Coastline Marketing Group Newsletter Graphic

An Education in Digital Marketing - A New Way to Stay Informed

Coastline Marketing Group Newsletter GraphicInternet marketing is an ever-changing landscape. One approach to online marketing you used last year might not necessarily work this year — or you might not get the same results. You may be left wondering, “What will work for my business?” Well, we’re here to help answer that question.

Staying proactive with the latest digital marketing strategies, techniques, and trends is a full-time job. You may not know where to begin (or for some businesses, how to start over). And that’s ok. Many businesses don’t.

At a glance, the different strategies that go into marketing a business online can look complicated. The terminology can leave you scratching your head. A big part of our philosophy is centered on making your life easier, answering your toughest questions, and giving you a comprehensive education on all things digital marketing — all which come together to give you and your business an advantage in that ever-changing digital landscape.

To that end, we’re in the process of launching a new initiative dedicated to educating local businesses on just about everything related to internet marketing. Our goal is to help businesses stay informed and up-to-date on the strategies and methods that go into marketing a business online. Through a series of workshops, you’ll have access to everything, from the internet marketing basics all the way up to the advanced stuff. No stone is left unturned.

We believe a solid education in digital marketing is crucial to a business’s online marketing endeavors. Many businesses that come to us for help have already been inundated with sales pitches and solicitations from a number of digital marketing companies. Many of these companies, based all over the world, can be relentless. At the same time, they can leave you uncertain and confused. Who is legitimate? Who is not?

When you understand the terminology and techniques that are being pitched, or that you may encounter during your own independent research, you can make informed decisions about your online marketing. Making informed decisions can make a world of difference.

For example, a marketing company may come to you promising results through search engine optimization, SEO. You may have tried SEO in the past with mixed results, but you’re willing to give it another try. The problem is, SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution — which is how many marketing companies treat it. Depending on where your business is located or what industry you

serve, SEO can get you very different results. The same can be said for many of the digital marketing strategies that are used today.

Plus, SEO and digital marketing, in general, is very different in our neck of the woods. We’ve seen many local companies employ marketing strategies that have had success elsewhere in the country (and even the state), only to be left in the dust by their competitors. They didn’t realize they needed to use techniques tailored to their location in central California.

With our new initiative focused on education, we hope to alleviate these kind of issues and much more. We’re excited to unveil our Marketing 101 Workshop over the coming months.

With our new initiative focuses on education, we hope to alleviate these kinds of issues. We are excited to unveil our Marketing 101 Workshops and in the coming months, you can expected to learn more about these workshops — and learn more about the digital marketing landscape. We’ll see you then!


Coastline Marketing Group Newsletter Graphic

Have You Claimed Your Google Business Page?

Coastline Marketing Group Newsletter GraphicAs a business owner, you have likely heard about the importance of claiming your Google Local Business Page. Yet, you may have been putting it off due to a lack of information about its importance or just simply not having time to explore all that it has to offer for your company. While having a company website is a great start for building your online reputation, it is important to understand that your Google Business Page provides a roadmap for getting your target audience to visit your business along with opportunities for interaction that drive growth.

Google Business Page Benefits

Showing up on that first page of a Google search involves using several strategies such as AdWords and search engine optimization. However, claiming your Google Local Business Page puts you on the fast track toward showing up in your local listings. The local search results can vary due to differing factors among users, but your main goal should always be to end up in the top three results offered. When you do so, your business is automatically presented to potential new customers without any additional advertising money from your budget.

Claiming Your Local Page

Setting up your Google Business Page is a relatively simple process that is easier if you already have a Google account. Ideally, any Google services you use should be set up under the same account to streamline your activities. Once you have all of your information entered, Google will require postcard verification to prove your company is legitimate. This simple procedure simply involves a postcard being mailed to your company address with a PIN number on it. Once you receive the card, go to your account and enter the PIN to activate it.

Getting the Most Out of Your Page

Attracting customers to your website is the main goal of your Google Business Page. However, it also has additional benefits for bolstering your sales. For example, you can add photos of your business, products or services to give potential customers a visual picture of what you can do for them. Current customers can also leave reviews regarding your company for others to read, and you can respond to both negative and positive comments to demonstrate your business’s dedication to providing quality experiences for every customer. Helpful information about your business can also be added. For example, letting potential customers know your hours and services that are offered allows them to make an informed decision about visiting your company.

Ignoring your Google Business Page is letting an opportunity for free and effective advertising to pass you by. Don’t ignore the opportunity to increase your brand recognition and drive potential new customers to your business by showing up in the local listings. Instead, set up your page, and stay involved by responding to reviews and changing your business information as needed to keep members of your target audience informed about all that your company offers.


The Power of Reviews in Today’s Marketplace

Changing the World, One Star at a Time

In the smartphone age, consumers hold an unprecedented amount of power right in the palm of their hand. Social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Yelp can make or break a company, regardless of its size.

Twenty years ago, if a company told us they had the best food in town, we were inclined to believe them. If they told us they had the best customer service, we’d probably take them at their word. These days, if a company makes a claim like that, all we have to do is pick up our phone, look at their reviews, and see what other people are saying.

This illustrates that companies no longer have complete control over their message. As consumers, we help shape a company’s message. As a result, if a business doesn’t bother taking a customer-centric approach, their business will inevitably struggle or even fail.

The Power of the Online Review

Two years ago, a dentist came to me and requested help in marketing her struggling practice. It had been in operation for two years, and in those two years she had accumulated only eight Yelp reviews — with an average of two stars out of five. She knew that her reviews were holding her back, and after reading them, I knew there was something going on in the business that needed to change.

I sat her and her staff down and made it very clear that until they made their patients their number one priority, nothing would change. I helped them put processes and systems in place that would turn their reputation around. Two years later, she now has over 200 Yelp reviews and over 80 Google reviews. Roughly 95 percent of those reviews are a glowing five stars. Her business has tripled, enabling her to open a second location. Just by making her patients the practice’s focus and going above and beyond for them, she was able to completely turn her business around.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

As consumers, we should take note of stories like this. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

If a business does you wrong, say something about it. By all means, leave a review. But make sure your review is in proportion to the level of service you received. If your coffee never got refilled, ask yourself, does that really deserve a one-star review? Perhaps it deserves a three-star review with a dose of constructive criticism.
We expect good service because that’s what we’re paying for. When we actually get that fantastic service, we usually don’t think to leave a review — because it’s what we expect. But if a business goes above and beyond, it’s important that you leave them a rave review. It helps support that business more than you know and contributes to more community businesses that are willing to go the extra mile.

So, share your experiences. Critique those that have done wrong and reward those that exceed your expectations. Contributing to your community really is as simple as marking down a few stars — why not take the time?

- Phil Fisk