3 Reasons Why Your Business NEEDS Social Media Marketing

November 15, 2016

Every business owner understands this principle: in order for your business to grow quickly, it needs to be able to reach a wide target audience in the least amount of time as possible. Makes sense, right?

Research reports that 2 in 3 adults use social media. That’s a lot of adults sifting around social media posts every single day. If your business isn’t on social media, you simply aren’t marketing to the over 1.3 billion daily active users between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Here are 3 reasons why your business needs social media marketing.

1. Consumer Reach

Social media is the tool every business needs to reach a massive audience in a small period of time. With advertisement options, organic sharing and referrals, and the mere massive size of the active social media audience, you can reach millions of consumers overnight.

2. SEO

Sites that constantly earn traffic make their way to the top of the organic SEO rankings. What’s one incredibly effective way to direct traffic right to your website? Social media. Content strategies for SEO are the most important part of earning top search engine ranking spots today.

3. Brand Loyalty

Consumers have A LOT of options today. There are millions of competitors in every single niche industry, and it’s not so easy to distinguish yourself from the competition. One incredibly effective way to get around this obstacle is by building brand loyalty for your platform. If you develop an interested and engaged core base of consumers, they will post about your company, tell their friends, and share your content with their hundreds of acquaintances every single time.

Give your business the digital voice it deserves!


Reinventing Your Business

December 31, 2014

It is believed that Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent species who will survive, but those who can best manage change,” and this rings true in several areas, including managing your business. Companies must adapt to an ever-changing economy and consumer base in order to succeed long-term; thus, reinventing your business is crucial.

Reinventing Your Business

When things start to dwindle, it’s important to recognize it and do something proactive before it’s too late. Stall Points, written by Matthew Olson, suggests companies who stall in growth and development have less than a 10 percent chance to ever fully recover. Two-thirds of stalled companies will be acquired, taken private or forced into bankruptcy. The upside is if you recognize the signs early (like complacency or little to no growth) and make strategic efforts to better the organization, you could come out on top. When reinventing your business, consider the following tactics:

  • Tweak your business model.
  • Throw it all out and create a new business model.
  • Take a calculated risk.
  • Change industries entirely.

An example: IBM began as the 1984 computer king, specializing in a streamlined production process for ready-made computers. By 1993, IBM had exhausted its time on Wall Street, as competitor prices drove them out – ultimately leading to an $8 billion loss. Fast forward to 2010; IBM had acquired over 200 companies in the IT services sector, and by 2013, IBM was back. This time, though, as the number one company in enterprise server solutions. The company changed its whole business model after recognizing the trend their company was headed to. So how can you look forward and adjust different areas of your organization to stay relevant?

Analyze where your company currently stands. Identify your group’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and threats to the organization. Use these realizations to define changes you’d like to make in order to improve your company’s overall operation and reputation. All things need sprucing up from time to time, and reinventing your business is one way to stay savvy and ahead of the curve in whatever industry you work in.

Are you interested in evaluating and improving your business strategy? Please contact the team at Van West Media for a discussion and quote.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

5 Things to Expect from Digital Marketing in 2015

December 30, 2014

Things to expect from digital marketingOver the past year, digital marketing has seen great changes and growth in several areas and is poised for another year of progression. Are you wondering what to expect in 2015? Blogs and articles detailing areas in which marketing will change are rolling out across the web, and we’ve compiled a list of the top five things to consider priority as we move into the new year.

  1. Content is still king.

With continual changes to Google, content is shaping up to be a focus in 2015; although the strategy behind your content should be thoroughly planned. If you want to influence the success of your business, consider what your content is, where it is and what it really says. Keep in mind that engagement as an algorithm is taking into account how long users stay on a particular page or post, as well as how many users click on page links to measure the value of published content.

Content should be relevant to your brand and message, but don’t let your company fall from the first page of Google. Optimizing your messaging for search engines is necessary, and we can help with our SEO-integrated content strategy model. Our strategic model takes into account your owned social media platforms, as well as your search ranking positions through targeted keyword analysis. Our SEO and social media optimization (SMO) work in tandem to lead your company in the right direction.

  1. Digital marketing analytics will expand.

We all are aware that marketers use many analytics tools to see how customers are interacting with a client’s products and services. In 2015, analytic spending is expected to increase by 60 percent, which tells us that collecting data on consumers is increasingly important to companies and marketers alike. With a plethora of channels, companies are seeking now more than ever to quantify their efforts, and this year is sure to be one for measurement.

  1. Personalization is key.

Although organizations have been saying it for years, it’s crucial that companies treat their consumers as individuals instead of segmented groups. Thanks to a focus on data analytics, we can better influence audiences and increase engagement by marketing specifically to them.

Last year, personalized content increased companies’ sales, enticed users to stay longer on websites and built customer satisfaction and retention. It’s expected to be a go-to practice in 2015, further developing the concept of 1-on-1 marketing.

  1. Don’t disregard mobile.

Similarly to 2014, we predict mobile advertising will continue to grow in 2015 as apps’ numbers increase and access to consumer data becomes accessible across large mobile advertising networks. With consumers spending nearly three hours a day on their smart phones, many predict to see a huge increase in location-based ad platforms in 2015.

  1. Online advertising budgets will increase.

Online advertising budgets are predicted to increase by 10 percent in 2015, and mobile advertising in expected to rise globally by 48 percent. Between the two, it’s almost certain that the cycle will continue to grow and develop, ultimately allowing for more hyper-local consumer targeting and increased online spending by consumers. If you’d like to boost your digital presence, we can help.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

The Next Media Evolution: YouTube Channel News

May 29, 2013

Online media and news spreads faster than on any other network including television and print media. This is due to the versatility of its nature. Anything online can be seen on a desktop or on mobile. CNN and BuzzFeed are collaborating to bring television news into the online world by launching an entertainment and video news channel on YouTube called CNN BuzzFeed.


“There has been a massive cultural shift in how people—particularly young people—consume news and entertainment,” Steinberg said. “Over 70 percent of BuzzFeed’s traffic is social, almost half is mobile, and we are seeing these huge shifts earlier than others because the majority of our readers are 18-34.”

With 60 million users, BuzzFeed already has a strong presence on the web. They have also been making steps to include more substantial news to their site by adding a business-news section. By collaborating with CNN, BuzzFeed is expanding on that idea. CNN, on the other hand, is also at an advantage as they are trying to stay relevant among the younger generation to boost their ratings.

“By pairing the journalistic strength and reach of the CNN brand with BuzzFeed’s unique editorial approach and young audience, our partnership will enable both organizations to engage new audiences,” K.C. Estenson, svp of CNN Digital, told the Journal.

This new collaboration looks like the next big thing as people are able to watch and spread the news quicker. The advantage of having the news on a YouTube channel is its mobility and the ability to share the link on social media networks. This media evolution is the start of news for the future and is sure to grow.

Don’t Burn Your Brand In Public

May 15, 2013

Brands always want customer awareness but how much is too much? Through social media, the connection between a company and its audience becomes a personal one. You are able to read each other’s thoughts and understand each other better. However, it’s important to maintain a great relationship, especially because these messages are seen with the public eye.

There will always be people who disagree with you and those who are not satisfied, but you have to remember to stay positive to keep your business running. By letting others get to them, Amy’s Baking Company Boutique and Bistro burned their brand to the ground. As Gordon Ramsey gave up on this restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. on his show Kitchen Nightmares, the owners felt the need to defend themselves to the public. However, it wasn’t pleasing to see as they had a massive meltdown in public.

With several Facebook status rants in all caps, it was clear they were freaking out and this drew negative attention towards them.  They also swore and threatened to pursue legal action against Yelp and Reddit, claiming that God was on their side. None of it was pretty and this public breakdown came back to haunt them.

This poor restaurant suffered through the carelessness of owners Amy and Sammy. They demonstrated a valuable lesson for all business owners out there. Through stressful times, it’s important to keep calm, stay proud and think of the positives. Gordon Ramsey may be a renowned chef but he is only one man. If the restaurant had customers coming in, they must’ve done some things right with their business. Stay aware of your actions, especially those on the internet that can are publicly displayed and can easily be spread as well. Don’t burden yourself with even more problems when you only started out with one minor one. It’s impossible to please everyone so just think about how you’re positively affecting others and work from there to make your business grow.

Why You Should Never Delete Your Facebook Friends

May 7, 2013

“Just cleaned out my friends list on Facebook! If you can still see this status, you made the cut!” Yes, because nothing says friendship like a Facebook official friendship.

Social media has become a valuable aspect in our lives that defines things “officially.” When Facebook first started, you added EVERYONE. You just met this girl in the bathroom of a frat house last night? Why not add her on Facebook! The advantage of these actions in the early stages of Facebook is that pretty much everyone you know became a part of your social network.


With adding people to define friendships came deleting people. Whether it was passive-aggressive technique to evoke a certain reaction from the other party or a “Hi. I never talk to you in real life so why should I continue to be Facebook friends with you?” thought, people have been “cleaning out” their list of Facebook friends. These online goodbyes are made in a purely social aspect but is there more to that by being someone’s Facebook friend?

From friendships to relationships, we see how people are connected to one another through social media. However, the most valuable aspect of it all is usually overlooked. What adds value to social media is the business networking potential of these connections. Through a Facebook page, you can see where people attended school, where they reside now, where they are working and so many other things without even having to speak to your so-called Facebook friend. If you were interested in a job field or needed a service provided to you, you can simply go on Facebook and see what your friends have to offer.


You have more knowledge of your Facebook friends than you do of a service you found on Yelp or a human resources agent in a large corporation. With this in mind, you can speak more openly about your opinions and really get to know things. You can also see the benefits of working at a company based on the accomplishments your friend has made. On top of all this, not only do you get your friend’s opinions, but you can also get mutual friend’s opinions as well. You know the personality of your friend and the potential they have, which also gives you an advantage for how it’d be if you worked at the same company or used her services.

There are so many benefits to just having a connection on a social network so think about this before you decide to delete your friend on Facebook. You probably never looked at social media this way but the business possibilities are endless with this route. From friends to friends of friends, the potential for success in this manner is much higher than just simply applying for a job with no referrals or searching for the top services online. Connections are everything in life as they get you what you want where you want it so take advantage of your social media network.

BYOD in the Workplace

May 2, 2013

As the business world thrives in technology, mobility is key in this fast-paced industry as many companies are already using the “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” method in their workplace. People want what they want when they want it. This may refer to a business meeting in a coffee shop, a conference out-of-state or an elaborate opening at a store. Work doesn’t only take place in an office and as time goes on, business employees may not even have a specific office to congregate in. The old-fashioned ways of a business strictly in an office space may be necessary for an entire company to have official meetings but technology has made it possible for everything needed for a business to occur remotely.


With web-based project collaboration sites like Basecamp and Github, members of a project including advertisers, designers, developers and the clients themselves can reach out to one another about a project. Meetings can be scheduled on a universal calendar, discussion can be made throughout and files can be easily uploaded and retrieved from any device. Questions and concerns can also easily be answered on the go through a smartphone or tablet as well as a desktop due to these web-based features.

Mobile phones rather than an office phone also link you to your clients on a more personal level. You don’t want to be like any other business where your client can just be another lead among the masses. You want to connect with them that makes them feel special so that they feel like they are getting the best of your services accustomed to them. A personal relationship is unlike a professional one but if you can combine the two successfully, your bond will be stronger than ever. It’s important to connect with clients in this manner to build a strong company that is close to your client base.


The convenience of a mobile device also adds to building a great company. With meetings in several places and a numerous amount of clients to satisfy, people want to feel like you are “always there for them” to help them with their every need. There is a huge difference in satisfaction when a client is leaving a message with your secretary and when they are leaving a message directly to your cell phone. They will feel more connected on a personal level and be more likely to expect a response from you.

In today’s world, smartphones can do almost anything from sending and receiving calls, texts and emails to browsing the web. It’s important to take advantage of the opportunities mobility can provide us. By having this method available for your employees, it’s easier to keep track of what is going on with projects and to contact one another regardless of where they are. The future will eventually be mobile so you might as well get a head start and take advantage of these opportunities now.

A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar.

April 22, 2013

No, this isn’t a post in tribute to Dashboard Confessional. This is a post to emphasize the purpose and necessity of a strong mission statement and tagline to market you and your company. It’s important to understand the impact these two things can do for you.

Define Your Mission. Treat your mission statement like your mantra. It should be the reason you get up in the morning, the reason why you do what you do at your job and most importantly, why your company even exists. According to Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of the Start“, it doesn’t have to be difficult, but rather appropriate and heartfelt. This statement is for you. It may not be readily marketed or recognizable but it’s there to motivate your company and keep them aware of the why you are doing what you do. Kawasaki states, “Make meaning, not money.” This is of utmost importance as the greatest companies are built around these three meanings: increasing the quality of life, righting a wrong or preventing the end of something good.

Here are some popular examples:

    • Wendy’s – “Healthy fast food”
    • FedEx – “Peace of mind”
    • Nike – “Authentic athletic performance”

Know Your Audience. Your tagline, on the other hand, should be a familiar marketing phrase that emphasizes your mission statement to the masses. These specific group of words placed together should emphasize of what you are all about. When people see this combination of the english vocabulary, they should immediately think “Oh, that’s so-and-so” and directly relate it to you. When you saw the title of this post, did you think “Dashboard Confessional’s 2006 hit album featuring ‘Hands Down’?” If so, you get exactly what I mean. If not, maybe you’re just not correlated to the soft-core punk music genre of unenthusiastic melodramatic 17-year-olds in the 90s. It’s understandable that not everyone will get it as long as the group of people you are marketing to do.

Define Your Story. The story behind your company is much more important than the mere grouping of words that people relate to you. It is what gives meaning to those words and your company; what differentiates you from the rest. What are your aspirations and how can you encourage your audience to strive for them as well? A great tagline captures the entire story of what you’re all about in a phrase.

Finalize Your Message. Have a brainstorming session of key words and mixtures of them to see what clicks. It’s important to understand that a clear message is better than a clever one. Simplicity is key. By having puns, slang or a vague message, you are hindering your capability of conveying what you are about to the masses. Check to see if people with little to no knowledge of your company can translate your tagline successfully.

As a Silicon Valley author, speaker, advisor to Motorola and one of the Apple employees responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984, Guy Kawasaki presents “The Art of the Start.” This book and presentation is of mass construction at an entrepreneurial standpoint. Take a look at the video to get an insight of this entrepreneur evangelist.

Click to watch “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki Video

Marketing is Content

March 6, 2013

The key to successful marketing is to have your content geared for your audience. There are several key components to achieving the “best” there is to offer for your customers.
GHO presents a chart explaining the different ways for your business to capture the attention of your audience in the long run.

Some businesses make the mistake of focusing on just one of these aspects and either disregarding or barely focusing on the rest of the areas. However, when you think about it, what good is a beautiful site or product that doesn’t doesn’t evoke a purchase or participation with people? What does something so full of impact do for others if it can’t be accessed on mobile devices and spread throughout? These are important questions to consider when advertising for your business. By taking a little bit of each area, you can advertise a great campaign for what you have to offer.

Let us help you achieve the best marketing at Van West Media. As experts in the field, we are sure to help you reach out to audiences and maintain a successful business.

CTA Through Social Currency

March 1, 2013

What better way to gain participants than to give them something in return? Many businesses are using their audience to create and stir up call-to-action (CTA) by giving them discounts for participating. Social media is one of the quickest ways to spread messages through a large audience and businesses are taking advantage of this sales method.

“Tweet shopping” brings people to send specific hashtags in their tweets with their own personal message in order to gain advantages for shopping. American Express (Amex) created a campaign to tweet and hashtag certain promotions to @Amexsync to get discounts on their credit card statements.

AmexSync Video

Businesses aren’t only taking advantage of this for profitable advantages. They are also using this for humanitarian advances as well. The Generous Store, opened in Denmark, is a chocolate store that brings a new way to spread the word about their business with the cost of being a good person. When purchasing the chocolate, the price tag would state what good deed would need to be accomplished. The products would be checked out by placing the “promise of a good deed” for chocolate from The Generous Store on the person’s Facebook page. This is a great campaign that would bring people together and make for happy audiences.

Generous Store Purchase Video

These campaigns are making a statement with the people and this is what advertising should do. Make your business stand out and make people want to become your customer and be involved with what you have to offer. Through this method, your business will gain success and stand out amongst the others.