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Three Keys to Your Holiday Marketing Strategy This Year

Now that we’ve passed Halloween, the season of late fall and winter holidays is officially beginning for many people. Decorations are going up, plans are being finalized, and budgets are being assessed as the end of the year approaches. For your brand, this is a time to really think about the coming months and devise some a marketing strategy for capitalizing on the holiday season. Here are three keys to keep in mind.

Know Your Audience

First, you’ll want to think about how your target audience is spending the season. Will most of them be celebrating holidays? If so, which ones? You don’t want to alienate anyone by focusing on certain holidays but not others, and if your target audience includes people of many different beliefs, make sure to be inclusive! Just like the iconic Starbucks holiday cup that is already drawing speculation, your clients may have expectations that should be taken into account.

The second step to this is to think of how they will be spending those holidays, and how that will relate to your business. For example, many retail businesses will be gearing for Black Friday around this time, preparing special deals and discounts to draw customers in. Restaurants and other food service businesses should have a plan for the holidays that most families will spend at home, and another plan for those days and nights when many people go out. Knowing your audience is something we’ve written about before, and this time of year it’s worth thinking about some more.

Social Media

The holidays should definitely be a factor in your social media strategy for the next few months. Capitalizing on the festive season will boost your engagement and help you to stay relevant with the ever-changing trends on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms.

There are a ton of creative ways to connect your brand with the holidays on social media. A few of them are:

  • Photo contests—get your clients to send in their best decorations!
  • Donation Drives
  • Giveaways—it’s the season of giving!
  • Themed events—trade your Halloween costumes in for ugly holiday sweaters!
  • Puns—your wit is your friend when it comes to attracting web traffic.

Holiday-themed trends and campaigns are an essential part of your marketing strategy this holiday season.

Don’t Get Lost

Odds are, if you’re using the holidays as a jumping-off point for your marketing strategy, so are your competitors and many other businesses. It’s important to make sure that while you share in the collective good spirits, you still stand out among all the noise on social media and other online traffic.

Staying true to your brand guidelines is the key here: think about your company’s values and how they shape your brand. This will help in determining how your brand elements can be adapted for the season. Our comprehensive look at brand elements here might be a good starting point, as you can think about the goals of your brand in relation to the season. Your unique twist on the holiday spirit will help you and your brand stand out from competitors.

infinite-reach-pros-cons-automation-marketing

Pros and Cons of Automating Your Marketing Tasks

These days, it seems like machines can do more and more work for us. The rising trend in automation has gone from a sci-fi pipe dream to a daily reality—in other words, the future is now! Most people think of cutting-edge technology like self-driving cars when they think of automation, but have you considered the way in which automation can be harnessed for marketing through Social Media and blogging? Here we’re going to talk about some of the pros and cons of automation and how to harness them for maximum potential.

Pro #1: Consistency

We’ve written before about how important it is to update your web and blog content on a consistent basis. It’s especially helpful in helping your ranking on Google, which helps your business get discovered by new clients. Scheduling content ahead of time is a great way to stick to your content calendar, and a version of the function exists in virtually all blog and website-building programs.

Pro #2: More Time for Other Work

With your blogs set to post for weeks in advance, you can use the extra time for other work, whether it’s marketing-related or another aspect of making your business run smoothly. For, example, if you’re planning an event and want to remind people about it on social media, you can use a tool like TweetDeck to schedule tweets leading up to the time of the event and focus on other important tasks that need to be done before the event. This is much more reliable than saving drafts you may forget about and not send out when this other work come up.

Con #1: Could Disengage Potential Customers

Though the idea of machines being able to think, speak, and write like human beings is intriguing, right now the content produced by software start-ups like Narrative Science is still a little, well, robotic. A recent study found that while algorithm-based articles on recent events matched human-written ones in many aspects, the most glaring difference came in the area of “pleasant to read.” Taking the extra time to have a real, live person write your content is still the best way to go if you want readers (meaning: potential clients) to enjoy it!

Con #2: Less Variation

Actual human interaction is the real basis of Social Media. That means that merely scheduling tweets and Facebook posts to go out into the void isn’t enough to build engagement with followers and customers. Setting aside time for live tweeting, responding to trending topics rather than relying only on scheduled posts, and commenting on or sharing other users’ posts are great ways to keep the human side of social media present in the automated world of cyberspace.

 

With all the technology at our disposal, it’s easy to fall into two traps: not taking full advantage of the many things it can do, and over reliance on automation to perform tasks. With these pros and cons in mind, you can save yourself time and stress by having content ready to post early, making more space in your schedule for the human side of online marketing.

Infinite Reach Agency Building Facebook Engagement

4 Tips for Building Facebook Engagement

Building Facebook engagement can be tricky even for a seasoned expert. The most important thing to remember is that you are not just building a customer base, you are building relationships. If people feel like you care about them they will be more likely to engage with you and your brand.

Engagement on Facebook is anytime someone shares, likes, or comments or your post. In general, you will get more engagement from posts than you will get from shares. But if you do share a post, at least write something; add your opinion of why you agree or disagree with the article or post.

There are many ways to build engagement on Facebook and you should do what works for you and your company, but these tips will help you get started building those relationships.

Infinite Reach Agency Building Facebook Engagement blog

1: Include Quality Images

Including images in your posts is a sure fire way to build engagement. People are very visual, if you can tell your story with a picture, you are more likely to get their attention and get them interested. Posts that include pictures are twice as effective at building engagement than a status update with no picture.

There are many websites where you can get high quality stock photos like 123RF.com and Gratisography.com. The best place to get pictures for your Facebook page is to take them yourself. People really connect when you get personal, so don’t be afraid to share your own pictures and stories.

2: Use More Videos

Videos are another great way to improve your numbers when you are building Facebook engagement. Adding video to a post can improve your engagement level by up to 12% on average. Facebook did not like the popularity of sites like YouTube so they started giving priority to posts including videos. That means that a post that includes a video will have a much further reach than one without a video.

3: Hold a Contest

People love a contest. 35% of Facebook users admit to liking a page just to join a contest, and another 42% liked a page for a chance to get a coupon or a discount. You can either give away a tangible prize or the prize can be a mention or a feature on your website or Facebook page.

There are many kinds of contests. You can offer a prize to just one winner, or you can give everyone a prize by way of a coupon or discount offer. The keywords “coupon” and “$ off” can increase your engagement 39% to 55%. That is incredible.

4: Ask Questions

Maybe the best way to build engagement is to Ask Questions! This may also be the most obvious but also the most overlooked way to build engagement. Think about it, when you want to start a conversation with someone, you either say something witty, or you ask them a question.

Questions get your fans talking. Perhaps the best way to get anyone talking is to ask them about something that they care about and that is also the best way to get people talking or “engaged” with you and your brand.

Posts with questions get an average of 100% more comments than other posts. These posts get fewer likes and shares, but if you are looking for engagement, there is nothing better than getting your friends and fans talking to you.

Like I said before, building Facebook engagement can be tough, but these 4 tricks are tried and true. If you include at least some of these tactics in your social media plan, you are sure to increase your engagement rate. If you have any questions or need help with your social media needs, please contact us. We would love to talk to you today!

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Facebook Live Video

What You Need to Know About Facebook Live Video

When Facebook first released live video streaming options, its users didn’t really understand how it fit in with Facebook’s platform. Now, it is suddenly taking social media by storm. How did this happen? People and groups with high amounts of followers began live streaming major events. For instance, news channels have done live broadcasts through Facebook, allowing its followers to keep up with current stories such as a election speeches. Celebrities have also brought special every day moments to their fan base through live video. An example of this a prominent comedian backstage before a show giving shout outs to their fans. People spend around 3x longer watching live videos compared to videos that are no longer live, making it a great way to get attention.

Branding and Live Video

So yes, live video is working for high-profile people, but what about brands? The brands that are most successful on social media are those that understand how to play the game. By coming off as more human and approachable, users are more willing to interact with brands. Some brands, such as McDonald’s, have already started playing in this field.

Helpful Tips for Using Live Video

  1. Be connected. Have a strong connection to a WiFi network or use 4G. Facebook will not allow the “Go Live” button to work until the connection is strong enough.
  2. Be proactive. Let followers know when the brand plans to go live. Also encourage them to enable notifications so they can be aware of the live stream.
  3. Be interactive. Respond to commenters and answer their questions in order to foster a relationship between the brand and its followers.
  4. Be creative. It cannot be stressed enough that users have high expectations of videos, especially when it comes to brands. Make sure the live streaming content is interesting and entertaining.
  5. Be timely. Stream live with regular frequency to keep up engagement. Marketing agencies such as Infinite Reach Agency can help arrange a social media plan to sync live videos with other social media content appropriately.

For some examples of live video, check out some of Facebook’s favorites.

Earned Media

Earned Media: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

Earned Media- Learn to love it

Earned media is what comes out of a consumer’s experience with a brand. It can be wonderful and it can be painful. A brand is what its customers say it is. But where does one find what people are saying about a brand? Social media. When we think about marketing, we don’t necessarily think about trust, yet earned media is trusted by consumers far more than paid or owned. Why? Because people trust what their peers have to say- and what they’re saying is on social media.

Creative Content > Big Budgets

Social media has become a huge player in the game of earned media. It is an environment where conversations about brands can thrive and relationships can be built between consumer and company. What was once a one-way interaction between brands telling consumers what to believe, is now an equal playing field of listen and respond. It is no longer true that brands with the biggest marketing budget will win. Now, those that know how to actively engage with consumers creatively on social media are the top dogs. Brands have the opportunity to become personable. Believe it or not, brands can construct personalities on social media that consumers love- or love to hate.

Give them something to talk about

Doesn’t it make sense for brands to be where their customers are? Not to say that simply making a Facebook account means you’re golden, but a brand needs to know how to play its cards right. Take a look at the demographics of social media audiences. Should the brand live on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or somewhere else? Once that audience is located, what does the brand need to be in order to entice likes and interactions? How does the brand offer promotions and ask for feedback? Although there is a much more complex answer, the simple answer is to create content that is exciting and relevant for consumers. Social media management is at the core of earned media success, making it a necessity to have a superior understanding of how social media plays into a brand’s marketing strategy. Infinite Reach Agency understands social media marketing and can help your business flourish on social media. If a brand is what customers say it is, then let’s give them something to talk about.

Internet Marketing Chameleon

What is Internet Marketing?

Internet Marketing Defined

Internet marketing is a form of marketing that uses the internet in several forms- web, email, and social media. The online landscape is constantly changing and evolving, making it important to be a marketing chameleon of sorts; always adapting and embracing agile marketing ideologies. Of course, traditional forms of marketing such as television, radio, and print ads are still relevant. However, internet marketing has grown to become extremely important to brand success at all points of the marketing funnel. People live online and turn to the internet for many reasons, particularly when it comes to the buying process. Consumers use the internet to become aware of products. They also engage in product research, whether it’s through reading reviews from their peers or comparing prices and features. Now through e-commerce the internet is widely used to actually buy products.

According to CMO by Adobe, online sales are predicted to grow to $370 billion in 2017, up from $231 billion in 2012. Sites like Yelp and various social media outlets allow consumers to promote or demote products and brands. However, about 50% of Millennials say they regularly browse for items that they don’t necessarily plan on buying. This is why internet marketing is important. With the entire buying process now available online, it is essential for brands to maintain an influential presence through web marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing in order to stay competitive.

Web Marketing

Web marketing is a very broad term that encompasses a variety of internet marketing techniques including websites, online advertising in the form of images or videos, sponsored search engine ads, and organic search engine results via search engine optimization, also known as SEO for short.  Always make sure that:

1. Your website gives off a great first impression to potential buyers.

2. Your online ads appear in front of the right buyer personas.

3. Your content is not only relevant, but interesting in order to yield optimized organic search results.

Somewhere around 93% of all online experiences start with a search and about 75% of users never look beyond the first page of search results. SEO helps ensure that users find your website on the first result based off of things like keywords, tags, and content. What’s more, SEO leads have about a 14% close rate, much higher than outbound leads. All of these aspects of web marketing should be in conjunction with one another, creating a seamless brand image that appeals to the right buyers. Professional marketing agencies, such as Infinite Reach Agency in Phoenix, AZ, work their magic to ensure that web marketing is integrated with other forms of internet marketing.

Email Marketing

Email marketing can be extremely powerful when performed correctly. You cannot simply send out emails to consumers and expect them to take interest instantly. Instead, it is of high importance that emails contain quality, useful information that is personalized toward the receiver. This article discusses a few ways to make your emails stand out against the many emails consumers receive from brands daily. It is necessary to promote joining the mailing list. Having an opt in form on your webpage can only take you so far. Make sure you have calls to action featured across multiple platforms, not just the webpage, that draw attention to the benefits of receiving emails. Also, each email should be personalized. Include the person’s name and catering to their specific interests. Also be careful to optimize the layout of the emails so important information can be quickly found, no matter what device is being used to read the email. Lastly, make sure emails are leading to conversions. It may seem obvious, but leading users to the appropriate landing page within the site is a key to increasing conversions and bettering the user experience. Email marketing is a wonderful way for people to engage with brands and remain connected with them.

Social Media Marketing

Speaking of connection, about a third of millennials say social media is their preferred channel for engaging with brands. With over 2.1 billion people active on social media, brands are finding ways to join social circles and connect with consumers on a deeper level. Since the average user maintains 5 accounts, brands can reach out to audiences in a variety of ways. The different platforms mean different techniques are needed- whether it’s a 15 second video on Instagram, a carousel on Facebook, or a 140 character post on Twitter, brands are able to tell interesting stories and engage with users on a more personal level. It also allows brands to jump on social trends (although some do it better than others). By reacting uniquely to crazes like “Damn, Daniel” and Shark Week, brands can gain the upper hand. Hootsuite has a great blog on all things social like this one: 18 social media marketing tips. One of the tips: Always be proactive. Much like the brands jumping on social trends, always be listening and engaging with users. Create interesting, and refreshingly relevant content that will win over audiences. Another tip is to know when to outsource your social media. If you didn’t immediately recognize the “Damn, Daniel” reference, then it may be a cue to check in with social media more. Listening and reacting quickly takes dedication and finesse. Experts can stay on top of your accounts without losing your brand’s authentic voice.

The Final Say

We can all laugh about the fact that some people thought the internet was going to be a fad. Filled with challenges and opportunities for marketers, the internet is now integrated in practically everything we do- including the buying process. Keeping up on web, email, and social media marketing makes you an internet marketer. However, putting forth quality content that is directly relevant to your audience makes you a great internet marketer.

The web is becoming more and more cluttered with advertisers that blend into the background, making it easy for consumers to brush by without a second thought. Make sure your internet marketing strategies and tactics have the ability to stand out. Does your website have a fantastic design and information that is tailored to your audiences needs? Are your emails getting reads and clicks? Are your social media posts sparking engagements? If not, then hopefully this article has some helpful tips to get you started in the right direction! Looking for more? Infinite Reach is a marketing agency in the Phoenix area that is qualified to bring your brand’s internet marketing up to speed!

 

social media

Social Media: News, Statistics and Trends

Social media is so popular nowadays! I personally always catch myself checking Instagram and Snapchat every chance I get, just to make sure that I’m up to date with the rest of my social media friends!

Also, I love to show what I’m doing in the moment- whether it’s sending a Snapchat of my feet by the pool or posting a picture of my friends and I at dinner on Instagram.

There’s no doubt that the world of social media moves extremely fast and it may be hard to keep up with all of the latest trends and news involving your favorite social media sites. There have been some big things happening in the social media world, so let’s take a look!

Facebook

Facebook is probably one of the most familiar social media sites. It’s easy to navigate and it’s a fantastic way to connect with and update your friends, family members and loved ones. Here are some statistics:

  • 1.09 billion daily active users on average for March 2016
  • 989 million mobile daily active users on average for March 2016
  • 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016
  • 1.51 billion mobile monthly active users as of March 31, 2016
  • Approximately 84.2% of our daily active users are outside the US and Canada

1.65 billion monthly users… that’s insane! In comparison to other very popular apps, Facebook takes the cake for the most active users.

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Twitter

Twitter has changed the way it categorizes itself. As of their April update, Twitter sits as the top free app in the News category in the App Store rather than categorizing itself as a Social Networking site.

social trending

Before, when Twitter sat in Social Networking in the App Store, it was ranked 6th. Now that it has separated itself from other social apps like Facebook and FB Messenger, it has moved to the #1 spot in the News category.

While I do believe that Twitter is very popular, at least among millenials, ranking #1 could be a nice change for Twitter as a whole! It will give Twitter the visibility in the App Store that it needs, which can ultimately lead to more downloads.

Snapchat

This is one of my favorite social apps! I used to hate hate hate it, but the more that I used it, the more it grew on me. For those of you unfamiliar, Snapchat is a video messaging app that allows users to send pictures or videos to another user, but they are only viewable for a set duration between one and ten seconds. After that, the ‘snaps’ automatically delete. Here are some key data points:

  • Snapchat has 100m active users with 400m snaps sent every day (Source: Mashable)
  • The company is currently valued at $19b (Source: Fortune)
  • Snapchat Discover is the app’s way to generate ad revenue (Source: MoneyMorning)

social on snapchat

As you can see, Snapchat has a lot of great features. Snapchat’s daily video views have also hit 10 billion. It’s reported that there has been a 150% increase in video consumption on this social app in just under a year. That’s some incredible growth. Pretty nuts if you ask me!

Pinterest

Another one of my favorites! Honestly, I’m not sure where else girls can find outfit inspiration, crafting tutorials, and cocktail/healthy dinner recipes all in one app. Pinterest is a pretty amazing place. I’m guilty of browsing through the app pretty much every time I’m bored.

Aside from all of the great things to discover on Pinterest, the app just released Featured Collections, which is a way to take a look at what’s trending but in an even easier way! Thank you, Pinterest, for adding fuel to the fire aka my addiction to this app 🙂

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YouTube

Another popular social site that people use not only for personal reasons but companies and businesses utilize YouTube for marketing and company-related purposes also.

YouTube announced that there will now be 6-second ads that can’t be skipped by users. They’re calling them “bumper ads” and are “ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency perform,” according to Google.

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Social Media Takeover

So by the looks of it, social media is slowly taking over. It has definitely become a staple in my life, and I know that it has for many businesses and individuals as well.

Social media is an amazing tool and it’s great that we are able to access a variety of information at the touch of our fingertips. As a business, you should be taking advantage of all that social media has to offer.

Any social media trends, new features or stats that have caught your eye lately? I’d love to hear them. Let me know in the comments!

social media business

Social Media: How Important is it to Your Business?

Here at Infinite Reach Agency, social media is one of our top priorities! It is so important for any business to be able to reach their customers in an innovative and widespread way. For new businesses it is especially important, as it can help you increase business and get you established in your field. The power of social media is great and has the ability to reach far more customers.

Who Is Your Social Media Audience?

The first thing you need to know is who your target audience is. Who do you want to sell your service or product to? Are you aiming for a certain age demographic? Are you looking for a specific gender? Are you looking for people who engage in certain activities, athletics for example?

Defining your audience will help you choose the best platforms for your business. It will also help to ensure that you reach the customers who will be most interested in what you have to offer.

social media

Social Media Platforms

Which Social Media Platform is for You?

Once you have determined who you want to reach with your social media, then you can start to see which platforms are going to work best for you. This will help you optimize your efforts and get your information out quickly. There are many social platforms; let’s go through three of the most popular ones:

Twitter is good for people who are on the go and just want your information to be simple, short and to the point. A quick update can send them to your site to find more details.

Facebook can help you reach more of a general and broader audience than some platforms because it has become so very popular. Businesses can share multiple photos of new product, write about happenings at the company and increase the traffic going to their site.

Another useful platform is LinkedIn. This site, originally for the working professional has broadened, but is still full of people looking to connect with other professionals and businesses. This is a great resource to spread the word about yourself and also to help your business to find potential employees, as well.

The Power of Social Media

The wonderful thing about promoting your business through social media, is that it is always available to the client or customer. Most everyone these days is connected to at least one platform, to stay connected and informed. It allows them to gather information about your business and your services without you lifting a finger. Essentially, social media brings the customer or client to you, saving you time and money. All of the information is at their fingertips!

By using social media and keeping current on your posts and updates, you can keep the customer’s interest and really show them what kind of business you have and what you have to offer them. Customers want to see what is new and exciting, and social media helps you to keep them in the loop and coming back for more!

For more ways to boost your online marketing, read Kristi’s blog, “Four Things You Can Do For Your Internet Marketing Now”.

 

Engage customers this Valentine's Day

Engage Your Customers This Valentine’s Day!

It’s February and you know what that means- the month of love. V-Day is just around the corner but here at Infinite Reach, love is in the air all days of the year! Holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, are a great way to engage your customers by posting creative and exciting content on all of your social media sites. We have a few tips for you that will ensure engagement that can ultimately grow your business.

Promote

Start a sale that will run the whole month of February. This will encourage customers to come into the store and they will not feel rushed because the sale is all month long rather than just for one day or over one weekend.

It is also a good idea to decorate your social media platforms. Create a Facebook and Twitter header that is centered on Valentine’s Day, hearts and love, while still staying true to your company’s logo. By periodically changing your cover photo on your social media channels, customers and viewers are more likely to check your page more often.

This is also a great opportunity to add images promoting certain products/deals with links to your website. That way, you will be bringing in more traffic. These images will capture your viewers’ attention and reel them in. In no time they will be clicking those links to see the sales you have going on!

Special Offers

Don’t be afraid to post a giveaway onto your social media sites, such as liking or commenting on a specific post to enter to win a gift certificate. Use your own creative hashtags in order to spread the word and reach a greater audience than just your own followers.

Maybe something like “Bring in your loved one to receive 50% off your purchase”. This will encourage customers to come shop and bring their friends or significant other, while at the same time you are engaging your customers. It’s a win-win for all!

Be Creative

Be sure to target EVERYONE on holidays- especially such as this one. It is an important holiday for couples all over, but don’t forget about us single people on this day of the year! The humorous Single Awareness Day has been declared a holiday by single people everywhere who are fed up with being ignored on Valentine’s Day.

As for more creativity across your social media channels, ask questions! That is a fool-proof way to up the engagement. Post a lot of photos, get personal by providing an inside look at your company, share/comment/like your followers’ posts to show that you love them and appreciate them! Do whatever it takes to stand out amongst competitors. 

Tips To Engage

  • Donate time to charity and talk about it
  • Give a small gift to customers
  • Offer a free rose or candy bag for every purchase of $50 or more
  • Give red wrapping for free
  • Use Facebook Ad so you can target according to relationship status
  • Don’t forget to target your male customers

Be Bold

If you want to engage your customers, send an email that is going to catch their eyes. If you’re anything like me, you sometimes just scan over an email when you’re short on time before finding out if you’re interested enough to read the whole thing. You don’t want this to happen to you!

Striking content is a way to grab attention from the reader. Think: V-Day inspired images and creative content that is centered around the specific holiday. Include many links to your websites, blogs, and social media channels. Using a bold approach rather than doing what you normally do will drive engagement to your website.

As you can see, the holidays are a pretty big deal in the business world! Follow these tips and you will be sure to engage customers this Valentine’s Day!

To find out how we can help your business, please contact us to schedule a no obligation consultation!

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Independents Week Arizona

Saturday, June 27th marked the beginning of Independents Week! As a local small business, we are excited to be participating and supporting the local economy.  Through July 5th we are offering 20% off our graphic and web design services and annual contracts for SEO and social media management.  Don’t miss out, contact us today for a free 30 minute consultation!

What is Independents Week?

Independents week is a national campaign organized by the American Independent Business Alliance.  Its goal is to “engage local independent businesses and people in the community to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and the freedom their local businesses embody.” Local First AZ promotes this campaign and helps raise awareness of locally owned businesses participating in this statewide event. You can find the full list of participating businesses and get your Golden Coupon here.

Ways you can get involved

Did you know that spending your money at locally run businesses helps keep up to four times more of your dollars in the local economy? These dollars then translate into more local jobs, and also strengthens local services like police and libraries.  To help support this movement you can become a Localist with Local First AZ and also pledge to #BuyLocal during #IndieWeek.

Have you heard about our contest?

We want to encourage people to #BuyLocal this week and support as many local businesses they can.  Tag us and share how you plan to #BuyLocal through July 5th for a chance to win a free web design graphic from Infinite Reach Agency! Learn more about this contest and how to enter here.