With so many CRM’s, social media and digital communication platforms available today, an efficient and timely digital communication plan can seem like a lot of tedious work. It may feel overwhelming to keep track of so many channels, but it doesn’t have to be! Dandelions Digital has four software recommendations to make a one person marketing team’s process as seamless as possible without breaking your budget. With the help of HubSpot, Mailchimp, HooteSuite, and Eleo for nonprofits, your digital communications and customer relations management will feel like a breeze. 

1.HubSpot, a CRM and all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform, is designed for small and medium sized organizations and is built to help you both manage your sales pipeline and  customer base and implement inbound marketing to grow your business. “What is inbound marketing?” you might ask. An inbound marketing strategy can include a number of different channels and content types to attract customers to your website. HubSpot allows you to track all of your current and potential clients by syncing with your Gmail account  to see which clients you have interacted with in the past, and to pursue new ones through its communication capabilities. Discover more ways HubSpot can benefit your business here. 

2.Mailchimp can be an extremely useful tool for eNewsletters and email blasts. Their pre-built, customizable email automations make it easy to connect with the right person at the right moment — without doing the work every time. Whether you’re an e‑commerce, brick‑and‑mortar, or omnichannel retailer, Mailchimp’s all‑in‑one marketing platform will help you drive traffic, increase conversion, and grow sales. With Mailchimp, you can promote your business across email, social, landing pages, postcards, and more — all from a single platform. Within your audience, Mailchimp can  sort your customers based on tags if needed and distribute to certain residents or subscribers. This email content from Mailchimp can then be used for social media planning via Hootesuite. 

3.Are you tired of having to manually post to social media on multiple channels? HooteSuite has you covered! In a survey of 100 global brands from monitoring tool Pingdom, Hootsuite was identified as the top social media management system, with over 20% of the surveyed companies using it to manage their social media empires. Probably one of the most compelling reasons to use Hootsuite is the fact that it allows you to manage so many different social networks at once. Hootsuite currently allows you to manage:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook Pages
  • LinkedIn Profiles & Pages
  • Instagram
  • WordPress blogs
  • Vimeo, Tumblr, Evernote, Flickr, Mailchimp, Slideshare, Storify (via 3rd party apps)
  • Many more!

You can even add multiple pages from the same social network, which can be useful if you manage multiple Twitter channels or Facebook pages, for example. You can even post to multiple channels at the same time. HooteSuite is versatile – it will work on Mac OSX, Windows, Linux and mobile platforms, and even provides free social media reports via email. With HooteSuite, you can spend just one day planning all of your social media posts for the month and only occasionally post updates in the event of any last minute content changes. If you have the budget, another great social media posting tool that includes comprehensive analytics is Traject Social/SocialReport. This robust social media management software allows you to post to all your social media channels and can monitor website traffic, emails and even your competitor’s sites. Reports on activity are extremely comprehensive and offer insights on how your digital marketing is working.

4. For nonprofits, Eleo is our go to tool for donor managment We recognize the importance of donations and donor management for nonprofit organizations, and how taxing it can be to keep track of a large amount of donor information. Eleo is an affordable, innovative, easy-to-use online software that helps with every aspect of your organization’s fundraising and donor management so you can focus on something bigger. It manages nonprofit events, mailings, and volunteers in easy-to-use modules. With simple reports and dashboards, Eleo gives you the information you need to track your progress. Eleo’s software integrates with other software systems to make emailing, mailing, bookkeeping, donor insight, and online donations easier. The best part about Eleo? It starts at  only $39/month! 

Dandelions Digital recognizes the difficulties of managing the myriad tasks for municipalities  and nonprofits alike. We want to help you find the best resources available and ease your digital communication woes in the best possible way! For questions about any of these platforms, feel free to reach out to us for a quote or consultation!

Municipal governments communicate with their residents in a variety of ways: paper newsletters, social media channels, digital newsletters and website announcements. Sometimes it’s a coordinated effort and sometimes not.

The importance of a coordinated municipal communication plan becomes self evident during a crisis and unfortunately, this is also a time when municipal administrators are stretched to the limit.

Crisis updates from county, state and federal agencies are being sent to municipal employees with intense frequency while municipal departments that are essential still need to need to function normally. Municipal employees find themselves attempting to keep up with normal daily activities while managing a robust crisis communication plan.

While assisting our clients with their communication efforts during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come up with some solutions that help make communication efforts both coordinated and more efficient. Here are some things we’ve found have worked as we navigate crisis communications:

  • Keep your website updated. Update event cancellations, trash and recycling schedules and meeting cancellations.
  • Set up a Coronavirus landing page or pages on your municipal website. This can be used as a repository for information as you receive it from local, county, state and federal government.
    • The first page content should be general information about COVID-19 with links to more information from reliable government sources.
    • The second page of your Coronavirus micro-site (the “Latest Updates” page) can store your news flash/alert RSS feed. When you receive government updates regarding the crisis, post to your news feed with a category (ex. coronavirus) and embed that category’s RSS feed on your updates page.  This will enable you to post once and list twice on the website (on your news alert section and your coronavirus updates page). Most website developers would be able to help you with this.
  • Post updates to social media often – now is a good time to subscribe to a social media posting software like Hootsuite. It will make your job easier.
    • Link back to the information on your new Coronavirus micro-site or to the source site (county, state or federal).
    • Pin posts to the top of your Facebook page if they are important announcements.
    • Boost posts if you would like more people to see it. We suggest setting your audience at your municipality plus 10 miles for all ages and genders. You don’t need to spend more than $25 to $50 on a boosted post and we suggest running it for 2 to 5 days.
  • Keep Digital or Paper Newsletters on schedule. If you have a newsletter, residents are accustomed to receiving it regularly. Even though the latest crisis news will probably take precedence, you can still include other news and event cancellations.
  • Try not to over-email. Emailed News Alerts are a great tool but try not to overuse them. It’s important to keep  your email lists intact. Over-emailing can cause opt out. Posting to the website and social media sites are the best tools for frequent communication.

We know from working with our clients that municipal employees and officials work hard every day and are working harder during this crisis. We also know that every single one of them serves to keep government running and for the good of their local residents.  Please keep them in mind as we all weather the coronavirus crisis.

Audible, Twitter, Etsy, Facebook, realclearpolitics, Moore Brothers Wine Company, SoulCycle, and Bed Bath and Beyond. What do all of these companies have in common? They are flooding my inbox with unread and most importantly unnecessary emails, 7,746 to be exact. But besides these 7,746 unnecessary emails, I have several important emails among them that are filled with information I could not do without. One of them being the Media, PA eNewsletter, my hometown newsletter.

How often do you view your inbox and see emailed newsletters that you immediately delete or unsubscribe to? It happens often. Some marketing experts have been signaling the end of the eNewsletter era and have been blogging about new and very creative ways to digitally market in today’s world using new social media platforms and digital tools like videos, gifs and creative photography. However, email marketing still has its place and purpose in conjunction with social media. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, in the #deletefacebook era, it’s become a way to fight back against the algorithms that try to dictate what people see. Unlike on Facebook, with emailed newsletters, readers receive everything they signed up to receive, in neat chronological order, alongside missives from friends, family and their various communities.

Email marketing has its perks for sure. An email reader’s ready access to the “unsubscribe” button is largely a good thing for all involved, since it nudges email content creators to produce authentic, high-quality experiences rather than superficially engaging ones, and to connect in ways that are deeper than what advertising-first mediums like Facebook generally allow, says the Wall Street Journal. In addition, Email still has the highest return on investment per marketing dollar spent, according to the Data & Marketing Association. As digital marketers, we love learning about new and creative ways to market for our clients but in some industries, the monthly mailed newsletter is still the king of all digital marketing methods.

Consumer email services have been around for almost three decades, but to hear email’s most ardent fans talk about it now, it’s an undiscovered country too long neglected by those who could benefit from it the most. Municipalities, schools and non profits benefit greatly from emailed newsletters. Why you might ask? Because they all already have an engaged audience!  Residents and visitors to municipalities want to know what is going on. Schools can push information out to parents, alumni, and donors who will look forward to learning about what is going on at school.  Education World notes how Newsletters are an essential tool for schools as they can inform, educate and promote to your audience and can be a cornerstone strategy for your communication plan. Non-profit organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, already have a captive audience with donors. St Jude Children’s Hospital has a consistent newsletter that keeps different constituent groups updated and informed on all of their nonprofit organization’s endeavors, campaigns and volunteer opportunities so it promotes its brand, while supporters feel personally engaged. All of these types of organizations have audiences that are already engaged in one way or another.

Newsletters can ultimately be the most successful communication strategy for your targeted and already engaged audience. BtoB companies and some BtoC organizations might not see it as a crucial piece of their digital marketing in this day and age, but for non profits, schools and municipalities newsletters can be your bread and butter!

 

 

In the digital age of Alexa, it seems like our technologies know just about everything about us from our most recent purchases on Amazon to the latest Pinterest fail that we created for dinner last night. With information constantly being collected, businesses can learn more about your every wants, needs and interests. One vital tool that businesses can use to collect this information is Google Analytics. Here we discuss the many benefits of using google analytics for your business.

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Discussing the major benefits of google analytics, Digital Vidya describes Analytics as the collection processing, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage i.e. basically observing and analyzing a visitor’s behavior to a website.  Google Analytics specifically is a tool that provides valuable data about your website and easily integrates with Shopify and WordPress! Without data analytics, extending Geoffrey Moore’s famous quote, the businesses are deaf and blind, working in silos and without any real feedback; wandering on the web like a deer on the highway – waiting to die any moment. Google Analytics can point your business in the right direction and provides many benefits, however three stand out to us specifically.

The first (what we think is the most important benefit) is that Google Analytics is completely FREE! Yes Free, I said it. Google Analytics is free to both learn and free to use. There are of-course online Google Academy courses where you can learn Google Analytics for free in addition to multiple other sources/ channels which help you learn Google Analytics. Also, you can check out some good digital analytics training institutes, who provide personalized training and mentoring to help your grasp various concepts of Google Analytics and teach you how to use it effectively for real businesses.

The second benefit to Google Analytics is that it can analyze your sources of traffic. Diffusion Digital shows how knowing what the main sources of traffic are can give you insight to the strength of your SEO, your ad campaigns and other incoming links.  You can see whether your traffic is coming from your website directly, a newsletter, Facebook, Twitter etc. This information is extremely valuable in figuring out how to direct more traffic to your website.

The third benefit to Google Analytics is the information on visitors to your website. With Google Analytics you can find out what geographic location your visitors are coming from in addition to other factors such as age, and gender. In addition you are able to track their behaviors such as what devices they are using (desktop, mobile, tablet etc.) and whether they are a new or returning visitor. You can also see your bounce rate which is how fast your visitors leave the sight to give you insight on what pages are and are not effective.

There are many more benefits to using Google Analytics but using the information that you get from it is truly priceless. Knowing who is looking at the information you are putting out and how they are digesting it can help you better target your audience and make impactful website changes that in the end will help you build your brand! Pretty soon you will be on your way to having more knowledge than Alexa….someday. 

 

When you log in to your social media, what do you see? It often seems as if most of the content on your news feed includes pictures of food, political opinions, and your Great Nonna’s latest birthday congratulatory posts! Besides these most informative personal updates, social media can be a key tool in your business’s marketing strategy.

6a00d8341c59be53ef017c31f698a2970b-500wiSocial Media Platforms have become the norm for marketers nowadays, but what exactly are the most popular Social Media Platforms? In the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Stelzner explains how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were the top three platforms used by marketers with Facebook leading the pack by a long shot. More than two-thirds of marketers (67%) chose Facebook as their most important platform, followed by LinkedIn (12%), Instagram (10%) and then Twitter (5%). Using the many available social media platforms can benefit your business in more than one way as Seltzer explains.

It may be hard to determine whether your Social Media Posts are really making a direct difference on your business, but the results have been proven on a larger scale. Stelzner reports that Marketers using social media for more than 1 year have reported: improved sales, increased exposure, growing business partnerships, generating leads, increased traffic, providing marketplace insights, developing loyal fans and increased thought leadership. Of these benefits a significant 87% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business with increased traffic being the second major benefit. With all of these benefits clearly shown in the grand scale and Social Media being a free platform why not use it to its fullest advantage?

It is important to note that social media is more beneficial for B2B businesses in particular. In terms of growing business partnerships and marketplace insight B2B businesses can gain information that is extremely valuable.  B2B marketers are much more likely to use blogging (67%) when compared to B2C marketers (56%) as well. The difference is that these businesses can look at what is trending on social media platforms and learn from these trends and apply them to their business. Social media can also inform businesses on how to approach other businesses by getting a look at their branding.

With all of these benefits, how do you know what content will benefit you the most? In this case it is best to go with the trends. Seltzer claims that a large percentage (80%) of businesses use visual assets in their social media marketing and in second place was video (63%). Live video is also gaining wider adoption at 35%. Visual assets provide an easy way for other businesses to recognize your brand and provide an easy insight into their business.

With all of these benefits you have to think to yourself, when did you last post?