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Our Favourite Team Building Exercises | WEB ROI

WEB ROI’s Favourite Team Building Exercises 

team photo

When you think about team-building exercises you may think about the typical games you play while at a conference. They are more like ice breakers than team building activities. In today’s day and age, you don’t have to play the old spaghetti and marshmallow game, you can be more creative and even bring in some technology. Team building is so critical to us, it is our sixth core value: Work Hard and Play Hard Together.

The Benefits of Team Building Exercises 

In the traditional office environment, we spend 40 hours or more with our co-workers. Now as a business that works entirely remotely – we still spend at least 40 hours a week engaging in the same work with each other. The benefits of investing time and resources into team building are extensive.

  • Facilitates collaborative and motivated work culture  
  • Promote agile problem solving and decision making 
  • Fosters responsive and meaningful communication  
  • Promotes creativity and out-of-the-box thinking  
  • Enhances productivity  
  • Boosts employee morale  
  • Better work and organizational performance  

These activities promote a positive work culture by bringing individuals together. When teams work together individual strengths get brought together to creatively problem solve. These activities increase productivity, and if simple activities are completed during morning meetings you can keep everyone awake!  

The Purposes of Team Building Exercises  

Team building activities have numerous benefits, and each team-building exercise has a purpose. Different activities work on different aspects of creating a well-rounded team. When you set up team building activities think about these different purposes and ensure that you include several activities that touch upon these purposes.  

  • Communication: these activities work on building communication between the team in a positive and nurturing way 
  • Get to Know You: these activities are used as a way to get to know different members of the team, usually in a fun and interactive way  
  • Creative Problem Solving: These activities help team members work together to come to a solution using different strengths and problem-solving techniques.   
  • Building Trust: A well-rounded team must trust each other; with trust, a team can effectively work together.  
  • Importance of Everyone: These activities help the team understand the strengths of each team member, and how each member plays an important role in building an effective team.  

Partaking in activities that touch upon these different purposes will help to build a well-rounded team that enjoys working together. The following are some activities that we enjoy doing, with some activities touching upon different purposes of team building. 

Much like most teams, our team-building exercises have changed. Working from home has been an adjustment and along with it, we have had to adjust our bonding time as well. Our team-building exercises used to look like potlucks, lunch and games, card games and escapes rooms. Now, we practice safety measures and participate in different forms of team bonding which are listed below.

COVID Safe Team Building Activities

Weekly Check Out Meetings  

One of the things we do weekly is a check out meeting. While working in an office, many teams can communicate with each other on a different level, take coffee breaks, visit each other’s offices etc. But while working from home and especially working during a difficult time, our breaks and team communication look a little different.   

To combat this, our team does weekly check out meetings. Every Friday around 3 pm the whole team gets together and talks about everything that is not work-related. So, all those coffee breaks, office visits and other activities you have with your coworkers during the week are just condensed into one Friday afternoon virtual hang-out meeting.  

This is very important to our team and allows for a good break in the busy work week and a nice way to end the week as well.  

Hike and Lunch 

Every month our team tries to do a social outing, something outdoors where we can socially distance ourselves and still have a great bonding experience. Our team partook in a hike and lunch event one of the months where the weather was nice!  

Communication was a big part of this experience; the team was better able to get to know one another while building trust in a new environment.  

Backyard Meetings with a Twist  

One great way that our team can get together, socially distant and have a good time is having backyard meetings with a twist! Now, you may be wondering what is the twist? Well, during these get-togethers we roast marshmallowscarve pumpkins, have snacks and discuss work and non-work-related things.  

This is a great way to get the team together safely while doing something fun. Although some work things are still incorporated in this, for the most part, the team finds ways to play games and have a great time.  

 Joke of the Day 

Every day we take the time to tell a few jokes. They are usually of the dad variety, and they result in a lot of eye rolls and back and forth banter.  

Jokes are a great way to start off your day. You get endorphins pumping and you start the day off on a positive note which will carry on throughout the day. 

When We Can Meet In Person Again – Return to Some Favourites

Potlucks

Food is the greatest way to unite people. Sharing and eating food is universal, we all must eat to survive. Coming together to eat over a meal is the most uniting act that groups of people can do. Sharing a meal provides us with the ability to share our culture, heritage and a bit of ourselves. Through food, we can provide nourishment for others and take the time to communicate with each other and learn about the other members of the group.   

When we take a step back and think about our greatest moments you would find that most of those memories are connected to sharing food with family and friends. Having the ability to share food with your coworkers is an easy way to share some time together and learn about each other. Also, who wouldn’t want to spend an hour eating delicious food?  

Lunch & Games 

Along with having a potluck and coming together over a meal, you can take it a step further and introduce some quick games. Whether it is a potluck or everyone takes time to spend their lunch hour together, introducing games is a fun way to interact and start to team build.  

The games don’t have to be complicated, nor do they have to belong. They should just be fun and allow your team to interact with each other in a positive way. Some of our favourite games are simple, fast and fun. There is also the challenge of taking down the boss in a classic game of Settlers of Catan! 

Online Games 

As a team, we like to play online games. The concept is simple, set up the game (either online or through a game counsel), connect your phone to the game room and you are on the way to a great time. Some of our favourite online game sources are Jackbox Games, with games such as Drawful and Fibbage. There are plenty of free online game resources that use the same process for gameplay.  

Table/Wall Games 

These games are your classic game room games, from pool, darts and table tennis. If you are fortunate to have one of these games, use it to your advantage. Set up a tournament, with or without prizes you are sure to develop an amazing team.  

Our office has a dartboard that fosters some healthy competition between our team. That large boardroom table we all have, set up a net and start up a game of table tennis.  

The sky is the limit when it comes to games. There are numerous online resources that provide you with free gaming platforms. With a simple deck of cards and a creative mind, you can get a quick card game going. There are no excuses, a table and a net and you can get a table tennis tournament going.  

Escape Rooms 

 An escape room is usually about an hour-long, where you are totally immersed in a movie-like setting. From being in space to the wild wild west, there is an array of themes to choose from. The concept is to work together as a team to solve a series of puzzles and riddles.  

In solving the puzzles and riddles, everyone gets to stretch their creative mind and put their problem-solving skills into practice. An escape room helps your team forge relationships. The problem-solving skills that your team learns outside of work can help them while problem-solving at work. An escape room also helps you identify unique skills that you wouldn’t otherwise see while at work.  

Puzzles and Brain Teasers

We all know the benefits of doing puzzles and brain teasers. They help keep your mind sharp, and they are good for your mental health. When you do a puzzle or brain teaser as an individual you stretch the mind and keep yourself busy. You start to learn and activate new ways of thinking and problem solving that can be beneficial to your work-related tasks. When you want to give your team some time away from work-related tasks, give them a brain teaser. It will stretch their mind and they will come back to work with a fresh take on the task at hand.  

Take it up a notch and get the whole team working on the same puzzle or brain teaser. This activity will showcase different ways of thinking and problem solving and will be a great way to learn about each other’s strengths. Which can later be utilized when solving work-related problems.  

Charity Events 

A part of our company culture is to give back to the community, and we take this opportunity to do it as a team as well. On the surface, charity events don’t seem to be a team-building activity but when you take a deeper look at our culture you will see that it can be.  

Employee satisfaction is not only based on an employee’s personal success at the company. Today, employee satisfaction includes things like; work-life balance, positive work relationships, fulfillment by the type of work and even a company’s corporate social responsibility. If an employee feels that the company they work for is socially responsibly they are more satisfied.  

Next time an opportunity for charitable giving arises bring the whole team along. Whether it’s a run to raise money, a bowling event or simply giving blood do it as a team to build positive relationships.   

Other Team Building Activities  

There are other team-building exercises that you and your team can do. These are just a few that the WEB ROI team enjoys doing. Remember that team building activities are an excellent way to bring your team together. They can range from being a silly activity that brings joy back into the office, or a problem-solving activity that gets your team working together.  

All activities have a purpose, and they can help your team grow together. If you want to stay tuned to some of our team building activities follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We love to work as a team and enjoy time as a team. After all, we spend a lot of time together, so we want to create a positive work environment and positive work relationships.  

Sources:  

https://blog.cake.hr/top-50-team-building-games-employees-love-play/  

https://www.wrike.com/blog/team-building-games/  

https://wheniwork.com/blog/team-building-games  

https://www.huddle.com/blog/team-building-exercises/ 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-food-brings-cultures-together_b_5913e153e4b002274b9469c8?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAKLf32r14W61D6IUwwyfYMMVw6xs8QgjA8VEmNAJDRljnsN0Ftn-IcDo7kNd4DKKFXgDNlIcGYXbSjuvaHrEFsVxaEfSvEYFMRgK_T7_eiZbgjkIpTTFKkgjeWJdNoCIdxNkzsbl03VtQP-AMzlyqMbxICwBvViMRD4wzhv9dpwf 

https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/01/escape-room-team-building.html  

We Need to Talk About Self-Care For Working At Home…It’s Important

We Need to Talk About Sel-Care For Working At Home

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is the practice of taking action to improve your own health, well-being and happiness.  

In simple terms, it is checking in with yourself, making sure you are okay while giving yourself grace and compassion.  

Why is Self-Care Important? 

Everyone has their own method when it comes to working from home, but when working remotely it is important to make the distinction between personal life and work life.  

The transition from an office to working at home is challenging and it can be easy to slip into bad habits when spending all day at home. It is okay to have this happen, in fact, it happens to most people who make the transition. When there aren’t people around to make conversation with it can be challenging which is why it is so important to stay connected with your teammates in any way you can. Companies have now set time out during the week to socialize with your co-workers. This is an added step to self-care, stay connected to your workplace.   

How to Practice Self-Care 101

In order to work efficiently and to take good care of yourself, there are a few things experts recommend doing 

  1. Get into a routine 
  2. Set boundaries between your work and home 
  3. Make time for your lunch break  
  4. Make time for breaks in your schedule  
  5. Have a clock in and clock out time 

Get into a Routine 

Having a routine is very important whether you are working from home or in the office. Wake up at the same time every day, workout, have your breakfast, maybe catch up on a tv show or the news and then you’re off to work. Following a simple morning routine makes you not only feel energized but also more organized going into the workday. You will get a sense of accomplishment with what you have achieved before work has even started.  

Set Boundaries Between Your Work and Home 

When working from home, it can be easy to work well into the evening.  In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, put clear boundaries into place so that there is a distinction between your work hours and the time you need for yourself.  

A perfect way to set some boundaries is to have a distinct place where you work, something that makes it feel separated from the rest of your house. Have a desk set up with everything you would have at work there. Don’t work from your bed or couch, try to stay at your desk in your designated work area. This will allow you to differentiate work and leisure.  

Make Time For your Lunch Break 

Carve out time for your lunch as a well-deserved break. Step away from your designated work area, head outside for some fresh air, make yourself a great lunch or just do some simple stretching. You’ll start to notice that you’ll feel more motivated in the afternoon if you implement this into your day.  

Make Time for Breaks in Your Schedule 

Making to-do-lists are great but makes one that has breaks scheduled into it.  Taking breaks throughout the day is crucial to not only the success of your projects but to your well-being. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and anxious, take a break, go for a walk, get some fresh air and start new. Even if you don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed take a break anyways. 

Stretching is a great way to take a break and take care of your body. Sitting around working for long periods of time can take a toll on you so stretching is always a good technique for breaks.  

Have a Clock out Time

In order to avoid overworking yourself, it’s great to have routines set in place. Clock in and out at the same time every day“commuting home” is an essential part of your day. This is when you close your work email, change into your sweatpants and start cooking your dinner. It all comes down to routinely especially since it’s so easy to work well into the evening when you don’t have to leave your house. Know when to quit for the day to be successful in your work-life balance habits 

Do you prioritize working with a company that honours work-life-family balance? Check out our Careers page and submit your resume today. 

Visit us at www.webroi.ca /careers/  

Sources:  

https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/your-work-from-home-survival-guide-for-self-care/ 

https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wellbeing/a27267174/self-care-working-from-home/ 

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/self-care-while-working-from-home  

Jason’s Tips: Here’s What You Don’t Know About Blogging That Could Change Your Business for the Better

desk with laptop, phone and notepad on it

Here’s What You Don’t Know About Blogging That Could Change Your Business for the Better 

 Does your business have a blog?

Today, it’s quite hard to find a business without its own website. But a website alone doesn’t always do the trick, in fact, it doesn’t always offer enough information, personality, or authority to stand out from your busy industry.  

This is where blogs come in handy. A blog on your website can make your company shine! Blogging is essential to maintaining your online presence not only allowing you to stand out from the crowd, but it can also attract potential leads.  

How Blogging Can Help Your Business 

Business growth certainly does not happen over-night and it can be quite sometime before your business gets enough traction. Blogging is a way to help your business stand out from the crowd and to get your business seen by many different people.  

Here’s how blogging can help your business: 

  1. Blogging Helps Drive Traffic to Your Business  
  2. It Helps Convert Traffic into Leads  
  3. It Helps Establish Thought Leadership  
  4. Provides More Social Exposure 
  5. It Yields Long Term Results  

When your business adopts a blog, you sign up for long term growth. Not only are you positioning yourself as thought leaders within your industry, establishing authority, but your digital marketing efforts increase. Your social media strategy expands, your link building expands, and you get more visitors to your website.  

Blogging Helps Drive Traffic to Your Business  

How do people find your website? They could type your name right into Google, but that is an audience you already have. They have heard your name before, you’re on their radar, which doesn’t help you get more traffic, unfortunately. So, how exactly do you drive traffic to your business? Well, you use social media, search engines and last but most importantly, you blog. 

Every blog you post becomes a new page and is indexed. This gives you an opportunity to show up more in search engines, especially since Google loves new, fresh content.  

So, How many pages does your website have? How often do you update those pages? You probably don’t have many pages to update often enough. But every time you post a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your site helping you to show up on search engines more often. This is how you drive traffic to your website. You can train Google to pay attention to your website. For example, if you update your website or a page on your website once or twice a year, Google knows you don’t have much going on. But, if you blog every week, you are training Google to visit your site for new content every week.  

 It Helps Convert Traffic into Leads 

Now that you have the traffic coming into your website through your blog, you can convert that traffic into leads.  

Each page, each blog post is a new opportunity to generate leads. All you must do is add a lead-generating call-to-action on each blog post you write. Sometimes these call to actions leads to something like newsletter sign-ups, free whitepapers, free webinars or any content that someone would want to exchange information for.

If you re in the landscape industry you might want to put a call to action that leads to a free guide to sign up for. The key here is finding out what your target audience cares about and have them sign up to receive it.  

 It Helps Establish Thought Leadership 

The best blogs a business can put out are the ones that answer people’s most burning questions. If you are creating content that is helpful to your target market, it will establish you as thought leaders in the industry.   

For example, if people are having reoccurring issues with their furnace or HVAC you will want to answer those questions in detail in a blog post.  

Blogging Provides more Social Exposure 

Your social media strategy and digital marketing are extremely important. First, you will want to establish tools that will help you run your social media which you can find here in this blog post. Secondly, you are going to want to come up with content to share on the platforms you are using. What makes this interesting and easy is that you can share your blog posts to social media or even draw information from blog posts and share that out in snippets. Therefore, you can repurpose your blogs for social posts.  

Social media is important, so the more your position your business as thought leaders on social media the more traction your blog gets resulting in more traffic to your website. It’s a full circle leading to generating and capturing leads. 

It Yields Long Term Results

Let’s say you sit down and write a blog post and publish it today. That blog post gets 100 reads and 5 leads. You get another 100 reads the next day with another 3 leads, sounds great doesn’t it? But it doesn’t end there. You’re getting traffic coming into your blog posts from the social media you have been doing for it, getting it another 50 reads and 2 leads. Now search engines are picking it up and you’re getting, even more, reads and leads than expected. 

The effort you put in one day leads to a lot of output and input for your business. Don’t let this slip away. 

So, will you be picking up your pen and paper or should we say keyboard and mouse and start blogging for your business?  

Does this sound time consuming to you? It can take some time to research your blog topic, write it out, review it, publish it and share it. If this sounds like something you are interested in doing but don’t want to do it yourself, contact us at [email protected] and we will take care of it for you 

Want to know the value of content marketing, check out this blog post.

 Sources: 

https://velocitize.com/2018/04/18/7-reasons-company-needs-blog/#:~:text=A%20chief%20reason%20every%20company,to%20strengthen%20your%20SEO%20strategy. 

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/the-benefits-of-business-blogging-ht 

https://thrivehive.com/why-your-business-needs-a-blog/ 

The 5 Best Ways to Crush Instagram Marketing

The 5 Best Ways to Crush Instagram Marketing

Are You Ready to use Instagram?

Are you on Instagram? Does your business have Instagram? Well, if you answered no to these questions then you are in for a treat.  

Instagram is an integral part of your Social Media Marketing plan. Without using Instagram, you miss out on a huge target audience, as well as many fun and educational opportunities for your business. So, are you ready to use Instagram? It’s okay if you’re not. Instagram can be quite tricky to use but once you are in the flow of things, you’ll be questioning why you weren’t using it in the first place.  

Why Use Instagram For Your Business?

Instagram puts a face to your brand. It is a visual platform that allows you to have a more personal connection with your customers. Having a visually unique Instagram can truly help differentiate your business from your noisy industry.  

Instagram is a great platform to update your customers on unique sales or special promotions you have. Many businesses have seen a boost in sales after sharing promotional materials on the platform.  

Much like LinkedIn, on Instagram, you can build unique connections, opening the opportunity for collaborations 

Instagram has a unique setting called shoppable posts, this is where your followers can shop your products directly from their feed! 72% of Instagram users have admitted to purchasing products through this setting, can’t ignore those results!  

Some Unique Stats to Help Give You That Little Extra Push

  1. Instagram sees over one billion active monthly users and 500 million daily Instagram stories (Statista) 
  2. Instagram is the second most accessed network behind Facebook. Users typically spend about 53 minutes on the platform a day! (Pew Research Centre)  
  3. 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and 83% of users say that Instagram has helped them discover new businesses (HubSpot) 

Instagram Best Practices

Now that you are convinced that your business absolutely needs an Instagram profile, you’re ready to move into learning about the best practices of Instagram.  

The best practices for Instagram are constantly changing, much like any other social media platform. It’s important to stay up to date with the changes so that you can be at the forefront of businesses online following the best practices.  

Keep in mind, you should plan your strategy in advance with the best practices in mind for optimal success on the platform.  

Instagram best practices are as follows: 

  1. Establish a Business Profile  
  2. Create an Eye-Catching Instagram Bio 
  3. Creativity is Key 
  4. Create a Content Calendar  
  5. Create a Hashtag Strategy  

Establish a Business Profile

Instagram has the option to establish a Business profile. This is the most important step! By doing this, you access many tools such as insights per post. With an Instagram Business Profile, you will be able to build your brand image, following, and sales funnel in ways that the personal account won’t allow.  

Making this crucial change allows you to create call-to-action buttons on your profile, you can earn a verification badge, access real-time data and launch and track campaigns all right from the app itself.  

Creating an Eye-Catching Instagram Bio

Make your Instagram bio shine! If you want your profile to be appealing to other people, make this your second priority. You have little room to capture the attention of potential followers with only 150 characters or less paired with your photo/logo. Much like how you only have 2 seconds to attract visitors to a website, you only have about the same time get a follower on Instagram. Therefore, your bio is crucial, it must shine.  

If you are a new brand, make sure your bio sounds credible, you must earn people’s trust.  

Creativity is Key

Instagram is a highly visual platform; in fact, the picture does the talking for you. The creative possibilities for Instagram are endless. Make sure to shake up your content and post new and engaging photos every week Utilize the Instagram Story and reel function. Using new features like Instagram Reels pushes your content to the top of the discovery page, allowing new people to find your business more easily. Instagram stories are a great way to give quick insights into your business, share sales, and most importantly show your company culture.  

Create a Content Calendar 

Creating a content calendar will make your job as a business owner 100% easier to tackle. Plan for the month ahead, fill your calendar with unique content each week. Scheduling posts in advance will save time, in the long run, allowing you to do more important business functions. Identify themes, it can be seasonal or play on your target audience’s interest and values. Determine what type of format will deliver your message the best, will it be Instagram stories, reels or static posts? Timing is also an important aspect of your content calendar. Pay attention to when your followers are most active and publish during those high times.  

Create a Hashtag Strategy

Many Instagram users search for content using the hashtag search bar. They can also follow hashtags. 

By using relevant hashtags in your post, you are opening opportunities for your content to be found by thousands of people. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, use geotags to attract local customers.  

Having a thorough thought out hashtag strategy will really open the door for your business on Instagram.  

Will Your Business Have an Instagram Profile?

Instagram is one of the top platforms in attracting new customers and making sales. It gives your brand a story and puts a face to it. It allows you to be creative but also target people effectively and efficiently. So, will your business have an Instagram profile? 

It may seem like a lot of work and effort put into a social media platform and truthfully it is a lot of work but every second of it is worth it. If this seems like something you want to do but do not have the bandwidth for it contact us at [email protected] and we can help you out! 

Let us know if this was helpful by tweeting us at @WEBROIca  

Learn how to harness social media to enhance your business here.

Sources:  

https://www.hubspot.com/instagram-marketing 

https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/chart/how-often-americans-are-using-social-media/ 

https://www.statista.com/topics/1882/instagram/ 

https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/03/reasons-to-use-instagram-for-business.html  

Jason’s Tips: Get in the Know: Do you need Social Media to be Successful?

Get in the Know: Do you need Social Media to be Successful?

phone with social likes

Worried About Your Social Media?

Ask yourself…what do I need to make social media the most effective and efficient it can be? What do I not want to worry about throughout the day regarding my social media? Once you have asked yourself those key questions, you’re ready to begin.  

Watch our tips video on how you can be successful in choosing a social media tool for your business here. 

The Basics: How to Choose the Best Tools for You and Your Business 

It’s not just about the best possible tool for your marketing strategy, it is also about the best possible tool for you or your employees to use. Each tool has its strength and weaknesses, play towards who will be taking on the Social Media Marketing task, target their strengths and find a tool that compliments them best for optimal success.  

So... how do you choose the best tools for you and your business? Well, there are a couple of things you need to consider: 

  1. What are you wanting to accomplish with your strategy? 
  2. Why are you looking for a tool to use? 
  3. What level of experience do you want your team to have with the chosen tool(s)? 

What are you wanting to accomplish with your strategy?

Define your goals! This is the most important part. Are you wanting to increase social brand awareness? Drive traffic to your site? Generate leads, or engage with your community?  

What results do you want from your set goals? Keep this in mind when looking for tools to use, will they meet your goals and desired results? 

Why are you looking for a tool to use?

It’s likely that you have not had a great experience with your current tools or workflow. That’s okay, if you want the best tool for your team, identify the core issues you have faced. The goal here is to help you find the right tool that will eliminate those issues.  

What level of experience do you want your team to have with the chosen Tool(s)?

Your team is key here, they are the ones that are going to spend quite a lot of time using the product. You want your team to spend time making amazing content for your business rather than finick around with mundane tasks your platform can do for you.  

To learn more in-depth about the basics of choosing the correct social media marketing tool(s) for you and your business check out our Video here where our CEO Jason Gervais discusses how to effectively choose.  

Important Social Media Marketing Tools 

Now that you know your basics, you are ready to choose the perfect Social Media Marketing Tool for your business.  

Here are the top Social Media Marketing Tools that drive success within small-medium sized businesses.  

These are key features to look for in a tool: 

  1. Will it free up time for my team to focus on engagement?  
  2. Does it streamline their workflow? 
  3. Will it meet our desired goals and results? 

Here are the best tools to drive success: 

HootSuite 

HootSuite is known as one of the biggest social media management tools on the market with over 1.5 million people using the platform. This is an all in one platform that allows you to create and schedule content, measure your social ROI, run ads and so much more. Its design is extremely user friendly and HootSuite offers a variety of training so that you and your team can use the platform to its fullest potential.  

There are several things people love about this platform: being able to monitor multiple accounts and keywords, connect with over 35 social networks, and bulk schedule social posts so you can free up time for engagement! 

Agorapulse 

This social media marketing and management platform help businesses of all sizes manage their social accounts in the most efficient way possible. Engagement is key within this platform, helping you build meaningful relationships with your followers. Some of its top features include monitoring and responding to all your social conversations in one place and scheduling posts in advance.  

If you are looking for an all-around marketing management tool this is your best bet as it combines engagement and content creation most effectively.  

ContentCal  

This is a great team collaboration tool that can help you and your team with creating content and publishing it. ContentCal allows you to create a visual content calendar right on the platform so no need to create that pesky excel document. Some of its key features include a visual content calendar, integrations with over 300 apps, approval workflows and detailed analytics!  

If you are looking to eliminate multiple documents for your content calendar, this program is your best friend! It also promotes team collaboration outside of team events which is important for any business.  

Tailwind  

This tool is specifically made for visual marketers and businesses who use Instagram and Pinterest as their primary platforms. Through Tailwind, you can discover new content, schedule posts, monitor conversations and analyze your reach. Most schedulers lack the ability to post directly to Instagram and Pinterest so, if these are your main platforms then this tool is for you!  

Some of the top features of this platform include custom hashtag lists, measuring ROI and extremely affordable pricing.  

Falcon.io 

This platform offers you a SaaS-based platform for social media posting, engaging, measuring and community management. If you are looking for something that connects with your CRM this is the option for you! Falcon.io gives you a 360-degree view by allowing you to connect your CRM to it.  

Much like the ones above, you can create a content calendar, create paid and organic posts, and monitor all your channels and conversations.  

Social media is one of the main reasons why many businesses see rapid growth. Many businesses generate leads that are cheaper and close deals faster through social media. In fact, many people search for your social media profile before they visit your website. So, is social media integral to your business? The answer is yes. 

Does this process seem like a lot of time and effort? It is, but it is well worth it as 3.6 billion people are using social media worldwide. That’s a lot of customers in your target market you can reach through social media.   

If your team does not have the bandwidth to set out a social media strategy and pick the necessary tools to accompany it, you’re in luck. At WEB ROI, we specialize in social media marketing, taking care of the whole process for you! Contact us at [email protected] to learn more about this opportunity.  

Choosing a Social Media Marketing Tool is a great start towards heading to a healthy and thriving Digital Marketing strategy. Learn how to know if your Digital Marketing is working here.  

So, which one will you choose? 

Do you use one of these tools already? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @WEBROIca 

Sources: 

https://shanebarker.com/blog/social-media-marketing-tools/ 

https://buffer.com/library/social-media-management-tools/ 

https://buffer.com/library/choosing-social-media-tool/ 

Jason’s Tips: Following the Law, Are You Up to Date With AODA?

Document with pen on top

What is AODA? Are you Compliant?

AODA stands for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act. It is a law that sets out a process for developing and enforcing standards that ensures all Ontarians have fair access to programs and services. AODA is paired with WCAG which stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. WCAG are the guidelines that AODA would like businesses to follow to become compliant 

Watch the Video Series here where our CEO Jason Gervais interviews, internal AODA specialist Tracy Bento. 

What Are the Accessibility Standards?

Accessibility standards are laws that the government, businesses, non-profits, and public sector organizations must follow to become more accessible. These standards help organizations identify and remove barriers (physical or otherwise) to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in 5 areas of daily life: 

  1. Customer Service Standard: This helps to remove barriers so everyone can access good, services, and/or facilities.  
  2. Information and communication standard: This standard helps to make information accessible (i.e. in store or online) 
  3. Transportation Standard: Outlines ways to make travel easier for everyone. 
  4. Employment Standard: Helps make hiring and employee support practices more accessible.  
  5. Design of public spaces standard: This outlines how to make outdoor public spaces more accessible.  

What Does this Mean for Your Website?

The following are the guidelines that will govern if your website requires accessibility measures.  

By Law, you must make new and significantly refreshed public websites accessible if you are: 

  1. A private or non-profit organization with 50+ employees; or
  2. A public sector organization  

The organization that is in control of your website must meet these accessibility requirements (i.e. your Digital Marketing Agency). This will begin January 1, 2021. This means that all public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio description).  

 As mentioned previously, AODA requires you to follow WCAG in order to become compliant with the law. Following WCAG guidelines that are set out by an international committee of experts will allow you and your business to be successful in implementing AODA.  

In the next section, important terms that are found in the legal guidelines set out by AODA are defined. It is important to have a good understanding of these terms so that you and your business can successfully implement the law and stay up to date with important jargon  

Defining Legal Terms

Document flipping through pages

We have outlined some information/legal terms that will determine if you or your Digital Marketing Agency will have to take the necessary steps to make your website WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant.  

If you are a private or not-for-profit organization with 50 or more employees OR you are a public sector organization, you will have to consider the status of your website and its current state of WCAG compliance. Any new or significantly changed website created after 2012 will have to comply to the WCAG guidelines. 

What Does Controlling a Website Mean?

This means you have control over the websites: 

  1. Appearance 
  2. Functionality
  3. Content 

What is Classified as A New Website? 

In terms of appearance, a  new website is a site that has a new web address, or a significantly new look and feel to it. A website is not considered new if you are simply adding a new page or a new link. 

What is Classified as A Significantly Refreshed Website? 

In terms of functionality, a  significantly refreshed website is a website that is keeping the same web address, but you are making changes such as: 

  1. A new look and feel to the website (i.e. new colours, shapes and text layout) 
  2. How users interact with the website (i.e. new menus and page layouts)  
  3. A major update and change to the content of the website 

What Does Content Mean? 

Content means any information that may be found on a web page or web application, including text, images, forms and sounds.

What is WCAG 2.0 and How to Comply  

What Are the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines? 

WCAG 2.0 is an internationally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C is an international team of experts that have created standards and guidelines for accessibility.  

When you follow the guidelines set out by the WCAG you are ensuring that everyone can easily access your website and its content. 

What are The Different Levels of Accessibility? 

Each guideline in the WCAG has three levels of accessibility: A, AA and AAA. The AODA sets the standard for websites in Ontario, for any newly created or refreshed website a WCAG level A must be reached. Once you have achieved level A compliance you will need to meet Level AA compliance. At this time, in Ontario meeting Level AAA is not required.  

Keep in mind, that reaching a Level AAA Compliance across an entire website is not required (and likely not achievable), but if some pages/content reach Level AAA compliance it can be noted in your Accessibility Statement. 

What is an Accessibility Statement? 

An Accessibility Statement is a document that outlines the accessibility levels and standards that your website reaches. This statement will also outline any areas in which you cannot reach WCAG compliance. In the cases where you cannot comply with the requirements (i.e. with a map), you are still able to post the content, but you must provide an accessible format if it requested. 

The Case for Accessibility in Business 

There are tangible and intangible benefits that occur when you make your website accessible. There are 4 ways in which your business can benefit from an accessible website they are drive innovation, enhance your brand, extend your market reach and minimize legal risk.  

How Can an Accessible Website Drive Innovation?   

Accessibility features on your website can often solve unanticipated problems. When you take into consideration digital accessibility you are creating and thinking about varied and flexible ways for users to interact with your website. These varied and flexible ways can be useful to all users (with or without disabilities). These designs are usually more human-centered and contextual, making someone’s interaction with your website more natural. This all helps in creating a more enjoyable user experience.

Using an Accessible Website to Enhance Your Brand  

An accessibility commitment helps to improve and accelerate diversity and inclusion efforts that are taking place in your business. When a business is clearly committed to accessibility for all, users will feel a genuine sense of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  

A commitment to making a workplace/business more accessible and genuine interest in CSR will provide a host of potential positive outcomes such as enhanced brand image and reputation, increased sales, increased customer loyalty (people want to work with ethical companies), and improved workforce diversity.  

Extend Your Market Reach with an Accessible Website 

Developing an accessible website opens your market reach to 1 billion people with spending power of $6 trillion. The market of people with a disability is large (roughly 15%) and is growing as the general population ages. There may also be individuals with disabilities that do not identify as a “person with a disability” (i.e. the aging population).  

An accessible website can help not only those with a permanent disability but can also help users in all types of situations such as:  

  1. Users on mobile phones, smart watches etc.  
  2. The aging population 
  3. Those with a “temporary disability” (I.e. broken arm or lost glasses) 
  4. Environmental challenges (I.e. sunlight or noisy environments) 
  5. Those with limited/slow internet connection 

Having an accessible website improves the online experience of all users.  

Minimize Your Legal Risk with an Accessible Website 

Many governments (Ontario included) have laws in place that require digital accessibility. When a website is not compliant to these laws a business can run into legal consequences. Taking the time to make your website WCAG complaint will ensure your business is following the legal guidelines set out by the government in the AODA 

Whether you have 50 or more employees or simply want to make your website accessible for all we have the solution for you. To learn more about our AODA solution contact us at [email protected]  

Sources:  

https://www.w3.org/WAI/business-case/#:~:text=User%20experience%20research%20and%20case,risk%20%E2%80%93%20among%20many%20other%20benefits

https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-make-websites-accessible 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-make-websites-accessible 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/about-accessibility-laws#:~:text=The%20Accessibility%20for%20Ontarians%20with,developing%20and%20enforcing%20accessibility%20standards  

https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-make-websites-accessible 

 

Best Practices for LinkedIn Company Pages

Group of people working on a buisness plan

As a professional, you may have heard that having a LinkedIn profile is important. But what about as a business?

As your trusted advisors in digital marketing, we are on a mission to educate small business owners that maintaining their LinkedIn Company Page, especially for businesses that are B2B, is beneficial to their company.

As part of this, we’ve created a detailed guide to best practices for LinkedIn Company Pages. By the end of this guide, you’ll have plenty of takeaways and actionable steps that you can take to ensure that LinkedIn becomes an extension of your business. Once you start using the platform correctly, you will begin to notice that it can truly help you drive traffic and obtain more qualified leads for your company.

Complete Your Page

Let’s begin this guide by creating a solid profile. This will not only showcase your company, but you can answer many of your leads’ questions without them needing to reach out to you directly. To build your profile, refer to this checklist to ensure that you’ve maximized the most important features:

  •  A branded cover image and logo to your business page. Your logo will act as your profile picture since there’s no one ‘person’ that is your brand (even if you’re a solo entrepreneur).
  • Be sure to fill out an overview of your company, using relevant terms and phrases that describe your company’s mission, purpose, and general activities. Of course, be sure to avoid jargon or difficult lingo that your target customers may not understand.
  • Add key organization info, such as your website URL, location, industry, and company size. For some of these options, LinkedIn will provide a dropdown list for you to choose from.
  • Be sure to have a call-to-action. The key with marketing is making your potential clients do as little as possible to connect with you, which is why a clear and compelling call-to-action is key on every digital touchpoint that you have with your customer – including LinkedIn!

Man hands working on laptop, laptop screen says marketing strategy

Posting on LinkedIn 

Of course, no guide to best practices for LinkedIn Company Pages is complete without a guide to active management and marketing tactics.

Once you’ve created a solid foundation from which you can market your business on LinkedIn, it’s time to come up with a marketing strategy and execute some tactics to begin to connect with your audience.

LinkedIn Publishing Best Practices:

  • When considering best practices for LinkedIn posts, try to include images with your post as often as possible, as these tend to grab the attention of readers more than simple text posts.
  • Include video as much as possible. According to LinkedIn, video posts get 5x more engagement on LinkedIn, and even better, Live Video content gets 24x more!
  • Use “@” mentions to engage more companies, create a community, and continue to provide legitimacy to your audience.
  • Reach new, relevant audiences with your content with the use of hashtags in your post. You don’t need to go crazy here, but a few hyper-relevant hashtags can help your post get in front of more potential customers.
    • Engage with other business’ and individual posts, this demonstrates that you are interested in others around you and genuinely want to engage with your customers outside of the sales funnel.

That’s it for our best practices guide for LinkedIn Company Pages! Ready to experience the power of LinkedIn Marketing? To watch our video on LinkedIn Best Practices follow the link here.

Expand Your Network

Your LinkedIn page should be an extension of your business’ website. Learning to use it to its full potential can help your business immensely. For more information contact us today.

Sources

https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/linkedin-pages/best-practices

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/linkedin-company-pages

The Small Business Guide to Email Marketing

Email marketing concept

In many ways, marketers are beginning to appreciate the true value of an email list and email marketing in general, favouring it over social media in many different ways.

One of the reasons why this small business guide to email marketing is so necessary for small business owners is because email marketing gives you more control over your marketing messages and who your message goes out to. How? You own your email list!

No, that doesn’t mean that you own your customers, but what it does mean is that your email and your messaging isn’t subject to the dreaded social media algorithms. In fact, according to a survey published by Opt-In Monster, the average conversion rate for email (6.05%) is more than 3 times what the conversion rate is for social media marketing posts (1.9%).

Convinced yet?

That’s what we thought. In this small business guide to email marketing, we will dive into when you should send your emails (i.e. what purposes emails can serve), how often you should send your emails and how to build your email list.

And now, without further ado, here’s our small business guide to email marketing!

When to Use Email Marketing

There are many ways to use email marketing to further your marketing and business objectives. The most common objectives that marketers use email to achieve include:

  • Building connections and relationships.
  • Growing brand awareness by keeping your company and your services top-of-mind.
  • Promoting your content, such as blog content or other useful assets that will elevate your customer experience and make them want to purchase from you.
  • Generating leads by providing value.
  • Promoting the products, services or special offers that your business has will add value to your email subscribers.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Email is a strategic way of reaching your customers and generating leads. According to HubSpot there are 3.8 billion email users worldwide and $38 made for every $1 spent this is an amazing return on investment. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined. The next time you are wondering if you should use email to reach out to potential clients, think of these results.

How to Get Started With Email Marketing

To begin using email marketing for your small business you need to consider what your email marketing strategy will be. Your customers receive hundreds of emails a day, and you need to ensure that your email will not get lost in a crowded inbox. To achieve this, creating and implementing an email marketing strategy is your best bet. Follow these steps to build an effective email marketing strategy:

  1. Define your audience: Start with your target buyer persona so you can tailor your email campaign to your audience.
  2. Establish Goals: Before you establish what your goals will be, gather information on your industry’s email statistics and use these as your benchmark.
  3. Create Ways to Sign Up: You will need to build your email list and the best way to do so is to have a compelling reason for people to subscribe (see Lead Magnets below)
  4. Choose an Email Campaign Type: There are various forms of email campaigns, weekly newsletters, product announcements or blogs. Do some research about the different types of email campaigns and choose the best one for you.
  5. Make a Schedule: Determine how often you will be contacting your list and inform them upfront so they know what to expect. Keep this schedule consistent to build trust and to remain top of mind.
  6. Measure Your Results: Measure the success of your campaign against the goals you have set and the industry standards.

You can easily manage your campaigns with email service providers like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and many others.

Someone clicking subscribe button

How to Build a List

Of course, this wouldn’t be a small business guide to email marketing without talking about how you can build that email list. Quite frankly, there’s no sense in investing time and money into a marketing campaign that doesn’t reach your target audience. With that in mind, be sure to dedicate consistent efforts to building your email list, not just marketing to it. This also includes cleaning up your email list regularly to ensure that the people you are reaching are still relevant to your business and want to continue to receive your emails. This can greatly reduce the number of unsubscribes.

Lead Magnets

These days, one very popular tactic to growing your email list is by creating and offering what’s called a ‘lead magnet.’ A lead magnet is a piece of content – it could be an eBook, whitepaper, webinar, or something else entirely – that is useful or otherwise attractive to your target audience, compelling them to give you their precious email address (something that pushes past their thought: “ugh, not another email collection tactic”) in order to get this valuable piece of information that you’re offering.

You can also build your email list by creating an opt-in form or adding an opt-in to your existing forms that will compel your customers to sign up.

When to Send Your Emails

The frequency with which you send emails to your email list can be highly dependent on your target audience, what you’re offering, your goals and so many other factors. Going into your email marketing efforts with an open mind, allows you to test different frequencies and other elements of the campaign until it begins to resonate with the audience that you want to attract most.

Email Marketing Analysis

Once you have created an email list and developed an email marketing strategy you can start to send your emails. To continue to improve your business it is imperative to dive into the analysis of your email marketing strategy. The following are some things to consider when analyzing your email marketing efforts.

  1. Perform A/B testing: Test different elements of your campaign to determine what combinations work best. Remember to test one variable at a time for more accurate results.
  2. Set Email Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): In order to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign you will have to identify these four key metrics.
    • Deliverability: This is the rate at which emails reach the intended subscriber’s list.
    • Open Rate: The percentage of people who opened the email.
    • Clickthrough rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on your Calls-to-Action (CTA’s).
    • Unsubscribes: The measure of the number of people who opt-out of your email list once they receive an email from you.
  3. Adjust to Improve Results: There are multiple components in a successful email campaign, you will have to adjust those different elements to improve your email campaign results.
  4. Use a Reporting Template: This allows you to gather information in an organized fashion and easily compare results.

Master Email Marketing

We hope this email marketing guide provides you with the information you need to feel more comfortable utilizing the power of email to grow your business.

When used correctly, the benefits of email marketing are numerous. For more information about how email marketing can benefit your business, or to learn about our email marketing services contact us today.

Sources

https://optinmonster.com/email-marketing-vs-social-media-performance-2016-2019-statistics/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-guide

Jason’s Tips: Harnessing the Power of Social Media To Grow your Business

Lady using phone

Businesses are beginning to realize that social media has the potential to help them achieve their business goals, however, many of them do not know where to start or how to leverage social media to grow their business. Throughout the month of September, we created informative videos to help businesses understand how best to use social media to grow their business.

Watch the video series here where our CEO Jason Gervais interviews our Social media Specialist Caleb Sawh.

Aligning Your Social Media Strategy with Business Goals

As with every marketing tactic, the first step to achieving social media success is to clearly define your business goals. Only then can you create a successful strategy to help you achieve them.

Once your business goals are clearly defined then you can proceed to answer the following questions:

  1. Define and understand your target audience – Who are you trying to attract to your business? Who is the ideal customer? (Read our blog on building a target buyer persona if you’d like to learn more.)
  2. Determine the type of content to post based on insights from (1) above
  3. When and how often to post the content to attract your target audience.

While it may not always be possible to determine the optimal posting schedule at the beginning of your social media journey, it is always better to have a structure in place that you can build on as you progress. The best way to achieve this is by creating a content calendar.

A content calendar is the best way to organize your content and posting schedule on social media. Having predetermined content for extended periods allows for more flexibility in posting. Though topics can be brainstormed up to 3 months in advance, when creating the social posts only 1 month should be created at a time. Things in the digital world, and for your business are always changing, so you need to be flexible with content creation. One month of social posts is usually about 8 – 12 posts, but you should also be ready to add more if necessary.

One very important thing to remember when creating content for social media is to ensure that it is informed by your previously defined target audience insights and is consistent. Watch our video on aligning your social media strategy to your business goals for more information.

Building Customer Relationships with Social Listening & Engagement

Another powerful advantage of social media is the ability to build customer relationships. Social listening and engagement are key to achieving this.

Social listening is the process of discovering what is being said about your business, brand and your industry online and across social media.  This is important because it helps you to stay on top of what is happening in your industry and how consumer sentiment changes overtime.

Engagement on social media means engaging with your audience. At the basic level, engagement means putting out content your audience will be interested and responding to messages and comments. To be an expert at engaging your audience however, you must go a step further by engaging with them outside your own content, commenting on their posts, setting up polls, asking them questions and sending them direct messages. This allows you to stay top of mind with your target audience.

Here are some important things that social listening can help your business achieve:

  1. Create better content: Using social listening and experimenting is the best way to truly determine what content resonates with your audience. Listening tells you what needs to address and experimenting content types i.e. images, GIFs, videos etc. help you determine how to address them. It can also help identify relevant hashtags which are also a great way to reach your audience.
  2. Track your brand: Tracking all mentions of your brand name and associated parties on social media is essential because a prompt response is key on social media as things tend to amplify very quickly. You need to acknowledge positive mentions and comments, respond promptly to any negative mentions and more importantly, address customer service questions or comments.
  3. Learn about your audience: Many businesses are still getting to know and understand their target consumers and how to reach them. Social listening can help you discover and understand important information such as:
    • Where they are most active online and which social networks
    • What topics interest them and what relevant keywords they use
    • What needs, interests, and questions they have based on the content they’re reading and sharing
  4. Build Better Social Media Marketing Campaigns: Learning all of this information about your audience – the topics they are interested in, the hashtags they use, the content they read, and so on – helps you build better digital marketing campaigns.

For more information watch our video on social listening and how to better engage with your social media audience.

Lady working on Laptop with ROI text beside her

Measuring Social Media ROI

One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of social media by many businesses is return on investment; not because there is none but because many don’t understand how to measure it. As with any other form of marketing, it is important to measure your return on investment (ROI), to help you understand what is working and what needs to be improved or even discarded. Let’s look at some of the things that your business can implement to get a better understanding of how well your social media campaigns are performing.

  1. Set Goal Metrics: Setting goal metrics such as online purchases, link clicks,time spent on landing pages, site traffic, newsletter signups, phone calls, social media interactions, reach, brand recall etc. The key is to identify metrics that are relevant to your business.
  2. Assign a monetary value to each goal metric based on your business model and customer lifetime value. E.g. a newsletter signup may be more valuable to you than a link click on your website.
  3. Ensure that all relevant metrics are tracked using a robust analytics software like Google Analytics that can attribute goals completed outside social media to the relevant social efforts.
  4. Determine your cost per channel by adding labour and other costs.
  5. Use information from steps 2 and 4 to calculate the ROI per social media channel.

Our Social Media Specialist walks you through measuring and calculating your ROI in this video.

Grow Your Business with Social Media Ads

Social media ads are a powerful way to reach and engage your target audience especially if you already have a following and understand the likes and interests of your consumers.  Social Media advertising put simply is, creating and deploying ads to your target audience through social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Snap Chat etc.). If you would like to learn more about paid ads read our blog:  Pay Per Click Advertising – All you Need to Know.

Navigating social media ads and understanding their benefits can be challenging especially if you have no prior experience. As with all marketing efforts, the keys to success are identifying your goal/objective, understanding your target audience, getting your messaging correct and measuring your results.

The beauty of social media advertising is that you can set up your ads based on the business goal you would like to focus on or for example, if your goal is to achieve brand awareness, a reach campaign on Facebook will help you reach as many people as possible within you target audience. If you would like more website visits, then a traffic campaign; if your goal is leads, then a lead generation campaign.

Many social platforms now allow you to collect leads within the platform itself, using their lead generation ads. The consumer journey is short and with less disruption to the consumer’s experience increasing the likelihood of a form fill.  As social tools evolve, they have become increasingly important for product search and ecommerce with specialized ad formats.

When using social media ads, you can easily target specific audiences with certain characteristics such as; age, gender and location. Other options include interests, liked or followed accounts, education, job title, job seniority, years of experience, hashtags used etc. This allows you to easily find your ideal customer and present them with your highly targeted content and the opportunity to take a desired action.

Finally, measuring is much easier with social media ads as each platform has its own robust reporting and attribution. For consolidation, they can also be linked to analytics platforms for a more complete picture.

Our last video in the series explains more about social media ads and how they can help you grow your business.

Whether you are new to social media or simply do not have the time to use social media we can help you. To learn more about social media management and how we can help your business grow contact us at [email protected]

Pay Per Click Advertising – All you Need to Know

For many business owners and professionals, some marketing tactics are more accessible than others. One area of online marketing that can be very confusing is pay per clickWhat exactly is it? A common myth is that it is a type of online marketing ad, usually Google search ad, however this is not entirely true. Pay per click is simply a model of online marketing where advertisers pay only when consumers click on their ad (i.e. you are paying for the action – in this case, a click). This is comparable to an impression based model where you pay based on how many times your ad was displayed. In this case you’re paying for visibility rather than per action. Pay per click ads are therefore ads that use the pay per click model – you only pay when the ad is clicked. 

Types of Pay Per Click Ads 

Now that we know what pay per click ads are, let’s talk about the different types of pay per click ads. Most of the online advertising platforms available today offer pay per click models of advertising on their platform however, the most common or well know type is the paid search ad.  Others include Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google display ads, and Google ads remarketing. What’s the difference between these anyway? 

Paid Search vs. Organic Search: What’s the Difference? 

Firstly, let’s talk about the difference between paid search and organic search results. 

Quite simply, when your business pops up on a Google search ‘organically’ this is because your content is relevant to your customer’s query. While Google is smart and can often spot relevant local businesses that haven’t put in the extra SEO work, this organic placement is often enhanced by the strategic use of SEO techniques including relevant keywords and phrases. No direct financial contribution is utilized in showing up in organic search results (in other words, you can’t pay Google to show up organically). 

On the other hand, paid search is just that: paid. This is when a business puts some money behind an ad (by bidding on relevant search terms) to improve the search ranking of the business, placing it at the top of the most relevant customer queries in the search engine, usually above organic search results. It’s a great way to ensure that your services are front and center to relevant customers. It also helps to know that you only pay when a customer shows interest by clicking on your ad. 

The Breakdown: Types of Paid Ads 

Now, let’s dive into what you came here for:  an explanation of all the different types of paid ads that can use the pay per click model. 

Google Search Ads 

These pay-per-click ads (PPC) are designed to appear at the top and sometimes the bottom of search engine results pages like Google. When creating these ads, certain keywords are selected that, when typed into the Google search bar, will trigger the ad to be placed for relevant search queries. These ads are marked with the word “Ad” to indicate to the consumer that the content is paid. Because they use a pay per click model, advertisers only pay when someone clickon a search ad. 

Google Display Ads 

Google display ads are image based ads that are shown across millions of websites and mobile applications. They are typically a visual representation of the product or service that is being advertised in an effort to reel in potential leads. The image will usually contain some text and a call to action.  

These ads allow your business to target specific types of people you believe will be interested in your business with appealing ad formats including static images and GIFsThe targeting options available will help ensure you reach the right audience at the right time. 

Google Ads Remarketing 

Ever left a website only to begin seeing ads for that same website on another site? Possibly even the same product you were looking at? This is called remarketing. 

Remarketing ads are designed to bring back previous site visitors who did not complete a desired action on your website by reminding them why they visited in the first place. This type of advertisement when properly executed works very well in comparison to other ads since the customer has typically already progressed along the ‘buyer’s journey.’ 

Facebook & Instagram Ads 

When it comes to social media ads, Facebook reigns supreme. This is because Facebook, having acquired Instagram, is a one-stop shop for many marketers wanting to gain business exposure on social media platforms. 

These ads blend into a user’s feed or timeline, allowing advertisements to receive greater attention. These ads include both visuals and text to convey the ad’s key messages with a call to action (CTA) telling users what to expect when the ad is clicked on. Some CTAs available are Learn MoreSign UpDownload etc. One additional advantage of Facebook ads is that iaddition to showing up in several different places on Facebook (newsfeed, stories, in video, marketplace etc.) they can also show up on Instagram! 

Instagram ads are similar to Facebook ads, using visuals and text in a user’s feed and stories to convey a message. Unlike Facebook ads however, Instagram ads will only show up on Instagram. 

With both Facebook and Instagram, you have the ability to target very specific characteristics of your ideal customer. Demographics are generally used as the target criteria including gender, age, and interests, this allows for interesting targeting. An example of characteristics that we target when building a campaign for a landscape company are: relationship status, job title, interests such as home improvement, DIY in the home, where they shop etc. 

Effortless Pay Per Click Ads 

With the variety of paid ads available, you are sure to find one that meets your business goalsContact us to get started with your paid advertising campaign today!