Drew Himel

Founder & CEO of PCR Agency. Inbound Marketer, avid traveler and eternally optmistic Jaguars fan.
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Social Media Predictions for 2014

Posted by Drew Himel

December 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM

As 2013 comes to a close, many businesses are reviewing their marketing plans and looking towards the future, which is likely to focus more and more on social media.

“In the rapidly changing world of digital marketing, it is imperative that companies keep up with social media trends and best practices to get the most return on their marketing dollars,” said Drew Himel, founder and CEO of PCR Agency, a Jacksonville-based inbound marketing firm. “While we saw explosive growth in the social media world in 2013, we expect even more developments this coming year, especially in the use of mobile devices, blogging and niche networks."

Social media predictions for 2014 include:

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0 Comments View/Read/Write    |    Topics: social media

9 Ways to Transition Your Marketing Approach from Traditional to Digital

Posted by Drew Himel

July 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The Yellow Pages and other phone books are quickly becoming obsolete. Mailouts, and even catalogues, are now considered “junk mail.” And thanks to DVR, everyone fast-forwards through television commercials.

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Reviewing Local Review Sites

Posted by Drew Himel

July 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

There’s no denying that the Internet has changed the way we buy and sell. One of these changes is that consumers now have access to a plethora of websites that are dedicated to reviewing products and services. With just a few taps on their iPhone screens, consumers can conveniently and quickly search for product reviews before making a purchase.

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7 Reasons to Say NO to a Website with Yellow Pages

Posted by Drew Himel

July 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Yep, we’re talking about Yellow Pages again. In an effort to keep up with digital marketing trends and online marketing agencies, the phone book company now offers online advertising and web design. Sure, it may seem convenient to hand your website over to a big company that will make most of the decisions for you, but, remember, we’re talking about Yellow Pages.

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You Budgeted for Digital, Where’s the Best Use of Your Money?

Posted by Drew Himel

July 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

So, you have some money to spend on digital marketing, what should you spend it on? If your website isn’t putting an ear-to-ear grin on your face every time you look at it, then you probably should start there.

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Why Being a Know-it-all Can Help Your Business

Posted by Drew Himel

July 15, 2013 at 3:07 PM

You arrive at friend’s cocktail party and notice quite a few people whom you do not know. Then, in between mixing a gin and tonic and dabbing a few chips into the artichoke dip, you get cornered by said friend’s coworker. Turns out, this coworker has been everywhere and done everything, and after a few minutes you begin to realize you might spend the entire evening as this know-it-all’s hostage.

Yep, know-it-alls have a way of killing an evening, a relationship, a buzz. But we don’t want you to be that kind of know-it-all. We want you to become an expert in your field, so that you can show potential customers that you are a trusted authority who deserves their business.

The Internet is constantly evolving. Heck, it’s becoming smarter.  The folks at Google and Yahoo and Bing are working around the clock to make sure their search engines provide quality results for their customers. In addition, the regular old Internet users, who are, um, just about everyone on the planet, are getting savvier at detecting authoritative websites that they can trust to publish helpful, cutting edge articles that inform their daily lives.

These constant changes on the World Wide Web are driving online marketing trends, and, to keep up, you must become an authority.

What is an authority?

1. An authority is trustworthy. What makes you trustworthy? You are an expert who breaks down difficult, confusing, or technical topics into user-friendly, easily-digestible content. And while you’re at it, you sort out and address all of the bad information floating around out there on the Internet.

2. Authorities help people. It’s pretty simple: if you aren’t helpful, you aren’t relevant. What are your audience’s pain points and questions?

3. Authorities are passionate. They bring energy and a freshness of perspective that is palpable, even through a computer screen.

4. Authorities are results-driven. They implement strategies that work. They understand the other components of online marketing, like web design and SEO. They have successful businesses and their unique content ultimately turns visitors into customers.

5. Authorities look at the big picture. To be an authority, you can’t be short sighted or tempted by short cuts that promise cheap, instant gratification.

Why should you pursue “authority” status?

1. To keep up with search engines: As an online marketing agency, a big part of our job is to know what the search engines want to see on your website, and we know that the giants like Google and Bing want to give their users quality content. Simply put, it’s a whole lot easier to produce great content if you are an expert in your field.

2. To be a thought leader: Becoming an authority will make you a better marketer. If you know it all, you can better determine what your business needs most and when. From here, you can start to predict changes in the market, and people will begin to rally around you, the thought leader.

3. To attract others: This is a chain reaction, really. People will want to know your opinion. They will want to buy your product or service. People will want to work for your company. The media will want to interview you, and other experts will want to meet you. Then, all of a sudden, your social media following rivals Stephen Colbert.

4. To be influential: In turn, your attractiveness as a stand-out in your industry will yield a higher sharing rate for your unique content. Then, your blogs begin to pull more links; your webinars and conferences draw more people, and, in the end, you’re making a lot more money.

You see the pattern here, right?

People are naturally attracted to real experts they can trust. And in our experience, those are critical components of a profitable business.

By Drew Himel

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0 Comments View/Read/Write    |    Topics: Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, Content

How Contractors Can Get The Most Out of Angie's List

Posted by Drew Himel

July 12, 2013 at 9:22 AM

For business owners in many industries, word of mouth is one of their strongest marketing tools. If you’re a contractor, you are certainly aware of this and probably receive calls from referrals on a regular basis. In fact, you can probably attest to the saying “Your best customer is your current customer.” And this is exactly why you can’t afford to ignore online marketing in the form of the review-based website Angie’s List.

If you aren’t familiar with the site, Angie’s List allows its members (your current and potential customers) to rate and find local professionals in home repair and renovation, auto repair, and healthcare. In the last year alone, Angie’s List membership has increased by 80% to 1.2 million subscribers in over 185 U.S. markets, and, because members pay for a subscription to the site, you can be sure that these people are committed to finding the right contractors to fill their needs.

While consumers pay to search the site, businesses can create profiles free of charge, and, unlike other sites and general Internet searches, businesses can’t pay for better ratings or more visibility. However, businesses that are rated at the A or B status can advertise and offer coupons and discounts to users.

Are you starting to see why, as an online marketing agency, we think that you should be using Angie’s List? Read on for tips that will optimize your presence on the site.

1. Optimize your business description.

Write a description that is succinct and to the point while making your business appear professional and helpful. Include information that emphasizes your products or services and highlights your industry experience.

2. Include photographs.

Angie’s List allows businesses to upload a few photos to their profiles. Include quality photos that showcase some of your best work. This will give potential clients a vivid idea of exactly what you do.

3. Provide all of the relevant information.

Providing as much pertinent information as possible not only provides valuable insight for the customer, but also indicates that you are thorough, reliable, and engaged. Some good information to include on profile would be your full service area, your full contact information, including your phone number, business address, and e-mail address, a link to your website, and links to your social media pages.

4. Ask your customers for reviews.

Your past customers probably won’t think to automatically go review your work on Angie’s List. However, there’s nothing wrong with sending an e-mail that politely asks for a review, along with the link to your review form. Of course, you will want to avoid sounding pushy, but you can also ask your customers to post the same reviews on Google, which also equals an SEM boost for you!

5. Respond to your reviewers.

Since reviews are the main component of Angie’s List, it’s important to appear attentive and engaged. Respond to reviews and comments quickly but thoughtfully, and comment back to positive reviews with a personal thank you and short note about that specific customer or project.

6. Turn negative reviews into positive reviews.

Even if your products and services are consistently high-quality, it’s hard to escape a negative review once in a while. Responding to these can put you in a sticky situation, but it’s important to respond in a way that is thoughtful and sensitive. First, take some time to consider the reviewer’s grievance, and then write back that you appreciate this feedback and will contact them to resolve the complaint. Next, investigate the situation and take the necessary steps to reach a resolution. After that, respond back to the review, listing all of the steps you took to rectify the complaint and the final outcome. According to Angie’s List, companies that earn the highest ratings are those that actively engage with their clients.

Of course, creating a profile on Angie’s List alone probably won’t triple your business, but, in this highly-competitive information age, it can serve as a valuable tool in your online marketing arsenal. Read more about other digital marketing tools, like Google+, and e-mail marketing.

By Drew Himel

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1 Comments View/Read/Write    |    Topics: Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, SEO, SEM