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Social Media is Free, Why Should I Pay for Marketing?

Social Media is Free, Why Should I Pay for Marketing?

For a long time, Facebook leaned heavily on the idea that it was free – and always would be. Similarly, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have absolutely no barrier to entry for individuals or organizations, as long as they’re old enough to sign up.

This low bar is what, in many ways, led to the social media marketing boom; potential customers signed up, and brands followed suit, leading to an online ecosystem full of constant conversations and access on both sides unlike anything that had ever been seen before.

So if social media is free, why do so many businesses hire marketers to handle their profiles? Well, the reality now is that…

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How to Create the Content That Your Audience Wants to See

How to Create the Content That Your Audience Wants to See

As recently as a few years ago, we had a better grasp on what “content” meant online. It referred to individual posts – blogs, vlogs, infographics – typically stored on your site and discovered or shared through different channels, including search engine rankings, social media, and email.

But today’s internet works differently. There are more social channels, more types of media to pick from, more content creators than ever before. And as a result, users’ preferences have changed over the years. The ways in which we consume content have changed fundamentally, for example; we multi-task more than ever, and are more likely to “skim” articles than read them in their entirety.

More broadly speaking, even the ways we think about content have changed fundamentally in recent years. It’s no longer discrete, but omnipresent, built into the very fabric of the way that we use the internet now. Readers and searchers have grown more savvy and media literate, and your approach to content creation needs to be as sophisticated as they are – crafted in a way that consumers find appealing and made accessible on the channels that your audience is already using.

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How Do Users Engage With Your Site, and What Does It Mean for Your SEO?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a process your brand can use to position itself highly on search engine ranking pages (also called SERPS).

In a lot of ways, SEO is one of the most important tools you can use to get future customers to find your business’s information online. It’s also an effective way to keep users coming back for more, and increase the likelihood that your newfound website visitors will be primed and ready to become eager conversions, either right away or at some point down the line.

In short, SEO really does matter. It’s an essential strategy for businesses of all sizes to have in place.

But, then, this beggars another question: What goes into a successful SEO effort today?

From the jump, it’s important to realize that SEO is a multi-faceted process, and a lot of different elements go into generating search engine success. It’s part art, part science, and part game – and you need to master all three of those buckets if you want to claim your rightful place at the top of the SERP.

Today, we’re going to focus on one part of the SEO formula that often goes overlooked: The user.

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Job Posting: Digital Marketing Associate - Social Media

The Company:

Geek Chicago

Geek Chicago is a digital marketing agency and web development firm that is committed to helping clients enrich their brands and grow their audiences. Geek specializes in content writing/creation, search engine optimization (SEO), organic and paid social media marketing, digital communications, and reputation management. Our clients work across multiple industries including real estate, architecture, law, politics, financial services, and home services.

Job Description:

Geek Chicago is seeking an enthusiastic Digital Marketing Associate with experience managing organic social media campaigns (paid SMM experience is a bonus.) In this role, you’ll oversee campaigns across multiple clients and work collaboratively to guide the strategy and ensure seamless execution.

In addition to helping build strategy, content ideation, and ensure brand consistency, the Digital Marketing Associate needs to be goal-oriented, an independent thinker, and able to draw on data to suggest relevant initiatives that support our business objectives. This is also a great opportunity to use your passion for analytics along with your creativity to influence and drive our clients’ successful social media advertising efforts.
Candidates with writing skills are highly preferred, especially those with a background in content creation, long-form blog and article writing, or journalism.

This is a position for an entry-level candidate or associate. The position will be 16-32 hours a week initially, with an expectation of growth. Compensation will depend on experience, generally in the $15-16 range. The work can be performed remotely with weekly or twice weekly virtual meetings.

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5 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Referral Traffic

5 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Referral Traffic

In terms of inbound marketing for your site, we tend to talk about traffic in two major ways: either as organic traffic, or referral traffic.

Broadly speaking, organic traffic is best categorized as the clicks that come from users who find your site directly from a Google or Bing search. Referral traffic, then, refers to the visitors who come to your page through any site other than a major search engine.

For your site to truly generate value and help your brand achieve its strategic goals, it’s important to have campaigns in place to drive in both organic and referral traffic. Unfortunately, we see many too many people who tend to focus on the former at the expense of the latter, not realizing that SEO and referrals are deeply interconnected.

Referral traffic is, indeed, a key part of “off-page SEO:” The more trustworthy sites that link to your pages or content, the more the search engines value your content. The more that Google and its ilk trust and recognize your content, the higher they prioritize it on search engine ranking pages (SERPs). Consistent, steady referral traffic, then, will also net you more organic traffic down the line.

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How to Create a More Consistent Content Strategy


“Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

Widely regarded as the father of modern electricity, Thomas Edison was a relentlessly prolific inventor, and is considered to be one of the most important engineers in American history. So it’s a little bit reassuring to read that such a significant figure sometimes struggled with his productivity and creative output.

We know how it feels to be burnt out, tired, or otherwise unproductive – and we’re willing to bet that you sometimes feel the same way. Like there aren’t enough hours in the day? That no matter how much you accomplish, you’ll never actually manage to polish off your “to-do” list?

Whenever feelings like these creep up, it can be easy to retreat from what needs to be done, and instead fall back on that old, reliable stand-by – procrastination.

“Why force it, if the creative juices just aren’t flowing?” you ask.

“Isn’t it better to wait,” you may well reason, “until I feel that big, creative second wind?”

These feelings are completely natural. But when it comes to your content marketing efforts, they could be dangerous.

The Importance of a Consistent Content Marketing Strategy

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5 Ways to Start Using Streaming Video for Your Marketing

5 Ways to Start Using Streaming Video for Your Marketing

The landscape of social media is changing – away from text posts and updates and to GIFs, autoplaying clips, and, above all, live video.

We may not be heading to a textless future just yet, but that doesn’t mean that video isn’t here to stay; views on social media are up across the board, and Facebook is making a massive push to prioritize streaming video content on users’ feeds – and spending a pretty penny advertising it, too.

Is your brand ready to keep up? Like Snapchat and Instagram before it, live video is a major step forward – but one that lines up with the core tenets of digital marketing that we’ve always taught to our clients. The medium is changing, but the message doesn’t have to.

Here are five easy, low-pressure ways for your brand to start putting live streaming video to work right now:

Give Viewers a Peek Behind the Scenes

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Six Big Reasons to Balance Paid Search With Your SEO Strategy



When people want to find an answer to a pressing question, scout for a product that they’re curious about, or connect with a local business, they turn to search engines, such as Google or Bing. 

Reaching this audience of eager search engine users has long been one of the single most important things you can do to attract traffic to your site and capture new leads for your brand. For some time now, there have been two primary methods for reaching this engaged and extensive audience of searchers: SEO, and SEM

SEO, or search engine optimization, is about creating content that ranks highly on search engines, allowing you to bring in organic traffic. SEM, or search engine marketing, refers to paid search campaigns, wherein you place bids with Google or another search engine to elevate your links to the top of the search pile. 

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What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it?

What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it? (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

So you’ve gotten visitors to your site, perhaps thanks to your SEO or pay-per-click SEM campaigns.

But are you keeping them coming back and buying what you have to offer again and again? Are you just churning through users, or building a loyal following of big spenders and glowing referrers?  

While it’s always great to be bringing in fresh leads and acquiring new customers, retaining your existing customers is also a key pillar to increasing the value of your brand. This is what is known as retention marketing - the art and science behind increasing the probability of a customer purchasing from you again.

The Benefits of Retention Marketing

And retention marketing doesn’t just create abstract value, like engagement or brand recognition! It also translates to your bottom line, and in a huge way, at that.

Indeed, by some metrics, it costs 500% more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and yet a loyal customer is worth up to 10x as much as the value of their first purchase. 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Awareness on Social Media

5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Awareness on Social Media

No matter what your line of business, social media marketing (SMM) is a low-cost, high-reward way to connect with your audience online, leading to increased traffic to your site and - with a little skill - a slew of brand-new leads.

But besides just reaching out to new users, spreading your message on social media can be a great way to connect with users and customers on an emotional level. Creatively telling your unique brand story and forging real relationships are the backbone of effective social marketing; they turn customers into friends and partners, creating brand awareness and loyalty that are invaluable for your company.

Here are five surefire to ways to boost your brand awareness with social media:

1.) Have a Strategic Focus

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).