Google Voice Assistant AI May Start Calling Businesses to Confirm In-Stock Delivery

From Amazons Alexa to Apples Suri and Microsoft’s Cortana, voice assistant counterparts in these tech giants have slowly become a staple within our society. Now, Google is evolving its voice assistant ‘Duplex’ into an AI (artificial intelligence) tool that can do more than tell us the weather or answer trivia questions. 

The Google Assistant – Duplex may soon be calling local businesses to check for inventory availability. This update has been seen on a support page for Duplex concerning appointment booking information, “Google Assistant will only call you when a customer wants to book an appointment or when it needs to check your business hours or the status of the in-demand inventory.” 

What’s the Use-Case?

The full intentions and use cases of Google’s Duplex is unclear, and they haven’t done much to educate SMBs (small to medium businesses) about its capabilities or functionalities. One of the issues that Google will face when getting the attention of SMBs for adoption is that most owners won’t be picking up the phone. 

Larger companies have IVR systems that would most likely have blocking technology that would block Duplex. However, another service from Google called CallJoy has proved that demands for this kind of technology are on the rise. CallJoy is a virtual agent that can semi-replace a call administrative assistant or SMB owners who don’t want to answer the phone (we’re not sure if this is a good or bad thing). 

It’s a likely scenario in the near future that we may see Google’s Duplex calling about an inventory query to a company that uses Google’s CallJoy as their call assistant. We have all heard or B2C and B2B business relations, well this possibly could take this to another dimension. I suppose you could call it, B2-AI or AI-2-AI business?

Google Forecasting In-Stock Demand by Searches Performed 

Recently Google had noted in a blog post that “Searches for ‘in-stock’ grew more than 70 percent globally from the week for March 28 to April 4, as consumers sought to avoid e-commerce shipping delays.” Additionally, Google has been increasingly emphasizing real-time inventory availability, and pushing curbside pickup (due to COVID-19), and “pick up today” in their shopping ads. 

The retail economy has been changing from brick-and-mortar to online-based because of convenience, customization, price, and many other factors. However, with the danger of picking up the virus in many areas, consumers are avoiding health risks by minimizing visits to the stores.

Trends in Local Shopping by Utilizing Online Orders

The pattern we most likely will see starting to emerge will be a mentality of “buy online and pick up locally” with shoppers who just want the best options and “get in and get out.” Google knows this, which is why they are initiating Duplex’s AI inventory systems for SMBs. 

Google’s Duplex has interesting possibilities and may evolve to create expanding services related to digital marketing, sales functionalities, or new third-party integrations. Although, we most likely are several years away from that. Duplex could solve the problem of old and inaccurate product listings in search while also helping to solve SMBs Google My Business information, which many owners are neglecting.

If the product-inquiry function works, it could also assist in generating additional sales for local businesses, if not for increasing revenue and staying competitive, for survival and escaping becoming irrelevant. 

If you need assistance in improving your website and increasing your digital footprint and marketing, we are here to help! Our team of staff is locally employed, in-house, with a dedication to detail. Call Creative Programs and Systems; open Monday – Friday 9 am to 5 pm (810) 224-5252.

Working from Home Remotely – What You Need to Know

The ability to work remotely outside of the office has been obtainable for a few decades; however, this technology has become more mainstream in today’s work society. Employers are finding it easier to allow their employees to work remotely as they discover it’s relatively simple to set up remote access with only a computer and internet connection.

Many corporations have continued to grow with the acceptance of remote positions available. Although this technology is still a new concept to many, some may find it intimidating. Consulting with a professional can make this process much simpler.

Using a VPN Connection

A VPN (virtual private network) is a standard component within remote access solutions.  A VPN allows remote users to establish a secure connection within a computer network. It functions by using a public network (typically an internet connection) to connect remote sites. Virtual connections are then routed from a company’s private network or a third-party security service provider to users of the system.

Private data can be transmitted across unknown networks without the worry of a security breach within a company’s internal data or assets. A VPN connection is initiated by a remote user logging into a corporate server and then confirming details based on the security information provided by either a password, IP address, or SSL certificate.

Using Remote Desktop Applications

Another option that allows for remote access is third-party software programs specializing in remote technology. This software is designed for virtually accessing your work computing equipment. There are many companies online that offer software downloads with security options and additional features.  However, it is best to consult with an IT professional when considering software options for your company’s needs. Consulting with a professional will ensure that the correct security features are properly integrated and installed within your company’s infrastructure.

Creative Communications

One disadvantage of working remotely can be the lack of face-to-face interaction that is present in an office atmosphere. Having the right technology installed can overcome this obstacle and offers enormous benefits. Video conferencing technology has become a great tool to reincorporate the human element of working remotely. Scheduling daily or weekly video calls to see your colleagues can help boost productivity and morale. As discussed previously, there are many third-party software applications to make life easier when working remotely.  However, it is advised to speak with an IT consultant before installing any remote applications to your infrastructure.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house. We never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming, and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS, check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

What Does an ADA Compliant Website Mean?

You might have heard the term ADA Compliant, referencing the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law under the first George Bush in 1990. The bill was enacted to prohibit discrimination against those with physical disabilities to ensure fair and equal access (or accommodation thereof) to public places. Initially, the focus was on eliminating barriers and providing access for all, to all businesses, schools, and public areas. Recently, “Places of Public Accommodation” under Title III of ADA, has come under scrutiny as to whether or not websites and mobile apps are included within these laws.

The Threat of ADA Non-Compliance

Websites with significant inaccessible components can be seen as discriminatory against persons with disabilities. In the recent past, there has been an influx of lawsuits threatening the disbarment of schools, health care providers, and agencies that accept government funds for operation. These litigations have scared a lot of businesses and municipalities to update their website and make them ADA compliant, sometimes falling victim to online extortionists who charged an obscene amount of money by taking advantage of people’s fears of a lawsuit. 

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

While standards were provided for businesses to accommodate those with physical handicaps, we are still waiting for confirmed guidance for the internet, web-based, and mobile applications. In the meantime, guidelines have been established and are frequently referred to in court. 

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) who develops international web standards, originally came up with recommendations in 1999 called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG 1. As the web and digital technology expanded, WCAG 2 was released in 2008, which also widen the range of people with disabilities it serves to include those who are blind, deaf, learning and cognitively disabled, and those with limited mobility. WCAG 2.1 was released in 2018 to fill in the gaps further and includes mobile responsiveness and other guidelines for those who suffer from poor vision. Both WCAG 2 and 2.1 have valuable principles that every business owner should abide by; however, the 2.0 version is considered a baseline for accessibility, and the 2.1 version should be used as your testing standard to improve usability for all. FYI…Another round of updates is already in the works, known as “Silver” or WCAG 3.

Grey Area in ADA Website Compliance 

Courts have come to varying conclusions whether coverage is limited to physical spaces and whether a company’s website is included in these requirements. Currently, neither Congress nor the Department of Justice (the primary federal government agency responsible for enforcing ADA) has adequately clarified the scope of ADA in terms of website accessibility compliance for private companies. While WCAG 2, Level AA (the success criteria level that most courts generally rely on) is frequently referenced in litigation, some courts have interpreted Title III of the ADA to include websites as public domains that should be accessible to all, while others have not. There seems to be no ADA web-based standard for private entities and for companies who employ less than 15 people; especially, for states like Michigan, who have yet to adopt legislation governing website compliance. 

Perks of Being ADA Compliant

The most significant incentive for meeting compliance is knowing that you have done all that you could to be fair and opportunistic for all people, no matter their skill level. It’s just good business practice to have an online presence that can be received by all. Also, the WCAG guidelines have a lot of great suggestions to help make your website read and look better to the end-user, which, if it is engaging to visitors, the longer they remain on your site will essentially increase your sales. Another consideration in becoming ADA compliant is that we, Creative Programs and Systems (CPS), study the trends of Search Engine Optimization and predict that compliance will soon be a ranking factor for organic SERP placement. SERP is the natural placement of your business listing when queried in search engines, not paid advertisements. It’s a win-win!

There are no automatic or instant solutions available from a widget or a plugin to make your website ADA compliant. Updating your website to become ADA compliant is a process and you can start by breaking down sections of your website to make it more manageable. But, really getting a head start is something and CPS can help get you there. It boils down to having proper, clean coding and best practices in software development from a professional team of programmers who can interpret federal and state policies and deliver a product that not only meets compliance but is also modern and informative. If you seek to obtain a reputable website developer, such as CPS, to ensure full compliance with WCAG 2.1, contact us today. CPS also provides Managed IT services, SEO and digital marketing, and customized programming and software that meets your needs. To learn more, visit www.cpsmi.com.

Using Header Tags in SEO

There is no denying that header tags still serve an essential role in SEO for your website and the users who visit it. SEO can influence your rankings through Google by making your content more natural and enjoyable for a visitor to read. Headers also provide keyword-rich context about the content on the site which the search engine uses to find you. SEO continues to evolve and the heading tags should be optimized to provide the best results in today’s world of change.

History of SEO Heading Tags

HTML header tags are created to separate the headings (H1) and sub-headings (H2-H6) of a website page from the rest of the content. Heading tags (H1, H2, H3) were legitimate ranking factors in the early 2000s and it was required to add keywords into the heading if you wanted to rank. This practice in SEO has changed quite a bit in recent years.

SEO Habits Vs. Useful Practice

Adding keywords to heading tags has become a habit more than actual usefulness in SEO. Taking a closer look at top ranking websites shows evidence that header tags no longer require keywords to succeed anymore. Another example of an old habit is the belief that H1 headings are more important than H2 headings or other listed tags after that. This belief 15 years ago would have been a real ranking factor but presently, this is no longer the case. Currently, the primary purpose of heading tags is to explain what the content on the page is about. It helps visitors understand what the text or images are portraying on the website.

Following Best SEO Practice

To improve your website’s visibility and grow your online traffic, it is vital to continue the practice of comprehensive and thoughtful SEO strategy. Google along with other search engines are shifting from authority rankings towards the quality of content that is provided. The structure, relevance to the topic, and the whole user experience are all taken into consideration to be successful online in today’s world. A few essential SEO practices that you should include on your website are:

  • Create a unique title and meta description that explain the page’s content easily and accurately.
  • Use the most descriptive and important keywords in header tags but don’t overuse them; they should be used naturally for a visitor to follow and read easily.
  • Provide content to a webpage that is meaningful and accurate. The content should provide specific information to meet the user’s intent and be found in search queries. Long-form content appears to be ideal for backlink acquisition; however, John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, has stated publicly that word count itself is not a ranking factor.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing. All work is done in-house and we never outsource our services – from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development to search engine optimization and paid advertising. Our professionals provide results. For more information, check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Marketing Your Business Through Social Media

It is very important for a business to choose proper marketing strategies to invest in their company to be successful. One of the most useful and cost-effective marketing tools inside of digital marketing a small business can use to reach their target audience is through social media. What makes social media so powerful for marketing? It has been studied that over 97% of businesses are using it to reach their audiences, below are several reasons why.

Your Customers and Competition Are on Social Media

One main reason for small businesses to be utilizing social media for their marketing strategies is the fact that many of your customers are spending their time on these channels already. Studies have shown that 70% of the U.S population has at least 1 form of social media accounts created. With the great mass amount of people accessing these platforms, sometimes even multiple times each day, it creates a great opportunity for businesses that are wanting to reach online audiences.  Not only are your potential customers using social media but so are many competitors. No matter what style of industry, or who the targeted audience is, social media can impact your business marketing. To remain competitive is important to build a presence online in social media to present your brand in a unique way to show your industry expertise and knowledge.

Social Media Marketing Is Cost-Effective

Choosing to use social media for your marketing needs will help you cut costs for advertisement without sacrificing results. Social media will cost you time that you invest in creating and posting content more than the actual dollar amount associated. Even just a simple few hours a week focused on your account can see great results. If your company decides to use social media advertising as part of your marketing strategy, depending on the goals of the campaign it can still be inexpensive to run paid ads on media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Improve Search Engine Rankings

When increasing your online appearance through social media, there is a good chance you are also, in turn, improving your search engine optimization at the same time. Search engines such as Google may use social media presence as a factor in website ranking. Brands that tend to be successful have healthy interactive social media accounts that can flag their accounts as valuable and trusting. Search engines also pay attention to behavior on social media that has content with links and social signals, such as likes, and shares associated with the posts as well. Ranking factors are in a constant change but having an updated and well-maintained social media account will typically always bring positive effects.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

The Difference of a Custom-Made Website

When owning a business, one of your top priorities is to find the best way for your customers to find your company and promote the desired appearance to provide a unique first impression to potential new customers and will create interest for them to reach out to begin working with. The way technology is today, it is important for your company website to display your company in a professional, creative, and responsive way that will set you apart from your competitors. Unfortunately, in the web design market, many phrases of “custom design” are used but not to its true meaning. What makes a website truly custom made? Let us take a closer look at web development and understand what will be the best website for your business needs.

Using Templates

One of the most common ways to start a website is by using a simple site such as WordPress or other companies such as Wix or Squarespace that provide a theme that allows a person to choose different templates that can be purchased and edited with their personal business information. These type of website creations are chosen mostly due to the low startup cost aspect as well as development times are much shorter. However, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for as it’s always said. There are disadvantages that should be considered when using these website creators as well. Many other businesses could be using the very same templates that you have chosen so this will remove the uniqueness and will not stand out as much from competitors.

Choosing A Custom Design

Quality web design is an art and science incorporated together. The placement of pictures, videos, shortcuts, etc is all arranged in a specific format that has been analyzed for industry trends and to better target a business audience. The main goal of a customized website is for the visitors to gain a complete visual representation of a company and what they have to offer. Having a custom website will also allow the possibilities for specific features to be utilized as well whether you are needing to incorporate e-commerce capabilities or be able to utilize CRM software to input data from a website. Another large aspect that will impact a custom-designed website is your SEO placement. Google can recognize a site’s uniqueness and in turn, will promote a higher rank than a standard template website.

Weighing the Options

Making business decisions is not always easy and of course, everyone is always hoping they are making the right choice based on the facts that they are presented with. A company that is just starting out and needs to get a website up fast and inexpensively may get away with a template or website with starter sites available. Keep in mind, these templates should be used as just a simple stepping stone and the only way to reach the top of your business’s potential is by choosing a custom design. Several websites will state that custom website design is dying however that is far from the actual truth. There is no doubt, as time continues on there are more templates being used each day but this will only give a custom-designed website even more of an advantage, it’s better to stand out than to blend in with the rest!

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Benefits Of Managed IT Services for Your Computer Needs

Running a business of any size is no small task for a person to accomplish. It can be quite stressful to always be deciding what is best for the company and finding new ways to make it more profitable and efficient. Knowing the ins and outs of your business is key to being successful but what happens when you require additional services such as computer IT that personnel at your business are not familiar with? We live in a world full of computers that are designed to make our lives and businesses easier to run and maintain but when the systems potentially go down or need upgrades as time continues to change rapidly with technology you will find there is a new problem to resolve. Outsourcing your IT needs or more specifically using managed IT will benefit your business dramatically and below you will find exact reasons why.

Preventative solutions that reduce risk

Every business investment will require some type of risk. When utilizing a managed IT company to service your computer IT needs, much of the risk is removed since you will gain the expertise and knowledge of the professionals in the IT field and will understand the compliance and security issues to be on the lookout for. Also, with the expert knowledge, precautions will be installed and will receive better performance with little to no downtime. Daily system scans are done on the entire network of the company to verify no security issues or will be informed of smaller issues that can be repaired faster than if a problem was neglected and became much larger in turn saving more money.

Predictable and Controlled Expenses

A customized plan will be designed by the managed IT consultants to provide the best solutions for your business no matter size if a small business or a global industry leader. Considerations that will help determine the plans that are enough for your company will be details discussed such as budgets, timelines, and future upgrades that are required to take place.  Once the proper plan is decided, it will give a peace of mind knowing that your IT will be able to maintain and provide quality service that you will not have to question what will be covered and what repairs won’t. Having managed service providers also help minimize the likelihood of inconvenient, and sometimes very expensive network disasters. 

Quicker Service

When businesses work with managed IT consultant’s they will receive the quickest response time support. Wide range of services include 24/7 system and network monitoring, server/ workstation installation and maintenance, security audits, employee troubleshooting and much more. At CPS, we also have a customer support portal that allows customers to request immediate support through in house IT ticket system that consultants can receive day or night. Proper monitoring of systems will inform your IT professionals when an issue is found before it becomes a large issue to save more downtime as well. Communication with software and hardware vendors can be done directly through managed IT company so that a business owner does not have to take additional time trying to understand technical terms or complicated conversations.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

What Exactly Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a very broad term. In the age where computers run our entire lives, most people not working in the industry itself don’t know the full reach that digital marketing encompasses. On the outside it seems, at its most simple, to be the act of increasing more online exposure for a business or brand. That is essentially what digital marketing is, but it really is so much more than that. Let us explore some major elements of digital marketing to more properly understand the scope of it as both an industry and an idea in and of itself.

Email marketing:

                Email marketing is an extremely popular form of digital marketing that only gets stronger over time. The benefits of this method are vast but among the most important is the fact that it is in real time. When compared to print marketing such as fliers and posters, email marketing does not require outside factors like print shops to create and deliver the material. Marketing through email is a quick process that keeps you and your client more up to speed and regular, so nobody gets left behind with content and material.

Search placement:

                Search placement can also be called “search engine optimization” or “SEO”, but all mean roughly the same thing: making your company’s website more searchable on the internet. Since the act of searching for something via search engines like Google takes up the great majority of online searching activity, it’s crucial that your website shows up in results after specific keywords relevant to your business are searched. With tools such as Google Ads companies can keep track of keywords people are searching and where their own website ends up in those searches. Companies can use these metrics to shape and evolve their online presence to better place on the most popular search engines online.

Blogs:

                After your company collects and understands some great keywords that puts their site high up on Google’s search results, you can use those keywords to create a blog to further utilize those terms. When writing articles for a blog, it can benefit your website greatly when you have articles that incorporate those important keywords because doing so puts more links to your site in the search results that aren’t your specific homepage. If a potential customer is searching for a certain service you provide but doesn’t know very much about the service, it benefits both you and the customer if your site can provide a blog article directly explaining the nature of that service. Keeping up with blog posts weekly or monthly provides a database of specific topics any potential customer can find through searching for similar topics. The more blog posts you post, the better exposure the website should get in general.

Analytics:

                A program like Google Analytics can give any business owner the keys to a wealth of metrics and data that can give that owner a much better understanding of who visits the site and what their goal is to visit. If your company targets a certain demographic using analytics can make it easy to see charts and tables of data directly related to that exact audience. Analytics can also open your eyes to a possible wider spectrum of audiences you may not have expected, which you can then use to grow your business. Simple metrics like age range of the visitor or even which mobile device was used to visit can help any business alter any methods to target the audience best suited for their product.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Digital Marketing Trends Not to Be Ignored In 2019

Marketing trends have changed more in the last 5 years than any other prior period of time and don’t show any signs of letting up anytime soon.  No longer can marketers rely solely on a campaign of generic paid advertisement or perform basic website optimization; in 2019 the digital marketing landscape has expanded to encompass detailed SEO, Social Media Integration, Content Marketing, detailed Paid Advertising, and more.  No longer can we dismiss the reality of artificial intelligence; it is an important part of the future of advertising online.  In this installment on the future of digital marketing, we will discuss key trends you will want to implement into your strategic plans.

Search Engine Optimization A/B Split Testing

One of the most important trends you will want to implement is the use of A/B split testing.  This allows you to isolate variables that increase traffic volumes to your website in an effort to target your approach to changes in website content.  Different online tools can be utilized to point out areas of potential, examples where page impressions are high but the CTR is low, to improve in order to increase clicks and traffic. 

Artificial Intelligence

It is estimated that by the year 2020, AI technology will penetrate almost every new software products and services.  AI is effective in analyzing different consumer behaviors and search patterns.  Data is pulled from various social media platforms, blog posts, and such in a manner that helps companies understand how customers are finding their products and services. 

Programmatic Advertising

This type of advertising allows AI to automate the buying of ad products in order to target more specific audiences.  Real-time bidding opportunities, as with most all real-time strategies, allow more efficient, quicker use of data relating in higher conversions and lower costs to acquire them.

Chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs that are designed to simulate conversations with human users via the internet, text, or phone.  This would allow your company to be in constant contact with customers, no matter what time or day it is.  Chatbots allow for 24/7 responsiveness. 

Personalization

In order to stand out above your competitors it is crucial that you personalize your marketing approach including content, emails, products, services, and more. Generic ads are annoying whereas personalized ads are appealing.  When emails are sent based on personal behaviors they are at least 3 times more effective in boosting sales than mass e-mail blasts.

Video Marketing

Another important trend to prepare for has to do with video marketing which doesn’t just involve YouTube.  It is proven that video marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn causes higher engagement with a wider audience. 

Influencer Marketing

Influencers are well-known celebrities from Instagram and YouTube with a large number of followers. Similar to word of mouth promotion, we are more likely to take recommendations from people we trust. Influencer marketing has been proven to be more effective than corporate advertising. 

Micro-Moments

These are the times when we turn to devices like smartphones to take immediate action.  Moments where we want information right away and do not what to wait for it.  Marketers need to take advantage of the moments when people are searching for products, services, or information.

Digital marketing, just like SEO, is ever changing.  No two strategies are the same and therefor there isn’t a one size fits all approach that can be taken when providing comprehensive digital marketing strategies for clients.  It is important to keep an eye out and be observant to up and coming trends that are occurring around you. 

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Traditional Marketing Methods Don’t Translate into the Digital Era – CPS Can Help!

Can you even remember what it was like not to have access to the internet everywhere you went?  It is hard to imagine there is anyone out there that is not using the internet.  The number of internet users rises on a daily basis which has led to a change in the way consumer shop which means that the way businesses conduct business must also change.  Offline marketing is not nearly as effective as it once was.  Because we use marketing to connect with people when they are ready to buy, where they are ready to buy it is important that companies expand their reach into the digital world.

There is not really any way to compare print marketing with digital marketing.  They are two very different beasts however; in theory they have the same objective – to promote your products or services.  They just have very different methods of achieving this end result. 

Digital marketing is all encompassing.  It includes all marketing efforts on electronic devices and the internet.  It allows businesses to use digital channels like Google & Bing (search engines), Facebook & Twitter (social media), Email, YouTube, PPC, and other websites to connect with users. 

In order for digital marketing to be effective, a campaign must support the goals of the customer.  Connecting with users where they are and when they are ready to purchase online requires a spectrum of tactics and it is up to business owners to decide how each method can be used to market their company. 

Examples of Digital Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay Per Click
  • Email Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Online Public Relations

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process that is followed when optimizing your website in order to land on the top of the first page of a search engine.  The first organic positions have proven to receive more traffic than websites that are placed on the second+ SERP.

SEO can be done on a website pages, off of websites, and on the backend of websites. 

On page SEO involves content creation, the text which users will reach when opening a page of your website.  Keyword research is performed to ensure your content is made up of search terms users are entering to find you.  Higher placement on search engines occurs when your website provides the solution to the users need.

Off page SEO involves the creation of inbound links. This is what gives your website authority.  The number of links back to your site from outside sources shows search engines that you have clout, which increases rankings for the search terms you care about. 

The last aspect is technical SEO.  Every website has a backend.  There are a number of platforms developers can use to create your website.  Here at CPS we use custom coded backends which means that our developers hand code each aspect of your website unlike template platforms like WordPress that use plugins.  This allows us to better focus on the technical aspects of SEO including: image sizing, structured data markup, CSS file optimization (all 3 increase the speed at which your website loads) and Meta tags (which helps with optimization).  

All three – On Page, Off Page and Technical search engine optimization are used in Google’s algorithm for placement in their SERP.

Content Marketing

Through the creation of and dispersing of different types of content assets business are able to increase brand awareness, boost traffic, and generate new leads, all of which should lead to more customers. There are several channels to create content marketing including:

  1. Blog Creation and Regular Posting
  2. Ebooks, Whitepapers, and Case Studies
  3. Infographics

Social Media Marketing

Through the use of regular updates using social media companies can increase brand awareness, boost traffic, and generate new leads, all of which should lead to more customers.  There are a number of different social media outlets that companies can use that all attract users in a slightly different way.  I am sure all of you by now have heard of Facebook however there are a number of other SM products including: Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Paid Search & Display Advertising (Pay Per Click, PPC)

PPC is a popular method of advertising your website that involves publishing ads targeted to researched keywords.  When the ad is clicked, and a user enters your website you are then charged a nominal fee. Pay per click through Google Ads is the most common PPC.  Advertising ads are placed within Google search and display networks which includes Google SERP and YouTube.  Placement is determined by your budget, keywords QS, targeted ads, and competition.  Other Pay Per Click channels include Facebook, Twitter, & Linkedin.

Affiliate Marketing

Performance-based advertising includes when you receive commission for promoting someone else’s product or service on your website.  This includes video ad hosting using YouTube Partner Program and posts of affiliate links on your SM accounts. 

Marketing Automation

This type of marketing uses software to provide basic operations without users entering information uniquely.  Software enters repetitive information for users so that they do not have to do it manually in several different locations.  These scheduled automatic postings can be done in several previously mentioned areas of marketing including:

  • Newsletters
  • Social Media Posts
  • Emails
  • Lead-Nurturing Exchanges
  • Tracking and Reporting.

Email Marketing

Email is a common method that all companies use in communication with prospective, new, and current clients.   Emails can be sent often or infrequently.  Emails keep your company in constant contact with people that have previously expressed interest in your business.  If you are looking for an inexpensive way to promote an event or upcoming sale an email marketing campaign is a terrific marketing tool to use.  There are many types of emails that can be sent including:

  • Newsletters
  • Updated Blog Posts
  • A Follow Up to Website Visitors
  • Loyalty Program Member Emails
  • Customer Nurturing Emails Such as Recipes or Tips

Online Public Relations (PR)

Public relations online is similar to that of PR in the “real” world.  It gives business the opportunity to earn coverage through different digital mediums.  Traditional PR might include volunteering at a local food bank that a news outlet is covering.  You are giving to the community and in return your good will is publicized.  Online PR is similar, the channels commonly used include:

  • Social Media – Talking to journalists on different social media platforms allows you to form relationships and grows your media opportunities
  • Online Reviews – Engaging with customers that leave both positive and negative reviews allows you to add a human element to your brand and protect your company’s reputation.
  • Replies to Comments – Just as you respond to online reviews, responding to comments left on Blog posts, social media content, and other types of website materials gives you an outlet to engage with and produce conversation that centers around your company website.

Long gone are the days of approaching marketing as a one size fits all process.  In the digital age that currently exists it is important to meet users where they are and show them how your products and services meet their needs.  Everyone has a different approach when using the internet which is why digital marketing is key to ensuring that you are reaching customers where they are and when they are ready to act.  By creating a digital marketing strategy that encompasses a variety of means you are sure to reach a wide variety of users with your digital message.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.