Four States Small Business Blog

The Relationship Between Web Design and Content Marketing

Posted by Brett James on February 27, 2024 at 7:07 AM
In the digital era, where online presence is paramount, the synergy between web design and content marketing plays a pivotal role in determining a brand's success. In this blog, we'll delve into the profound impact of web design on content marketing, assess whether content marketing is truly worth the investment, and explore the costs associated with this powerful digital strategy.

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Topics: Website Design, Digital Marketing

Why You Should Be Combining Radio Advertising with Digital Targeting

Posted by Mark Zimmer on February 13, 2024 at 8:16 AM
Finding the perfect blend of channels is crucial for a successful marketing strategy in the ever-evolving advertising landscape. Radio and digital advertising, each with unique strengths, create a symbiotic relationship that significantly enhances your brand's reach and impact. This blog delves into the dynamic synergy between radio and digital advertising, with a particular focus on how radio can elevate a business to top-of-mind status.

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Topics: Radio Advertising, Digital Marketing

5 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Important for Small Business

Posted by Kylie Davis on January 31, 2024 at 7:45 AM
In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, the business landscape has evolved dramatically. Small companies no longer rely solely on traditional marketing methods to reach their target audience. Instead, they have embraced the power of digital marketing to propel their growth and success. In this blog, we'll delve into why digital marketing is indispensable for your small business!

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Topics: Digital Marketing

Empower Your Website with PocketBase

Posted by Jason Dittmer on October 17, 2023 at 7:00 AM
The web team at Zimmer Marketing is continually working to push the boundaries of what is possible for business websites, to increase capabilities for smaller companies, and to improve user experience for their customers. Most recently, we've been expanding our horizon with the power of   PocketBase  as a backend for our advanced Svelte websites!

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Topics: Website Design, Digital Marketing, Online Sales

7 Ways to Use Your Marketing Budget Wisely

Posted by Brett James on September 12, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and it's the bridge that connects your products or services to your target audience. However, in today's competitive business landscape, it's not just about spending money on marketing; it's about using your marketing budget wisely to achieve maximum results. In this blog, we'll explore strategies and tips on how to make the most of your marketing budget and get the best return on investment.

1. Set Clear Goals

Before allocating your marketing budget, you need to establish clear, measurable goals. These goals should align with your overall business objectives. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Having well-defined goals will help you allocate your budget more effectively, as each goal may require different marketing channels and tactics.

2. Analyze Past Performance

Reviewing your past marketing campaigns can provide valuable insights. Analyze which strategies and channels yielded the best results and which ones fell short. This data can help you make informed decisions when planning your budget allocation. It allows you to invest more in what works and avoid wasting money on ineffective strategies.

3. Prioritize Your Target Audience

Not all marketing channels and tactics will be equally effective for reaching your target audience. Understanding your audience's preferences, behaviors, and demographics is essential. Invest in research to create detailed buyer personas, and then allocate your budget to channels and strategies that are most likely to reach and engage your ideal customers.

4. Diversify Your Marketing Mix

While focusing on your core strategies is essential, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Diversifying your marketing mix can help you reach a broader audience and mitigate risks. Consider allocating your budget across various channels, such as content marketing, digital display advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and SEO. This way, you can hedge against changes in the marketing landscape or algorithm updates that may impact one channel.

5. Leverage Data and Analytics

Utilize marketing analytics such as   Google Search Console to track traffic to your business website and gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Additionally, monitoring traffic stats for your website can help you make informed decisions about what kinds of content to produce moving forward. 
 

6. Invest in Content Marketing

Content marketing is a cost-effective strategy that can yield significant long-term benefits. Producing high-quality, valuable content engages your audience and improves your search engine rankings, driving organic traffic. Allocate a portion of your budget to content creation, including blog posts, videos, or audio content such as podcasts. 

7. Monitor Your ROI

Regularly evaluate your marketing ROI to ensure you're getting the best results from your budget. Calculate the return on investment for each campaign and channel and adjust your budget allocation accordingly. Over time this approach will help refine your marketing strategy and maximize your budget's impact over time.

Build an Effective Marketing Plan

Zimmer Marketing has been busy helping businesses transform into powerful local brands with multi-channel marketing campaigns. We can help you determine the right marketing blend for your needs and ensure your brand has a consistent message that resonates with your audience and drives growth.

 
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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Advertising

The Ins and Outs of Search Engine Marketing

Posted by Kylie Davis on August 15, 2023 at 7:00 AM
In the ever-expanding digital landscape, businesses constantly seek innovative ways to connect with their target audience. One effective strategy that has gained popularity over the years is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This marketing technique empowers businesses to reach potential customers precisely when searching for products or services online. In this blog, we'll explore the benefits and limitations of Search Engine Marketing and how it can best be used to help your business grow.
 

What Is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing, often called SEM, is a digital marketing strategy to enhance a website's visibility in search engine results pages through paid advertising. This approach involves leveraging pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, where you can bid on specific keywords relevant to your products or services. When a user searches for those keywords, the ads appear prominently in the search results, driving targeted traffic to your business website.
 

Components of SEM

  1. Keyword Research: The foundation of a successful SEM campaign lies in thorough keyword research. Identifying the right keywords ensures that your ads are displayed to users actively seeking what you offer.
  2. Ad Creation: Crafting compelling and relevant ads is crucial. Well-structured ads with attention-grabbing headlines and concise descriptions encourage users to click through to your website. Ad extensions, such as site links and callouts, can further enhance your ad's visibility and engagement. When placing your ad, PPC platforms consider your ad quality and ability to meet users' needs.
  3. Bidding Strategy: Platforms like Google Ads utilize an automated auction system where advertisers set bidding parameters that will be used to compete for ad placement. A well-thought-out bidding strategy takes into account factors like budget, keyword competitiveness, and desired outcomes. 
  4. Landing Pages: Driving traffic to your website is just the beginning. The landing page where users land after clicking on your ad is pivotal in conversion. An optimized, user-friendly landing page that aligns with the ad's message can significantly improve conversion rates.
 

Benefits of SEM

  1. Immediate Visibility: Unlike organic search efforts, SEM delivers rapid results. Once your campaign is live, your ads are instantly displayed to users searching for your keywords.
  2. Targeted Reach: SEM allows you to precisely target your audience based on factors such as location, device, demographics, and even specific times of the day.
  3. Measurable Results: SEM provides a wealth of data, enabling you to track key metrics such as clicks, impressions, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI). This data-driven approach facilitates continuous optimization for better performance.
  4. Cost Control: With PPC campaigns, you have control over your budget. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it a cost-effective way to reach potential customers.
 

Challenges and Considerations

While SEM offers numerous benefits, there are challenges to keep in mind:
  1. Competition: Popular keywords can have fierce competition, potentially leading to higher bid prices.
  2. Constant Monitoring: Regular monitoring and optimization are essential to ensure your campaigns remain effective and budget-friendly.
  3. Volatile Traffic: Once you significantly reduce your budget or stop an SEM campaign altogether, your web traffic will decline or vanish.
 

Organic SEO and SEM Work Together

Because SEM campaigns are typically more costly and have no staying power once a campaign ends, it is advisable to always pursue organic search engine optimization before or in addition to SEM. Organic web traffic is generally less expensive, and once you have a piece of optimized content on your website, it will continue to bring in traffic for years to come. Search engine marketing can increase your traffic at the margins, but coupling SEO and SEM will protect your website from the extreme volatility of an SEM-only plan. 
 

Revitalize Your Web Traffic

The web team at Zimmer Marketing has helped numerous businesses break out of internet invisibility with custom-built high-performance websites. We start projects with search engine-friendly content for your site and follow it up with monthly data-driven content updates. On top of that, we can bring even more traffic to your website with the skilled implementation of SEM campaigns!

Contact a Marketing Consultant
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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing

What's the Difference Between Marketing Strategy and Tactics?

Posted by Jeannette Royle on July 25, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Marketing is pivotal to driving success and growth in the constantly changing business environment. When done well, it is a powerful engine that can propel your brand forward, enabling you to reach your target audiences and achieve your goals. However, within marketing, two essential components often need clarification: strategy and tactics. While these terms are used interchangeably, they represent distinct elements of the marketing process. In this blog, we will explore marketing strategy and tactics and how they relate, shedding light on how they are different yet work together.  

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Advertising, Branding

4 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Marketing Channels for Your Business

Posted by Pam Larimore on June 27, 2023 at 7:00 AM
As a small business, finding an effective mix of marketing channels is essential to increase your ROI and ensure steady growth for your business. But with an increasing number of available marketing channels every day, especially in the digital space, narrowing down your options and finding the best fit for your company can be difficult. With that in mind, let's look at some helpful tips for finding your ideal marketing channels.

1. Identify Your Marketing Audience

Your first step when planning for any upcoming marketing campaign should be identifying at least one target audience. Doing so will immediately help you eliminate any marketing channel with little reach to your audience or audiences. If you come up with more than one audience segment you would like to market to, you should rank the importance of each listed segment. That way, you can apply limited resources where they will be most effective.

2. Plan for the Buyer's Journey

Individuals that may purchase a product or service from you always occupy a point on a conceptual model called 'the buyer's journey.' Buyers move from the awareness stage through the consideration stage, and finally to the decision stage, where they will decide whether to give you their business. The most successful marketing campaigns reach a person while they are in each step of the journey. For instance, a broad-reach marketing channel such as radio is particularly useful for reaching people in the awareness phase. On the other hand, running ads in a search engine can be ideal for the consideration and decision phases. Choosing the right marketing channels will depend on selecting channels that blend well in an integrated marketing approach.

3. Set Clear Campaign Objectives

Not all marketing campaigns have to culminate in the immediate purchase of one of your products or services. It's important to clearly define your campaign objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, or enhancing customer engagement. For instance, your primary objective could be building your mailing list so you have an already interested audience segment you can target in future marketing campaigns. 

4. Consider Your Budget

Budget is one of the most essential considerations when deciding on a mix of marketing channels. Opting for marketing channels that you can't allocate enough financial resources to run effectively could be a complete waste. Likewise, your budget may be stretched too thin if you choose too many channels. It's best to opt for a couple of channels that support each other and provide each with ample funding. 
 

Putting It All Together

The ideal marketing mix for your business will reach your market audience at various points in the buyer's journey, satisfies your campaign objectives, and fits your budget. If any of your chosen marketing channels don't align with the above considerations, you should go back to the drawing board and review some other options. Of course, getting some professional support when planning integrated marketing campaigns can also be helpful. If you would like help with your campaign, we invite you to get in touch with one of our marketing consultants.

Contact Zimmer Marketing
 
 
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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing, Advertising, Branding

The Status of Print Media Advertising in 2023

Posted by Brett James on June 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Advertising in print media has long been an important marketing channel for American businesses of all sizes. But this has been especially true for smaller, local businesses. The access to local audiences plugged into their communities that local newspapers offer is an excellent opportunity for affordable advertising. But with the rise of digital publications, what is the status of print media, and what are some advertising alternatives? In today's blog, we will look at the condition of print media in America and offer some advertising alternatives to diversify your marketing budget and secure your business's growth into the future. 

Print Media in 2023

For companies that have depended on print advertising in local newspapers and magazines, there is good news and bad news. Let's start with the good: The downfall of print media in the United States has not been as precipitous as the worst predictors have warned. That brings us to the bad news. The trend of declining print media, and by extension, advertising opportunities, continues.   "Total estimated weekday circulation of U.S. daily newspapers was 55.8 million in 2000 and dropped to 24.2 million by 2020,"  according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

While the around 20 million people still receiving newspapers can still be reached with newspaper advertising, the last two decades have nonetheless seen the national audience shrink by half. Those with access to stable internet connections, and especially those with smartphones, prefer receiving news and entertainment via various forms of digital media. The remaining audience for traditional print media tends to be older, more rural, and more involved in their local community.

Diversify Your Marketing Media

Depending on the demographics of the audience you are trying to reach with your advertising, print media may still be an important part of your marketing plan. However, print advertising cannot reach anywhere near as many readers as it used to. Now is the time to add in other marketing media to grow the reach of your branding message.
 

Advertising Alternatives to Print Media

There are many alternatives to traditional print advertising that we could talk about. But for the sake of simplicity, we'll cover four options that can help you enhance your marketing mix in light of the decline in print media.

Radio Advertising

Radio stands out as a particularly good alternative for businesses that historically depend on local print advertising. Production and advertising costs are low compared to other media, and it reaches regional audiences with the added benefit of audience segmentation based on station formats. Radio continues to boast high numbers of listeners. 

Digital Display Ads

Digital Display Ads can be shown across hundreds of websites while only appearing in front of people matching the characteristics you've identified in your target audience. This is often a useful option if you're trying to reach people getting their news online, whom you may have once reached with newspaper advertising.

Organic Search Strategy

An organic search strategy focuses on ranking your business website high in search engines for keywords relevant to your products and services. Typically this is done with regular topical blogging designed to serve the needs of your audience members. Time is key with this marketing method, as building up your website's competitiveness can take a while. But it is well worth the wait for those businesses that stick with it. 

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is like the 'fast version' of an organic search strategy and is often abbreviated as "SEM." With this method, you pay search engines to run ads on your strategic keywords. It is more expensive than organic, but you can begin driving traffic to your website immediately. Businesses with many competitors often use SEM when an organic strategy would be more difficult and time-consuming. 

Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

If you're interested in exploring other marketing options to reduce reliance on print advertising, please reach out to a marketing consultant at Zimmer Marketing. We've helped dozens of local businesses create marketing and branding plans to accelerate growth and secure market share. We would love to help your business, too!

Contact Zimmer Marketing
 
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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Radio Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing, Advertising

Growing Your Business Online: Answer Customer Questions

Posted by Kylie Davis on May 9, 2023 at 7:00 AM
We've reached part three of our series covering online content strategies to help your business grow. In the past two weeks, we've covered   blogging about projects  and   publishing customer testimonials. Now, we will look at a powerful way to brainstorm and create web content for your business: answering customer questions. Let's look at some practical steps to create content based on the questions of your customers and potential customers.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, E-commerce