Lawsuits – Website Accessibility

The number of Federal Website Accessibility lawsuits has tripled in 2018!

That is, the number of lawsuits against companies alleging that plaintiffs with a disability could not use websites because they were not coded to work with assistive technologies or otherwise accessible to them exploded in 2018 with an alarming 177% increase from 2017! There are no signs of it slowing down either. 

In case you aren’t familiar with the regulations, Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA) is the guide used to provide website accessibility for disabled visitors. Because website accessibility is a civil right, there are a growing number of individuals taking legal action against companies who are not in compliance.

What can you do?  If you are newly designing a website or redesigning, it is imperative to design for inclusion! Make sure your web developer understands the regulations and is implementing them as the site is being designed.  If you currently have a website, have it reviewed for compliance and fix anything that would hinder accessibility.  

If you have any questions or need help with website compliance, give us a call or shoot us an email 315.797.5088, [email protected]m

Your ADA compliance specialist.

Why Your Business Can’t Survive on Facebook Alone

Why have a website when I can use Facebook to promote my business?

It’s a question that many small business owners are asking themselves lately.  Despite its current troubles, Facebook has proven to be one of the most versatile and heavily used form of social media by individuals and businesses alike.  With its wide marketing and networking reach, and a large platform upon which to exchange information, we have come to use it for just about everything from keeping up with friends to launching business marketing campaigns.  

However, what is often overlooked is the fact that Facebook is simply a great promoting tool with which to help get the word out about your business- but there are many reasons why Facebook simply cannot replace a good, solid website to serve as an anchor for your business and help bring in the steady sales.  Here are 6 top reasons why your business can use Facebook but needs a website.  

1. They’re NOT on Facebook.

Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t use Facebook, so you are missing out on significant numbers of potential customers if you go the Facebook-only route. According to statistics compiled by the digital media agency ISL, Facebook users aged 13 to 24 dropped more than 50 percent between 2014 and 2017. With growing concerns around privacy issues, other Facebook users are dropping off as well. While not everyone is on Facebook, almost everyone has access to the internet and can easily view a website.

And what happens if they have a Facebook account, but are not logged in? Say a potential client is searching their browser for your business and they find a link to your Facebook page, but they will need to log in before they can see your page. Some people don’t remember their passwords, or simply don’t want the hassle of going through the login process. You may lose potential customers who don’t want to keep clicking around and putting passwords in to view your information.

2. It’s a control thing.

As great as Facebook may be, we are all on rented real estate there. In fact, did you realize that Facebook actually owns your content- not you? However, if your business has its own website (a site where you own the domain), you not only own the content, but you also control the design and the way in which content is displayed to achieve branding and other marketing goals. And did we mention you own it? You have the option to change anything to suit your needs at any time. While Facebook may be a great tool to initially help pull in traffic to your site, you need a permanent hub for your business online, where you own the “real estate” and the way in which content is displayed. 

3. You decide when it’s time for a change.

Facebook is a fluid medium- not a solid landing page. Facebook can and does change its MO at any time. Should they decide to change their policies or the look and feel of their platform, it also applies to your page and the content therein. Recently, Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize content from friends and family in the newsfeed, which means business posts are now pushed to the bottom. With a website, you are always front and center stage with your audience, allowing you to not only capture user’s attention but also showcase your business under your own terms.

4. There are “likes” and then there are analytics.

Oh, it’s a great feeling when someone likes your business page, isn’t it? But aside from the warm and fuzzy vibes, what else can you glean about your potential consumers from that? Not much. However, if you have a website and run Google Analytics, you will know how many people visited the site, which pages they looked at, and exactly how long they stayed. Now that helps you get somewhere. Using this data, you can tweak your site to maximize the website experience for your users, resulting in more ROI for you.

5. Get involved, get more engaged.

Most consumers perform a Google search on products or services that they are interested in. Having a website allows you to be a part of the results of those Google searches (and with some good SEO, possibly come up in the top three!). You can essentially be open for business 24/7, which will only help your business gain the customer base that you are looking for. You can then use website features like email, chat apps, and contact forms to stay connected with your customer base and further promote your business.

6. Your website reflects who you are 

Let’s face it: at the end of the day, your Facebook page screams Facebook. Your business is an extension of who you are- your goods, your goals, and your message. Your online presence should be all about you and your company’s mission. In addition, social media trends change all the time and sometimes without warning (what was MySpace again?). However, a website will highlight your logo, your colors, your marketing goals, and your mission statement.


So, the bottom line is that Facebook is a great tool that every business should use to promote itself and drive traffic in. However, it is in no way a substitute for a smart website that can fully engage your potential consumer, provide measurable results, and give you the option to tweak components as you see fit in order to get the maximum results for your business. And your customers will always know where to find you.

 

Let’s talk!

Online Marketing Changes That Will Matter in 2019

It’s hard to believe the year is already coming to an end. Hopefully 2018 was a successful year for you and your business or organization. It has been a big year as far as marketing and advertising trends go, so that means our business strategies have to adjust alongside them.

With the constant increase in internet use, social networks especially adapt their platforms to conform to consumer demands. Research shows that in 2019, people’s time using of the internet per day will catch up with the hours spent watching television-that’s close to 2.6 hours a day! With this in mind, businesses must acknowledge that consumers are surfing the web for almost three hours a day… making your online marketing and advertising strategies there even more important.

Let’s look back at the major marketing changes and trends of 2018, as we plan for 2019.

Social Media Algorithms

Change was on the wind in 2018. Facebook Founder/ CEO and now Instagram owner, Mark Zuckerberg, said, “you’ll see less…from businesses, brands, and media..[posts] should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” As a result, content posted by individuals in close circles and families is now prioritized, making it more difficult for ads and promotions from businesses to show up on feeds. So what does this mean for your business? Perhaps, Facebook and Instagram won’t be as reliable as they have been in previous years for encouraging visibility and driving traffic to your business or website. You may want to try branching out into an alternative marketing strategy on social media, such as using paid ads or micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are non-celebrity individuals who nonetheless have a strong, established following on social media, and can therefore promote your business or product to thousands of people through their social media channels.

Content That is Voice-Search-Friendly

Voice searches aren’t just a feature on our phones anymore – devices like Amazon’s Alexa are carving out a significant niche in our homes. So as consumers increasingly perform searches on devices like this, businesses’ content must also accommodate for such searches. Incorporating natural conversation language, framing content around questions, and using longer phrases (or even full sentences) for keywords now has to be common practice for writing online search marketing content. As of now, 2 out of 5 adults perform a voice search at least once a day. Analysts say that in 2020 it’s possible that 50% of all searches will be made through voice prompts. Will customers be able to find and purchase your products or services this way? Make 2019 the year to implement changes to your plan if necessary.

The Views Are in The Videos

The dominating trend for posting on social media platforms has become videos. It also helps that Facebook and Instagram algorithms favor videos, so that’s a plus! Videos evoke emotion, they show your current and potential customers that you’re credible, vulnerable, and authentic, ultimately leading to higher conversions, compared to photo and text brand awareness, yielding higher return on investment. It doesn’t hurt that smartphones nowadays capture amazing videos, so you get to give viewers an appealing inside look at your business. And statistics don’t lie. According to research, 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than read social media posts, 67% of live viewers say they are more likely to purchase a concert ticket to see a band or attend an event if they’ve seen a live stream of a similar event online, and 64% of consumers say watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision in the last month. Time for your business to get that video rolling.

Make Your Plan For 2019

Being ahead of the game means not only staying current with the latest trends, but also looking ahead at the ones currently forming for the upcoming year. Want your business to stand out in 2019? Let us help you incorporate some of these new marketing strategies into your plan for the new year. Brockett Creative Group is a full-service marketing and advertising agency with that exact goal in mind – to know and grow your business with the most up-to-date strategies performed with excellence.

Oh Snap! Your Business Needs to Take Snapchat Seriously

Think Snapchat is just a digital playground for kids? Think again! Once used exclusively by the younger generation, Snapchat is quickly gaining momentum as the next biggest thing for businesses in terms of serving as an incredibly effective marketing tool. Just have a look at the numbers. It is estimated that over 7 billion photos and videos, or “snaps,” are shared on Snapchat every day. Roughly 8,796 snaps are sent per second. And with over 166 million users, businesses can no longer overlook Snapchat as a great potential to grow and strengthen their brand.  In fact, recent trends show that the popular video and photo-sharing app is quickly becoming the latest marketing platform used among both large and small companies.

According to its founders, Snapchat was intentionally designed to be a conversational tool with which users could share stories—rather than content—with their audience. These stories, in the form of “snaps,” could be viewed and would then automatically disappear, mimicking the ebb and flow of real moments in our lives. Because of this unique feature, combined with its casual, upbeat vibe, it became wildly popular with the younger generation. However, it is also because of this feature that it naturally lends itself to being a great marketing tool for businesses.

If you are thinking about marketing on Snapchat, some considerations to take a look into are your target audience demographics, the objectives of your marketing program, your budget, and how your brand is performing on other social media platforms.

Want to get in on the trend while it’s still cutting-edge? Here are some great ways to utilize Snapchat to effectively market your business.

  1. Fully embrace the photo/video feature.

    Snapchat’s unique platform allows users to weave photos with video, and customize them by employing fonts, digital crayons, and filters. This results in extremely vivid, media-rich content that tends to stick with the viewer much more than standard photos or text. Start your business’s “story” to give your audience an in-depth look at who you are, what you do, and why they should become invested in your brand.

  2. Put your lenses on.

    Snapchat’s “lenses” are digital enhancements that the user can overlay onto a snap, thereby enhancing the image in a fun, whimsical way. This feature can bring big results to companies looking to increase brand awareness. For a fee, businesses can sponsor lenses advertising their product. This lens will be available to users to fully engage with the brand (and subsequently broaden its reach) as they employ it on their snaps.

  3. Establish Geofilters.

    Geofilters are a great way for businesses or organizations to advertise local events or promote certain causes. Using a location-based filter, users can employ specific graphics pertaining to their location on their snaps. This is a great way for your business to drive a campaign on either a national or a more location-specific level.

  4.  Create Snap Ads.

    With its ability to catch and hold the attention of nearly double the number of viewers as compared to Facebook ads, a Snapchat ad offers 10 full seconds of video with optional audio, to which advertisers can add interactive attachments for users to engage with while within the app. This highly interactive advertising option allows users to fully engage with your brand, allowing businesses to enjoy a great ROI.

  5.  Get creative.

    Here is where Snapchat pulls to the forefront in terms of its creativity and versatility as a great marketing tool. Capitalizing on its fun, spontaneous, and easygoing vibe, Snapchat offers a great platform for marketers to get really creative with campaigns. One such tactic that has produced great results for larger corporations is Snapchat “takeovers.” This involves companies handing over their Snapchat accounts for the day to an employee, intern or other influencer. Obviously not done without some basic prearranged ground rules, this tactic allows the target audience to see authentic promotion of your brand while also keeping the material fresh, unique, and engaging.  In this way, companies can also offer promo codes, run special promotions, or offer their target audience sneak previews or a look behind the scenes.

If you are looking for the next greatest thing in marketing, Snapchat may be your answer! This immersive video and image advertising experience is truly what affords Snapchat a leg up on its competition and inherently allows those who advertise through this medium a significantly more powerful, and thusly effective, marketing campaign. Before you get started, remember that the nature of Snapchat is light and fun, but highly engaging. Try to keep your material within these parameters organically. Additionally, don’t overwhelm your audience with material- try to post 3-4 times per day, about 3-4 hours apart. The best part is that you shouldn’t take posting too seriously! If you are enjoying the process and letting your creative juices flow, your audience will too. And that can only mean great things for marketing your business.


Brockett Creative Group has been delivering best-in-class website, marketing, and branding services to our clients for over 15 years. For more information about our services, or to get started with a Snapchat marketing campaign for your business, contact us today!

3 Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Google Grant

Are you a nonprofit working to generate more traffic and interest in your organization? Do you want to raise more money for your cause? Would you like to accomplish all of this, and receive up to $10,000 per MONTH in free advertising? We thought so! Here are three reasons why your nonprofit organization needs to apply for a Google Ads grant.

No Cost to You

We’ll start here: it’s free.  The Google Ad Grant program is a donation-based program designed to provide free, in-kind advertising to approved 501(c)(3) nonprofits as a way to help them reach a more global audience, translating into more awareness and therefore more donations. Basically, it allows you to promote your organization on the internet via text-ads. With over 40,000 Google searches per second (yes, per SECOND) and over 3.5 billion searches per day, Google has become the number-one tool through which to reach your donors, volunteers, and consumers. With no cost to you and up to $10,000 in free advertising per month, you can use your financial resources for what matters the most- your cause.

Raise more awareness for your cause through highly specialized ads

With a Google Grant, Google’s advertising and marketing team will work for you, by creating unique and specialized ads that market your nonprofit to the right audience, increasing your brand visibility where it matters most and resulting in high-conversion traffic to your site. Additionally, when a viewer clicks your ad, they will be sent to the strongest page of your website (the page that leads to the most action), instead of just being sent to the home page. There, they will at once be met with information about who you are, a call to action that will encourage them to donate, join your mailing list, become a member, etc, thus translating into more support for your cause.

Promote your nonprofit with a Google Ads Campaign

With advertising dollars you receive from a Google Grant, you will be able to bid on keywords so that your ad will display above or alongside a competitor’s ad. Bidding on Keywords will help bring your ads to the top, and if they’re not, Google Grant’s team will help you figure out why, and fix it. In this way, your nonprofit can expand its reach by utilizing certain keywords to make sure that your ads are seen by the right people. If your site also provides strong, relatable content, your viewers will want to stay, and keep coming back, which can only benefit your organization to help you succeed in achieving your goals for success.


At Brockett Creative Group, we specialize in applying for, setting up, managing, optimizing, and maintaining Google Grants on your nonprofit’s behalf. If you are interested in receiving up to $10,000 a month in free advertising, contact us today to set up your free consultation.

Types of Google Ads

Each business, organization, and non-profit organization has a different approach to successfully marketing itself and gaining customers.  Fortunately, there are different Google Ads options to help everyone achieve their goals in a way that best suits them. No matter which kind of business is yours, you are sure to find the right kinds of Ads that will generate traffic and profit by reaching the right people at the right time- specifically, those who are most likely interested in the product or service that you offer to get you a great ROI.

It all starts with a campaign, a budget, and relevant keywords- and you’re ready to advertise through Google Ads!  At BCG, we specialize in helping our clients choose and launch the campaign that produces the best results for them. Here is a great guide to help you get started.

Search Network

One of the easiest ways to reach potential customers is to show your ads to those who are already searching for your specific product or service.  A Search Network Campaign only shows your text ads when someone searches for terms that include or are relevant to your ad’s keywords.  For example, if you own a window replacement business, your ads would appear when a search is done for “home improvement.” Your ads will appear near Google search results, thereby advertising your organization to high-potential customers.

Display Network

Unlike the Search Network, the Display Network allows you to advertise more broadly, and to people who are not necessarily searching just for your specific keywords or product.  As part of a campaign designed to pull in new customers as well as re-market your product to those who may have shown previous interest, the Display Network employs engaging, appealing ad formats to catch the attention of potential customers.  Here, Google also uses automated targeting by strategically using your existing audiences and landing pages, leading to more conversions.

Shopping

A shopping ad is designed to promote local or online inventory by boosting traffic to your website or store.  Through photos, title, price, and location of the product, these ads give users a sense of what you’re selling before they even click the ad.  Shopping ads don’t use keywords- instead, they use your product data to determine where to show your ads.

Video

Any business can benefit from creating a video- whether it’s simply to promote your product or service for the first time, or to keep your audience engaged with fun updates and new content.  This type of campaign show video ads across the Google Display Network or within other platforms like YouTube.

Universal App

This ad platform is fit for those who have an application to promote across Google, Google Play, and Youtube.  Through adding a few lines of text and a bid, Google Ads will help lead to more app installs, and in-app action.  Google’s systems test which ads are performing the best and generating the most value, and will show them to audiences more often.

Here to Help

Now that the Internet has become the primary way to promote products and services, it is fundamental to have a strong online influence in the midst of the growing competitive market.


As a Google Partner, Brockett Creative Group is certified by Google to create and manage your company’s Google Ads so that you can reach your goals in the way that best fits you. Contact us today to get started on your Google Ads Campaign!

There is No Denying It, Google Ads Work!

Online advertising is the most highly recognized way to market a business or organization, and it’s essential that your business is noticed online and by the right audience. Google Ads, formerly Google Adwords, is one of the most effective paid online advertising systems used by thousands of different organizations. It’s super flexible to fit the exact needs and wants of your business. Here are just some of the ways Google Ads can amplify your business:

Exact-Audience Targeting

Creating an Ad with Google is special because it lets you target exactly who would want what you have to offer. By properly setting up and modifying your campaigns, Google makes your ads visible only to people who are likely to become your customer, opt-in to your email list, or positively respond to your call to action.

Refine Your Strategies For the Best Results

Google Ads provides you with fast, transparent results based on how your ads perform, to help you make adjustments accordingly and continually track your campaigns- making them the best they can be. It’s of great value to see details like which keywords consumers use to find your website, their location, the devices they use, and the days and times at which they search.

No Money Wasted

Once your Google Ads campaign is up and running and you’ve caught on to customer habits, you can have such a distinct audience that you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. With the information and analytics Google uses, your ads will probably only show to the exact people you want to target, making every dollar count.


Google Ads is becoming a “must” to grow and sustain your business within the heated online competitive market. As a Google Partner, Brockett Creative Group is certified by Google to create and manage your company’s Google Ads campaign.