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Website Security

March 22, 2021 by Edwin Gerace

Website Security Facts and Must-Have Steps for Your Small Business

You’ve just launched a brand new website for your business. It’s sleek, user-friendly, and already bringing in more traffic. Maybe you even thought about SEO to attract even more customers, but have you also thought about how to secure your new website? If not, you could be putting your entire business at risk.

You already know you can find valuable marketing resources on the Giraffe Marketing website, but you can also find guides like this to boost your website’s security. 

First Some Frightening Statistics 

Do you know how much the average cybersecurity breach can cost a small business just like yours? In 2019, the average was right around $200K for a single security incident. That’s a huge loss for just about any business and many of those impacted ended up going under completely. 

Even more frightening is that more than 50% of all small businesses experience some sort of breach within a year. You could get lucky and end up in the other half, but why risk it? Instead, you can give yourself some peace of mind by taking simple steps to secure your website and any other source of data for your business. Keep on reading to find out how. 

Now Some Practical Security Solutions 

Take one look at cybersecurity reports like the one linked above and this one, and you may have trouble sleeping at night. While the reports are unsettling, you need to know that preventing attacks that could sabotage your small business doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Perhaps the most practical and stress-free solution is to find a freelancer who can take charge of your website’s security and put your mind at ease. There are countless cybersecurity data protection professionals waiting on job sites, so you can find the freelance help you need. If you’re not sure where to start, try reading through reviews and comparing individual rates. 

Until you can find and hire an experienced freelance cybersecurity pro, there are simple steps you can take to add basic security to your website. Add SSL certificates and web application firewalls(WAFs), and then be sure to use antimalware software for added protection. 

Tips to Keep Cybersecurity Costs Low 

By now, it should go without saying that budgeting to protect your small business website is a worthwhile investment. Remember, a single security instance could leave you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. So if you have to spend a few hundred or thousand to hire a freelancer or add security layers, that’s a small price to pay in comparison. 

You should also note that hiring a freelancer (also known as a contract employee) is indeed one of the most recommended ways to save money on cybersecurity. Freelancers usually come with their own equipment and supplies, which offers quite a bit of savings. You are also paying on an as-needed basis and you won’t have to worry about potential lawsuits or costly training. 

One last tip for minimizing the costs of securing your website is to keep your passwords to that site secure and to make sure any staff members with access are properly trained. These security best practices shouldn’t cost you much, but they could end up saving your business. 

Triage Steps to Take After a Successful Attack 

Preventing cybersecurity issues is like trying to prevent any other emergency. Your best line of defense is to be prepared and put proper security measures in place. Having said this, there is no way to fully prevent a hacker from successfully targeting your website. After all, even major corporations and government institutions have fallen victim to cybersecurity attacks. 

This means if you want to be fully prepared, you need security measures and a recovery plan in place. If you suspect a breach, stop using your website ASAP. You’ll also need to let your customers and/or employees know if their information was accessed during the attack. 

Securing your small business website isn’t just an option. It’s a necessity if you want to protect your business from profit losses. A cyberattack could even sink your entire business, so take the steps needed to keep it secure and keep your business going strong for years to come. 

Giraffe Marketing LLC can help small businesses with their digital marketing needs. Call us today at 803-609-7653 or visit our website to schedule a digital audit.

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Why do I need a website?

March 9, 2021 by Edwin Gerace

  • Your custom website makes you look Professional
  • Your website can attract new customers to the search engines
  • You can link your reviews to your site
  • Your site can give contact and business information and location
  • Your website can be easy to manage and update

I hope that those points help you answer the question. So is the question really is “can I afford to not have a website in the digital revolution”. If you want to have a successful business and want to generate income, then you must accept that you can’t afford to. See below for some options that make the process affordable and streamlined.

Economic Package $ 499

  • 2 pages
  • Initial site consultation 
  • Completed website online
  • Initial search engine submission and optimization

Basic Package $650

  • 3 or 4 pages 
  • Initial site consultation 
  • Completed website onlin
  • Initial search engine submission and optimization

Small Business Package $950

  • 5 or 6 pages
  • Initial site consultation 
  • Completed website online
  • Initial search engine submission and optimization

Delux Business Package $1100

  • 7 or 8 pages
  • Initial site consultation 
  • Completed website online
  • Initial search engine submission and optimization

SAMPLE SITES

We custom design each website to reflect the unique character of your business. All design packages include the purchase of domain name, optional stock images, and revisions as needed. Package prices vary by the number of pages you need.


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Leadership and Groups

February 1, 2021 by Edwin Gerace

Where is your tribe? Who is in your tribe?

A Group is a voluntary combination of two or more people. There are three distinct types of Groups that are relevant to the QSource: communities, organizations and teams.

F3 Q Source

We naturally want to be surrounded by people we like and trust. We gravitate to groups for security and confidence.

Community is one type that of group. Persons that live and socialize together can create communities.

Organizations is the other group. Persons that is tied to a purpose and identity and have a mutual identity.

Teams is the final group. Persons that have the benefit of a Community.

Giraffe Marketing is here to be in your community

How does communities, organizations and teams apply to marketing and digital agency?

Community would apply to people in the similar industry / trade group referring business or making recommendations of talented marketing successes to each other to help each grow. Let Giraffe leverage its community resources to help grow your business.

Organizations would apply to groups / industry working together to help grow the trade / industry by sharing marketing concepts and resources. Giraffe can work with with your trade group to promote the brand or industry to the consumers.

Team with marketing means clients, marketing company, creative and digital tactics are all working in unison for a common goal of success and or ROI. Let Giraffe help your team grow with a conhesive plan for success.

There is no I in Team

To read more about Groups and Leadership

Attention men, if you are interested in growing your friendships or physical strength or growing your faith there is a solution. F3 can help you encompass all of that. F3 is a national network including 2,436 free, peer-led workouts for men. Our mission is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership. If you are in the Midlands of South Carolina visit F3 Lexington.

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F3 Nation

Leadership how it applies to all things

January 25, 2021 by Edwin Gerace

The Leadership journey is very similar to the marketing journey.

I was reading some of my F3 Q Source and came across this quote that has a lot of power.


The connection between movement and leadership is critical because it presupposes a need for action, a recognition by the leader himself that the status quo is something less advantageous than some other place, a location the leader visualizes and then articulates to his followers. Only then can the leader begin to persuade them to follow him to the new place. He must describe it to them first because people will only overcome their inertia and follow someone if they believe that he knows where he is going. They won’t leave the known for the unknown, no matter how charismatic the leader is.

F3 Qsource https://f3nation.com/

This theory of movement and leadership applies to most anything you can imagine. Just like marketing you must visualize and understand the consumers journey before you can tell the story or provide a solution. Many people look for the solution but don’t take time to plan the journey to the solution. Like you parents said you must walk before you can run.

 

Like the agitator in a washing machine, leadership dislodges things long embedded in people’s emotional fabric, things that are impure and do not belong there but to which they had become accustomed–like a ketchup stain on their favorite shirt.

Being both Disruptive and agitating, leadership will naturally make people uncomfortable, at least until they begin to see for themselves that they are being led to a place of advantage.

F3 Qsource https://f3nation.com/

We all as natural humans don’t like the uncomfortable or the uncertain. But what most detest the most is getting outside our comfort zone. So when someone you trust or someone in authority disrupt your norm. Many business persons have a lot of passion about their business and want to grow. When they enlist the help of a marketing professional, that can create some disruption. But they must understand the undertaking and can visualize the end result and be willing to take that journey as partners.


Leadership and Giraffe Marketing
Giraffe Marketing is looking out for you you

At Giraffe Marketing we pride ourselves that we have to several things that set us apart from others. 1st is to identify needs of the clients 2nd is to discover opportunities. See Giraffe for more steps to the process. We look too talking to you soon. Free Digital Audit here.


Giraffe Marketing LLC
Giraffe Marketing Heads above the rest

Attention men, if you are interested in growing your friendships or physical strength or growing your faith there is a solution. F3 can help you encompass all of that. F3 is a national network including 2,436 free, peer-led workouts for men. Our mission is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership. If you are in the Midlands of South Carolina visit F3 Lexington.

Rise and Shine it’s Morning

January 18, 2021 by Edwin Gerace

Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

  1. Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do.
  2. Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light.
  3. Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake.
  4. Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction.
  5. Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing daily meditation, or setting intentions.

Twitter with Giraffe Marketing Agency

November 19, 2020 by Edwin Gerace

Choosing to use twitter as a marketing strategy gives your business a number of marketing advantages. With this decision, your company now has the ability to plan, create, and share content relevant to your business and engage with a new customer base. By generating engaging post, you provide the opportunity for open dialogue on your business ideas and concepts. Learn more about Twitter with Giraffe Marketing Agency below.

Why Twitter is considered a great social media tool:

  • This social media, unlike others, is free to use
  • This strategy provides ease of use and access with availability on any smart device (smart phone or tablet) and a computer.
  • Twitters platform allows its users to post numerous types of content from blogs and news articles to images and videos.
  • Twitter is available worldwide, this means you are able to reach an audience outside the US with little to no effort.
  • Twitter can be used as a search engine
  • This platform is designed for social engagement allowing you to converse with current and future consumers.

Twitter consumers are your consumers:

  • Over 30 million people use twitter every month
  • Roughly 20% of the adults in the US are users on this platform
  • Over 30% of the users say they can recall something they saw on Twitter
  • In excess of 50% of all Twitter users take action after seeing a brand mentioned

Using Twitter to grow your business:

  • Daily Tweets
  • Repost, Tweet and Retweet
  • Know which hashtags(#) to use and use them properly
  • Follow reliable and relevant persons to help build connections
  • Follow mutual friends, this will allow like-minded individuals access to your posts
  • Do not post spam items. Only post items relevant to your business ideas or trends. If you begin posting spam you will lose the attention of your audience.
  • If you find posts interesting then be sure to comment or retweet them, this will make your account visible to those with similar interests and ideas.
  • Be sure to provide a Twitter bio on your account, this will allow your consumers an insight into who you are and what you provide, even if it is brief.
  • Be sure to link your Twitter account to all of social media and web accounts you may have, visibility is key.
Check out @GriaffeMarketingLLC on Twitter

I would encourage you to follow me on Twitter @GiraffeMarketingLLC . Learn more about Twitter with Giraffe Marketing Agency.

Twitter with Giraffe Marketing Agency

Understanding Social Media

November 2, 2020 by Edwin Gerace

Social Media

Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.[1][2] The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features.

Wikipedia

Why should your business integrate social media into their marketing campaigns?

3.5 billion. The amount of social media users in the world. Social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are an integral part of our society. Facebook controls nearly 60% of the social media world with 1.7 billion daily users. This is 1.7 billion potential clients waiting for new products and ideas to be presented to them. So why is it important to get your business on these platforms? Visibility. “I saw it on Facebook.” “Yeah, there was an ad for it on Instagram”.  These comments are said daily about any given product because they had the visibility that a social media marketing strategy provided. of that conversation.

Where do you start with Social Media ?

In order to begin your social media campaign, you must first know your marketing audience. Social platforms like Instagram and TikTok are aimed at a younger (teens to mid-twenties) audience while Facebook and Twitter are aimed at an older (mid- twenties and up) audience.  With your audience in mind you can select the social media platform that will cater best to that audience.   From there, you can create engaging and creative content targeted to that specific audience group

You must choose the correct type of social media

There are varying social media categories or networks within the digital media world. Social, media based, discussion forums, blogging and social shopping are only a few of the networks offered. Social networks focus on connecting people with similar interest and likes and allow communication through messaging and comments while discussion forums are designed solely around people engaging in forums and discussion chains. Each of these digital networks is designed for a specific use and that networks use should be considered when you are deciding on your marketing strategy.

The largest of these networks is social followed closely behind media; these networks should be your primary focus when selecting and creating a digital marketing strategy designed for social media. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the best social networks to launch your social media campaign with. These social media networks work more diligently to actively connect consumers with brands and content that work best for their needs and wants.   Your secondary focus should be media sharing networks, these would include networks such as Instagram and Youtube. Because the primary goal of media networks is to share media, this is your chance to share images, videos and any other online media that is creative and engaging. You can truly captivate your audience in seconds.

All of the most popular social media platforms have their specifics designs and all of these can be useful in promoting in your business. See below how these platforms everyday uses can be helpful for your business.

  •  Twitter allows you to tweet just like everyone else….or not.  On the business side of things your tweets are indexed, you can target key words and determine a key audience while paying for a better performance. See below for data.
  • Instagram is owned by Facebook and is one of the fastest growing social networks This site is built for engagement. You can create stories, post images and interact with consumers. See below for data.
  • LinkedIn is used to connect businesses not only to each other but to employees and consumers. It is very business centric and highly creditable. 
  • Facebook is still one of the largest social networks. With Facebook you can target your ads, you have options with advanced or simple ad solutions, ads are easy to set up. You can measure your success and you can control your budget and make adjustments as needed.




If you’re not already using these social networks as part of your social media marketing plan or you are considering a social media marketing strategy, you should get a free digital audit by clicking here.

Using social media to market your business is no different than any other strategy as long as it is done correctly. You must do your research. Know your audience, know the network you wish to market on and above all be sure this is the strategy you wish to undergo. Make sure you seek professional help, if not Giraffe Marketing LLC, then an agency that fits your business needs.  Secondly, ensure you have a clear marketing plan that lays out the goals of your campaign. Lastly be sure to monitor and adjust as needed. As with any marketing campaign, social media campaigns need constant attention and adjustments to ensure you are reaching your desired audience and gaining consumer retention. There are millions of eyes scanning the internet looking at you, make sure you align yourself with a professional that can walk with you during your social media journey.

For a FREE Social Media evaluation please call Edwin at 803-609-7653 or email him Edwin@GiraffeMarketingllc.com

SEM Digital Strategies

October 22, 2020 by Edwin Gerace

SEM Digital Strategies are a must and this blog will highlight the reasons why and challenge you to explore your personal digital strategies and goals.

What does SEM mean?

Per Wikipedia SEM or search engine marketing, is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in a search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.  This process is known also known by names such as Pay to Play, Paid Clicks, or Sponsored clicks.

What is the purpose of SEM? 

The short answer, SEM places your business in front on consumers for a fee.  When you use the search engine marketing method, you are working with search engine companies such as Google and you are paying for ad placement on their websites ie the google ads that pop up first when keywords are searched. The more you pay, the better your placement, hence the term pay for play.  For this method to truly succeed however, you want to make sure that you are using specific and targeted keywords on your website. If you do not use words that a consumer will search, then it does not matter how much you pay as it will be in vain.

What search engines participate in SEM marketing?

All search engines in operation participate in an SEM marketing system, its just a matter of finding one that works for you.  Some of the current search engines in use are Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Startpage, OneSearch and of course Google.  You want to make sure that you pick a search engine that is best for your business and your needs, make sure you do adequate research before deciding whom to partner with in this endeavor.  Giraffe Marketing LLC, can assist you with this.

Why are SEM Strategies needed?

 Let us look at some statistics from 2020. According to Oberlo, Google has been visited 62.19 billion times in this year.   This search engine alone processes 3.5 billion searches per day with 90% of survey respondents saying they were more likely to like one of the first set of results then not.  What does this large group of numbers mean?  Let’s look specifically at the 90% portion.   Out of the individuals surveyed, only 10% would click past the first page of search results on a search engine page. Without SEM, without paying for ad placement, only 10% of individuals may see your business information out of the other relevant items.  Do you want to take that risk? 

In Conclusion

SEM digital marketing strategies are a must for a virtual storefront. With over 3.5 billion consumers using the web to search daily, it is paramount that a business does their due diligence and research SEM methods and search engine partners. Can money you spend today help you expand your client base for years to come?  Giraffe Marketing will be happy to assist you with your SEM strategy research, it cost nothing to send a message !

Challenge 

  • I recommend you have a professional like Giraffe Marketing evaluate your current website.
  • I suggest you explore the demand of your company.  Visit Google Trends
  • I dare you to create and launch a digital search campaign.  
  • I challenge you to monitor the traffic and results 

See Infographics below that support this blog post

Infographic byhttps://www.searchenginejournal.com/

Things to know when Hiring a Marketing agency

October 11, 2020 by Edwin Gerace

You’ve just started your own business and now it is time to start marketing that business. You know you can’t do that on your own so you begin looking for a marketing firm to assist you. There are 4 things that every business should consider when hiring a marketing agency: budget, communication, the type of agency and the size of the agency. All 4 of these factors will play a key role in choosing which agency is best for your business and why.

Budget

Part of every business is the budget and within that budget is the marketing budget. Your marketing budget will include things such as advertising expenses, sponsored web content (if applicable), and marketing staff. This budget can be broken down quarterly or yearly.

When considering a client’s budget, some agencies will choose marketing campaigns on both ends of the pricing spectrum. Some may deliver greater results with a price tag to match while others may be more budget friendly but still yield positive results.

Most agencies usually offer an array of pricing packages. Some agencies offer a retainer model allowing you to make monthly payments on your services and then allow you to pay for additional services you request outside your contracted plan. Other agencies work on commission based plans and only receive pay based on the services and marketing tactics you elect.

Each pricing model is made to work with the individual needs of the business. Be sure to select the budget that works best with your business and your needs.





https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-manage-marketing-budget-free-budget-templates

Communication

When I say communication what do I mean? I mean monthly business reporting. Roughly 30% of potential clients ask about monthly reporting. This is a startling number as that means the other 70%, over half, are not concerned or don’t think to ask. At Giraffe Marketing, we believe that reporting and communication is an integral part of a working business relationship.

Why are reports important and why should they be communicated? Marketing reports can show businesses and agencies the success of chosen marketing campaigns, KPIs, and web page analytics. Knowing these statistics will let you and your chosen agency know if changes need to be made and the time frame in which they need to happen. Reporting frequencies as well as the data that gets reported varies by agency as well as by client.

Choose the agency that will keep you involved. Giraffe Marketing, LLC believes that communication and reporting for clients is not an option, it’s a necessity.


https://www.datapine.com/blog/daily-weekly-monthly-marketing-report-examples/#:~:text=A%20monthly%20marketing%20report%20is,as%20the%20CPC%20or%20CPA.)

Type of Agency

To know the type of agency you want to select you must know what type of campaign you will want to run, ie print, media, or online. Knowing the type of campaign, you want to run will then help you select the type of agency you want to work with. Not every agency will work with your ideas as most are specialized in their set mediums. Once you’ve selected your marketing medium, you must then decide which agency can get you the tactics that work best for you.

There are some agencies that can dive in. They can discover, analyze and plan; however, they can’t adapt and change. There are others that don’t have the follow through. They can present everything to you perfectly and then fail to give you the results. Then there are a few that produce the needed reports that in the end mean nothing as there is no substance behind them.

What does all this really mean?

When you are looking for a marketing agency you are really looking for a partner. You are looking for someone to share your ideas for growth and development with. As a client, you need someone that will not only plan but also execute a marketing campaign. You want an agency that will present you with reports of growth and sustainability. An agency with true value is one who will grow with the client and their ideas. Marketing agencies cannot be a set it and forget it industry.

Size of Marketing Agency

Does the size of the agency matter? There are amazing agencies that are composed of a single person to those with well over 100 employees.

The only time that size would matter, would depend on the client and the clients’ needs. As with everything, there pros and cons and the same can be said with agency size.

With a smaller agency clients are guaranteed direct access. The same cannot be said when you work with an agency with 100+ employees. If you are someone who prefers things more personable then perhaps a smaller agency is for you, if it doesn’t matter then I suppose you could go either way.

At Giraffe Marketing LLC, we may be small but we are mighty. We work with our clients to provide the best outcome for their business with a budget that works for them. We provide the communication that will keep them updated on their businesses performance and that will allow them to make any needed changes. At Giraffe Marketing LLC, we work alongside owners to make sure their ideas succeed.

Marketing my business with Google

October 4, 2020 by Edwin Gerace

Google Search

Social Media with Giraffe Marketing
Colleagues sitting in a row using digital devices Giraffe Marketing

When you google your business, what do you find? Can you see it?  Is the information you do find correct and up to date? 96% of today’s consumers use Google as a precursor for almost all of their shopping needs. If you do not already have a “Google my Business” account set up, please do that now! This will be your saving grace when expanding your business into the virtual storefront world. For more Google Search check it out.

Google Shopping is behavioral science. Google search trends show that online shopping capabilities are vital to your business now more than ever.

Shopping Behavior by Google

Google Trends

According to trends, 47% of all consumer purchases are completed online. With abundant resources available at their fingertips, consumers are researching and reviewing 90% of assets before clearing their cart. What does this mean for you?  In today’s business world, you must have a virtual storefront that is user-friendly and informative. Your customers need to be able to find all the information they are looking for without clicking off of your page. Visit Google Trends for more information.

Google provides a great tool to find out search trends with consumers. If you need help with this let Edwin know. It is free and fairly easy to navigate.

Google Trends

Google Homework

At Giraffe Marketing LLC, we highly recommend that you invest time and resources into what consumers connect your business and their google searches to. If you cannot do this alone then we suggest hiring a professional to assist you in these endeavors. With an astounding 42% of America currently working from home, they rely heavily on Google and other internet sources to connect them to the right business for their needs.  You must understand the current online trends and stay up-to-date with them on your virtual storefront.   Google searches and how your business is displayed in those searches can make or break you.

Stand out on Google with a free Business Profile

Turn people who find you on Google Search and Maps into new customers with a free Business Profile for your storefront or service area. Personalize your profile with photos, offers, posts, and more.

Read more about Google my Business

Google ADs – Hire a Professional to Work with you on Google PPC

Digital Marketing |  SEM / SEO | Posted on October 21, 2021 at 7:51 am by Edwin Gerace

Responsive Search ads are pretty flexible ads that find a way to show the message to a customer he must have been looking for. You enter multiple descriptions and headlines when creating the ad. 

Google’s learning system will mix reports and headlines and test which combination of ads performs well over time. Customers will get to see the most relevant and preferred message.


Giraffe Marketing LLC serves the Greater Columbia metro area with regional clients reaching the south east. Lexington, Columbia, Cayce, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, Rock Hill

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