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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How to Use Social Media to Market Your Business, Without “Marketing”

Social media allows businesses to reach millions of potential customers all over the world. However, most people don't want to be 'marketed' to. Moreover, they have various methods to tune out your message and your business from their Facebook feed. Take a moment to learn how to use social media to create leads without giving the impression you're 'marketing.'

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Top Fourteen SEO Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to rank your website higher, but not sure where to start? Here are fourteen frequently asked questions that should better help you understand what SEO is and how it can help your business attract traffic to your website, increase your rank, and ultimately generate leads.

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Three Reasons Why SEO Doesn’t Work For Your Business

Many businesses believe that, as long as they have some keywords, they have an SEO plan in place. Moreover, they feel that once they have an SEO plan in place, they are done and if they don’t rise in placement then SEO doesn’t work. The reality is SEO isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic, and SEO requires the support of other tactics in order to be successful. Here are three reasons why SEO might not be working for your business.

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How to Understand User Intent

The goal of SEO and marketing is to drive traffic to your website for you to introduce them to your services and convince them to take a chance with you. However, while SEO can drive traffic to your site, it can’t make visitors stay if your website is out of touch with user intent.

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Direct Mail Isn’t Dead… Here’s How to Use It Effectively

Print marketing is alive and well and sending direct mail pieces through the mail can be an effective way to target leads, prospects, and clients.

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How To Have Your Business Turn Up In a Local Search

When it comes to search results, all search is local. The more connected you are to your community, the better your chances are to rank higher in local search results. While there are a variety of steps to increase your local search marketing, the most basic, but critically important, is to ensure that Google knows where your business is. If your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) isn’t consistent throughout your presence on the internet, there is a chance that you may not appear in your localized search results.

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How Can I Use SEO to Help My Business' Website Rank Better?

Is your business website not generating as many leads as you hoped? Chances are your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is focused on what keywords are and not what they do. Keywords are a starting point for SEO, not the end, and certainly not the only factor in making SEO work for your business. Here are four tips to help you better understand how to use SEO as part of your business Marketing Plan.

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4 Excuses Businesses Should Stop Using When it Comes to Social Media

As the owner of a business, one of your number one tasks is to grow your business. Simply put, without the revenue new contacts bring in, you’ll likely grow stagnant. While word of mouth is great, there is a limit to how many people you can meet. You have to market, advertise, and promote your services to reach a wider audience. In terms of reach, social media can provide access to a nearly unlimited source of leads. 

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5 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out For in 2020

The world is ever-changing and the marketing world isn’t exempted from that steady change. To keep your marketing up-to-date, we’ve summarized five digital marketing trends that will be key in 2020. Let's look ahead!

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Narrowing Your Marketing Focus

When you market your business’ services you want to make sure you are marketing effectively! With too broad a target market, you could be wasting your marketing efforts. You want to narrow your marketing focus - so try target marketing. By doing this you will be breaking your marketing into groups. Then you will narrow those groups down, to those that would need your product or services the most. 

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5 Inbound Marketing Methods Businesses Should Be Using

Marketing has two umbrella classification that most methods fall under, inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Here are five inbound marketing methods that we recommend using to market your business!

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New to Marketing?… Here’s Where to Start

Marketing your business may seem like a huge endeavor, or that you need to be a marketing mastermind to actually effectively market your business, but that is not true. If done right, marketing can be done without any stress or hassle. Where do you start? With a plan of course!

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Marketing for Those with Little Time

Marketing is an integral part of the business process. If your business isn’t allocating any time to marketing, then your business isn’t growing. However, if you allocate too much time to marketing, you take time away from other aspects of the business process. You can escape this trap by utilizing your time marketing effectively and efficiently.   

Here are 4 ways you can optimize your marketing to save time!

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6 Steps in Building a Solid Web Presence

So, you have a brand new website that offers some pretty outstanding products/services, and now you have the expectation that it is going to sell, sell, sell. Great products, after all, are the best marketing you can have. Let me tell you first so you don’t have to hear it from someone else…that is not enough.

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How to Stack the Building Blocks of Your Brand

The marketing term “brand” has very literal roots, as it comes from the long-antiquated practice of branding livestock with a symbol that signified who owned that particular animal. Nowadays, however, “brand” implies much more than just a company’s ownership in its name or logo--it also suggests the personality and culture that a company exhibits and embraces. A brand, by design, is meant to shape how a company will be perceived by the public and is therefore a precious and fragile thing that requires careful maintenance. However, once started, developing a comprehensive brand identity and corresponding activity is fairly simple.

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How to Use a Holiday (Like Valentine's Day) to Market Your Business

Valentine’s Day is a day famous for love, expressions of affection, and chocolate. As such, it may not be obviously apparent how the holiday lends itself to marketing your business to other businesses. However, there is potential for the holiday of love to stir up some action for your company.

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How to Sculpt a Marketing Budget that Fits Your Needs

Marketing your business is one of the most crucial factors to its success. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive. To avoid this, you must plan a budget for your marketing initiatives. What follows is a step-by-step guide to crafting a budget that best fits your needs as a company.

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Why Clients Want to Know About You

If you were to rank the pages of your website by importance to your clients, your first instinct might be to put your more personal pages--like your About Us and Staff pages--somewhere near the bottom of the list.

That would be a mistake.

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You’ve Received Some Feedback! So… Now What?

As the old saying goes, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, it may sometimes seem that your clients could use a refresher course in this virtue, especially while they provide feedback into your services. However, if you put it to the right use, even the harshest criticism can be used to help out your marketing efforts.

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This Is Why It's Important to Maintain Your Lists

Having a well-managed list is a critical component to making the most of your marketing strategy. However, building and maintaining a list can be challenging if the right strategies aren’t employed. In order to optimize your marketing, it helps to know how to best put these strategies into play. 

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Think PR is Only For Putting Out Fires? Think Again!

There’s this off-handed idea that you only need public relations if you or your company has made some type of mistake. Kind of how no one knows about a celebrity’s PR rep until they’ve done something wrong - like cheated, lied, stolen, etc. Nowadays, that’s no longer the case. You don’t only want to be seen when something goes wrong and you have to fix it. The trick with public relations is to put enough flame-resistance out there beforehand to help lessen the intensity when something does go wrong. Your public relations are the only way you can have any control over public opinion, so you need to be sure to implement a strategy along with your marketing.

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Spring Ahead of Your Local Competition By Following These 6 Steps

You’ve been nurturing this lead for months now. You’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and money trying to convince the business decision maker of this company to start doing business with you. But, just as you think they’re about to convert, they disappear. After you do some further research, you find out that another local managed service provider snatched them up.

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How to Get the Action You’re Looking For, From Your Calls to Action

A call to action, CTA, is a clear instruction designed to provoke an immediate response. Whether you say something like “call now” or “find out more”, you’re attempting to convince your audience to delve further into your site or services, without being forceful or demanding. You don’t want your audience to feel like you’re telling them what to do, but rather offering suggestions and assistance to better themselves. After all, when faced with “you’re not doing this correctly so you need to click here now” or “for more information on how to increase your website traffic, click here”, which are you more likely to choose?

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Are You Missing Your Target?

Marketing is incredibly important for your business’ success, but only if your marketing is reaching your target audience. How do you do this? You need to relate to your clients and potential clients. It’s like when you’re looking for a new sitter for your child, you don’t pick the first person you talk to and your clients aren’t going to just pick you because they see you first. You’re going to interview and talk to the potential sitters and see which seems like the best fit for your child - who likes to go outside and play, who knows CPR and actually gets along with your child. The same thing goes for your clients and potential clients - they want to make sure you value the same things they do and that you care about them.

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How to Be Sure You're Getting the Most Out of Direct Mail

Chances are, you’ve received direct mail marketing, and it may have led you to consider utilizing it as a marketing tactic yourself, but you might have questioned how effective direct mail would be, and how you could possibly track its return on investment. The good news is that (if planned correctly) direct mail can have a significant, measurable influence on your marketing.

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The Key to Drawing In Your Desired Audience: Inbound Marketing

When marketing your business, the general wisdom is that inbound marketing is a good thing to include in your overall strategy. This is because it effectively draws in your most interested audience, in addition to usually being more cost-effective than most outbound avenues. Today, we’ll focus on what your inbound strategy should be based on, as well as a few actions to take as you implement it.

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Keep Your Customers Happy With Your Marketing Initiatives!

As any business owner would tell you, a satisfied client or customer tends to be a loyal client or customer. The right marketing initiatives and activities can help to maintain that satisfaction, which is a crucial element in business. In today’s blog, we’ll review why it is so important to nurture your customer/client satisfaction, as well as how to measure it.

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How to Optimize Your Marketing Choices Through A/B Testing

One of the best things about marketing is that it is a very fluid process, heavily informed by how an audience reacts and responds to an initiative. This means that it is very important that you identify what marketing choices will optimize your impact. The process of A/B testing can help with this.

Here, we’ll discuss A/B testing in the context of email marketing to set a familiar scene for our examples.

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How to Frame Your Marketing Around Major Holidays

Whenever a major holiday is coming up, you’re likely confronted with multiple reminders of it in your daily lives. You may see commercials on TV, receive emails from companies, get flyers in the mail. You’ll see specialized packaging for brands you buy every day that reflects the upcoming holiday. It makes sense why companies are doing this - holidays celebrated by the general population give a business an excuse to get in contact with the consumer. And, this often leads to an uptick in sales.

You can do the same for your small business. The key to succeeding with holiday marketing is framing your marketing correctly in terms of your language and the imagery you use.

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Creating the Right Logo is Tricky… Without Help, That Is (FREE RESOURCE)

A logo is one of the most potentially powerful elements of a company’s branding. We say “potentially” because there are many ways that a logo can be designed, and a misstep or poor choice can make it ineffective. However, how can you make the right choice if you don’t even realize that there’s a choice involved?

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The Marketing Collateral Your Clients and Prospects Want To See

Marketing collateral is a collection of media that is used to support the sales of a company’s products or services. The primary purpose of marketing collateral is to showcase your business’ products and services in an informational but attractive way, while at the same time expanding your credibility. The collateral you use should support your overall marketing efforts.

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How Metrics Can Bring Your Marketing To New Heights

When enacting a marketing strategy, it is of considerable benefit to pay attention to metrics—key data and measurements that can provide you with invaluable insights. However, not all data qualifies as a metric, and not all metrics will make sense for all of your initiatives. As a result, it is crucial that you identify the metrics and key performance indicators that apply to each initiative.

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Rules to Tweet By

Twitter has been transformed by the B2B marketing community by offering another platform to engage with your audience, to address their questions, to contribute valuable knowledge, to accentuate what your company stands for. Every day there are opportunities that you could be embracing from being active on social media. Whether you turn these opportunistic moments into high-quality leads, well that is your prerogative.

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Lessons from United Airlines’ $1.4 B (and counting) Social Media Shit Storm

After witnessing the viral social media impact of United Airlines most recent disaster involving forcefully removing a passenger from an overbooked airplane -- we figured it would be a good time to talk about what you can do to successfully manage a social media disaster. So, like they always say “Don’t be scared, be prepared!” 

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Expand your Reach with Lookalike Audiences on Facebook [7 of 7]

Part 7 of 7 - Expand your Reach with Lookalike Audiences on Facebook [Series]

Facebook Advertising is an excellent resource for business owners. Everything you need to run a successful advertising campaign is all in one place, including your audience. Did you run a successful advertisement, and aren’t sure where to turn? Re-run that campaign to the same audience, well it’s clone, with Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences!

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Which Ad Works Best on Facebook? A/B Testing [6 of 7]

Part 6 of 7 - Which Ad Works Best on Facebook? A/B Testing; [Series]

Facebook Advertising is a great way to raise brand awareness and increase your Facebook following. Sometimes your first advertisement might not yield the response you were hoping for. Wait! Don’t get rid of it, rework it with A/B testing.

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Measure the Performance of your Advertisements [5 of 7]

Part 5 of 7 - Measuring the Performance of your Facebook Advertisement  [Series]

ROI is always top of mind for business owners. Often it is difficult to calculate an accurate ROI for social media marketing. Luckily, Facebook makes tracking ROI simple with Ads Manager. The following will help you review the success of your Facebook Advertisement using Facebook’s Advertising Metrics (KPI’s - Key Performance Indicators).

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Determining Your Facebook Advertising Budget [4 of 7]

Part 4 of 7 - Determining Your Facebook Advertising Budget [Series]

In the first part of this series, you may remember us discussing the affordability Facebook offers businesses. In fact, that is one of the many reasons Facebook advertising has become so successful. Any budget can be supported, but how far can your budget take you? 

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Consistent Revisions are the Key to Marketing Campaign Success

A candidate with a great campaign strategy will, more than likely, win the majority vote in an election. The same is true for your marketing campaigns! If you’re not constantly and consistently monitoring and refining your campaigns, it will be incredibly detrimental to your company winning the majority of the clients or potential clients you’re targeting and hinder your marketing success.

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Creating an AD [3 of 7]

Part 3 of 7 - Creating an Ad [Series]

Facebook Ads have the ability to transform your company and dramatically increase your leads without destroying your budget. If you want to reach 1.55 billion Facebook users that could potentially turn into your clients, then Facebook Advertising is right for you. The following will tell you the preliminary steps you need to know to create a Facebook Advertisement of your very own! 

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Terminology [2 of 7]

Part 2 of 7 - Terminology [Series]

Even for an experienced marketer Facebook Advertising can be a little daunting without first understanding the basics. The first real step to learning anything new is understanding the terminology. When you’re setting up your first advertisement you’ll hear things like “custom audiences”, “impressions”, and “auto bid” and even in the appropriate context there might still be some confusion. The following is a brief overview of commonly encountered Facebook Advertising terminology to assist you in your Facebook Advertising endeavors.

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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising - Introduction [1 of 7]

Part 1 of 7 - Why should I Advertise on Facebook? [Series]

You might be a bit, or a lot, skeptical of Facebook, not to mention using it for Advertising purposes. You’ve probably heard horror stories of a people losing money by advertising on Facebook. If so many people are losing money with advertising on facebook then why has it grown by 680% since 2010? It’s because it works! Want to know why it works?

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Campaigns: Not One and Done

There is a misconception that after developing a campaign, your work is finished. People have the belief that once completed they will have the ability to run the campaign continuously, and continue to get leads. Campaigns are essentially a process of tasks that are carried out with the intent of improving the awareness of goods or services. Just like any process, the campaign will need to be refined, and repaired before being used again. The following is a quick look at the cycle that every campaign, regardless of type or size, should go through:

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3 Ways to Start Marketing Your Company to Mobile Users

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_marketing_your_business_400.jpgYou may have realized that marketing and advertising tactics are shifting toward reaching mobile leads. Even superstar companies like Google and Facebook are delegating more marketing dollars to their mobile marketing budgets after a discovery that nearly one-fifth of Google's revenue comes from mobile searching. Here are three ways your company can start up your mobile marketing initiative.

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3 Interesting Facts about Mobile Marketing

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobmark400.jpgMobile technology use is growing at such a fast rate that it's proving to be more than a trend. In the U.S., 56% of adults own a smartphone, and for businesses with an Internet presence, 31% of conversions took place over a mobile device last year. This mobile revolution has huge implications for how your business reaches new customers.

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