6 Things to Avoid When Hiring a Marketing Agency

... for a local business

For anyone who’s not an expert in this field, marketing strategies, SEO or social media can be like a maze. If that’s the case, navigating through it can get super difficult sometimes. However, that’s okay! Marketing agencies exist exactly for that reason — to help business owners and entrepreneurs efficiently use their business’s potential in the name of marketing. Naturally, you want your business to grow. You decided that it’s time for you or your firm to start working with a marketing agency. Good for you! But where do you start? How can you make sure that you choose the right one? There are so many questions that might seem tricky, but this list of things you should avoid will answer the most crucial ones.

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1. Research, research, research

All of us have been there- Not knowing what to do and what to look for in a field that we don’t really know that much about yet. It can feel that way in this kind of situation, as well. Of course, your choice needs to be wise because you are aiming for good results. Nobody ever hired a marketing agency thinking it wouldn’t be a gain. Spend your time looking through the internet. Don’t just go for the first link that pops up on Google because that’s usually not the right one. There’s a difference between organic and paid search results. Once you find an agency that catches your eye, don’t only go through their website. Look for customer reviews, use platforms like Quora to find information, read their blog if they have it, maybe even talk to someone they already work with or have worked with. Not doing your research could seriously hurt your progress. Learn more about them and make sure they offer exactly what your business needs.

2. All that glitters is not gold

Almost everybody has heard this saying and let’s just say it applies in marketing as well. “No marketing agency is perfect.” There isn’t any special key to SEO, Facebook Ads, emailing or any other marketing channel, that only they understand. Do they promise you’ll have “super fast results”? All the offers that seem way too good to be true ARE most likely too good to be true. Making your marketing strategies work is a process that takes some time. No agency can offer “the secret” to efficient marketing because there is no secret. Every business needs a different strategy and that’s a fact. Your marketing agency has to be the one that can do the most for your business specifically. They should be eager to learn about it and then work with it based on the business’s character.

3. Don’t go for the cheap

When it comes to buying things, it’s not a rule that choosing the cheap product is always a bad idea. But with marketing? Absolutely. You get what you pay for and it usually doesn’t work the other way round. If you find an agency that’s very cheap next to the other ones and offers amazing results and attractive service, but doesn’t have anything to prove it with, run away. These things don’t just happen. They most likely use black-hat techniques that could do more harm than good to your business and might get you penalized. It’s definitely better to pay for quality instead of going the way that looks easiest at first, but it almost always gets more complicated later.

4. Don’t pass on asking questions

Once you choose an agency and reach out to them, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Yes, it seems obvious, but this is actually a common mistake that many people do. Maybe they feel like they should know the answer, and asking about things they don’t understand could make them look like an amateur, but there’s nothing wrong with not knowing the answers. Be curious. You want these people to help your business prosper. You should know who you’re dealing with, just like they need to know as much about your work as possible. Before you come to the first meeting or do the first call, prepare your questions and everything you want to know.

5. Why stay local?

Your business may be local, but that doesn’t mean the marketing agency has to be too. Being good at the job and being from your city has nothing to do with each other. I’m not saying that your local marketing agency can’t be the best one for you, but if there aren’t any around that can meet your goals, don’t worry. The great thing about “online” is that it’s reachable from everywhere. Of course, face-to-face communication is precious and it’s certainly better if you can do it that way, but it shouldn’t limit you. Choosing your online marketing agency doesn’t depend on meeting in person. You can arrange a video call, write emails and use many different tools (like Google Sheets or Cyfe) that make the work easier.

6. Is the result worth the price?

It’s not necessary to know the exact amount of money you’ll be spending on online marketing, but you definitely need a clear budget before working with an agency. Services of most agencies are expensive, so that’s something you should think about before you engage with one of them. Going for an agency that’s too expensive isn’t the best choice, because businesses simply have to manage their budgets in order to thrive. On the other hand, hiring a marketing agency for their low price can cost you much more in the end. Quality takes time and time costs money. If you decide to work with an agency, make sure the price/ performance ratio meets your expectations.

Nobody can give you the exact guide to choosing a marketing agency to work with because every business is different and every business has specific priorities. First, you have to know what these are and then find the agency that can work with your priorities best. Think of everything you want to accomplish by collaborating with the agency. If your vision is clear, searching for your perfect marketing agency gets much easier. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while because the result will be worth it.

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7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert

We have all been there- investing into an ad that simply does not convert! We spend hours trying to figure out where the pain point lies and NOT being able to get it right… Your goal, as a business owner or marketer, is to get the most out of the investment that you put into any marketing campaign, right? Marketers call it the ROAS – return on ad spend. We are lucky to cooperate with many businesses that continually generate revenue on Facebook and, thus, grow their business. Thanks to this valuable data, we are able to bring you the 7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert. Let's dive in!


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Hype vs. Trend – What Really Matters for Your Business?

AI, Chatbots, Blockchain, self-driving cars, cloud-computing... You have probably heard of all of those, right? Do these terms represent trend or a hype? What is the actual difference between those two words? And are they important for you, as an entrepreneur who's just getting started? These are probably the questions that jump to your mind when hearing these buzzwords.


There is a HUGE difference between what stays and what doesn't. In other words, not everything will stick and change our behaviour. This is how we can define our keyword, trend: as a change in the behaviour, habits or ways in which things work. It is a constant change. Let me explain trend in a graph, as I am a visual learner and a numbers freak…

Trend Line
Trend Line

On the contrary, hype is something that simply occurs and fades away… without any lasting impact. If I spoke in graphs, hype would look like this:

Hype Line
Hype Line

When the terms are clarified, let us look at the history and point out some of the trends and hypes we, as humans on this earth, have been through…


  1. 1950 – Year when the first credit card was introduced

Presented by Diner's Club, the very first universal credit card came to use and was accepted by some establishments. Had it been just a hype, no one would be using credit cards today… Non-cash payment instruments play a huge role in our lives today – this trend changed our behaviour for good.


Now, imagine a bank not issuing a credit or debit card after opening an account – a business that did not catch the trend. This bank would for sure not survive in today's world…


  1. 2008 – The word shared economy was loudly spoken for the first time

… and changed the way we travel, transport ourselves and purchase goods. Startups like AirBnB or Uber have shown us there is a new way of ordering a taxi or renting a flat for a few nights. Have classic taxi companies had to react to this change? You bet they have!


You can probably guess where this is heading. There are a plethora of examples of trends that have changed our lives. These are real changes that – if businesses ignored them – could be very harmful... 


  1. Now – Podcasts, home voice assistants and voice orders

Here we go. 2019 and podcasts, home voice assistants, voice search, voice order and – you nailed it – everything that has something to do with voice is slowly changing the way we behave. Is this something you should keep an eye on? I believe so. Is this something that is about to change / threaten / boost your business? That truly depends on your business industry and approach.


On the contrary, hype can calmly be ignored (or shortly leveraged). Do you remember the Bitcoin bubble in late 2017? 


If not, let me briefly explain. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that was invented in January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Its price has been slowly rising since then, and in 2017, one Bitcoin was worth around 20,000 USD. With no real value behind it! In other words, so much money was invested in this currency that the price rose rapidly. An easy economic rule: when the demand rises (while the offer is limited), the price goes up. But what is crucial, is the value behind it. There was no value at all. And in January 2018...BOOM!

Bitcoin Chart (2018)

Identifying hype and trend can be crucial for the survival of your business. But no one really tells you how to get started. Well… saying that there is a manual would mean there is a way to predict the future.


But there are some ways to prepare yourself. As Gartner puts it: “Three key factors will ultimately enable you to identify the potential impact of a particular technology trend on people, business, IT and the technology market:

  1. New value. Identify clear business opportunities that this technology trend could help exploit, or challenges that it could help solve to produce better business outcomes.

  2. Level of digital disruption. Decide whether adopting this trend would mean changing your organization’s business model or inventing a new one. Could this new trend replace existing technologies or ways of doing business? How could this trend disrupt the technology market? Although, there will probably be opportunities for new providers, new trends can disrupt the services and performance of existing providers on which your organization may rely.

  3. Type of impact. Investigate whether the trend’s impact will be felt only within your organization, or whether it will have an external impact on your organization." 


Yes, you have to know your business and industry perfectly in order to answer those questions. If you decide to simply ignore everything that goes around you, you may get kicked out of business soon… But if you learn, build on your knowledge and keep an eye on the current trends & hypes (as you may not recognize them at the beginning), your chances will rise.


Build on your knowledge. Do not pay attention to what does not affect your business, but be aware of something that does…

We at groost.com are leveraging online advertising for small businesses, which has shown to be a strong trend that is here to change many industries. In 2018, for the very first time, 50 % of the world's population was online. Never before has the percentage of people with access to the internet been so high. And guess what… The number is rising. Is this a trend or a hype? You are now able to answer the question for yourself.


Are you up to date with what's on trend for 2019? Check the Gartner's research here: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/5-trends-appear-on-the-gartner-hype-cycle-for-emerging-technologies-2019

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No Professional Stuff. Be Natural. Leverage INSTASTORIES.

I know, I have been there too… You are about to create a piece of content — a nicely done cappuccino in your café or a beautifully pictured house that you want to sell. But how the heck do you begin? With no professional equipment or experience — you want to produce the best content for your social media profiles, business website or email campaign, right?

Well, how do you go about it? The key is you don’t have to be perfect, in fact, that’s part of the magic of this medium! Be natural, be spontaneous, and be active. Your new audience will expect funny, educational, engaging and UNPROFESSIONAL content. In a world where marketing aims for the ideal, your audience wants someone or something that they can relate to. A picturesque cappuccino is nice to look at, but what about a customer savouring their morning drink, only to burst out laughing because they have foam on their upper lip? Capture it and share it! Sometimes less is more. And something is always better than nothing

In this article, I will show you how you to use a (relatively new) medium that not only allows you to share your unprofessional and spontaneous content, but REQUIRES IT! This medium is called Instagram Stories aka Instastories. As the name says, it can be used on your Instagram profile (both personal and professional). Below see an example of what an Instastory looks like:

AirBnB Instastory
AirBnB Instastory

Let us first clarify what Instastories are. They are vertically shared pictures, videos, animations that were originally used by Snapchat. After some period of time, Instagram and Facebook implemented them and extended their platforms. Instastories disappear after 24 hours which makes them an instant, spontaneous and engaging piece of content.

But why should you actually care about them? How are they relevant to your business? As we regularly discuss in other articles, webinars and private Facebook groups, ask yourself a question before you get started: Can I reach my audience on this channel? Instagram is used daily by one billion users and Instastories by more than 500 million people. That truly means 500.000.000 people. Every. Single. Day.

Going back to where we began. You are probably asking yourself: “Do I need professional equipment, a best-of-breed creative studio with the best of the best?” Not at all. Be natural, be spontaneous, and certainly, go ahead, and be unprofessional! This platform requires it. Your audience expects you to be natural. They expect to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what your daily updates are — share with them the best moments that can describe you or your business. Tell STORIES! Because that is what this platform is about.

Let’s break the stereotype: You do NOT need to be a professional to create great, engaging content for Instastories.

Let’s get practical. How do you really begin?

  1. The premise is: You already have your business/ personal Instagram account (if not, get one).
  2. Visit the Instagram app and tap your icon (with the + sign) on the top panel/ or simply swipe right.
  3. The interface where you create Instastories will open up. Choose either to make a picture, create a video or choose any of your pictures/ videos in your gallery. The options you have when it comes to content creation are hundreds (check out all the features like Boomerang, Live Stream, polls or uploading Gifs to your story).
  4. After you are done, click “Send to” and choose either your Instastory platform (yes, this is the one) or send it to some of your friends/ followers.
  5. Done. Your Instastory will now be public. Make sure to check the results afterwards. You can see who watched your story (within the first 24 hours of posting it) and how they reacted.

You know how to get started. Get inspired before you jump into the content creation. See a series that shows some examples of really nice — BUT STILL UNPROFESSIONAL — Instastories which you can do within a few seconds.

There are plenty of cool features that you can use to make your content visually more appealing. Amongst them, there are live streams (even shared streams with other coworkers, partners, and followers), galleries of Gifs, options such as slow motion or boomerang effects, coloured backgrounds, many text fonts, polls, quizzes and questionnaires (ways to engage with your audience), chat windows and tons of emojis. Again, choose what correlates with your business image (branding). I may be repeating myself, but less is sometimes more…

Key takeways:

  • Instastories offer an opportunity to reach out to your audience — potential customers/ followers.
  • Be yourself! Be natural and spontaneous, when creating Instastories.
  • Do not insist on the best-of-breed equipment — less is sometimes more.
  • Follow the 5 steps stated above to get started with Instastories.
  • Inspire yourself with our Series of great examples of Instastories.
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How to Build Your Personal Brand

We’re all used to connecting the term ‘brand' with relationships to companies and products. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about right now. A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.) Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Now, where do you start and how do you build a brand for yourself?

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How Digital Advertising and Ad Pricing Works

The world around us has become digital. More than half of the people living on Earth are connected to the internet. That's almost 4.5 billion people. The interesting thing is that this all happened in only 28 years. Yes, 1991 was the year, when the World Wide Web, today's internet, was publicly launched.

Digital Around The World (Hootsuite)

But the biggest internet usage increase came with the arrival of social media platforms. 80% of internet users (January 2019, Hootsuite) are also active social media users. The leading platform, with 32% market share is Facebook. Combined with ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp, it makes 66% market share. Globally. In any case, YouTube, with 27% market share can be considered the second largest platform.

Popular Social Media Platforms

Facebook's market capitalization was 632.43B USD as of January 16th, 2020. This number makes Facebook the 5th biggest company in the world by the market cap. Even bigger, is the Alphabet (Google). It took 3rd place with a 1000.7 USD market cap.

You might ask, why are these companies so big, when their products are mostly free to use? The answer is advertising. Google and Facebook are the world's biggest advertising platforms. Companies spent around 170 billion dollars on Facebook and Google Ads in 2019 alone, and this number is still growing.

Major Global Digital Ad Sellers (eMarketer)

The fundamental difference between traditional and digital media is given by data that these platforms are generating. They capture every interaction of its users, so they know every user in detail. It allows targeting ads with many options, such as gender, age, location, relationship, income, home, interests, connections, generation, life events, ethnic affinity and much more.

Online Behaviors

You and your business can take advantage of it and use this platform to advertise your services or products to a very specific audience for a reasonable price. Usually a lower price (compared with traditional “offline” ads media) brings digital advertising closer to small businesses and freelancers.

Unlike traditional media, advertisers only pay for interactions. There are many cost structures digital advertising platforms are using and these are based on marketing objectives and overall campaign goals. 

CPC

Cost Per Click is the most common cost model used by almost all digital advertising platforms. It charges you, as an advertiser, for every single click completed by a user. It means that your ad contains an external link that redirects users to your website. The average CPC on Facebook is 1.72USD, but it varies across industries.

CPV

Cost Per View is a model built for video ads. You, as an advertiser, are charged every time a Facebook user sees your video. Keep in mind that Facebook considers a video as “viewed” after only 3 seconds.

The average CPV price is relatively low, somewhere between 1c to 15c, but it varies across industries. Price per view should always be compared with other metrics, like CTR, to see if it is effective.


CPM

Cost Per Mille is a pricing model, where you are charged per 1,000 impressions. An impression is when an ad is delivered to a user’s feed. If you are looking for an increase in brand awareness, this is how you will be charged.

CPA

Cost Per Action (Acquisition) is similar to CPC. You are not charged per single click, but for a specific action a user completes on your website. It can be form filling, an app install, event registration or for scheduling a meeting.

The average cost per acquisition on Facebook is 18.68 USD.

CPL

Cost Per Like is a cost model used for gaining business page likes. It is good for building brand awareness. It is usually low cost, so this could be a cheap way to promote your business page. Keep in mind, that this is effective only when your page is active and publishing content consistently.


At first glance, it might look complicated and confusing. But at the end of the day, this is what you and your business needs. It is a groundbreaking feature, because you can focus on reaching your target audience and through that, you can make your campaigns more cost-effective.

How is ad cost determined?

I mentioned several times that ad cost varies across industries and platforms. There is no fixed price per click/action, it is the subject of many conditions. Now, I will explain to you how it works, so you can create better and cheaper ads.

Google

Google's advertising platform, Google Ads, is a keyword-based PPC platform. It shows ads in a search based on the keyword the user is searching. It means, that if a user is searching “family car”, Google will show ads related to this keyword. If you're selling family cars, your ad shows up right in front of the user’s eyes. 

Unfortunately, it's not that simple, because you are probably far from being the only one who is selling family cars and advertising it. Google needs to decide whose ad to show. This process is called Ad Ranking. It takes your maximum CPC bid and multiplies it with the quality score.

Ad Rank = CPC bid * Quality Score

CPC bid

A maximum price you are willing to pay per a single click. This setting is completely in your hands.

Quality Score

Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It depends on multiple factors…

  • Click Through Rate – if your ad has a lot of views, but only a few clicks, it is a sign that your ad might be irrelevant
  • Landing Page Quality – if you are advertising “family cars,” but your landing page is focused on a sports car, Google will decrease your Quality Score
  • Relevance of your ad text
  • Relevance of keywords
  • Historical Google Ads performance

The higher the Quality Score is, the better price per click you will get. 

CPC = (Ad Rank of ad below you / Quality Score) + 0.01USD

CPC Calculation

Facebook

Facebook and Instagram ads, unlike Google's Search ads, aren't based on keywords, as these social media platforms work on slightly different principles.

Factors, that influence the cost of Facebook Ads are:

  • Ad objective
  • Bidding 
  • Audience
  • Ad quality
  • Industry

Ad objective

An ad objective is a clear and specific aim of an ad. It determines who Facebook shows your ad to. This can have an extreme affect on its cost. There are 3 main objective types that are divided into specific actions.

Awareness

Ads with the Awareness objective lead to increasing brand and local awareness, as well as gaining a higher reach and interest in your product or service.

Consideration

If your goal is to get people thinking about your product, drive more traffic to your web or generate leads, you should focus on this category.

Conversions

If your goal is to convert Facebook users to customers, then these types of objectives are for you.


Campaign Objectives

Bidding

The next factor that influences ad price is the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay. It's called bidding. You set a maximum price manually (or automatically, where Facebook calculates the best price for you) and then it competes with other advertisers in an auction. Take note that a higher price doesn't guarantee that your ad shows up. Facebook considers ad quality and user experience.

Audience

An audience, or target audience, is a group of people you aim your ad at. There are over 350 audience attributes to choose from, so you can be very specific.

Ad quality

Facebook is a visual platform and is considered to be a personal space for its users, where they are looking for creative and interesting content. So your ads should be, of course, creative and interesting. They should also be visually appealing, able to evoke emotions and they should match users' interests. This is what Facebook considers when scoring your ad.

Industry

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, ad pricing varies across industries. Here is a table that you can use as a benchmark and with which you can compare your results.

The Cost of a Click

How can you lower your Facebook price?

Optimizing an ad price isn't an easy process. There are thousands and thousands of combinations and it can take years to find the right formula. You basically have 3 options to optimize your costs.

Become an online advertising specialist

That's perfect advice, right? I know, this is probably not the best way to go for most people, because it takes a lot of time and energy to become a specialist. Being a social media specialist is a regular full time job, so if you are not ready to quit your current job, then this is probably not the way you want to go. 

Hire someone, who is already an advertising specialist

Hiring a freelance specialist or agency can be a way to effectively advertise. This option is usually more expensive, especially if you are a one-man-show and your marketing budget is tight.

Use marketing automation tools that make it easy for you!

There are dozens of marketing automation tools on the market. These tools simplify the whole campaign creation process for people, who have no time to learn everything necessary and don't have a sufficient budget. That's why we created  app. It helps small businesses run their campaigns without extra knowledge needed. Try it here, it's free!

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10 Facts to Know About Facebook Demographics & Stats

With 400 new users every 60 seconds, Facebook is not only the biggest social media platform, but it is continuously growing. Today, there are more than 2,4 billion users which is roughly 60% of all internet users. Nonetheless, some say its audience is getting older as younger internet users are getting excited about platforms like Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat. In this post, we will dig into the most important Facebook demographics and stats, so that you can get a better idea of who to target while creating your marketing persona and your plan on how to reach him or her.


Having a clear picture of how a channel grows is a key component to starting your marketing plan – promotion and content distribution. If you offer sneakers and target youngsters, relying solely on Facebook may not be the best tactic… Why? This audience is more likely to be found using social media platforms, such as Instagram or Tik Tok. Knowing your audience and stats behind the channels you want to use is crucial.


Let's finally dig into the most important Facebook demographics and stats!

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