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SEO is Dead. Paid Search is the King.

By General No Comments

5 years ago, 10 years ago even search engine optimization (SEO) was all any digital marketing company was talking about. It was an aggressive race to the top of the search page. Consumers are lazy, me included. When I hit Google looking for an answer or a solution, I want it now, I want it at the top of the page. I don’t want to have to scroll down the page or dig through links. This is why SEO was so crucial. If your website link wasn’t at the top of the SERP (search engine results page) you weren’t even in the game.

This isn’t news to anyone; everybody knows that nobody goes to the second page of the SERP and most people don’t even scroll down the first page so why am I even talking about this? The point is that all this information remains true. It is still a race to the top of the SERP page and advertisers are fighting aggressively with their competitors to get there. Despite this, the game has changed.

Search engine optimization isn’t what it used to be. Is search engine optimization dead? Absolutely not. That was an exaggerated claim. As a matter of fact, we offer SEO services and encourage all of our clients to utilize them. SEO is still important but if the goal is to be at the top of the SERP, more times than not SEO alone won’t get you there.

In today’s world, paid search is kind of the search engine results page. Google (and the other search engines) know this and are monetizing the SERPS as much as they can. It’s become a pay-to-play game. Granted Google AdWords has technically been around since 2000 but not to the extent that it operates today. Many searches today won’t even show a single organic link without having to scroll. The screen grab below shows an example of this.

What you see the pink arrows pointing at are paid search ads, or search engine marketing ads. Search engine marketing in Layman’s Terms is essentially paying for your website to be listed at the top of the SERP for specified keywords. Without getting too deep into the process, a keyword list is generated, a geographic target region is set, and your website will show at the top of the page when someone searches for those specified keywords within the target region. It’s a bit more complex than that but you get the idea.

All four of the websites shown in the screenshot above are paid ads. Without scrolling, a user won’t see a single organic listing for this search term. Advertisers can do endless amounts of organic search engine optimization but it likely won’t be enough. No matter how much SEO is done, if a competitor is running paid ads your listing won’t show above theirs. While SEO is important to increase your website’s quality score with Google, ultimately it isn’t enough to ensure your website reaches the top of the SERP.

According to to Perion, 64.6% of users click on SEM Ads when they are looking to buy an item online. Power Traffick also states that the top 3 paid advertising spots generate around 50% of the clicks. Don’t believe me, how often do you scroll down the results page before clicking on a link?

Worried about users seeing your ads at the top of the SERP and coming off as spammy? Good news! Most don’t even recognize the difference between paid and organic listing when performing a typical search. Seobook.com performed a survey that proved people are generally unaware of ads vs. organic results.

Ultimately things aren’t that different than they have been in the past. It is still a viscous fight to the top of the search engine results page. To compete with (and beat) your competitors, it’s imperative that users are able to find your business online. Unfortunately, organic search engine optimization isn’t enough to achieve this anymore. Google understands that the top three spots of the search page are the crown jewel of online traffic and they don’t want to give it up too easy. SEM will help ensure that users are finding your business online.

Not sure where to start? I’d be happy to explain more and dive deeper into how search engine marketing works and what that might look like for your business. Send me an email at jarod@mediaexperts.biz and I’d be happy to explain further.

9 Tips to Market Your Event Like a BOSS

By General No Comments

When creating your marketing campaign for an upcoming event, it can feel overwhelming. You want to make sure that people not only know about your event but also want to go. Here are nine tips to create a fantastic marketing campaign that will peak interest in your event.

  1. Create a Compelling Description– Clearly indicate the topic, time, place, and attendees. The description you share should include specific benefits for each type of attendee. Make it brief and informational. Use quotes or positive feedback from past events whenever possible.
  2. Produce Event Related Videos– Create simple video interviews of the speakers or vendors and post them on your event pages to gain excitement for your event.
  3. Heighten Social Media Activity– Of course your event needs social media! Choose an event hashtag that is short and unique for your event. Social media has a significant impact on opinions, so a trending hashtag is sure to grab attention. Facebook should have boosted content along with dark ads promoting your event. Platforms like Hootsuite can be used to keep all of your social platforms consistent. Share content such as when to register, who your speakers will be, or why guests should come to your event. Most importantly, make your page fun and informational
  4. Send Promotions on weekends– Consider sending event promotions on weekends. Emails on regular workdays might not be seen by the receiver and are often deleted before reading. When people receive emails on weekends, they often feel less stressed for time and are more willing to commit the time to learn about your event.
  5. Let the press know– There are likely journalists who cover local events. Find them by searching for similar events in news websites. Then graciously contact them with an invite, press badge or offer a relevant article. This could be an interview with a speaker or a guest.
  6. Promotion through attendees-You can use the help of people who are already planning to attend. If someone buys a ticket, give them an option to share the news with their friends on social media. You can also introduce specials and offers on purchase of group tickets.
  7. Promote Chief Guests-The special guests at your event also have a fan following of their own. Let people know they’ll be appearing. Inquire with special guests to do things like Facebook lives or interviews with media on your event.
  8. Get Feedback-If you have held previous events, gather feedback from attendees. Send out surveys to gather information to improve your next event. This is a perfect way to familiarize yourself with your audience and what they expect from the events you put on.
  9. Recap and Thank Attendees– Send out post-event information. Thank your attendees for taking the time to attend your event. Post event photos and be sure to tag and mention sponsors.

With these tips, you’re sure to have a fantastic campaign that will ramp up excitement about your event! PLAN ON!!

Justin Cubbage: “Justy” / “Justy Pants” / “Mr. Cubbage”

By Meet the Team No Comments

Justin is our whiskey loving, fruit snack hoarding, video-guru god. And we feel it’s about time you get to know the visionary mind behind the camera, and the man that makes the magic happen.

If you know Justin, then it comes as no surprise that he is NOT a morning man/person/human and no amount of caffeine will ever change that. He’s known to keep the team on their toes with his quick sarcastic wit thrown in to almost any conversation – we like to refer to this as creative enthusiasm.

Justin’s eye for lighting, angles, composition, sound, storyboarding, technology … should we keep going or do you get the point? He’s basically the Stephen Hawking of Video and Animation, and we can only hope he never leaves us for Hollywood.

Enough from us, dive in below and find out for yourself why Justin is such a bad***.

  • Favorite place you’ve traveled and why? VEGAS BABY!!   (But he didn’t tell us why — I guess that’s why they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas …)
  • If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be? The coolest dude that ever lived, Prince. (He didn’t even think twice! And then broke out in song. Ha!)
  • Pet Peeve? If you chew with your mouth open, we cannot be friends.
  • Celebrity Crush? As a man of more refined taste, I’d definitely have to say Aubrey Plaza.
  • Favorite Music? I am a man with many tastes, from Garth Brooks to Tupac, Frank Sinatra to Frank Ocean, and Billie Eilish to Green Day. I honestly listen to it all, minus that pop-country junk that gets played on the radio.
  • If video wasn’t your obvious calling, what would you want to be? An Architect!

** Fun Fact: He earned an early acceptance into Tulane University’s architecture program! He changed his career path when his high school lost their drafting and design teacher before the start of school and forced him to take a different class. That class was a photography and photoshop class and he ventured in a different direction with his creativity.

  • Favorite Beverage? Irish Whiskey.
  • Favorite Person? My dog.
  • Do you prefer Handshake or Hug? Can I say neither? If you hug me… just don’t.
  • Favorite Quote? “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.” -Blade Runner

Next time you’re in the office or see the In-House video van in the area – make sure you tell Justin hi … and give him a hug. **insert wink**

COVID-19 Announcement: Remote Work

By General

In-House Advertising is taking every measure we can to protect the health of our customers, employees and the community during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. While our staffing and client services have not currently been affected, we have asked that our team members who are able to work remotely do so at this time.

With this change, all face-to-face meetings will need to be by appointment only. If you need to stop by our office, please call ahead first, as we want to make sure we are prepared to serve you.

We are available as usual via phone, email, and through our front desk number at 701-451-9044 during normal business hours. Please let us know if you have any questions. We will continue to communicate any changes to you in the coming days.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so too does our response at In House Advertising & Consulting. Our biggest concern is the safety of our employees and the clients we serve. To protect the health and well-being of all, we’ve decided to move to a remote working environment beginning Friday, March 20, 2020. We are confident that we are well-prepared to serve you virtually – by phone, video and email. Please know that we are here to help during this developing situation.
Please email us with any questions that you may have.
Senior Account Manager: Tara Swingen –  tara@mediaexperts.biz
Digital Media: Jarod Berger – jarod@mediaexperts.biz
Project Manager: Krista Jansen – krista@mediaexperts.biz
Social Media Manager: Nicole Strobel – nicole@mediaexperts.biz
Social Media Specialist: Taylor Bjork – taylor@mediaexperts.biz
Graphics & Production: graphics@offthewalladvertising.com
Stay safe and healthy!
– The In-House Team

Kendal Christenson

By Meet the Team No Comments

Designing and developing websites for most people would be equivalent speaking a foreign language, backwards; but, lucky for us, that’s where this gem comes in to play.   Let us introduce you to Kendal ‘everything revolves around my dog and you better like it’ Christenson.

From exceptional, innovative design and layout, to functionality and user experience, Kendal is the wiz of all-things web related. Kendal’s been a part of our In-House Advertising team for almost 2 years now! And man does it show! With 5 years of experience dabbling in all things web and design – she’s lightyears ahead of her time!!

If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kendal, then you already know she’s a super chill, matter of fact, and brutally honest woman (so be careful what you ask her, ha!). If you haven’t met Kendal yet, we’re sorry, but you’re missing out and we highly suggest checking out her blog post … (and even if you do know her …. You definitely haven’t heard it all) — She’s hilarious! So read on!

  1. What is the one thing you cannot resist? Bar food. Wings, French fries, cheese curds, pizza, nachos… the works.
  2. What is your greatest fear? For my dog, Mila, to realize she’s too talented for her current lifestyle and hitch-hike to Vegas. 
  3. Where’s your favorite place to be? Anywhere that isn’t in front of a computer screen
  4. Favorite Movie? Step Brothers
  5. What’s one thing that terrifies you? My co-workers would eat worms for money.
  6. Tell us something that might surprise us about you? I hate sitting still for extended periods of time.
  7. What is something you learned in the last week? That we typically only think of our pets contracting Lyme Disease, but humans can also contract the disease. (can you tell I love my dog?)
  8. Celebrity crush? Gordon Ramsey. I like a man who can cook!
  9. Favorite word? Actually.
  10. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? It would be pretty cool to fluently speak more than one language.

What are 3 words you’d use to describe In-House Advertising? Up-and-coming, research driven, exploratory.

5 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Crucial for YOUR Business

By General, Website No Comments

Before we get down and dirty and just dive right in to undercovering our hidden secrets that we’ve poured our blood, sweat, and tears into (not really, but it’s definitely going to have you walking away feeling more confident or perhaps in need of some marketing advice)—let us just explain what exactly “Digital (inbound) Marketing” is.

Digital Marketing is the process of attracting the attention of customers, through engaging content. Think about it this way – it’s one of the best and most cost-effective ways to convert strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

Now, let’s dive into why digital marketing needs to be a priority for your business.

Tell Me WHY Already!?

It’s not a secret — more people start with an online search to find what they need than ever before. We are talking the 21st century after all, and Google is basically our “phone a friend” in finding anything and everything. With over four billion people online, there should be plenty of opportunities for people to find and engage with your brand.

But are they?

Unless you’re dedicating time, effort, and some cold, hard cash to grow your business, the answer is, probably not. Let’s be honest, it takes (spending) money to make money.

We (as a consulting firm) have talked with many small businesses that put up a website and wait patiently for customers to start pouring in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  — Watching paint dry is probably a better use of your time and I assure you it’s faster, so if that’s the case, at least pick a cute color. So, if you want to successfully drive traffic and engagement to your website, it’s crucial to develop a digital marketing strategy.

The good news?? With a little bit of effort, anyone can develop a digital marketing strategy that works! Now, this is where our agency can come into play.

Wheels still turning? Need examples? We’ve got you.

SEM >> SEO >> Retargeting >> YouTube videos >> Social Media posts/stories >> Instagram takeovers >> Influencer marketing >> Vlogs >> Webinars >> Email marketing.

Everything you’ve just read are examples of digital marketing tactics. The good news is, you’ve probably seen plenty of these strategies in action – or have done them yourself. If you’ve ever written a blog, you’ve done digital marketing before!

Digital marketing can help flip the script on traditional marketing campaigns and help you form a better relationship with prospective customers.

Is this starting to make a little more sense? Ok, I’ll keep it moving.

Why Businesses Need Digital Marketing to Generate Leads

Here’s the thing: Your “digital, Facebook scrolling, online shopping, glued to the phone, loving customers” need to see you everywhere online.

If prospective customers can’t find you online, they aren’t going to see you as a legitimate business. This is just how today’s world works, and I’m just relaying the message.

As a small or mid-sized business, you have to put yourself out there to generate more leads. Plain and simple – and that’s precisely why small businesses must take part in some sort of digital marketing to even stay relevant.

This brings me to my next point — Why do businesses, like yours, need to get on the digital bandwagon?

1. It’s Cost-Effective

Maintaining a blog is a lot cheaper than spending money on traditional marketing like print, radio or TV ads.

Don’t believe us? Studies show digital marketing costs 60 percent less than traditional methods.

Get the same amount of business for 40 percent of the cost. If that doesn’t make your ears dance, it’s time for another cup of coffee, because those numbers are staggering!

2. Digital Marketing is Always Relevant

Traditional marketing can sometimes feel old school or stale. Whether it’s a billboard, cold call, or radio advertisement, you’re trying to talk to customers when they aren’t ready to engage with you.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, can be informative, relevant, and timely. It can build genuine enthusiasm for your brand from your customers. The best part? You can reach anyone in the world if you want to!!

Is your mind blown yet? Take a sip of your coffee and follow me to the next point!

3. Reach Anyone, At Any Time

Digital marketing is always working for you. Your website doesn’t go home for the weekend or take vacations. Digital marketing is always there for customers to enjoy, 24/7.

The great thing about digital marketing is that it isn’t limited to geography.

Customers seek you out with digital marketing. That means they’re already more likely to buy from you in the first place.

Avoid the guesswork that comes with qualifying leads; digital marketing does it for you. Take advantage of tracking potential customers – from anywhere!

How’s that for scaling?

4. Digital Marketing Is Measurable and Repeatable – say what??

Some people say it’s impossible to measure the output from a digital marketing strategy, but that’s just a myth.

In fact, digital marketing is extremely measurable. And as we all learned in science class, things that are measurable are repeatable.

Who’s on your website, what time, what they are looking at, how long they are on your site and what their best friends’ brother’s favorite food is (ok this last example may be exaggerated a tad bit, but you get the point). The internet is a crazy thing, and you’d be just as crazy to NOT use it!

Now, you’re going to have to test and experiment to find what works best for you. But, thanks to vigorous reporting tools, you’ll know precisely what’s working and where you need to shift gears.

The Bottom Line

Every business wants to grow. Period. So, starting experimenting – shift away from traditional strategies and embrace digital marketing. It’s cheaper, more effective, and customers prefer it. Get better quantity and quality of leads for your business with better digital marketing.

We hope this has helped you understand why Digital Marketing IS the future. If you’re confused?? That just means you’re trying to digest the information – call our team at In-House Advertising today and we’ll help you come up with successful strategies geared towards YOUR business.

Nathan Stang: Creative Hero by Day – Rockstar by Night

By Meet the Team No Comments

Have you ever wondered who’s the guy behind the computer screen making all the magic happen? Let us introduce you to Nathan – or as we like to call him “Mr. Fix-it”.

Nathan has been with In-House Advertising for 8 years now! Wow, time flies!! With over 20 years of experience in graphic design, web design, video/audio production, and IT maintenance (this last specialty may not have been his choice… but as you may know – “majority rules”. Ha!)

As the Creative Director he wears pretty much every hat on the market – and looks good doing it. If you’re struggling with an idea or need a boost of creative inspiration, Nathan is your man. With that being said, he’s basically never allowed to leave us.

If you feel you want to know even more about Nathan … check out some of the “must-know” interview questions we asked him.

  1. What is the one thing you cannot resist? Cheesecake
  2. Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why? Hawaii!! I went with my wife’s family to see all of the islands for a once in a lifetime trip.
  3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? Worked at Pet Smart for a bit after moving to Nashville.  I got the job because I was raised on a farm and not afraid to touch poop.
  4. Favorite Movie? Super Troopers
  5. If you could have any superpower what would it be? To be invisible
  6. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? An animator for Disney
  7. What is something you learned in the last week? Kirk Cousins is not worth 84 million dollars
  8. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Playing or creating music
  9. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning up after my wife. She’s a walking tornado when she gets home.
  10. Toilet paper: over or under? Over! Are you some kind of animal??

What are 3 words you’d use to describe In-House Advertising? Fun, Creative, Family

Team | In-House Advertising

5 Top Trends for 2019

By General

Style over Substance

If you can’t get prospects attention, there is no consideration and possible sale! Without first getting attention, there is no shopping, no comparing and no consideration. Consumers are attracted to image first and then decide to investigate further. If you’re using the same graphics and messaging as a few years ago, you have lost! Let Our in-House Design team upgrade your brand!

Video Killed the Radio, and every other medium.

Does your company have professional video to tell a story, catch customers attention, and make your company relevant? Gone are the days when prospects would take the time to read and research the best products, companies and people. Now you need to create a mini blockbuster to drive news ales. We have a fully staffed Video Department that makes great video easy- from concept, writing, video shoots, and editing.

What a tangled web we weave.

Nothing works without a high functioning web site. Gone are the days of design your own, or having a website like a phone book listing. Your Website is vital
to anyone not only finding your business but, determining if it’s for real. Your website has to look right, feel right, and programed right to be found, be read, and be relevant. You have milliseconds to beat your competition out of the next sale. We have two web developers on staff who have created over 40 web sites in 2018, check out our portfolio for the latest samples.

Social is no longer social – it’s all business!

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest are not about mindless entertainment and bragging rights – they hold hostage yesterday’s radio and print audience. It’s an advertising platform you must harness to have a chance to reach today’s
customers and more importantly tomorrow’s prospects. Let our experts write and reach your best prospects for less!

Online or out of business.

Most people find you online. Gone are the days of jumping in your car and driving around from store to store … browsing, exploring, and shopping for new products to buy. Today’s customer is already read, researched, priced and committed to the purchase before they leave home. Let our team of In-House experts show you how to do beat your competition on a local level. Not all clicks are equal, after all most clicks from eastern hemisphere are likely not going to become customers. We have developed a super team of local expertise that can
deliver local results!

5 Steps to Combat a Below Average Website

By General, Website

Do you feel like your online presence is sub-par? Do reps keep calling you about their online solutions that sound too good to be true? Trust your gut, because they probably are.

A mobile-friendly website.

This is your store front. If customers can’t access the content through their phone, they will go elsewhere.

PRO TIP: Pretend you are the customer and visit your site from your phone. How was the experience? Does it live up to your standards? If not, In House Advertising can help!

A website that’s searchable online.

Are you showing up within Google search? If your website isn’t showing on the first page within the beginning half of the search results, your business is not being seen.

PRO TIP: Use typical keywords relevant to your business category and search them on Google. Is your business showing up within the top ten results? If not, we can help!

Social content that influences buying behavior.

The world is becoming more and more (online) social – especially millennials. In fact, statistics show that millennials no longer care about price and sales, instead they make purchase decisions based on peer influences.

PRO TIP: Take a look at your social media channels and Google reviews. Are people talking about or interacting with your business? Do you have good ratings on Google and Facebook? If not, we can help!

Video content that’s engaging.

The biggest thing businesses are missing is the element of video. It’s one of the most important pieces of content that your site and social pages need to help you to be seen by thousands!

PRO TIP: Do a review of your website and social channels and count how many times video is used within the content. You’re missing out if it’s less than twice a month, and we can help!

Get your message out there.

If you’re doing the above correctly, you’re ready to start advertising. Depending on the audience, the appropriate mix of billboard, online, radio, TW, and print media can be used to communicate your message effectively.

PRO TIP: Reach x Frequency x Message is the formula for success. Do you want to start inviting customers to check out your business and increase revenue? If so, we can help!

4 Critical SEO Crimes You Could Be Committing

By General, Website

Is your website hurting your business instead of helping it? While it is true that bad website design, misspelled text, and negative Google reviews all contribute to a bad first impression of your business, a website’s SEO (search engine optimization) decides if your business gets an audience at all. Optimize your site by avoiding rookie SEO mistakes:

Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.

Google is moving over to a system where it will only index (recognize & list) your website if you have responsive content. Web content is considered responsive when it can be displayed appropriately and tastefully in a mobile, tablet, and desktop viewport.

Does your site utilize H1 tags correctly?

An “H” tag is a piece of HTML code that tells your text to display in a certain manner. “H”, or header, tags are used to display headings and sub-headings througout a sites content. Since there are 6 “H” tags (with an H1 tag being for the most important and general content relating to your business/website) many times a site will be incorrectly utilizing the tags, resulting in important content and keywords being missed when Google indexes your site.

For example, I used an H4 tag for the heading above this paragraph, because it’s a sub-heading, but I used and H1 tag for the title of the article. To search your site’s HTML document for inappropriate header tags look for a similar bit of code: <h1>My Main Title</h1>; if this confuses you–In-House Advertising can help!

Is your website content strategic?

Although H1 tags are important for your site’s keywords, you also need to make sure the overall content is linked and relevant. Meaning, if one of your site’s important keywords is ‘fluffy dog,’ your content better be repeating ‘fluffy dog’ as much as possible without being outwardly obnoxious to your audience. Speaking of content (!important), you also need really solid subject-matter that people want to read and view–in other words, you need to contribute to the webspace around you in order to be extra successful in your digital marketing endeavors.

What is your site speed?

If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, especially while on a mobile phone, most of your potential audience will click away because you’ve lost credibility. The most professional websites feature code that’s been optimized and then re-optimized, images sized perfectly, and as many internal links as possible in order to maximize reliability. Utilize an online website speed test to determine how long your site takes to load, exactly how large it is, and which resources are killing your load time (hint: it’s probably Javascript).

When it comes to images, not only do you need to double check the dimensions, resolution, and overall size, but you should also make sure all images’ ‘alt’ value (a bit of text that will load if your image does not/text a computer will read to those with vision disabilities) is filled out appropriately and maybe even featuring a keyword! The ‘alt’ value of your image is indexed by Google, and therefore, searchable.