website-redesign

Why Your Website Needs a Redesign ASAP

Expert Tips For Why Your Website Needs a Redesign ASAP

Think your website looks just fine the way it is? Those homepage sliders and flat color schemes might make you wanna think again…

If you’re not seeing the results you’d like in terms of traffic and conversions, it’s likely time for you to shake things up on your site. Here are Agency Partner’s top reasons why you need to redesign your website ASAP!

On Average…

As a general guideline, it’s recommended you redesign your website about once every two or three years. Quite simply, with the lightning-fast rate of change in the digital sphere, two to three years is all the time it takes for your site’s design to undoubtedly fall behind and look out of date. 

Your site doesn’t mirror your brand anymore
It’s beyond important for your website to match your brand, from aesthetic and identity to voice and messaging. From the second your home or landing page loads for a user, it should be crystal clear who and what exactly the company is. Maybe your site and brand matched when you first launched but you’ve gone through some evolutions into who your entity is today. Time to redesign for who you are now!

Your website is behind the current design trends
Sure, those designs were once fresh and current…but are they still? Take a detailed look at your site and then get to Googling the new ideas and standards in the web design world. This update will keep your company feeling current and savvy. 

Your website doesn’t respond well to all devices

If your site doesn’t automatically adjust and optimize to the device a user is accessing it from, odds are extremely high that the user will either get frustrated or lose interest (or both) in continuing to explore your site. This may be an iPhone, a Tablet, an Android, etc. Think of how it is also very likely negatively impacting your analytics like bounce rate and click-through rate. Don’t miss out on countless opportunities for conversion over a simple user experience issue!

Your website doesn’t give the user your entire service options
You’ve probably expanded your services as your business has grown. Does your sitemap reflect that? If a user isn’t readily aware that you meet their needs, they’re likely to move on to a competitor who they can be sure does meet their needs. It might be time for a redesign to make room for some new pages that cover the details of everything you offer, both old and new!

Your website is not search engine-friendly
The importance of SEO cannot be overstated, and if your site isn’t designed with it in mind, it’s definitely time to redo your website regardless of any other factor! If you aren’t already familiar, read up on best practices for site architecture optimization and even check out our blog post on Web Design Mistakes That Can Harm Your SEO. Ideally, every detail of your site’s coding should be made search engine friendly, from custom landing page URLs and meta descriptions to title tags and even image optimization.

Your website doesn’t maximize your content marketing plan
Site design and content marketing are synergistic for sure. Say you have a blog attached to your company’s site, but the design has the only direct access point buried at the bottom of the page? Because the design isn’t mindful of the user journey to the marketing tool, you’re both limiting your users’ ability to find your content and your own ability to drive lead generation and customer relations – an excellent reason to redo your website!

Your website is based on outdated tech
If your site isn’t current and relevant, why would a potential customer think your company as a whole is up to date? Old tech can weigh down your site processing speeds, dragging down its performance for the user. It also can be a big barrier to search engines and their ability to scan and assess your content for SEO visibility and ranking. Redesign your website for an update that makes it more efficient and supports a positive experience for your users.

Your website is missing important action drivers
Much like design supporting your content marketing, optimized placement of CTAs is so important to the success of your marketing strategies and ultimately your revenue. Make sure the CTA designs are cohesive and thoughtful across all site pages to maximize impact.

Your website is open to vulnerabilities
Using outdated tech can not only harm your credibility and competitive edge but also put the site itself at risk of security attacks. No matter the size of your business, data is always valuable in some way to the wrong set of malicious eyes. Updating your site can be the critical line of defense you need against hacking, viruses, and malware. 

If anything on this list sounds like it applies to your site and its current design, we highly recommend reaching out to our design team at Agency Partner for help. We can work with you to create a site that not only looks great but also reflects the latest digital trends and technologies. Your website is often the first impression potential customers have of your business – let it be one they remember for the right reasons!

web-redesign

When To Redesign Your Small Business Website

Expert Tips For When To Redesign Your Small Business Website

Designs keep on changing. Website designs too. To cut it short, design matters a lot when it comes to any website, along with the functionality. Design elements are essential for small-business websites as they provide the necessary pull that a small business needs in the ever-growing digital world.

If any business website is off-color in terms of design or even design functionality, it can definitely hinder a business’s growth and impede the overall construct of the brand. If the website design is poor, a website redesign is an important step to building a successful enterprise! 

That being said, it is not an easy task. Website redesign involves changing the overall look and feel of the pages on your site and how information flows, improving user experience, and optimizing site performance.

Website redesigns are like redesigning or renovating your home to create an everlasting impression and creating a great living space. Website redesigns help small businesses take the leap, improve performance, and bring more leads, sales, & better conversions.

Why is Website Design so important?

A website is essentially the identity of your business and requires you unprecedented attention, dedication, investment, time & important design updates to keep you ahead of the curve. When you redesign your website, it can result in massive benefits for your business, although it is not as simple as it seems. Redesigning includes the whole makeover of the website and small changes in functions that can help make the user experience better.

No website is perfect and therefore continuously requires improvement. It is your job to evaluate the performance of your website regularly and identify weak areas. No matter how high profile a business is, a dull online presence can be an obstacle to winning over more clients. The game is about engagement and essential functions and design elements that contribute towards that goal, especially when it comes to small businesses. 

Here are a few of the reasons to redesign your website.
Understanding you have a problem but not knowing where to start is standard. Because of this common challenge, we have created seven quick reasons why you should consider a redesign.

It’s outdated – Users expect websites to be clean, simple, and pleasing to the eye. With so many options to choose from, your website must be unique. If you haven’t updated your website in the last 24-months, chances are it is out of date. If you are unsure, ask your colleagues for an honest opinion. Build a beautiful site that you can be proud of.

NO CTAIs it clear what you want website visitors to do once they are at your website? You need a call to action on each page of your website. A CTA could be about making a phone call, subscribing to an email list, downloading a document, and more.

No credibility development – Let’s face it, most websites are created to establish credibility. Are you showing customer testimonials? Are you sharing the logos of your clients? Do you explain the reasons people should trust your business? Any industry developers from healthcare and retail to body shop and law firm web design companies can attest to how critical this element can be.

SEO isn’t part of it – If you rank higher on the search engines, your website must be search engine optimized. You have to use the proper keyword phrases within your content. Optimize your images with the correct alt tags. Use the appropriate web page titles to include your target keywords.

You made it out of Flash – Similar to an outdated design, Flash ages your website. Flash is not compatible with all devices or search engines, and this can hurt your traffic. Because of these reasons, more website designers are moving away from Flash.

It’s slow – You don’t want a website that is frustrating to use. Due to the increasing internet speeds available, users have lower tolerances for wait times. This is crucial on mobile devices. People want sites that load quickly when they are on the move.

It’s not optimized – Review your site on multiple devices: laptops, large monitors, phones, tablets, etc. If your website does not run well on all of these devices, you miss out on traffic and customers.

It doesn’t sell your products – Focus on your return on investment (ROI). All the traffic in the world won’t help you if it doesn’t create money. Reconsider how you advertise your products and services. Make it easy for customers to make a purchase. If you do have a high number of views, consider additional advertising.

Your brand isn’t visible – Are visitors connecting with your company? Do some research to see if people walk away with your intended message.

It’s hard to maintain – Fresh content drives more traffic! If you don’t update your website, people won’t have a reason to come back. Frequent updates start with simple processes. If your site is hard to update, updates will take more time. Content Management Sites (CMS) such as WordPress have built-in solutions to make updating a website easier. If you have a complicated website with few updates, consider simplifying your process.

If some of these factors apply to your website, you have taken the first step to improve your business! But you’re not done yet. You will need to conduct additional research to find the root of your website’s problems. Website updates may seem challenging, but they are worth all the effort in the end.

Your Dallas Web Design Experts. 

Agency Partner Interactive (API) is the Best Custom Web Development and Design Agency in Dallas, TX providing the best-in-class web design solutions inclusive of design tips, insights, small business web development, web-redesigns, WordPress development, & customized redesign solutions. We can help your website be a true source of business intelligence, your sales machine that never sleeps. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go the distance through unparalleled web design solutions from Agency Partner Interactive

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “When To Redesign Your Small Business Websiteinstead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

sm-and-business

Social Media for the Small Business (Toolkit Included)

SOCIAL MEDIA HACKS FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS
A Simple Guide for the Small Guy or Gal

When you think of the internet today, you think of “social media,” don’t you? They weren’t always so interchangeable. One came before the other, but one forced the other to evolve. And with that, so did we.

Current Social Media Platforms in Order of Popularity:

social-network-ranking

As of Jan. 2021, according to a report published by Statista, Facebook alone recorded at least 2,740,000 active users. Not far behind were Youtube and WhatsApp, with Messenger, Instagram, and WeChat trailing behind. Tik Tok ranked seventh.

Where we can now find limited storage online for free due to services like cloud computing, there was a time when intellectual property as we know it, used to be stored somewhere physically, and there were costs associated with that, too. So much has changed since. Our livelihoods and businesses now depend on social media as a tool to keep bread and butter on the table, especially evident after the year that we just had.

This pressure to hop on the bandwagon that is the internet today has only grown since it’s debut, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.

Last it was recorded, about five million people were actively using social media, and that number continues to rise at exponential rates.

DATE NUMBER OF USERS % WORLD

POPULATION

INFORMATION

SOURCE

December, 1995 16 millions 0.4 % IDC
December, 2000 361 millions 5.8 % Internet World Stats
December, 2005 1,018 millions 15.7 % Internet World Stats
Sept, 2010 1,971 millions 28.8 % Internet World Stats
Dec, 2015 3,366 millions 46.4 % Internet World Stats
Dec, 2020 5,053 millions 64.2 % Internet World Stats

But, fret not. As your friends who keep constant watch over the digital market, we’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and tools for making social media work for you. Before we go on to overwhelm you with the facts, allow us to first remind you that everyone, every company, every small business that influences us today, had to start from somewhere.

Where to Begin:

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be everywhere at once. Start with where you are and with the audience you have today.

Say you’re on Instagram and it’s where you’ve found the most potential thus far, develop that before you branch out and add another network under your management. Professionals will go ahead and secure usernames and URLs in advance to not have to deal with the hassle of obtaining them later on. It’s also good marketing as it shows consistency across platforms.

Some general rules to keep in mind (maybe your bylaws, too):

Do Not: Treat people as leads.

Do: Yes, you want the close, you want the deliverables, the hard sell, but don’t miss out on the social aspect of social media. People hop online to take a break from their day, to find inspiration in a quote, a meme to share with loved ones.

Think: How are we engaging with our followers? What tone do we have online? Is there a big holiday coming up that we can prepare content for in advance, maybe a “Happy #NationalBringYourCatToWork Day?” tweet for the Twitter feed?

Do Not: Leave leads unattended.

Do: Follow through on the conversations you’re having. Socializing is important, but so is the service you’re providing, and studies show that 71% of users are more likely to buy from a company following a positive online experience. The whole appeal behind social media is the instant gratification that it delivers; you don’t have to wait to hear back from your audience. Set up a poll, they’ll tell you exactly how they feel and how they want it. Study those interactions.

Consumer data adds to any company’s intelligence, especially if they can make sense of it.

Think: Are we user-friendly? What’s our response time online? Where are we getting the most impressions for? Where are we seeing the least amount of engagement? Should we be allocating our resources elsewhere?

Do Not: Post to post.

Do: Create S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Social media can feel like a chore to the best of us, especially when we’re scrambling at the last minute for content or guilt-posting for not being active enough. And the smaller you are, the more hats you might find yourself wearing at work. Sales and general business goals are good to keep, but neglect creating a social media strategy and you’ll feel disconnected, unaligned with your goals.

Posting for the sake of posting is like shooting in the dark, but having a SMART outcome in mind will help keep you on track to achieve your desired goal.

Think: Do we have a digital marketing strategy in place? How much time can we afford to put aside for social media use each day? Is there a minimum and maximum we can set for day-to-day interactions? For example, one might choose to devote 15 minutes of their day to like and respond to 10 comments in total, with 5 re-shares spaced throughout. Is there a system here that I’m missing, that I could maybe automate for ease of use in the future? Would templates come in handy here?

These are all great questions to have answers to, especially as resources tend to trim down the smaller a business goes.

Do Not: Ignore search engine optimization (SEO).

Do: Optimize, optimize, optimize!

When was the last time you clicked on ‘Page 2’ of a Google search? Exactly. The web has a variety of algorithms at work, all unique to the browser or search engine you have running, not to mention that those backend formulas are also constantly undergoing updates.

Think: Are we using the right hashtags? Is our meta data clear and concise? Have we claimed our Google My Business (GMB) listing yet? What’s our page download speed looking like? Can we do better?

Next, as promised, the toolkit!

“A big business starts small.”

-Richard Branson

Since small businesses come in different shapes and sizes, each unique to the solution they’re offering, it’s only fair that we offer a few selections for you to explore in case one or even two out of four of our options don’t fit. Frankly, the internet is full of amazing resources just like these ones, but we hope this serves as a place for you to start…

We’re also on standby if you’d like to chat! Okay, here we go:

For Content Inspiration or Social Media Monitoring:

For Managing and Scheduling Posts:

For Graphics:

For Photos:

For Tracking Analytics:

Most of these programs come free or low-of-cost, so they’re perfect for entrepreneurs with a tighter budget, but as your business grows, you might find that these tools no longer deliver due to their limited capabilities. At that point, it might be time to look at marketing ROI instead.

As always, we’ll be here for that conversation. In the meantime, feel free to explore our resource pool here.

big-tech-taking-over-small-business

Are Small Businesses at the Mercy of Big Tech?

Short Answer: Yes.

We all experience the web in different ways, but what happens when the web outsmarts us?

Where there’s a problem, there’s someone out there with a solution, or an idea of some magnitude that requires nurturing, maybe they need access to the right resources before they can move to the development phase. Big Tech offers that, and more; yet “Do they really?” is the question on Congress’ floor.

Over the last decade, there has been growing concern surrounding large tech companies and their anti-competitive practices, like buying out the small guy with rivaling potential. Why would a company as big as Facebook, for instance, need Instagram? Did they have a good enough reason for the merge, and can they prove their intentions weren’t to stifle the opposition?

The U.S. government is shifting that burden off of themselves and onto these tech titans, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spearheading the effort.

“When you start deliberately buying up what we call nascent competitors for the purpose of dominating the market, then you stop that innovation that might develop,” said the newly appointed chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee. “No one has a chance of having a new product when they buy them all up and are the monopoly provider.”

Klobuchar’s bill seeks to revamp present antitrust laws that have been, in her perspective, ignoring the needs of the modern day consumer.

The Past

In truth, these laws were made decades and decades ago to combat the issue of corruption in business and politics. Big firms in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s would consolidate and form one giant entity called a “trust” company, an example of this being the oil industry that merged into Standard Oil Trust, or the tobacco industry coming together to represent the American Tobacco Company. As these enormous trusts banded together, so did their bank accounts.

The real problem wasn’t that they were rolling in dough, it was the threat that their partnership posed to entrepreneurship and competition, not to mention their growing influence over government affairs.

The Present

But where this concern once existed with retail, it has now permeated across a market that is digital, a territory that, to note, won’t be as easy to regulate, especially if Big Tech has also contributed to the success of many of those consumers.

Facebook makes for a good example as very recently the Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general called for the tech giant to be broken up, alleging that the company was “suppressing, neutralizing, and deterring serious competitive threats” in order to establish more dominance online.

On the other hand and in their defense, Facebook has brought about much needed exposure to the smaller players, especially during the pandemic. If anything, the number of users soared as business owners everywhere were forced to get creative. There’s a whole hub of tools that the social network has made available, for free, from taking your store online to making consumer data work in your favor.

And studies from Pew Research Center report that roughly eight-in-ten adults go online daily, with three-in-ten of them being constantly plugged into the world of social media a reach that exists in plain, virtual view for anyone looking to capitalize on that. It gets more tedious when we factor in the role that artificial intelligence plays in accessing, storing, even selling consumer data.

As Big Tech continues to expand, so does their power and influence over the individual and the economy:

Consider the effects that a casual tweet from the “Technoking” Elon Musk had over the market back in February, to be able to make money with “One word: Doge.”

Or consider Amazon, and the convenience it brings for both buyers and sellers everywhere. For the consumer, there are more options and cheaper buys; for retailers, there are cuts to overhead costs and the hassle-free experience of delivery. It’s an empowering platform, until, as critics of the retail giant bring up, the math paints a different story.

According to a study done by ProPublica in 2016, Amazon’s search engine algorithm was set up to bury bargains from independent merchants and utilize sales data to decide which products to create their own versions of, ultimately competing with the very sellers that operated on the platform.

The Effects On SMBs

Scott Galloway, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and author of The Four, a book about digital monopolies, warns of this developing concentration of power that Big Tech has and how it’s the reason for “infanticide” in small firms. “If they’re not stopping (innovation), they’re the main cause behind the slowdown in American startup creation.”

While Congress has been more willing to have the conversation, the pace at which technology is taking over has only accelerated. Some would argue that this gap between inaction and action, respectively, is increasingly killing the economy. By the time any legislation is passed, statistics suggest there’ll be more casualties on the enterprise front.

Maybe another question to consider here is whether there needs to be any government intervention at all.

When these leading tech companies are offering immediate access to vast markets, ability to target ads, budget-friendly and reliable infrastructure, why would startups want to look anywhere else when the framework has already been laid out for them? Developers can reach hundreds of millions of customers overnight via Apple’s and Google’s app store; brands can rent out Amazon’s and Google’s cloud-computing power; Facebook and Instagram might be the smoothest, cost-effective marketing tool in the history of everdom.

That also explains why Congress has yet to come to a consensus over this matter; it’s no easy feat to go against Big Tech, and then there’s the problem of whether our legislators are intellectually equipped to be making those decisions for users of technology.

The Future

One thing is for certain: the small business owner can use more support.

Is the answer here to break companies up? Should they be prevented from buying out up-and-coming ventures, just because they have the capital to do so? Whatever comes of the resolution, Klobuchar’s antitrust bill may be a better place to start than any.

For a market to remain a breeding ground for exploration and innovation, it’s essential that there’s the room and the resources there to foster those ideas.

It might be safe to say that Big Tech is much like that room, a Pandora’s box that’s full of the bells and whistles that appeal to many of its clients, but a box is also just a box: it’s restrictive. And Klobucar’s proposal to put more resources toward smaller agencies could be the backbone that the entrepreneurial spirit of today needs.

As she puts it,

“You can’t take on trillion dollar companies with bandaids and duct tape.”

Work With A Reputable Web Agency

Agency Partner Interactive is a world-renowned web agency that empowers many of its users to lead with more autonomy in the field. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at 214-295-5845 or contact Agency Partner for more information.

GAP Unity Hoodie Tweet

The GAP Unity Tweet Featuring a Red and Blue Hoodie

Marketing Tips and Takeaways for Retailers & Brands

On November 4, the day after voting closed for the US 2020 Election, Gap’s marketing team posted a tweet that was fully intended to promote unity following one of the most divisive political campaigns in recent history.

“The one thing we know, is that together, we. can move forward,”

said the big retailer, also including two emojis: a blue heart and a red heart to represent Democrats and Republicans, respectively.

Without question, this social media post was well-intended and many big brands have social media horror stories.

Unfortunately for the Gap, election night closed without a clear result and as votes are tallied and legal actions are taken to ensure a truly free and fair result, the message was not well received. 

A Likely Scenario

For the most part, major retailers have a process that makes it difficult for them to do anything that isn’t planned.

When it comes to marketing, there are content calendars that are decided and approved, often a month or more in advance of a social post’s publication. There is room for timely posts, however, the nature of most retail marketing messages is seasonal, promotional, and intentional. 

In this case, it is safe to assume that Gap’s marketing team expected to learn of a final, or at least very clear, presidential outcome by Wednesday… the day immediately following the election.

The reality is that mail-in voting and the unique processes and procedures that differ in how voting is managed from one state to the next fully complicated things this year.

Given that both candidates in aggregate attracted the highest voter turnout in history and noting that the turnout has proved to be extremely, almost perfectly equally divided, tensions remain extremely high. 

Gap could not have anticipated this and they likely set-up and triggered this post to automatically publish at least several days in advance.

An Unfortunate Result, Despite Good Intentions

Within minutes of posting, an army of Twitter users launched an offensive, calling the tweet “tone-deaf” among a wave of backlash that spawned from the election chaos. As you can imagine, some tweets were much more civil than others. 
Tweet Gap Unity Backlash

Approximately two hours after the tweet went live, the Gap’s marketing team removed the post, and their spokesperson promptly issued this apology:

“From the start we have been a brand that bridges the gap between individuals, cultures and generations. The intention of our social media post, that featured a red and blue hoodie, was to show the power of unity,” the spokesperson shares. “It was just too soon for this message. We remain optimistic that our country will come together to drive positive change for all.”

The question here is: “did Gap’s team really have anything to apologize for?”

As we sit back and watch the American democratic process play out as it is intended to, why should the Gap feel bad about the reality that we have a system that has processes and procedures to ensure a free and fair transfer of national leadership?

Even as the Trump campaign contests the outcome in several states, they are doing this peacefully and through a legal process: not with guns and brownshirts. In the United States, this is something we celebrate every 2nd and 4th year and we’ve done this for almost 250 years. 

 

Foreign or Domestic, Is Something Else Fueling The Fire?

For any sensitive message, it’s always good to have a system in place to approve a post before it goes live. That process should measure the temperature of the situation and make a Yes or No decision immediately following that.

In this case, it seems that there was no final check or perhaps, someone misread the room.

An army of Twitter trolls attacked this message of “unity.” The trolls were mostly from users that seemed to either support the Biden campaign or those who simply had nothing positive to say at all. In the extremely heated political and sociological world that Americans live in, there seem to also be foreign influences that use social media to attack and stifle any moves toward American unity.

Domestically, we see this with rioting and threats lead by the Antifa extremist group. Their presence online and in-person is unmistakable as they commonly attack pro-American, unifying messages and institutions whether they come from the political Left or Right.

If that sort of influence is loud enough, whether it be through Twitter bots or actual human users, there isn’t really any sort of positive message that any brand or person could successfully promote.

How To Keep Your Brand Safe

If your brand wants to survive and thrive, the reality is that irrespective of your own politics, if your price and quality are on par and your service or product is convenient, marketing survey data shows that consumers will be happy to buy from you.

While it is true that consumers prefer to buy from those brands that align with their political and ideological beliefs, price and convenience are the biggest motivators.

2020 Consumer Expectations Around the Election
At Agency Partner, we recommend that companies focus on promoting excellence among their quality of product or service, and ensure fair hiring practices, and positive community involvement. These things together will help any brand overcome negativity, whether that negative attention is warranted or unwarranted.

If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today at (214) 295-5845 or click here to Get a Free Quote to speak to a member today.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive

the role of brands after the 2020 election

The Role of Companies in a Post-Election, Pandemic Sort of World

Marketing Tips and Takeaway for Business Leaders

According to a recent survey conducted by market research firm, Morning Consult, 56% of American consumers said they “pay close attention to brands’ ethical or political stances,” per data shared with Agency Partner. In the lead up to the upcoming election, we can agree that people are becoming increasingly polarized by the day.

For a company, this makes it difficult to understand what role they should play when strong political and social questions hit the table.

So what’s the takeaway for business leaders? How do you go about taking a stand without completely alienating part of your customer base?

The fact is that there is a way to do what you feel is right without turning anyone away. First, let’s turn to the data. So far, the data is telling us that consumers in the United States have changing expectations about what a brand should or should not do in terms of its involvement with things including corporate social responsibility, political activism, and social issues.

Gone are the 1980s and 1990s when consumers really only cared to see a brand ensure that products and services were ethically sourced and fulfilled. In 2020, consumers are expecting a lot more! 

2020 Emphasizes a Demand For Brands to Align With Social Concerns

At an increasing rate, the American public wants to see brands use their power and influence to positively impact politics and culture. Morning Consult projects that more than 54% of American consumers believe that companies should make an effort to drive change and progress on important social issues.

This means taking actions to operate in an environmentally friendly way, promote fairness and equity, ensure a safe and positive work environment, and show more concern for the stakeholders even if it’s slightly to the detriment of the company shareholders.

ln a nutshell, here is a list of items, in order of priority, that consumers feel companies should have some level of influence in:

  1. Environmentally friendly
  2. Ensuring safe and fair elections
  3. Championing economic opportunity for average Americans
  4. Driving progress on important social issues
  5. Changing American’s attitudes about cultural or social issues

On the other hand, there is a special distaste for companies that do the following:

  1. Working to get specific politicians elected
  2. Influencing public policy
  3. Getting legislation passed 

Unfortunately, far too many companies fail to successfully walk the fine line of what is okay and what is not. When the political climate is most hot,  this is when many companies fail miserably, and we’ll get into that shortly.

2020 Consumer Expectations Around the Election
As brands work to promote positive change and fairness, they are generating heightened levels of trust and more often being viewed as charitable, responsible, and accountable. 

Interests & Top Issues for Consumers Around the 2020 Election

For the most part, a company will remain in good graces if it makes clear and obvious actions to promote free and fair elections. Noting above that consumers do not care to see the companies that they buy from directly endorse a political candidate, the idea is that businesses should promote fairness, access, and integrity.

This has been increasingly difficult as the integrity of information sharing is strongly under review following inconsistent censorship by our social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as by the mainstream news media. 

Politics aside, there is strong bipartisan support for issues including:

  • Equal pay for men and women
  • Goods that are made in America
  • Actions that help create more jobs
  • Charitable donations to good causes
  • Environmentally responsible practices
  • Support for the US military & its veterans

The bottom line is that the survey data indicates that 56% of Americans are paying attention to what companies are doing to involve themselves in ethical and political discussions. Notable is that a majority of this focus is directly on what company CEOs are doing and saying. 

How Politics Can Influence a Company

There is definitely some risk involved when you mix politics with anything. The biggest risk is in taking a position and then being exposed for doing something that directly contradicts that position. 

We have seen this time and again from companies including Nike, the National Basketball Association, and Uber to name a few.

With all of that being said, more than half of Americans will still buy from a company that offers convenience, quality, and most importantly: it sells products for an affordable, low price. Perhaps that is why Nike is currently valued more today than it ever has been.

If a brand is really looking to turn business away, here are some things that will do so:

  • the CEO vocally, loudly supports a political candidate that the customer base despises
  • the pricing of products or services goes up dramatically without any value-added
  • the quality of products or services goes down 

The things that generally have little effect in harming a brand include:

  • donating to a political campaign
  • donating to a charitable organization
  • releasing a public statement supporting an issue

So who carries the greatest risk in managing the power and influence of a company?

If you guessed “CEO,” then you’re right on. The data shows that consumers expect CEOs to not only lead their company but as top-level leaders, they should also be a driving force for change in the communities that they do business in. There is overwhelming support for this as 76% of those surveyed expect CEOs to lead American society.

In cases where the CEOs get it wrong, so many times we have seen the public make the demand: “off with his head!”

Recently here in Dallas, that was the case when advertising staple, Stan Richards of The Richards Group made racially sensitive comments that lead him to “fire himself” and allow new leadership to take over and dictate the future of the company and its image.

Similarly, Uber’s founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick was pushed aside by its board after a culture of sexism and gender discrimination was allowed to persist. The theme here is that when issues like this hit the headlines, a new captain is almost always called on to right the ship. 

What To Be Ready For On and After Election Day

The data shows that 83% of Americans are paying at least some attention to the 2020 election.

The economy proves to be among the highest of concerns in terms of priorities in this election cycle and most voters are concerned about taxes, wages, jobs, unemployment, and government spending. Of course, the coronavirus is right up there! Companies should be taking safety precautions to ensure that employee health and safety is paramount. Voters have covid in full view this year. 

So what is the role of a company throughout all of this? While this won’t boost your revenue, it will earn you some favor. On election day, give your employees the time and space they need to go and vote. The American public favors companies that promote free and fair elections.

As an employer or manager, do not try and indoctrinate your employees or chastise them if they hold obviously different political views. Be a good neighbor, support their decisions, and encourage a truly free and fair outcome.

Once we get past election day, focus on promoting safety and on growth.

As an employer, do everything you can to retain employees, ensure that they are bought into the effort of delighting your customers, and make an active effort to hire people that you typically would not hire by leveraging tools such as CultureIndex or OptimizeHire.

Once you have hired your team and the business machine is humming, take action to ensure that your workplace is truly promoting growth. 

Focus on Your StakeholderS

At Agency Partner, we have learned that a truly diverse, inclusive team makes for a much higher quality standard of service. It facilitates more creative and innovative problem-solving, and frankly, it’s the right way to run a business.

Today, American consumers want to work with brands that are more engaged in their communities and less stingy when it comes to bottom-line, owner-centric value creation.

Companies should find ways to invest in their communities and employees without discouraging diverse thoughts and backgrounds. The long-term value that is being created will be measurable via better, faster decision-making. 

Give Us a Call Today!

Do you want to revamp your current marketing strategy to survive and thrive during COVID-19? Are you searching for ways to improve how your brand connects with the market?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today at (214) 295-5845 or click here to Get a Free Quote to speak to a member today.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive

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How to Make Your Business Survive (and Thrive) in a Pandemic

Expert Tips For Business Survive in a Pandemic

It’s October, and the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still leaving an indelible impact on the world. While the White House says a vaccine is coming shortly, there’s no news yet on how widely available it will be, who will be eligible to get the vaccine first, or how effective it will be at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and allowing the world – and businesses like yours – to return back to normal.

The simple fact is that both large corporations and small businesses have felt the effects of extended lock-down periods that, more than eight months into this global pandemic, are still limiting normal face-to-face interactions and commerce, and for some brick and mortar businesses, restricting the number of people you can have in your storefront at one time, thus slashing your revenue potential.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented event that hasn’t been seen since at least the Spanish Flu of 1918. This means many business leaders, marketers, and even politicians are struggling with how to proceed during these difficult times, especially since the pandemic has endured for so long and there’s no foreseeable end in sight.

As a result, businesses across the country are going bankrupt and closing for good, especially small businesses. If you want to avoid this event from happening to your company, here are some ways you can make your business survive – and also thrive – in a pandemic.

Can You Grow Your Business During the COVID-19 Crisis?

The answer to this question certainly depends on the type of business you are currently operating. Overall, the need for business has never been eliminated nor will it be diminished in the coming months.

People still have the need and desire to shop for groceries, buy essential products, and lead the lives they were used to living. Do you operate an essential business? Are the products and services you have still attractive to your target audience during this pandemic?

If not, what can you do to pivot to create products or obtain inventory that will be in high-demand given your state or local municipality’s coronavirus restrictions? From retailers offering curbside pickup to commercial airlines providing cargo flights, our economy is full of several examples of companies that have transformed their way of doing business to either maintain their clientele or open up new revenue streams in the midst of COVID-19.

If your business’s revenue has decreased because of the coronavirus and you’re fighting tooth and nail to keep your doors open, what can you do to remain relevant and continue to operate despite consumers’ changed behavior or state or local restrictions related to your industry? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself to survive – and thrive – in a pandemic.

What’s the Best Marketing Strategy During the COVID-19 Crisis?

This has been a frequently asked question since country-wide lockdowns began. Even high-level marketers had genuine and desperate questions about how they could revamp their marketing strategies.

To answer all questions, the most important thing to do now is to continue growing your online presence. With more people working from home or staying at home to avoid large crowds or help their kids with online schooling, COVID-19 has caused internet usage to spike by 70% this year. Having a strong online presence will be vital in driving your marketing strategy forward.

With that said, here are some questions you should ask yourself during this pandemic regarding your marketing strategy:

  • Does your business already have an online presence? If not, you need a website now. Even if you’re a small boutique and can’t ship product, creating a website for your customers to browse and then purchase curbside can boost your revenue during these trying times.
  • Does your business have an intuitive, responsive, and well-built website? If you think your website is outdated, what can you do to make it more modern?
  • Does your business have a stable search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategy in place?
  • Have you measured the user experience of your website?

These are fundamental questions you should ask to begin the steps of improving your marketing strategy.

How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy

Social distancing and other preventative measures have made conducting traditional business near-impossible.

Trade shows and events, for example, are now nonexistent and have all moved online, if that. Like never before, you have to be quick to modify your marketing strategy, especially if you’ve heavily relied on events and customer visits in the past.

Here are some things you should keep in mind if you want to sell your offerings more effectively:

  • Increase the functionality of your e-commerce store to allow your customers to order your products and goods directly.
  • Online deliveries are very common now. Make sure you provide a convenient and inexpensive delivery service to your customers. 
  • Add features to your website to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as online booking.
  • Update your Google My Business profile to reflect your business hours. This is very important in regards to user experience, especially if your hours have changed due to COVID-19.
  • Provide webinars instead of face-to-face meetings.
  • People have all sorts of questions. Create a live chat feature on your website or post FAQs to give your audience the answers they need. As a bonus, live chat makes it easier for your employees who are working from home to professionally answer your customers’ questions without their kids, dogs, or the neighbor’s lawn mower creating background noise.
  • Increase your email marketing, and even consider deploying marketing automation, to reach customers that you can’t visit in person or have difficulty calling due to employees working from home and having too much background noise in their makeshift workspaces. Email marketing is also a great way to inform your customers about any special promotions you may be offering or restocked inventory of essential items that have been flying off the shelf.

Another tip we want to go into detail here is to continue creating great content. With internet usage going up, it stands to reason that more people are reading online content such as blogs. Content is a major part of digital marketing.

It not only educates an audience but it also guides them throughout the process of initial interest in becoming a loyal customer. For example, if you are running an online business, you will still need to attract qualified leads and convert them. Research from HubSpot shows that companies that blog see 126% more leads growth compared to companies that don’t.

Conversion comes through exceptional and engaging content, in which a prospect finds awareness of your products and services, becomes interested in what you have to offer, and finally comes to a point of decision. 

Whether your company is in the B2B or B2C industry sector, focus your efforts on creating purposeful content that assists your audience’s development in your sales funnel. Blogs with images are great, and videos help convert leads at high rates. Video viewers are anywhere between 64-85% more likely to buy from you then website visitors who don’t view your video content.

Give Us a Call Today!

Do you want to revamp your current marketing strategy to survive and thrive during COVID-19? Are you searching for ways to improve the scalability of your business? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today at (214) 295-5845 or click here to Get a Free Quote to speak to a member today.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How to Make Your Business Survive (and Thrive) in a Pandemicinstead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

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How Small Businesses Use Web Analytics

Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

Did you know that less than 30% of Small Businesses currently use website analytics to grow their business and 18% report not tracking anything at all? If you’re not utilizing website analytics to grow your business, you may be missing out on a huge growth opportunity. Have you ever wondered how website analytics can help your business thrive?

Web analytics provide an insight into the performance of a website and is a valuable tool for any business that has a website. Many web hosting platforms offer packages that include web analytics tools. Google Analytics and Open Web Analytics are two free services useable with any site. These tools provide you with detailed reports and analytics on an immense amount of data and answer many questions such as: How do your website’s visitors behave once they’re on your website? Who is your audience? How old are they and where are they from? How did they find your site? What is your most popular content? What is your conversion rate?

Information gathered from analytics can help increase overall business intelligence and help you make informed business decisions. Let’s take a look at four reasons why website analytics are essential for growing your small business.

Traffic and Conversion

A fundamental feature of any Web Analytics system is to give you an endless stream of insights to measure the performance of a site. The web analytics interface breaks apart the data on how many visits your site has had, how many page visits individual pages have had, plus information on where the traffic originates, what content visitors read, and the amount of time spent  on your site once they’re there. By identifying where visitors come from, your company can determine where to best focus marketing efforts.

Analyze Visitor Data with Web Analytics

Analytics Reports can help paint a picture of who your audience members are. Not only can you gain valuable insight about your audience demographics, but you can also discover geographical information about where in the world visitors access your site from. This information can be extremely beneficial, particularly if the business is international, or considering breaking into a new market.

Marketing Optimization

Are you using online marketing to advertise products or services you offer? If you’re investing in online advertisements, you’ll want to calculate the return on this investment. By using website Analytics, you can track which Online Advertising endeavors successfully direct traffic to your site. If you have an eCommerce Website, you’ll also have the ability to see if visitors click through your Website to make purchases. You can analyze and use this data to create future Online Marketing Campaigns.

Keyword Research

93% of Online Experiences begin with a search engine, so Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in creating a successful online presence. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be at the forefront of your mind when creating content for your website. To become discoverable in a search engine, you first need to generate a list of keywords applicable to your business.

Web analytics is an essential tool to help businesses find and understand their target audience. Understanding traffic and conversions, analyzing visitors’ data, optimizing your marketing efforts, and tapping into keyword research are just a few of the reasons companies around the world  maximize their business intelligence and reap the benefits of website analytics.

Are you ready to give your company a competitive advantage? Let Agency Partner Interactive help you identify and implement the strategies that will help your business prosper.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How Small Businesses Use Web Analytics” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this Blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

 

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What Business Intelligence Features Does My Small Business Need

Tips From Business Intelligence Experts

The Global Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% over the next several years, reaching approximately $55.48 billion by 2026. Is your company taking advantage of the software that can save your small business time and money?

Business intelligence (BI) refers to the tools, technologies, and strategies employed by enterprises to collect and analyze raw data and turn it into actionable information. Small businesses often neglect to engage a business intelligence strategy, assuming the software is too expensive or that BI is a strategy reserved for bigger corporations.

There’s a new host of BI platforms offering scalable features catering to small businesses, which will save you time and money. This article looks at some of the business intelligence features that are important for your small business. 

Business Intelligence Dashboard

Remember the days when data for a report had to be collected by the technology department or compiled by a data analyst? With BI, all employees can access the information needed for their role in an easy-to-use dashboard, customized with relevant information. Using BI software that allows dashboard customization allows you to look at the information that’s most relevant to your company. BI brings multiple data points into one place, saving time by eliminating a bottleneck from the technology department and decreasing the potential for misinterpretation.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Each department should be able to provide their own data sources in whichever BI platform you choose. Marketing, Sales, and Finance Departments can add Web Applications like Sales-Force, Facebook, Databases, and Cloud Data. Once installed, your data sources fill your dashboard with KPIs to monitor your business’ success. These KPIs will help you track your goals and growth over time.

Data Visualization

Say goodbye to your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with dozens of data columns. When deciding on business intelligence software, look for built-in data visualization capability. Graphs and charts update in real-time to present data in a clear and accurate format. You’ll save time creating presentations and can use the time saved to analyze and act on the data presented. 

Predictive Analytics

Dashboards and data visualization technology allows you to analyze current and historical data. Business intelligence platforms also offer predictive analytics so you can understand what is likely to happen in the future. 

Predictive analytics uses artificial intelligence to study past data and historical trends to predict potential outcomes and future customer behavior. Look for BI software with predictive analytics functionality that’s easy to understand so that you can take action based on the predictive analytics results.

Business Intelligence software gives insights to the employees who need them most in a format that is easy to understand and ready to present. An investment in BI technology for your small business will result in time saved for your employees and money earned when these tools are used to their full capacity. 

Are you ready to take the next step to invest in your business? Let Agency Partner help you determine the software and strategy to set your business up for success.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “What Business Intelligence Features Does My Small Business Need” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this Blog into a video for you. Check it out below!