Women’s History Month Spotlight: Laura Dement

Women's History Month

Celebrating a few of the strong women we’re proud to call leaders

Laura DementWith March marking Women’s History Month, Hibu will be spending the month spotlighting some of the amazing female leaders we’re lucky enough to have in our organization. We’re very excited to share some of their stories with you.

Meet Laura Dement, our Vice president of Marketing which includes Go To Market and our Print Product.

How long have you been at Hibu? Have you worked in any other departments? Where did you work before Hibu?
I have been with this part of the company for 20 years. Prior to that, I was with the Telco portion of the company…and before that, I was one of the owners of Ruffalo Cody and Associates. I managed the Inside Sales team for many years and moved into the Marketing role in 2013.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I love the variety – no two days are the same. Also being part of a team with such a clear vision and definition of success makes coming to work everyday fun and rewarding! We own our plan and you can feel the entire company paddling in the same direction, that is as good as it gets for me professionally.

Give one piece of advice to someone aspiring to get to your position.
Work hard, act with integrity and be willing to take the bumps along the way. Nothing worth having comes easy, personally or professionally. Understand there are going to be tough times – and that is where your dedication to working hard and acting with integrity will get you through.

Also, don’t take yourself too seriously – laugh and make others laugh, care about the people you work with and value the fact that the customer is the one paying you – those things keep everything in perspective.

Outside of Hibu, what do you like to do?
Visit our grown daughter, spend time hanging out as a family, read, travel.

What’s your favorite local business?
Now that is too hard! Cedar Rapids has so many cool local businesses! Coffee shops, restaurants, clothes stores, wine shops….we are very fortunate to have a strong local community feeling and our small businesses are a big part of that experience.

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This March, put the digital marketing moves on your competition

To help you make up for the time lost while you and your employees fill out your brackets, we’d like to suggest five basketball-style digital marketing moves you should be making to drive past your competition online.

5 moves to help you score new leads

  1. Post-up – the easiest move in our digital marketing basketball tournament – remember to post to your social media pages. It takes second to post to Facebook but the net gain in customer connection is off the charts.
  2. Ally-oop – toss your ads to the top of the search results page with a targeted search marketing campaign. Studies show that 67% of all clicks go to the first 5 listings,* so this one is a slam dunk. The quickest way for your business to own the search page.
  3. Three-point play – combine search, social, and display advertising to drive traffic to your site. The name of the game online is getting eyes on your business – by combining these top traffic drivers, you’re sure to score more lead.
  4. Turnaround jump shot – customer reviews are a key part of marketing today – after all, a whopping 97% of customers say they look at reviews before making a buying decision.** Of course, just like fouls in basketball, everyone gets negative reviews – the trick is promptly responding to those negatives, addressing the customer’s complaint, and turning it from a deficit to an opportunity to score.
  5. Pick-and-roll – it’s a fact — the majority of people will not make a purchase or contact you the first time they visit your website. Luckily, if you have display advertising, that first visit is just the start of the game-plan. With retargeting, after someone picks your site, you automatically roll out ads that follow them around the web, staying with them until they come back… and you score a sale.

It’s all how you play the game

You’re sure to hook more leads and set-up more sales if you make these five simple moves. Meanwhile, be sure to check out our Digital Marketing Madness brackets and see how your website and Facebook page face off head-to-head.

* Advanced Web Rankings study, 2014
** Fan & Fuel Digital Marketing Group, 2016 survey


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Digital Marketing Madness: Site vs Social

It’s March! In like a lion, out like a lay-up. It’s time for that great Spring sporting spectacular, when basketball brackets take over our nation psyche.. and cost businesses across the country hours of work as employees focus on their picks, instead of their productivity.

In an effort to turn the Final Four into a fiscal fortune, we’re pleased to present our own version of the madness – in this case, Digital Marketing Madness – as we present eight great head-to-head match-ups between your top two heavy online hitter, Your Business Website and Your Business Facebook Page.

Scroll down and take a look at the attached infographic – see for your self who comes out ahead in this epic competition… Site vs Social!

Digital Marketing Madness

Ready to score some new business this Spring? Visit hibu.com to see all the ways Hibu can put you ahead of your competition.

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Google update: Mobile website speed will soon affect mobile ranking

Make sure your site is ready for Google’s July 2018 “Speed Update”

We’ve talked about mobile site speed before — including what can impact it, the negative impact it has on the overall user experience, and what you can do to improve your mobile site speed. And now, that’s going to matter if you want to get found on Google when your customers are searching on their phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

From Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:

Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Today we’re announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.

In other words, if you haven’t taken the time to make sure your business website is “mobile friendly” (including making sure that it’s fast)…you only have a few months to get “up to speed.”

What Google’s Speed Update means for your small business mobile website

  1. A fast-loading, user-friendly mobile website will be more important than ever before. If your site’s pages take too long to load on phones and tablets, you could see a drop in your overall ranking and visibility on mobile. But there’s no one-size-fits-all speed that mobile sites need to operate at, and only the slowest mobile sites may suffer. According to SearchEngineWatch.com, “Speed Update will mainly impact the websites which deliver the ‘slowest experience’ to users.”
  2. Content (that matches what your customers are looking for) is still king. Creating content that’s timely, relevant, useful and unique for your site visitors can still trump changes like the Speed Update. In Google’s words, “The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
  3. “Speed is just one of many signals that are used to rank pages. Keep in mind that intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.” That’s what Google told SearchEngineLand.com, meaning that (as always) focusing exclusively on one of factors Google looks at isn’t a winning plan. You need the both / and — a fast mobile site that ALSO has good, relevant content.

Not sure if your site is up to speed on mobile? Find out more about Hibu’s full-service, mobile-friendly website solutions now. There’s still plenty of time to get a new site that’s fast enough to compete online, on mobile and more.



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What Facebook’s Newest Change Means For Your Business

You may have seen or heard about Facebook’s recent announcement concerning changes to the way Facebook will prioritize public posts in your News Feed. While a lot of attention has focused on the impact of this change on publishers – companies who have come to rely on Facebook as a distribution channel for their news, entertainment and other content – it has some significant implications for local businesses as well.

Essentially, Facebook will now be using high levels of social interactions with posts to decide which content to show in News Feed, rather than matching content to users based on interest data. Facebook has said its reason for the change is to move consumers’ Facebook usage away from passive content consumption (i.e., just reading headlines, or watching video after video), and back to the meaningful interactions between people that was its original purpose.

One acknowledged effect of this change will be to further reduce the distribution of public Post content. And while it’s not the “death of the Post” that some commentators have suggested, it does mean local businesses need to change the way they think about their Facebook presence and strategy.

For local businesses, this change puts a premium on engagement – what Facebook calls Meaningful Social Interactions (MSIs). Facebook is especially looking for the kinds of 1-to-1 interactions between people – be that consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business – that demonstrate real interest. Examples of Meaningful Social Interactions are things like Messenger chat sessions, booked appointments, and reviews. Pages with higher MSIs will see greater distribution of their content in News Feed.

Streams of comments back and forth between consumers or consumers and businesses are also considered MSIs. Traditional metrics such as Likes and Shares may still be factored in, but they’re likely to carry much less weight since they don’t represent a real investment in a human to human relationship. Facebook hasn’t (and probably won’t) announce the details of how MSIs will be measured or used – but it’s sure that they’ll impact the distribution of public Post content and likely that they’ll become a factor in Facebook’s ad auction as well.


What does all of this mean for your local business? A few key things:


  • Posting has value when it sparks conversation or drives people to demonstrate interest in your business. Posts should focus on events and news that will get people responding and commenting. It’s about quality (in the MSI sense) over quantity. If you’ve been focusing on making sure you post a certain number of times per week or month, you may want to rethink that approach. Facebook is cutting down on clutter. Your Posts won’t show in your follower’s News Feeds if you have a history of posting content that people don’t generally react to or comment on, and will mainly just be listed on your Page.
  • Boosting of a Post is still available, so you can still spend money to boost a Post to force distribution in News Feed. But remember that boosting is primarily focused on driving engagement (Likes, Comments, and Shares) with that Post. If your goal is to get leads, inquiries, or sales you are not likely to get the result you want because Facebook will spend your budget on the Objective you have chosen.


  • Facebook Ads, on the other hand, are designed to drive real business results beyond just Likes, Shares and Comments – things like messenger sessions, phone calls, and online booking. They can also be used to drive traffic to your website, which can, in turn, be designed to convert to sales. You can also take advantage of more placement options with Ads, like Messenger Home, giving you access to a wider audience. Ads are increasingly becoming the primary way to use Facebook to drive business results.
  • Facebook Pages are evolving too and becoming more powerful tools for conversion. Consider investing time in your Pages features and content – making sure all of your key selling points are represented and perhaps enabling Messenger, online booking and reviews capability.


  • If you’re not on Messenger, you should strongly consider it. Consumer behavior is changing, and many consumers (especially those that grew up with smartphones in their hand) are increasingly using messaging apps to communicate with local businesses.

Also, Messenger interactions are one of the strongest MSI “signals” for Facebook, so using Messenger will have secondary benefits to your Facebook presence as well. If you’re nervous about using Messenger, note that Facebook has tools like their Response Assistant to help you capture and engage these leads even when you’re not able to respond immediately yourself.


This most recent change by Facebook will probably shake up the social media marketing industry for a while. But one thing’s for sure – this isn’t the first time Facebook has done something like this, and it won’t be the last.  With Facebook, change is the only constant, and the key to success is learning to adapt.

Local businesses will have to do their best to keep up on their own or find the right partner to help them through the transition. Find out how Hibu, a Facebook Marketing Partner for Small Business Solutions, can help your small business keep up with social marketing with effective ad campaigns, Page content and more.

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Joe’s Story: Today’s Local Business Online Marketing Journey

A lot of small business owners believe that if you have a website, you’re doing all you have to do to get found online. Add some search ads, maybe some social media, and you’re covering all your bases.

Actually, there are a lot more bases to cover if you want your business to get found… get chosen… and get repeat customers.

Our last video showed you all the steps a consumer takes today when choosing a local business like yours. Now you can see that same journey from the small business owner’s side – showing how your business needs to stay with prospects and customers from their initial search, to making contact… and even after they buy.

Watch the video above and see how Joe was struggling to get new customers, until he realized what he needed to do to stay with his customers throughout their decision-making journey… and how easy it was to be there every step of the way.

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Erica’s Story: Today’s Customer Journey

Once upon a time, when you wanted your house painted, or your car repaired, needed a doctor or lawyer or landscaper, you asked a friend, or checked the yellow pages, or simply drove into town.

Needless to say, when today’s consumer is searching for a local business, product or service, they search online… but that initial search is only the first step of an extremely involved journey.

If your digital marketing is just a website and search, you’re missing a lot of steps your customers take when making a buying decision.

Watch the video above and follow Erica as she shops for local heater repair –- see all the steps she takes along the way, and see how much of her journey your business may be missing.

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Celebrating Black History Month 2018


In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to recognize three individuals who have been innovators, trailblazers, and revolutionaries in American business. Each of them has had a significant impact on multiple Fortune 500 businesses, across a wide range of industries.  Their stories show clearly the success that can come with determination and creativity.

 Kenneth Chenault

As proud partners of Small Business Saturday, we’re especially pleased to recognize Kenneth Chenault. He was the CEO and Chairman of American Express from 2001 to 2017 — the third black CEO of a Fortune 500 company. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Chenault first joined American Express in 1981.

He has now joined Facebook’s board of directors, the first African American to serve on the social media giant’s board.

Chenau is also the chairman and a managing director of General Catalyst, and he serves on the boards of IBM, Procter & Gamble and non-profit groups including the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

 Ursula Burns

In July 2009, Ursula Burns became CEO of Xerox, becoming the first African American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She’s the perfect story of a person starting at the bottom — she started as a summer intern with Xerox in 1980 — and working their way to the top. Shortly after becoming CEO, she purchased Applied Computer Sciences, the largest acquisition in Xerox’s history. In 2015, she helped generate $18 billion in revenue, and in 2017, after six years as Xerox CEO, she stepped down after the company split into two public companies: a $7 billion business process outsourcing company, and an $11 billion document technology company.

Burns is currently chairwoman of VEON, a senior advisor to Teneo, and will join the board of the beverage company Diageo.

 Bozoma Saint John

Bozoma Saint John’s career path feels like a movie loaded with top-name guest stars and 5-star product placement. After graduating from Wesleyan University, Saint John worked at Spike Lee’s Spike DDB and at fashion brand Ashley Stewart, where she was Vice President of Marketing. Saint John was PepsiCo’s head of Music and Entertainment Marketing for almost a decade before Beats was purchased by Apple in 2014 — then she became the head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music. After Saint John’s presentation of the redesigned Apple Music during the 2016 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Buzzfeed wrote that she was the “coolest” person to ever take the stage at an Apple keynote.

On June 6, 2017, Saint John became Chief Brand Officer at Uber. “I don’t think it’s up to one person [to save Uber],” she said in a recent CNN interview. “It’s not up to me. I’m gonna work my ass off to make sure that I am part of the solution.”

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Introducing the Hibu Resource Library

An all-in-one digital marketing knowledge center for your small business

We get it: there are plenty of places to turn to for advice about marketing…and it’s hard to tell what’s correct, what’s current, and what’s designed to work for local businesses.

That’s why we built the Hibu Resource Library — where you can get all the guides, tips and more that we’ve created for small businesses just like yours.

Take a few minutes to log in and have a look around, and take something with you when you go. We pride ourselves on knowing your local market, your local customers and your local business…and now you have one “local” spot online to get all the best information.

Visiting the Hibu Digital Marketing Resource Library on a laptop

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The power of crossposting on social media

Save time, save effort and get more social by sharing posts across multiple platforms

For small businesses, starting to use social media to market their business is a process:

  1. First, start using social media (you’d be surprised how many small businesses don’t!)
  2. Second, set up business pages and profiles — not just personal ones
  3. Third, make sure you post relevant content regularly — and respond to comments, @ mentions and DMs (direct messages)
  4. Finally, use paid ads to target and retarget your customers (and potential customers just like them)

Believe it or not, Step 3 can be the hardest. After all, even with the best intentions, how do you post to Facebook AND Instagram AND Twitter…and still have time to run your business?

That’s where crossposting is so valuable. You can create content in one social channel…and quickly share it in another to keep all your channels fresh, up to date, and worth visiting.

One post, three social networks, plenty of chances to get seen

Take a look at a recent example from Hibu – where the same post was shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

The same social post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

You may need or want to make subtle changes that work best for each platform or audience (in this case, the Facebook post used a static image and Instagram and Twitter used a video) — but you don’t have to! You really can share the same content across social networks to get more exposure with much less effort.

And if you create your post with Instagram, you can crosspost to Facebook and Twitter with one click!

Instagram post crossposted on Facebook and Twitter

Sharing DIFFERENT content across social channels

While crossposting the same content (images especially) can absolutely save you time and effort…you may not want to “recycle” content every time. Or you may find that your audience isn’t interacting with a post on Facebook that they already “Liked” on Instagram.

Consider re-packaging your content as you switch channels:

  • A series of Facebook pictures could be turned into a gallery on Instagram
  • A video you tweet or retweet on Twitter without any introduction could become a longer post on Facebook
  • An Instagram post that didn’t get much engagement can be turned into a Facebook poll

Remember, there’s no “one size fits all” way to share content on social. Experiment with what works for you, and pay close attention to what works for your customers. Keeping an eye on likes, shares, retweets, comments and more should give you a real-time view into what’s working for them.

Share here, share there – just as long as you’re sharing SOMEWHERE

We know that not every local business has the time or resources to keep up with posting new, relevant content to multiple social media channels. Crossposting is a great way to save time and effort, but what matters most is that you’re regularly posting SOMETHING valuable to at least SOME of your channels.

Participation is definitely more important than efficiency when it comes to building and connecting with your customers on social media. Start small, focusing most of your efforts on one platform (like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter)…and then start using crossposting to double or even triple your impact!

Still not sure if you’ll have time to keep up with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?  Find out how Hibu helps your small business keep up with social marketing with ads, posts and more.

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