Category Archives: Marketing Strategy

Anne Orfila
How To Up Your Instagram Game

800 million users are actively on Instagram every month. So how do you make your posts stand out more than the other 799,999,999 users?

Here’s my secret: Emojis!

Think of emojis as the bullet points of Instagram. When I’m posting for myself, or on behalf of Web Marketing Therapy clients, I use emojis liberally because they give my post some eye candy (helping to draw a reader to my post over others without emojis) and they also help to break up a long post.

Instagram generously allows us to post a lot (2,200 characters to be exact) but remember that most everyone is viewing your post on their phone. This means that if you have a lengthy post, it’s going to look like a novel on their phone. So break up the monotony! Use emojis and get creative! Make it fun! Up your Instagram game with emojis and watch your engagement grow.

See for yourself! Here are my “before” emojis and “after” emojis Instagram post examples below:

Web Marketing Therapy Up Your Instagram Game

🙂 Happy Marketing!

Anne Orfila
Is Your Website Outdated?

Do you want to know a little web marketing secret? 

Websites do age and, in this day and age of rapidly changing web trends, they can become Image via outdated quicker than the bag of chips in your pantry!

This news is hard to bear especially if you have invested big bucks in building a fantastic website just five or 10 years ago.

How do we determine if a website is outdated? Many website details can point to “old age”, but three key factors are true indicators of whether your website is outdated or not. If you answer “no” to all of these, than the web marketing therapist will prescribe a website overhaul.

If your website is “mobile-friendly” (or “responsive”, in geek speak) this means that your website seamlessly morphs to look good (clear, readable, searchable, clickable) on a laptop, on a desktop computer, on a tablet (i.e. iPad, Kindle), and on any variety smartphone. This matters because most Americans own a smartphone and, even way back in 2015, “more Google searches took place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan”. A “non-responsive” website is referred to as “static” which means that the website stays the same whether it is viewed on a giant computer monitor or a tiny phone screen (where the words are usually so small, they are not readable unless zoomed in). The bottomline: If your static website is not easily and clearly viewable on a phone or tablet – where most Americans are searching – they are going to pass your website by and go straight to a “responsive” website that is more user-friendly.

Flashy, busy websites are yesterday’s news. The trend for websites in-the-now are for them to be simplified, with a clear message and easy navigation. Simple design begins from the first glance – imagery and text that clearly communicates who you are, what you do and whom you serve. The bottomline: When it comes to website design in 2018, less is truly more.

Being able to make changes – easily – to your website is critical. If a price has changed or a product is out of stock or a new service is available, you want your audience to know now! If you’ve got a website provider that makes changes for you – but is unreachable or doesn’t make the edits in a timely manner – or if you login to make your own changes and feel completely overwhelmed, than it is time for an update. Also, Google likes websites that are updated and relevant. Even small changes can mean better SEO from Google. The bottomline: Making changes to your website – whether it is done by you or your website provider – should be a walk in the park, not a run for shelter in a thunderstorm.

When we propose that a website may need some modern day love, we often hear, “Do I really need to update it?” One of the easiest ways to answer this is to do a little self-reflection and ask yourself the following:

  • Do my competitors have newer websites than mine?
  • If I had a storefront, would I let it look dated?
  • How well does my website represent my business?

A dated website can indicate an out-of-date business. With so many choices on the web, a website that doesn’t look current can / will be passed over in one quick click. The bottomline: Your website is a reflection of you / your business / your online reputation so keeping it current is in your best interest.

Wondering if your website is outdated? Our Web Marketing Therapy team is here to help. Contact us today.

Anne Orfila
2018 Social Media Marketing Plan and Recommendations

Has the New Year brought a new focus to your social media marketing plan? 

Image via Pixabay.comIf you are sticking to the same-old 2017 social media marketing plan, than this blog post is for you! As the world wide web is constantly shifting and changing, so is social media. Some changes are little, some are big, but all should be paid close attention to if you want to keep your marketing strategy at the forefront. Read on for highlights from some of the major platform players and our recommendations.

Facebook – There will be a shift in the 2018 Facebook newsfeed to focus on organic posts that friends and family share to maximize “meaningful interaction” amongst users. Live streaming popularity will grow more. In terms of advertising, stricter “codes of conduct” were enforced in 2017 and will continue moving forward (Facebook hired more staff specifically for “content monitoring”).

Facebook Recommendation – If you are doing organic posting, keep it up. The more “spontaneous” and the less ad-like, the better. These types of “real life” posts tend to generate more “likes” and comments. Don’t be afraid to include questions to engage your audience. If you do not advertise with Facebook, consider it. As the Facebook feed begins to show more posts that are friends/family oriented, your business posts might get seen less. So the one way to get posts shown is to pay for them. In some cases, money does talk! Also, any ads that you pay for on Facebook will get shown on Instagram too. This is huge because Instagram is huge (see next point).

Instagram – Instagram announced that approximately 800 million people use Instagram every month. It is popular across the generations and not going away any time soon.

Instagram Recommendation – Keep your marketing up on Instagram. Post more frequently than you did in 2017 (which may be daily for some businesses or three times a week or four times a day; whatever you did last year, try to up it). Create a unique hashtag for your brand or business and use it on every post. Post a wide variety of content including videos, tips, quotes, and pictures (that you took, not stock photos). Utilize Instagram stories (which is more popular than Snapchat) to highlight photos or videos. These are highlighted at the top of the page in a bar that people can scroll through so they have great visibility and they expire after 24 hours, creating a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) which makes people “want” to view them.

Twitter – Twitter was the slowest growing social media platform in 2017 and will most likely continue to struggle. They increased the character count (to 280) but may switch things up in 2018 to get the audience excited again.

Twitter Recommendation – Keep an eye on Twitter but if funds or time is limited, focus more efforts elsewhere.

Google+ – Although not as widely popular as other platforms, it is a powerful search engine tool for companies because the content gets indexed and shows up in search results. Only 70% of companies have a Google+ profile.

Google+ Recommendation – Don’t have a Google+ profile? Get one! The benefit of indexing and appearing in search results in the world’s most popular search engine is worth it, even if your Google+ audience is small.

Pinterest – Pinterest has over 200 million monthly users and they have some unique features – such as Pinterest Lens, Buyable Pins, and Rich Pins – that keep users on Pinterest and, more importantly, keeps them coming back. 2018 will see more advancement in their in-stream buying options which makes it easy for users to move from a pin to a purchase without leaving the app.

Pinterest Recommendation – Keep your Pinterest account current and robust. Post to your account but also follow and re-pin content that is valuable to your brand or business. If you sell items online, try Buyable Pins. You have nothing to lose and only revenue to gain.

LinkedIn – Here’s a secret about LinkedIn. This platform is not just for connecting business people. Many businesses have a LinkedIn company page to increase their company’s visibility and credibility. Recent research shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter and members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Recommendation – If your company does not have a LinkedIn page, you need to add this to your social media arsenal ASAP. Note that the LinkedIn page needs to be separate from your personal page. If you do have a LinkedIn company page, keep it current with advice, educational information, inspirational quotes, and updates on your company. Don’t forget to invite your LinkedIn connections to follow it.

Blog – A blog keeps your website “active” and provides useful up-to-date information to your readers. It also gives your brand or business a “voice” that is more intimate than the content on your website which can create (or further) relationships and trust within your audience.

Blog Recommendation – Some people find that it’s hard to write or hard to find the time to write something lengthy. All blog posts do not have to be novellas! If you are struggling with blog writing, develop a strategy that is easy to stick to (perhaps three posts a month to 1) promote a product 2) highlight an employee 3) post your favorite motivational quote). Or if blog writing consistently is too intimidating – or time consuming – hire someone who can do it best for you!

When you are planning your social media marketing plan, keep in mind: 

The 5 top reasons people follow brands on social media are for:

  1. Promotions and discounts
  2. Information and updates
  3. Customer service
  4. Entertaining content
  5. Ability to offer feedback

Final recommendation – 2018 social media marketing is going “back to basics”. Posts should be more relatable on a personal level and less like an ad (unless you are paying for ads!).

We wish you happy, healthy marketing in 2018!



Lorrie Thomas
Sometimes A Simple One-Page Website is The Way to Start

Does the idea of building a new website or redoing your current website stress you out a little?

Or, maybe a lot?

You aren’t alone. I’ve been there myself. In 2013, I hated our company website so much, I pulled the ENTIRE site down to provide a blank slate allowing us to focus on a simpler, cleaner website, it was one of the best marketing moves I ever made. Here is a post I wrote about it.  When I have clients in fear of starting or redoing a website, I often advise the same simple solution:

Start with a temporary one-page website.

When I suggest this, I often get responses like: “but what will people think?” “Will this hurt my search visibility?” “Shouldn’t we wait until the whole site is ready?”

If you don’t have a site, having something up is better than nothing. People are searching for your business online, and if you aren’t there, your customers aren’t happy…or think something is wrong.

Especially in today’s mobile-centric web world, you do not need a big fancy website. What you need is something simple, informative, targeted to your demographic and requires little to no maintenance. Why not start with a one page website? Say who you are, what you do and whom you serve. Make sure your contact information is visible, include an image(s) if it helps and have links to your social media. Capture email addresses if you have a good reason to.

Simple information paired with clean design that is on-brand and on-purpose is the best foundation you can have.

For those of you struggling to redo your website, remember that it isn’t just about being on the web any way you can, it is about being on the web in a precise manner that speaks true to your business and your brand. A website doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be!) complicated. A simple one page site has given so many of our clients the opportunity to be seen and heard while they work on the bigger website behind-the-scenes.

And if you are still stressing, reach out. I’m happy to talk with you. I’ve been there. I still remember the stress of yanking my old website, but what a blessing it became!

Virtual marketing hugs!

Lorrie Thomas
The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Do you know what the secret is to being a successful digital marketer? 

If I asked this question to a room full of professionals, most of them would guess that it’s being knowledgeable in the technical parts of marketing: knowing SEO, SEM, how to buy ads, knowing the best times to post on social media, how to build and manage a website, graphic skills for photos, and much more along those lines.

All of those are great answers and true. Having a handle on any of those skills is going to give your marketing career a big boost. That’s no secret.

But that is not the key to success. When I spoke with Matt Krumrie, Director of Content Management for Power Network for his article on marketing career success, I told him that the the number 1 skill needed to succeed throughout your marketing career is not tech-related, it is the ability to communicate clearly.Web Marketing Therapy: The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Whether you are a college grad seeking to launch a successful marketing career or a professional who has decided to launch your own business and has suddenly found that marketing is now part of the job, being an artful communicator is just as important as knowing the technical stuff.

“The world we live in is phone/text heavy, but this ‘quick and dirty’ method of communication will only leave the marketing grad dirty career-wise. Whether it is an email to your boss, selling something, writing copy for a social media post or an ad, the ability to communicate in a compelling way (and online, that means pithy, powerful text) is critical.

Strong communication skills are needed at every level of online and offline marketing, from writing ad copy to emailing a boss or reaching out to a new client. I loved being interviewed to talk about the skills college grads need to succeed in Matt’s article titled Marketing Careers: Combination of Technical and Soft Skills Key to Success.

How do you sharpen your communication skills? Practice makes perfect. There are so many ways to practice your communication skills in everyday life – strike up a conversation with the clerk at the store, email your child’s teacher, write a thank you note to your neighbor. Sharpen your writing communication skills by writing more, listening more, and reading a lot. Take the time each day to read any book, magazine, newspaper, or online news story that catches your eye. The best part is that once your communication skills are sharp, they will rarely dull, instead they will only become even better with use.

Happy Marketing!

Anne Orfila
Web Marketing Management Tools Our Digital Marketing Agency Is Addicted To!

I have a confession.

Image via Pixabay.comThe digital marketing management team at Web Marketing Therapy would not be as organized, efficient, high-powered and streamlined without help from some super supportive web marketing tools. Through trial, error, and research, the following are some web marketing tools we are addicted to (healthy addiction, of course!) that help us keep our work tight and together.

Without further ado, I share with you some of our favorite web marketing tools – you can thank us later! 😉

If you have a message that you want others to share on Twitter, this is the tool for you!

Clicktotweet allows you to create a fully tweet-able link (meaning people just click and it tweets exactly what you want them to post!). You need a Twitter account to use this. When a visitor clicks on your link, the message gets auto-inserted in their Twitter status box. They click and – boom! – your message is shared. In addition, there is tracking and analytics of your messages.

Cost: This awesome tool is FREE. We made one for this post – click here to tweet it!

If you want to save time managing all of your social media accounts on one easy dashboard, this tool is for you!

Hootsuite allows you to schedule unlimited social media messages and respond to messages across your social networks. You set it and forget it! Analytics reports also show you what is working and what isn’t.

Cost: Variable pricing structure depending on number of social media profiles you are managing.

Boomerang for Gmail
If you want to take control of your inbox, this tool is for you!

Boomerang is your personal assistant for your email account. Write an email and schedule it to send later, check! Got an email that will be relevant in a few days? Click it away and it will be brought back into your inbox when you want it to be there, check! Don’t let any emails fall through the cracks. If you are sending out an email that needs a reply, you can select to be reminded if no one replies, check! And much more.

Cost: Varies by usage between $4.99 per month up to $49.99 per month.

If you want your video to look professional, this is the tool for you!

Make great videos, easily. Choose a style and song, customize your video with photos, video clips, and text. Produce it and share. Animato is user-friendly. You don’t need to be a videographer to look like one.

Cost: Varies by what features you want to utilize. Starting at $8 per month up to $34 per month.

If you want a more efficient way to manage hi-res emails between your team and/or clients, then this tool is for you!

Hightail gives you dedicated space for team members or clients to preview hi-res images and videos without downloading them. It also allows viewers to comment and provide feedback in context and lets people know when you need their input with actionable notifications.

Cost: Varies from $125 per month to $325 per month or customizable prices for larger options.

This last one isn’t really a tool, but more of a tip…

Share Buttons
Just like you learned in preschool, sharing is the best way to play together. 

If you want people to see your blog – and share with others – then having share buttons on your blog is A MUST! Read our blog post about the importance of making your content easily share-able.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New!

All of the above web marketing tools are tried and true. We know, because our WMT team uses all of them. I believe that they all offer some sort of free trial so if one – or more – jumps out at you, don’t be afraid to try it. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work for you and there is no money lost. The best that could happen is that it takes your business to the next level.

Happy, healthy marketing!