Which Platforms Should Your Business Use for Social Media Marketing?

social media marketing
Not all platforms may be right for your business. Get the most out of your social media strategy by engaging with the right ones!

Every social media platform has its own culture, audience, and purpose. Because of this, not every platform may be appropriate or worthwhile for your bu犀利士
siness to have a presence on. But how do you know which platforms to include in your social media marketing strategy? Today, we’re going to explore a few of the most popular social media platforms, so you can determine which ones are a good fit for your business’ marketing goals.

 

Facebook:

While there are exceptions, most businesses can benefit from a presence on Facebook, if they use it properly. Facebook is a great place to build relationships and converse with your target audience. Using it strictly as a sales tool won’t garner the results you want. Think about it, how many people do you know that willingly seek out ads? That doesn’t mean you can’t promote your offerings on Facebook, just make sure to balance it out with genuine interactions and audience engagement.

Instagram:

This is a highly visual platform, allowing users to upload pictures, with captions and text being secondary. If you have a lifestyle, fashion, food, art, or luxury related business, Instagram is a great place for you to show off and promote your brand. It’s easy to use and you don’t have to be an expert photographer to produce great looking images. The pre-loaded filters and editing tools can give any image a professional or artistic feel. If your business doesn’t have a lot to show visually, Instagram isn’t a worthwhile platform.

 

Pinterest:

Pinterest is a visual, action driven platform where users can create boards and pin pictures, articles, recipes, crafts or other inspirational content to them. It can be used to share ideas, tell visual stories, promote a lifestyle, or your brand. The key is to have visually engaging content to share. Don’t think your business is very visual? Plenty of businesses have gotten creative, using Pinterest to share educational infographics or even post jobs. Also, the overwhelming majority of users are female, so if you’re business is looking for a way to reach out to women, Pinterest is the place to be.

 

Youtube:

If your business has any videos, you should have a presence on Youtube. It’s the perfect place to feature commercials, instructional videos, explainer videos, or even tips and expertise. Most businesses that have videos can benefit from Youtube.

 

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B businesses or businesses actively recruiting top talent. It’s the most professional and business focused platform on the list, making it a great place for businesses and business owners to network, generate leads, and show off your offerings.

 

Depending on your business and your marketing goals, some social media platforms won’t be worthwhile. Not sure where to start with your social media marketing strategy? We can help! The marketing pros at MLT Group can help you develop and execute a social media marketing strategy to promote your business, brand, and generate leads. Contact us at sales@mltgroup.com or 507-281-3490 to learn more today!

7 Common Web Design Myths BUSTED!

Our digital world moves quickly, and there always seems to be a new rule or standard. Every year, the web is flooded with articles talking about the year’s latest trends and game-changing techniques. It can be hard to keep up or to even know what to pay attention to. This leads to a lot of misinformation and myths, especially when it comes to web design. Most of these myths are built on a grain of truth or were true at one time but staying loyal to these outdated ideas will do more harm to your business than good. Today, we’re going to bust the 7 most common web design myths!web design

 

1. Visitors Won’t Scroll/Place Your CTA Above the Fold

 

These two myths go hand in hand. When the internet was still in its infancy, users weren’t used to scrolling through pages for information, so anything below the fold would largely go unnoticed. This led to sites religiously placing their calls to action (CTA) above the fold. However, both the internet and users have grown up a lot and it’s time we act like it. If your site is engaging and your message is strong, users won’t have any problem scrolling below the fold.

 

2. You Don’t Need a Mobile Site

 

This is another myth that used to be true. When internet use on cellphones was expensive or unavailable, mobile optimized websites were more of novelty than a worthwhile marketing tool. Now, the number of mobile users is only growing. Mobile devices allow consumers to search for products and services in their area right when they need them, so it’s no surprise that mobile ecommerce traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. Have you ever tried using a non-mobile optimized site on your smartphone? You’ll only tolerate the slow load speeds and poor navigation for so long before you go somewhere else. If your site isn’t mobile optimized and responsive, visitors will find a competitor’s site that is.

 

3. Leave No Whitespace

 

With limited real estate per page, you want to use every inch of it right? Not quite. When used correctly, whitespace not only improves the aesthetic of your site, but can even increase your ROI. When met with a cluttered page, visitors become overwhelmed and have difficulty finding important information. Whitespace makes your content easier to digest and even improves comprehension. It can also be used to guide users to the areas of your site you want them to see the most.

 

 4. The More Options, the Better!

 

Consumers always say they want more; more options, more variety, more features. However, this isn’t quite true. It’s not that consumers want more options, but rather they want to easily find the option that best fits their needs. Cluttering your website with every possible option will actually decrease conversions, as consumers find it difficult to commit and choose. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer variety—it just means you have to guide users to the options that best fit their needs, rather than bombard them with all of them at once.

 

 5. You View Your Website the Same Way Visitors Do

 

This is similar to the myth that you should like your website. This may sound counterintuitive but hear us out. You have an understanding of your business that your target audience doesn’t. They have questions, concerns, and may not understand certain elements of your business. It’s your website’s job to address their needs and guide them to what they want. This disconnect between businessowners and users can cause a lot of problems, but if you’re able to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to better address their needs.

 

6. Everything Should Be Accessible Within 3 Clicks

 

It seems consumers are only growing more impatient, so it would be reasonable to assume that if a visitor can’t find what they want on your site within three clicks, they might leave. However, this unofficial web design rule has been debunked by a number of usability studies. While ease of navigation is essential in web design, consumers are willing to click around and explore a website to find what they want. As long as visitors feel they are making progress and being presented with valuable content, they will be willing to explore your website.

 

7. More Feedback is Always Better

 

Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth?’ When you receive too much feedback on your site’s design, this is exactly what can happen. It’s not that feedback is bad, but it needs to be valuable. If you need feedback on your site’s design, make sure you only ask those who understand web design, your business, and your target audience instead of sending out a mass email asking for input. Too much invaluable feedback can derail your project and lead to a poor design as you try to accommodate everyone’s minor tweaks. If you’re really unsure about something in your site’s design, ask your designer. You hired them for their expertise and they will guide you to the best design solutions for your site.

 

Did you believe any of these web design myths? Does your website adhere to any? It may be time to redesign your website! Contact the web design professionals at MLT Group at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490 today! We partner with you to create a design that not only looks great but is also easy to use and appealing to your target audience. We also provide digital marketing services from SEO to PPC and more.

Which Type of Commercial Video is Right for Your Business?

Commercial videos have proven to be a powerful marketing tool. They’re entertaining, engaging, and effective. Now, it’s easier and more cost effective than ever to create videos for your business. But with all of the different types of videos out there, which ones are best for your business? Keep reading to learn more about different types of commercial videos and how they can boost your business!commercial video

Demo

Do you have a product or program you’re selling? Demos are a great way to showcase their benefits and how it works. Showing potential customers just how your product works will give them confidence in what they’re buying and decrease their purchase hesitation.

Tutorial

Do your customers need instructions on how to use your product? Tutorial videos are a great way to educate customers and help them use your product to its full effect. The product might come with instructions, but videos are extremely helpful for visual learners and easy to digest. Short tutorial videos are also great for teaching customers how to use different parts of your product.

Training/Education

Regardless of your business or industry, your employees probably require some type of training to perform their job well. Whether it be how to use equipment, first aid, or information regarding your product, training and educational videos can help acclimate new employees quickly. Not only can training videos be re-used, making them cost-effective, they also increase knowledge retention.

Broadcast Commercial

Broadcast commercials are one of the more expensive options on this list, but that’s because they’re so effective. They can reach a massive, captive audience. You can also target a particular audience by airing your broadcast commercial on the channels they most use at the times they are most likely to be watching.


Internet Commercial

Internet commercials have many of the same benefits of broadcast commercials, without the price tag. They can be inexpensive to produce and still reach a large, targeted audience. Internet commercials can also be shared on your business’ website and social media, racking up views and exposure.

Testimonial

There is no marketing tool more powerful than a satisfied customer. They will spread the word about your business and encourage others to visit you. Testimonial videos take that a step further. Videos of satisfied customers’ testimonials can be spread far and wide and be re-used, giving them a long shelf life.

Explainer

Explainer videos do just that- explain things. They are particularly useful if your business or products are new, complex, or abstract. For example, if you have a groundbreaking program to sell, you can use an explainer video go guide the viewer through the thinking behind the program, how it works, and what it can do. Animations are especially effective for explainer videos as they are entertaining and can illustrate abstract concepts. Done right, explainer videos can educate viewers and encourage them to buy! Here’s an example.

The commercial video professionals at MLT Group have been providing video production services for over 30 years. From broadcast commercials to training videos, we’ve done it all. We offer comprehensive video production services, handling everything from script writing to editing. If you’re ready to utilize the power of commercial videos for your business, contact us at 507.281.3490 or sales@mltgroup.com for your FREE consultation.

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

When it comes to maintaining your business’ website, you probably think of updating information, pictures, and managing your SEO and advertising efforts. But there’s another important element you’re forgetting— a blog.

Blogs are an often underutilized business tool. There are a number of hidden benefits to blogs beyond promoting your business, and if you’re not taking advantage of them, your business can fall behind the competition. Let’s take a look at what a blog can do for your small business.blog

Help build a relationship between your business and consumers

Blogs give you a great opportunity to connect with potential customers. They are a voice for your business when your sales staff can’t be there, telling customers what you stand for, what services you offer, and developing your business’ persona.

Help your site rank on search engines

When you type in a search on Google, their bots crawl around the web looking for sites that are relevant to the inquiry. One way bots evaluate sites is through keyphrases and geotargets. If someone searches for “floral arrangements in Minneapolis,” and you have a few blogs that highlight floral arrangements in that location, the bots will view your site as relevant, placing it higher in the search rankings. Bots also look for websites that are frequently updated with new, quality content. Blogs allow you to do this with ease. Even posting once a month lets bots know that your website is active.

Blogs work, even when you can’t

You can’t be promoting your business, interacting with customers, and boosting SEO 24/7. Blogs can. There are no expiration dates on blogs, so even blogs published months ago are still working for your business. Also, each new blog builds on those previously published, so the longer you consistently post for your business, the greater the benefits.

Build authority for your business

If a stranger walked up to you and claimed that they were a hairstylist, would you let them cut your hair? You’d probably want some proof of skill first. This is what blogs can do for your business. With plenty of competition claiming that they are experts in your industry, blogs give you an edge by allowing you to show off your expertise to potential clients.

Provide Content for Social Media

Creating fresh content for your business’ social media profiles can be time consuming. However, your blog is a great source to draw from. You can easily have blogs auto-publish to Facebook or Twitter, or manually share them. This exposes your content to a larger audience and allows you to get more mileage out of one piece of content.

In business, you need every advantage to rise above the competition. Utilizing blogs for your website is a great way to gain an edge. If you’re looking to improve your site’s rankings, engagement, and authority, MLT Group is here to help, offering a number of SEO services, including blog writing. For a FREE consultation, contact the professionals at MLT Group at 507-281-3490 or sales@mltgroup.com.

How Facebook’s Latest Update Affects Your Business’ Social Media Presence

Recently, Facebook has made a significant change to its algorithm to prioritize posts that encourage meaningful connections between individuals. This means more posts from friends and family will appear on users’ timelines and fewer from businesses, brands, and organizations. This attempt to cut down corporate clutter on users’ newsfeeds has small businesses seeing a decline in viewership. Even before this change, businesses found it challenging to appear on their target audience’s radar; now it’s only going to get harder.social media presence

This change doesn’t mean Facebook is any less important for s犀利士
mall businesses. It still attracts a large audience with 2.13 billion monthly users, and it would be ill-advised for businesses to neglect maintaining and growing their social media presence. But while it has become more difficult for small businesses, it’s not impossible. It just requires a different approach.

1. Prioritize Connection Over Sales:

It’s tempting to post sales pitch after sales pitch, but you’re not doing yourself any favors. Facebook is a place to build a connection and a relationship with your audience that will translate into sales. With Facebook now prioritizing meaningful connections over commercial clutter, this is more important than ever.

2. Use Ads:

One commercial aspect that won’t be affected by this update is ads. Paying for ads is a great way to get your business in front of your target audience. Facebook allows businesses to be very specific in who they target, narrowing down their audience by age, location, gender, and even interests. Depending on how long you want the ad to run, it doesn’t have to be expensive.

3. Create or Join a Community:

Businesses can create or join groups on Facebook that focus on their industry or expertise. By creating or joining a group, businesses can attract their target audience. For example, if you own a photography studio, you can join a group for local couples planning weddings. There, you can share your photography ideas and expertise. Just remember to stay away from ‘salesy’ language. Genuine participation will garner better results.

4. Create Events:

Is your business hosting an event? In additional to traditional advertising, create an event on Facebook. Local events will appear prominently in users’ timelines and you can invite followers to attend. When users respond that they are either attending or interested, their response may appear in their friends’ timelines as well, further spreading news of your event.

5. Engage With Your Followers:

It’s easy to think of Facebook as just another place to advertise your business, but at its heart, it’s social. It’s a great opportunity to interact with your audience, building a relationship and brand loyalty. When users comment on your posts, leave you reviews, or send you a message, you need to respond. This won’t only make an impression on the user you’re responding to, but will also make your business look good in the eyes of those who see it.

In the end, Facebook’s update is meant to benefit users. Small businesses that can appeal to this change will benefit, not only from improving their presence on Facebook, but also by better appealing to their audience.

Are you looking to improve your social media presence or update your social media strategy? Contact the digital marketing experts at MLT Group at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490 to schedule your FREE consultation today!

MLT Group Proudly Sponsors Gear Daddies Performance at the Mayo Civic Center

As a partner of Riverside Concerts, MLT Group is proud to sponsor the upcoming Gear Daddies performance! The Americana/Rock band originating in Austin, MN, has traveled all across the country in the past 30 years, producing iconic songs such as “I Wanna Drive the Zamboni” and “Stupid Boy.” They’ve even performed on The David Letterman Show and at the South x Southwest Music Festival. Gear Daddies, who were highly influential members of the Twin Cities music scene in the ‘80s, are coming to Rochester! They’ll be performing at the Mayo Civic Center on Thursday, February 15th at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now before they’re gone! MLT Group is proud to support local community events.

Top 6 Ranking Factors for 2018

  1. Content keyword relevance & content based metrics – To rank well, your page content must show that it’s relevant to the search being done.  This is about publishing original content that is accurate to your services or products using the key phrases and geo-targets that are searched by the people you want to find you.
  2. Quality of online identity info – Lots of online directories publish information about your business, and they may have gotten it wrong. Claiming your business on map results and optimizing your business information across these directories is important to consumer confidence and to the search engines’ view of your businesses reputability.
  3. Responsive design / mobile optimization – If you want your site to rank in mobile searches (from smart phones and tablets) you have to have a mobile optimized site. Responsive design is the new standard. Businesses without mobile sites in 2018 are well behind the curve.
  4. Original and relevant content – Search engines don’t want to return results filled with the same-old-same-old content. Your site must be filled with original content that speaks to your offerings and the user’s search.
  5. Page load speed – Google is comparing the load speed of sites and returning results for searchers heavily influenced by how fast a site loads. Even sites built just a cou威而鋼
    ple years ago can probably realize load speed enhancements in 2018 by implementing new coding techniques.
  6. Backlinks – Good quality backlinks are the single biggest ranking factor, but link building is an arduous process. It’s difficult to get other sites to link to your site and it can be extremely time consuming. However no other ranking factor has a bigger impact. The better the quality of the backlink, the higher its value to your ranking, leading many SEO leaders to concentrate on expensive but effective PR backlinks (links from high quality sites that must be gained through public relations and relationship building).

Are you ready to improve your website’s ranking? Contact the SEO, paid marketing, and web development professionals at MLT Group today at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490.

Twitter Doubles its Character Count- What it Means for Your Social Media Strategy

Twitter has always been a great marketing tool for businesses to use for communicating brief messages. Now the popular social media platform has announced it’s doubling its character count to 280. Whether you love or hate it, the controversial move has left small businesses wondering how this affects their social media strategies.

Well we have good news. This shouldn’t hurt your current social media strategy in any way, but it’s a great chance to take a step back and reevaluate how you can use the expanded character count to your advantage.

Remember Your Multi-Lingual Audiences:

One of the leading factors behind Twitter’s character expansion was user’s difficulty communicating based on their language. Twitter cited that users tweeting in English, Spanish, or French aren’t able to express as much per character as users tweeting in Japanese, Chinese, or Korean. If you have a multi-lingual customer base, this means tweeting just got easier!

Keep Content Strong:

It can be tempting to max out each tweet, but instead of making your tweets longer, make them more detailed. One of the biggest fears about this change is that it will clog users’ feed with wordy posts. With  strong, relevant content, your audience won’t get sick of your tweets, even if you do max out your character limit.

If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It:

Are you killing it on Twitter? Then don’t worry about redesigning your social media strategy. That being said, if your strategy on Twitter isn’t garnering the results you want, you’ll want to reexamine it, regardless of the character expansion.

Don’t Forget the Basics:

While the new character limit offers more opportunity, don’t forget what has made your social media strategy successful. Continue to include strong visuals, properly utilize hashtags, and maintain your business’ voice. Whenever you make a change to your social media strategy, first ask yourself, ‘how does this help me achieve my business goals?’

Regardless of how you feel about the character expansion, it seems its here to stay. As with any change, it’s those who adapt that survive.

Do you have a social media strategy? Is it garnering the results you need? If not, contact the experts at MLT Group. We’ll help you develop and implement a comprehensive social media strategy that will help you see real world results. We also provide other importance services like search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

Schedule your free consultation today at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490!

5 Lessons Your Business Can Learn From Dollar Shave Club’s Viral Video & How to Use Them in Your Own Commercial Video

Every business would love their commercial video to go viral and that’s exactly what happened with Dollar Shave Club’s first online commercial. Video is a great channel to use for either organic or paid marketing. While your next video may not go viral, there is still a lot we can learn from DSC’s video that will benefit your business’ next production.commercial video

1. Brand Consistency: Dollar Shave Club’s first video set the tone of their brand. They are to the point, aimed at younger people, and don’t take themselves too seriously. This tone is consistent throughout all of their subsequent videos. When producing videos for your business, first, determine your brand’s persona. Second, don’t deviate from that persona. If one video is over-the-top and outrageous while the next is serious and somber, viewers will have difficulty getting a read on your business and understanding who you are.

2. Don’t Get Lost in Your Own Video: Do you remember the commercial about the WWI Christmas Truce? The commercial had plenty of people tearing up and the message is clear- Christmas is for sharing. But do you remember who the commercial was promoting? Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s is a U.K. based grocery chain, so perhaps U.S. viewers are at a disadvantage, but it’s hard to remember when the business’ name only appears briefly at the end. If you’re a small business promoting yourself through video, you can’t afford to get lost in your own video. Dollar Shave Club tells viewers who they are and what they do in the first 10 seconds of their video and keeps the focus on themselves, so there’s no mistake. This is especially important as they were just starting out and didn’t have the same brand recognition they do now.

3. Hook You Audience: In the first 17 seconds of their video, Dollar Shave Club hooks viewers. “Are our razors any good? No.” Instantly, viewers are intrigued, with the real hook coming as the founder drops an F bomb. From there on, the video gets progressively more outrageous until it climaxes with dancing with a bear in a money shower. Audiences’ attention spans are only shrinking, but hooking their audience right away ensured that viewers would stick around for the whole minute and a half video. You don’t have to be crude or over-the-top to hook your audience. Learn what’s important to them and address that right away.

4. Have a Clear Message: The beauty of Dollar Shave Club’s video is that, even with all of its eccentricities, their message is clear and consistent. The focus is always on the founder speaking about the service’s benefits and why you should switch. Identifying your commercial video’s message early on will help you remain consistent and clear throughout.

5. Know Your Audience: Dollar Shave Club’s videos appeal to a younger audience that spends a lot of time online, enjoys funny videos, and are likely to share content with their social networks. This style of video wouldn’t be as effective with an older audience, who might see it as absurd or may not see it at all if they aren’t spending time online. Knowing your target audience is key to producing a commercial video that will appeal to them and choosing where to broadcast it.

Are you ready to produce a commercial video promoting your business? MLT Group offers professional videography services and is licensed for commercial drone use. Contact us at sales@mltgroup.com or (507) 281-3490 to get started today!

 

 

 

 

Backlink Boot Camp: Why Your Site Needs Them to Climb to #1

Competition for the top spot on Google is fierce and your site could use every advantage. Your site is optimized for search engines, your online identity is consistent, you’re running pay per click ads, and you’re regularly getting positive reviews, so what’s left? Backlinks are an important part of any digital marketing strategy and can help your website make it to page 1.

backlinks
Backlinks help your overall digital marketing efforts by allowing reputable sites to vouch for you.

What is a backlink? 

A backlink is a link from another site to your site. Backlinks from quality sites improve your rankings on Google and other search engines, making it an essential part of any SEO strategy. It’s almost as if another site is vouching for yours. When it comes to backlinks, quality trumps quantity. 100 low quality backlinks won’t have the same impact as a few high-quality ones. In fact, too many backlinks can seem spammy and actually hurt your SEO!

What makes a good backlink?

There are a few factors that go into a quality backlink.

  • Relevance- Backlinks should be related to your site and your business. If you provide carpet cleaning, you won’t want backlinks from a trucking site.
  • Domain Authority- Domain authority measures how reputable a site is. Backlinks from sites with high authority will be stronger than those from a site with low authority. You can use tools like the MozBar to evaluate a site’s domain authority.

How to get Backlinks:

Look for Broken Links: If there are certain sites you’d like backlinks from, search it for broken links. For example, if you’re a doggie daycare and you find a broken link on a pet blogger’s site, you can contact them, let them know about the broken link, and suggest replacing it with a relevant link to your site.

Ask: If there’s a site you want a backlink from, simply ask. This works best if you’ve formed a relationship with the site’s owner. Perhaps they’re a prominent blogger in your field? Follow their content, engage, and work on building that relationship before you ask, and you’ll increase your chances of getting that backlink.

Track Mentions: Services such as Google Alerts will track mentions of your business across the internet. If those mentions aren’t linked back to your site, you can email the publisher and request a link. For example, if your business was mentioned in the local paper’s online publication, Google Alerts will notify you and you can email the writer to link the article back to your site.

Are you ready to get quality backlinks for your website? Contact the experts at MLT Group at sales@mltgroup.com or (507) 281-3490 today! We’ll develop a backlink strategy to get your  website high-quality backlinks to help your site climb in rankings.