introduction to Google posts, allowing business owners to post general information about their business and associated events.

What This Means For You

  • Posting information about your business’s separators (special offers, unique products, etc.) onto your GMB listing makes it easier for potential customers to see; they don’t need to make that extra click to your website to find these details. It’s likely to have a positive SEO impact as well. So, in our early opinion, businesses should consider regularly updating their GMB listing with product, service, event, FAQ, and promotional information.

Next Steps

  • We’re already optimizing our clients’ profiles for these updates, and so far, we’re seeing positive returns! Business owners can update their profiles themselves as well. We recommend that you ponder what information should be highlighted on your GMB listing. Then, log into your GMB listing, fill out your product/service information, post about a special/promo, and monitor your GMB analytics to gauge your results!

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Google My Business Video

Google Launches Outstream Ads to Boost Video Reach Beyond YouTube

What Happened?

  • Google just introduced a new video format, Outstream Video Ads, which will operate on mobile devices across Google Video Partner mobile sites and apps. The videos will appear in banners for mobile web placements and as banners, interstitials, in-feed, and native for apps.
What This Means For You
  • This format provides advertisers the ability to reach an audience with video content when a YouTube video isn’t present; thereby expanding the overall reach of Google’s video ad platform.
Next Steps
  • Brands in possession of high-definition video content should investigate implementing Outstream Video Ads into their brand awareness strategy; we’ll be doing this with our clients over the next two months. Brands without high-def video content are “behind the 8-ball;” video content’s only going to become more prevalent over time!

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gdpr

Understanding GDPR

What Happened? 

  • Businesses in the European Union (EU) were originally required to follow data protection guidelines outlined in the Data Protection Directive. The Data Protection Directive was recently replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR requires that organizations across the EU follow stricter data protection restrictions.
What This Means For You
  • Although these laws are confined to the EU, any business conducted with EU citizens has to follow GDPR guidelines. So, if you do business in the EU, you need to be made familiar with GDPR guidelines. Here’s a resource to help you get on the right track.

Next Steps
  • To keep in compliance with GDPR guidelines, we updated our privacy policy to reflect the recent changes to data sharing. We also won’t share your data with anyone; however, we never did that to begin with, so nothing’s really changed there.

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nashville food project

 

Recently, part of the LSM team got the opportunity to show off their green thumbs in The Nashville Food Project’s community garden! Who knew weeding and making compost piles could be so much fun?! Watch the video above to see us in action!

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awards

Award Season Continues

We recently picked up the ‘Marketing Effectiveness Campaign – Content Marketing” award at the 2018 Communicator Awards, an ‘Online Campaign: Content Marketing & UX Optimization’ award at the 2018 Summit Creative Awards and are being recognized at the 2018 Small Business Awards here in Nashville (for the 6th time!). None of this could be done without the continued support of our clients. We appreciate each and every one of you, and we’ll work hard to continue producing award-winning results in 2018 and beyond!

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Summit Award

LSM A Winner At 2018 Summit Creative Awards

Summit Award

 

Our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers took home some hardware at the 2018 Summit Creative Awards. Our content development, user experience and Google advertising services drove a 370% reduction in cost per lead and a 437% increase in conversions for Brain Balance franchisees located across the United States.

As a respected, international, industry-wide critique of creative work, the Summit Award organization has promoted creative excellence by validating award-winning work for the past 24-years. Recognition for this award is not an easy feat, and we’re excited that our hard work and innovation in content marketing and ux optimization stood out to such a great organization.

This is the seventh recognition our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers has received in the last year!

“We enjoy partnering with Local Search Masters and are excited to see our work together receive so many recognitions these past few years” says Brain Balance CMO Heidi Rose.

 

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How To Speak Facebook Pixel

Speak FB Pixel

 

 

 

The Facebook pixel has been around for a few years now, and marketers all over the world are taking advantage of its data. Thanks to the pixel, marketers are now able to better understand consumer behavior and use their learnings to deliver more relevant advertisements to these prospects.

But let’s face it, marketers are NOT web developers, and getting us to understand the back-end lingo of the Facebook pixel takes us a little longer than the IT department to learn. That’s why I’m here to walk you through how to speak the lingo and better understand what your agency and marketing partner means when words such as ‘lookalike audience’, ‘custom conversions’, and much more are mentioned.

 

Buzzwords, Buzzwords, And More Buzzwords

As a marketer (or anyone who is passionate about a topic), I tend to nerd out on marketing terms and not realize that I have completely lost and/or confused the person I’m talking to. To ease the confusion, I went ahead and created a quick cheat sheet of buzzwords marketers tend to use in conversation. For future conversations, any non-marketer will be able to nerd out and follow along:

  • First Party Data: information that your business owns that your marketer will build lookalike audiences off of (i.e. email lists).
  • Custom Audience:  an audience that will reach people who have a relationship with your business, whether they are existing customers or individuals who have interacted with your business on Facebook or other platforms.
  • Lookalike Audience: an audience built off of a custom audience to find new people on Facebook who are similar to your existing audiences.
  • Custom Conversion: a way to track and optimize for conversions without adding anything to your website’s existing Facebook pixel code (i.e. Lead, Purchase, Complete Registration, etc.).
  • Conversion Optimization: what custom conversion your ad campaign is set up to best perform for (i.e. “Lead” is your custom conversion so Facebook will optimize the ads to generate more “Lead” conversions).
  • Website Traffic: anyone who visited your website or took a specific action by using the pixel’s data.

 

1st Party Data Is King

With Facebook’s recent data crisis, your business’ first party data is more important now than ever before. Moving forward, Facebook is no longer holding itself accountable for 3rd party data sources. Now your marketing partner will solely depend on your first party data to better target ads to potential customers. If you leave with anything from reading this article, make sure to nurture your first party data by keeping your member lists updated and ensuring that your Facebook pixel is tracking all website data, conversion, abandoned cart and lead form submission that happens on your business’ site. Data can be overwhelming and intimidating, but understanding data will keep you and your business ahead of the curve!

Understanding GDPR
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Understanding GDPR

Understanding GDPR
 
We’re sure you’ve been receiving privacy notices left and right about GDPR, but what is GDPR really? In 1995, the European Union (EU) adopted the Data Protection Directive – a mandate that regulated the way personal data was processed. Recently, the Data Protection Directive was replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR revamps the way organizations across the EU approach data privacy, making steeper restrictions and fines.

 

What’s Changing?

GDPR is the standard that protects personal data, requiring more transparency, rights, and enforcement than ever. Here are the ways GDPR is changing personal data regulations:

  1. Clearer Language: Rather than explaining privacy policies with lengthy, complicated conditions, businesses are now required to have clear, straightforward privacy policies.
  2. Consent From UsersBefore, businesses operated off of “implied consent” – if a user didn’t respond, they were considered to have given their consent. Now, users have to give affirmative consent before their data can be used by a business.
  3. Increased Transparency: Now, businesses have to clearly inform users about:
    (a) Any data transfers in which data is transferred outside of the EU
    (b) Whether an algorithm is used to make decisions about the customer
    (c) The purpose behind data collection and usage
  4. Stronger Rights For Users: Users will now have more agency over their data as they will be able to
    (a) Move their data from one social media platform to another
    (b) Access/have a copy of their data from a business

    (c) Have their data deleted

    (d) Know when they are the victim of a data breach
  5. Stronger Enforcement for BusinessesGDPR enables 28 data protection authorities to enforce the new laws – including charging fines up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s worldwide turnover.

 

Why Is This Important?

Although these laws are confined to the EU, any business conducted with an individual in the EU has to follow GDPR guidelines. Because of the global nature of business through the internet, many companies don’t realize that, if they have a consumer or potential consumer in the EU, they are bound to the GDPR guidelines.

 

How Do I Follow These Guidelines?

To ensure compliance with the GDPR, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Offer a Clear Privacy PolicyAvoid weedy, legalistic language.
  2. Obtain Consent From UsersIn instances like an email campaign, this may look like sending an opt-in consent form to all users included in your email marketing list.
  3. Be Transparent With Your CustomersWhen you send your customers a survey, make sure to tell them what you’re going to do with the results.
  4. Know Your Customers’ RightsIf you have a data breach, let your customers know about the breach within 72 hours in compliance with the GDPR.
  5. Understand Your LimitsBecause these regulations are new, it is still uncertain how strictly the GDPR is enforced. There is, however, an increase in data protection authorities. Businesses need to understand that there is a high penalty for noncompliance.

 

Check out LSM’s privacy policy today, and let us know if you have any questions regarding our policy or regarding how GDPR affects your business.

Waze-Certified Partner

LSM Partners With Waze

LSM Volunteers at The Nashville Food Project


It’s Summer Thyme, And For LSM That Means Gardening!

On May 31, a team of LSM employees got to show off their green thumbs at The Nashville Food Project, an organization that grows, cooks, and shares food with people in need throughout Nashville.

How does The Nashville Food Project work?

The Nashville Food Projects allows members of the community to get involved in 3 core ways; working in the gardens and growing fresh produce, cooking meals for those in need, or distributing the meals across Davidson County in food trucks.

What did LSM do?

The LSM team chose to get their hands dirty in the garden and were given a quick orientation and tour before diving in. We shoveled compost, planted cilantro, and weeded everything we could get our hands on. All the dirty work under the Tennessee sun was worth it to help our community, and we were even sent home with a few fresh strawberries and stalks of asparagus! Our volunteer leader, Julia, said “the crew from Local Search Masters was a pleasure to host in the garden.  They brought lots of enthusiasm, worked really hard, and got a lot accomplished in the community garden on a very hot, humid day!”

Well, how was it?

All in all, we had a wonderful day The Nashville Food Project’s beautiful garden and hope to go back soon. Maybe we’ll cook or deliver the food next time! Check out our video about the experience here.

Support Nashville’s local nonprofits!

Local Search Masters is proud to have organizations like The Nashville Food Project helping our communities. For more information on The Nashville Food Project, visit www.thenashvillefoodproject.org.

LSM Wins Communicator Award
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LSM Wins ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ Award