Our Blog

Check out our insights into the world of media and marketing, along with project spotlights, featured blogs from our client pages and other musings on how to optimize brand recognition in today’s technologically-driven environment.

FAQs Answered: How to Know if People Are Seeing Your Digital Content

The internet is a vast place. Ever heard the term “going down the rabbit hole”? That’s when you take a deep dive into the chasms of the World Wide Web—and you keep going…and going…you get the idea. With so much content out there, it kind of makes you wonder—as business, is anyone seeing your digital content? If people are seeing it, how do you know they’re seeing it? Knowing if people are seeing your digital content is important in order to reinforce what’s working in your marketing strategy—and to do away with what isn’t.

Why it’s important to know

This may seem like a “duh” moment, but we should reiterate the importance of people actually seeing and consuming the content that you put online on behalf of your business. You’re creating and putting it out there for a reason, whether your goal is to drive leads to your website, gain more followers, or attract traffic to your storefront. If people aren’t seeing your content, then your time and efforts are wasted—and you’re no closer to reaching your goal.

Ways to know if people are seeing your digital content

There are a few telltale signs that can indicate whether or not people are seeing your digital content.

Engagement

If people are engaging with your content, then they are obviously seeing it and consuming it. Engagement can come in the form of likes, shares, follows, comments, and email signups and beyond.

Increased web traffic

Noticing more visitors to your website? It could be an indication that more people are seeing your digital content! Resources like social media, Google ads and email blasts can serve to drive traffic to your website. If your website is experiencing increased traffic, then that means more people are finding out about your brand—one way or another.

Analytics

This is the most technical and concrete way to know whether internet users are laying eyes on your digital content. Analytics offered by platforms like Google, Facebook, MailChimp, etc. tell you literally how many users interacted with your content through any given time period. Analytics can get specific with categories like link clicks, opens, time spent on website and much, much more.

Word of mouth

Another way to know that people are seeing your content online? They’re telling you! A customer walks into your store and asks about an offer they saw on social media, a colleague compliments your recent website overhaul, a stranger leaves a review about how easy your app is to use. Word of mouth is one of the most tried and true forms of advertising—and in this case, receiving feedback on your digital efforts.

If people aren’t seeing your content, what can you do?

If you’re not getting good feedback from any of these indicators, it may be time to employ a new digital marketing strategy. Efforts like cross-platform promotion, paid digital ads and consistent dissemination of content are ways that can help you communicate your messages to larger online audiences and in turn—drive sales.

Summary

No one wants to be yelling into a void, and sometimes on the internet it can feel that way. After all, you’re competing with multitudes of memes, cat gifs and TikTok challenges. Knowing how to determine whether people are seeing your digital content can show you whether or not your marketing strategies are proving effective—and in turn provide you peace of mind!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

6 Tips for Crafting Effective YouTube Video Descriptions

Using YouTube for marketing is a smart way to reach the video-obsessed masses—which comprises the vast majority of people browsing the internet today. Populating a YouTube channel with content for your brand provides yet another way for you to be seen—by both your followers and search engines that determine your search ranking. To benefit from YouTube to the fullest extent, there’s more to it than simply uploading a video and calling it a day. Crafting effective YouTube video descriptions can help your audience identify what it is watching and tip off search engines to the keywords you would like to rank for. 

What is a YouTube video description?  

A YouTube video description is the text that appears below a video describing what it is. There are also YouTube channel descriptions that summarize what an entire YouTube channel is all about. These appear in the “About” section of a YouTube channel. 

Pretty simple, right? To optimize your brand’s yield from running a YouTube page, pay attention to these specifics of crafting effective YouTube descriptions. 

Writing effective YouTube video descriptions 

Be clear and accurate

A description should clearly and accurately describe what a video is about. While your copy should be original, this is no place to get too fancy with your wording. Simply get to the point—and make sure that you are telling viewers exactly what they can expect from your video. 

Optimize keywords 

Keywords, keywords, keywords—they are so important! YouTube descriptions offer yet another venue to associate your content with keywords. Select one to two main keywords to use in your video descriptions. These keywords should be relevant to your content and should be ones that you would hope to rank for. Repeat your selected keywords two-to-three times throughout (but no more than that). You can also employ secondary keywords to better let search engines know what said content is associated with. 

Structure copy appropriately

In newswriting, the idea is to start with the main point and then fill in with the most-important to the smallest supporting details from there (called the inverted pyramid). This is done so that if someone only reads the beginning of a story, he or she still gets the gist. Structure your YouTube descriptions similarly. The rule of thumb here is to start with keywords and end with links. More on that in our next point.  

End with a call to action 

Never forget your call to action! YouTube allows you to include any number of links in your video descriptions, so use that to your advantage (without overdoing it). At the end of your description, include links to your relevant websites, product pages and/or other social media accounts. It’s an opportunity to let people know where they can go to find out more about your brand. 

Take advantage of additional features 

Other features, like hashtags and timestamps, can come in handy when writing effective YouTube video descriptions. Hashtags work here like they would on any other platform—acting as links to content that shares the same hashtag. Don’t go overboard on the hashtags, however (stick to 10 or less), and make sure they are all relevant!

Timestamps are another way to make your descriptions user-friendly. Using timestamps, you can break up your video into palatable parts for your consumers. 

Give credit where credit is due 

Keep it kosher—make sure to give credit when necessary in your descriptions! If you used someone else’s music, photos or even footage, make sure to list them and links to their contact info at the bottom of your YouTube video descriptions. 

Summary 

YouTube is a powerful tool to take out of your digital marketing toolbox. To make the most of the platform, make sure you’re taking the time to craft effective YouTube video descriptions to help both your viewers and search engines better digest your content. 

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

McNutt & Partners’ Social Media Wish List

No, it’s not Christmas—but we’re making our wish list early! If we could rule the social media realm, these factors would already be at play. Maybe by putting this out into the world someone will hear our concerns? Hey, it’s worth a shot! Tune in for McNutt & Partners’ Social Media Wish List.

How we approached the list

At first we thought about really cool things—like what if a social media ad could interact with other senses, like smell? In the end we decided we’d make this list a bit more practical. What are some things that would help us as marketers—and in turn, help our clients? Here are a few things we’ve come up with.

McNutt & Partners’ Social Media Wish List

Twitter “business hub”

Right now, Twitter makes it difficult for marketers to manage multiple accounts on behalf of their clients. In fact, it’s almost set up in such a way to make doing so difficult. Creating too many accounts from one IP address gets you flagged and locked out of all accounts from that IP address. Also, too many log-ins raises cause for concern on Twitter’s end as well. If Twitter had something like Facebook’s Business Manager to help agencies manage client Twitter accounts, we think it could be immensely helpful.

Ability to edit ads after they are running

Sometimes you need to make a change to a social media ad after it has already starting running. Currently when a Facebook or Instagram ad is running, you cannot make edits to the ad unless you stop the ad entirely, edit, and restart it. That doesn’t sound like a big thing, but in doing so you lose any previous engagement or tracked data the ad has collected so far. We’d love the ability to edit an ad after it is running!

A more-accurate, more human decision-making process around the approval and disapproval of Facebook ads

Sometimes, Facebook flags an ad as “violating its policies” for no apparent reason at all. In fact, this happened to us recently. When we appealed the ad to a human being working at Facebook, we were told that it was a glitch in the system. Frustrating, to say the least.

More interactive ad options

Maybe this wouldn’t necessarily have to do with ads that elicit smell, but we think there’s always room to continue innovating! Facebook did roll out some new interactive ad options last October. McNutt & Partners’ Social Media Wish List includes more ideas like this!

Easier for agencies to manage multiple Instagram accounts

Instagram can also be finicky about having one device, (or one IP address), access multiple of its accounts, (which is what we do as marketers on behalf of our clients). And since Instagram accounts can only be managed via a smart phone or tablet, this becomes an issue at times. Like Twitter, we wish there was a better way for Instagram to allow marketers to manage multiple accounts.

Instagram links

Speaking of Instagram, links in Instagram captions are currently a no-no. In fact, if you put a link in an Instagram caption, it won’t link anywhere. Instead, if we’re trying to share a link, we put cues like “Link in bio.” As part of McNutt & Partners’ social media wish list, let’s link up on Instagram!

More than four images on Twitter

Twitter’s largely a text-based platform; hence we are guessing that’s why it restricts users to posting four images at a time. But we say if you’re going to allow images at all, why the restriction? We’d be happy to be able to post more than four images at a time on Twitter.

Universal image size

And speaking of images, different social media platforms prefer different image/video sizes. One could argue that this is what makes them unique, but maybe life would be easier if they all agreed on one universal size. That way, your content would always look great without needing to reformat it—no matter what platform you’re posting to!

Summary

Some items on McNutt & Partners’ social media wish list may be more realistic than others, but we can dream! As always, we’re here to help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of social media so that you can use it to the best of your brand’s advantage.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

FAQs Answered: Does Using Social Media to Grow Your Business Actually Work?

For centuries, human beings have been doing business. Whether in ancient Greece or in 2020, one thing remains the same—businesses don’t exist without sales. With sales being a staple for a successful business, the way businesses and marketers have solicited sales over the generations has obviously evolved. Sales tactics 100 years ago looked different than they do today, from the traveling salesman, to the telemarketer to now. What’s the pattern? Marketing changes with technology. Today, using social media to grow your business is a term you hear often. But does it actually work?

Social media is no longer an option

The first way we’d go about answering that question is by negating the fact that it is a question at all. Social media is no longer an optional marketing tool. Just like you offer points of contact to your clientele in the form of your physical address, phone number and website, your social media pages (at least one, if not multiple), should be a standard on that list.

Point blank, social media is a necessary part of your business model. Internet users search for businesses on social media just like they do on Google—or like they would in the Yellow Pages of yesteryear. If you’re not present where people are looking, you could miss out on making connections with potential leads for your business.

Use built-in business-growing tools to your advantage

So we’ve established that even if you do nothing but exist on social media, it’s still better to have a presence there than not. But using social media to grow your business will not work without your participation. Can it work? Yes! However, if your goal is growth (and whose isn’t?), then you have to be proactive about how you use it.

Social media platforms have multitudes of built-in business-growing tools to help business pages get their content seen in front of not only larger audiences, but relevant ones. Various ad formats, for example, allow you to select where your ad appears on a social media platform. Most also give you the opportunity to create custom audiences for your content—so that it is shown to people that may be more likely to pursue you than not.

Using social media to grow your business also involves consistency and maintaining an active presence. Your social media page is not something that you just set and forget. You have to actively share content and engage with other pages and users on a regular basis in order to get the return you’re looking for.

Remember—it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

The most significant thing we can stress when answering whether or not using social media to grow your business actually works—it can (and we see it happening every day!), but it doesn’t happen overnight. If you expect to share your first post and get 100 orders within 24 hours, you’ll likely be let down.

However, dedicating effort over a longer period of time does work.  It’s all about curating relevant, engaging content, interacting on a regular basis and using social media marketing tools to your advantage. You can’t always measure success by the number of likes you have on your page. The idea is to assess your short- and long-term marketing goals and use social media as a tool to help you achieve them.

Summary

Simply existing on social media is not the magic bullet to explosive business growth. However, using it smartly can help you achieve the marketing goals you have set for yourself. It’s a resource for helping you generate positive momentum, like driving leads to your website, connecting with your local business community and instilling consumer confidence in your brand.

If you need help using social media to grow your business, we’ve got you!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Using Social Media to Generate Leads to Your Website

Digital marketing is somewhat of a domino effect. Multiple strategies build upon one another to lead to the eventual goal of driving leads to your business—leads that will hopefully turn into sales. Think of social media content as the first domino that can drive that end result. Specifically, using social media to generate leads to your website is an effective way to initiate that momentum.

Why social media?

When people are leisurely browsing the internet (and in this instance, social media specifically), they may not necessarily know they are looking to make a purchase. Social media is a space to capture the attention of those internet users—the ones who may not be actively searching for a product or service like yours, but who could benefit from it.

With targeted advertising options available on social media, you have a better chance of catching qualified leads rather than dead-end ones.

In addition to attracting new leads, social media is also a tool to present new offers and content to your existing customers and followers.

Using social media to generate leads to your website

Part of having a strong online presence involves having stable traffic in terms of your website visitors. However, most people aren’t just going to know to go to your website off the tops of their heads. That’s exactly why using social media to generate leads to your website is a good idea.

When your social media posts or ads include a link to your web address or specialized landing pages, then it puts those links in front of web users who may not have found you otherwise—and they’re conveniently just a click away.

What to do

Using social media to generate leads to your website involves a few key steps!

Step 1—Sharing social media content

The first step in the process is creating and sharing the content itself. Whether your content is a paid ad or a photo of what’s going on around the shop that day, content that strives to direct people to your website should always have one thing: a call to action. The number one rule? Include a link to your website! Clicks on these posts are trackable, so you can see what campaigns are effective vs. which ones are less successful.

Step 2—Curating your website

Think about where you want to send the people to see your social media content. Is it to your main website? A landing page showcasing a specific offer? Your contact form? Whatever you choose, make sure that page is up-to-date and well-maintained.

Step 3—Following up on leads

If you’re an ecommerce site, and someone follows your link from social media, then you’ve already driven them to the point of sale. Great work! At that point, it is up to them whether or not they make a purchase. Otherwise, you may have directed them to a contact form, or a landing page advertising your current in-store sales, for example. Considering a person reaches out to you for more information, it is then your job to follow up in hopes of capturing that lead. This is the point where your person casually browsing the internet turns into a qualified lead or sale.

Step 4—Staying consistent

Using social media to generate leads to your website is not a one and done type of thing. It’s something you should do on a consistent basis as part of your digital marketing efforts. Fresh content is always prioritized over stale content, both in the eyes of social media users and social media platforms alike.

Summary

Sometimes, your customers need a little help discovering your brand and the great things you have to offer, and social media is a great way to do just that. Promoting your website in the social media realm can help you capture leads that may not find you otherwise.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Why Sharing Personal Content to Your Business Pages Pays Off

They say you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. On social media, however, the line between the two has the opportunity to get a bit more muddled. Sharing personal content to your business pages is something we encourage our clients to do. The interaction we see from these “personal posts” as compared to the more sales-driven content is typically higher, and in turn that drives more traffic to your social media pages. It also helps to instill a sense of trust in your business. Giving a glimpse into your personal life is a way for people to feel more connected with you and acknowledge a face behind the brand.

We know you’re thinking: “I don’t want strangers knowing about my personal life.” But don’t worry! There are some very subtle ways you can show your social media audience the “behind the scenes” of your life and business without divulging things that would make you uncomfortable.

What do you mean by personal?

Again, by “personal” we don’t mean sharing your inner fears and darkest secrets. (And really, you probably shouldn’t do that on your business page even if you wanted to.)

But here’s an example. McNutt & Partners is the name of our brand and therefore the name of our business’ social media pages.

However, if our founder, John McNutt, shared a post about where he’s traveling to see a client this week, that would be an example of the type of “personal” post we’re talking about. This is content either portraying and/or being presented “in the voice” of a real human being that represents your company. We’ll share a few more ideas for personal posts later on.

Why sharing personal content to your business page is important

A small effort to share some behind-the-scenes content to your brand’s social media can have big payoffs. Here are some of the benefits of sharing personal content to your business page.

It helps you better connect with your online audience.

Communicating behind computer screens is enough to make the lot of us feel a bit detached at times. Sharing a personal post—one that shows your face, uses your name, comes from your point of view—will allow followers to establish a stronger connection with your brand. It expresses a bit of vulnerability, which people will appreciate. Your customers will see that there’s a real human being behind your business name and logo that they can relate to.

It tends to lead to higher engagement.

In our experience, social content with a personal spin yields exponentially higher engagement (likes, comments, shares) than content with a sales approach. That goes back to people wanting to relate to your brand on a human level. This benefits you from a business standpoint because the more engagement on your page, the more apt your posts are to show up in your followers’ news feeds.

It enhances the quality of your content.

Bottom line—you don’t want your business social media pages to be boring. Sharing what we categorize as “personal” content simply makes things more fun—for you and your followers.

A few quick examples

Here are a few other ideas for sharing personal content to your business page

  • Share what you’re working on
  • Talk about where you’re traveling
  • Do an employee spotlight
  • Divulge a quick tip
  • Talk about how you got started in the business
  • Share pictures of an employee outing
  • Celebrate awards and accolades
  • Make your holiday posts personal

Summary

No one is all business all the time—nor should they be! However, in sharing personal content to your business page, you are actually making a smart business decision in terms of the appeal of your social media marketing.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

FAQs Answered: Why Reusing Passwords is Bad

Creating accounts online is your ticket to all kinds of access. Concerts. Groceries. The wide world of Amazon. To create an account, you need two critical pieces of information: a username and password. When you’re in the moment, and you just want that access as quickly as possible, you may come up with the first password that pops into your head. Your dog’s name and birthday. Your anniversary. Your favorite food and the year you were born. The problem is, along with the desire to use passwords you’ll remember comes a major security threat. Bottom line, reusing passwords is bad—and can seriously compromise your digital identity.

A reused password is a weak password

The first reason as to why reusing passwords is bad is that a reused password is a weak password. If it’s one you’re reusing, it’s likely one that you’re apt to remember. And if it’s one that you’re apt to remember, then it’s probably not very complex.

What defines a weak password? By definition, it’s a password that is easily detectable by humans and computers. A weak password is typically short and uses information that is easily traceable to a person, such as his or her address, children’s names, birthdate, etc. Conversely, a strong password is one that consists of multiple characters including numbers, symbols and letters. Strong passwords also usually employ a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.

Weak passwords are easier for hackers and hacking technology to identify, granting them easier access to your private information.

A breach on one site can lead to multiple access points

The main and most obvious reason why reusing passwords is bad: once hackers have identified one password, it can open them up to every single other account of yours where that password is being used. Especially if you are using a password on a site that does not encrypt passwords, that password (if reused) is vulnerable.

Hackers know that people reuse passwords, so once they have a password nailed down on one of your accounts, they’ll use it to try other means of access.

It promotes bad cyber security habits

It’s no secret—as a whole, we’re pretty lazy. Or maybe we just want instant gratification. Either way, when it comes to logging in to what you want to log into at that moment in time, some of us tend to forget about the concept of cyber security entirely. There may be an inkling in the back of your mind that you should not reuse this password, again; however, we make excuses like, “Well this is the one I’ll remember.”

What this does is creates bad habits. According to a Google survey, 26 percent of people admitted to still using passwords that had been known to have been compromised in data breaches. Reasons for this varied, including users saying they were confused by the password reset process or they just didn’t think it was necessary to do so.

You can tell yourself this all you want, and maybe nothing will ever happen to you. But the one time it does, you’ll regret not taking cyber security more seriously. Reusing passwords is bad because it creates an apathy toward cyber security in general, which can lead to serious consequences.

What we recommend

Plain and simple–avoid reusing passwords at all costs. But what can you do? How are you supposed to remember hundreds of not just passwords—but strong ones? Here are a few suggestions:

Password managers

Password managers are a way to keep all of your multiple passwords stored in one database. All you have to do is remember the one “master password,” and there are even security keys in place to protect it in many password manager programs. Read more about our top three password manager picks.

Generated passwords

Password managers also include a function to auto-generate complex passwords on your behalf. With the click of a button, you can have a strong password generated for your Amazon account, for example. Don’t worry about remembering it—the password manager does that for you. You can set up auto-fill settings on your computer so the password will be there any time you want to log on to Amazon.

Two-factor authentication

With the help of smartphones and other devices, we can now add another level of protection to our passwords. Two-factor authentication prompts a user to verify his or her account via code from a second device when signing in to a device from a new location. There are many free two-factor authentication apps available.

Summary

With the majority of our daily activities now happening online, password security should be top of mind. Reusing passwords is bad not only because it makes your accounts more susceptible to hacking, but also because it promotes poor cyber security habits. The recommendations above should be a standard for your online activities going forward if they are not already.

At McNutt & Partners, we protect our clients using password managers and auto-generated passwords on all accounts and two-factor authentication wherever possible. We do not take your online security lightly!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.