W3 Affinity Rated by Clutch as one of Virginia’s top SEO Firms for 2020

We just received exciting news here at W3 Affinity! A Clutch analyst just called our founder to let us know that W3 Affinity is again listed as one of Virginia’s top SEO firms! SEO is more important than ever for businesses to stay on top of trends. That is why we’re thrilled that Clutch labeled us as one of the top SEO firms for 2020! Clutch is the world’s leading B2B platform for B2B ratings and reviews. Featuring the top providers across an array of B2B segments, Clutch has the resources for you as you seek to find your next B2B service providers. Clutch is the gold standard of B2B ratings and reviews platform because of their unparalleled trust. Each and every review is independently verified by their superstar staff, so that you can feel confident in Clutch’s ratings, reviews, and awards!

“We’ve worked hard as a team to worthy of the Clutch Top B2B Companies in the US. We’re excited to share this with our partners and clients”

We love to show off our stellar average across twenty-three reviews on Clutch! We have reviews from clients around the world who praise our work, like the CMO of Stegmann clogs!

We’re incredibly blessed to be one of Virginia’s top B2B providers and SEO firms according to Clutch. If you want to join our ranks of satisfied customers, please contact us today!

What is Google Nonprofit and Why Your Organization Needs an Account There

Starting a nonprofit isn’t easy. You have an inspiring idea, a passionate starter team, and a few generous donors to help you get started. However, when it comes down to it you don’t have enough money to actually get the ball running on your nonprofit. The truth is a large percentage of nonprofits fail within the first five years of starting. The reasons are somewhat obvious: lack of vision, poor decisions from the board, and lack of capital.

There are plenty of blogs about how to ensure that your nonprofit is ready to get started in terms of vision and choosing board members and a solid team to get it started but not many people really talk about the money. Even though your organization is not-for-profit, it requires money and a lot of it. Operating costs (rent, staff, utilities, phone, office equipment, etc.) and administrative costs (what you spend on administering the nonprofit) are the two biggest expenses of a nonprofit.

The third biggest expense is development costs: costs directly related to your efforts. Anything to do with fundraising, sending e-mails, marketing; all of these are development costs. Because it’s the third expense it’s one of the reasons why nonprofits fail. Many organizations simply don’t have enough money after paying the operating and administrative costs and the development costs are the most important because it’s what drives your organization and provides the money for the first two.

The good news is there are ways of spending very little on development costs. From hiring a really good marketing team that knows what they’re doing to using what’s already out there for nonprofits. Google nonprofit offers  “eligible organizations access to Google products and tools that can help nonprofits find new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and get supporters to take action.” They will work with you and your nonprofit organization to not just get the word out but create a strong online presence separate from social media. There are several reasons why taking the time and creating an account with Google nonprofit is the way to go.

Streamline

It’s important to streamline how you run your organization from files to donor lists, and even e-mails. Google nonprofit offers G Suite; it’s all the apps you need as part of your productivity collaboration tools. Nonprofits need to collaborate and G Suite gives you unlimited Google accounts with @yourdomainname instead of @gmail. It also gives you access to Google docs, sheets, sites, slides, etc. And Google nonprofit will give you 30GB of space, and if you need more you can simply talk to a representative and see what can be done.

What’s good about G Suite other than your cost savings is that it’s secure. By avoiding personal e-mails and documents you will foment this idea of shared collaboration and it protects your organization’s internal informational. Also, Google sites can be used as an onboarding tool for new hires, donors, or volunteers. You set it up once and just send the link; it’s easy and seamless.

Google Ads

Google Ads, Google nonprofit gives away $10,000 a month for nonprofit organizations that qualify. The money goes toward fundraising using pay-per-click. With Google ads you’ll be able to drive the kind of people you want to your website. The $10,000 adds up to about 5,000 visits a month. With Google Ads, you can also create specific keywords that are exclusive to your cause. This will help increase the 5,000 visits. This Google nonprofit benefit is probably your greatest tool if you can maximize all that it’s offering.

Other Services

Google nonprofit offers other soft services that help your nonprofit organization but aren’t truly necessary to running a successful nonprofit organization. For example, you can use the YouTube Nonprofit Program to help promote your marketing material by using “Donate Now” buttons and the ability to create links on the video. Another cool feature is that once you reach 1,000 or more subscribers you qualify for YouTube Spaces, which are Google’s production studios found all over the world.

To increase visibility, Good nonprofit created Google One Today, which is an exciting feature that promotes one nonprofit a day on their app. It gives a short story or video about the organization and makes donating extremely easy. If you’re a part of Google nonprofit, your organization will show up and this will increase traffic to your cause.

Google nonprofit is a great way to streamline productivity tools and increase the visibility of your nonprofit organization. Google really wants nonprofits to succeed and will work with you to make that happen. For all these services they offer webinars and 24/7 help to get you started. As long as you’re a verified 501(c)(3), you’re more than likely going to get approved.

Google nonprofit has a list of organizations that don’t qualify but if you’re unsure the application process only takes about 10 minutes. There are ways to succeed without breaking the bank. It’s important to research and look at all your options.

Try these 5 Ideas for Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is only effective if you know what you need from it. If you go in without having done your research or taking the time to set it up, it won’t give you what you need. Marketing automation isn’t meant to replace human intelligence and creativity. It’s meant to be used as a tool to enhance your existing marketing strategies. There are several different ways in which you can effectively use marketing automation. However, it’s both the marketing team and C-level executives to determine the overall goal of automating marketing tasks and sifting through all the ideas for marketing automation. 

You can use marketing automation to generate mass e-mails, send reminders of items left in a shopping cart, notifications of discounted items, any time there’s a new update, personalized content, etc. The list for uses of marketing automation is extensive. This is why it’s important to first figure out what your company’s goal is and then determine how to incorporate marketing automation. Without a clear goal, you can start using a marketing automation software that most businesses use and have generated successful ROI. Here are 5 ideas for marketing automation:

1. Abandoned Cart

Have you noticed that you buy something on most online stores, you will get an email with the subject line, “Psssst….Did you forget something?” or “That’s a great choice! Don’t let it get away!” This is marketing automation at its finest. People love to window shop and add items to their virtual carts. Sometimes they don’t intend on buying it, but if you send enough e-mail they may be convinced because now it’s on their mind. They’re envisioning that item in their lives and they will eventually buy it.

2. eBook Nurture

Some website provides free eBooks, but the only way to receive them is by entering your email first. Once the client’s email address is recorded in the database, it’s easy to send follow-up emails about the eBook and then follow-up emails about related content. EBook nurturing is probably one of the most undervalued ideas for marketing automation. But people need information quickly. And if your website pops up and provides them with a guaranteed answer in an eBook, they will be sure to download it.

3. Interest Tagging

It’s important to keep in touch with clients that have already visited your site or have purchased from your only store. This way you can build your marketing automation database with all your customers. This gives you access to their interactions with your website, which allows for personalized content.

Having their information in a database also allows for automated emails about things they may like based on past search or purchases, future discounts, members-only deals, etc. These emails triggered by interest provide your audience with the next step with your company, thus making it easier for them—and you—to get what they need. This ensures that your company stays in their working memory and generates more engagement.

4. Resend Emails

One of the most common ideas for marketing automation is email reminders. Email reminders don’t necessarily have to be personalized, but the more times individualize emails the more human you’ll appear and this will ensure customer satisfaction. If your client hasn’t opened the e-mail you sent, you can program the marketing automation software to resend the same e-mail in a few days. If your client has an appointment coming soon or a related event to a past experience, you can automate emails reminding them about it.

By incorporating their data into your software of choice, you can set up how often the reminder emails should be sent and how many days, before after, an event or purchase. Remember that marketing automation is about optimizing steady client growth. You don’t want to continuously lose clients because they forget about it. Consistent email reminders ensure that you’re at the top of their mind when they think of whatever you’re selling.

5. Post-Purchase Review Reminder

For eCommerce one of the best ideas for marketing automation is having your customers review your product. This allows your customers to remember you when they want to buy something similar again. Also, sending a review reminder gives you access to updated, good reviews for your website. This will help with link building and safeguarding your online presence.

All these ideas for marketing automation make client interaction and satisfaction so easy. This is why ideas for marketing automation have skyrocketed in the last five to ten years. These ideas allow you to provide constant reminders to your clients, which allows for purchasing, re-purchasing and reviewing. It’s important to remember that all your marketing efforts need to work together. One thing does not replace another. They need to complement each other to work for you effectively and efficiently.

What is Marketing Automation?

Building a presence online isn’t necessarily difficult but it’s not easy either. It requires a lot of time and energy to get your company or product out there in the virtual universe. Once you have built your platform and have a steady flow of traffic now you need to make sure you keep the relationship with your audience. 

Regular communication from you is required to remind them you exist. If you sell a product, it’s important to get your audience to subscribe to your e-mailing list. If you offer services, you should get them to sign-up for your blog updates. While you may have a person trying to keep up with contacting individual clients or sending mass e-mails, this is ineffective, time-consuming, and costly. Now it’s time for you to invest in marketing automation.

Marketing automation is when you use software to automate messages to keep in contact with your clientele. Basically, you have a salesperson, customer service representative, and a marketing person all rolled into one program. With proper use, marketing automation can help you keep the clients you already have without a single human intervention. 

This doesn’t mean that marketing automation doesn’t require a more human touch. If anything, if a human doesn’t come up with the appropriate leads, marketing automation can seem just like some people think: a robot. Marketing automation can save a lot of time and money, but you have to input the parameters so that the automated messages seem personal to the client. For example, one school automates e-mails to their alumni by addressing the e-mail to the individual but it contains the same message. As long as your audience is entering the e-mail on your platform, this is simple to set up.

With the appropriate human touch, businesses have noticed a 451% increase in qualified leads. Not only that but also more and more businesses are planning on investing in marketing automation software. Several marketing teams across businesses have stated that marketing automation is essential to their marketing campaign. When done correctly, several businesses of seen a significant ROI. However, this doesn’t mean that marketing automation is the kind of strategy you set up once and call it a day. You have to be continuously updating the software and ensuring that it’s going to do what you want it to do.

Tools for Marketing Automation

There are 100s of reputable, business-approved marketing automation tools out there. This is a shortlist of some of the most useful marketing automation software:

  • Hubspot: One of the best and comprehensive marketing automation software. However, it can be incredibly costly and seems to fit larger companies.
  • Active Campaign: Has proven to be as good as Hubspot, but more cost-effective.
  • Mailchimp: It’s cost-effective and is user-friendly. It’s a best fit for beginners who are just learning about marketing automation. However, it can be limiting.
  • Vextras: It is great for eCommerce and has incredible customer service. It’s too new to determine how successful compared to Hubspot and Active Campaign.
  • Klaviyo: It’s not the most user-friendly, but has good integration to Shopify, which makes it an eCommerce favorite.

Benefits of Marketing Automation

The benefits of marketing automation are two-fold:

1) It allows for constant interaction with your audience and clients.

2) It optimizes your staff’s time and focus. This provides your staff to think about more appropriate leads as the times change and update marketing strategies when necessary. By automating the day-by-day tasks in a nuanced manner, you’ll notice an increase in your client’s or audience’s lifetime value.

Instead of your number constantly fluctuating, you’ll see a steady increase. Marketing automation allows for less repetition and more creativity. It ensures that your marketing staff knows what they need to do and provides targeted focus. It also gives you the ability to have a bird-eye view of your marketing team’s reports.

The reality is marketing is a job that requires several different factors. You need to get your name out there. Then you need to ensure that you’re at the top with your competitors to guarantee a spot in Google’s top 10. And once you’ve done all that, you need to fight to keep your audience and clients.

Marketing automation helps with new account onboarding and nurturing current clients. While the setup of marketing automation is a bit of hassle, the efforts and research that you’ve put into it will provide a significant return on your investment. It’s not just about freeing up your team’s daily, menial tasks, but it’s about targeting goals and safeguarding your team’s marketing success.

3 Tactics for Nonprofit Digital Marketing

Your nonprofit organization is driven by one thing: passion. Everyone on your team is passionate about the cause because most of the time it’s bigger than them. Everyone on your team knows how to get the word and they’re incredibly organized about the donor list, planning fundraising events, and initiatives to raise awareness and money. The only thing that’s missing is a strong online presence. In today’s market, it’s important to be visible as much as possible.

According to the Global Trends in Giving 2018 report, 54% of donors prefer to donate online. Not only that but about 42% preferred to donate through monthly subscriptions. The report breaks down valuable data between men and women and generations (Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) across six continents and in five different languages. It’s one of the only comprehensive reports that focus on “how online and mobile technology [impacts] giving.”

Taking this data into consideration it’s important to break down the necessary steps to expand your nonprofit digital marketing plan. Your digital presence needs to be working together not competing against each other. This may seem like it’s a lot to break down or like it will cost a lot of money but with the following 3 tactics your nonprofit digital marketing plan will produce increased results.

1. Social Media

One of the most vital things to do is create a presence. And you can’t do that if your nonprofit organization isn’t on social media. More importantly, it needs to be on all major social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc.). Once you have accounted for all the major platforms then you need to cross-link all of them to get the public to continuously click on your content.

To effectively use social media for your nonprofit digital marketing campaign you need to open the right accounts to get all the benefits. For example, since 2015, Facebook has offered a “Donate Now” button to nonprofit organizations. In order to get this feature, you must have a nonprofit account on Facebook and follow their instructions. And because Facebook bought Instagram you can also raise money on Instagram through a similar process. 

An added bonus is Google Non-Profit and its mission to offer ads and PPC to nonprofits. By verifying that your organization is a 501(c)(3) and applying through Google Non Profit you can receive up to $10,000 a month on Google ads. When used wisely, your organization can create a specific keyword unique to your cause. This will drive traffic to all your social platforms.

2. Emotional Content

Don’t underestimate what your team is already doing: playing at the heartstrings of donors. It’s important to get the content that you already have to go viral (blogs, videos, promotional advertisements, etc.). Blogging helps increase awareness and a donate button (we recommend Donorbox) can be added to make donating via the internet that much easier.

Also, promotional videos, vlogs, or other relevant content can be uploaded to YouTube. It is vital to make it as accessible as possible so that people are willing to donate. You can have links to your other social platforms on YouTube and remind your audience to subscribe to your channel. You can also create a blog and incorporate testimonials.

People love a good story and people love to hear good news and when you envelop that within the “Give me your money campaign” it encourages people to give them your money. By using content you already have, your nonprofit digital marketing efforts are contained to simply getting it out there. You don’t have to do extra work or even spend extra money.

3. Engage with your Audience

It’s important to maintain a relationship with your current donors, while also establishing new ones. Show them both your efforts with emotional content and also articles and links that they will enjoy reading and viewing. You can also provide them with an update of how your organization is going. Always share good news (reaching your fundraising goal, accumulating more donors, expanding your outreach, etc.) and welcome new donors on your website and social media.

Remember to thank your donors every time they donate. According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Report, donors will donate again if either given a gift or called to say thank you after 48 hours of donating. You can pay to have this automated or if your organization is small enough, have someone manually do this. When you thank them you can ask them to share it on social media, and this will grant you with the digital word-of-mouth.

Your nonprofit digital marketing campaign doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. These 3 tactics are all related to each other and can be done seamlessly. The most significant takeaway is that you need to have your marketing efforts work together, whether it’s digital or not, and not against each other. Make sure your teams know what each one is doing and they must work collaboratively to get it done.

It’s not only the marketing team’s job to get the word out there and it’s not only the development manager’s job to make the stakeholders and donors happy. It’s the entire organization’s responsibility to collaborate for an effective nonprofit digital marketing campaign.

What Services do Digital Marketers Handle?

Digital marketing is a crucial element to any successful modern business. The rise in e-commerce alone has made it impractical for businesses to neglect their digital reputation. By 2021, it’s been predicted that more than 2.14-billion consumers will be shopping online. That’s a lot of potential customers to miss out on for a lack of digital marketing management. 

Fortunately, for companies who want to take advantage of the digital marketing movement, but aren’t savvy in the way of computers, there are digital marketing services to help. Digital marketing services specialize in everything from websites to content creation. You can hire them as members of your team, or contract third-party services for a period.

Curious to know more about what exactly digital marketers do and which services they offer? Here’s a quick look into the types of services that digital marketers handle. 

E-mail Marketing

E-mail is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing available, and yet it’s as relevant today as it was when it was first introduced to the internet. In fact, 99% of all consumers look at emails at least once a day. This is staggering when you consider the potential it lends to your marketing plans.

E-mail marketing is so much more than sending out a weekly newsletter. It includes:

  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • Special instructions
  • Follow-ups
  • Promotional coupons and special offers
  • Customer loyalty program updates
  • Form delivery and retrieval
  • Welcome messages
  • Customer retention services

E-mail marketing can be both manual and automated. Automated services are simple to set up through most CRM software packages. Using templates and analytics reporting, you can create, manage, and review current e-mail campaigns and design new ones. Your digital marketing service can help you set up automated e-mail, or create content for manual email messages.

Chat Automation Services

Due to the popularity of social media and mobile phones, chat has become a staple in everyday communication for internet users. Unfortunately, because chat provides automatic delivery and response, consumers expect this kind of communication everywhere they go. While websites and social media can easily have chat platforms connected for quick and easy responses, there’s not always someone to operate them. This is where automated chat services come in to save the day.

Automated chat uses preprogrammed bots to reach out to or reply to your customers. Messages can be as simple as, “We’re currently out of the office, but will reply as soon as we see your message!” to a wide assortment of FAQ answers.

While chatbots are limited in their replies, they provide the promptness consumers have come to rely on. This offers the illusion that your company is always available, and your website is always active. Your digital marketing service can help install a chat source and create and program the bot to reply in the spirit of your brand.

Social Media Marketing

Social media provides access to billions of internet users from around the world. Your digital marketing service may offer a variety of social media-related services, like:

  • Content creation
  • Scheduled content distribution
  • Video creation
  • Social media chat services
  • Multiple platform syncing and management

The average internet user spends approximately 2-hours and 22-minutes on social media every day. That’s a prominent chunk of time to get your brand’s message heard and shared.

Website Design and Maintenance

Your website is like a digital business card. It provides a first and lasting impression of your brand and your online abilities. For many consumers, your website design will make or break their faith in you.

Digital marketers often manage web design and maintenance, including aesthetics, content, links, mapping framework, and upkeep.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising can be tricky. It involves choosing the right keywords and placing your ad in all the right spots. As the name suggests, pay per click ads, only require a company to pay out if the ad is clicked. Unfortunately, your ad could get clicked plenty and still never pay off if it’s in the wrong spot. A digital marketing expert researches the right keywords and locations for ads before placing them. This increases the potential for ROI.

Content Management and Distribution

The content you post is important to your image. It affects the way consumers view you, and the way search engines rank you. Digital marketers work with you to create content which speaks in the tone and language of your brand. Content is then scheduled for distribution and posted by your marketing service or automated for delivery.

Hiring the Right Digital Marketer

Hopefully, this look at digital marketing services has helped. When hiring a digital marketer, it’s important to choose someone who understands your brand and where you want it to go.