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    How to use cross channel insights in digital marketing

    Competition can make or break an online business and if you’re at a crossroads where you feel it’s time to take on a new approach when it comes to strategizing your digital campaigns, cross channel marketing might be just the breakthrough your business needs to better serve your customers! A business needs to move beyond usual resources to find insights that allow them to grow, especially when looking to gain efficiency channel-to-channel. 

    Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO)

    While both of these digital marketing services are good to focus on when you want to increase the sales and conversion rates of your business, one focuses on targeting a niche audience through paid search results while the other utilizes keywords and builds up the organic traffic to the website over time. That being said, cross channel marketing comes into play when the above two services work in conjunction with each other and use the power of high-converting target keywords to focus on building clicks through organic search results. Cross channel marketing also looks at longer-tail variations of targeted keywords and considers the intent of the user who’s searching. 

    While paid search is a low funnel approach that often sees high intent-based users that are ready to immediately purchase, organic search is more likely to draw in information-seeking users that may peruse your website and shop at a later time. With this in mind, both services have the potential to increase the behavior metrics of your website such as time on site, pages per visit, and the bounce rate when working alongside each other. 

    Google My Business and paid search/social

    If your business has the funds to expand your cross channel marketing efforts, there are also some other ways to refine and target your audience! Aside from researching your potential customers interests, geographies, affinities, you can also utilize Google My Business (GMB) data from users that request directions to your brick and mortar location. 

    While it’s always a great idea to nurture your existing customers, GMS insights provide excellent opportunities to expand on paid searches and open new opportunities for modified social targeting. 

    Polling and content marketing

    While polls are not a new concept, in the world of digital marketing, they’re a great way to see what gets your social audience excited! Businesses are able to utilize polls to learn more about their customers and the type of content that they enjoy seeing, topics that interest them, and issues that may worry them. Aside from gaining valuable insights, this type of cross channel marketing also allows you to draw on social engagement to determine a new perspective on where you should invest your time and resources. 

    Are there any other ways that you use cross channel marketing for your online business? Drop a comment below to share with our readers. 

    Why email marketing should be the cornerstone of your digital strategy

    In today’s growing digital world, everyone relies on a variety of channels as a means of communication, education, entertainment, and shopping. However, depending on your target demographic, the amount of time spent online varies, giving even more opportunities for marketers to reach their audiences through digital strategies. That being said, a business can only invest in tactful strategies that keep revenue coming in, and since some digital marketing efforts take time before they start to make money, many rely on email marketing as a crucial cornerstone in their digital strategy. Let’s break it down.

    What is email marketing? 

    Email marketing is the act of sending a mass message to a group or list of contacts through email. While most emails are sent to incentivize potential and current customers to make a quick purchase, some include business updates, industry announcements, and inventory restocks. While many business owners successfully formulate and send their own e-newsletters, most utilize professional email marketing services to help them create click-worthy content that attracts their target audience.  

    What are the advantages of email marketing? 

    While every digital marketing tactic has its own advantages, if we had to pick one that brings the most business value, it would be email marketing. Why? Well, email marketing offers an unbeatable return-on-investment (ROI) when compared to other types of marketing channels. That being said, while email marketing gives consumers less opportunity for engagement, it does offer business owners the opportunity to connect and grow with their audience, while tweaking their approach based on clicks and views. 

    Why you should sign up for email marketing services

    You wouldn’t attempt to repair your vehicle’s engine without the right set of knowledge and skills to put everything back together in working order, would you? The same rule applies to your company’s email marketing. As a top contributor to the success of your business’s digital strategy, here are some reasons why email marketing is worth the investment.

    • Email offers great return-on-investment
    • Email allows business owners to incorporate other marketing techniques (ex. social platforms)
    • Email allows you to connect with larger audiences all at once
    • Emails possess a longer lifespan than most social posts
    • Email is a great way to tailor content to new and existing customers

    Are you ready to launch ongoing email campaigns and start collecting valuable customer data? Drop a comment below to share with other readers.

    How to successfully market for vape companies

    Since there are strict regulations that reduce the options available for digital advertising on vape products, you aren’t able to pay to get ahead on organic searches or to appear on the feeds of popular social media channels. So, whether you’re an e-cig business looking to increase your online presence or a digital marketing agency hoping to add a new industry to their portfolio of expertise, continue reading to learn about how to successfully optimize an e-cig website to market to the masses. 

    Invest in a search engine optimization service 

    For those that don’t know, a professional search engine optimization service should include the following elements: website structure analysis, content analysis, website code optimization, onsite content, and other off-page factors. While there is a lot of work that can be done over time with this service, we recommend heavily investing in the optimization of the online store so that it can appear high in organic searches. This would include keyword research and ensuring that all of the content is unique to elevate the shopping experience. 

    As a starter, here are some popular current keywords for the vape industry: 

    • e-cigs
    • electronic cigarettes
    • Vapors
    • vaper
    • Vaping
    • ejuice/e-juice
    • eliquid/e-liquid
    • vaporizers
    • electronic vaporizer

    Ensure the company has a Facebook page

    Just because the type of vape-related content that can be posted is quite limited, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a company page to regularly post content and engage with your/your client’s followers. Since it can be challenging at times to come up with posts that boost a brand while following Facebook guidelines on prohibited content, you can consider utilizing this channel as a means of connecting to customer’s hobbies and interests while also maintaining a presence that can be engaging through polls, giveaways, and discussions. After all, just because Facebook may not want to take money to advertise vaping, it doesn’t mean they have banned the discussion altogether. 

    While you’re at it, be sure to join e-cig related discussion groups as another means of promoting the online shop strategically avoiding an outright promotional post.

    There are also Reddit communities for vaping

    As another branch of social media marketing, you or your digital marketing team can join a vape-related subreddit to spread awareness of vape culture and perhaps spark a discussion about your flavours or e-cig gear. 

    Here are some popular forums that are active: 

     Opt for email marketing 

    Email marketing remains to be a paramount digital marketing tactic spanning a variety of niche industries. So, whether your business or client is excited about sending informative content or wants to use e-newsletters as a method for offering discounts, you will need to start by building a list and encouraging social followers and current customers to subscribe using their emails. 

    Whatever digital marketing tactics you use, it’s important to get closer to your audience if you hope to grow your business. Are you ready to speak with a digital marketing agency that has experience working with vape companies? 

    What other ways have you found success digitally marketing e-cig businesses? Please share your expertise in the comments section below.

    How to create an effective digital marketing plan

    A digital marketing plan equips online business owners with an essential roadmap to achieving their most crucial brand objectives. Since it’s a tool that helps to guide marketing activities to generate the best results, it must be organized step-by-step and reviewed at multiple points in the lifespan of your business venture, which is why most entrepreneurs opt to have a professional digital marketing company handle their plan for them. 

    Why do you need a professional digital marketing plan?

    Are you looking for a way to reveal new opportunities, grow, and expand your reach? While every business owner has the potential to dabble with digital marketing, those hoping to connect with their audiences and establish a unique brand identity need an in-depth and detailed approach that is usually only achievable through a strategy formulated by a professional digital marketing agency

    So, for those asking themselves, “Do I need a professional digital marketing plan,” the answer is always yes, and here’s why:

    • While a business owner can formulate goals and work towards those objectives, a professional digital marketing agency will draw up a consumer-competitor analysis and create a plan that focuses on the entire environment surrounding the brand including context and current market situation. 
    • Intended objectives are achieved quicker with the help of a professional digital marketing agency, especially since they have separate departments that coordinate together. 
    • A coordinated digital marketing plan contains strategies and actions that are put in place to carry out campaigns. 
    • Measuring the results of actions is one of the most overlooked tasks of business ownership which is why it’s important to include it in a professional digital marketing plan. 

    Now that you know what to expect from a professional digital marketing plan, below are some advantages that it can bring to you and your company:

    • You will gain in-depth knowledge of the market and your target audience. A good marketing plan allows time for a research phase which creates a scope of your business challenges and how to respond to them. 
    • Digital marketing actions can align with departments working towards the same brand objectives. 
    • Allows you to budget for the resources that are most effective for your business strategy. 
    • Improves internal communication so all those involved can easily coordinate future goals.
    • Improves client communication by outline the elements that will meet their needs and expectations. 

    How our professional digital marketing agency creates an effective digital marketing plan: Step by step

    1. Analysis and starting point: 

    Creating an effective digital marketing plan starts by analyzing the current situation of the company and coordinating time towards market research. During this phase, we aim to answer questions such as, “What could be a unique selling position for this company” and “What is the competition doing and how can we compare”. 

    2. Create objectives

    Success is achieved when objectives are met. When the phase commences, the objectives of the company need to be concrete, detailed, measurable, realistic, and time-bound. Based on these parameters, we will create a professional digital marketing plan that will reach new markets, increase brand awareness, and improve your company’s return-on-investment (ROI).

    3. Develop a buyer person

    It’s important to paint a picture of your ideal client, even if it involves defining a profile for more than one type of product or service user. This includes determining the age, gender, income level, occupation, and place of residence. This will allow us to develop a professional digital marketing plan that creates a better understanding of your brand-to-consumer relationship. 

    4. Content plan

    Every professional digital marketing plan requires an outline of the type of content that will be distributed. While it can follow a variety of formats, your content should align to the above buyer persona(s) and be incredibly focused to increase website conversions. This phase should also include the addition of search engine optimization (SEO), which is the backbone of content creation, dedicated to structuring the website to direct valuable traffic. 

    5. Determine platforms for business growth

    While the world of social media marketing offers an assortment of platforms for any brand, it’s always best to focus on those that are more adapted to your companies’ objectives. Effective digital marketing planning includes intentions for these social networks and the application of available resources to boost your growing strategy. 

    Are you ready to speak with our team about your digital marketing plan? 

    What stage of the above digital marketing planning process is your business at? Drop a comment below to compare with other readers. 

    Your guide to the dos and don’ts of social posting for Memorial Day

    While we’re a Canadian-owned and operated company that’s based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, many of our clients that are situated in the U.S. rely on us to formulate a social media marketing strategy that caters to their American customers. While Memorial Day is celebrated differently across the country—a day to gather and enjoy the warmer weather, a day to celebrate the unofficial start of summer, and most importantly, a day to commemorate those whose lives were lost during their military service—many businesses use this holiday as a way to show their support and connect with their target audience. So, at the price of potentially posting something that can be misinterpreted as insensitive, here are the dos and don’ts of social posting for Memorial Day.

    A basic approach to get you started

    While your audience won’t remember you being silent on your social channels for Memorial Day, they will remember if you post something insensitive. So, to be sure your branding isn’t affected, here are some things to consider:

    • Treat the holiday with care. Even though many celebrate the day differently, it’s meant to be a somber occasion for the remembrance of fallen military heroes. While the point of your social media marketing strategy is your brand’s messaging, make sure that there is a natural tie-in, such as showing your support for military veterans. 
    • If you’re going to post something fun about kicking off the summer, be very careful about how you craft this message. 
    • If your product availability is still affected due to COVID, be sure to only promote items that customers will have immediate access to. 

    We hope these tips will help your business to better navigate Memorial Day. Continue reading to learn more about the dos and don’ts of this national holiday. 

    Tips to ensure that you have excellent Memorial Day content

    Do: Post something general that recognizes the holiday. 

    Do: Recognize and thank members of the military. If you or one of the employees at your company have served or has a loved one currently serving, be sure to post a photo to add a human element to your content. 

    Do: Mention the start of summer, outdoor activities, or spending quality time with your loved ones. Summer-related content that mentions your brand and not the military is still okay to post. 

    Don’t: Post promotional content mixed with a message about the sacrifices of the military. It takes a poor approach to the holiday and may come across as insensitive. 

    If you’re in doubt about the best practices to manage your social media marketing strategy, Trek Marketing would love to help?

    What are your favorite types of social media posts? Drop a comment below to share with our readers. 

    6 essentials for making the perfect SEO report

    Although implementing search engine optimization tactics is what you do best, creating reports for the clients can sometimes be a daunting task. Since every patron and business possesses their own unique goals, it’s important to provide a robust report that lets them know how well your campaigns and strategies are performing to boost their website. That being said, if you have no idea where to start with your upcoming SEO reports, here are six essential elements that are worth including. 

    #1: Website Traffic

    Since most businesses prioritize increasing organic traffic to their websites, traffic should be one of the first elements highlighted in your SEO report. To show your digital marketing agencies’ value, you will want to utilize the source/medium feature of Google Analytics. This component allows you to pinpoint specifics that can be used within your traffic report, which provides key details about where the traffic is coming from. Not only does this allow you to share your efforts with business owners, but it also enables you to place them on display and offer advice on where time and money can be spent to better the digital strategy in the future

    #2: Conversion rate 

    Your client’s website could have all the traffic in the world, but if visitors aren’t inclined to make a purchase, it may seem like your efforts are wasted. Keep in mind that while it may take some time before your work starts converting, it’s still important to include it all in your SEO report. After all, conversions show how much money the website is making based on your efforts, and in the coming months when ordering increases, you want to ensure that credit is given where credit is due. The best way to illustrate conversation rates to your clients is through goal tracking, which measures how often users are completing specific actions. This includes the open rate, the click-through rate, and the number of conversions on your client’s site. On a side note, once you know the conversion rate, it will help you better explain other details of your report to the client.

    #3: Page traffic

    Knowing that visitors are reaching your client’s website is a great starting point, but it’s even better to know where they’re going from there. Whether someone reaches the website through an organic search result or they find a recent blog post, pinpointing these trends is a fantastic addition to any SEO report. Aside from knowing that your efforts are working, it also helps the client know that it’s worth investing in added content to improve other pages or product/service descriptions on the website.

    #4: Page speed

    While this metric is often overlooked on SEO reports, it’s an important asset like any other highlight. The success of any search engine optimization service depends on the website’s ability to perform and give the user a great experience, and if the site takes too long to load or is slowed down due to an overflow of content, it could be causing critical technical issues to the SEO performance. So, if there is room for improvement, remember to include it in your next report. Your client will thank you for your additional efforts!

    #5: Time on site/bounce rate

    This metric is an extremely important extra that in our opinion, goes above and beyond what’s expected from most SEO reports. While you have already spent time explaining the efforts that are working to increase your client’s website traffic, conversions, and visibility, the time that’s spent on the website and the bounce rate are metrics that delve deeper into the minds of their target audience, giving insights into many areas that have room for improvement. Be sure to check if their landing pages include outbound links and focus added attention on core pages, like pages, and other pages that feature rich content, such as videos. If the website isn’t retaining the user’s attention, perhaps include some ideas at the end of this section of your SEO report. 

    #6: Rankings

    While keyword rankings are the most popular choice, there are other types of data based on a variety of factors like history, personalization, and even where the users are searching from. Be sure to show your value by tracking your position, but also remember to highlight the overall performance of the other elements of your work as well. 

    Are there any other recommendations that you have to ensure digital marketers are crafting the best SEO reports possible? Drop a comment below.

    6 digital ways to improve real estate in a booming market

    In the last year, the global coronavirus pandemic has shattered world economies, yet the real estate market has prospered despite job loss due to stay-at-home orders. While low-interest rates seem to be one of the driving factors keeping the housing market afloat, the extremely tight supply of homes is also a reason for the high demand. Needless to say, in this seller’s market, there are a variety of ways that digital marketing is improving the real estate sector for buyers, sellers, and listing agents. 

    How can digital marketing for real estate benefit buyers, sellers, and realtors?

    While every industry should adopt technology to attract new customers, some can achieve considerable heights through the help of professional digital marketing, and real estate is one of them! With fresh and exciting innovations, realtors are finding new ways to market properties and both sellers and buyers are loving the engagement that comes with this type of branded content.

    Here are some added benefits:

    • Digital marketing saves time and resources: Sellers can display their properties online which allows them to gain a further reach, whereas, buyers can take part in interactive tours, have face-to-face meetings, and read details about prospective properties before even stepping foot in them. 
    • Digital marketing raises the online visibility of real estate companies and listings: Achieving more website visitors is crucial for real estate and often using digital marketing to build up online traffic and increase customer service through informative blogs and social media posts are the best ways to build confidence, trust, and brand identity. 
    • Digital marketing boosts professionalism: Visualization tools (i.e., 360° modeling) are growing in the real estate industry, and if you want customers to remember your company, we recommend investing in this form of material. 

    What can the real estate industry do to improve its digital experiences in a booming market?

    Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home or you’re the agent listing and showing properties, the scope of real estate is increasingly becoming more reliant on the internet as an external resource. 

    Those in the industry who want to reach and connect with potential buyers and sellers should consider the following digital marketing tips: 

    #1 – Share properties before they hit the market: In a thriving market, there will always be a lack of inventory, which is why it’s important to select an experienced agent that can find prospecting properties and potential buyers before hitting the open market. 

    #2 – Streamline communication with your clients: Communication is key in many buying-selling ventures, and in today’s fast-paced environment, timing is everything. Whether you choose to text, email, or call your client, understanding their preferred method of communication is what will lead to the most proactive relationships. 

    #3 – Allow clients to leave reviews: One way to improve current consumer engagement is by obtaining quality customer reviews. This can easily be done online by asking happy clients to leave a Google review or simply emailing a response that can be posted live to the website. 

    #4 – Educate your clients: While buyers can easily find properties at the click of a button, they still rely on you for advice and guidance. Use digital marketing to educate your current and prospective clients by creating FAQs sections on your website, as well as writing a fulfilling blog that can address common questions and concerns. 

    #5 – Always work on building your online presence: While you’re likely busy with the insane market, eventually housing will see a dip, and that’s when you can improve your authority through digital means. This means that you can continue to engage with clients via social media, organize ongoing marketing campaigns, and actively seek out new and improved ways to connect with your audience

    #6 – Invest in marketing automation: If you’re looking for an innovation that saves you time and improves your ability to add value to the consumer, you should consider marketing automation. Marketing automation allows you to create lead magnets that attract your client by setting up automated campaigns followed by initial interactions. This strategy allows you to program the type of property, area, and even price that your client is looking for and pool together properties as they become available. An email can then be sent out with some pre-scripted text to allow them to contact you if it’s a suitable fit. 

    Are there any ways that digital marketing and real estate tie together that we didn’t discuss? Please drop your opinions below.

    How to attract online visitors using PPC

    You may think that you can build the best website by making it informative, packing it with great content, and investing in an intuitive design, but if shoppers aren’t able to find your website, all that work and money will go to waste. We’re here to help by breaking down the basics of why PPC Advertising could be the strategy your business needs to attract more online users. So, here’s why you should want to use it! 

    What is PPC Advertising?

    Pay-per-click advertising, also shortened to PPC advertising, is a method of online marketing that allows businesses to place ads in strategic places where a fee is only charged after the ad is clicked on by a visitor. It’s a great way to buy visits to your website rather than taking the time to attract them organically. 

    Here’s how it works: 

    • When a user clicks on your ad, you pay a specified fee, which is referred to as the cost-per-click (CPC). 
    • The CPC can vary dramatically (average is between $1 to $2 with some as cheap as a couple of cents, while others go as high as $50 or more). 
    • Another way to orchestrate a PPC Advertising campaign is by using cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), which applies to display and video ads. 

    Now that you have a better understanding of how PPC Advertising works to attract online visitors, we are going to provide you with some reasons as to why you should consider adding it to your digital marketing strategy. 

    It’s very targeted

    Entrepreneurs and digital marketers alike love PPC Advertising because it allows them to choose precisely who will be seeing the ad based on their location, choice of keywords, interests, age, gender, language, and even the type of device that the consumer is using. This ensures that you’re catering to an audience that’s more likely to enjoy your goods and services, which has a huge influence on click-through rates and conversions.

    You can even re-target previous visitors! 

    Most consumers will only click on advertisements that appeal to their interests, however, just because they choose to follow through to your website, doesn’t guarantee that they will become a customer. The great part about PPC Advertising is that you’re targeting those who share the same enthusiasm about your products and services, and the best part is that if they don’t follow through on purchasing the first time around, you can retarget the ones that left your website and remind them to come back again! 

    It’s cost-effective for all types of e-commerce businesses

    While many elements of your digital marketing strategy charge a flat-rate, monthly fee, you only pay for PPC Advertising when your ad is clicked by a potential customer. This means that the odds are always in your favour, allowing you to cater your ads to those whose values align with your business. Also, since PPC ads appear at the top of search engine results pages, you don’t need to spend the time and money building your content because your ad will already appear above organic search results. 

    It’s easily tracked

    Aside from the above conversion-based benefits, PPC Advertising is also easily tracked, meaning that you as a business owner can monitor how well your ads are performing and make adjustments to them if they aren’t receiving a good number of clicks. This is a great way to learn what attracts consumers to your products and services and what can be improved upon to drive sales and help your business grow. 

    Are you ready to test the waters of PPC advertising? Please fill out our contact form and anticipate a prompt email from our Client Success Manager to discuss your business goals!

    Do you have any further questions about PPC Advertising and how it works? Drop a comment below to share with our other readers. 

    Everything you need to know about Google Analytics Version 4

    Many small to large-scale e-commerce businesses rely on Google Analytics to understand customer preferences and assist merchants in the creation of better consumer experiences. However, since every dollar spent on marketing is crucial to the success of an online business, insights from digital analytics tools have become more essential than ever, as we see a major shift in industries moving to web-based platforms. So, to help you to better understand how to digitally market to your target audience long term, a more intelligent version of Google Analytics has been released which will build on the foundations of the App + Web properties. 

    Introduction to Google Analytics  

    The Google Analytics platform is a web-based analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic, conversions, and behaviours. Google first launched the service in November 2005 after acquiring Urchin, an early day web statistics program that analyzed service log file content and displayed the traffic and user information in one reporting stream. As the internet has evolved, the demand for such metrics that track user activity has increased, which has led to the latest iteration of Google Analytics, Version 4, enabling the blend of online and offline activities. 

    Getting acquainted with Google Analytics 4? 

    Version 4 is the latest rendition of Google Analytics and while it will not immediately enhance the reporting capabilities of most online merchants, it will help e-commerce businesses that:

    • Have an app
    • Have a software-as-a-service business model
    • Are interested in advanced remarketing

    Even if your e-commerce business ticks none of the boxes offered by the current version, we recommend that all merchants create an account as part of their Google Analytics strategy to benefit from updated reports and future advanced features. 

    How to create a Version 4 property

    1. First, you will need to create a Google Analytics account and then log in, click the Admin icon, and then follow up by selecting create property. 
    2. Next, click the option entitled, “Apps and web” as the property type.
    3. Then you will need to name the property and complete the settings on the page. Once that is done, click “Create”. 
    4. The next page will require you to select your data stream. For most online merchants, it will be “Web”. 
    5. Next, provide the “Website URL”, name the stream, and choose which interactions to track automatically. Select all options, even if you presently do not use some of those activities (ex. videos or file downloads). Then, click “Create Stream”. 
    6. The next allows you to add a new tag or use an existing one. If you have already tagged your site, click “Use existing on-page tag”, otherwise, follow the instructions to add a new one. 

    All of the above steps will enable your general tracking, which is a great way to utilize Google Analytics within your digital marketing strategy

    There are smarter insights to improve your return on investment (ROI)

    Version 4 of Google Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data, such as products that may be rising in demand due to changing customers’ needs. This new feature will help you to anticipate the future actions of your target consumer, churning a more effective strategy to retain customers and keep within your marketing budget. The latest version has also added new predictive metrics, allowing you to create an audience to reach your higher-value customers and run analyses to better understand why some customers likely spend more than others, allowing you to take action to improve these results. 

    The strategy behind Google Analytics includes reaching your customers with more relevant, helpful experiences in the areas where they engage best with your business. This new version can also measure app and web interactions together, allowing you to see conversions from Google alongside non-Google paid channels, as well as organic channels like Google Search, social, and email to help you better understand the combined impact of all your marketing efforts. Professional digital marketing companies like us use this to assist in improvements from acquisition to conversion and retention, which is critical with the needs of consumers rapidly changing.

    What are your thoughts on the Google Analytics strategy of Version 4? Drop your comments below to start a conversation.