Make your business visible online, and you will get a larger share of customers.

Operating a small and local business doesn’t mean you cannot increase your customers and scale.

Get a Website. Don’t you have a website yet? Where have you been all this time? From plumbers to dentists, the local handyman to big engineering firms – they have websites. Your website will be your 24/7 storefront.

Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. You are increasingly using your mobile phone when searching for a product or service, right?

Get some Traffic with SEO. Many of your potential customers probably do not know that your business exists. However, when they go to Google searching for a product or service they need, which you offer, and finds you because you’re doing SEO — then bingo!

Make sure that your SEO is well-planned with a comprehensive blueprint to ensure ROI.

Get on Social Media. Many more of your potential customers may find you in social media. When a recent customer following you in social media likes or shares an article, a photo, or a video you posted, then that post will be visible to their friends – who might as well try out your product or service.

Become active on at least 4 social media channels. Your potential customers are actively using more than one.

Capture and Nurture. Capture your leads through an opt-in form on your website and nurture them through email marketing.

Be on top of mind all the time to your potential customers by constantly communicating with them through email. Once they need something you offer, boom, you got a customer.

There you have it. 4 simple steps.

Follow me, and we’ll guide you along the way. Contact Brian Weathers at

LinkedIn has 467 million users. That’s a huge audience. Facebook has an astonishing 2 billion daily users. There are 974 million Twitter accounts. The list goes on, and the audiences continue to grow. It’s obvious that if you want to succeed you should be interested in this huge pool of potential clients.

Ninety-one percent of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels. Having control over your social media is essential if you are to become a successful brand. Controlling the messages you send out to your customers is a key factor. Contact us and we’ll let you know how to get it right.

Here are 10 questions to ask when thinking about a Social Media campaign for your business:

Are you new to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) digital advertising campaigns? Or, maybe the time and money you’ve invested in your PPC campaigns haven’t been paying off?

At Strategic Marketing Solutions Inc., we have run hundreds of successful PPC campaigns. Take our advice: Here are the top 5 PPC campaign mistakes we see all the time that you and your business should avoid at all costs:

Launching a Campaign Without a Clear Strategy

It’s impossible to measure success without defining clear goals. Ask yourself these two questions: What is your primary goal for this campaign? Who is your target market to reach that goal? Then set up an action plan of specific tasks that will help you reach success.

Taking a “Do-it-all” Approach

As you may already know, PPC marketing is much more complex than it seems. You need to make sure that you have access to a digital marketing consultant.

Effective campaigns address the 3 basic types of PPC traffic separately: search traffic, display traffic, and social traffic. Delivering different ad experiences to each type of traffic increases your odds of success.

Failure to Identify a Realistic Budget

Think of your first few campaigns as tests. They may not be profitable, because you don’t know what will work and what won’t. Your budget shouldn’t be too low or too high. Your budget should be enough to test your campaign for future optimization.

Having Unrealistic Expectations

You may expect to see immediate results from your PPC ad campaign, especially if your website is optimized for SEO. Be patient for the first few weeks of your new campaign.

Not Testing Your Conversion Funnel

Make sure everything is working correctly by using test users. Have them experiment, use the site to perform tasks, and don’t forget to have them test the site from a variety of devices!

Need help from the experts? Contact us at

LinkedIn has many marketing tools that can be used to grow your business. Using these tools to raise awareness for your business, its credibility, and its impact will put you on the path to building your brand in an organic way. Here is a brief guide on some of these tools and how they work.

LinkedIn Company Page

Catch the eye of your prospective customers with a Company Page. It should be a place where you can engage your target audience with things relevant to them such as links to your best white papers, e-books, case studies, how-to content and thought leadership content. Your Company Page should spread your company’s overall message by publishing content you know your target audience will want to see.

Showcase Pages

You love your business and think of many different parts of it as equally important in their own ways, but does your audience know that? Showcase pages are for creating a distinct platform for each aspect of your business that has its own message to share with its own target audience. By giving each part of your business its own distinct voice, you can extend your LinkedIn presence to reach the audience it needs to reach.

Long-form Posts

Should you go long on LinkedIn? The answer is yes! Publishing long-form content can position you as an expert and thought leader on the subject, giving your business credibility and authenticity. Another benefit to writing your own posts is giving a chance for like-minded professionals to interact and contribute while simultaneously spreading your message. If your post becomes a hot topic of discussion it will be a trending topic where it can be distributed and recommended to a much broader audience, giving you even further reach than before!

These tools and more are part of a larger LinkedIn toolbox that can help your business grow in an impactful way. Contact us at to learn more about how to use them!

Brian Weathers
Strategic Marketing Solutions Inc.

Get the attention of your audience through unique and authentic storytelling!

“A story can cross the barriers of time – past, present, future – and allows us to experience the similarities between ourselves and through others,” says Andrew Stanton, a filmmaker at Pixar.

Customers are looking for something that is unique and relatable to them and storytelling is an age-old method that allows businesses to relate to potential buyers.

Here are 3 elements of storytelling that can help turn the mundane into something of great appeal:

Emotion. Take your customer back to those times they will never forget with emotional appeals, such as sympathy, envy, or intrigue. Move them through from one emotional state to another as the narrative unfolds. This only intensifies their connection with your product and brand.

Authenticity. Be honest. Speak truth and life about the brand and the audience it is speaking to. This will grab their attention while also creating a reputation for your brand.

Relatability. Make a connection to your audience. Do your research on who you are targeting. Appeal to your audience through situations they have also experienced, and also challenges they have overcome.

Use these strategies to make a connection with your audience:

Make Your Story Centered around their Situation and Needs
Make People Feel a Part of the Story Experience
Listen & Create a Relevant Context
Showcase Your Values

Once you have made an effective connection is when your message was absorbed deep in their hearts and minds.

Email us today to find out more about how to become an effective storyteller for your business!

Having social media accounts for your business is critical in this digital age. But are you getting the most out of them? Social media marketing works best when people are engaging with your business. Here are our top 10 no-sweat tips to get more engagement for your business on social media.

1. Use attention-grabbing headlines. Why did you decide to read this article? It probably had something to do with the headline. Headlines that start with an exclamation, or “How to…” or “# Ways to…” or that ask a question that your customers might ask themselves tend to get the clicks you’re looking for.

2. Use images, animated gifs, and memes. Posts with visuals perform better, period. Memes and gifs can also bring humor into the mix and increase the chance that your audience will share your content.

3. Create and share videos. Over 100 million hours of videos are watched on social media every day. Get your piece of the pie!

4. Don’t only post your own content. Curate and share content made by others that you think your followers will enjoy. That way, with less work, you get more content and your audience gets added value.

5. Post more often. Making frequent posts boosts your organic growth.

6. Share an excellent piece of content more than once. That’s right: it’s okay to post the same material multiple times if you vary the accompanying message, and it can get you up to 31.5 times the number of click-throughs as posting once.

7. Use hashtags. They can double your #engagement rate!

8. Tag people and businesses you quote or reference. When you tag someone, like a guest blogger, they usually respond or repost, getting you more exposure.

9. Optimize your posting times. Schedule your social media messages to post at peak times to increase your reach.

10. Recycle your evergreen content. Some content doesn’t have an expiration date. If it’s timeless, share it again later!

We know that as a business owner, you’re busy. If you don’t have time to beef up your social media marketing, we can help! Contact us today for more information.

Are you putting social media to work for your benefit? Follow these 10 strategies to reach social media success!

1. Choose the Right Platforms

Every business is different. Make sure you consider both your customers and your business. Find out what social media sites your audience uses most, and think about which sites are the best fit for your products, too.

2. Create Unique Content for Each Platform

Your customers use different social media sites for various reasons and purposes. Make sure you’re crafting content that reflects the strengths of each platform.

3. Create a Social Media Calendar

Get organized by creating social media calendars to help you post consistently and effectively.

4. Optimize Post Times & Frequency

For that calendar, make sure you incorporate the best times to post on each site and the optimal frequency of posts.

5. Encourage Engagement

Make sure your social media is social! Interactive posts will encourage your customers to engage with you.

6. Target Your Social Media Outreach Expertly

Go for quality over quantity with your outreach: utilize your business advocates, peers, and “big fish” influencers to your advantage.

7. Avoid Over-Promote Your Brand

Don’t give in to the temptation to directly promote yourself every time. Some experts recommend the 1-in-7 rule: for every 1 openly promotional post, make 6 content posts.

8. Share Video

Visual content, especially video, is a proven attention-grabber.

9. Build a Community Around Your Brand

Another common pitfall is trying to get the most followers possible. Instead, we recommend you focus on cultivating a loyal, engaged customer base.

10. Provide Value to Your Followers

To keep them engaged, give your customers something useful, whether you entertain or inform them. This will help you gain followers and spread your content to a wider consumer base.

For more information or assistance with social media marketing for your business, contact us today at or (919) 906-6785!

Every time a user comes to your website or social media page you have the opportunity to interact with them and turn them into lifelong customers! We want your customers to enjoy coming to your page and to look forward to viewing your content. So that leaves us with the question, what does your target audience want to see on your page?

Here are some of the top ways that you can encourage viewers to get involved on your page:

Trivia Questions

Give your followers a chance to show off a little bit of their knowledge! Also, if you can come up with interesting bits of trivia for them, it will spark a lively conversation on your page and give viewers a reason to share your post.

Interactive Infographics

These are a great tool because they are visually pleasing and eye catching, but they also can pass along useful information about your business or industry to your potential customers.


A poll shows your audience that you want to hear what they think and gives them a chance to make their voice heard on your page.

Live Video Streaming

There isn’t a better way to make the viewer feel like a part of your company then by giving them a live window right into your office! They can feel confident knowing exactly who you are and what you do!

Interactive Mobile Apps

Make an easy to access App for your customers to use. It will allow them to stay constantly connected to your business.

All of these tactics are going to give your targets the opportunity to engage with your business. This will show that you care more about just making the sale, you care about your customers and want to hear from them. This will go a long way towards building followers that will stay with your business for a lifetime.

For more help engaging your customers, visit us at

Promote your brand along with its good reputation on social media and other platforms. However, things get a bit complicated when you have to deal with bad reviews.

First, keep a good reputation by being honest, transparent, setting clear expectations for your customer, and by being in business because you genuinely want to help people around you. It goes without saying that shady practices are a no-no.

Second, you have to prevent any dissatisfaction by a customer from escalating by addressing every complaint you get. It has to be fixed at this level immediately while the customer is still trying to reach out to you. Because once they have felt frustrated and think they have to warn others about your practice, things can get messy.

Nonetheless, you have to set your radar for negative reviews. One good way to do this is to set up Google alerts for your brand terms and name.

What else can you do to safeguard your brand?

Claim your brand name
Build a consistent identity

Whether your brand is your name itself, your business name or your product name, you need to make sure that no one else can misrepresent you online by owning a piece of your brand. Make sure that you own domain names and usernames associated with your brand.

Suggested tools:

Build a consistent identity on major channels:


Publish content regularly:

The content you publish will define and reinforce who you are, what you stand for, and what your business is all about. This will make up the values associated with your brand. Anything inconsistent with these values will not be immediately convincing to your customers who know you.

Let me know if you need more information. We’d be glad to help.

Brian Weathers

Social media allows so much information to be at our fingertips.

It allows business owners to connect with potential customers in new and exciting ways.

It also gives customers new ways to reach out and share their opinions, and it is inevitable that sometimes those opinions will be negative.

We want to make sure you know just what to do with the inevitable happens so that your customers keep coming back.

The first thing to do when you see a negative review is to take a step back. Never respond in the heat of the moment. Never indulge in an angry flash. Compose yourself and address the review in a cool, calm and collected manner.

Also, work to identify authentic bad reviews from those who are just “trolling” looking to waste your time. If a review is unnecessarily inflammatory, profanity-laden or unintelligible, odds are the reviewer is just targeting you for argument sake. In these situations, the best thing to do is just step back and let it go.

Once you’ve identified true reviews, start by acknowledging the mistake and apologizing. Sometimes a simple sorry is all the reviewer needs to hear. At the end of the day, consumers want to know they matter and that they are not just another number. Demonstrate this with a polite and sincere apology.

Even if it wasn’t your mistake, it doesn’t hurt to say that you feel sorry about the misunderstanding or bad experience.

Next, see if you can make it right. Is there something that can be done to fix it? If not, offer other perks or benefits, such as free shipping or a discount in the future. Also, make sure you’ve identified an accountability process to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Finally, thank the customer for taking time to leave feedback. Feedback gives you the tools you need to improve to become a better business.

Addressing bad PR is easier when you have our marketing team on your side. Contact us today to learn more about our services.