Does Your Business Need to Pay-to-Play on Facebook?

The short answer is yes. Long gone are the days when most of your followers would actually see each of your posts in their Facebook feed.  Today, it appears that only 5-10% of your page followers actually see any one of your posts.  This percentage is called “organic reach”.  Organizations like Social Media Examiner and Hootsuite monitor organic reach and report it to have been in steady decline over recent years.

So what does this mean? In short, fewer people are seeing the posts that you are making on your business Facebook page. That in turn means fewer people have the opportunity to like and share those posts. This makes it harder to grow a Facebook audience and to leverage that audience for marketing purposes.

What’s the solution? Unfortunately, buying ads and paying to boost posts is what it takes. Pay-to-play is now the name of the Facebook game, but it’s not all bad. Facebook advertising tools have greatly improved and identifying and marketing to highly qualified customers can be accomplished relatively easily and doesn’t require a large investment.

Does this mean I should give up on posting to my business Facebook page? NO! You still want and need engaging content on your Facebook business page.  Existing customers, page fans, followers and prospective customers will visit and interact with the page. A business’s social media presence is becoming more and more important to customers and prospects as they make buying decisions. This is especially true when running Facebook ads since the first impression you make on a prospective customer could be through that ad.

Questions? We’re happy to help with your social media advertising and broader digital strategy needs and planning. 

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Improve Your Keyword Research for SEO

[Power user content… this article assumes the reader has had at least some prior experience with the topic]

Descriptive, keyword-rich copy is critical to ranking well in search engines.  Web copy should speak to your target audience using the same terms and language style that they use when searching for your products and/or services. 

In order to do this, it’s important to understand what the intent is behind the user’s search query.  Search queries primarily correspond to one of four categories of search intent: informational, transactional, comparison or navigational.  

If a company sells small business accounting software, some of those queries might be:

  1. Informational accounting for small businesses 
  2. Transactionalpurchase accounting software online
  3. Comparisonbest bookkeeping software for a small business
  4. Navigationaldownload XYZ software for free

How to Find Keywords

To begin: brainstorm.  You can probably think of dozens of phrases off the top of your head.  Jot them down and assign a search intent category to each phrase that you come up with.  If you have a sales or customer service team, they can be a great asset during this keyword discovery stage.  People who interact directly with clients and prospects likely get asked many of the same questions over and over.  What are those questions, and what is their intent?  If your website has a search function, you may also want to look at those logs to see how users are searching once they do find your site. 

Keyword Tools

There are also several free keyword tools that can help you find additional search phrases relevant to your business. A quick search at ( will reveal several additional phrases along with monthly search volume metrics:


Another great strategy is to find semantically related phrases to use throughout your page copy. Finding and using related phrases may help you rank for both primary phrases and keyword variations related to your page topic. An easy way to find phrases that Google might consider “related” is to inspect the keyword suggestions that are provided when you begin to type in a phrase:

Keyword Usage

Now that you have a list of relevant and closely related phrases to use throughout your site copy, sculpt your pages to speak to each category of search intent, followed up with a strong, impactful call-to-action. 

By following this strategy you’ll help Google understand your products and services.  And, most importantly, you’ll be connecting with your customers and prospects using language that they understand.


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We’re all doing something wrong… How does a 9 year old make $29 MILLION on YouTube?

Once again, Forbes predicted that nine year old, Ryan Kaji, would be one of the top earning YouTubers of 2020.  His channel, Ryan’s World, is still unbelievably popular.  His videos routinely get millions of views.  You can take a look at his channel here and see a sample video below.  Most of his videos are short, light hearted kid centric stories, or show him unboxing and reviewing new toys.  

This little guy’s success has caused many people to contemplate their career path decisions. It couldn’t be that hard to do this? Could it? Before you go and recruit your children, nieces, nephews or other youngsters to host your new YouTube channel, it needs to be pointed out that Ryan’s World is now a serious business operation.  What probably started out as a whimsical video or two shot on a smartphone is now supported by professional videographers, animators and digital strategists.  The result is nothing less than impressive. With tens of millions in income, advertisers are clearly willing to pay for the resulting video views and the parent’s wallets that they are attached to.  

Ryan’s World and similar channels show the value and power of targeted audiences.  It’s the value of the right message, in the right place at the right time.  

While we can’t guarantee YouTube stardom, we can help you identify digital opportunities and find targeted audiences to better position your brand, products and services. 

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You can see the Forbes Highest-Paid YouTube Stars of 2020 list here.

The Top 10 Marketing Statistics You Need to Know From 2020

It is no joke that 2020 has been full of surprises and shifted the way organizations communicate with their customers. Marketers have to rely on digital solutions to maintain and build relationships with their target audiences more than ever. With that in mind, there is a lot we can learn from 2020 moving forward. 

We are going to take a look at the top 10 statistics from 2020 that we believe give meaningful insight into what your organization’s marketing efforts should focus on or change this next year.

Let’s dive in. 


#1 Optimize Your Site for Mobile

It’s 2020, and by now close to everyone has a smartphone. Consumers are on the go more than ever and rely on their mobile devices for access to any and all information. According to mobile UX statistics, 85% of adults think that a business’s mobile website should be as good or better than its desktop equivalent. It is likely that most of your consumers are viewing your website on a mobile device so it is vital that your site is optimized for mobile viewing. Does your site have a responsive web design? Responsive web design allows web pages to alter their layout and appearance to suit different screen widths and resolutions. This ensures that your site is easy to navigate on mobile. 

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#2 Email Marketing is Worth Every Penny

According to Litmus research, for every $1 marketers spend on email marketing, they receive $42 in return. Research consistently shows that email marketing produces revenue which means this should be a priority in your marketing strategy. Don’t forget to focus on integration and segmentation when developing email campaigns. When you use segmented campaigns, you may have as much as a 760% increase in revenue. To piggyback off of #1, mobile opens account for 42% of all email opens in 2019. This means it is important to optimize your emails for mobile screens. Mailchimp is a great platform for creating emails that are optimized for mobile devices. Pro tip- schedule emails to send between 10am-12pm as that time frame has the highest open rates. 

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#3 Invest in a Website Upgrade

My Technology shares that 94% of people don’t trust outdated websites. It is so important to stay up to date with the latest web design trends. Over time we are learning more and more about consumer behaviors and what consumers like to see on a website and how they want to find the information they’re looking for. Web design is constantly progressing and it’s important to give your site a refresh if it’s been a few years. Did you know 63% of businesses are investing in a website upgrade this year? 

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#4 Invest in Facebook and Google Paid Advertising

According to Hubspot research, Facebook and Google search advertising provide the highest ROI. Facebook at approx 34% and Google Search at 27%. It is no secret that Facebook is the place to advertise as well as Google coming in right behind. Paid advertising is the best way to get results fast. Earned growth is crucial in this highly saturated online market. We have seen how even small budgets can produce results. 

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#5 Videos Perform Better

On average, users spend 84 minutes watching videos daily. 38% of video posts receive more engagement than images on instagram. We cannot stress enough how important video content is for your social media strategy. There is tons of research to back up the fact that videos receive more attention, engagement, and perform better than static feed posts. The point is- make things move! Traditional video, motion graphics and animation are all ways to take your content to the next level. We have a video production team that can meet your moving-content needs.

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#6 Utilize Stories on Social Platforms

Stories are growing 15x faster than feed-based sharing. Since Facebook and Instagram introduced the stories feature in 2017, they have become a huge player in social media marketing. It is no surprise how popular sharing through stories has become. Taking it back to #5, people love watching videos. With stories, you can add video, moving pictures (Boomerangs), moving gifs and you can go live.

Learn More About Social Media Marketing




#7 Perform a Usability Test

85% of issues related to UX can be detected by performing a usability test on a group of five users. How do you know if your site is offering a smooth and easy user experience? What information is hard to find or which areas of the site overwhelm the user? These questions can easily be answered by performing a usability test. Here at Gray Digital Group, we offer a usability test that can help you pinpoint where your website needs improvement. During our usability test, we can do an accessibility check to make sure it’s meeting current ADA standards.

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#8 Prioritize Your SEO Strategy

A combination of high-quality content and link building is the most effective way to rank content in search engines according to Safari Digital. 51% of the traffic for B2B and B2C sites is driven by organic search. Paid brings in 10% traffic and social generates only 5% traffic.

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#9 Listen to What Your Audience is Saying

Social Listening is the #1 tactic for social media. According to Hubspot, social listening is the monitoring of your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand or discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities. Making social listening a priority in 2021 will increase your credibility, increase your conversions and help you cater your goals to what your audience wants to hear. Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business? Part of social listening is generating reviews online. 

Learn How to Generate Reviews



#10 Engage Your Audience in a Virtual Parameter

PowerTraffick states that in the span of just one year, from 2018 to 2019, the total number of devices around the world with ad blockers rose from 142 million to upwards of 615 million. This should be a sign that marketers need to be more strategic with how they push ads to their customers. One way to do this is called geofencing. Geofencing is a location-based service that businesses use to engage their audience by sending relevant messages to smartphone users who enter a predefined location or geographic area.

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2020 In Review

We can all agree 2020 was one wild ride none of us signed up for. Nevertheless, we had some exciting accomplishments this year at Gray Digital Group. We moved offices to the glorious, industrial Finesilver building. We gained some new furry coworkers. We had the privilege of working with amazing clients to launch their new websites, and to top it off, we celebrated 20 years working in this industry. Here’s a look at our 2020:


Geotargeting 101


Imagine being able to target and deliver digital ads to individuals who attended a specific trade show or who walked into a particular shopping center or who visited one of your competitors locations. Sound impossible? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s called geofencing advertising.

With the proliferation of mobile devices and the GPS driven location services that each of these devices carry with them we now have access to and can act on amazing amounts of consumer behavior information.   

Advertisers can draw a virtual fence around building, events, venues, and other very specific parts of a geographic area. Visitors, or more specifically, their mobile phones that pass into these fenced areas are flagged for future marketing efforts. The advertiser can then display their advertisement, offer, or message to the visitor via the same mobile device.

A restaurant, knowing that out of town visitors will need to eat dinner, may geofence nearby hotels and target those staying in the hotels with special offers. Car dealerships can geofence competitor’s car lots and target those visiting those lots with an alternative model of car, special pricing or other incentives. A service provider can geofence trade shows or conferences for industries that they specialize in. There are many applications, but the point is that marketers can reach highly targeted and motivated customers.

There are many geofencing providers and networks. Each has strengths and weaknesses.  Some can set hyper focused boundaries (down to a couple of feet) while others are more broad.  Larger social networks such as Facebook have their own flavor of geofencing and localization.  Some platforms have the ability to cross over to and deliver ads on other advertising platforms.  One example is the ability to display video ads via HULU or other on-demand video services to visitors that entered a geofenced area.

Let’s just say geofencing advertising can be powerful. Contact us today to see if geofencing is a good fit for your digital marketing strategy.

IDD Accessibility

Advancements continue to be made in the world of digital accessibility. At GDG, we currently follow WCAG.2 guidelines for all new websites created and modify existing websites based on client needs. This however only assists users with hearing and visual impairments. In 2021, we hope to expand that to users with IDD – intellectual and developmental disabilities. Software and technology is being created by agencies around the world that we hope to add to our list of services. 

Mission Road Ministries is a non-profit organization serving children and adults with IDD in the San Antonio, Texas area. GDG will continue to support their digital initiatives and expand our knowledge base to assist those with IDD via digital capabilities.

To learn more about Mission Road Ministries visit their website.