The Importance of Digital Marketing in 2020

Are you looking to implement a digital marketing strategy for your growing business? There’s never been a better time! With so many different digital marketing options, ranging from search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to content marketing and social media campaigns, you can find the best combination of strategies for your business.

No matter which route you go, there are several benefits to using digital marketing for your business.

digital marketing

Potential For Global Reach

Unlike many forms of marketing, like radio and television ads, a digital marketing campaign can reach a global audience. Search engine optimization, for example, can improve your page ranking on popular search engines like Google. This, in turn, makes it easier for potential customers to find you regardless of where they may be located. And, of course, if you wish to target a more localized audience, there are plenty of tools and resources for this as well.

Excellent Return on Your Investment

When you spend your marketing dollars on digital marketing, you’ll enjoy a high return on your investment. While exact ROI figures can vary from one specific type of digital marketing to the next, the fact remains that this form of marketing is one of the best ways to allocate part (or all) of your advertising budget. Email marketing, for example, can yield an ROI of 122%, while social media marketing can achieve an ROI of 100% or more! If you’re looking for a low-risk way to utilize your marketing funds, digital marketing is certainly the way to go.

Completely Measurable and Adaptable

The success of a digital marketing campaign is effortless to track and measure, allowing you to determine what’s working versus what may not. Using free tools to generate analytics and reports is an excellent way to measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns with confidence, which takes out some of the guesswork. And because digital marketing is so easily adaptable, you can make changes to your campaigns quickly and easily in most cases.

Take Advantage of the Digital Shift

There has never been a better time to get started with digital marketing for small businesses, especially considering how the coronavirus pandemic shifted many business operations online in 2020. Because of COVID-19, digital business transactions are on the rise, and more people are working remotely. As a result, your target audience is more likely to respond to your digital marketing efforts than ever before.

Ready to Get Started With Digital Marketing? StratGrow Can Help!

With all of the advantages digital marketing has to offer your business, why not get started today? If you’re looking for some professional guidance on launching your first big digital marketing campaign, our team here at StratGrow is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to take your business to new heights!

Social vs. Physical Distancing: A Closer Look

For the past few months, states across the country have begun to enact mandatory social distancing guidelines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This swift wave of action has also included closing non-essential businesses and even schools.

Since there are already thousands of confirmed cases here in America, the best defense so far has been social distancing, or measures taken to get individuals to self-isolate as much as possible. When out in public for essentials such as groceries, individuals are encouraged to remain at least six feet apart at all times.

Places such as New York City are even beginning to double the fines associated with breaking social distancing rules, such as hosting a house party or other large gathering. NYC has seen an explosion in COVID-19 cases due to its densely packed population. Hospitals are overwhelmed and even have a shortage of medical supplies. Despite endless media coverage of this chaos, there is still hope. 

social distancing concept in wood type

Social vs. Physical Distancing

Limited physical contact doesn’t have to mean limited social contact. Experts have already weighed in on how this period of self-isolation will (potentially) negatively affect mental health. Social media news feeds are filled with day-to-day updates on the spread of this new virus. 

Technology connects us in more ways now than ever before. We still have the ability to call, text, or video chat with each other. We can also connect through a variety of social media platforms with those we care most about. You can catch up with an old friend, call a parent, or check in on a coworker. 

That’s why the World Health Organization has promoted labeling these new practices as physical distancing, not social distancing. You shouldn’t have to cut your social ties during these current times; you should actually be strengthening them. Public health officials have already begun to advocate that groups adjust their wording accordingly.

social distancing word cloud on tablet

Sacrificing your mental health to preserve your physical health isn’t exactly a fair trade-off. You can always reach out to friends and family because communication keeps us connected during these uncertain times. Long gone are the days of flip phones and ten cents per text message. Most people now have at least a phone, wifi, email, the list goes on. Staying connected and informed is easier than ever. 

2020 & Beyond:

These uncertain times have shifted much business into the online realm. If you need help transitioning certain aspects of your business online, contact StratGrow today. We are a Tucson-based digital marketing agency specializing in content, branding, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, website design, and much more. 

The CARES Act: What You Need To Know

There has been a myriad of recent media buzz regarding the coronavirus stimulus package or the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Social media is regularly flooded with comments, memes, and news articles about the infamous $1,200 relief checks adults will supposedly be receiving in the near future. 

But how is this $2 trillion bipartisan relief package broken down exactly? StratGrow is here to assist you.   

LUMP SUM PAYMENT:  

This stimulus package includes direct payments of $1,200 for every adult, and $2,400 for every married couple, plus an extra $500 per child. Note: these payments may be affected if your gross income is over a certain threshold: 

  • $75,000 for single filers 
  • $112,500 for single heads of household 
  • $150,000 for married couples filing jointly 

CARES relief checks

STUDENT LOANS:  

 If you’re a college graduate burdened by student loan debt, you may be in luck. All federal student loan payments have been suspended until September 30th, 2020. This is optional, and you can still continue to pay your loans if you so choose. However, there will be no late fees or other penalties if you don’t pay them through September. Please note that this does not include private student loan borrowers. If you have any private loans, you’ll want to check on the status of those separately.  

BUSINESS LOANS: 

It’s no secret that many small businesses have been greatly affected in the wake of the coronavirus. Due to social distancing protocols, many have had to close their doors, leaving employees uncertain about their financial future.  

Fortunately, of the $2 trillion stimulus bill, $350 billion has been allocated for small businesses. This provision has been dubbed the Paycheck Protection Program. Until June 30th, 2020, small business owners can apply for a loan to cover 2.5 times the cost of their average monthly payroll. This money can also be used toward debt obligations and other expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, etc. If the business keeps all of its employees, the loan will be forgiven. If they still have to lay off employees, then the loan forgiveness will decrease by the percentage reduction in overall staff.  

 Any business with under 500 employees can apply, as well as sole proprietors and self-employed individuals. The loan amount that businesses are able to receive is maxed out at $10 million, and the interest rates are capped at 4% as well. 

This measure is a comprehensive step towards keeping our country’s diverse small business environment afloat during this chaotic time period. 

CARES Act 2020

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS:  

 The international coronavirus outbreak has also wreaked havoc in the American marketplace over the past few months, causing many people’s retirement savings and other investments to suddenly dwindle overnight.  

So, if you’re looking to cash out your 401k, you may also be in luck. The CARES Act has also waived the infamous 10% penalty fee associated with cashing out your 401k too early (before the age of 59 and a half). This penalty fee waiver applies if you’ve experienced financial hardship due to being either diagnosed with COVID-19 or been out of work because of it. 

Note that these distributions of funds will also be reflected in your gross income, and subject to regular income tax. These funds can also be re-distributed into your account within three years.  

While this sudden 401k withdrawal may be a financial lifeboat for some, it should be seen as a last resort to avoid crippling your hard-earned retirement savings. 

If you are subject to RMDs, you are not being forced to take them out this year. 

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS:

As of April 2020, a record 6.6 million Americans have applied for unemployment during this crisis. This relief bill expands unemployment benefits by adding up to $600 per week on top of state benefits. The specific rules and other guidelines vary from state to state. This will help keep workers afloat during this period of uncertainty. By spending this money on essentials, they’ll be directly contributing back to our economy, as well.  

2020 CARES Act Infographic

HOW TO APPLY:

In most cases, no action is required in order to receive your check. If you’d like, there is a direct deposit option instead of just receiving it in the mail. They will be sent out over the next three weeks.  

However, if you have not filed your 2019 taxes, then you should do so immediately, as that may affect the amount you receive. As stated before, if your income eclipses a certain financial threshold, you may not be eligible for this economic relief check.  

LOOKING FORWARD: 

 There are already several coronavirus therapies in development as we speak. There’s a broad focus on the separate areas of diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines. Researchers, scientists, and other experts are breaking new ground every single day. 

With an inherent emphasis on online business today, we are here to take your internet presence to the next level. Contact Strategic Growth Advisors today. We specialize in social media management, website design, SEO, content, branding, and much more.  

Zoom for Business: The Essential Guide

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, many businesses have been forced to close, and those still going have become obligated to work remotely. These changes are where alternate communication methods come into play. Apps like Skype are great for one-on-one informal conversations, but what about business meetings? Zoom has entered the chat.

What is Zoom? Zoom Video Communications, founded in 2011, is a remote conferencing services company. It allows you to conduct business meetings with any individual(s) around the world, as long as they have a strong wifi connection, of course. There are options for audio-only and traditional video chatting.

Business team in video conference

Strategic Growth Advisors is here to share a definitive guide to using Zoom for business. So how do you get started using Zoom? Let’s dive right in:

Account Setup

STEP 1: 

Visit Zoom.us and select “Sign up for Free”

zoom account

STEP 2: 

Enter your work email address (example: name@company.com), and click “Sign up.”

A confirmation link will be sent to your email address.

STEP 3: 

Click the “Activate Account” button in the Zoom email.

activate zoom account  STEP 4: 

Continue signing up for your Zoom account by filling out the form and selecting “Continue.”

STEP 5:

It is not necessary to invite colleagues to sign up for their account. We use one Zoom account at StratGrow, and team members can set up meetings from the central account. However, if you’d like your team members to have their own accounts (they can also sign up for free), go ahead and add their emails here.

invite workers

STEP 6:

Select “Go to My Account” to complete your account setup.

zoom account  STEP 7:

Upgrade your account to the “Pro” plan.

  zoom account

Select “Upgrade Account” on the next screen.

We recommend signing up for the “Pro” plan, but you can compare the plans and their features and choose what is best for you.

zoom plans  You can choose to be billed monthly or annually and add any plan add-ons. If you plan to record your webinars for future playback, you will either have to upgrade the cloud storage or save the recordings locally to the computer used for the webinar. zoom plans

Continue through to the payment and billing details and select “Upgrade Now.”

Manage Users

STEP 1: 

Sign in to your Zoom account online. By default, you are taken to the Meetings page.

Navigate to the User page under the “User Management” section of the left menu.

zoom users 

STEP 2:

To add a new user(s), select “+ Add Users” in the top right.

zoom account

Add the email address(es) of the user(s) you would like to add to your account. Basic users are users with free Zoom accounts; Licensed users are users with paid Zoom accounts.

zoom account

STEP 3:

Newly added users will be sent an email to accept the request. Until they have accepted the request, these users can be found in the “Pending” tab.

 

STEP 4:

Once the new user has accepted the request, you can edit roles. By default, new users will be “Members.”

There are 3 roles in the accounts:

  • Owner: Has all privileges, including Role Management. (Cannot be assigned to any other users.)
  • Admin: Can add, remove or edit users. Can manage advanced features like API, SSO, and Meeting Connector.
  • Members: Has no administrative privileges.

To edit a user’s role, click the “Edit” button next to their information on the Users page. zoom account

STEP 5:

If you need to remove a user from your account, you can delete, deactivate or unlink them.

  • Deactivating a user will prevent them from signing in to their Zoom account or utilizing any features.
  • Unlinking a user will give them their own basic, free Zoom account. It will not be associated with your account, and they will be able to purchase their own licenses. Before disassociation, you can transfer the user’s data (meetings, webinars, and cloud recordings) to another user.
  • Deleting a user will permanently remove the user from Zoom, including their settings, meetings, webinars, and recordings. Before deletion, you can transfer the user’s data (meetings, webinars, and cloud recordings) to another user.

Select the three dots next to their information on the Users page.   zoom accountSchedule & Start a Meeting

STEP 1: 

Sign in to your Zoom account online. By default, you are taken to the Meetings page.

zoom login page

STEP 2: 

Select “Schedule, a New Meeting” to create a new meeting.

STEP 3:

Fill out the applicable fields for the new meeting and click “Save.” For a detailed explanation of the meeting options available, please read this Zoom help article.

  zoom meeting setup

STEP 4:

Once you have created your Meeting, copy and paste the invitation to distribute to the attendees. (Example: add the invitation to a calendar invite or send via email.)

STEP 5:

When you are ready to start your meeting, you can navigate to the meeting in your Zoom account and start the meeting from:

The Meetings page:

The Meeting details page:

You can also start your meeting by using the Join URL (https://zoom.us/j/#########) provided in the meeting invitation.

This will prompt you to either download the Zoom software (if this is your first meeting) or to open the Zoom software (if already downloaded).

 

STEP 6:

Once the Zoom software launches, you will automatically start and join the meeting as the host. You can join with computer audio (recommended) or call in using the information provided in the meeting invitation.

 

Looking Forward

StratGrow or Strategic Growth Advisors LLC is a one-stop shop for all of your digital marketing needs. We specialize in Social Media Management, Content, SEO, branding, and much more. Feel free to contact us today.

Young businesswoman discussing project details with clients via video call.

The Paycheck Protection Program: What You Need To Know

In recent weeks there has been a steady media buzz surrounding the news of the $1,200 stimulus checks going to every American in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. However, what’s not really being mentioned are the BILLIONS of dollars being set aside for small businesses right now. Strategic Growth Advisors, LLC is here to help keep you educated and informed.

Coronavirus financial stimulus bill individual checks and cash from U.S. government

What is it?

Written into the $2 trillion stimulus bill is the Paycheck Protection Program, or a $350 Billion forgivable loan program for small businesses.

Title 1 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act. This provides a safety net for both employers and employees who have been negatively affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Application Process & Eligibility

Any business with under 500 employees can apply. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals are all eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. This one-time business loan can be applied for any time between now and June 30th, 2020.

Other Loan Details

Businesses can borrow up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $10 million. This amount is designed to cover eight weeks of payroll expenses, plus a little extra. This money is eligible to put towards debt obligations, i.e., mortgage, rent, leases, utilities, etc.

If you keep all of your employees through the end of June, then the entire loan will be forgiven. If your business still has to lay off employees, the loan forgiveness will be reduced by the percentage decrease of your employees.

Gold money coins with jar

Next Steps

The Paycheck Protection Program is a lifeline for many struggling businesses that have had to close their doors recently in the wake of the mandatory social distancing guidelines. These protocols enacted by local and federal governments to help curb the spread of the coronavirus are essential to maintaining public health but have also negatively affected the economy in the process.

Depending on the events of the next few months, this economic relief plan for small businesses may be extended or expanded depending on how this first round goes. Until then, there will inevitably be a greater emphasis on online business. Contact StratGrow today for any of your digital marketing needs. We specialize in SEO, branding, website design, content, social media management, and much more.