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3 Surefire Ways to Attract Clients and Increase Sales With Instagram

You've heard it before, from us -  Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms around, and a fun, low-pressure way to expand the reach of your social marketing campaign.

With more than 400 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the best places for your brand to diversify its content and broaden your reach.

With the right strategies in place, Instagram can become one of your top marketing tools to grow a bigger, more engaged client base. But what’s the right way to use it for your business?

Here are three strategies that will help you attract clients, increase sales, and give your business major Insta-results:

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Does Your Department Need a Content Strategy?

It’s time to separate “content” and “content marketing.”

Because, while they often get lumped together, it’s important to realize a fundamental truth: Content is a vital and valuable tool for every single part of your business.

Traditionally, content marketing is thought of as the cornerstone of all inbound marketing strategies. Essentially, the thinking goes, you create and distribute unique, branded content in order to cultivate a situation where your potential customers come to you. In the end, this helps you generate more traffic and hotter leads – with a fraction of the effort and at a fraction of the cost of more traditional marketing methods.

We’re not here to tear into content marketing and its role in inbound; in fact, it’s our bread and butter here at Geek. We know full well that content marketing works.

What we’re here to say today is that it’s important to consider all of the other ways that you can put content to work for your organization, at every level of your company and at every step of the buyer’s journey.

Because, you see, content isn’t just about marketing. It’s about sales. It’s about retention. It’s about client management. It’s about PR. It’s about recruiting. It’s something that every department can use to their advantage, starting right now.

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Is Your Site Indexed on Google? Here's Why It Matters

Is Your Site Indexed on Google? Here's Why It Matters

We’ve talked again and again about the benefits of SEO. Crafting high quality content, perfectly primed to capture the eyes of curious search engine users, is a surefire way to increase your website traffic, bolstering your chances of retaining hot leads and creating conversions.

But before you post a blog and call it a day, it’s important to ask yourself one key question: Do the search engines you’re trying to target even know that your site exists?

The internet is a vast repository of information, so a lot of us naturally take for granted that everything we post is automatically filed away and given the same standing as the other content already housed online. This assumption isn’t wrong, per se, but it is a little misguided.

Having a website that really succeeds with search engines all comes down to understanding just how Google, Bing, and Yahoo actually catalog and present their data. Let’s explore a little bit of the science behind the search, before breaking down the simple steps that will help ensure your website gets the attention it deserves.

How Do Search Engines Find and Evaluate Content?

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Hey Copywriters, Here's the Scientific Trick to Boosting Productivity

Hey Copywriters, Here's the Scientific Trick to Boosting Productivity (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

Every copywriter has their own little secrets to success – maybe they need to have just eaten a spoonful of peanut butter or have their laptop at a perfect distance. Maybe they need to write first thing in the morning or they can’t even think about starting a blog post or sending a perfect Tweet until the dead of night.

But did you know there’s a scientific way to help boost a writer’s productivity? It’s true, and we learned the secret through this great HubSpot blog post. So, what did we take away? 

Marketers, here are a few ideas on how to find the ideal time to produce your content:

Get to Know Your Ultradian Rhythms

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How to Create a Call to Action That Really Stands Out

How to Create a Call to Action That Really Stands Out

You’ve got an incredible product. You’re producing high-quality, SEO-focused content on a regular basis. You’ve got a solid social media marketing strategy in place. That’s all well and good.

But how do you ultimately turn curious visitors into paying customers?

The answer is a strong call to action. Let’s explore what a call to action does – and how you can maximize your own to start turning visitors into leads:

What is a Call to Action?

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Five Easy Ways to Diversify Your Content Marketing Right Now

Five Easy Ways to Diversify Your Content Marketing Right Now

Creating original content is the rigid, indispensable backbone to any successful digital marketing campaign. It’s the must-have element that funnels coal to power the social media furnace, that gives the tenuous elements of SEO something to hang from, that turns your email newsletters into clickable little Christmas presents glowing in an inbox.

Look, we realize we just mixed a lot of metaphors. But that’s also kind of the point! While your brand should be generating and sharing compelling content, what specifically qualifies as “great content” has never been more free or open to interpretation. And that’s a very, very good thing.

While blogging will always be number one in our book, it’s not the end-all or be-all anymore. As marketers and designers and engineers – hell, as poets and artists and daredevils and mavericksthere’s never been more opportunity to experiment with fun, engaging new ways of reaching your audience and guiding them through your conversion funnel.

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The Value of SEO: How Search Can Benefit Your Business

Graph highlighting the benefits of SEO

What is the value of SEO? 

To answer that question, it helps to understand what SEO is all about. For businesses of all sizes, SEO - shorthand for “search engine optimization” - means executing a strategy to help position your website highly on search engine results pages, or SERPs. It’s about making sure that your brand is visible to searchers who turn to Google or Bing looking for general information, specific answers, or a local service provider. 

SEO is a complex and ever-evolving process, which involves many moving pieces - like audience research, keyword analysis, industry research, content creation, backlink building, page optimization, and technical website improvements (to name just a few parts of our typical day). 

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10 Essential Elements of Brand Storytelling

10 Essential Elements of Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling existed long before the rise of social PR. Even in the earliest days of marketing, branding was as much about telling stories and creating a connection with your audience as it was about the hard sell.

But since the rise of social media and modern SEO, brand storytelling has changed: Now, it’s all about connecting your audience with one another. It’s about being real and accessible, rather than bragging. It’s about using all of the new media opportunities at your disposal to show, rather than tell.

In short, crafting a compelling narrative around your company is essential for drawing in new readers online and helping to turn them into loyal users. But how do you get started?

Thanks to marketing guru Pam Moore’s “Social Zoom Factor” podcast, here are ten of the essential elements to shaping your brand story:

1.) Be You, Be True

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How to Drive Sign-ups and Conversions from Instagram



Instagram, for a long time, was regarded as a repository for selfies and vacation photos and not much else. But today? It’s the fastest growing social media platform by a mile, inching towards a billion users. It beat Snapchat at its own game. And it’s become a powerful tool for businesses.

And for businesses, success on the platform in 2020 is all about how you use it.

For all its growth and changes, Instagram is still a visual-first platform, emphasizing photo and video sharing. As such, it’s a remarkably powerful tool for improving your brand reach and recognition, getting your messaging and branding in front of audiences. But what about referral traffic and conversions? Can this visual platform actually be used to drive warm leads directly to you?

While it may not be the easiest social media goal, it is certainly possible to use Instagram to drive traffic, form-fills, and conversions. All it takes is a plan - and a bit of digital marketing savvy.

Here are six ideas to help you turn your Instagram presence into a traffic-driving, conversion-generating machine:

1.) Use Visuals to Stand Out from the Crowd

As we mentioned already, Instagram is a powerful visual tool - and using it this way can help you build the consistency and loyalty necessary to help funnel new audience members from “curious” to converted.

In short? Statistics show that the more recognizable and likeable your brand is, the more likely consumers are to do business with you. And Instagram is a great way to introduce yourself to new audiences, leaving the sort of lasting impression that could result in further business.

What does it take? For starters, it’s important to make sure that your Instagram is instantly recognizable as yours. Who you are, what you do, and how users should think about your brand… All of these things should be instantly recognizable, for newcomers and longtime fans alike.

Incorporate your brand colors and imagery throughout your Instagram posts, and be consistent. Use the same filter, colors, or aesthetics throughout all of your Insta content. Have an identity, a voice, and be recognizable. When it comes to conversions, consistency counts!

And don’t forget to make all that visual content as gorgeous as possible. Investing in a professional photographer - or at least some high quality photo equipment - could go a long way toward stepping up your game. Don’t forget to look into visual tools that can make your individual posts stand out (Canva is a Geek favorite). And, finally, remember to experiment with all of the unique visual tools that Instagram makes available: Live streaming videos, Stories, GIFs, and Boomerangs can all help your brand stand out in a user’s crowded feed.

2.) Engage With Your Audience

Social media - even visual-first social media platforms like Instagram - is the new public square. It’s where people go to meet, discover new things, and interact - not only with their friends, but with the businesses that they come across.

As such, people have come to have certain expectations when it comes to interacting with brands on social media. For instance, did you know that a huge majority of consumers who interact with a brand - such as posting a complaint - expect a response within just an hour or two?

Bottom line? You can’t just use Instagram to talk, and expect people to listen. Instead, you have to use all of your social platforms to truly engage with your audience. When it comes to driving in leads and referrals, this can come in many forms!

For one thing, studies show that social users react extremely positively to user-generated content. So, to help drive in conversions, consider resharing or reposting content from users who interact with your business. Pictures of happy customers, satisfied testimonials, or user-submitted demos can all really help entice your next customers to convert.

Another strategy to keep in mind? Beyond post regularly, take care to be active. Respond to questions and comments, “like” content, and generally do what it takes to show that you’re listening and engaged with consumers on the platform.

3.) Reach the Right People at the Right Time

When it comes to building your Insta audience - or reaching that warm lead who is most likely to convert with your business - it’s important to always think about amplification. In other words, ask yourself what you can do to get your message out to as many people as possible. More specifically? How can you get your content out to the right audience, the one most primed to turn to your business to fill their needs?

Fortunately, Instagram has all sorts of built-in tools to help you reach that audience. For one thing, hashtags are still a massively useful way to connect your posts with eager searchers. Affixing a few (but not too many) hashtags below your post - or in a comment - can help connect it with the right people. For instance, if you’re a gardening company, your go-to hashtags might include: #gardening, #flowers, #outdoors, #greenliving, or so on. Make sure that you’re using hashtags that people are actually seeking out and engaging with. A “branded” hashtag that’s totally unique to you might look nice, but it may not actually help you reach audiences, if no one else is actively looking for that term.

Instagram also allows users to affix location tags to their Stories, or on posts. Like hashtags, these allow you to reach the right audience - in this case, one that is local to your business, and thus more likely to need your services specifically.

4.) Crush Your Call-to-Action

Now that you’re reaching the right audience with your consistent, visually distinct content, it’s time to turn those visitors into leads! One of the most effective ways to do that is to reconsider one aspect of Instagram that many of us take for granted - the call to action, or CTA.

There are a few different ways that you can use Instagram to deliver a CTA that really helps convert. To begin with, take a look at the link included with your bio (a vital part of setting up your business Instagram page). Does it lead to a link that is actually valuable for you - either in terms of delivering content that can help drive conversions, or because it leads directly to a landing page with a form-fill or sign up? Make sure your link is functional and useful, for your audience and for you. And don’t forget to genuinely offer a reason for people to click! A simple message like “For more on how to elevate your marketing game, follow this link:” could do wonders for actually driving traffic through to your site.

For ecommerce brands, there are other options! For instance, if you’re in direct sales, you can make your Instagram “shoppable,” making it easy for consumers to make purchases directly through the platform. There are also third-party tools you can use to turn each of your Insta posts into a link, driving users through to a landing page that you control.

And, finally, for brands that have 10K followers or more, you can use Stories to drive traffic directly to the landing page of your site. Just include a link in your Story, and users will get the option to “swipe up” to visit your chosen page.

5.) Run Contests

What could be more effective at driving in leads than a contest? If you’re looking to increase your number of form fills, conversions, or referrals in a hurry, launching a competition through Instagram is a great way to go about it.

There are all sorts of methods you could use, depending on your goal - share contests, like contests, and tag a friend contests are all a great way to amplify your brand’s reach in a short amount of time, for instance. Or, you could use Insta as a launch pad to get people to sign up on landing page - as long as you provide an incentive. For instance, you could say that a person will be chosen at random from your email list by a certain date to receive a prize. Or you could reward customers who post a selfie in your store, or with one of your products. The possiblities are limitless!

6.) Offer Exclusive Promotions and Deals

Like a contest, an Instagram promotion is a great way to build an air of exclusivity around your brand - and to motivate people to convert quickly, before the chance is gone!

There are all sorts of ways you can offer promotions through Instagram. For instance, you could use your Story to reveal a promo code or offer that you don’t divulge through other channels. Or you could initiate a “flash sale” using Instagram, encouraging consumers to flock to your site quickly, before the deal is up!

7.) Tap Into the Power of Paid Promotions

Finally, it’s important to remember that there are two sides to every social media marketing strategy. On the one side are the organic tactics; these are all methods we’ve discussed already. On the flip side, there are paid tactics. Using social media to reach audiences used to be all about organic reach; now, it’s shifting toward a paid advertising channel.

On Instagram, a mix of both methods tends to generate the best results overall. So, with this in mind, it’s key to remember that just a few dollars and a little bit of targeting on the platform could go a long way towards allowing you to reach the right audience and drive in more conversions. For instance, with Instagram ads, you can narrowly target your ideal audience - and even use the platform to retarget and remarket to people who have already expressed an interest in your brand. At the same time, paid promotion on Instagram offers opportunities that organic posting doesn’t. For instance, you have ad options above and beyond branded Stories or posts, and can easily unify your Facebook and Instagram marketing into one cohesive campaign.

By and large, Instagram ads are sophisticated yet easy to manage - and are often less expensive to start with than many business owners think!

Looking for Instagram Inspiration?

Ready to take your social media marketing efforts to the next level? Looking for digital marketing pros to bounce your ideas off of? In need of fresh written or visual content? Ready to build a landing page worth landing on?

For all these things and more, Geek Chicago can help! Drop us a line when you’re ready to get the conversation started.

Boost Organic Traffic With These 5 Smart SEO Tactics

Despite what you may have heard over the years, SEO is still here to stay.

In fact, in an era of inflated marketing budgets and boundless technical innovations, the art of maximizing your presence on search engines matters more than ever.

The long and short of it all is that SEO is still vital for spreading the word about your business, particularly if you’re trying to connect with local audiences. It’s one of the most consistent ways to drive traffic to your site, increasing your brand’s visibility and helping to generate warm leads over time.

But – and, we know, there’s always a “but” – just thinking about SEO won’t make it start producing results for your brand. Instead, you need to understand SEO – what it does, how it works, and what types of audiences it will bring to your site.

For one thing, it’s vital to understand the type of audience driven to your site via search engines – which digital marketers call organic traffic. In simplest terms, organic traffic refers to the volume of visits to your site that come through queries on search engines.

And now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize that your organic traffic consists of hyper-local audiences, mobile users on the go, and people looking for quick solutions to complex problems. These are all users prime for conversion – if you know how to help guide them into your funnel in the first place!

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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).