Category: Marketing

How To Use Google My Business To Drive Your Local Business in 2018

In the digital era, the value of search engines in our decision-making process has become undeniable. In fact, a 2016 survey showed that search engines have become our most trusted online source for finding information. Compared to the other marketing channels, local searches have a higher chance of generating in-store visits and offline sales. However, the value of having a strong business profile listed on a search engine results page (SERP) is more underestimated than many realize.

 local searches status

Maintaining a strong business profile on Google, a.k.a a Google My Business (GMB) page can add value to your local marketing efforts by generating foot traffic and driving online traffic to your website, and it costs you nothing but your time.

Nexera Law-GMB

One question you might be wondering is: how do I optimize my listing locally? Here are some tips to help you make the most of your GMB page:

Stay Fresh

Whether you are new to Google My Business or not, treat it as your digital real estate on Google. Keep it as fresh and welcoming as your home by updating your business information on a regular basis. This should include:

  • Business name, address, phone number (NAP)
  • Website URL
  • Appointment URL
  • Business hours
  • Categories
  • Business logo
  • Profile photo
  • Property photos
  • Virtual Tour (if applicable)

(Google My Business Community)

If your business has over ten locations, no worries! Through bulk verification, you can manage all of your listings quickly, although it does require managing a spreadsheet.

While you are setting things up, make sure all the content has as much detail as possible, now is not the time for shortcuts. This is important because in order to serve your business, Google needs to understand your business.

Be Social

This newly released feature allows businesses to get social with the public directly on Google’s search result page and it is no doubt a huge benefit for startups and small brands to get wider exposure online.

business listing on Google

(posts can be seen in Google search result page and Maps, both on desktop and mobile)

Mimicking how you would execute your social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can decide what and when to post on this platform. Although posts will only be “live” for 7 days and used for sharing purposes only (no commenting or likes), here are some highlights:

  • Posts will show on the Google search results page and Google Maps, but also on desktop and mobile device.   
  • You are not limited to plain messages, you can also post events, creative images, new promotions, announcements, etc,.
  • You can choose to include a call-to-action button in your post, like “order online”, “learn more” “sign up”, or “get offer”. Treat this opportunity as an extension of your digital ads.

This is a breakthrough for online business listings – brands and businesses are finally able to start the conversation with users on Google rather than passively waiting for someone to show up at the door or send them a message.

Nurture Customer Relationships

Aside from business listings, using GMB for customer service can elevate your local search ranking and drive your customer retention to the next level.

– Customer Reviews

People leave reviews on Google to share their positive/negative experiences not only with the business but with future customers too! In fact, 90% of today’s consumers rely on these reviews to make final decisions. So, having a communication strategy for your Google reviews helps you to capitalize on positive customer experiences, and provides an opportunity for outreach in case a customer had a less than ideal experience. Over time, your efforts spent on GMB help to increase your brand visibility and boost local traffic from Google.

If you need more reviews, here is a BONUS TIP: you can send people a link connected directly to your Google business review page. We recommend issuing a follow-up email to guests and clients, asking them to kindly leave a business review via their Google account after their experience with your business.


To take this to the next level, you can generate a shortened URL or QR code through Google URL Shortener. Feel free to display it on your social media profiles, in your newsletter, on your receipt or your printed menu card wherever customers are likely to see and leave a review. The best part of doing this is that you can track how many people end up clicking your link!

shorten GMB links– Q&A

Other than leaving a review, people can also leave a question directly on your GMB page. If questions are being answered, users can upvote answers that are helpful to them.

Again, like customer reviews, if you have a bustling Q&A section, there is a higher chance of ranking for your key search terms on Google, and that is a big deal!

– Direct Messaging

Direct messaging is another field for you to exceed your customer expectations: you can set up a phone number on your GMB page for customers to text you. You can manage these messages from the device of your choosing. You can also create a welcome message (exactly how you would for your Facebook page). Once you download Google’s messaging app Allo, you can chat with your customers anytime, anywhere.

GMB_Direct message feature– Monthly Analytics

Whether you are doing the GMB page on your own, or someone is managing it on your behalf, all effort will be measured and a visually presented in a monthly report delivered straight to your inbox.

In the report, ‘insights’ will show you how customers interact with your listing across all devices, including:

  • How customers find your listing
  • Where customers find you on Google
  • Customer actions
  • Direction requests
  • Phone calls
  • Photos

We highly recommend our partners utilize this report, as it is helpful for understanding your customer journey and behaviour like:

  • What are the top search terms leading customers to your business listing?
  • Where do they find your business listing? On Google Map or on Google search result page?
  • Which location are they looking for your services? For how many times?
  • How many customers have called you during a certain period?
  • Which photo gets the most attention?

Infusing these insights into your digital marketing strategy can mean the difference between a less than impressive website performance and clicks that consistently convert.


If you’re currently looking for a way to get more support from your local market, as most businesses are, Google My Business is a great place to start. Just remember – consistency is key. If you’re going to do it, do it regularly, strategically, and always referencing your analytics and insights.

In the digital age, there’s more to running a long lasting business than having an incredible location or product. If you stuck with your marketing strategy, we are here for you.

Contact Web Toaster for your free online presence audit today!


Net Neutrality

When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.

When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.


Net neutrality is the internet’s guiding light. It is the principle that internet service providers (AT&T Internet, Verizon, Comcast, Rogers, Bell) must treat all data on the internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently depending on user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

Under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge more for specific websites and online content.

Here is a real-world example – Comcast the service provider, and NBC the television network are affiliated. Comcast would probably like to promote NBC’s content over ABC’s to its internet subscribers since there is a real incentive for NBC to outperform ABC. Net neutrality prevents Comcast from being able to discriminate content over its network, and it must display both NBC’s and ABC’s content evenly as a result. This means no slower load time for ABC, and definitely no blocking of ABC altogether.

So, what is the issue? IT’S POLITICAL!

In December 2017 – the Federal Communications Commission voted to scrap the Obama-era net neutrality rules. The rules prevented internet service providers from favouring some content over others. Essentially turning internet packages into cable packages where you have to pay your service provider more for certain services and channels.

The FCC’s vote underlined the partisan politics that have shaped the net neutrality debate: the agency’s three Republican commissioners voted in favour of repeal, while the two Democrats on the five-member commission voted to keep the rules.

A case for net neutrality:


Net neutrality creates an even playing field among content providers — both large and small.


Net neutrality is good for consumers because they can access everything they want online for no extra charge.


Net neutrality gives consumers the “whole library” and without it, Comcast, Rogers and Bell could be the masters who dictate exactly what we’re able to view online.

A case against net neutrality:


Free data – maybe… Getting rid of net neutrality would allow service providers (AT&T, Rogers) to charge content providers (Netflix, Buzzfeed, Google). Enter, sponsored data. The additional revenue stream might mean free data plans for consumers. Never paying for a data sounds pretty nice.


Financial benefits for telecommunications companies – obviously.

What does this mean?

No one is exactly sure just yet, but there is no shortage of speculation. Most simply, the elimination of net neutrality means that internet providers can technically carve up service into “fast”, “slow” and “blocked” lanes, charging more for higher speeds, specific websites, and applications.

Did you see any images like this on Instagram in December?

This image was a rally cry from Instagrammers to protect net neutrality. It provided a stark glimpse of what an internet with no regulation might look like. Looks like it could get expensive, right?

Does this affect ME?

Yes and No.

Not really, because…

  • This is an American repeal and we have our own rules in Canada.
  • In Canada, we will continue to get the “whole internet.”

But yes, because…

  • We can expect to pay more for the American (all) services we love – if Netflix has to pay to ensure people have access to it, you can bet that that will trickle down into higher monthly fees. Same goes for Spotify.
  • Censorship – Bell has already filed proposals for censorship to start blocking content (things that undermine their content and cable efforts).
  • More and fiercer competition – this will make it harder for Canadian businesses to compete in the U.S. If companies in the U.S. have to pay to play, what do you think will happen to Canadian businesses marketing online in the U.S.?

Worst case scenario

In Portugal, there are no net neutrality rules and broke out internet packages already exist. The other countries without net neutrality enforcement include Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and Slovenia.

What if MORE options actually mean less?

Here is an example of a data package – remember this if for the internet. This is unheard of in Canada right now but could be our reality in the future. What package would you choose?

At the end of the day, net neutrality is big deal. Although no one can say for sure what is going to happen to the days of an “open internet”, there is enough information to cause concern that this move might not in the “peoples” best interest. Time will tell.

Do you think Net Neutrality is a good idea? Contact us, we would love to talk to you about it!

Integrated Digital Marketing: Why It Is A Must For Businesses

This weekend, I wanted to do some online shopping… So how did I do it?? I found promotional deals while checking emails at night, I read blogs that included special offers and browsed my favourite influencers on Instagram and Facebook for outfit ideas whenever I was free throughout the day. Once I had a few items in mind, I went to the store to try on clothes that I had viewed from their websites, and once I decided which to buy, I paid with my phone.

I am not alone in my shopping behaviour. In fact, the typical consumer’s path to purchase is complex and happening across all sorts of channels. Because of this new trend in buying behaviour, the traditional one-point marketing strategy is no longer enough. In order to stay top of mind with consumers throughout their journey – you need an integrated digital marketing strategy. Here, we highlight five reasons why an integrated marketing is necessary for your business:

We Are Digital Consumers

The landscape of consumers’ shopping behaviour is definitely changing. Traditional advertising just lost its top spot to online advertising for the first time in 2017. Current technology trends like mobile pay, IoT, AI and algorithms have changed the way that people think, interact, and shop; and in turn, we are seeing extensive activity on smart devices and interactive platforms. As a result, social media channels, online reviews, videos, and blogs play a huge role in consumer decision-making process about whether to choose you or your competitors.

Integrated brand messages across multiple platforms mean not missing your customers at all available touchpoints. This is particularly true for B2C business (like Uniqlo, Taco Bell, Airbnb, Uber, Lululemon) and business that have long product lifecycles (like Porsche). After all, we can’t predict when potential customers will convert, but we can be there wherever they are ready.

Consistency Triggers Trust

Often times, buying is an emotional experience more than a rational one. Consumers expect the same experience across all channels and devices, and they tend to purchase more from brands they trust. The competition is fierce, so it is more important than ever for businesses to build a consistent brand identity to maintain an emotional connection.

Developing brand trust is a long-term commitment and needs to be done through a cohesive online communication strategy if you want customers to “buy in” to your authenticity and trustworthiness. Your marketing methods of communication need to be aligned with your brand image and personality at all levels, that means your logo, website, product design, brand voice, customer service and even company culture should reverberate with your marketing messages. Such consistency can instill relevancy and confidence in your consumer’s decisions.

Cross-channel Marketing = Conversions

A constant message across all channels can improve purchase intent by 90% and brand perception by 68%.

(Source: Econsultancy)

Although a most basic understanding of cross-channel marketing is about reaching a broader demographic by expanding into new channels, the most effective results l always come from a cohesive integrated marketing strategy. A seamless approach to this equals higher success moving potential customers down the funnel.

Prove it…

Consumers are rapidly evolving and so is their behaviour online. The concern about how to better understand your customers and how to adapt requires an “always on” approach to strategy and insights.

(TM Forum’s customer experience survey)

When considered with conversion tracking and data analysis, integrated digital marketing strategies help collect user data from multiple channels and bridge the gap between what you are expected to provide and where you are missing out. Conversion tracking can be done through various devices and channels from mobile, website, social media, Apps to even QR codes. With the right method on data analysis, you will find great insights on the following aspects:

• Identify which tactic is working

• Benchmark performance against competitors’

• Map out your customers online shopping journey

• Optimize executions

Adopting a data-driven strategy means less guesswork in your marketing decisions, and more proactive planning when consumers decision-making process changes.

Being Flexible

In the digital era, changes to search engine algorithm, devices, social media, data tracking capabilities happen overnight. From a business perspective, a stream of new revenue might pop up on some new channel; On the customer’s side, younger generations, in particular, are nimble adopters to trendy platforms and new technologies. All of these require marketing strategies to be flexible and easy to change on the fly – new creative and budgets must be quickly rolled out to keep up, also both brand guidelines and content strategies should be adapted seamlessly.

In A Nutshell…

Diversity is always an asset in marketing, and it means even more for businesses nowadays. We believe integrated digital marketing will be in demand and adopted as it meets our expectations on strengthening brand personality, retaining loyal customers, generating valuable leads, measuring ROI and eventually driving the success of your business.

This strategy requires not just a holistic view of your business, but also a set of strong, versatile skills arranging from creative design, social media, SEO, SEM, email marketing to data interpretation – things we do at BTI Brand Innovations every day.

Contact us to embark on integrated digital marketing today and learn more about how to integrate your digital marketing strategy!

Digital Marketing Trends of 2018

Now that we are settled into 2018, we have been a-brewin’ about what the big focus for marketing this year will be. We aren’t alone with this question. According to a survey taken by Smart Insights, content marketing was named the single most important tactic for digital marketing this year. Content marketing does not stand alone, often times it is just a part of a company’s complete marketing strategy. As such, we will be diving into the top three trends: content marketing, big data and artificial intelligence/machine learning, plus our trend prediction for this year at the very end.


Content Marketing

Content has gotten a lot of attention over the last few years. It has been realized by marketers far and wide that the quality of content you produce can make or break your campaign. Content creates the engagement that brands are hungry for and it often translates across various different platforms – websites, apps, emails, and more. In our world of sponsored posts, photos and videos, it is really hard to stand out unless you are “paying to play”. At BTI we believe that all great content begins with a story. What does your story tell?

Big Data

What good is your strategy if you don’t have the data to back it up? At BTI, insights are our game and creating plans always starts with thorough research. Insights help us zero in on which techniques and tactics to use to build plans that move the needle. In addition to ensuring we have the “why” answered before we even get started, big data is also critical when it comes to measuring campaign results. For us, this means understanding the details of the customer or potential customer’s journey and sometimes, it means changing up the game based on this response.

Artificial Intelligence

It is no surprise that AI makes the top of this list of marketing trends in 2018.  AI has the capabilities to rock almost every industry, but no one is certain exactly how just yet. Never one to shy away from technology, BTI has been thinking about why machine learning matters to us here and here too. From a marketing perspective, AI has the potential to automate personalization and segmentation, and that’s a pretty big deal.

Bonus trend:


One trend, not noted in this survey that we know will be a recurring theme in 2018 is customization. All of the above trends fall into this category too. Customization is so important because marketing works better when you have the right audience. So take your awesome content, your data and insights and make sure it finds the right eyeballs. Eyeballs that care. This goes for all sorts of business, no matter how specific their product or service. It really doesn’t seem that futuristic when we consider how far we have come already.

What do you think will be the next big marketing trend? Contact us, we would love to talk!

Digital Marketing For Restaurants In 5 Steps


Owning and opening a restaurant requires a person to wear many hats. You would think that a chef’s hat would be enough, but in reality, restaurant owners are project managers, contractors, accountants, marketers and so much more. Serving great food and perfecting every piece of your décor is important, yes, but is it enough to thrive in today’s competitive restaurant industry?

Beyond the world-class dining experience your guests have come to expect, what can restaurant owners do to win at online marketing? Here are 5 steps for consideration when taking your brand online:

1. Understand Your Audience

Who is going to enjoy the food at your restaurant and come back with their friends again and again? Establishing a target demographic and understanding their psychographics is vital when it comes to online marketing. By doing so, you are able to target that specific group of people directly and ensure that you don’t waste any resources when advertising. Not only does being familiar and confident in your target audience give you leverage when marketing, it also provides advantages when making decisions that impact your business, from defining your brand voice to and mapping out your weekly specials.

2. Knock-out Visuals 

It is true that we eat with our eyes before our mouth, so a unique visual style that is captivating and enticing should start with your branding. After all, that is what your guests will see before they even try the food! Incorporating your brand’s style using your colours, custom designs and memorable messaging is how you create brand familiarity that differentiates you from everyone else on the block.

3. Google It

As a restaurant owner, Google is your friend. You already know this from your own Google search habits, but it is certainly true for restaurants. This is where your potential guests are going find your location, hours, menu, read reviews and even make reservations, so it is important that you are found and found on the first try. Explore ways to highlight your Google presence using search engine optimizationonline advertising and reputation management to give your brand a boost.

68% of millennials trust online reviews, as opposed to the 34% who trust television advertising

4. Social Media 

While being active and engaging on social media is easier said than done, it is something today’s restaurant patrons have come to expect. Participation across the many channels available because you feel like it is something you have to do will lead to mediocre content and an uninterested audience. It is best to pick a channel or two and really give it some thought. How can you stand out on this particular medium? What needs to happen to enable you to share content on a regular basis?

72% of customers used Facebook to make restaurant or retail decisions based on comments and images shared by others.


5. An Authoritative Home Base

2017 is all about websites! You need it and there is no way around it. Of course, putting up a website is not enough but with enough effort, your website can become your brands home base, working for you anytime, anywhere.

Here are two of our favourites: Chaska – Indian Street Food Obsession and Lazeez Shawarma.

57% of consumers order from a restaurant website daily, weekly, or monthly

At the end of the day, there are many avenues to marketing your business in the online space, but it all starts with understanding your audience and doing your due diligence before diving in head first. Here at BTI, we help our clients realize their vision and use insights driven strategy to ensure all tactics work together to support your business goals.

Wondering what your restaurant would look like in lights? Let’s talk!

Dynamic Content: Making Big Data Work For Your Website


Have you heard of dynamic website content? This evolving technology is about revolutionizing the online experience for users, leading to higher conversions for businesses! Dynamic content generation means that website content changes for each user, resulting in a personalized website experience. This is in contrast to static content that is consistent for every user, which is how websites have historically functioned.

An effective use of dynamic content is the targeted ads we see daily on Google, Facebook, and many websites. Targeted ads focus on specific traits of the consumer to ensure that what gets advertised is in some way relevant to the individual viewing it. The use of targeted ads leads to better utilization of ad budgets since ad space isn’t being wasted displaying products to consumers who have no interest in them in the first place.

Website visitors quickly bounce if they don’t see what they are looking for within a matter of seconds. For larger sites or companies with large and very diversified product categories, this can be a difficult challenge due to the sheer amount of content they have to manage. Tailoring content to a user’s specific needs by directing them immediately to the information they are searching for will translate to a larger customer base with increased sales opportunities and lower bounce rates.

There are 3 ways websites achieve dynamic content:

  1. On-Site Triggers: You are able to define key triggers which launch website pop-ups, change header graphics, or even change your site navigation based on the time or user’s on-site behaviour, such as what pages they click or forms they fill out.
  2. Explicitly Available Data: Your website experience can begin with an optional form which asks users key information in order to tailor the site experience towards them. You may want to ask them what industry they work in, what product or service they desire, or questions related to their personal taste. Upon completing the form your site navigation may change, they may receive unique offers, or you can direct them to a specific page.
  3. Anonymous Available Data: Newer dynamic content providers are offering personalization based on anonymous data collected from the user’s I.P. address, mobile device, or collected from website cookies. Though the idea of providing personalized content to users on their first visit sounds tempting, this technology is still in it infancy stage, with information often being inaccurate.

Personalization is achieved through collecting and reviewing the data users generate while accessing the internet. Users’ digital trails grow as they access websites and over time provides enough information to fill in the blanks needed to deliver personalized content. Examples of this information being collected include the following:

  • Location (IP address geo-location, or GPS tracking from mobile devices)
  • Device type, model, and brand.
  • Web browser
  • Search terms which directed users to a website
  • Pages visited, when, and for how long
  • On-site purchase history
  • Public social network profile

There are many great ways to utilize dynamic content to improve conversion. Some examples include the following:

  • Showing a user the inventory stock of a product by using their location to determine the closest retail store
  • Changing the language based on the user’s location.
  • Changing the default displayed currency based on the user’s location.
  • Using search words to filter out products being listed.
  • Show products related to what users are currently viewing.
  • Targeted promotions, and call-to-actions.
  • Email newsletters with content customized to user interests.

It is important to keep in mind that there are challenges with implementing dynamic content on a website. For starters, dynamic content cannot be cached by a web browser. This can have a negative impact on site speed since data must be generated and retrieved from a web server each time a page is viewed. Another challenge is dealing with privacy concerns. Dynamic content can trigger fears about how personal information is being used by a business. Users will want to know what data is being collected, how it is being used by the business and who the business is sharing this data with. These concerns can be addressed with a privacy policy page explaining the business’ intentions in simple terms.

Dynamically generated personalized content is a great way to increase website conversion, and gain a competitive edge in your industry. However, you must be wary of the limitations and risks involved with this technology. Let’s talk about how dynamic personalization can help your business achieve its goals, and if it is the right solution for you.

Memories of 2016: A Social Media Yearbook

Social media marketing has come a long way since it took the world by storm in the mid-2000’s. From the beginning as a trend, it has become an essential part of a consumer’s life and a marketer’s plan. The platform has been evolving ever since: every year, new developments and launches create new opportunities and challenges.

2016 was no exception. Remembering last year, it is hard not to talk about the Pokémon Go frenzy and how the world lost its political balance. However, the year belonged to the progression of the platform, through innovations, reforms and shutting the lights on the obsolete.

Last year, more brands entered the world of social media to understand their customers and provide a better experience. Social media platforms became more engagement-oriented, fuelling the craze of connecting and sharing; encouraging users to post more frequently and more candidly about their lives.

Overall, customer experience remained the main focus. Let’s review the most impactful news which was noise worthy in 2016.

Express More

Acknowledging that “like” isn’t the right sentiment for every occasion, in February, Facebook went beyond the ubiquitous thumbs-up button with a new way to express thoughts and feelings. The new feature not only improves user’s ability to express emotions, but it has also been used to take surveys which has improved fan engagement.

TV Camera In Your Pocket

Facebook released a new feature, ‘Live’, in April which changed the rules of broadcasting, making it possible for the site’s users to broadcast videos of almost anything to a huge audience in real time!

Read The Official Announcement

Tell A Story

Early August, Instagram introduced ‘Stories’, a feed of temporary content that is available for only 24 hours from the time of posting. The feature is nearly identical to the central feed in Snapchat, which is also called ‘Stories’ and which helped supercharge the company’s growth rate after it was introduced in 2013.

See The Launch Video

Put A Pin In It

Pinterest introduced Promoted Video Ads mid-August, allowing users to expand its existing, animated Cinematic Pins to access a full auto-play video ad with sound. Brands can display six Buyable Pins beneath each video as it plays to improve conversion compared to other platforms. Video content has been on Pinterest for many years now, but it has only now been available as an advertising vehicle thanks to its new native video format, which integrates seamlessly with the platform.

Read The Press Release

A GoPro For Your Face

Taking the social experience to a new level, Snapchat announced a pair of connected sunglasses, in September, called Snapchat Spectacles. The device can record video snippets that automatically save to your Snapchat Memories. The sunglasses feature a camera with a 115-degree lens, with the purpose of mimicking how humans see.

Read The Press Release

Tweet To Touch Down

In September, Twitter’s first live broadcast of a National Football League (NFL) game reached 2.3 million users globally. The game, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills, marked the first time Twitter sold ads for live sports video. The average audience size watching the game on Twitter was 243,000 people with an average watch time of 22 minutes per viewer.

Read More About This Event

Remember The Vine

October brought the unfortunate news that Twitter was discontinuing the app that gave people six-seconds of internet fame: Vine. Vine was the only social channel that stayed true to itself, but it simply couldn’t stay ahead of the curve. Instagram made Vine obsolete when users realized they could have everything they wanted in one place, on Instagram. A sad demise.

Read The Details Of This Decision

Truth Trumps Lies

With the U.S. election, fake news became incredibly popular on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as news aggregating services. In light of the damage done, Google and Facebook finally took steps to curb fake news.

Here’s What They’re Doing About It

Every year, we get an inch closer to connecting the world with social media. The consumers are embracing this dynamic world and becoming braver in sharing their personal life online. All the while, we marketers, are making all efforts to learn from it.

At BTI, we believe that there is nothing constant in the world of social media. That’s why our team strives to be ahead of the curve. To know how social media can help your businesses connect and engage with your audience in 2017, Poke Us!


Hey, Have You Heard About Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing: a key component of business and sales which has been around for a very long time, is slowly evolving into a much more accessible platform due to the emergence of social media. Typical influencer marketing is the process of targeting key customer influencers, and hiring them as advocates for your business. This marketing avenue selects specific individuals that are influential towards the focal business’s target market.

The Good

Often, key influencers have an extremely broad reach, as well as creative campaigns that drive sales and benefit both your business and theirs. When working with an influencer that shares values and interests with your brand, you are directly communicating with a relevant audience that shares similar interests with your brand as well. Additionally, influencer marketing has a positive effect on your SEO, the more links that are shared for your website, the better your SEO becomes. Established influencers have been around for quite a while, so partnerships can not only boost ROI, but also boost the credibility of your brand. If viewers or followers believe in their influencers and trust their opinion, endorsements of your brand will not be taken lightly. Finally, influencer marketing’s most profitable benefit: it requires little work on your part. That’s right, when you sign up to partner with an influencer, the campaigns, man hours, and dedication to promote your product are mostly on their end. Of course, your responsibility continues to be micromanaging the campaign remotely, but with an influencer, you can remain out of the spotlight, while your ambassador promotes your brand for you.

The Bad

Influencer marketing’s main criticism is the risk involved in selecting the right influencer. Unfortunately, there is an opportunity for error in picking the ideal influencer, and given the nature of mass media, unless your product or service directly correlates with the values and purpose of your influencer’s channel, page, or feed, you will be reaching out to a sizeable audience that might not care for your business at all. This being said, the problem can be eliminated or the risk may be reduced through heavy research and strategizing prior to launching your campaign. The good news is that Web Toaster’s team of marketing and brand specialists are fully equipped to handle your business’s influencer marketing all on our own! Rapidly expand your brand through influencers in any medium, including (but not limited to) Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. 

The Bottom Line

All things considered, influencer marketing is the way of the future. Given how accessible the internet is, social media has allowed us to leverage the popularity and influence of individuals all over the world, and use them as a marketing outlet. This process not only benefits you as a business, but a strong relationship will have a positive outcome for your influencer as well. Despite the arduous research and strategizing, influencer marketing can result in a very high ROI if implemented correctly, and Web Toaster would love to help you get started today!

It’s Not About The Money: 10 Benefits of Online Marketing


Why do you want to invest in online marketing? A common answer we hear is that it is a cheaper avenue for investment, which makes it easier for small businesses to compete. Though this answer is technically correct, it really misses the point of online marketing and the truly unique features it offers. Yes, you are able to enter some online avenues with a fairly limited budget, but the old saying still holds true: You get what you pay for. Instead of basing your decision on price alone, here are 10 great reasons to invest in online marketing. Your strategy will be far more successful if you focus on maximizing on these benefits rather than simply reducing cost.

Online marketing gives you the ability to market directly to your customers because you have full control over where and when your ad will be placed, and in front of whom. Though you can pick targeted avenues with traditional media, they are incomparable to the amount of targeting available thanks to big data and digital marketing.

We, as modern marketers, are spoiled by the amount of data available to us today. Thanks to online marketing we can track who interacted with our campaign, to what degree, at what time, on what device, from what source, and from where. Some resources even allow us to learn the online habits and personality of the people responding to our ads. This tracking only improves over time; as the number of campaigns you send out increases, the more accurate your data will be.

Online media has far more reliable measurement tools than traditional media, as costs are measured based on actual interactions with ads instead of estimated reach. Payment models such as Cost-Per-Click and Cost-Per-Visit mean that you can directly associate costs with revenue, and have a far more accurate ROI than previously possible. However, some margin of error still exists, as a consumer may purchase your product as a result of years of advertising, though not directly associated with a campaign.

Digital Media allows you to post customized ads that are targeted to different audiences, search results, and topics, meaning that the consumers are seeing ads that are more tailored to them, and are more likely to convert. Many ad venues allow for ads with variable fields allowing you to input specific search terms, or even the consumer’s name into your ads.

At some point in every person’s life, their parents will tell them not to play with their food: this is because everyone loves to play, engage and interact with what’s in front of them! Online marketing allows marketers to send interactive and engaging ads to their clients. It can be something as simple a click, or as complex as a mobile app.

Online advertising does not need to be static; it can be a dynamic video, or even a photo with subtle background movement. In this day and age, we often take the value of motion for granted, but it is an extremely useful tool to draw the attention of consumers. It also allows for more detailed information to be provided while still being easily consumed.

Automation not only makes your job easier, but it also allows you to immediately respond to customer interactions. Many marketing automation softwares allow you to track your website traffic and send emails to your customers immediately after a certain interaction, providing them with more information about a product, reminding them to complete a purchase, or to even sign up for a webinar on a relevant topic. Automation also helps you manage long term interactions with a customer, thanks to long term rules, such as calls-to-action set 3 months after a certain interaction.

It is very simple to update graphics and messages on online channels, and very quick to set up new campaigns. This allows you to take advantage of AB testing, and respond to cultural phenomena in a hurry. Is there a big snowstorm on the way? Start promoting your winter boots. Did a no-name athlete just break a world record? Promote their memorabilia right away!

The internet allows you to reach more customers than ever before. It doesn’t matter where your business is located, you can access consumers from around the world! With traditional media, the consumer has to come to you, but online marketing allows you to go to your consumer.

This point may seem like it’s referring to online marketing being less costly, but look deeper. CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) for online marketing is far cheaper than traditional media, which is great if you are just concerned with quantity. But there is a reason it is cheaper; the quality of the view is inferior to that of traditional media. There are various reasons for this, a few being that consumers may question the legitimacy of the online ads and so disregard them, conversion rates are lower for certain channels, and some channels calculate views ineffectively. So a lower CPM doesn’t mean you save money, it means you get a bigger reach with the same investment. Invest a healthy budget in online marketing and reach a wider audience than you would otherwise achieve.

Are you interested in improving your online marketing initiatives? BTI’s new subsidiary, Web Toaster, has great online marketing packages for any budget or business. Take advantage of these great benefits, and start developing an online marketing strategy today!