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Marketing

The cannabis industry in the U.S. is growing fast in response to increasing marijuana legalization. As legalization continues, cannabis sales in the U.S. increased by 40% in 2021 to reach $25 billion.

As the industry expands, there are now more opportunities for businesses to get involved in the cannabis market. If you haven’t entered the market already, you might be considering opening a cannabis dispensary or a shop that sells marijuana-related products.

While we can commend your entrepreneurial spirit, we can’t promise you that cannabis marketing will be a breeze. You’ll need to jump through several hoops while doing your best to attract and engage prospects.

You might convince yourself that you can DIY marijuana marketing. However, we recommend leaving the job to professional marketers. Read on to find out why you shouldn’t DIY cannabis marketing. 

You Can Break the Law Without Knowing It

Even when running a legal cannabis business, you’ll encounter restrictions limiting how you market to prospects. There are strict standards that will dictate how you market your products.

For example, your business might be in a state that requires you to disclose all your intellectual property licensing deals.

The law may also prohibit you from advertising your cannabis business near schools or any other area with kids. The bottom line is that you may be unable to navigate the complex cannabis marketing laws.

Even if you’re familiar with cannabis marketing laws in your state, the landscape is always changing. It can be challenging to keep up with the latest developments.

This is why you should work with a professional cannabis marketing agency. With professionals, you can rest assured that your marketing campaigns are compliant with state and federal laws. 

The marketing professionals understand the cannabis landscape. They’ll stay up-to-date with the latest changes in cannabis marketing laws.  

You Might Waste Money on Ineffective Tactics

Cannabis marketing is complex, and there are many moving parts. You might be tempted to try cannabis marketing tactics that you’re familiar with from other industries. Examples include running social media ads or buying Google AdWords.

These general marketing tactics might not be effective in the cannabis industry. Cannabis social media marketing is challenging to navigate.

For example, Facebook doesn’t allow the sale of recreational drugs like cannabis. Other platforms like Google Adwords, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter also have restrictions. 

However, there’s a way you can still make social media cannabis ads. If you don’t know how to navigate these restrictions, you could waste money on ads that don’t reach your target audience.

A marketing professional will know what to do to ensure that your ad appears on social media without alarm. They’ll also understand the cannabis-specific ad platforms to use in marketing your business.

An example is Weedmaps, which makes it easy for people to buy cannabis. 

You Might Lack SEO Knowledge

You need to ensure that your cannabis website appears at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. This will help you attract more traffic to your site and generate more leads for your cannabis business.

However, SEO is a complex and ever-changing field. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the cannabis industry. For example, you may not know how to optimize your dispensary’s website for local SEO.

This is where a digital marketing agency can help. A cannabis marketing agency will have a team of SEO experts who understand how to optimize cannabis websites for search engines. They’ll ensure that your cannabis business website appears at the top of the SERPs.

You’ll Struggle to Build an Online Presence

In today’s digital world, it’s crucial to build an online presence for your cannabis dispensary to maximize your marketing efforts. However, your business will face fierce competition from other similar companies.

You will also face competition from traditional businesses entering the cannabis market. It can be difficult to stand out online if you’re competing with these already established businesses. It’ll be even harder if you don’t have a lot of experience with digital marketing.

Marketing professionals have experience in cannabis dispensary marketing. You’ll benefit from their expertise in generating leads through digital channels.

You Could Ruin Your Reputation

You need to be extra careful with your marketing efforts when spreading the word about your cannabis shop. You don’t want to be associated with the negative stereotypes associated with cannabis use.

For example, you have to be transparent and honest with your customers. If you make any false claims or promises in your cannabis marketing, it will reflect poorly on your cannabis business.

Working with a cannabis marketing agency can help you avoid these pitfalls. You’ll have access to cannabis experts who understand how to market cannabis products and services responsibly and ethically.

For a digital marketing agency, cannabis marketing will be different from general marketing. The agency will use tried-and-tested marketing tactics that work in the cannabis industry.

You May Not Be Able to Overcome the Stigma Associated With Marijuana Use

There is a stigma attached to cannabis products because they have been illegal for many years. The stigma continues even as state governments continue legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. Society is slow to accept cannabis use as normal.

If you decide to handle cannabis marketing on your own, you’ll need to determine how to overcome this stigma.  However, this is a difficult task that you may struggle with. 

You must first understand how society perceives cannabis use. You should then find ways to change these perceptions.

Working with a cannabis marketing agency can help you overcome the stigma associated with cannabis use. The agency will have experience working with other cannabis businesses. It’ll understand how to persuade people to try cannabis products.

Cannabis Marketing Is Complex—Leave It to the Professionals

If you’re thinking about DIY cannabis marketing, you should remember that it’s more complex than usual marketing.

You may not have the skills to deal with the aspects we have outlined above. The best option is to work with a marketing agency that understands the ins and outs of marijuana marketing.

If you’re looking for an agency to help you market your cannabis-related business, you should consider Forge Digital Marketing. We’re a nimble, tactical, and effective marketing agency experienced in using tactics that get you more loyal customers.

Contact us today to learn how we can increase your cannabis dispensary’s online visibility.

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Advertising, Marketing, Social Media

About 1.22 billion people use Instagram each month, with users ages 18 to 34 taking up 60% of Instagram’s audience. Meanwhile, nearly 60% of adults use Instagram daily, nearly 30 minutes a day.

Adding Instagram to your cosmetic social media marketing strategy can help you expand your reach online. With the right Instagram ideas, you can help your beauty brand stand out from the crowd.

Not sure where to start? Read on to discover the top Instagram content ideas you need to add to your beauty brand marketing strategy this year! 

Create Helpful Tutorials

When creating content for Instagram, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. Posting quality, helpful posts will help you stand out from your competitors. It can also help encourage consumers to come back to your account for more tips.

Once they realize you post the beauty tips and tricks they need, they’ll follow your account for more!

Start by creating helpful video tutorials for your audience.

Consumers don’t want to learn about the products you offer; they want to know how to use them. Tutorials have high engagement rates. They can also help you promote products without off-putting sales language.

Instead of sales language, you can highlight the value you’re offering through your beauty products.

For example, you can show consumers how your beauty products can hide acne or create a natural look. You can demonstrate how they can line their eyes or contour their faces, too.

As you start reviewing these Instagram content ideas, keep your unique value proposition in mind. Highlighting your unique value will set you apart from competing brands. 

Pay attention to the questions your customers are asking. Then, create tutorial content that helps demonstrate an easy solution. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Truly® (@trulybeauty)

Post Quality Images

Successful beauty social media marketing relies on high-quality images. Otherwise, your brand might look cheap. Make sure to avoid unbranded stock images, too.

Consider working with an experienced social media marketing agency to start creating graphics for your brand. 

You’re no longer limited to posting still images, though. In fact, nearly 87% of all Instagram users post Stories. About 60% of millennials either post or watch Stories, while 70% of Gen Z watch Stories. 

Meanwhile, 36% of businesses use Stories to promote their products. Businesses are responsible for creating one-third of the most-viewed Stories as well. A quarter of Gen Z and millennials use Stories to find products and services to buy in the future. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by IL MAKIAGE (@ilmakiage)

Share User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is content your customers have posted regarding your brand. You can start mixing UGC into your feed for more authenticity. UGC can show on-the-fence consumers people love your beauty brand. 

Consider sharing before and after photos of people using your content, too.

Otherwise, start working with influencers! Influencers can promote your beauty products, helping you reach new customers. 

Make sure you’re choosing beauty influencers who already have strong, loyal followings. 

Host a Contest or Giveaway

As you explore the latest beauty brand marketing ideas, consider hosting a contest or giveaway. Contests can help you boost brand engagement. You could even start reaching people who are unaware of your brand.

For example, you can tell your followers that tagging three friends in the post will add their submission to the contest. As more people tag their friends, your post will appear in their notifications. Then, you can get even more people engaged with your brand. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Queen City Green (@queencity_green)



Remain Inclusive

Make sure you appeal to all consumers. Inclusivity will ensure you don’t neglect any portion of your target audience. 

Show diversity in your posts with UGC or models of every skin tone, body type and sexuality. After all, it’s not just about marketing, it’s the right thing to do. Your customers are different and unique in every way; treat them as such.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier)

Use Stickers for Interactive Content

As you start reviewing your list of Instagram Story ideas, don’t forget to create interactive content. You can use polls, emoji sliders, and quizzes to encourage people to engage with your brand. 

You can also use these stickers to learn more about your target audience.

Maintain Brand Consistency

Make sure you’re remaining true to your brand as you begin applying these Instagram ideas. Brand consistency will help awareness and recognition grow.

Use the same color palette, font, and imagery styles throughout your posts. Make sure your Instagram branding matches what appears on your website, too. 

Go Live

Looking for more Instagram Story ideas? Consider going live! Live video sessions are a great way to engage your audience in real-time.

For example, you can host a weekly Q&A session to let consumers ask questions about your products.

Remember, offering them immediate help could encourage them to trust your brand further. 

Respond ASAP

Once you start using these Instagram ideas, make sure you remain accessible.

One of the top benefits of using social media is having the ability to communicate with your customers. People who love and use your brand can reach out through direct messages or by commenting on your posts. As you receive questions, feedback, and complaints, make sure to respond in a timely manner.

If people have to wait too long for you to respond, they might get frustrated.

Quick responses can show consumers you’re there to help. 

Create a Branded Hashtag

Create a branded hashtag and encourage your customers to use it when posting about your products. Then, you can start building your library of user-generated content. Having a branded hashtag will show other consumers how many people love your brand, too. 

Analyze and Adjust

Once you start using these Instagram ideas, review your analytics. Which posts help you generate the most engagement? Review how many comments, impressions, shares, and saves you generate. 

Think about the content format (Stories, still images, etc.), hashtags, and topics you’ve used as well. 

Then, use your data to determine what kind of content to create in the future. You’ll know exactly what kind of content your followers want from you, too. 

Adjusting your Instagram content strategy accordingly can help you generate more leads, followers, and sales. 

Lots of Likes: Start Using These Effective Instagram Ideas Today

Improving your beauty brand marketing strategy with these Instagram ideas can help you reach new customers. As brand awareness grows, you could start gaining a loyal following. In time, consumers will start to rely on you for their favorite beauty tips and tricks.

You don’t have to develop your beauty brand marketing strategy alone, though. We’re happy to lend a hand. 

Need help? Reach out to our team today to get started. 

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eCommerce, Website Design & Development

Did you know that over 600,000 businesses are founded in the United States each year? Not all of these go on to become successful companies, though, and it’s essential to understand the key factors that influence your longevity. One of the most important is your website conversion rate, which details how likely your site visitors are to convert into customers.

This is a key component of website design that you should not overlook, and conversion rate optimization is an essential responsibility you must handle as an entrepreneur.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about how to quickly increase it.

Streamline Your Landing Pages

As you might guess, it’s essential to remove all clutter from your landing pages. Your visitors should be able to see what you’re offering and how it can benefit them within seconds of arriving on your page.

Too much text, images, or videos can overwhelm potential customers and lead them to leave without taking action. To determine whether your landing pages have an effective design, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my value proposition clear?
  • Are my CTA buttons visible and easy to find?
  • Is there too much information on the page?
  • Can visitors easily navigate to other parts of my website?

If you’re not sure whether your landing pages are up to par, consider conducting user testing.

This involves showing your page to potential customers and asking for their feedback. This can help you identify design flaws that are causing potential customers to leave without converting.

This can also go a long way when it comes to helping you reduce your bounce rate. This is a metric that Google uses to determine if a website is high-quality. As the name suggests, it refers to a scenario where people immediately leave a website after visiting it, thus “bouncing” off of it.

Strengthen Your Call to Action (CTA)

Your CTA is one of the most important elements of your website, so it’s essential to configure it properly. Ideally, your CTA should be clear, concise, and offer a strong incentive for customers to take action. Here are a few tips for crafting an effective CTA:

  • Use persuasive language that urges visitors to take action
  • Keep your CTA short and to the point — no more than a few words
  • Use a CTA button rather than a text link
  • Place your CTA in a prominent location on your website

Make sure to test different CTAs on your website to see which ones are most effective. Try changing the color, location, and wording of your CTA to see if it has an impact on your conversion rate.

Offer Discounts or Coupons

Discounts and coupons can be a powerful motivator for customers to convert.

If you’re not currently offering any type of discount, consider doing so as a way to increase your conversion rate. Just make sure that your discounts are well-targeted and relevant to your potential customers.

There are a few different ways to offer discounts on your website:

  • Use pop-ups or banner ads to advertise your discounts
  • Include a coupon code in your email marketing campaigns
  • Promote your discounts on social media

If you decide to offer discounts, make sure to track how they impact your conversion rate. This will help you determine whether they’re a worthwhile investment for your business.

Make It Easy For Visitors to Contact You

If potential customers can’t easily contact you, they’re likely to give up and look elsewhere. Make sure that your contact information is prominently displayed on your website, and consider adding a live chat feature to make it even easier for visitors to get in touch.

It’s also important to respond promptly to any inquiries that you receive. If visitors have to wait days or even weeks for a response, they’re unlikely to convert.

Provide a Money-Back Guarantee

Money-back guarantees can be a great way to increase your conversion rate. They remove the risk for customers and give them the peace of mind they need to make a purchase. If you don’t currently offer a money-back guarantee, consider doing so in one of the following ways to increase conversions:

  • Offer a full refund within a certain time period (e.g., 30 days)
  • Offer a partial refund (e.g., 50% of the purchase price)-
  • Offer a store credit rather than a refund

Whichever option you choose, make sure that your money-back guarantee is prominently displayed on your website. This will give potential customers the reassurance they need to convert.

Test Different Versions of Your Landing Page

You can never be sure which version of your landing page is going to be most effective. The only way to know for sure is to test different versions and see how they perform.

A/B testing is a great way to compare different versions of your landing page and see which one converts at a higher rate. Consider the following when designing your landing page:

  • The headline
  • The copy
  • The images
  • The CTA
  • The layout

Try testing one element at a time so that you can isolate the impact that it has on your conversion rate. Once you’ve found a winning combination, you can be confident that you’re driving more conversions.

Improving Your Website Conversion Rate Is Easier Than You Might Think

Although the process can seem intimidating at first, it’s much more straightforward than most people expect. As long as you keep the above information in mind about how to optimize your website conversion rate, you shouldn’t encounter issues in the future.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

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Creative, eCommerce

Entrepreneurs in the United States start over 600,000 businesses each year. Many of these individuals choose to found eCommerce companies due to the low overhead associated with running an online store.

If you want to hit your target metrics when selling products, it’s essential that you emphasize product photography. We’ve created a brief guide full of product photography ideas that you can capitalize on for your business.

Let’s get started.

Lifestyle Shots

This is one of the most important types of photos that you can take for your products. Lifestyle shots show potential customers how your product would be used in their everyday lives.

These photos should be taken in natural lighting and feature models using your product in a natural way. For example, if you sell coffee mugs, you might want to show someone enjoying a cup of coffee while relaxing at home or working in the office.

Group Product Shots

Group product shots are a great way to show off multiple products at once. This type of photo is perfect for businesses that sell sets or collections of items. For example, if you sell a set of skincare products, you could take a photo of all the products arranged together.

Detail Shots

Detail shots are designed to show off the features of your product. These photos should be taken with a macro lens to get close-up shots of your product.

For instance, you might want to take a detailed shot of the gemstones or metalwork if you sell jewelry. This type of photo is great for showing off the craftsmanship of your product.

In some cases, this type of product photo could also mean the difference between whether or not someone makes a purchase. Many people are apprehensive when purchasing something online from a particular brand for the first time, so they need as much detail as possible.

Product-in-Use

Product-in-use shots are another type of lifestyle shot that shows your product being used in a natural way. This type of photo is perfect for products that have multiple uses or can be used in different ways.

For example, if you sell a multi-purpose tool, you could take a photo of it being used for different tasks. Having website images of the different settings you can use your product in is essential when it comes to maximizing sales numbers.

Before and After

Before and after shots are great for products that have a transformative effect. These photos show your product in use before and after the transformation. A common example could involve taking a before and after photo of a model using a skincare product.

This type of photo is perfect for emphasizing the results of your product. It can also go a long way toward building brand trust.

Overhead Shots

Overhead shots are taken from above the product and are ideal when it comes to conveying the size and shape of your product. This type of photo is perfect for products that are difficult to photograph from a traditional angle.

An overhead shot can give potential customers a better idea of the size and scale of the product. this is great for business owners who sell particularly large products, such as furniture.

Step-by-Step

Step-by-step photos are perfect for products that require assembly or have multiple parts. These photos are great for complex products that might be difficult to understand from a traditional photo. If you sell exercise equipment, you could take a series of photos showing someone putting it together and using it.

Packaging Shots

Product packaging shots are designed to show off your product in its packaging. As you might guess, this is great for businesses that sell products that come in special packaging.

If you sell a luxury item, you might want to take a photo of the product in its box or case. This type of photo is perfect for showing off the attention to detail that went into packaging your product. This will help ensure your audience knows exactly what they will get when they receive your product.

What Other Tips Should I Know?

There are a few other factors to keep in mind when taking product photos.

Lighting is an important factor in taking good product photos. Natural light is always the best option, but you can also use artificial lighting if necessary. Make sure the light is evenly distributed and not too harsh. You don’t want any shadows or glare in your photos.

The background of your photo is also important. A plain white background is always a good option, but you can also use other colors or patterns if they complement your product. Just make sure the background doesn’t distract from the product itself.

When taking close-up shots, make sure the focus is on the product and not the background. You want potential customers to be able to see the details of your product, so the photo should be clear and in focus.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. The best way to find the right shot is to take lots of photos and see what works best. You might be surprised at the results you get from trying something new.

Even simple changes can go a long way towards achieving a better end result.

These Product Photography Ideas Could Be Game-Changing

Product photos are an essential part of any business, as they help potential customers understand your product and make a purchase decision. Be sure that you keep the above product photography ideas in mind so you can make the decision that is best for your business.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

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eCommerce, Website Design & Development

Woocommerce development has come a long way since it was first introduced. It has undergone many changes and upgrades over the years, and is now an all-in-one solution for online stores.

In this article, we will take a look at the future of eCommerce and Woocommerce, and how it can help boost your sales.

A company’s online presence is crucial for its success. A website is the first point of contact with a potential client and it needs to be designed in a way that makes the customer want to stay on the site.

The design of a website should be able to provide an overview of what that company does, showcase its products and services, and answer any questions that a potential customer might have. The design should also convey the company’s message and values, while being functional and easy-to-navigate. If you don’t currently have this locked down or don’t yet have a website at all, you may be looking to hire one of the Best Woocommerce Developers in 2022.

Woocommerce Developers Market Overview & Trends

Woocommerce is a free and open-source ecommerce platform for online stores. It is designed for small to medium-sized businesses and offers an easy way to manage their product catalog, orders, payments, reports, and other aspects of their business. As the number of Woocommerce users increases every day, it has become the most popular ecommerce platform on the web.

In this article we will cover all you need to know about Woocommerce Developers Market Overview & Trends – why build a site in woocommerce? How much does it cost to build a website in woo? What are the best skills for a good woocomerce developer?

How to Choose the Best Woocommerce Developer for Your Project

Building a website is not an easy task. It requires a lot of research and planning. You need to know what kind of website you want and how to go about getting it.

The first step is to find the right developer for your project. There are many factors that go into this decision, so it’s important that you do your research before making any final decisions.

One of the most important factors in finding the best woocommerce developer is their experience with WordPress. If they have a lot of experience, they will be more capable of handling any issues that come up on your site and will be able to offer better solutions for them, too.

If you are looking for the best woocommerce developer, then this article will help you to make a decision.

The first thing to do is to find out why you need a woocommerce developer. You can do this by asking yourself some questions:

-What are my requirements?

-How much time and budget I have?

-What skillset should the developer have?

-Do I need an agency or freelancer?

-Do I need someone with in-depth knowledge of WooCommerce or just basic knowledge?

Finding and Working with the Best WooCommerce Developer For You!

A WooCommerce developer is a person who creates or maintains websites that use the WooCommerce e-commerce platform.

This platform is an open source shopping cart system, which means that it can be used to sell products or services online without any additional cost.

A WooCommerce developer can either work on their own, or they can work for a company that specializes in this type of development.

The first thing you should do when looking for a good WooCommerce developer is to think about what your needs are and what you are looking for in a developer. For example, if you want someone to create your site from scratch, then it would be best to find an independent contractor like an agency that is highly specialized in this skillset.

Check their Credentials and Work Examples

Once you’ve identified a few potential contractors or agencies you like, the next step is to get in touch and ask for additional examples of their work. Take the time to peruse their website design and development examples to make sure their styles align with your aesthetic and functional desires.

Next, don’t be shy to check their reviews online. Go to Google Business, Design Rush and look for customer testimonials on their website. These will give you an unbiased opinion of the potential partners’ work quality and collaboration style.

Finally, check for awards specifically related to woocommerce website design and development. These are another green flag if the woocommerce agency has won awards (*cough* like us at Forge *cough*).

 

If you have more questions about getting started with a Woocommerce ecommerce site design, get in touch with us today!

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eCommerce, Marketing

About 80% of new leads never turn into paying customers. In fact, 96% of people who visit your website aren’t ready to start shopping. 

Meanwhile, outbound leads cost nearly 40% more than inbound leads.

Without a robust inbound marketing strategy, you could struggle to generate leads and sales for your business. Don’t let your competitors take the lead this year. Instead, read on to discover how to develop an effective inbound strategy.

With these tips, you can generate more leads and sales before improving your ROI. Then, you can set your business up for long-term growth.

Get started with these eight essential marketing tips today!

1. Identify Your Audience

When comparing inbound vs. outbound marketing, it helps to look at things from the consumer’s point of view.

Outbound marketing tactics can feel intrusive. For example, cold calling consumers can interrupt their day. Print materials like billboards and flyers might not appear when consumers are in the mood to shop, either.

On the other hand, inbound marketing brings customers to you. With inbound strategies, you can offer consumers the information they want and need. They might feel more inclined to convert into a sale if they recognize you have what they’re looking for.

To appeal to your ideal customers, you first need to identify who they are.

Take the time to gather audience research. Pinpoint your niche audience based on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Buying behaviors
  • Location
  • Language
  • Education
  • Career
  • Paint points
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Marital status

If you’re targeting consumers in multiple groups, create buyer personas. Think of each persona as a real person. How would they find your business online?

Start gathering keyword research for each audience group. Find search terms that are longer and more precise. Then, you can use your keyword research to create content your customers want to find. 

Once you’ve gathered audience and keyword research, you can personalize your marketing strategy. Personalization will help you connect with your audience. You can empathize with their experiences before drawing them to your business. 

2. Outline Your Goals

If you want to make the most of your inbound marketing strategy, take the time to outline specific goals. Go a step further by setting SMART goals.

Set goals that you can measure. Think about the results you want to obtain and how you want to obtain them. Then, set a deadline for each goal.

Make sure your SMART marketing goals also align with your overall business goals.

As you develop each goal, have a key performance indicator in mind. You can track followers, subscribers, sales, traffic, and other metrics.

Break your smaller goals into smaller benchmarks and establish deadlines. If you’re not meeting your deadlines, reevaluate your goals.

Outlining your goals can help you determine how to accomplish each one. Then, you can set yourself up for success moving forward. 

3. Update Your Website

Your website will operate as the foundation for future marketing campaigns. For example, you can direct-email subscribers to your site through a newsletter. You can use digital ads to generate traffic to your site, too. 

Then, you can use your website to begin generating leads and sales.

Sometimes, your company website is the first time people interact with your brand. Update your website to create a solid first impression.

First, make sure your website is fast, secure, and mobile-ready. Maintain brand consistency across each page, too.

Then, follow Google’s Core Web Vitals to ensure your site is user-friendly as well.

Consider working with an inbound marketing agency. They can update your website to help you generate more leads this year.

4. Start Creating Content

Once you’ve updated your website, give visitors a reason to return. For example, you can start updating your content creation strategy. Use your keyword research to create posts your customers want to read.

Try to answer their questions to demonstrate your experience and expertise. Content creation can help prove your credibility. Consumers might have an easier time trusting your brand if they recognize your expertise.

Generating brand trust could help you gain more leads and sales. 

5. Use Search Marketing

Once you start creating content, make sure it’s optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) will improve your rankings on Google. Higher rankings can help you generate website traffic and leads.

It can also set you apart from competitors in your industry.

SEO is a cost-effective, organic inbound marketing strategy. Consider using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, too. You can create digital ads that will appear on search engines and social media platforms.

Use remarketing ads to appear in front of previous website visitors as well. 

Nearly 70% of online experiences start with a search engine. With search engine marketing, you can expand your reach online. 

6. Stay Social

Share your content with a broader audience. Consider adding social media marketing to your inbound strategy. You can use social media to engage your audience in real-time.

Share your latest blog posts or create interactive content like polls and quizzes. You can also host contests to generate leads and followers.

Try working with an influencer this year, too. You can leverage their existing audience of followers to grow your following. Leveraging an influencer’s brand trust could also help more people trust your brand. 

7. Email Often

Email marketing can help you remain top-of-mind with customers. First, add a newsletter subscription form to your website. Consider using a lead magnet like a coupon or eBook to generate subscriptions.

Then, use email automation to send out emails throughout the year. You can send coupons or your latest blog posts to generate return traffic.

8. Recruit an Expert

You don’t have to use these tips alone. Consider hiring an inbound marketing agency this year. An experienced marketing agency will help you expand your reach online.

You can leverage their experience and expertise to make a more effective marketing campaign.

Set for Success: Effective Inbound Marketing Campaigns

Ready to set your business up for success? Use these tips when creating your inbound marketing strategy for the year. With these tips, you can expand your reach and generate more business.

Eager to start marketing with help from an experienced team? We’re here for you. Contact us today to get started.

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Marketing

There are over 32 million businesses in the United States. With numbers like this, there are likely a few businesses near you that are in your industry. These are your competitors, and their success means your failure. 

This is why marketing is so important. The world of advertising is a battle for attention. But lately, attention has been shifting online, and online advertising makes more revenue than in-person advertising. 

One of the most important types of digital marketing in the 2020s is website optimization. When you optimize your website, you bring in more customers and make your current customers happier. 

But how exactly do you get your website optimized? 

This article will walk you through some tips for website optimization. 

1. Incorporate Videos 

One of the best website optimization tools out there is video. We live in a digital culture, and if you want people to stick around on your site, you’re going to need to give people something to look at. 

The longer people stick around on your website, the higher your SEO rankings are going to be. A high bounce rate means lower SEO and more dissatisfied customers. 

Hire a great videographer to film you several types of video content. Create a background video for your home page, welcoming people to your business. Put videos on your product pages to better demonstrate to people what your products do. 

If you care about SEO website optimization, you need to start adding videos to your website. 

2. Use Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the smartest ways to get people on your site in the 2020s. Major are no longer the all-encompassing pop-cultural figures that they once were. The internet has given rise to minor celebrities that cater to individual tastes.

It’s always better to shoot for a specific audience than to come across as generic. If you can figure out which social media influencers your customers love, you can pay these influencers to make advertisements for you. These influencers will use their own personal style to bring people in. 

Once you have these influencer testimonials, you can put them on your website. This will make your website seem like a place where things are really happening, encouraging customers to stick around. 

3. Improve Navigation 

Even if people do make it to your site, no one is going to stick around if they can’t navigate the website properly. If people can’t find the information they need fast, they’re going to go somewhere else. This is the peril of doing business in such a saturated world. 

If your site has a blog, you should have a feature that recommends them similar blog posts. If you have a products page, you need to make sure every single one of your products and services is on this page. Don’t send people on a wild hunt. 

Make sure that your “contact us” page is extremely easy to find. You want to funnel people through to making a connection with you. This is especially true if you’re not an eCommerce store, and you need to convert to a phone interaction to get the sale. 

4. Keep Your Website Fast

In the 2020s, slow, buggy websites put people off. They remind people of the early days of the internet when scams and viruses were rampant. 

Don’t put people off by the way that your website runs. Hire yourself a great website design company that can make sure all of your load times are fast. 

5. Update Constantly 

Put a system in place where you constantly update your website design. Trends move fast in the twenty-first century, and if you don’t make it a specific goal of yours to stay on top of this, your whole system could come tumbling down. A style that was popular and hip today might just become pasé tomorrow. 

Read content that lets you know what the most popular design trends in the twenty-first century are. You shouldn’t completely revamp your site based on popular trends, but you should adjust certain cosmetic features. 

It would help if you could develop an eye for which trends are the next big thing that will stick around. 

6. Design A Mobile Version 

If you don’t specifically design a mobile version of your website, you’re going to alienate a significant portion of your potential customers. 

If someone winds up on your website on their phone, they will land on your website. However, if you don’t optimize for mobile, they’ll have to navigate through a page that’s much too large for their screen. People don’t have time to write down the name of your site and remember it later — instead, if this happens, they’ll likely just find a site that suits them better. 

You avoid this problem if you design a wonderful mobile version of your site. 

7. Focus On Vocal SEO 

More and more people are searching for products and services without ever touching a keyboard. The increase in reliability of voice searches means more people than ever are going to speak instead of type when finding your site. 

This impacts your SEO keywords. 

No, search engines don’t use a different algorithm for voice searches than for typed searches. However, people speak differently than they write. Keywords that come out of people’s mouths are going to be longer, more casual, might contain some grammatical mistypes, and might even repeat a few words. 

Design your SEO specifically to attract people who are using voice search, and you’ll see your website become more optimized. 

Website Optimization Is Important

If you want your business to succeed in the twenty-first century, you’re going to need to focus on website optimization. However, website optimization isn’t always easy to understand. Work videos into your site, use social media influencers, make sure that navigation is easy and pages load fast, and stay updated to current trends like mobile optimization and vocal SEO, and you’re far more likely to do well. 

For more information on website optimization and digital marketing, contact us today. 

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eCommerce, Email Marketing

Introduction – What is Retention Marketing?

Retention marketing is also known as customer retention. It’s a strategy that helps businesses to keep their current customers and increase the lifetime profitability (also known as lifetime value, or LTV) of each customer. Put simply, it’s the way of thinking about your business’s marketing scheme, how it works, and how it can work better for your customers.

Why is Retention Marketing Important for Your Business

Retention marketing is a relatively new concept that is gaining popularity in the business sector, specifically with the meteoric rise of ecommerce business due to the various economic shutdowns, forcing customers to shop online. It is an approach to customer retention that focuses on the customer experience, as opposed to acquisition. It aims to create a positive and memorable experience for customers so they will want to stay loyal and continue doing business with you.

The goal of retention marketing is not just to keep your current customers but also make them happy so they will want to come back again and again. With retention marketing, you are focusing your efforts on making sure that your customers have a good time each time they interact with your company, rather than just trying to get them in the door for the first time.

Retention marketing is important because it’s a lot cheaper to retain a customer than acquire them. Acquiring a new customer is typically 5x to 25x more expensive than the cost to retain one.

If you’ve established a solid foundation of customers, you should aim to split your time 70% on Acquisition and 30% on Retention. If that sounds like you, read on to learn ways to begin working on marketing retention tactics.

What are the Best Ways to Improve Customer Retention and Loyalty

Retaining customers is one of the most important aspects of a business. Customer retention strategies are a great way to increase customer loyalty and help businesses grow. In this article, we will discuss some strategies that you can use to retain your customers.

Customer Service

The first strategy is to ensure that your customer service is on point and that you are providing the best possible experience for your customers. This starts with having an efficient customer service team that knows how to solve any problem and provide fast responses in order to satisfy the needs of your customers. You can leverage site chat if you have a support team or email support at minimum. You should also have a comprehensive FAQ page with all the answers for the most common questions so that customers do not need to wait for a response from a member of staff.

If you have a live chat you can turn questions into sales or resolved complaints into a smooth resolution and preserving that experience. At FORGE, we love Hubspot’s built in chat feature but you can also leverage plugins for Facebook Messenger or Customer Specific Support like Tawk.To which even offers the ability to hire remote chat staff to support you as you grow.

Gifting

If you have the margin to do so, consider adding free gifts at checkout or within your packaging to encourage the “law of reciprocity”. When people get something from you without asking or expecting it, they will be delighted and often times want to give back. This can encourage referrals or return business.

Another simple way to delight your customers is handwritten thank you notes. You’d be surprised; a little goes a long way.

Customer Loyalty Program

Part of effective marketing retention strategies is consumer psychology. You want to help each customer achieve what they set out to when they first opted in to try your product or service. One way to help

Email Marketing

This is the #1 Retention Marketing tactic. Specifically, we’re talking about Email Marketing Automation.

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools for companies. However, it can be time-consuming for marketers to manually send personalized emails to their customers. This is where email automation comes in.

It allows marketers to automate and schedule the sending of personalized emails so they don’t have to worry about sending a message at the right time. It also saves them time by automating repetitive tasks like creating a welcome email and following up with people who haven’t opened an email in a while.

Email automation is one of the best ways for marketers to save time, money, and energy when trying to create customer engagement campaigns.

If you’re an ecommerce brand looking to increase your retention and improve your conversions, you will be hardpressed to find a better all-in-one solution than Klaviyo, our preferred Email Marketing and retention platform.

Klaviyo is a comprehensive retention marketing tool that provides a number of templates for high impact email automations, or as they call them, Flows.

Here are just a few of the Flows we recommend at Forge to get you started on your retention strategy:

Welcome Series: Get your subscribers to close the first deal by teaching them about your brand and services while increasing trust and building the foundations of a long-lasting relationship.

Post-Purchase: Will increase customers retention and lifetime value turning them into loyal buyers.

Re-engagement: Save money and stop sending emails to people who don’t want it. Using the re-engagement tactic will improve your email deliverability and make sure that you keep your list clean.

Abandoned Cart: 73% of shopping carts are abandoned. Recover them at the right time, while they are still considering your product.

Browse Abandonment: They can help remind your subscribers of their early interest and potentially bring them back to your online store, softening the sting of your initial disappointment that they didn’t buy on their first visit.

SMS Marketing

Text marketing is a type of marketing that uses text messages to promote and sell products or services. It is also called SMS marketing, short message service (SMS), mobile marketing, or by the abbreviation “texting.” Text messages are delivered to a cell phone via an SMS message.

Klaviyo doubles as a SMS marketing tool allowing you to reach your customers where they are constantly looking: their phones. You can also send MMS messages, or text promotions with images included. Check out Klaviyo for SMS here.

Loyalty Programs & Referrals

If you’ve been able to retain a loyal customer for a long time, this will feed acquisition naturally through referrals. Make sure to encourage referrals from your loyal customers by rewarding them for referrals.

Measure your Retention Strategy

Your Repeat Customer Rate is the number 1 thing to monitor to see if your retention strategies are being effective. Shopify will calculate this for you in your dashboard, but if you’re using Woocommerce or another CMS, use this quick equation to establish your Customer Retention Rate:

# of Customers Who Purchased More than 1x

————————————————————————————————————

# of Unique Customers

 

Next, you’ll want to manage your AOV, or average order value. Calculate it thusly:

 

Yearly Revenue

————————————————————————————————————

# of Orders Your Store Processed

 

Lastly, calculate your Customer Value:

Purchase Frequency x Average Order Value = Customer Value

 

If you’re in need of assistance setting up a high converting retention marketing strategy, please feel free to reach out. Forge Digital Marketing is your go-to partner to establish your ecommerce retention strategies and grow bigger than you ever thought possible!

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Email Marketing

If you haven’t considered using SMS marketing in your digital strategy — think again. 9 out of 10 customers prefer to communicate with businesses via text.

But how exactly does an SMS marketing strategy work? And what should you look for in an SMS marketing service?

Below we include a guide explaining SMS marketing services and the 6 considerations for choosing the best SMS marketing services.

Basics of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing has been around for a while, but many businesses haven’t tried it for themselves. Here’s a quick refresher on what SMS marketing is and the benefits you can receive from an SMS campaign.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing involves using text messages to promote your business’s products and services. It’s a digital strategy also known as mass texting. It works like emails do but is much more effective – research shows that Americans check their phones 96 times a day.

What Do SMS Marketing Services Do?

your SMS campaigns through the use of a team and relevant software.

The team will be responsible for writing and researching all of the messages behind your campaign. They’ll then use their top-notch technology to schedule texts to be sent to people on your contact list.

What Are the Benefits of SMS Marketing Services?

SMS marketing has numerous benefits and has come a long way since its inception. With SMS marketing, you can boost sales, engage your audience, earn consumer loyalty, collect and nurture leads, and create buzz around a product or competition. 

SMS marketing services will amplify all of the positive effects of an SMS marketing campaign because you’ll have a team of experts dedicated to crafting and delivering the perfect message.

What to Look for in SMS Marketing Services

Not all SMS marketing systems are created equal. Here are a few things you should consider when looking for your SMS service.

1. Combined Platforms

Aside from SMS marketing, email marketing is one of the best revenue-generating channels – especially for e-commerce businesses. It only makes sense that you try to build your SMS and email strategy together. This is why we recommend Klaviyo to our marketing clients 9 times out of 10.

When selecting your SMS provider, look for one that can manage both SMS and your email at the same time. That way, the services can merge customer data into one profile and provide a more comprehensive understanding of how the customer interacts with your brand.

You’ll also have an advantage when contacting your customers because you can make smarter communication decisions. For instance, if the customer doesn’t open an email, you can send them a text with the same information since you know they haven’t seen it yet.

2. Flexible Contract

Having contract flexibility with digital marketing services is key to any positive relationship. Your business needs will grow and change over time, and so will your marketing strategies.

Look for providers that charge you based on the size of your subscriber list, not based on the size of your business as a whole. You may only want to send targeted messages to a small number of people.

Also, consider the length of your contract. It should be flexible enough so that you can change it every month or even every quarter. You should not have to sign a multi-year deal that leaves no room for change.

3. Seamless Functionality

Selling directly to your customers via SMS is of course meant to increase sales. But it’s also meant to be a tool that gives you data for more personalized experiences in the future.

You want services that will use your SMS to create a seamless customer journey. Messages are only the first part – next, the user should visit your website and have a positive experience there

This means that the SMS team should be sending text messages based on your customers’ actions – not based on a random timeline. They’ll only send messages when it will optimize the sales funnel.

4. Communication Expertise

Text messages may be short – but that makes them even more difficult to get right. In just a few lines, you have to attract the customer’s attention and encourage them to engage with your call to action.

Your SMS marketing services should be expert communicators, able to reach people of all different backgrounds and positions in the sales funnel.

And they also should know how to personalize messages based on what the target audience will respond to best. It could be anything from opening with a customer’s name to only texting them about sales in their size.

5. Clear Tracking Tools

SMS has some of the best returns for any digital marketing method. But of course, this is if you have the right data available.

Your SMS marketing service should be using software and tools to accurately track customer actions and interactions.

For instance, say a customer receives both an email from you and a text message within the same 48 hours. They then place an order.

With the right software that manages email and SMS together, only the message the customer saw the most recently would get credit for the sale. Otherwise, both channels would get credit and you wouldn’t have a true understanding of what was working.

6. High Compliance & Deliverability Standards

SMS compliance may not be complicated, but it’s required. Your SMS marketing services need to be completing all tasks above board. Messaging subscribers who haven’t given explicit consent or failing to provide an opt-out option are grounds for trouble.

Make sure that the provider you select has run numerous SMS marketing campaigns before and knows the ins and outs of the law.

Deliverability is another important element of your SMS campaign. How often are messages going through? Your SMS provider should have a deliverability rate of 90% at the very least.

Transform Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Your business can’t thrive without a strong digital presence. SMS marketing services and other strategies are the keys to standing out.

And you don’t have to do it alone. The Forged team is here to guide you through your digital strategy, whether you need text message marketing tips or a new website.

Contact us to get started!

ecommerce marketing service

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Website Design & Development

Are you looking for ways to separate your brand from an award-worthy website? Do you want to learn more about the different ways you can build your online presence? If so, then you need to learn everything that you can about the latest web design trends for 2022.

Nothing turns a client off faster than an outdated site. Learning about the newest innovations can help your brand appear relevant and more attractive. People will start to view you as the industry leader in your field.

See below for an in-depth guide listing several website design trends that you should consider for your company’s digital marketing strategy.

1. Industry-Based Designs

You might be surprised to learn that the design of a website is highly influenced by the industry that the brand is in. So much so, that customers in 2022 have come to expect your website to be designed similarly to that of your competitors.

This can help niche markets to thrive with their digital marketing. Customers know where to quickly retrieve the information that they need.

For example, if you’ve been to the website of one brewery, you’ve been to them all. Breweries these days are creating simplified site layouts that tell a customer all they need to know as quickly as possible.

The layout includes a menu, tap list, and in-depth location page. The design sports the brewery’s primary colorway, logo, and a briefing on the inspiration behind the beer they create.

Using all of that information, beer drinkers can quickly build interest in their products and reach out to learn more.

To get access to this for your brand, start by finding an industry-specific digital marketing agency to guide you. Here at Forge Digital Marketing, we have experience with things like CBD marketing, eCommerce marketing, supplement marketing, beauty marketing, and more.

2. Website Scavenger Hunts

Just when you thought websites couldn’t get any more interactive, some marketing genius out there decided enough was enough. They were tired of the high bounce rates and set out to encourage more active site users through a site-wide scavenger hunt.

At a time when the customer attention span is smaller than ever (currently around 8.25 seconds for the average person), marketing agencies are finding creative ways to keep the clients entertained.

Let’s go back in time a bit. Imagine if you were a child and one of your friend’s moms put together an elaborate scavenger hunt for everyone to go on. In the end, those that completed the hunt would get a big chocolate bar.

What would your perception be of your friend’s mom? Would she not be the coolest mom of any friend that you have? That’s exactly what a website scavenger hunt can do for your brand: it will make you the go-to brand in the customer’s mind.

But how can you put this into action? That’s up to you! You could offer free samples to anyone that finds the secret password on your site and enters it into the correct field with their email and phone number. That way, you’re simultaneously building intrigue in your brand and growing your email list.

3. Color Psychology

The colors that your brand uses mean more now than ever. As we just mentioned, customers’ attention spans are shrinking. As a result, you need your website to tell them as much about your brand in as little time as possible. 

One of the best ways to do that is through color psychology. Every color has its own unique emotions and feelings that it portrays in your brain. Using the right colors, you can tell them what your company is all about without having to say a word.

For example, the color orange exudes emotions of friendliness and warmth, making it the perfect color for nonprofits, marketing agencies, and service-based businesses.

However, you shouldn’t be flooding your pages with too many colors, either. That can overwhelm a customer. Keep it between 2 or 3 choice colors that work well together. Remember, shading is your friend, people.

4. One-Page Websites

Imagine coming across a website from a brand you’ve never heard of and have all of the information you need on that very page. You can learn all about their products, services, and staff by simply scrolling down. How convenient would that be?

As it turns out, it’s very convenient. This is why so many brands are using it as the primary concept for their web design.

Simply give them all of the information they need with a strategically-placed call to action. You’ll be amazed at how effective this can be!

5. Hand-Drawn Copy

Digital marketing can be hard to personalize. The biggest struggle that all companies have is getting their clients to see that there are humans on the other side of that logo. As soon as a client comes to this realization, they aren’t easily deterred from that brand.

Hand-drawn content on your site can be a great way to personalize your site. For example, you could leave a personalized note on your “About Us” page and then place your hand-drawn signature at the end.

This immediately shows more sincerity in the message you’ve written. Better yet, hand-drawn copy can be used in other areas of your site, such as page tabs, company logos, and more.

Use These Web Design Trends to Your Advantage in 2022

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on the hottest web design trends 2022, be sure to implement a few of these in your site layout today.

Take the time to read this article for more information on what a done-for-you marketing agency is and why they’re the solution you’ve been looking for. To get started, please reach out to us and we’ll help you map out your new website.

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