Corporate Marketing on a Mom & Pop Budget!
Feel free to call us: 865-816-9864

Does your church have individual ministries?  Do you have annual events?  Do you struggle with having somewhere that people can go to get information, see photos, purchase tickets and share the details?  It’s time to consider building a website or designing a landing page for each ministry and event that your church has.

why your ministries and events deserve their own websites

Why Your Ministries and Events Deserve Their Own Website:

  • You will have an easy to remember domain name (.com/.net/.info) – Gone are the days of needing to send folks to a site address like yourchurch.com/events/2017/October/FallFestival/Pics.  Who wants to remember that?  Instead you can have something like FallFest2017.com and give people easy access to all they need to enjoy your event. Set up your consultation today.
  • One central place showcase all your information. – When an event is held away from your church where can people find directions?  Will there be food?  Is it a potluck?  What about parking?  What time does it start and end?  Do I need tickets?  Save time and shorten announcements by directing everyone to your customized website for your event.
  • Not everyone is on social media. – Some people simply aren’t interested in social media.  Some find it overwhelming.  Some just don’t understand it.  How will this group of people know where to find things like shared pictures?  You are missing out on reaching many by choosing social media as your only focus for sharing events.
  • Build excitement. – Show regular attendees that your ministries and events aren’t just church as usual.  Videos, music, photos and more will draw them in and help them feel what you’re about.  Plus, they can easily share the URL with their family and friends.  We will incorporate share buttons to help make it easy for folks to share the info directly to their friends and family.
  • It’s affordable. – If your usual method is the long web address with flyers and a newspaper ad, having a custom website built will save you money.  You will have a site that is alive forever.  It won’t disappear from memory like a newspaper ad.  It doesn’t have to be clipped, copied or carried around in pockets.  Keep your site for as long as a year (maybe more) for about the same price as a large newspaper ad that people will forget as soon as the paper is closed.  Keep in mind that many people don’t even subscribe to a newspaper any longer.  There’s no need when they can find all the details online for free!
  • Sell tickets or products online. – Will attendees need tickets?  Will you have shirts, hats, stickers, etc that can be purchased?  Giving people an easy way to make  purchases, online, will guarantee more sales for you!  No check writing or cash carrying.  There are no lines to wait in.  With just a few clicks they can have their tickets, deck their family out in matching t-shirts and grab a meal voucher all at once.  It really is that easy when you let us build your custom site.

So, what are you waiting for?  Contact us today and we will help you build a customized, easy to navigate website or landing page for your ministries and events.

Don’t pass by the opportunity to reach a whole new group of people that are looking for the information you have!  View our portfolio to see examples of the work we have done for others.

 

Feel free to call us: 865-816-9864

Managing your self-hosted WordPress site means more than keeping it looking good.  You want to be sure your site is secure and functioning properly.  The easiest way to do that is to keep WordPress up to date as well as updating your themes and plugins on a regular basis.

Wordpress Security Up to Date

How do I know when something needs to be updated?

You can find this in your WordPress admin dashboard.  On the top ribbon, and the left sidebar, you can see the total number of updates that are available.  You may also see separate notifications when plugins, or themes need updates.  Here’s a quick look.  If you do not see these notifications, you’re up to date already.  Good work!

WP Dashboard Updates

Clicking on either of the total updates available will take you to the update dashboard where you will see a list of available updates.  This can vary, depending upon how long ago you last updated.  First, make sure WordPress is updated.  Next, check your themes.  Finally, check your plugins.  This order is important to be sure that all things work together for the good of your self hosted WordPress site.  There is also a button to click to refresh the page and check again, for updates.

Updates Dashboard Details

Should I update as soon as I see the notification?

It is your best bet to update as soon as you can.  Some folks like to wait until all the bugs are worked out.  While, that’s generally an ok idea, it’s not always in your best interest.  Bugs, or issues, like interrupted functions or plugins that conflict with one another are not going to place your site at risk.  Not updating WordPress, themes or plugins CAN place your site at risk.  Many times, updates are pushed out to fix security issues.  Other times it’s to improve function.  It’s always better to be safe, than sorry, when it comes to the security of your website.

What are the risks of not keeping my site up to date?

There can be many risks to not keeping your WordPress site updated.  Mainly, your site may be left wide open for access by hackers.  Here’s a brief list of some things that can happen when your site is left vulnerable to hackers:

  • Passwords are no longer secured
  • Your site can be redirected
  • Hackers can edit your HTML
  • Your site can crash and be inaccessible
  • Your site can be erased

There are many risks when it comes to leaving  your WordPress site vulnerable by not performing regular updates.  It’s just not worth it.  The minor headaches that may come with update are nothing compared to the dangers posed by security issues.

Feeling a little unsure about updating?  Overwhelmed at the thought of maintaining these details on your self hosted WordPress site?  Let us help!

What’s Changing with Facebook

November 5th marks a change in the way that you will be able to gain new likes.  Until now, it’s been popular to incentivize people to like your page.  Bloggers love to use the Facebook like as a giveaway entry.  It’s a great way to grow the number of likes for a fan page.  Others may entice potential fans by hiding the content of their fan page until the like button is clicked.  While, in theory, this is a good way to gain interested followers, it’s going away.

Facebook No More Like Gate

In a Facebook developer blog post, this is what Facebook had to say:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Plain and simple, this means you are going to have to work to be sure that the right people are liking your page.  Facebook is putting a stop to the easiest way for you to grow your number of fans.  It seems like Facebook is becoming a little controlling.  We talked, in an earlier post, about the Facebook algorithm change and how it affects your page.  Now, they won’t let you bait folks into liking your page.  What’s the deal?

How Like Gating Hurts You

Plain and simple, if people are coming to your page and clicking the like button on the off chance they might win a tablet or coffee maker, they aren’t interested in your content.  They can unlike as quick as they liked.  The same goes for any incentive that you offer for a like.  It’s a reward and people that are liking your page just for the reward are not true fans and are probably not interested in anything you have to say.  The odds that they will ever return are not in your favor.

Think about it this way:  if  you did a Google search for laptop giveaways and we came up in the search, giving away a brand new laptop, we’d have your attention.  Right?  Sure!  Then you enter and the first entry requires  you to like our Facebook page.  That’s easy.  We’ve included a button and you don’t even have to leave the page you are on.  Click and done.  Later on, you see us in your news feed.  We’re posting articles about Facebook image sizes and that has nothing to do with you or anything that you are interested in.  You are going to do one of two things.

  1. You will hide us from your newsfeed or
  2. You will unlike our page

Neither of these is helpful to us an now you see us as being spammy and you tell your friends about it.  Not good.

How Facebook is Helping You

While it may seem that Facebook is taking away a legitimate way to grow your number of fans, that’s not really true.  Your numbers might increase but what is their why?  Are they liking your page just to get something for free or as a contest entry?  If so, chances are that they don’t really care about what you are posting.  They will either unlike your page or won’t be returning to see what else you share.  You aren’t gaining fans that are relevant.

So, what Facebook is actually doing is help you to gain fans that are interested in you, your business and your brand.  They are showing you how many fans are not relevant and where you can grow and change for continued growth.  It’s a great opportunity to take on the challenge of posting relevant content.  Consider starting a business blog (or picking back up where you left off) and sharing your posts on Facebook.  Fresh eyes on any content is never a bad thing.

How can you take advantage of this Facebook like gate change?  Where will this take your business?  How can we help?

 

 

 

What Facebook Says

There has been yet another algorithm change to the Facebook newsfeed.  According to Facebook they are listening to what users are saying and have found a way to keep relevant, high quality content at the forefront.  But how?

Facebook New Alogrithm

Here’s a snippet from a post on Facebook for Business:

While the goal of News Feed is to show high quality posts to people, we wanted to better understand what high quality means. To do this we decided to develop a new algorithm to factor into News Feed. To develop it, we first surveyed thousands of people to understand what factors make posts from Pages high quality. Some of the questions we asked included:
  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
  • Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
We used the results of this survey to build a new machine learning system to detect content defined as high quality. The system uses over a thousand different factors, such as how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality (e.g., hiding a Page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base of other known high quality Pages. Coming up with an algorithm to detect this is complex, and we will continue to refine it as we get more feedback.

Ultimately what’s happening is Facebook’s new “machine” decides what’s timely, relevant and trustworthy.  If your content fits the bill, people will see it.  If you’re sharing memes, begging for likes and shares or sharing what Facebook deems as junk, your posts will not get the same traction they once did.  Why?  Because Facebook simply won’t show it to anyone.  These posts won’t make it past your business page’s wall.

What Does it All Mean?

If you’re not sharing junk, you’re fine.  Keep on keeping on.  You shouldn’t change anything unless you want to.  Keep posting good quality content that people will like and share.  No gimmicks.  You’re golden!

If you are posting meme’s, eCards and other low quality content, just to garner engagement, stop.  It does you no good.  You’re going to be forced to think about what you share.  Think before posting.  Put some effort into your updates.  A little planning and some good content and you’re game will totally be changed.  It doesn’t mean what you’re doing is wrong, it just means that Facebook doesn’t like it.

Here’s a question:  The people that like your page because you share memes and cat pictures…are they actually helping your business?  No, they aren’t.  So, they are not your target audience and you don’t want to market to them anyway.  You have to know your audience; your customers.  Who buys what you’re selling?  Those are the people you want to like your page.  They are the ones that will stick around to find out what you  have to say.  Changing up your posting practices will open up the possibility of your page being seen by the right people.

Confused about the change?  Don’t know how to match your content to your audience?  Wondering how to get your posts in front of more eyes?  Let us help.  Call today and set up a consultation.

Realistic Goals for Content Creation in 2014

You have, no doubt, heard it said that “Content is king.”  This is absolutely true.  There are different types of content and ways to implement each type.  Where do you start?  How many do you use? Isn’t it all confusing?

content creation strategies for 2014

It can be overwhelming and daunting to decide what types of content to provide to your customers/audience.  Let’s start by looking at what types of content are available.

  1. Writing
  2. Graphics
  3. Video
  4. Audio
  5. Data (using infographics is a great way to display data)
  6. Social media
  7. User-generated content

There is not a single type that you should focus on.  You need a combination of mentally and visually stimulating content to keep your audience/customers engaged and to make sure they know your name and what you offer.  But too much is…well, too much.  You don’t want to confuse or overwhelm.

Avoid confusion by starting with what you know best.  If you are a writer, write.  If you are a designer, create graphics.  If you know podcasts, start there.  The great thing about content is that it creates more content.  An article can become a video.  A graphic can become an article.  A podcast can provide data.  Social media can house any, and all, of the content you create and place it in front of your target audience at just the right time.

Great content along with great content marketing will build trust, showcase you as an authority and place you on a pedestal of popularity.  The key to staying in the spotlight is evergreen content (it has no expiration date), social media marketing and a diverse content library to promote.  If you have time, and money, to spend you can easily create, distribute and promote your content while analyzing the market and laser targeting your audience.  If you don’t have extra hours in the day, or dollars in the bank, let us help you.  We can help you create realistic goals that won’t break the bank.

Eternal Marketing has a team of professionals, at the ready, to help you both create and market content.  Contact us for a consultation.

Twitter is a great way to bring traffic to your site and to promote your services.  It’s the quick and easy way to get your message across.  With a little creativity you will stand, head and shoulders, above the crowd.  Think outside the box and use a few of these 25 Tweets for Your Small Business to start generating leads, traffic and sales.  If you need help with social media marketing, contact us for help.

25 tweets for your small business

25 Tweets for Your Small Business

  1. Link to a post on your blog.
  2. Link to a post on someone else’s blog, within your industry.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Answer questions.
  5. Retweet your old tweets that have done well.
  6. Retweet other tweets from within your industry.
  7. Announce the launch of a new product and/or service.
  8. Offer a solution to a problem your customers often face.
  9. Offer top-notch customer service.
  10. Brag a little.  Self-promotion is a good thing!
  11. Share the link to your Facebook page or group.
  12. Promote a live event or webinar.
  13. Upload a PowerPoint Presentation to SlideShare.net.  Tweet the link.
  14. Offer Freebies like eBooks, audios, reports, etc.  Freebies can be a snippet with a link to purchase full content.
  15. Review a book that’s relevant to your target market.
  16. Review a product that’s popular in your industry.
  17. Share the link to an older (but popular) podcast.
  18. Start a new hashtag discussion with others in your industry.
  19. Create a new hashtag discussion with your followers.
  20. Share a cool tool that you’ve discovered and think others will find useful.
  21. Share a motivational quote, relevant to your industry.
  22. Share an industry joke – keep it clean.
  23. Link to your own published article.
  24. Link to someone else’s published article.
  25. Post live updates from an industry event.

Twitter is jam packed with millions of prospects.  Start tweeting, and interacting, to direct connect to your target market.  Make sure that you mix things up.  You want to be known as valuable, relevant, educational and reachable.  Don’t be afraid to tweet outside the box!

In an earlier post, we discussed images sizes for various social media platforms. The infographic below shows the image sizes and placement for Facebook pages.  You will want to upload your images in these exact sizes for best results.  Otherwise, they will be stretched or shrank, to fit the area.  The dimensions listed are exact and current as of 1/14/2014.  If there are updates, we will address those as they arise.  Watch for articles, to come, about image sizes for other social media platforms.

As shown below, the Facebook page cover measures 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall.  Make sure, when designing your cover image, that you don’t place important info behind the area where your profile image will be.  Your profile image will be approximately 23 pixels from the left side of the cover image and 210 pixels from the top.

Your profile image should be uploaded at the dimensions shown.  Facebook will resize larger images.  If the original image is not square, you could encounter issues with the quality once it is resized.  In fact, Facebook will not let you upload an image smaller than 180×180 pixels.

The custom app images are smaller than the rest.  They come in at 111 pixels wide and 74 pixels high.  This area is where you can create custom tabs where your fans can sign up for your newsletter, learn about a special offer or grab a fan only free item.  This is a great way to boost your social media marketing efforts.

If you are unsure of how to crate images that are sized properly, will be of good quality at the given dimensions and are within other Facebook guidelines for images on fan pages, contact  us.  We would love to help you with your social media accounts.  From setup and branding to creating images and creating content, we are here for you.

Facebook Image Sizes Infographic

Picture Sizes for Social Media

Before we get into what size your original picture should be, let’s take a look at the sizes needed for different social media platforms.  Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or YouTube, you want to make the most of the real estate offered by profile picture, timeline covers, etc.  So, here’s a quick rundown of the main dimensions you should be aware of.  We will go into more detail for each platform, later, in individual posts to help you make the most of each social media account that you have.

social media picture taking guide

Facebook Image Sizes*

Timeline Cover:  851 x 315 pixels

Profile Image:  200 x 200 pixels

App Images:  111 x 74 pixels

 

Twitter Image Sizes*

Background Image:  2000 x 1200 pixels

Profile Image:  81 x 81 pixels

Brand Banner:  520 x 260 pixels

 

Pinterest Image Sizes*

Profile Image:  160 x 165 pixels

Enlarged Pins:  735 x Auto Adjusted pixels

 

Google+ Image Sizes*

Cover Photo:  2120 x 1192 pixels

Profile Photo:  270 x x 270 pixels

 

LinkedIn Image Sizes*

Profile Image: 200 x 200 pixels

Company Logo: 100 x 60 pixels

Company Cover: 646 x 220 pixels

Company Square Logo: 50 x 50 pixels

Services Page: 100 x 80 pixels

 

YouTube Image Sizes*

Cover Art:  2560 x 1440 pixels

Safe Area:  1546 x 423 pixels (this is the minimum viewing area for all devices)

 

Best Original Picture Size for Social Media

Looking at all of the dimensions above, where does one start with the proper picture size for all platforms?  I really lean toward the saying “Go Big or Go Home” when it comes to original picture sizes.  Whether it’s a logo, vector or photograph, bigger is better.  Larger pictures can easily be scaled down.  Smaller pictures are not to friendly for re-sizing.  Stretching them too far will ruin their quality.  So what’s the minimum?

YouTube seems to have the largest width in a cover area.  It comes in at 2560 pixels.  So, I would say to start with pictures, or images, that are at least 3000 pixels wide.  This allows you a few hundred pixels for cropping and re-sizing when you need them for other platforms or on a blog.  Keep in mind that some platforms do require you to upload an image that is the exact dimension specified.  Pay close attention t the guidelines given on each platform.  We will, again, touch more on this in upcoming posts.

If you save a large original (high resolution) picture you will be set for all of  your branding and social sharing needs.  Generally, your original image should be 300 dots per inch (dpi).  This will be best for printing and re-sizing.  As you re-size and save the picture you can change your resolution to lessen the file size.  For use on computer only, 72 dpi is ok.  For printing at home, 150 dpi will work just fine.  For commercial printing and photo printing you will want 300 dpi  images.  More detail on this is to come.

If you need a high resolution head shot or product photo, a logo designed that will carry across your brand, business cards, a vehicle wrap or other marketing materials created…we can do all of that and more.  Contact us for a consultation and we will help you with all of your marketing needs.

 

*correct sizes as of 1/7/2014

Everyone Has an Opinion About How to Boost Blog Traffic

When talking to someone knowledgeable about blogging, the internet and social media, you will get a wide range of information about how to boost your traffic.  Many people will try to tell you that you have to pay for some sort of service or more in-depth advice.  RUN AWAY!  While the immediate info might be broad and varied, there are some very simple and practical tips to boost blog traffic.  Most of these will work for just about any site, not just a blog.

practical tips to boost blog traffic with eternal marketing knoxville tn

The 5 Practical Tips to Boost Blog Traffic

1.  Join Pinterest and contribute to group boards.  If you aren’t on Pinterest yet, you should be.  Blog posts with large, good quality photos or graphics are great.  When you can pin them and make them even more shareable, they’re even better!  Group boards are important because collaboration means you’ll reach more readers. Since multiple bloggers work together, these boards have larger followings, often in the thousands.  Pinterest is overtaking most other social media platforms for driving traffic.  This is especially true if you are pinning recipes, crafts, DIY projects and/or amazingly cute baby photos.

2.  Automate Social Sharing and maximize your time.  If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instgram and LinkedIn (or others) then you already know how much time it can take to share on each and every network you use.  Even just a few minutes each can quickly add up to many hours per week.  The good news is that you can automate much of this process through platforms like HootSuite.  You can run your RSS feed through the program and it will automatically share new content to your preferred platforms for social media sharing.  You can also manually post to multiple networks or schedule posts for future dates and times for the best practice and time savings.  There are other platforms that can accomplish the same thing, it’s just a matter of personal preference.  Each has their own limitations may require a monthly fee for full feature access.

3.  Comment on other blogs.  This is a great way to network and be seen.  You want to start by choosing blogs similar to your own.  Staying within your niche is a way to build a great network to work within.  Once your start networking you can build the interaction and eventually you may guest post on other blogs or work together to cross promote for a brand or event.  If other bloggers love your content then readers will as well.  Bloggers can be picky and critical but it’s all for the greater good.  Experienced bloggers know what it takes to build traffic.  Get under someone’s wing and learn all that you can.  When commenting on other blogs, make your comments relevant.  Nobody likes spam and you definitely don’t want to be THAT blogger.

4.  Link up!  When you have a great giveaway or event, list it on sites that are made for this purpose.  They work FOR you and many offer free services.  Your event will be promoted to thousands of fans.  Make sure that your contest or event is well laid out, terms are clear and nobody is left guessing.  Important details are a clear prize description, retail value of your prize(s), start and end dates, who is eligible to win and if there are any limitations.  There are sites just for linking up giveaways, Twitter parties, Pinterest hops and more.  Google is your friend.  Also see where other bloggers are linking up.  Bloggers are always talking and if you’re listening you will pick up on some true gems!

5.  Get listed!  Take advantage of listing your blog directories and review sites.  There is a list of these that is a mile long.  What is effective for you will not be effective for everyone.  It will depend on your niche, audience and writing style.  Four great sites to get started on are Blog Lovin, Crunchbase, Reddit and Digg.  Be sure that you read their terms, learn how they work and ask around for best practices.

These practical tips to boost blog traffic are something that you can use whether you are a part-time blogger or want to make the push into professional blogging.  They will  not all prove successful for every blogger.  Know your niche, know your audience and – most importantly – write, write, write.  Content is king and ultimately is what keeps readers coming back again and again.

If you’re looking at this list and thinking “Where do I find the time?”  We can help!  One of our favorite things to do, is to help you free up time to keep doing what you love.  Let us help you with these practical ways to boost blog traffic.  Contact us for a consult and be on your way to better blog traffic.