It’s predicted that global digital marketing spend will reach nearly $390 billion in 2022. If you’re planning to invest in digital marketing services this year, how can you ensure that your money will be well spent?

It’s all about who you hire.

But, with so many different digital marketing agency choices available in San Diego, how can you choose the best one to meet your needs? We’re here to help.

Keep reading to learn how to choose the best digital marketing agency in San Diego so you can put your marketing dollars to good use.

Figure Out Your Own Marketing Goals

Before you can decide on the best marketing agency for your needs, you have to look internally for a bit to figure out what you want to get out of digital marketing.

Is your primary goal to get more leads?

Are you trying to meet a certain sales number?

Are you hoping to build on your current digital marketing efforts or do you need help starting from scratch?

Take the time to write out some of your marketing goals so it’s easy for you to convey them once you start meeting with potential agencies.

Start Researching Companies That Meet Your Needs

Once you know what you need out of a digital marketing agency, do some online research to check out a few local agencies. As you browse through their websites, look through their services to see if they do the type of work you need.

For example, let’s say you want to increase your social media presence and get more followers on Instagram. You’ll want to find an agency that talks about their social media services so you know that they have the experience to help you meet your goals.

You might also look through their website to see if they have experience with other clients in your industry, so you have a better idea of how they might help a company like yours.

Check Out Examples of Their Work

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few agencies in San Diego, take the time to look through past examples of their work. You can do this in a few ways.

Start by looking at their website for a portfolio or “our work” section to see examples of what they’ve done for past clients. You can also check out their social media pages to see if they’ve posted any recent work.

Finally, don’t be afraid to just ask! Reach out to agencies to ask about specific examples, and they might be willing to share them with you.

Read Customer Reviews

Once you have a better idea of the type of work they do, it’s time to see what past customers have to say. Again, you can start by looking for customer testimonials on their website. However, keep in mind that these will likely only be positive reviews. For a more unbiased look, check out their Google listing and social media accounts to see more customer feedback.

Remember to take every review with a grain of salt, but if you notice similar trends in multiple reviews, then it can help you decide whether you want to move forward with a particular agency.

Figure Out Costs

As a general recommendation, you should plan to spend around 8% of your gross revenue on marketing. Do some calculations to determine how much you’re comfortable spending first. Then, talk to potential agencies about their fees and what they include.

Some companies operate on a per-project basis, where you pay only when you need something, while others operate on a monthly fee structure where you get set services every month.

Figure out which model works best for you and make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what you’ll get from the money you spend, so there’s no confusion.

Set Expectations From the Beginning

Before making your final decision, it’s important to make sure that you and your agency will be on the same page once you decide to work together. This is the time to talk about expectations.

Ask questions like the following:

  • Will I have one main point of contact or will I talk to different members of the team?
  • If I do have a point of contact, who will it be?
  • How often should I expect to hear from you?
  • Will we have regularly scheduled meetings or will we only talk when something comes up?
  • Do I have the final say before a promotion launches?
  • How should I contact you if I have questions? Should I email or call?
  • Will I receive reports showing the outcome of the campaigns?
  • How do you measure the success of a campaign?

This may seem like a lot of questions, but it’s important to get everything out in the open. By setting expectations, it gives the agency a clear idea of what you expect, so they’re set up to succeed.

Make Your Final Decision

After you’ve done all the research, it’s time to make your final choice. We know it’s a big decision, but at a certain point, it’s time to take the leap and watch your marketing efforts start to soar. And remember, your choice doesn’t have to be a permanent one.

You can always re-evaluate and decide to work with another agency instead. However, we strongly believe that if you choose our team here at Mad Group, you’ll be thrilled with your decision for years to come.

The Best Digital Marketing Agency in San Diego

If you follow the steps we’ve outlined in this guide to choosing the best digital marketing agency in San Diego, we think you’ll find that no one compares with Mad Group.

Whether you need help with branding, website design, social media, email marketing, or anything in between, we’ve got your back. Contact us today to tell us more about your marketing goals and learn how we can help bring them to life.

5 Eye-Opening Small Business Advertising Trends in 2022

2022 is a unique year in the business world compared to other years. Here are 5 eye-opening small business advertising trends in 2022.

Are you trying to take your small business to the next level by upping your marketing plan?

According to Fundera.com, 1 in 10 small businesses don’t invest in any kind of marketing. Don’t be one of the businesses missing out on the incredible benefits of marketing.

As a small business, it’s important to capitalize on the newest and biggest marketing and advertising trends to ensure you’re staying competitive and reaching your target customers.

Grow your company and your profits by learning more about some of the most successful new marketing trends we will see in 2021.

1. Conversation Based Marketing

Consumers have become more interested in having a conversation with the brands they love. As such, conversational marketing is key to brands that want to increase engagement with their target audience. Increased engagement means better customer relationships and greater brand loyalty.

While it can be difficult to respond to every comment on your website or social media platforms, there is a solution. Marketing technology is making it easier through the use of tools like chatbots. Chatbots can act as a 24/7 support service and outreach tool.

This can help to give your customers the instant gratification they may be expecting while helping them with their questions. Being available to answer customers’ questions regarding a product can be what invites a potential customer to make a purchase.

Conversational marketing can also make your brand more personable and put you a step above competitors.

2. Convenience Is Key

Optimizing customer convenience is an essential aspect to consider when forming a new marketing plan. Customers have more options to find solutions than ever before, so if you don’t make their convenience a priority, they will likely just go elsewhere.

Ensure your website loads quickly and make the navigation simple and easy to use. Implement an easy or one-step checkout if you want to avoid abandoned carts. On social media, your posts should be shoppable, so that a customer can access and purchase your product with a click of a button.

3. Privacy and Transparency

With the growth of digital use, there is a rise in the need for greater digital privacy and security.

Enable your customers to trust your brand as a whole by implementing privacy and transparency into your marketing plan. You can do this by switching gears and focusing on more personalized marketing content.

There are a few ways you can create more transparent content to build trust with your customers. One way to do so is by creating higher quality, interactive content on social media, and emails.

Posting insides into your company or industry is a great way to connect to your customer, and humanize your brand. Be transparent about what kind of difficulties your company has had, or a mistake you’ve made in the industry that you’ve learned from.

This content will be useful to those in your industry, as well as those wondering what it takes to get a career in your field. Consider posting content where you can share why you started your small business, or what it’s like being a small business owner to build a relationship with your audience. Keep your customer in mind, and create content that they would want to follow or subscribe to.

When it comes to privacy, you’ll want to consider your website. If you do use cookies to advertise your products, consider whether this practice is ethical. Install a pop up on your site to notify your customers of cookies, or give them a choice to allow or block them.

Make sure your privacy and cookie policy is easily accessible on your site. This enhances your transparency and honesty, which enables customers to trust your website more, and by extension, your products and brand.

4. Social Commerce

Having a social presence with shoppable posts is a great way to make it easier for customers to make purchases with you. While it’s vital to have shoppable social platforms, one of the biggest social commerce trends in 2022 is customer reviews.

With customers who crave transparency, they will trust other customers’ reviews over advertisements. This is why it’s essential to have your business listed on review sites like Google My Business and Yelp. Build a review section on your product pages so that customers can see what others are saying about your products.

Get positive reviews by providing great customer service and quality products. If you want to get more reviews, incentivize your customers to leave them by offering them discounts over email. This gets your customers engaging in a conversation about your product with others.

5. Go Green and Be Socially Responsible

With the pressing issues occurring in our environment, customers, especially of younger generations, are looking for companies that care about sustainability. There are a few different ways you can promote sustainability in your company.

Using local products and ingredients or using minimal and recyclable packaging can help show your customer that you’re doing your part.

Marketing and Advertising Trends for Small Businesses in 2022

If you want to stay on top of the best marketing and advertising trends this year, make sure you’re implementing the above practices.

By staying on top of new marketing trends, you can stay ahead of competitors, while driving sales, and connecting with your customers. Make sure your company stays as innovative as possible with these modern marketing trends!

Are you looking for professional help and management of your advertising and branding content? Contact us today so that we can work on a plan to achieve your company’s goals.

Businesses need every resource they can to make an impact these days and when it comes to digital marketing that means search engine optimization. A San Diego SEO expert can help you take your business to the next level.

SEO isn’t just putting keywords on your website. It’s a complex tapestry of marketing that includes everything from the content on your site to the business listings on websites like Yelp. You can try doing it yourself, but the time invested and the results by someone untrained could be mixed.

Check out the many reasons why today’s businesses need expert SEO for their website and beyond.

Business Competition is Fierce

San Diego and the surrounding area takes up a lot of real estate. There are likely numerous businesses just like yours and they’re doing their own SEO. If you’re a business that sells nationally or internationally, then that competition is fiercer.

Website rankings play a big part in what people choose when they research businesses or topics related to the services you offer. If your competition is on page one and you’re on page three, then your business never gets seen.

You’re losing customers and revenue because all your competition is rankings higher than you on Google, Yahoo and Bing. You can spend thousands of dollars are on a top-notch website, but it doesn’t matter if no one sees it.

Search engine optimization’s single purpose is to make your website more visible on search engines. By utilizing amazingly written content and proper keyword selection, your website can climb the rankings and get seen before your competitors.

Few people go beyond the first search page and many don’t go beyond the first few search results. If you want to stand out and be a leader in the rankings, then your business needs SEO.

Google is Constantly Changing So Use A San Diego SEO Expert

When Google first came around, the algorithm was simple and easy to beat. People could stuff their website with keywords and buy backlinks from random websites and soar the top of the search results. Websites that were not worth being there still ranked and Google did not like this.

They’ve advanced and developed their algorithm over the years to make it more difficult to cheat the system. Google is a business and wants their customers to get the best product they can. If the search results don’t focus on what they want and provide websites that have the answers they need, then Google is failing its customers.

SEO is constantly evolving to keep up with the changes Google makes. The tactics that worked only a few months ago could be negated by an algorithm update. You need SEO experts that are constantly on the lookout for changes in search rankings and can re-evaluate SEO strategies based on those changes.

SEO is important, but it’s also important to not continue to do strategies that hurt your business because you didn’t realize there was an algorithm change. Businesses must keep up to date with changes or have an SEO expert on hand to do it for you.

Organic Traffic Still Rules

There are many ways a person can get to your website from social media to paid advertisements. These are all wonderful additions to your digital marketing strategy, but search engine traffic is still the leading traffic getter for more websites.

How many banners and search ads have you dismissed without even really seeing them. They’ve become so common that they’re in the background and mostly unnoticed.

When people want to know about a business, product or service, they Google it. Google handles billions of searches each day from all around the world and don’t discount the other search engines too.

If you want to get your piece of that traffic, then you need to rank well on the search engines. The only way to do that quickly and efficiently is through search engine optimization.

That’s not to say the other forms of digital marketing aren’t a good investment, but they need to be part of a whole package. Check your Google Analytics and see how much traffic comes to your website from Google organic.

It probably dwarfs all your other forms of qualified traffic. Don’t underestimate the power of organic traffic and the ability for SEO to drive it to you.

SEO Builds Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness

Recently, one of the biggest changes Google made to its algorithm was called EAT. It stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Google has always put a focus on those qualities, but it’s seen set into the algorithm.

How do you measure EAT? Google isn’t coming forward with a lot of answers on that, but SEO experts have ideas on the best ways to grow your EAT through SEO. SEO helps create high authority backlinks from websites connected to your niche.

SEO uses long-form optimized blog posts to show your expertise in the field. It helps build reviews and show people you’re a trustworthy source for the information. Also, creating well-thought web content, you’re helping with user experience on your site.

Everything SEO does to help your website rankings builds your EAT. Google notices these changes over time and you’ll notice your rankings begin to climb week after week and month after month. You might even find your blogs part of Google’s Q & A or other snippets that appears above the search results.

Focus on Local SEO

If you’re a business that serves a specific area or region, then you’ll need local SEO. The main difference between local and national SEO is local tries to rank you well for searches within that region.

It uses regional and city-specific keywords to help tell Google the areas you service. Blog posts include geographic keywords, so it shows up for people that use those geographic keywords.

For example, if you’re a central air company in San Diego, then you might want to use keywords such as central air repair in San Diego.

Local SEO also includes making sure you have local backlinks, a properly filled out Google My Business profile and Google Maps integration on your website.

Many times, local searches include a map and a listing of businesses pertaining to their search query. SEO helps you be a part of that and included in with the other businesses.

Local SEO also includes making sure your business information is correct on various business listings and review websites like Yelp. These sites rank well and many times the information isn’t correct. You don’t want someone to visit a Yelp page and find that your phone number or business hours are wrong.

SEO is Less Expensive in the Long Run

The problem with social media and paid digital marketing is they cost money. If you really want to reach people on social media, then you need to boost posts. The days of free long-reaching social media posts are long over.

With Google Ads, you can spend hundreds or thousands on ads and unless your campaigns are run well, end up with little in return.

If you do it yourself, SEO is free, but it’s time-consuming and you have a business to run. Professional SEO services cost money, but once you reach a good ranking in the search results it’s hard to knock you off. You’ll find the efforts are worth it in the long term.

SEO isn’t something that happens overnight. That’s why it’s important to have a short-term and long-term marketing strategy. It takes time for the changes to be made on your site, Google to notice those changes and then change the rankings.

SEO requires patience, but it’s worth the wait when your organic traffic starts increasing by leaps and bounds. It’s the type of investment that continues to grow long after you’ve switched to different strategies.

SEO Helps You Understand Your Traffic

Unlike Google Ads, it’s a little more difficult to quantify the results of SEO. With Google Ads, you have tons of metrics that let you know how much traffic came from what ad and how much it cost.

SEO doesn’t have anything like that, but there is Google Analytics. SEO is primary concerned with improving search engine rankings, growing your traffic and improving your conversions.

Google Analytics is a free application by Google that lets you examine your traffic sources and see where your traffic comes from and where it goes. When coupled with Google Search Console you can get a comprehensive look at traffic and how your SEO impacts it.

Changes made for SEO may take a few weeks or months to truly catch on with Google. You’ll be able to watch and see how the SEO impacts your traffic over time, see if it helps increase conversion and what pages are being viewed by this new traffic.

If SEO focused on a specific set of pages and suddenly those pages received an increase in organic traffic, then you know the SEO works. You can check conversions and see if the traffic led to conversion or just to page hits.

SEO Shows You new Opportunities

You know your products and services better than anyone. You may think SEO should focus on one area because it’s a popular item or service. An SEO expert may suggest a different area because he recognizes you have an SEO deficit in that area.

It could be a product or service you don’t know as well, so you didn’t put in keywords naturally when creating the category or product descriptions. They may identify that people are asking questions about a specific product and suggest a blog post answering that question.

When you have an expert at SEO helping you, they take an impartial view and look at the data. They see trends, deficits and opportunities you may not see.

That blog post may help improve your traffic 15 percent or lead to a 5 percent increase in conversions. You know your business and may want to focus on a specific area, but many times you can improve other areas and get a better return on investment based on your current rankings.

SEO experts look at keywords competition and search volume to determine what would be the best keywords for your business to focus on. They may suggest long-tail keywords that have less search volume but would be easier for you to rank for and this gains traffic and conversions.

It’s Proven the Test of Time

There are many digital marketing avenues out there, but few have been around as long as SEO. As soon as search engines began, people were trying to get that number one page rank. SEO was around since the Internet was in its infancy.

While the SEO of today is a far cry from days past, it’s evolved and changes with the search engines. As the algorithms became more complicated, so did SEO. We rely heavily on data, best practices and lots of know-how to maximize your rise in page rank.

Businesses who need a method of digital marketing that is time tested need to have SEO. Page rank is as important today as it was a decade ago, if not more. Making your SEO meets the needs of mobile users, schema to provide context to Google and more are all part of the SEO experience.

SEO experts have spent countless hours learning the ins and outs of the digital marketing process and how to use SEO in conjunction with other applications such as boosting blogs through social media.

Businesses Need SEO

Search engine optimization is a vital part of any business’s digital marketing portfolio. Organic search results are still a leading traffic provider for websites and SEO is less expensive than other types of digital marketing.

If a business wants to be competitive in today’s digital marketplace, then they need a San Diego SEO expert on their site. If you want to learn more information about search engine optimization and how it can help your business, then please explore our site.

Those of you not exploring small business video are missing out!

Video is becoming the top content choice among many Internet users. So, it makes perfect sense why you’d want to explore video marketing.

What better way to reach people than with a super engaging (and fun) format?

Below, you’ll find some of our best tips, tricks, and strategies for making video work for your business. Follow these tips and you’ll see brand awareness, lead generation, and sales grow.

1. Learn the Basics, Make Mistakes, and Have Fun with Video Production

The video format is one of the most enjoyable to explore. You get to tap the full potential of creativity without feeling pressured to perform. The hardest thing to overcome is your willingness to be on camera but even that you can avoid!

Learn the Basics

There are many beginner video marketing guides there to support your beginner efforts. YouTube, for example, has a creator academy that shares everything needed to get started — all for free.

Make Mistakes (Often)

You’ll learn more from the mistakes you make along the way than the ones you read about. The best way to learn production is by going through the process without nit-picking. Be okay with failing because you will get better as you go.

Have Fun

What’s the point of exploring video for your business if it’s a slog? You should have fun creating them! Let the videos be your way of exploring fresh ideas you otherwise couldn’t do through other means.

Bring It Together

Video production is a skill anyone can learn given they’re committed. Going through the process will make the skills sink in. This openness to experiment and be creative is more powerful than any specific video tip.

2. Learn from Your Competitors, Creative Peers, and the Industry

Online video has a pretty extensive history dating back to the early ’90s. YouTube added to its popularity and commonplace. Today, many people watch more online video and streaming than they do television!

What does all this mean?

Well, creators have a pretty strong understanding of what people want. They also have video metrics to lean on. Plus, we’re starting to see best practices form with online video and its presentation.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Round up about 10 to 15 video creators in your niche
  2. Watch the top 2 or 3 videos of each of these creators
  3. Take notes about their presentation and video formatting
  4. Find a common thread between the best videos in your industry
  5. Create a new template you’ll use as a starting point for your production

The elements you may discover could include:

  • Video length and editing type
  • Presentation preferences
  • Call-outs and graphic choices

This doesn’t mean rip off the best person out there creating videos. It means to learn something from them since you know what they do works. Leverage their work to get a head start when exploring and growing with video.

3. Let Others Tell Stories for You

Here’s the thing about creating video…

…a lot of people will see it as a commercial and this is a turn-off.

User-generated content is a fantastic way to offer authentic content to the community. This content is also dirt cheap to produce and plentiful.

UGC also gives a better peek into the community and its culture. This is quite welcoming to others thinking about getting behind your brand.

Here is how you can explore UGC:

  • Hold a content where people join through video submissions
  • Livestream and interact with viewers that also call in via video
  • Do one-on-one talks or interviews with community members
  • Encourage the community to make videos about your products

People like being the center of attention. They also like sharing their experiences with a great product, service, or event. Use the excitement to get content from your vocal community members.

What do you do after content gets created? Try:

  • Sharing it on your social channels and have them help promote it too
  • Drop a thank you and follow-up to “lock-in” their brand commitment
  • Ask if they know others willing to contribute video content

People are more willing to trust reviews from peers vs what’s touted by a brand. Video content is the perfect method to deliver these reviews and experiences.

4. Explore a Variety of Video Formats and Types

You’re not bound to explainers or tutorials when creating a video for your business. Nor are you stuck to screencasts or drone-like interviews.

There are several formats worth exploring like:

  • Brand and storytelling videos
  • Corporate or TT commercials
  • Training and customer support pieces

Variety is in your favor especially if your competitors stick to a tired format. Your videos will stand out among the rest, and this means more views.

Our suggestions? Try doing this:

  1. Try at least one of each video format
  2. Note the feedback and video analytics
  3. Narrow in on a handful of formats that work
  4. Refine what works but still experiment

Templates get created for the standard video formats from this process. Then, you have time to get creative and try new formats when the old ones get stale.

5. Do the Video “Tricks” That Work (For Now)

Online video is forever evolving so it’s hard to say what will stick. So, use what’s captivating everyone’s attention and evolve as it goes.

What are these “tricks” to do in your videos? Consider:

  • Editing pauses between sentences, tightening up the presentation
  • Using a quick but branded introduction graphic, video roll, or animation
  • Leaving space for call-outs at the end to encourage content exploration

You can also try things like:

  • Standardizing video thumbnails so they’re branded and recognizable
  • Having a regular schedule much like having a show or series
  • Complimenting recorded video with live streaming efforts

Make sure to get videos embedded onto your business site, too. Adding the video will boost the view count and encourage interaction. This can “jump-start” video marketing efforts by leveraging the community.

Add a touch of on-page SEO and the video (and page) will get a healthy bump in search, too. This further improves the video’s reach and branding efforts.

Captivate and Convert with Small Business Video

Small business video can become monumental for your branding lead generation, and sales. Getting started with it is easy, but it does pose one major hurdle: finding the time to make it happen.

Video benefits from consistency much like other forms of content. You may find this hard to do when you’ve got a business to run.

Let us take over the hard stuff while you come up with the big, fun ideas.

We offer several video specialties. And, we have a proven record of creating quality videos for our clients. We’d love to talk with you about how we can deliver the same, exceptional experience to yours.

Call 619-866-6148 or click to learn about our video production services.