LSM Named to 2018 Inc. 5000 List

2018 Inc. 5000 List

 

     LSM was recognized by the 2018 Inc. 5000 List for the third consecutive year, coming in at #4851 with a 3-year growth rate of 62%. The Inc. 5000 ranks America’s fastest-growing private companies according to the company’s percentage of revenue growth over 3 years. Founded in 2006, LSM grew their revenue to $3.7M in 2017, and plan to continue growing by finding innovative ways to support our clients. This year, we’ve even been recognized alongside a few of our clients: Amazing Lash Studios, Advanced Financial, European Wax Center, and Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint!

“It’s great to be back on the Inc. 5000 list for a third consecutive year and see some of our clients recognized for their growth as well,” says CEO Trevor Emerson.

LSM will be recognized at the 2018 Inc. 5000 Conference this October in San Antonio, Texas.

 

LSM Named A Top Web And UX Design Company

Clutch Award

A B2B ratings and review company, Clutch, recently named Local Search Masters one of the top web and UX design companies in the United States. LSM’s industry expertise was determined by 5 criteria: services offered, client base, case studies, awards received, and social media presence. Clutch analysts also conducted 5  phone call interviews with LSM clients to confirm their spot as one of the top agencies in the U.S.

“LSM was featured as a top design and digital marketing company thanks to their demonstrated dedication to clients across the U.S. and their consistent high quality work,” said Clutch analyst Katie Wonders. “The Clutch research methodology focuses on clientele, experience, and market presence – LSM has the ability to excel across the board.”

As a data-driven company, Clutch interviews real clients and collects data as they sift through the best B2B companies in the United States. This is LSM’s fifth recognition from Clutch in the last 5 years, as we’ve also been listed as a top SEO agency during the previous 4 years.

 

Google Enhances ‘Google My Business’ Listing – LSMinute

lsm gif

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!

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google my business

Google Enhances ‘Google My Business’ Listing

What Happened?

  • Business owners can now highlight products and offers/promotions directly from their Google My Business (GMB) listing. This piggyback’s off last summer’s introduction to Google posts, allowing business owners to post general information about their business and associated events.

What This Means For You

  • Posting information about your business’s separators (special offers, unique products, etc.) onto your GMB listing makes it easier for potential customers to see; they don’t need to make that extra click to your website to find these details. It’s likely to have a positive SEO impact as well. So, in our early opinion, businesses should consider regularly updating their GMB listing with product, service, event, FAQ, and promotional information.

Next Steps

  • We’re already optimizing our clients’ profiles for these updates, and so far, we’re seeing positive returns! Business owners can update their profiles themselves as well. We recommend that you ponder what information should be highlighted on your GMB listing. Then, log into your GMB listing, fill out your product/service information, post about a special/promo, and monitor your GMB analytics to gauge your results!

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Google My Business Video

Google Launches Outstream Ads to Boost Video Reach Beyond YouTube

What Happened?

  • Google just introduced a new video format, Outstream Video Ads, which will operate on mobile devices across Google Video Partner mobile sites and apps. The videos will appear in banners for mobile web placements and as banners, interstitials, in-feed, and native for apps.
What This Means For You
  • This format provides advertisers the ability to reach an audience with video content when a YouTube video isn’t present; thereby expanding the overall reach of Google’s video ad platform.
Next Steps
  • Brands in possession of high-definition video content should investigate implementing Outstream Video Ads into their brand awareness strategy; we’ll be doing this with our clients over the next two months. Brands without high-def video content are “behind the 8-ball;” video content’s only going to become more prevalent over time!

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gdpr

Understanding GDPR

What Happened? 

  • Businesses in the European Union (EU) were originally required to follow data protection guidelines outlined in the Data Protection Directive. The Data Protection Directive was recently replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR requires that organizations across the EU follow stricter data protection restrictions.
What This Means For You
  • Although these laws are confined to the EU, any business conducted with EU citizens has to follow GDPR guidelines. So, if you do business in the EU, you need to be made familiar with GDPR guidelines. Here’s a resource to help you get on the right track.

Next Steps
  • To keep in compliance with GDPR guidelines, we updated our privacy policy to reflect the recent changes to data sharing. We also won’t share your data with anyone; however, we never did that to begin with, so nothing’s really changed there.

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nashville food project

 

Recently, part of the LSM team got the opportunity to show off their green thumbs in The Nashville Food Project’s community garden! Who knew weeding and making compost piles could be so much fun?! Watch the video above to see us in action!

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awards

Award Season Continues

We recently picked up the ‘Marketing Effectiveness Campaign – Content Marketing” award at the 2018 Communicator Awards, an ‘Online Campaign: Content Marketing & UX Optimization’ award at the 2018 Summit Creative Awards and are being recognized at the 2018 Small Business Awards here in Nashville (for the 6th time!). None of this could be done without the continued support of our clients. We appreciate each and every one of you, and we’ll work hard to continue producing award-winning results in 2018 and beyond!

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LSM A Winner At 2018 Summit Creative Awards

Summit Award

 

Our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers took home some hardware at the 2018 Summit Creative Awards. Our content development, user experience and Google advertising services drove a 370% reduction in cost per lead and a 437% increase in conversions for Brain Balance franchisees located across the United States.

As a respected, international, industry-wide critique of creative work, the Summit Award organization has promoted creative excellence by validating award-winning work for the past 24-years. Recognition for this award is not an easy feat, and we’re excited that our hard work and innovation in content marketing and ux optimization stood out to such a great organization.

This is the seventh recognition our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers has received in the last year!

“We enjoy partnering with Local Search Masters and are excited to see our work together receive so many recognitions these past few years” says Brain Balance CMO Heidi Rose.

 

How To Speak Facebook Pixel

Speak FB Pixel

 

 

 

The Facebook pixel has been around for a few years now, and marketers all over the world are taking advantage of its data. Thanks to the pixel, marketers are now able to better understand consumer behavior and use their learnings to deliver more relevant advertisements to these prospects.

But let’s face it, marketers are NOT web developers, and getting us to understand the back-end lingo of the Facebook pixel takes us a little longer than the IT department to learn. That’s why I’m here to walk you through how to speak the lingo and better understand what your agency and marketing partner means when words such as ‘lookalike audience’, ‘custom conversions’, and much more are mentioned.

 

Buzzwords, Buzzwords, And More Buzzwords

As a marketer (or anyone who is passionate about a topic), I tend to nerd out on marketing terms and not realize that I have completely lost and/or confused the person I’m talking to. To ease the confusion, I went ahead and created a quick cheat sheet of buzzwords marketers tend to use in conversation. For future conversations, any non-marketer will be able to nerd out and follow along:

  • First Party Data: information that your business owns that your marketer will build lookalike audiences off of (i.e. email lists).
  • Custom Audience:  an audience that will reach people who have a relationship with your business, whether they are existing customers or individuals who have interacted with your business on Facebook or other platforms.
  • Lookalike Audience: an audience built off of a custom audience to find new people on Facebook who are similar to your existing audiences.
  • Custom Conversion: a way to track and optimize for conversions without adding anything to your website’s existing Facebook pixel code (i.e. Lead, Purchase, Complete Registration, etc.).
  • Conversion Optimization: what custom conversion your ad campaign is set up to best perform for (i.e. “Lead” is your custom conversion so Facebook will optimize the ads to generate more “Lead” conversions).
  • Website Traffic: anyone who visited your website or took a specific action by using the pixel’s data.

 

1st Party Data Is King

With Facebook’s recent data crisis, your business’ first party data is more important now than ever before. Moving forward, Facebook is no longer holding itself accountable for 3rd party data sources. Now your marketing partner will solely depend on your first party data to better target ads to potential customers. If you leave with anything from reading this article, make sure to nurture your first party data by keeping your member lists updated and ensuring that your Facebook pixel is tracking all website data, conversion, abandoned cart and lead form submission that happens on your business’ site. Data can be overwhelming and intimidating, but understanding data will keep you and your business ahead of the curve!

Understanding GDPR

Understanding GDPR
 
We’re sure you’ve been receiving privacy notices left and right about GDPR, but what is GDPR really? In 1995, the European Union (EU) adopted the Data Protection Directive – a mandate that regulated the way personal data was processed. Recently, the Data Protection Directive was replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR revamps the way organizations across the EU approach data privacy, making steeper restrictions and fines.

 

What’s Changing?

GDPR is the standard that protects personal data, requiring more transparency, rights, and enforcement than ever. Here are the ways GDPR is changing personal data regulations:

  1. Clearer Language: Rather than explaining privacy policies with lengthy, complicated conditions, businesses are now required to have clear, straightforward privacy policies.
  2. Consent From UsersBefore, businesses operated off of “implied consent” – if a user didn’t respond, they were considered to have given their consent. Now, users have to give affirmative consent before their data can be used by a business.
  3. Increased Transparency: Now, businesses have to clearly inform users about:
    (a) Any data transfers in which data is transferred outside of the EU
    (b) Whether an algorithm is used to make decisions about the customer
    (c) The purpose behind data collection and usage
  4. Stronger Rights For Users: Users will now have more agency over their data as they will be able to
    (a) Move their data from one social media platform to another
    (b) Access/have a copy of their data from a business

    (c) Have their data deleted

    (d) Know when they are the victim of a data breach
  5. Stronger Enforcement for BusinessesGDPR enables 28 data protection authorities to enforce the new laws – including charging fines up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s worldwide turnover.

 

Why Is This Important?

Although these laws are confined to the EU, any business conducted with an individual in the EU has to follow GDPR guidelines. Because of the global nature of business through the internet, many companies don’t realize that, if they have a consumer or potential consumer in the EU, they are bound to the GDPR guidelines.

 

How Do I Follow These Guidelines?

To ensure compliance with the GDPR, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Offer a Clear Privacy PolicyAvoid weedy, legalistic language.
  2. Obtain Consent From UsersIn instances like an email campaign, this may look like sending an opt-in consent form to all users included in your email marketing list.
  3. Be Transparent With Your CustomersWhen you send your customers a survey, make sure to tell them what you’re going to do with the results.
  4. Know Your Customers’ RightsIf you have a data breach, let your customers know about the breach within 72 hours in compliance with the GDPR.
  5. Understand Your LimitsBecause these regulations are new, it is still uncertain how strictly the GDPR is enforced. There is, however, an increase in data protection authorities. Businesses need to understand that there is a high penalty for noncompliance.

 

Check out LSM’s privacy policy today, and let us know if you have any questions regarding our policy or regarding how GDPR affects your business.

4 Ways To Use Facebook Messenger

4 Ways to Use Facebook Messenger

4 Ways To Use Facebook Messenger

By Cortney Stephens

 

How Messenger Works

Many businesses on Facebook are not taking full advantage of the Messenger platform. A lot of questions arise when talking about the Messenger platform. When should Messenger be used? What if I don’t have time to answer every message? Does Messenger even make sense for my business? If you’re a business owner who has been asking these questions, then you’ve found the right article, my friend. With over 1 billion users, you and your business should absolutely be on the Facebook Messenger platform, so we’re going to tell you about the best ways to use it.

As a refresher, the Messenger platform is primarily used to send messages (or Direct Messages/DMs, etc.), pictures, videos, and links to any individual who engages with your business’ Facebook page. Messages can be sent one-to-one or within groups, and you can even make calls or video chats from the Messenger app. Keeping our clients in mind, we have rounded up the 4 best ways to use the Messenger platform to help grow your business.

 

How to Use Messenger

1. Speak to Customers

4 Ways to Use Messenger

Messenger is most popularly used to address any questions, concerns, or complaints that a customer may have about your business. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen, 56% of people would rather message a business than call customer service. It’s important that your business is active on Messenger for the customers who choose to message a company versus picking up the phone to call. If you disregard or never see their question, you lose the opportunity for a potential customer (for obvious reasons). An important stat on your business’s Facebook page is response rate and response time. When a customer visits your page and looks to message you, they will find the response rate on the right-hand side and how long it normally takes you to respond to messages. The quicker the response time, the happier (and less anxious) the customer.

 

2. Automated Responses

Many businesses say they don’t have the time to manage messages on their Facebook page, but boy do we have options for you. With Facebook Messenger, you are able to set up automated messages to your customers. It’s crucial to set up automated messages on your Facebook page in order to stay engaged with your customers and ensure that you are not ignoring their questions or concerns. There are three types of automated messages within Messenger: instant replies, appointment reminders, and follow-up messages.

Instant replies are pre-built responses to anyone who messages your page. These automated messages are the perfect way to let customers know that you will get back to them as soon as possible. Be sure to include other ways they can contact you if the matter is more urgent, such as an email address or phone number.

If it makes sense for your business, you can send automatic appointment reminders 24 hours before an appointment time. Touchpoints like these help to keep your customers informed and it can go a long way in customer service.

Your business could also create automated follow-up messages. These are automatic messages sent to customers after an appointment encouraging them to book with you again or ask how their experience was. This is one of the easiest ways to promote recurring business or encourage customers to share their experience with a review.

 

3. Reach new customers on Messenger

Messenger on Facebook

Now that you know how to use the platform organically you can get more out of the platform. Thanks to Facebook’s advertising platform, it is now easier to get personal with potential customers through Messenger ads. Along with the Facebook news feed and Instagram, you can place your ads on the Messenger platform. One type of Messenger advertisement is click-to-messenger ads, which encourages potential customers to communicate with your business in a fast and convenient way and also raises awareness for your products and services.

Another way to use Messenger in your advertising strategy is through sponsored messages. Once you’ve developed conversations with customers, you can provide relevant content, updates, or promotions directly to the people your business is already talking to in Messenger. Keep in mind that you will need 500+ subscribers within Messenger in order to run these ads.

 

4. Integrate with Messenger

Many programs and softwares now allow you to integrate with the Messenger platform. Shopify and ManyChat are just a couple examples of programs you can connect to Messenger to give your customers a more engaging experience. Shopify’s Messenger integration makes it easy to communicate with customers who have made purchases by giving them automatic package and shipping updates. A customer can also browse and buy products directly through Messenger.

If you’re looking to add automatic messages on your Facebook page, you can update these by going to your business’s page > Settings > Messaging. With the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal, keep in mind that there will be no new bots or experiences added to the platform while Facebook’s Messenger Apps are under review. If you have any questions on Messenger or how you can properly optimize it for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Happy messaging!