Cultivate an Inbound Marketing Strategy Targeted towards Customers Who Want to Find You

If you own a business, then you are probably familiar with “outbound marketing.” But is it providing the biggest marketing bang for the buck? It employs traditional marketing tactics that include print advertising, direct mail, sales calls, commercials and billboards. Although some of these strategies can be effective in the long run, these advertisements are often seen by many people who have no interest in your products or services, making it a costly effort. With “inbound marketing” however, marketing efforts focused on strategies such as keyword-optimized content, social media, blogging, search engine optimization and paid advertisements will organically attract those who are searching online for your product or service. As written in the article Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing – What’s Best for 2017?, “According to the article, SEO-generated inbound leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Why? Inbound leads are coming from people who initiated a call or navigated to a website. They’re actively shopping and intend to make a purchase.”

As mentioned in our previous post here, now is the time to think about how you want to spend your marketing dollars in 2017. Qseeker can help you cultivate an inbound marketing effort focused on the customers who want to find you, providing you a greater return on your investment. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

The Importance of a Social Media Stream

A social media stream is vital to increasing and maintaining business. You may be asking yourself, what is a social media stream? It is a combination of all the places you post on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Having this stream of constant updates is important because it connects your business with prospective clients and keeps you in contact with current clients. And it keeps your network of social sites fresh with content. So users can take the pulse of your business.

For example, if you own a brewery, you may use a hashtag on Twitter that has to do with beer brewing. That same hashtag may be used on Instagram, and some of the same followers may follow your business in both places. Hence you are creating a social media stream.

What makes a social media stream successful and effective is the consistency of each post or article on a social media site. For instance, if you are posting a well-written, well-thought-out article or post on Facebook, you want to maintain the same level on LinkedIn. The same rule applies to photos and videos, which should look clear and professional, even at the amateur level. Another successful element is timeliness. In this age of constant movement, no one cares what happened yesterday. Your followers want to know what is happening now, today, and in the future. Using the previous example of the brewery, it is vital that events are promoted on your social media stream and in consistent and different ways. For instance, on Instagram, you could post a photo of an upcoming, exciting new beer, while on Twitter you could quickly mention a beer quote. In both posts, you can link to the upcoming event, thus promoting it on your stream.

A recipe for success is to link to other resources that have interest and value. If you see a great article in a major online newspaper or website or you find a great video, link to it on your social media stream. For example, if you find a relevant and well-done article on the Huffington Post about breweries creating jobs, you can link to it on LinkedIn and add your own thoughts in the initial post.

Another aspect of the social media stream is that it helps to optimize your business’s website for key terms. The social sites are technically pages on popular websites and the links back to you main site can help with certain terms. This way, if someone catches or follows your social media stream, she or he can look up your website using key terms and find your business. If someone does a search for “IPA brewery Madison Wisconsin,” your brewery could come up on the first page of Google if you’ve optimized your website correctly. In turn, this is not only helping your business, it is helping the customer find what she or he is searching for. Then when the potential customer reaches your website, you can help her or him by telling your story with great content, a consistent social media stream, and updated events.

At Qseeker.com, we are happy to help optimize your website with key terms, and run a social media stream. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website get  more mobile friendly, and have it produce more leads then please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Facebook May Depress You

Have you ever logged onto Facebook and thought, oh no, another vacation to Hawaii? Yep, it’s the woman who just got the promotion at work who has the perfect husband and baby and now she is taking her sixth trip to Hawaii in three years. Sigh. It all sounds so exhausting, especially when comparing yourself to others, who may or may not be giving you the full truth. Actually, it may be downright depressing.

At least that’s what the experts at the University of Missouri found. In a recent study that polled 736 college students who used Facebook for an average of two hours a day, many reported feelings of envy after seeing their friends’ virtual lives. The fascinating part is that researchers found that it isn’t the heavy use of social media that spurs these feelings, it’s the frequent use. HuffPost cites this about the study: “The researchers found that while heavy Facebook use was not linked directly to depression, frequent users who experienced feelings of envy were more likely to identify with statements corresponding to depression. These tended to be users who compared their own lives to friends’ photos of luxurious vacations, status updates about good news and so on.”

Envy is one thing. Depression is another entirely. Yet as cited by the study’s co-author, users must remember that people often only post positive things about themselves on their social media accounts. It’s all about the presentation, and the presentation may be farther from the truth. It’s best to examine your own life and realize that no one is perfect, and perhaps maybe you are also presenting yourself as “too good to be true” on Facebook. Either way, social media is often a façade, and nothing beats real-life interaction and friendships. For more information on this study, please visit the article on huffingtonpost.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (and 3.3 Million Retweets)

It’s the feeling in the pit of your stomach as you climb the rollercoaster track. It’s the neurotransmitters that dance around your body when you meet a love interest for the very first time. It’s all the commercials you watch before Oscar Sunday and Ellen DeGeneres’ conviction when she tells 47 million viewers that she is about to produce the most retweeted photo of all time.

That feeling is anticipation, a major key to happiness and a vital tool in successful marketing.

Like many celebrities, DeGeneres spent the weeks leading up to The Oscars promoting the award ceremony and engaging potential viewers on social media. Once the event went live she told a few well-timed jokes, as hosts tend to do, and made her big announcement. DeGeneres informed America that on this night she would generate the most retweeted photo of all time. She repeated this idea throughout the three hour broadcast, molding the doubters into believers and the believers into supporters.

The hype that DeGeneres created caused the likes of Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Copper, and Julia Roberts to join in on the group selfie. Cooper turned the Samsung Galaxy horizontally, pushed a button, and all of the sudden the dream became a reality. The photo immediately went viral on Twitter, boasting nearly three and a half million retweets. In just under one hour, the record previously held by Barack Obama’s account, had been broken.

DeGeneres’ achievement is a crucial lesson for all leaders, business owners, and visionaries. Successful marketing is all about building excitement, creating a buzz, and attracting outside support. If you have that great idea, and you have the support of your followers then there’s no telling just how much success you can anticipate.

Are You Feeling Lucky?

By nature we are all curious creatures. From a young age we find ourselves asking “Why?” as we attempt to make sense of the world around us.  A great question may leave us pondering the universe; it may puzzle or enchant us.  In law, it can be powerful tool when it comes to a cross-examination, a deposition, or even an initial interaction. But did you know that as of this past September, asking the right questions can improve your business like never before?

Well, you better believe it. Because on September 26th, 2013, on the eve of its Quinceañera, Google launched a new search algorithm called the Hummingbird. Named for the speed and accuracy of the small bird, the Hummingbird is meant to be ‘a more human way to interact with users and provide a more direct answer’ (according to Wikipedia).

The new algorithm, which impacts the results of 90% of searches, relies heavily on questions and conversational topics, unlike the old model which focused on keywords. How this works is Google looks at your search as a combination of words, allowing it to process your query like never before.

As one Entrepreneur article suggests, the goal is to provide results that actually answer the question at hand. It seems that the days of trial and error may finally be behind us. If you want something from Google, all you have to do is ask. 

So how can understanding Google’s Hummingbird model improve the online visibility for your law practice?

One of the best ways to improve online visibility for your law practice is to ask all of the right questions! This means optimize your website, start a blog, and set up a Q&A section that your clients can use as a point of reference. Once you start updating regularly and cross-promoting on social media, you will see the difference it makes.

Not only does actively posting strong, original content help your website pop up in search engines, but doing so empowers your client to get informed before your preliminary phone conversation.  It’s a win-win situation.

If you are determined to be one step ahead of your competition, take advantage of your communication skills, set up a compelling blog with original content, and use the new Google Hummingbird model to ensure that you’re the lawyer everybody’s asking about.

And if you don’t have time to do it, then it’s a good thing you’ve found the experts that do. Qlegal will tailor a strategy with your individual needs in mind to help you capitalize on the many clients already searching for you and your services today.

For SEO, blog, website, and marketing inquiries you can also email Lia Gurin directly at lia.gurin@qlegal.com

Twitter: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Twitter went public on Thursday, with its shares originally priced at $26 — higher than first expected. According to CNBC, executives at the company have been spending time on Wall Street and visiting other major cities to promote the forthcoming public offering. Yet, despite their efforts and the overwhelming popularity of Twitter as a social media platform, investors are skeptical.

In a poll by AP-CNBC, almost half of polled “active” investors – those active with their investments in the past year – claim Twitter is a poor investment of your money.

Because the most active Twitter users fall into the 18-29 age range (according to a 2013 study by Pew Research Center), it could be that the majority of active Twitter users are not yet established enough to invest in the stock market. As this generation gets older, this could change.  However, a poll conducted by Wells Fargo has shown that out of the 1,500 22-32 year-old individuals surveyed, the majority expressed little interest in the stock market.

But this skepticism may simply reflect an overcautious public hesitant to take the investment plunge with a relatively new social network (It launched in 2006). After all, the stock opened trading at $45.10, which was 74% higher than the initial price of $26.  While Facebook, which went public in May 2012, remains the most lucrative Internet technology public offering, Twitter fell only slightly behind, becoming the third largest Internet IPO.

Twitter is immensely popular among social media users – it’s the most popular social network after Facebook – yet, the question that investors must ask is whether or not this popularity is lasting. Not all social networking platforms succeed in the long run.  Just as MySpace. It appears, for the future of Twitter, only time will tell if the company’s marketing strategy is sustainable.

Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101165620

The Growing Influence of LinkedIn

As far as social media goes, LinkedIn is actually older than Facebook.  Launched in May of 2003, it was conceived as as a social networking site for business professionals – which, of course, it still is.  Yet, LinkedIn has come a long way since it first debuted.  It is now a social media heavy hitter, with over 225 million users.

For a long time, LinkedIn was a simple networking hub, where you could display your resume or look for a job. It served its purpose, and was a great way to merge the age-old necessity of networking with the internet-savvy populace. Yet, you didn’t check your LinkedIn page like you would a Facebook page. There was no consistent interaction, especially if you were happily employed.

This past October, LinkedIn entered new social media territory, rolling out its own unique content called “Influencers,” written by a group of elite professionals.  These “Influencers” indeed hold a lot of influence in their fields and include Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and President Obama.  The contributors are not paid, and instead share random commentary on life, work, and happiness – posts that seem a little off beat for such high powered individuals, and yet work well to show them as normal individuals, who just happen to have become successful through determination and drive — a motivating influence for the under- or unemployed droves trolling LinkedIn on a daily basis.

The fun conversational tone makes these power players relatable, and fosters a more positive and interactive environment for LinkedIn users.  Instead of hearing tales of unemployment, users are regaled with stories of success.

In addition to this new content, LinkedIn has also received another social media makeover – tweaks to its features which encourage interaction on par with Facebook and Twitter.  “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” and “You Recently Visited” increase the visibility of user activity.  In the former you can see two weeks worth of profile viewer information, including Facebook-esque “likes,” “shares,” and “comments” – and it also informs you if these viewers are in your second- or third- degree connections, which can serve as an alternative means of introduction.

Ultimately, LinkedIn has maintained true to its original purpose – a networking site for business professionals – but it has utilized the best and most efficient aspects of social media for its own ends.  After all, the common interests shared by users can lead to more professional connections, new job opportunities, and career inspiration, ultimately making it a social media contender.

How to “Sell” Your Legal Services without Selling Out

In the past, individuals would often contact a lawyer using more traditional methods, such as yellow pages, referrals and word of mouth.  Now rather than location being listed in a phone book, law firms need to reach out and be proactive in obtaining new clients.  In a competitive marketplace law firms are coming to terms with the necessity of “selling” their services.  While it is a hard idea for many to grasp, it is a reality for successful practices.  When some think of selling, they picture television advertisements and over-the-top advertising strategies, which may seem out of place if it is not your style.  You need to be proud and confident about your services, and in some cases, shout it from the rooftops. Read more.

Google Knows the Waze to Success

WazeWaze  is a free navigation app that utilizes a community of users to update real-time road and traffic information.  Close to 50 million drivers using the community-based Waze app provide updates, which help commuters avoid traffic, construction, accidents and detours – ultimately assisting in a faster commute for all Waze users.  With an element of social media, you can also connect with friends, coordinating meet-ups and arrival times.

Recently, a bidding war for the navigation app has ensued and was reportedly won by Google.  The deal has been in the works for months and it was originally reported that Facebook was also attempting to purchase the Israel-based startup.  While it has not been finalized, Google will reportedly pay 1.3 billion for the acquisition.  Read More.

Using Google+ to Increase Your Web Presence

Since its launch in 2011, Google+ has very quickly become the new social networking juggernaut and a key part of any social media marketing plan.  As of the 4th quarter of 2012, Google+ had over 343 million users and has become the second most popular social network after Facebook.  With the numbers rising so quickly and it’s convenient integration with Google-based applications like Gmail and YouTube, Google+ could give Facebook a run for its money.  For businesses especially, Google+ is essential because it plays a huge role in search engine optimization (SEO).  At the end of the day, it comes down to the simple fact that a Google+ page can make your business show up higher in Google search results.

When creating a Google+ page for your business, one of the first things to consider is one of the simplest.  A Google+ business page allows you the space to provide an “Introduction” to you company’s services on your “About” page. While this may seem pretty straightforward, it also presents a unique opportunity to increase your web presence and improve your SEO. Including relevant SEO keywords in your Introduction will also boost your presence in Google search results. By including links to a variety of content on your company’s website, you can guide followers to key features, directing potential customers and clients to all that you have to offer.

Google+ also offers you the opportunity to connect with other Google+ users who may be beneficial to your business. While you can also organize your own connections in various circles, it is also important to engage with circles within your industry – staying apprised to the latest trends and joining relevant conversations.  This virtual networking can do wonders for increasing your online visibility and promoting your brand and the quality of your circles.

One of the main things that sets Google+ apart from the rest of the social media pack is “Google+ Authorship.”  Through the use of this feature, which attributes web content to its source and an authentic tie to a legitimate Google account, you can become seen as a knowledgeable and trusted resource on your field.  It’s easy to use and offers additional SEO benefits while also promoting your brand.  With an author photograph next to your content, your business will become highly visible in a sea of search results.  Google+ Authorship increases brand awareness while putting a face to the company name.