03.31.2016

Choosing an Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh

Choosing an Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh to Grow Your Business

Do you own a business in Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas? If so, you’re well aware of the importance of growing your business online. Over 80% of people conduct research online before purchasing products or committing to your service, and potential customers are doing the same about your business. The problem arises when those potential customers are unable to find you online—and you eventually find yourself needing an online marketing company in Pittsburgh to help grow your business and gain visibility in the search engines.

There are numerous ways that you can grow your business with the help of an online marketing company in Pittsburgh. Sparq Designs has multiple services to choose from, and your marketing strategy is customized to fit the unique goals of your business.

Business owners in Pittsburgh can grow their business in the following ways with Sparq Designs:

Brand Development

Finding your voice and telling your unique story is crucial for cutting through the noise. According to CBS news, the average American can see up to 5,000 ads per day. In order to make your business stand out, you’ll need to transform your establishment from a run-of-the-mill business to a standout brand.

Sparq Designs specializes in helping brands perfect an influential voice across all mediums, from your website content to your next Tweet.

Web Development

Poorly designed and outdated websites can actually make potential customers disengage from your business. If your company website is hard to navigate or doesn’t offer exceptional user experience, an online marketing company in Pittsburgh such as Sparq can help increase customer interaction. Furthermore, you can make updates to your website all on your own with the ultra user-friendly WordPress platform.

When you need the perfect balance of professionalism, functionality, and trendy design, Sparq Designs hits the mark every time.

Social Media

The average online marketing company in Pittsburgh will only update your social media account when you have a special or promotion. Unfortunately, this technique does not engage your customers and rarely results in sales.

Instead, Sparq Designs creates a custom social media strategy for your business in order to:

● Increase traffic to your website
● Build a social media following
● Encourage customer engagement
● Establish a voice for your business
● And more

Search Engine Optimization

At the end of the day, your Pittsburgh business needs to be visible in the search engines. Scoring top spots on Google can take a lot of time and effort, but Sparq Designs is up to the challenge of helping customers easily find your website online.

As your online marketing company in Pittsburgh, we only use SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that are recommended by Google. This includes implementing a keyword research strategy, supplying great content, and creating the ultimate user experience through your website.

Contact Sparq Designs: An Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh

When you’re ready to grow your business online and cut through the noise, Sparq Designs can put you on the right track. Get in touch with us today to get started with your next project or address questions or concerns—we’re standing by to help your Pittsburgh business grow and thrive online.

03.28.2016

3 Surprising Ways to Master Instagram Ads

yellowSponsored post! Scrolling carousel ads! While Instagram is still a fairly new platform that has been added to the brand marketing mix, marketers and company advertising managers are brainstorming more ways to advertise to their consumers.

The only issue with the current brainstorming is that most thought leaders are making the same suggestions for Instagram paid advertising best practices. How do you expect to stand out by fitting in?

Here are some tactics to market to potential and current customers that may seem counterintuitive, but can help improve advertising performance on the image-sharing channel.

1. Make Your Ads Recognizable as Ads

Instagram’s newsfeed has the consistent look as users can only upload from their mobile ap, making it difficult to differentiate between advertisements and a typical Instagram organic post. Because of this, people may not realize they’re ads and you won’t get the clicks you need.

It’s a fine balance, because Instagram is all about the power of the image, and there are image quality standards your ads have to meet in order to be used. But while your creative should be uncompromising in quality, they should also be recognizable as ads that people will know they can click to learn more.

2. Skip Hashtags in Direct Response Ads

Brands use hashtags in Instagram posts because it’s a go-to discovery and branding practice. But hashtags can be overdone, and when it comes to using ads for direct response, they’re mostly a distraction that our Facebook reps themselves do not recommend including.

If you feel compelled to include a hashtag to augment a larger branding campaign you have going on in tandem, try including it in the imagery.

3. Bid on Link Clicks to Aid Your Long Term Strategy

When you bid on link clicks with Instagram advertising, it’s like with Facebook advertising: you pay each time someone clicks on the part of your ad that sends them to your website or your app. The Facebook ad platform optimizes ads to show them to people most likely to click on your ad in this manner.

Intuitively, this isn’t what you think you should be doing if your goal is conversion. On Facebook, that bidding is optimized for a purchase or checkout. But on Instagram, you should try bidding on link clicks.

Currently, there aren’t as many people purchasing via Instagram, and Facebook doesn’t yet have the data necessary to identify them in large audiences like they do on Facebook. By bidding on link clicks, you’re playing the long game. You’re reaching people further up the funnel and getting clicks, but your real power is in retargeting these users later.

 

Do you have any creative tips for paid advertising on Instagram to add?

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kr_teamKait Roth is the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about social media marketing, contact the  Sparq team today.

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03.08.2016

7 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Digital Marketing

 

We see it all the time – businesses on the hunt for that one qualified candidate; that one digital marketing professional that is going to make their lives easier once and for all when it comes to searchability and social media. However, finding a single candidate with the required experience, who wants to get paid at the wage you are offering, can sometimes be a challenge. It just makes sense to look for a digital marketing team instead of having one person do all of the work and here are 7 reasons why:

Expertise

When you hire a digital marketing team, you are hiring a group of professionals who have expertise in exactly the area you are looking for. People who work at digital marketing agencies are hired based off of their prior experience and are then trained to handle various other accounts. You’re actually hiring experts who have seen digital marketing work for a wide array of clients.

Inbound Marketing

A digital marketing team is not just experienced in one element of your digital marketing needs. They often have a social media strategist, search engine optimization experts, graphic designers, email marketing professionals, developers, and so much more. The campaign ideas never stop flowing, plus the teams have to stay up-to-date with any technological advances in their field.

Cost Effective

Depending on experience, one digital marketing professional may require a yearly income of $28k to $55k. Why pay salary for one person, when you could hire an experienced team for the same price (or less)?

Measurable Results

Digital marketing teams are not only up-to-date with advances in their field; they are also well equipped with knowledge when it comes to measuring key performance indicators (KPIs). A lot of the tools that agencies use cost money and are often cost-prohibitive to small businesses. Agencies have to use these tools in order to manage multiple accounts.

Peace of Mind

Often time’s businesses hire a digital marketing team for the sole reason that they do not have time to do the work on their own. Although the companies play a part in communication and overall approval of content, they can relax knowing that their digital agency is handling all things social media while simultaneously boosting their search engine results.

ROI Driven

The difference between an employee and a team is that there is no such thing as “job security” for an external team. Teams work hard to ask the right questions in order to create content that will produce results. Agencies are focused on proving return on investment for their clients because often times they don’t get a second chance to redeem themselves.

New Perspective

As a business, you know what works best for your company, but a different perspective adds an outside point-of-view. Marketing agencies will do all of the necessary research to design and execute a strategic plan that makes sense from a consumer’s perspective.

We can offer you hundreds of reasons why you should hire an outside digital marketing agency as opposed to hiring one single person, but why take them from a post? Test out the power of an agency and see for yourself.


 

Adele Stewart is a Marketing Account Manager & Designer at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

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03.06.2016

The Power of Brand Storytelling

Sparq Designs in Cranberry PA is committed to helping brands storytell through web development an online marketing services

Image sourced from Flickr User Magenta Rose

“Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life. Call them schemes, scripts, cognitive maps, mental models, metaphors, or narratives. Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities, and define and teach social values.”
– Psychology Today

Storytelling is at the core of human existence. Ancestors hundreds and thousands of years ago passed down stories to younger generations of people hungry for an understanding of the past, and a lens through which to view the present and future. But why? What makes storytelling so important to us today – more specifically, to our businesses?

Stories connect and engage people on an intimate level. A real connection happens when someone says, “Really? Me too!” – whether happy or sad, an emotional connection draws people together and gives them something to stand behind, together.

But how would this apply in the business world – to your business specifically? How would making an emotional connection with a potential customer take them from simply browsing your site to making a purchase, and ultimately, a higher ROI?

1. Build an Emotional Connection

Storytelling allows consumers to connect with your brand. When a consumer emotionally connects to your brand, you’re selling more than a product – you’re selling a feeling, an experience.

Take Disney World, for example. When a consumer purchases a ticket to Disney World, they’re not just buying admission into a theme park: they’re buying an emotional experience. They get to feel like a kid again and reminisce over past visits with their families and friends, or reminisce over their favorite fairytales and daring adventures portrayed in Disney movies. Disney creates a place where consumers can be immersed in an experience that takes them back to some of the happiest moments in their lives (and allows them to create new ones), increasing the connection between the consumer and the company.

2. Build Meaning

In addition to giving consumers a chance to connect to your brand through experiences, telling a story also builds meaning around your brand. What makes a company like TOMS so successful? Consumers know that by buying a pair of shoes, they’re helping someone in need, which leads to feeling good, which leads to increased meaning in the lives of those who support TOMS.

Companies that implement storytelling will more effectively connect with consumers, leading to brand growth, and greater ROI. By using storytelling to create an experience and build meaning around your business, you will flourish and build an incredibly strong customer base that not only wants to do business with you, but who is invested in the mission of your company.

So… what story is your brand telling?


 

Jenna Sasala is the lead Graphic Designer at Sparq Designs, a web development and online marketing company in Cranberry, PA

Jenna Sasala is a Marketing Account Manager & Designer at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

Follow Jenna on Twitter,  LinkedIn & Instagram