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    How to properly implement AI into your digital strategy

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    Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into your digital strategy is a game-changer in today’s evolving digital landscape. Since AI has the potential to enhance customer experiences, automate processes, and provide valuable insights for informed decision-making, it’s a process that requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Listed below are some essential steps to properly implement AI marketing. 

    Define clear objectives and goals

    Start by identifying the specific objectives that you aim to achieve using AI integration. Whether this includes improving customer engagement, enhancing product recommendations, or automating tasks, clear goals will guide your implementation process. 

    Understand the data

    AI marketing relies heavily on quality data. Ensure that you first have a comprehensive understanding of the data you possess, its structure, and its relevance to your objectives. Data cleansing, aggregation, and organization are crucial steps to ensure the accuracy and usefulness of AI algorithms. 

    Use the right AI tools and technologies

    Depending on your goals, select AI tools and technologies that align with your business requirements. These may include machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, or predictive analytics. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each technology before implementation. 

    Develop a skilled team

    Building a team with expertise in AI and machine learning is vital. We recommend collaborating with data engineers and domain experts to effectively implement and maintain AI systems. This encourages continuous learning and allows you to stay updated with the latest advancements in AI technologies. 

    Create a data strategy

    Formulate a comprehensive strategy for collecting, storing, and utilizing data effectively. You can then address issues of data privacy, security, and compliance to ensure responsible AI implementation and maintain trust with stakeholders. 

    Prototype and test 

    Develop prototypes or proof-of-concept models to test the AI implementation. Gather feedback, identify potential bottlenecks, and refine the models to ensure optimal performance and alignment with your goals.

    Integrate AI into existing systems

    Integrate AI seamlessly into your existing digital platforms, applications, or websites. Ensure that AI systems complement your existing infrastructure and workflows to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. 

    Implementing AI into your digital strategy is a dynamic process that requires careful planning and a willingness to adapt. 

    How do you think AI marketing will help drive success in your digital endeavors? Drop a comment below to share.

    6 ways to rank higher using SEO

    You can invest ample time and money into building your e-commerce site, but if customers are unable to find it in the maze that’s online shopping, it will just be another platform lost in a sea of neverending content. Search engine marketing helps businesses to optimize their content for better-searching power on websites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo so that customers find the sites that best meet their needs. While this can be done by using trending keywords, there are other ways to generate traffic and sales. Here are some tips that will help you to rank higher in online searches.

    Find and use the right keywords

    While it’s always best to use a keyword tool to appropriately calculate which keywords your potential clients are using, you can start the process by putting yourself in their shoes—What would you search for? By creating a list of phrases and words that you think shoppers would use to find your products and services on the web, you’re eliminating the guesswork involved. After building your list, you can then validate your suggestions to ensure they’re the best options. You can then use the keywords that you’ve narrowed down to create pages that rank higher when prospective customers search using said keywords.

    Be unique over your competitors

    Business and competition go hand-in-hand, so if you want to rise above your industry, you will need to use words that make your company stand out. For example, phrases like “near me” or that utilize geographic location harness a lot of power within local communities. It’s also great to use phrases such as “on a budget”, “savings”, and “best” alongside popular keywords to differentiate your low prices and quality products. 

    Don’t abuse keywords

    Although utilizing keywords is a great way to attract online attention, you should consider making landing pages that best appeal to search engines rather than having keywords sprinkled everywhere throughout your content. This is because overuse of keywords risks distorting the meaning and can irritate select shoppers who read lots of content. While traffic is important, it’s equally as important to ensure that your text is clear and easy to read. 

    Build lots of links

    The more websites that carry links to your website, the higher you will rank on searches. This is a great opportunity to develop partnerships with businesses that are similar but not in direct competition with yours. Keep in mind that quality is far better than quantity so it’s important that the links directing back to your website come from credible sources. 

    User-friendly websites are best for search engine marketing

    Functional and easy-to-navigate websites are more desirable to the shoppers who manage to find your business via an online search. That said, there are loads of ways to improve your website’s readability through web development and search engine marketing—add headings that feature top keywords, ensure mobile-friendliness, and upgrade site speed

    Measure results and make changes as needed

    There are a variety of free and low-cost tools (ex. Google Analytics) that help to provide you will details about the SEO performance of your website as well as data about your visitors—how they found your site, their gender, geographic location, and even how long their session time was on each page. Then, your team is able to use these measured results to make changes to future search engine marketing strategies

    Can you think of other ways you’ve used SEO to rank higher in various search engines? Drop a comment below to share with our readers.

    3 reasons content creation is important

    Whether you want to admit it or not, marketing has gone digital, which means that content creation services are more important now than they’ve ever been before. That said, finding ways to stand out in the heavily saturated webspace rests with finding innovative and creative means for consumers to engage with your content. So, if you need some reasons to feel inspired to start creating some captivating online content, continue reading to discover what helps to generate some buzz.

    Content creation helps to build trust with your audience 

    While in the real world, relationships are more of a two-way street, in the business world, it’s paramount that businesses work hard to build a foundation with their customers, even if these consumers aren’t the first to engage. That said, you shouldn’t create content for the sake of filling space, you should create something that provides value to the people who love and want to engage with your brand. This could include using your creating a blog that educates the audience on a certain topic, using one of your social platforms to offer a daily dose of industry entertainment, or simply sending out an email with a special coupon code to shop. The key to content creation is consistency by delivering amazing content ongoing to keep customers knowing about your services and coming back. The more time someone invests in your content, the more familiar they become with your brand. It’s that simple!

    Content creation helps to build brand recognition

    Lots of content means that your business is building a library of resources that will continue to define your brand. Whether these pieces of content are an article, image, or social post, every time someone clicks on it, their engagement instills name recognition, so perhaps in the future when they require your product or service, you’ll be at the forefront of minds. To do this, create and utilize powerful and creative images and messages that best represent your brand’s aesthetic. This is especially important for social media and email marketing. 

    If brand awareness is something on your agenda that you need help with, Trek Marketing offers a variety of content creation services that will help you to succeed by resonating with your target audience. 

    Content creation helps your SEO 

    Anyone that runs an e-commerce business knows that SEO is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. So, why not formulate your content creation to also increase the chances of potential customers finding you with SEO? This can easily be done in the blog section of your website. Simply ensure that you’re using keywords that are relevant to your brand so that your new article will appear organically in various web results. While SEO can take some time to really kick it, it’s a valuable tool that can boost your website at random times when the right keywords start trending. 

    How developed is your content strategy? If you have any questions about our content creation services and/or process, please drop them in the comments section below.

    Do customers shop directly from social media platforms?

    When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, consumers flocked online to grab hold of the products they needed to avoid going into stores. This sparked a record influx of global retail activity. Now, over a year later, our spending behaviours haven’t changed much, with many consumers still preferring to purchase their favourite products and services online. While conversion rates for your business can increase with the right digital marketing tools working to bring traffic to your website, the same thing goes for social pages. But is it worth investing more time and money into your social strategy if you don’t know if customers are shopping directly from your social media platforms? 

    How do you do your online shopping?

    Since Amazon and eBay first launched sitewide online shopping in 1995, consumers have been hooked on the convenience of front door delivery. However, with the rise of social media over this last decade, there are now more ways than ever to find and buy innovative products through the use of your social channels. Aside from targeting your ideal audience on their preferred platform of choice, there’s also a generational breakdown of purchasing patterns that influence the likelihood of your ideal customer buying directly from your social platforms. 

    • Generation Z (Born 1997 to 2012): Being the most technologically influenced generation, Gen Z’ers are strongly influenced by social media and are very comfortable purchasing from channels like Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram shopping. 
    • Millennials (Born 1981 to 1996): While this generation has also grown up with the power of the internet at their fingertips, for them to feel confident in making a purchase, social selling needs to be more persuasive. This is where investment in your digital strategy is crucial! 
    • Generation X (Born 1965 to 1980): Although this generation isn’t as digitally savvy as their predecessors, they are common online spenders. While it may take them a little longer to complete a purchase due to the desire to test out the products in person, they are on social media and can be more easily eluded through the use of email marketing. 
    • Boomers (1946 to 1964): This price-conscious and fiscally conservative generation is starting to come around to the concept of online shopping. However, they still prefer to browse for new products and aren’t as comfortable achieving purchase confidence through online means like reviews and blogs. So, while social selling might be a tougher call on these consumers, many are coming around to Facebook and will click through and log your website for a later purchase. 

    Which social media platforms are consumers most likely to shop on?

    Consumers who are comfortable with social shopping have endless choices for purchasing platforms. Needless to say, some are more popular than others.

    • Facebook: As one of the leading social media channels bridging generational gaps, Facebook is also one of the most common social shopping platforms, with opportunities for businesses to grab the attention of an audience from Gen Z to Boomers. While Facebook Marketplace has quickly become the new craigslist in terms of commerce, there is a “shop” feature available on business pages where the owner can import products and make them available for purchase directly from Facebook’s checkout page. 
    • Instagram: Even though Instagram shopping is newer than the purchasing features on Facebook, it’s a booming online marketplace for business owners to find new customers. As a visual and auditory-based social platform, Instagram shopping is an exciting new experience and once the consumer commits and orders their products, they can choose to do a shoutout to your brand as well. With the ability to tag on posts and stories, the possibility for creative content is endless with Instagram shopping. 
    • Pinterest: While this platform doesn’t allow respondents to make purchases directly from the pinned products or elaborate vision boards, its browser allows users to seamlessly switch between the website/app to make a quick purchase from the business, which doesn’t disrupt the social media experience. So, while you aren’t buying this on Pinterest’s servers, consumers can still stock up on an assortment of ideas that inspire them. 

    Where should you be selling? 

    We wish it were as easy as recommending a single tactic for all e-commerce businesses across the board. Nevertheless, there is no one-size-fits-all suggestion for a successful social shopping strategy. What we can suggest is that you start by prioritizing social media shopping tactics on the platforms you currently possess a following on and build your strategy from there. 

    To learn more about where your target social media audience might be, contact one of Trek Marketing’s Client Success Managers for a free consultation

    Do you have any questions about getting Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram shopping started? Drop a comment below to let us know. 

    Make 2021 the year you crush your digital marketing goals

    If 2020 has taught us anything as digital marketing professionals, it’s that consumers heavily relied on available online conveniences to keep themselves safe during these crazy times. Whether it was virtual doctor’s appointments, online grocery shopping, or simply transitioning to ordering more of their necessities through e-commerce sources, it’s clear that the digital age is evolving and growing to suit this new normal. So, if your business missed out on some of the digital opportunities that were available, why not start 2021 off right by crushing your digital marketing goals? 

    Invest in professional search engine optimization services

    For business owners who don’t already know, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic to a website or web page via search engines. Since SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct or paid traffic, it can take a bit of time to improve your business ranking, especially if you aren’t using professional search engine optimization services. SEO is broken down into two categories, requiring work to be completed both on-site and off-site. 

    Some examples of on-site work that your SEO specialist would do as part of your search engine optimization service would include: 

    • Page layout optimizations
    • SEO audits
    • Page speed optimizations
    • Finding and fixing broken links
    • The creation of engaging content

    Some examples of off-site that your SEO specialist would do as part of your search engine optimization service would include:

    • Public relations
    • Guest posting
    • The creation of engaging content for back linking 

    Consider the benefits of pay-per-click advertising

    Pay-per-click advertising, better known in the digital marketing industry as PPC, is a method of online marketing where business owners can place ads in strategic places online and pay a fee only when that ad is clicked on by a visitor. It’s a quick way to buy quality visits to your site rather than attracting them organically, which can take time as we’ve discussed above. 

    How does it work, you ask? Well, when a user clicks the ad, your business will pay the host a specified fee, which can range between $1 to $2 and as high as $50 depending on where your impression is posted. 

    Here are some of the best benefits achieved through PPC:

    • Ads are extremely targeted to your audience
    • Ads retarget previous visitors
    • Ads are cost-effective
    • Ads are trackable
    • Ads are fast 

    Email marketing is good for sales and brand loyalty 

    Email marketing is the act of sending online messages and newsletters to a group of subscriber emails. In its simplest form, each email strives to target new and recurring customers to come back to the website and make a purchase. While email marketing relies heavily on sending advertisements to solicit sales and traffic, it also works as an opportunity to offer industry-news, business updates, or up-to-date inventory revisions. 

    Here are some of the best benefits of email marketing:

    • It’s good for customer acquisition
    • It’s an economic and cost-effect digital marketing strategy
    • Each email can be personalized through customization
    • Newsletters are designed to be action-oriented
    • It’s easy to measure profit using the appropriate tracking tools

    If you aren’t marketing on social networks, you should be

    Social media marketing is the use of an assortment of social media platforms and websites to promote your businesses’ products and/or services. Although it’s challenging to create a following with a strictly sales-oriented agenda, many business owners utilize the power of each platform to create a relationship with their customers by sharing images/videos and posting other engaging content. 

    Here are some of the best benefits of social media marketing: 

    • Increases brand awareness
    • Improves search engine rankings
    • Increases conversion rates
    • Leads to better customer satisfaction
    • Offers more brand authority
    • Allows you to gain valuable insights

    Top it all off with some insightful blogging

    Business blogging, while not as easy to track conversions, is an essential element that should be part of every digital marketing strategy. Business blogs are a space where you can create custom content that may appease your customer’s interests or even answer questions they have pertaining to your products, services, or the general larger umbrella of your niche industry.

    Here are some of the best benefits of business blogging: 

    • Increase your business visibility online
    • Builds brand awareness
    • Builds up SEO authority 
    • Asserts your position as an expert within your industry
    • Offers free content to your subscribers
    • Supports the growth of your business
    • Engage with customers

    Do you have any further questions about any of the above digital marketing services? One of our Client Success Managers would be happy to answer your questions via email, by phone, or through a virtual chat.

    Which of the above digital marketing services would your business benefit most from? Drop a comment below to compare with other e-commerce business owners.

    How to evolve your digital marketing strategy during COVID-19

    The world is facing some very unprecedented challenges with COVID-19 spreading at an exponential rate. While regulations have made operations difficult for many businesses, others are thriving off of stay-at-home orders. So, if your business hasn’t managed to do better amid lockdown measures, perhaps you need to evolve how you’re conducting your digital marketing strategies and double down by making some adjustments? Below are some ways we suggest that you can strengthen your commitment to your brand and the needs of your customers moving forward.  

    Keep up with your online presence 

    Since we’re all back to spending more time at home amid the second wave, the number of hours the average person is allocating online has drastically increased once again, and so has your opportunity to connect with your target audience!

    While consumers are partially glued to their phones and computers out of routine, they are also spending more time with their devices out of boredom, which means that there’s a higher chance of them connecting to your business through your online efforts. As much as most people don’t want to be reminded about the pandemic, you can use COVID-19 to leverage your content; for example, you can highlight products that help to make their home-bound stay a little better or promote services that can be enjoyed from the safety of their home. Also, while the goal of most digital marketing strategies is to brand, sell, and market your products, community support is crucial during these times. Thus, remember to use your social media platforms as a means to connect and bond with your customers in a meaningful way. 

    Adjust your content and digital marketing strategies to reflect growing trends

    Many aspects of our lives have shifted throughout the pandemic and it remains challenging for businesses to make amendments to their digital marketing strategies when customer’s needs are constantly changing. However, keeping up with societal trends doesn’t need to negatively impact consumer engagement or loyalty. For example, many businesses have revamped their advertising campaigns to spread awareness and understanding about the rules and regulations of our new reality, including illustrations and skits that emphasize handwashing, physical distancing, and masks. Even companies that have been sidelined by the virus (hotels, travel agencies, and airlines) are continuing to build brand awareness through their content! 

    Consider paid advertising 

    As mentioned above, 2020 has seen quite an influx in e-commerce browsing and shopping, leading many businesses to shift their focus digitally with the opportunity to invest more in their pay-per-click advertising strategy.

    When consumers input a key term into their chosen search engine, paid ads appear at the top of the search list, attracting shoppers to click through based on their higher placement. While businesses have to pay for the ad spot, the efforts it takes to achieve an organic ranking will undoubtedly take more time. Also, the best part about PPC is that the business is only charged when and if a consumer clicks on the ad. However, the cost of which is entirely dependent on the search engine traffic that steams from that said word or phrase. On the other hand, PPC ads are also popular on social media channels and can often be seen in advertisement placement sections when you scroll through your accounts. These ad holes work as a remarketing tool, popping up based on what you’ve searched for in the past, such as things that interest you or some previous purchases you’ve made. 

    With more people working at home and staying digital, there will be many more opportunities to rework your future digital marketing strategies to better appeal to your growing online audience. 

    Are there other ways in which you’ve changed up your digital marketing strategy throughout the pandemic? Drop a comment below to compare with other readers. 

    An in-depth technical SEO audit is more complicated then you think

    The primary goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to add value to your website by improving your site’s rankings in search results. But beyond that, the purpose is to attract more traffic and convert those potential customers into leads. That’s why conducting a technical SEO audit is a major deal! The following blog offers a little insight into what Trek Marketing may do during your technical SEO audit, as well as some suggestions for those who’re experienced enough to orchestrate one themselves. 

    What’s a technical SEO audit? 

    This form of digital marketing analysis is the process in which all of the technical aspects of your website’s SEO are checked to determine which fixes and improvements will allow search engine bots to better find your pages and website. Since search algorithms and online technologies are frequently changing, it’s a good business practice to perform a technical SEO audit every four to five months to ensure that you aren’t losing traffic to your competitors. 

    When should a technical SEO audit be performed? 

    Ideally, businesses should perform two to three in-depth SEO audits a year, with mini-audits in between, to guarantee that they’re able to reap the benefits of their SEO strategy. So, since a technical SEO audit is important for your user’s experience and website rankings, it’s important that your website is functioning properly and sending positive signals to Google to attract traffic. 

    While there are several technical SEO elements that you can check on during your audit, the first thing you should do when performing this time-consuming task is to ask yourself the following questions: 

    1. What are my overall business objectives? 
    2. Who is my target audience?
    3. Do I/will I have any business partnerships?
    4. How often is my website being updated? Do I have a web development company working on this?
    5. Will I be working with an SEO consultant? Will I need the SEO work done for me?

    After the above questions are answered, you will have a better understanding of your business goals and will be able to hire a professional or dive into performing your own technical SEO audit.

    What’s included in Trek Marketing’s technical SEO audit service?

    Our SEO specialists work on both on-site and off-site to meet the SEO needs of our clients. This included page layout optimizations, finding and fixing broken links, public relations, and innovative content creation. That being said, a technical SEO audit must first be conducted before we’re able to determine where your paid hours would best be spent. 

    Audits are bucketed into three separate categories:

    • Technical aspects: Crawl errors, indexing, and hosting
    • Content: Keyword research, competitor analysis, content maps, and metadata
    • Links: Backlink profile analysis and growth tactics

    To complete the above process, the client must provide a list of passwords and vendors to allow the SEO specialist access to third-party analytics tools, webmaster tools, website backend access, social media accounts, and more. 

    Are you experience enough to perform a technical SEO audit or would you prefer the assistance of a professional? Drop your opinion below to start a conversation.

    Which holiday shopping persona are you?

    Holiday shoppers and e-commerce businesses have a lot of commonalities — saving money, obtaining and/or selling high-quality products, and having the process be as breezy as possible. So, at a time where festivities are in full swing, it’s important for retailers to know how to appropriately target shoppers with the right amount of consumer confidence to carry out their purchases. Typically, this kind of insight can only come from overviewing potential shopping personas so they can be individually targeted! 

    The cautious consumer 

    People work hard for their money, so when it comes to spending it, many devote their earnings to products that they have engaged with before. This is what professional digital marketing companies refer to as, cautious shoppers. These consumers are at a very impressionable stage where they’re still uncertain of your brand and are commonly careful about making new purchases — alas, they’re still willing to make a change in their priorities. As an e-commerce brand, this means that you will need to market using communication that shows responsibility and focus on content that may align with their values. This type of shopper is a long-term planner and engagement will be the key to hooking them. 

    Loyalty with the brand

    While it’s your job as an e-commerce business owner to establish yourself as an industry leader, it’s also important for you to create a sense of brand loyalty. Retailers that create relationships with their consumers are planting a seed that could keep those shoppers coming back for years to come. That being said, if you’re the type of shopper who knows exactly what you like and continue to go back to that same source, regardless of the prices or promotions available, then you’re a brand loyalist. The best way for businesses to target loyal customers is through email or using key social channels to post about new inventory and products that they may be retiring. 

    The held-up shopper

    This persona embodies people who postpone their shopping experiences, meaning that money isn’t necessarily the factor that holds them back from pursuing a purchase. So, if you’re the type of person who needs to grab a gift for a loved one or you’ve been avoiding the time-consuming task of sorting through your emails on the hunt for a must-have product, then you’re a held-up shopper who waits until the last possible moment to carry out your purchases. So, if you’re an e-commerce business looking to send out relevant campaign content, your key to targeting this group of individuals could be highlighting fast delivery options, giving a last-minute angle that makes buying with you worthwhile. 

    The bargain hunter 

    If you’re the type of shopper who patiently waits for promotional sales only to immediately swoop in and check out your online shopping cart that was abandoned a week before, then you’re what professional digital marketing companies call a bargain hunter. This means that while you may enjoy a particular brand, you’re devoted to whichever business gives you the best bang for your buck and are always anticipating ways that you can save on your order. Interestingly enough, if an e-commerce business is wanting to target this type of shopper, they will need to assume this behaviour and use specific content to reel in these consumers. So, one of the best ways that you can fetch yourself some bargain hunters is by sending out a newsletter or advertising through your social channels when you’re conducting a site-wide sale or discounting certain products. 

    What did you think of this week’s blog submission? Drop a comment below to offer suggestions or spark a conversation.

    Strategies to better understand social media marketing

    In an age where social media holds such importance in the lives of everyday consumers, it would be silly for business owners to not be utilizing its power. After all, social media marketing is one of the few forms of digital advertising that can bridge the gap between brand and target audience, which in turn connects businesses to an assortment of shoppers that already possess similar beliefs and values. That being said, below are a few ways that you can strategize your social media marketing strategy to strengthen your efforts through popular social platforms. 

    Set yourself achievable goals 

    Like anything, your social media marketing strategy should contain a list of objectives and goals that you hope to achieve as a business owner. However, the most important thing that you can do to set yourself up for success is to formulate some short-term and long-term goals that are attainable. This will give you the confidence you need to overcome difficult business hurdles down the road as well as the tenacity to make critical decisions about your brand. 

    When it comes to social media marketing it’s essential to set yourself some objectives that include the following targets — driving traffic, increasing brand awareness, building brand loyalty, and generating more sales. The following goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound so that you’re able to track your progress as a business owner. 

    Know your target audience

    If you’re hoping to crush some of your professional goals it’s worth gearing your social media marketing strategy to reflect the values and interests of a target audience. Consumers that live a lifestyle that could benefit from your product or services are the ones that should be focused on when you’re formulating your promotions, content or advertisements. After all, appealing to as many people as possible is exhausting, so why not start by generating content based on the location of your audience, a particular demographic (age or even gender) or psychographics such as aspirations and attitudes?

    Study your competition

    If you’re wanting to better understand how to reach your targeted consumers through the use of social media marketing, it’s worth taking the time to analyze the successes of your competitors. Now, we’re not encouraging you to directly copy or steal their ideas, however, before you sit down to build a content strategy for your brand, take a look at the tactics that have already proven to be effective in your industry. Start by following other brands on social media, keeping an eye on their post’s performances and crafting your social media marketing strategy to reflect on valued insights that are currently working and modifying them to better suit your brand and audience. 

    Utilize visual content

    While carefully crafted textual content is a definitive must-have for your social media marketing strategy, putting some extra attention to detail on the visuals — such as high-quality images, infographics or videos — has the power to grab the attention of consumers that are aimlessly scrolling through their social feeds. It’s one of the best ways for you to add engagement to your already thought-provoking content. 

    What other ways can you coordinate your social media marketing strategy? Drop a comment below to share with our readers.