Brentwood Visual News and Tips

Your website is your most important marketing asset

Gone are the days where having a website was considered optional for a business. Today it's expected that every business will have a website, and for good reason!

Your website is (or should be) the primary source of information about your business, and it's the only place online that you have full control over. On any other platform, your business is subject to the rules and business practices of the platform you're listed on. This may mean that you're not allowed to publish certain information, content may be limited in length, or you may even have competitor's ads shown on your listing!

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Connect with Your Customers Through Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to connect directly with your customers. More than 65% of adults start their day by checking their email, 99% of consumers check their email every single day, and more than 55% of consumers say that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.

From the numbers, it’s clear that email marketing is a highly effective tool. On average, email generates $38 for every $1 spent and has a much better reach than organic social platforms. In fact, email is 40 times more effective in reaching your customers than Facebook and Twitter!

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Reopening Soon? Start Coordinating Now

As the shock of the COVID-19 Stay at Home Orders (coupled with the forced shutdown of businesses) finally begins to wear off, the focus is shifting to how to reopen.

Businesses owners will be faced with a myriad of decisions as individual States progress through their phased reopening plans. We'd like to offer our recommendations for how to coordinate your reopening through your digital presence.

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Emergency Communications for Small Businesses

The Coronavirus pandemic has plunged the entire nation into an unprecedented situation, and small business owners are struggling to keep their customers informed during a situation that seems to change moment by moment.

With as fluid as everything is right now, there is a lot of bad information and rumors floating around out there. Every few minutes someone has a new announcement about whether a business is open or closed, or will be closing soon. As a business owner or manager, you are in the best position to provide accurate information. The challenge is getting the information out there in a way that makes it easy for people to find.

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Driving traffic to your website (you may not be doing it right!)

Everyone wants to drive traffic to their website, and everyone wants that traffic to turn into paying customers. But sitting there waiting for that traffic to appear isn't a great approach.

Most marketing techniques fall into one of two very broad categories. Push marketing involves techniques that get your message out in front of the customer to make an impression on them. Pull marketing is creating content that is sitting there waiting for the customer to come find it. Without a well-designed strategy, we find that most business owners tend to focus on pull marketing. While this is important, without the balancing approach of push marketing you are not likely to see the results you are looking for.

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Is SEO really the solution you're looking for?

Sometimes a buzzword seems to define an entire industry. In digital marketing, that buzzword seems to be SEO. When I introduce myself to someone and say I'm a digital marketer, the most common response is “Oh, you do SEO!”

Well yes, we do SEO. Oftentimes we’ll have a customer contact us asking for SEO, but when we dig into their needs we discover that SEO isn’t really what they’re looking for, and it’s often not the best solution.

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The Death of Facebook (and why it's not as close as you think)

Every few weeks, another doomsayer will pop up in the news announcing the imminent collapse of Facebook as a social platform. They’ll trumpet new user numbers from [insert competing platform here] and compare those to slowing percentage numbers from Facebook. They’ll cite Congressional investigations, the rise of Instagram influencers, and the #DeleteFacebook movement. They’ll compare Facebook’s stock price to the overall market, and proclaim that the collapse is soon to come.

They may be right. But then again, maybe not.

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How to Claim Your Local Search Properties

Have you claimed your local search listings? If not, you should. Claiming any online listing of your business verifies that you are the owner of a valid business and gives you control of the information shown on your listings. Here’s how to claim your Big Three listings on the web: Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

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Exploring the Digital Marketing Funnel

Throughout our website, you’ll see us refer to the “Digital Marketing Funnel”. Anyone who has taken a marketing class or read a good marketing book is familiar with funnels, and there’s nothing magical about ours.

What the funnel provides for us is a roadmap. It gives us a starting point, and a structure that we can come back to when we start to drift. All that glitters is not gold, and there is a lot of glitter out there in the marketing world. Everyone has new ideas on the latest and greatest thing that “every business” needs to be doing. Many of these ideas are exciting and innovative, but if they’re not incorporated with the end goals in mind they can lead us off track.

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How much should I spend on Digital Marketing?

How much of your business revenue should be spent on digital marketing? This is a question we hear a lot, and the simple answer is that there’s no simple answer. The “magic number” you typically hear is 10%. The Small Business Administration recommends budgeting 7-8% of gross revenues to marketing, assuming revenue below $5 million and profit margins of 10-12%.

The reality is that it’s far more important to look at your own needs and goals to determine where you want to take your business.

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Reputation Management: Why it Matters

How important are online customer reviews? Very important—more than 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 72% of consumers will make a purchase only after reading positive reviews. Since 91% of typical U.S. consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews, a review process can help you receive more reviews and effectively manage your online reputation.

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How to Develop a Social Media Content Calendar

Sharing quality content across your social channels is the primary way to engage and connect with your audience. To create a content strategy that actually works, consistency is key. Streamline your content process with an editorial calendar, which gives you a place to organize ideas and schedule months of quality posts ahead of time (so you have more time to create content, instead of just managing it).

Yearly Strategy
Start with the big picture, deciding on a primary topic to focus on each month. The topic you choose will shape your social media posts for the month and give you a starting point as you create your content, from writing blog posts, staff profiles or client newsletters, to creating new videos for your website.

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Your Guide to Content Marketing

What is content marketing, and why should quality content be at the core of your social media marketing? If you’re new to content marketing, our guide is designed to answer your questions and help you get started.

What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and sharing quality content to attract and retain an audience. Instead of constantly pitching your products or services, you provide relevant and useful content to your customers and prospects. Content marketing establishes you as the expert, and builds trust and confidence in the eyes of your reader.

One component of content marketing is blogging. Writing a blog gives you the chance to provide useful information for your customers and solve their issues, and provides you with content to share across social media platforms and create awareness for your business.

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What’s in a Name?

Choosing the right domain name for your business

Google.com. GoDaddy.com. Yahoo.com. These websites and the companies behind them are all household names, but take yourself back to the day when you first heard them. Google? What’s a Google? Yahoo sounds more like you’re cheering for your favorite team.

Today, nobody has any trouble identifying these companies, but that is the result of massive, multi-million dollar branding and marketing campaigns. For the average business, such a campaign is out of reach, so it’s important to spend more than a few minutes deciding on a good domain name for your website. In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the factors I take into account when I’m helping a client choose their domain name.

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6 Tips for Writing Great Website Content

Creating website content that’s engaging and informative is one of the most essential things you can do as a business owner. Why? Blogging is still one of the best ways to get organic traffic, generate leads, and create awareness for your business. Blogs give you the chance to share your knowledge and expertise, provide useful information for your customers, and help improve SEO for all website content.

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