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Want to be Successful in Business? Try This!

Emails, text messages, tweets, group chats, messaging apps… digital communication seems to have removed every barrier that previously limited our connections to our clients, coworkers, and customers. Our networks have substantially expanded and our communication is instant thanks to countless digital messaging tools.

It’s fast, but is it effective?

Has online communication replaced face-to-face human connection? Here are 3 reasons why in-person customer service is not just important, it’s necessary for business.


Less room for error

Interacting with a client or coworker in person means better, more effective communication. You can read each other’s body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues to fully understand the meaning behind the message.

How many times have you sent an email and the receiver only skimmed part of it, or missed your message completely? There’s less room for mixed signals or incorrect interpretation when you can see and hear the other person in the conversation.


Make the sale

People don’t buy what you’re selling, they buy why you’re selling it. Meet with your clients in person to make your pitch and let them see exactly why you’re the best solution to their problems. Being in the same room allows for an authentic, trust-building encounter with a certain personal warmth that a digital message just can’t replicate.

According to Harvard Business Review, face-to-face requests were 34 times more likely to be successful than email requests. Selling yourself, your company, or your cause in an email is far more difficult than having an engaging, in-person conversation. It’s hard to beat good ol’ fashioned face-to-face communication.


Keep customer relationships alive

You can prove to your clients how important they are when you visit them in person. Stop by their office or meet them for lunch and let them know, face-to-face, that their business is important to you.

It’s tempting to type up a text or an email and quickly send it off, but meeting with your clients in person can keep your business relationships happy and healthy.

Don’t get us wrong, our office at Condron Media takes full advantage of digital tools for both internal and external communication.

Who doesn’t appreciate the convenience of mobile communication while you’re on the go?

But when you get to the core of the customer relationship, nothing beats human connection.

Which is best for your business? Facebook Page vs. Website

Have you ever thought, “Why do I need a website when I can use social media to promote my company?” Or perhaps you’ve invested in a website and are left wondering, “Why bother getting my business on Facebook?”

With pros and cons to each platform, which should you use?

hands on a computer keyboard

Having your own website means…

You control every detail.

Your website can be customized in ways that Facebook could never allow. Looking for a pop-up window to collect emails? Why not feature special products on the homepage, or start a blog? The choice is yours and the options are unlimited when it comes to a website that you control.

You have a professional appearance online.

There is nothing more professional than a website that is modern, mobile friendly, and easy to navigate. Your credibility and the digital ‘first impression’ of your company will help you stand out.

Using a Facebook Business Page instead is…

Easy & cost effective.

Facebook profiles and business pages are free to create and use. It’s easy to upload photos, videos, posts, and other information from your phone, tablet, or computer. Facebook also makes it easy to find friends and invite them to “like” your page.

Great for sharing content.

News, updates, and other information can spread like wildfire among your Facebook fans. Your audience on social media is most likely active and engaged with your business already. The platform is designed for sharing.

Facebook


The downside

Compared to Facebook, a website is more complex to design and update, and has costs associated with running it. You’ll have to pay for your domain name and other features if you want a custom design or certain security tools. There are also recurring costs for hosting and maintenance that come with a website.

Your visitors will never get your full brand experience from Facebook alone. You’ll have a hard time reaching people who don’t use social media, because they won’t be able to access your information as easily. You are also competing against other businesses and the algorithm, fighting for space on their newsfeed.

So which is best?

The verdict – a healthy mix of both!

Your organization can thrive in the digital space with a professional, modern website and a Facebook Page that mirrors it. You’ll expand your reach across social media without sacrificing the consumer trust that comes with a professional website.

5 Questions to Ask Before Rebranding

Is a rebrand right for your organization?

Here are the key questions to ponder before deciding…

1. Have your products or services changed over time?
Are you in a different business than you used to be? Do your potential customers understand your current offerings?

2. Have consumer expectations changed?
Do your current customers believe your organization has kept pace with best practices in your field?

3. Has your target customer changed?
Do you now appeal to a different customer base? Different age, income, education, geography, or lifestyle?

4. Has your competitive landscape changed?
How do you stack up to your competitors? Are you falling behind them with industry, technology, certifications or relationship innovations?

5. Are you lost in the 80s?
Does your organization look like it’s out of touch with the second decade of the 21st Century? Does your firm look like your parents are running it?


If you answer “YES” to these questions you may want to consider rebranding your organization.

We say “may” because a proper rebrand requires resources: time, money, commitment and cooperation.

Rebranding goes deeper than changing the logo or colors of your business. Since your brand is the experience consumers receive from interaction with your firm, rebranding requires adapting that experience at all levels.

Are you up for it?

Phil’s 2019 Letter

Time to Assess the Year Ahead

Here at Condron Media, we began another great year serving our partners and clients with a note from our founder, Phil Condron:

As a new year dawns, it’s a great time to reassess our business and personal goals.

We should: Assess. Identify. Find. Attack.

We’re not referencing New Year’s resolutions. They often lose their luster and fade into oblivion by early February.

We’re discussing an assessment of where our business objectives stand, which accomplishments should become priorities during the next 12 months, and what personal steps we should undertake to ensure those goals are achieved.

How to start?

In order to look ahead, we need to look at the spent year and assess our strengths and weaknesses. In order to set achievable goals we have to be honest and objective. Landing the McDonald’s corporate account may be a stretch for most of us. So knowing what we have to work with and where opportunities exist gives us the map points to plan our yearly journey. Yes, that’s a simplistic SWOT exercise I’m suggesting.

Matching current resources with realistic goals leads to identification of holes in our business that either have to be filled or covered to move ahead. Often it’s additional people skills that are needed to support renewed growth.

The next step is to determine if those resources should be rented or purchased. Do we need them full time or merely for specific projects? There are truly accomplished pros that prefer operating as independent contractors who offer valuable corporate skills to fill holes on a temporary basis.

So that’s the plan.

-Assess our status.
-Identify new horizons.
-Find the best skills.
-Attack the challenge.

Now don’t just read this. Do it.

-Phil Condron


Note: Phil’s 2019 letter first appeared in our January newsletter.
If you want to subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to read news like this, head over here.

Happy Holidays (and big news) from Condron Media

Happy Holidays!

Condron Media is unwrapping BIG NEWS for the holiday.

That’s right – we’re moving!

New year, new digs.

We want to wish our clients, partners, and friends a happy holiday season.

Condron Media will be ringing in the New Year from our new home in the Abington Forum building in Clarks Green.


As of January, 2019 you can find us here:

120 North Abington Rd
Clarks Green, PA 18411


Our address will be new, but some things never change.

You can still call us at 570-344-6888, and you can still expect the same dedicated service and creative marketing solutions from our team.

We’ll be ringing in the new year from our new office, so remember to update your address book and stay tuned for Phil’s annual letter next month.

We want to thank you for your business.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

A Beginner’s Guide to Google Ads

Consumer expectations are constantly changing across all industries. People expect fast, accurate information at the touch of a button, and customers are searching for products and services in more ways than ever before. Few have the patience to dive any deeper than the first page of search results, which is why results rankings are so crucial for brand exposure online.

So how can your business stay ahead of the competition and in front of the consumer’s line of sight? Your organization can gain increased brand awareness, website traffic, and conversions by appearing on the first search results page through Google Ads.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an online advertising tool that allows your business to gain exposure across numerous devices and networks. The unique network options that Google offers include graphic display ads, YouTube video ads, text-based search ads, or in-app mobile ads, giving you plenty of ways to reach your target customer.

If you use Google like the rest of the world (Google holds 74.5% of the global Search Engine market share, processing 3.5 billion searches everyday), you’ve probably seen sponsored search results before. They appear at the top, side, or sometimes bottom of the results page and are denoted by a small green icon that indicates you’re viewing a paid ad.

How Does It Work?

Ads are intent driven. Your ads can appear if the words people type into the search bar match your list of pre-set keywords. Your keywords need to be relevant to the search term to appear.

So, an effective Ads campaign relies heavily on understanding the customer journey and recognizing the intent behind why a customer might be searching for a particular keyword.

Setting Up

Campaigns need a few basic elements to be effective. First, each campaign requires at least one Ad Group. An ad group organizes your campaign by containing only ads that share a common set of keywords. You determine the keywords you wish to target.

For example, let’s say you run a local coffee shop.

You might have one ad group for “beverages” and another ad group for “breakfast menu items.” Each ad group should then contain multiple ads that target the same set of keywords. The beverage ad group might target coffee, tea, and juice, while the breakfast menu items ad group targets bagels, egg sandwiches, and donuts. The keyword list in each ad group tells Google’s system to show ads for these products only in searches related to them.

While you do have the freedom to lump all of your ads into just one ad group, your campaign will stay more organized and your results will be more effective following a segmented structure with multiple ad groups and multiple ads. We recommend creating at least three rotating ads per ad group. Remember that different ad groups should target different sets of keywords.

The effectiveness of a Google Ads campaign is also based on the quality of the ad, the relevance of the ad copy, the landing page on your website, and your budget.

One of the best budget-friendly features of an Ads campaign is that it follows the pay-per-click model, meaning that the total ad spend is based on clicks, not impressions. This means you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad to get to your website. Each dollar spent drives traffic to your site.

Ads campaigns are most effective when they are managed consistently and adjusted properly over the life of the campaign.


Don’t Let the Details Scare You!

Maybe our Google Ads breakdown made perfect sense to you, or maybe it seems like we’re speaking Greek. We get it. Ads is a fully-customizable tool that certainly has its intricacies.

Don’t let the process scare you away from a potential opportunity to grow your business! Google Ads is a fantastic addition to any digital advertising campaign. Let Condron Media help your organization navigate through the fickle world of search networks and keywords with our digital marketing services.

25 Content Ideas for Social Media

We always say that consistency is the key to successful social media marketing, and that includes keeping an active posting schedule online.

But what happens when you run out of ideas?

Don’t risk losing followers just because you have nothing to post!

Here are 25 social media post ideas that any business can use to spark creativity and keep up engagement.

  1. Behind the scenes footage
  2. Share an article
  3. Tips and tools related to your products
  4. How-To’s or DIY tutorials
  5. Take a poll
  6. Trending hashtags
  7. Throwback Thursday photos or facts
  8. Quotes related to your industry
  9. Statistics about your company
  10. Customer Q and A
  11. Employee spotlight
  12. Snapshots of your workspace
  13. Go live!
  14. Testimonials
  15. Announce an event
  16. Record videos of your products in use
  17. Shout out to a special client
  18. Teaser content of things to come
  19. Contest or giveaway
  20. Share your brand’s origin story
  21. Something seasonal
  22. Ask a question
  23. Promote another platform – newsletter, other social, etc
  24. Company milestones
  25. Thank your followers

Try to always keep fresh ideas flowing across all of your channels!

Tweets That Get Attention

This past year, Twitter doubled its character limit for tweets. Posts were initially condensed to 140 characters, but now people have the freedom to speak freely up to 280 characters.

After this new update with character limits, statistics show posts with greater than 140 characters getting more attention than those of less wording.

The more words you write, the more retweets you can get. But, if you don’t have a lot to say, don’t worry!

There are plenty of ways to get noticed using Twitter. Here’s how you can stand out:


It all begins with your profile.

When viewers click your page, the content on your profile is essential. Use color and photos to your advantage. For example, at Condron Media, we keep our brand colors consistent in our Twitter feed throughout our profile picture, header photo, and posts.

Make sure to be clear, direct, and concise as to the image of your business you are portraying to your audience.

Another way to grab viewers’ attention immediately is by pinning a tweet to your profile. Is your business hosting an event? Promoting a product? Showcasing an award or accomplishment? A pinned tweet becomes the first thing people see when they click to your profile.

 

Personalize your retweets.

Personalizing quoted retweets is one way to grab attention from an audience. Many click the retweet button, but do not necessarily post a blurb with it.

Why would this matter? Adding a comment to a retweet can educate your audience on a topic that you care about. You allow your voice to be heard by stating your opinion.

Consider sharing an article more than once. Use different links to share articles. This will avoid confusion from followers thinking your profile is spam.

Visual content is key. Our brains process visual content 60k times faster than text. When competing with 500 million Twitter posts, your goal should be to attract attention and stand out. Photos and videos are a great tool to incorporate on your profile. At Condron Media, we find it vital to post both visual and text content within most of our posts.

 

Hop on the bandwagon.

If companies or individuals are sharing something you find amusing or relevant to your business profile, find a way to incorporate this content into your posts!

Using hot topics and trending hashtags will draw more viewers to your profile. As a result, you may gain more followers and see higher engagement.

In addition to hot topics and hashtags, links also increase your chances of being retweeted. Share interesting data in hopes that your followers will click the link and enjoy it too!

 

Your audience matters!

Connect and engage with people on Twitter. In addition to sharing articles and personalizing your retweets, your brand should tag, tweet, comment and continue to repost other content to keep a conversation going. This will build a network for yourself and the business.

You want to be memorable. Use clever phrases, slogans and puns to be unique.

Be like your audience. We cannot stress this enough! Speak casually and freely. Show the human side of your business through your social media.

 


What’s your favorite Twitter tip? Leave a comment below and let us know! Or, follow us on Twitter and remember to @ us if you try implementing any of our social media tips.

Our last newsletter had even more tips on maximizing your Twitter account. Are you signed up for our mailing list?

Click here to subscribe and never miss another free newsletter!

Happy Tweeting!

What Does It Take to Create Compelling Ads in Instagram Stories?

Since the premier of Instagram Stories back in 2016, brands have been connecting with their customers in more creative ways than ever. The business community on Instagram has fully embraced advertising opportunities within Stories – the vanishing content feature that rivals Snapchat – with more than half of all business accounts posting to their stories during a typical month. Stories get used by brands to share behind-the-scenes content, Q & A sessions, tutorials, polls, and breaking news. Over 300 people use Instagram Stories everyday!

But what does it take to get an ad on Instagram Stories right? The app’s parent company, Facebook, conducted a study for advertisers about the way people perceive video ads on social. Here are some of the key takeaways from that study, according to Instagram.

– Relevance matters.

On average, top-performing Instagram Stories ads ranked higher on relevance than lower-performing ads. They also grabbed attention, were easy to understand and fit the advertised brand.

– Seconds add up.

On average, top-performing ads in stories were shorter and contained branding earlier than lower performing ads in stories.

– Fast pacing pays off.

Among ads in stories that contained multiple scenes, on average, scenes from top-performing ads were shorter than those from lower-performing ads.

– Product demos boost results.

Only about half of the Instagram Stories ads that were tested showed the advertised product in use, but those that did performed better on key metrics.

– To be effective, bespoke ads must be mobile-optimized.

Nearly half of the ads tested were built specifically for Instagram Stories, but few performed in the top third of all Instagram Stories ads studied — perhaps because they took longer to reveal the key message and contained longer scenes.


Instagram Stories

Whether your business posts to Instagram Stories like a pro or has never taken advantage of the feature before, these tips are worth remembering. Shorter, attention-grabbing ads that are optimized for mobile will be top performers. Let your creativity shine by using stickers, filters, and hashtags, or try out Instagram’s newest updates – the emoji slider and the questions sticker!

Maybe you want your business to succeed on social media, but just don’t have the time to post. Condron Media can help. Get in touch with us to see which of our digital marketing services can fit your needs at hi@condronmedia.com.

Launching a Social Media Campaign? Remember These 3 Tips!

1. Choose The Right Platform for Your Audience

The first rule of running a successful social media campaign is knowing your audience. Ask yourself: Who are you trying to reach with your branded message? Understanding the identity of your target audience will allow you to determine which social platforms will work best for your message.

It’s tempting to make an account on every single social media site in existence, but not always necessary. Choose wisely. If your audience is more likely to be on one specific network, don’t waste your time on a different site where your posts go unseen.

For example, 46% of U.S. adults log on to Twitter daily while nearly 70% of U.S. adults are on Facebook. You need to look carefully at each platform, and determine where your target audience is spending the majority of their time. Choose the right platform for your message by centering your strategy where your audience is.

2. Keep Content Relevant And Engaging

After you’ve identified your audience and chosen a channel to launch your social media campaign, you need to be be selective in the content you share. Your posts should be relevant, engaging, informative, and interesting to your audience, all while maintaining the core of the campaign message.

Remember to share posts that your followers will want to interact with, like colorful photos, fun facts, reviews of your products, or tips that complement the services you provide. Successful social media campaigns will forge a personal connection between your business and the consumer, so remember to give your content a personal touch.

3. Analyze Your Metrics And Make Changes Along The Way

Most social media channels will offer insights into the reach and level of engagement of your posts. You can gather all kinds of information about the content you publish, the people who see it, and the success rate of your efforts.

You can gain further insights into the users who comprise your audience, as well. What time of day is your audience engaging in your content? Who shares, likes, or comments on your posts? Use these metrics to determine what’s working, and what isn’t.

More importantly, don’t be afraid to make changes! If something isn’t working, try a new tactic or make changes accordingly. Use all available feedback to continuously improve your strategy.

Over 70% of small businesses use social media, which means that regardless of which channels you choose, you’re going to be fighting for space in the crowded social media landscape.

A social media presence doesn’t guarantee success, which is why we stress the importance of strategy at Condron Media. We work with our clients to develop custom posting schedules and create unique, relevant content. We offer a range of services that include planning, process, full creative and publishing management to fit businesses of every size. Want to learn more about our social media services? Give us a call to start working with us on your next project or campaign!