Hibu Helps: Alex’s Lemonade Stand 2017

Yesterday (Wed., Aug. 16th), employees at our King of Prussia office held a fun fundraiser (a “fun-draiser”?) for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is a national
childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research into new treatments and cures for all children battling cancer. ALSF founder, Alexandra “Alex” Scott, held her first front yard lemonade stand when she was just 4 years old. Although Alex lost her battle against cancer, the foundation carries on her mission: “to find cures for all children battling cancer.”

For a few hours in the afternoon, our back patio was filled with music, games, soft pretzels… and, of course, lemonade. Jessica Duffy, one of many volunteers on our Employee Activities Committee, told me that “we’ve been doing this for several years. This year, we raised over $750 – and over the past three years, we’ve raised about $3,000.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s event. As the Foundation wrote in the “Thank You” letter they sent after last year’s event…

“Thank you for your support in the fight against childhood cancer… one cup at a time.”

Take a minute to visit the Foundation’s website if you’d like to learn more or make a donation.

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6 tips for your small business to succeed on mobile

Small businesses can win big with mobile marketing

You’ve already seen how you can “mobile”-ize your business for big results. If you’re still not sure about whether your business can have success with mobile marketing, or you’re trying but not seeing the success you want, here are six tips to help you get noticed with mobile marketing and win new customers.

Tip No. 1: Set your goals

Before you launch any new effort, you want to make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’ll judge whether or not you succeed. The goal can be as simple as “gain ten new customers through mobile marketing.” From there, you can work backward to determine what steps need to be taken to achieve the goal.

Tip No. 2: Launch a mobile-friendly version of your website

If you browse the Internet on your phone like most people do, you understand that some websites look great on a phone and are easy to navigate…and others are just itty bitty versions of their desktop sites (in other words, they’re difficult to read on smaller phone screens). It’s critical for you to make sure your website is mobile friendly, so you make a good impression on potential customers.

On top of this, being mobile friendly will help your customers find you when they’re searching online. In 2015, Google shifted its search algorithm to rank “mobile friendly” sites higher than non-mobile friendly sites. Facebook has made similar moves to disadvantage ad campaigns that point to non-mobile friendly sites. It’s in your business’s best interest to make sure your website is simple and easy to navigate on mobile devices.

Tip No. 3: Get listed on mobile directories

Mobile directories often pop up at the top of online searches when people – i.e., your customers – go looking for answers to their questions. Directories such as Yellowbook.com will list your business and serve as validation for potential customers. They’re also a great entry point for potential customers to find your website and learn more about you. Mobile directory listings will often include the name of your business, the service you provide, your business hours, your phone number, your physical address and a link to your site.

Tip No. 4: Tune your advertising to mobile

All major forms of online advertising – Search, Display and Social Media – span both mobile and desktop audiences. (If you’re not investing in all 3 of these, and you want to maximize your business’s exposure, you should be!) You don’t want to give up on traditional desktop and laptop users completely in favor of mobile – after all, people do still use those a lot. But you do want to make sure that your ad campaigns have a strong mobile element to them. That means things like tweaking the mobile bid adjustment in your Google AdWords campaign, and making sure your Facebook campaign is running in the News Feed where it gets in front of mobile users.

Tip No. 5: Add a personal touch

One of the things that make any local business stand out from the big companies is local knowledge and personality. So don’t focus so much on the technology of digital marketing that you lose your personality. Remember to demonstrate local knowledge and enthusiasm for the community. By sending a message that you’re in the community and have an understanding of local residents, you’ll begin to build a connection with your target customers.

Tip No. 6: Have a savvy partner

One thing is certain: marketing changes quickly. It’s wise to have a digital marketing partner to help you stay up to date on new developments so you aren’t stuck with a marketing strategy that stopped working two years ago (or more). A smart partner will keep you updated on the latest developments in the world of marketing, and help you decide which ones make sense for your business… and which ones don’t. If you want to have success in mobile specifically, choose a partner with experience in mobile across the 4 biggest areas in online marketing:

  1. Websites
  2. Search marketing
  3. Display advertising
  4. Social media (e.g. Facebook) advertising

Don’t miss the impact mobile can have on your small business

The world of mobile marketing can seem daunting for someone who doesn’t live it day in and day out. But it doesn’t have to be difficult, and the rewards can be great. Many small businesses that have jumped into mobile marketing have seen a tremendous positive effect on their bottom line.

Small companies win business over major brand names every day simply by being smart – and being there – when it comes to digital marketing. These companies have discovered that mobile marketing really can work for every small business.


This post was originally published on Local Search Association’s Marketing Bitz blog as 6 Tips to Help Your Small Business Succeed on Mobile.

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Display Update: Hibu Introduces Video Ads

Custom video display ads to reach your targeted customers online, on the Web’s top sites, and on mobile

Hibu is thrilled to announce the addition of video ads to our Display Advertising package — a new and exciting way to engage your customers on any device they use.

The impact of video ads is easy to see:

  • 139% Increase in Brand Awareness – Viewing video ads boosts brand association by 139%
  • 97% Increase in Purchase Intent – Watching video ads makes customers 97% more likely to purchase
  • 4X More Customers – Four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it*

Display ads help you grow your business in 3 ways:

  1. Reach new, local prospects when they’re searching on desktops, phones and tablets
  2. Drive prospects to your site and social pages — and bring them back again through retargeting when they’re ready to buy
  3. Build brand awareness with your ads and videos on hundreds of the Web’s most popular online and mobile sites

And don’t forget about Location-Based Advertising (LBA), which lets you target your ads to mobile app users whenever they’re near you, on the devices they use most often.

 * insivia and Unruly video studies, 2017 

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“Mobile-ize” your small business for big results

Mobile marketing can be a big win for any small business

It’s perfectly natural for small business owners to think that mobile marketing is only for “the big guys” – major companies with big budgets, dedicated marketing and technology teams that can help them navigate the complexity of trying to connect with customers on mobile devices. After all, this is cutting-edge digital marketing – it has to be really difficult, right?

Wrong. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Mobile marketing is ideal for small businesses. Because of the ability to target marketing efforts to hyper-local audiences, mobile gives small companies a chance to compete with the big boys.

And the time is right. Look around you – everyone is on their smartphone.

It’s basic business – your customers are on mobile, so your business needs to be on mobile

People rely on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices for information, for answers to questions and to help them simply pass the time.

More than half of all Internet access is now done on mobile devices: 52% of online digital media is accessed through mobile devices, compared to 40% via desktop computers.*

Any smart businessperson understands that the path to new customers begins by going where those prospective customers are. Because of the public’s massive shift to mobile devices for accessing the Internet, small businesses need to take steps to ensure that they make a great impression on mobile if they want to win new customers and grow their business.

The small business advantage

In some ways, small businesses have a couple of important advantages over larger companies or brands. For starters, working in a smaller, more targeted geographic region is an advantage. While your mobile marketing budget may never match the big boys, it doesn’t need to. Plus, you probably know your town, neighborhood or region better than a larger entity that isn’t local and has to deal with a vast customer base – you can make offers that appeal to the local sensibility.

Another key advantage small businesses have when it comes to mobile marketing is that your goals are different from the big companies. Often, those major brands are looking to amass fans and followers. Ultimately they want to turn them into customers, but the people running marketing are more focused on audience size than revenue. A small business is purely focused on connecting with customers. That’s an advantage because it means you’re more focused on the end goal, and you can likely be more agile in reaching that final result.

Don’t be intimidated by the technology

Despite these built-in advantages, a lot of small business owners shy away from mobile because they think it’s too complex, or maybe too time consuming. However, mobile marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting task – it’s simply another channel for delivering your sales message. Once the foundation is complete, and the plan is put into action, it really shouldn’t require too much additional effort.

The goal of mobile marketing is to make it easy for your prospects and customers to find the right message at the right time. When they go looking for answers, you want to make sure you’re the one they find.

* TechCrunch, 2014

This post was originally published on Local Search Association’s Marketing Bitz blog – http://ift.tt/2vg5UDU

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How copy and design work together to build a quality website

It takes a village to build a site for your small business

If you’ve followed our posts about all the skills a small business needs to build a DIY website, you already know how many different aspects of “web design” you need to understand, master and apply to build a “good” site.

At the heart of creating a site that can turn your visitors into customers is Copy (the text) and Design (the layout, images, colors and other visual elements). You need both, working together, to build your business online.

Copy tells your story…

  • Defines your business
  • Helps get you found and drives traffic to your site
  • Turns visitors into customers

Design showcases your brand…

  • Keeps your site visitors focused
  • Delights your visitors
  • Drives them to do business with you

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Three mobile stats that drive me crazy

 

Here are three stats about small business websites that absolutely drive me crazy…

  1. In the U.S., more than 90%of adults have mobile devices, and most of the time they are kept within arm’s reach
  2. BUT… only 56% of small businesses having a company website
  3. AND… only 53% of those with a website have optimized it for mobile

Not to be harsh, but… LOOK AROUND, PEOPLE! You must see everyone around you on phones. Those are your customers. Those are the people looking for local business, products and services. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly – easy for a visitor to use on their phone – you are going to lose their business.

“One of the great advantages of mobile is the connection small businesses can make with consumers while they’re on the move.”  Forbes, Dec. 2016

Here’s one more stat you have got to take to heart… 88% of consumers who search for a local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. So, these aren’t just casual shoppers – these are people who are ready to make a buying decision.

Small business owners today have to start to think of their website not just as marketing, but also as evolving technology.

  • If your website is more than two or three years old, it’s probably hard for your customers to use on their phones – that will cost you business
  • If your website isn’t kept fresh and up-to-date, your visitors could get the impression that your business is equally out-of-date
  • If your website doesn’t have the same look and feel as your social media – Facebook, Instagram, etc. – that disconnect could cause consumers to disconnect, too

When was the last time you looked at your own website? Did you look at it on a desktop… or on your phone? So… how mobile friendly is your website?

Capital One Small Business Confidence Score; Q4 2016
Forbes: Expanding the Digital Footprint of Small Businesses with Mobile and Local; Dec. 2016
Google Mobile Movement Study: 2014

 

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Website Update: Hibu Introduces SSL / HTTPS Secure Sites

Making Hibu Websites more secure

We’re excited to let you know that Hibu Websites1 now include an SSL certificate – giving you a “secure site”!

What is SSL / HTTPS?

SSL certification can help your site in two ways:

1. Build Your Customers’ Trust
The “https” before your domain name instantly tells your site visitors that information they share with you is safely encrypted.

2. Be More “Search Friendly”
In 2014, Google said they were “starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”2 By April 2017, as many as 50% of Google’s Page 1 results were HTTPS sites – and experts say that could rise to about 65% by the end of 2017!3

Why is Hibu switching to SSL / HTTPS?

It’s simple: we want to make sure your Hibu Website is at its best – for you, your customers, and search engines like Google.

Already a Hibu client?

We’re rolling out this update to your Hibu Website1 starting today – June 11, 2017. You’ll see the change soon!

If you’re running pay-per-click search marketing, online display or social media ads with someone other than Hibu, let them know that your site includes SSL / HTTPS so they can update your destination URLs if needed.

If you have any other questions, take a look at our Hibu Website SSL FAQ here, or call 877-237-6120.

1. Hibu Starter, Starter Plus, Standard, Pro and Pro Vertical Websites only. Hibu Websites purchased prior to 10/04/2016 are not eligible.
2. Google Webmaster Blog, August 2014
3. Moz.com, April 2017

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Employee Spotlight: Say “Hi!” to Hibu’s Summer Interns

This summer, we’re excited to welcome some bright, new talent to the Hibu team—say hello to our summer interns! From social media to our digital product teams, they’ll be putting their skills to use in various roles across the company. We’re thrilled to have them on the team, and we’re looking forward to working with them this summer!

In the spirit of getting to know each other a little, we asked some of our interns a few questions. Read on to learn about our newest teammates.

 

Meet Niall Casey

Niall is a rising senior at Loyola University, majoring in Marketing.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Getting my Eagle Scout.

What was the single-most influential event in your lifetime?

When I realized the level of math involved with pursuing architect, and I was better suited for business.

What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

I like to go hiking and or read a book outside

 

Meet Madison Dreyer

Madison is a rising senior at Penn State University, majoring in Marketing and minoring in International Business.

What’s the strangest talent you have?

For this, I can thank Hibu. I have probably tried to yo-yo twice in my life before this, but when we got our yo-yos on training day, I just went at it. I’ve practiced at some point every day since, and I think I’m actually pretty good at it! So thanks, Hibu.

Which storybook/cartoon character do you most relate to?

I guess I’d have to say Dog in CatDog. I honestly don’t really have a good reason why, I just love dogs (and it’s the first thing that popped in my head).

Dog is definitely the more free-spirited, oblivious, and goofy of the two, so that also resonates with me.

What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I love practicing calligraphy. I took a class with my friend and her mom a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it.

I’ve always had pretty mediocre handwriting, so it’s so fun to sit down, take my time, and really make something beautiful. Plus, it can make great gifts! I wrote “Home” on a blackboard and gave it to my mom for Mother’s Day and she loved it. Now, I’m just trying to find fun words that would look good in calligraphy form.

 

Meet Hannah Griffith

Hannah is a recent graduate of William Penn Charter School. She will be studying International Business at Dickenson College next year.

Who inspires you?

My mom inspires me to work hard towards achieving my goals.

If you could splurge on one must-have item, what would it be?

If I could splurge on one item it would probably be a new laptop because recently I stepped on mine by accident and cracked the screen.

What is the one thing you will absolutely, positively never eat?

I have never liked the taste of fish, and I don’t plan on trying it again anytime in the future.

 

Meet Emily Schlackman

Emily is a rising senior at Penn State University – College of Communication, majoring in Public Relations.

If you had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Relaxed.

Choose a movie title for the story of your life.

The Pursuit of Happiness.

If you had just 1 box for all of your stuff, what would you put in it?

My dog, my laptop, and headphones for music.

 

Welcome to the Hibu team!

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Marketing Your Small Business on Facebook [FREE GUIDE]

Hibu LSA Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses

Summer’s already here, and there’s never been a better time to beat the heat (and your competition!) by staying in and learning how to reach your local customers on Facebook.

We’re proud to share our latest “how to” guide about social marketing for small businesses. Developed with MarketingBitz, this FREE guide can be your light summer reading to get your business set up for social success.

  • Why your business needs a social presence
  • How to connect with your customers on Facebook
  • All of Facebook’s advertising options — and the results they can deliver for you

BONUS: You can listen to the guide as a webinar too! Fill out the form below to get your free guide or watch a free webinar — or both!

Get your guide now

Email Address*

First Name*

Last Name*

Company Name*

Phone*

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