on and offline marketing

 

Here are 3 social media tips to help your business:

  • How should your online and offline marketing efforts work together?

It is important to have the same branding online and offline. For instance, your website, social media and even email signature should have your logo; same colors, and even your slogan should be the same as your print media. What people see on your marketing materials, ads etc., should look and feel the same.

If you use different logos or colors in your email signature, website, brochures and business cards, people won’t recognize your brand. You may start to lose customers. It’s all about the brand message and being consistent!

  • Marketing Materials – What should you have on them??

Your marketing materials are all about the first impressions, right?  You want to make sure your marketing materials are simple and, yet, effective.  So, let’s talk about what makes your marketing materials effective.

The purpose behind your Marketing Materials:

  • Inform customers and potential customers about your business
  • Attract more customers
  • Maybe get the word out there about an upcoming event, conference, workshop you are hosting
  • The BIG thing is to create a positive customer experience

What needs to be on all your online marketing and offline marketing materials:

  • Business Name
  • Business Logo and Slogan
  • Business Phone Number (Is it ok to text?)
  • Business Email Address
  • Business Address – if you have a physical location
  • Business Website URL
  • Social Media links to Facebook, Twitter, instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Wherever you are consistently posting is what you want to promote

Here is a great resource we will add to our website that talks in more detail about how to create effective marketing materials: http://inkbotdesign.com/effective-marketing-materials/

  • Monitoring your metrics – how do you know what is working?

As a business owner, it is important to know that your efforts are paying off! In the social media world, we would love to be able to say, if you post 3 times a week with these types of posts you will make this much money . . . BUT it doesn’t happen like that, unfortunately! SO, social media works different for each business.

A few resources that you can monitor to see what is working for you would be:

*Google Analytics – This is a tool that is embedded into the backend of your website and monitors all traffic that comes to your site; where they are coming from, such as country, state, social media platform, email links, and so much more. Google Analytics also tells you how long people are staying on your website, what pages they are looking at, and your bounce rate; are they getting what they want from your site? This is a great big picture tool to monitor!

*Facebook Insights – It is important to look at your Facebook Insights on your business page on a monthly or even weekly basis, just to see what posts are getting the most engagement, what time did you post it, what did you post, etc. This will help you figure out what types of posts you should be posting and what times, so you are reaching your audience when it’s the best time for them!

* Buffer and Hootsuite – These are two FREE resources as well that help give more of an overview of all your social media metrics, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, so you can see everything in one area – what is working best for you, from a social media standpoint; then you can see what the numbers look like and if you should continue with each platform.  You might want to consider letting one go or spend less time on one.  Remember, you always want to focus on where YOUR target audience is.

3 Social Media Trends To Pay Attention To

Here are the 3 social media trends we covered on our radio show this past Saturday. Each week we will bring you new social media trends to help grow your business and your social media strategy!

Brand Loyalty:

Celebrate your fans and followers and build loyal brand followers on Facebook.  Post special % off discounts only available on Facebook. Also use Facebook ads to help grow your brand awareness and brand loyalty. Grow your following and your brand by offering unique content on a regular basis. Stand out and be leader in your niche.

Online Reviews What to do??

Check online reviews constantly and respond to the good and the bad. A bad review is the opportunity to start a conversation and turn it into a positive. When responding to a bad review, handle it off line and in a private forum. Where to check your reviews?? Google, Facebook, Yelp

Building your followers organically or paid??

There are a couple of reasons why this is not a good idea.

  1. Low engagement. Purchased likes and followers are not your ideal customer. You will never be able to engage with them or have a successful purchase history with them.
  2. Think about your brand reputation before even considering buying likes or followers. It looks spammy and suspicious when you jump from a few likes to thousands in a short time.
  3. Algorithms. Social media channel algorithms are smart. If they record a suspicious jump in likes and followers, your organic reach may be compromised.
5 Social Media Trends to Follow

Here are 5 social media trends we spoke about on our radio show that are important to pay attention to while putting together your social media strategy.

1) Content

How to use video and images to stop the scroll, text to image ratio, A video on Facebook receives 135% more organic reach (non-paid advertising) Thank a single photo posted on Facebook. Stop the scroll!  Make sure your posts are interesting enough for people to want to stop and view, watch, listen and read your content.

2) Apps 

There a hundreds of different apps you can use, there are just a few of our favorite. Best apps to use to create compelling images and posts are WordSwag, Ripl, Flipagram, Typorama

3) Brand Message

Did you know that people like Facebook for online shoppers – is it clear and add shop button to FB page, 42% of people who like a business page on Facebook do so to receive coupons and special offers. What have you offered in your business page lately? Adding an offer to your business page is a great way to track marketing efforts!

Roughly 93% of online shoppers consult social media before buying. Online shoppers read social media reviews, monitor brand engagement and get to know the brand before making a commitment to buy. What message is your brand sending on social media?

4) Emojis

Emojis can help you show emotion through content with your social media posts, texts and even blogs. You may experience a 33% increase in comments and engagement when you do!

5) Content Calendar

Keep posts simple! Did you know? Posts with less than 150 characters get up to 60% MORE engagement! Create an editorial calendar. By doing some planning up front, it will really save you time on being consistent in your message on social media. When planning your editorial calendar of content, don’t forget to plan in content that works well with annual holidays and the seasons of your business. Remember to be flexible with your calendar so it allows you to pivot and make room for trending topics that may impact your business. Make sure your team has a copy of the editorial calendar so they can stay focused on what your business’ message is month to month.

In today’s saturated marketplace, getting ahead in the business world is tougher than ever. They need to amp up their marketing efforts in order to thrive and succeed. If you’ve tried different strategies, but you still haven’t achieved your desired results, don’t fret. We’re here to help you out.

Use these simple and inexpensive tips to attract customers to your small business. Try any of the methods listed below to see which one works best for you.

Identify your target audience

The first and most important step is to identify who your target audience is. Have a crystal clear picture of who exactly you are targeting. You wouldn’t know where to start looking if you don’t know the type of customers you seek.

You may have great products and a marketing campaign in place, but this won’t help you reach your bottomline without a composite of your ideal customer.

Online advertising is the way to go

Living in the digital world, most people spend most of their time online. They would log in to their social media accounts to get in touch with their family and friends. Some even rely on the internet to know what is happening around them. So if you are looking to capture the attention of your target audience, online advertising is the way to go.

Get listed on popular local directories, be active on social media, post blogs regularly and update your website from time to time. With all these strategies combined, you are guaranteed to build a strong online presence and attract a lot of potential customers to your business.

Start a contest

Everybody loves free stuff. This is why contests are always a big hit. It’s not just the idea of receiving free items that encourage people to join contest, but the thrill of beating others and winning.

Let’s say you’re in the wedding business and you sell wedding rings. Couples who are planning to get married will be very much interested in joining. But first, they need to share their love story in order to enter the contest. The couples that get the most number of likes wins. Contestants will need to share this with their family and friends in order to get as much likes.

Yes, you’ll be losing money since you’ll be giving away a pair of wedding rings, but imagine the kind of buzz this could create for your business.

Offer deals and discounts

Everybody is looking for a way to save money. People see deals and discounts as a great way to save money. This is one of the best ways to capture the attention of your target audience.

Since deals and discounts are offered for a limited time only, people are tempted to buy something even if they didn’t plan to. After all, it’s cheap, and the items would revert back to their original prices after a few days, so why not buy now?

Now before you jump into these methods to attract your tribe, make sure you also know where your audience is online!

Which Social Media Channels Fit Your Target Audience

You may have amazing products and provide great services. You also spend time creating good quality content. No matter how engaging or persuasive your content is, you won’t be able to achieve great results unless it reaches your target audience.

Most business use social media to engage with their fans and followers and even build a relationship with them. Considering there are several social media channels out there, do you ever wonder if you’re reaching the right audience?

Which social media channels fit your target audience? Keep reading to find out.

Twitter

Twitter makes use of hashtags that allows businesses to target people who are talking about and engaging with topics related to their business. This social media platform is ideal for sharing real time information, timely trends or live events, and will result in high levels share and engagement.

Use this social networking platform if your target audience is young adults. 24% of internet users log in on their Twitter account on a daily basis. Younger, more educated crowds aged 18 to 29 uses Twitter. 29% of college grads use Twitter and lots of it.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest socal networking channel, with over 1.86 billion monthly users. Yes, Facebook is crowded, but it gives you the ability to narrow down that 1.86 billion users by gender, age, location, interests, marital status, employment, and income; thus, making it easier for you to reach the right audience.

Majority of the entire adult population is on Facebook. In fact, 88% of milennials and 62% of adults aged 65 and up use Facebook. As such, this would be a great place to start with your social media campaign.

Instagram

Instagram is geared towards younger millennial users. A hefty 38% of female internet users use Instagram. To make the most out of your social media campaign, make sure that you provide attention grabbing photos and high quality videos to your audience. Remember, content is king on Instagram.

LinkedIn

People tend to use LinkedIn for interacting with clients, influencers and other professionals. This is a great option for business whose products or services are highly specific to professionals. It is also ideal for B2B marketers.

Just like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to target users based on gender, location and age. In addition, it also allows you to filter based on field of study, company industry, company size, degrees, job title etc.

Attract customers | Small business marketing | 4 marketing tactics for small business | How to find target market | Facebook marketing for business | Social media marketing for small business | social media marketing tips

 

Nothing is more frustrating than spending time, money and effort only to find out that you’re not getting the results you want. You sent out emails, printed flyers and blasted your social media followers. Despite the effort and hard work, you’re still not getting the leads you need to grow your company.

If you’re having trouble generating qualified leads, you are not alone. There are several reasons why you’re not getting the leads you deserve. Here are some of them.

You’re targeting the wrong audience

When working on your marketing campaign, the first and most important things you need to do is to identify your target audience. This is a critical step that shouldn’t be skipped. If you don’t know who your target audience is, how could you possibly attract one?

Learn as much as you can about your target audience – demographic, interest, buying habits etc. If you fail to identify accurate buyer personas, you may end up reaching too broad of an audience or marketing to the wrong customers.

Your content sounds like a sales pitch

Creating new content is a great way to capture the attention of your audience and generate leads. But if your content sounds like a sales pitch, then people are not going to notice them. With the amount of advertisements we see every day, people learn to ignore them and focus on things they need instead.

If you want to capture the attention of your target audience, you need to come up with unique, interesting and informative content. Share your knowledge with them. Write blogs on a regular basis and make sure they are share-worthy. Eventually, people will see you as an expert and convert into a loyal reader or a customer.

You didn’t provide a call to action

A lot of marketers and business owners will take the necessary steps to acquire qualified leads. Your customers are actually where you want them to be. The problem is that you failed to provide a clear call to action.

People don’t know what exactly it is you want them to do unless you tell them. Keep your call to action simple – subscribe to our newsletter, get a quote now, contact us today.

You’re not active on social media

We know how powerful social media is. It allows you to interact and build a relationship with your target audience. If you are looking to drive traffic to your website, we highly recommend that you share your content on social media. With just a few minutes, you’ll be able to reach thousands and thousands of people. Not everyone who visits your site will turn into a paying customer, but you need traffic to get qualified leads.
How your business can generate leads | Business leads online | Email incentives | Email opt-ins | Content upgrades

How your business can generate leads | Business leads online | Email incentives | Email opt-ins | Content upgrades

 

I’ve always had a touch and go relationship with our email list. Right out the gate I added every business card I received to my list, but soon the email frequency dwindled and ultimately died when I found that I didn’t have enough content to share! Soon a year passed, then I jumped back into sending emails followed by another 2 year hiatus. Each time I started sending emails, I received positive feedback from my list, increased traffic, and most importantly, new sales. the downfall was that I also alienated individuals because they simply forgot who I was. Learning from my years of wasted opportunity using my email list, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons that can help you kick start your email marketing most effectively.

Below I’ve outline the 4 steps to email marketing: Building your list, Writing your email, Optimizing your subject line, and Mistakes to avoid. You’ll notice as you read through that subject lines and consistency do appear most frequently in these steps. Being consistent is half the battle and once you have an email marketing program in place, optimizing your subject line can have the biggest effect on the open rate and sales from your emails.

STEP 1: Building your Email List

While everyone is focusing on building a strong social media presence, others tend to forget about the importance of email.

Your email list plays a big role in your marketing campaign. It can help you build relationships with your target audience, generate buzz about your business and attract new customers. That said, it makes sense to continuously grow your email contacts.

Interested to grow your email list and grow your subscribers? Then you came to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing with you some effective strategies on how to get more email subscribers. Follow the tips below to get your first 1,000 subscribers.

Place a subscription box on every page of your website

Most website owners think that people would first access the home page before navigating through the site. But that’s not always the case. They may check your products, scroll through the “about us” section or any other page on your site. You can use your website to generate more contacts by adding a subscription form where your visitors can sign up. Be sure to place the form at the top of the page to make it easier for people sign up. Survey revealed that sites that place sign up boxes as part of their top banner perform better as compared to those located at the footer area. In order to get people to subscribe to your newsletters, make sure your sign up box is a prominent feature of your website. The more visible it is, the more subscribers you’ll get.

As a marketer, you need to answer the question most people ask: Why would I subscribe to your email list if I can just follow you on Facebook? To urge people to subscribe to your newsletters, let them know that you offer subscriber-only content. Also, don’t forget to mention how often they’ll be receiving emails. Setting expectations upfront helps reduce unsubscribe rates.

Tip: I’ve decided upon ConvertKit as my go-to list building tool. It is a very straightforward interface to create forms, landing pages, incentive downloads, and corresponding sequences. Additionally, there is quite robust tracking, a definite plus! You can learn more about ConvertKit Here (*affiliate link).

Content is king

You won’t have a hard time getting people to sign up for email updates if you have great content on your site. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to constantly supply your readers with fresh, relevant and informative content. The best marketers for your products or services are the people who are already using them. For subscribers who have been on your list for a very long time, a discount or a small incentive would get them talking. Encourage them to share your list with their family and friends.

In Practice: Don’t just assume that you can’t reuse your blogs, correspondence with clients, or recent presentations. ALL of these have the potential to make in-depth content that can then be shared as resources, email campaigns, social media posts, videos, etc. Check out this guide on Repurposing Content as it can save you time and energy as you increase your online exposure. 

Social networks

Another way to build your list is by using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Due to the viral nature of Facebook, it pays to add a subscription form on your page. Be sure to include a sign up link to your email list on the “About” section of your page. For an added boost, you can also add it on your personal account and tell your family and friends about it.

Offer an incentive

People love receiving free stuff. If you can give them something like a free trial of one of your products, a free ebook with useful information or access to an exclusive video, you’ll make an impact to your target audience. When done correctly, it can help you build a relationship with your audience and grow your email list.

Your offer should be interesting enough to your ideal customers. Find out more about your target audience and know what’s keeping them up until 3:00 am.

In Practice: My main incentive offer is our Free Resource library. You can get to this a few ways – either the link in our navigation or from the home page. Making this very obvious for site visitors increases the number of new email subscribers you can receive from your website.

Run a contest

Social media contests are one of the most effective ways to get email addresses from folks who want to hear from you. You are free to hold whatever contest and on any social media channel you want. But since majority of the adult population has a Facebook account, you might want to start there. Also, ask people to enter their email address in order to participate.

STEP 2: Writing your Content

Tips to write better email | write better email marketing for business

You’ve spent a significant amount of time writing an email that people will hopefully open and read. You’ve racked your brains for the best subject line. You’ve polished each sentence. Now, you’re finally ready to hit “send”. For some reason, you aren’t effectively grabbing the attention of your audience. You’re not getting a response from them either.

This blog post looks at strategies to help you craft an effective email marketing copy that converts. Follow these tips to ensure that your email is effective, clear and successful.

Write a meaningful subject line

Most professionals receive 50 to 200 emails a day. With that volume of email, it can be easy to overlook some important messages. If you want your email to be opened and read, then write an informative subject line that will give recipients an idea about the content of the email.

A clear subject line will capture the attention of the receiver and give busy professionals a concrete reason to read the message. Take a moment to write a subject line that accurately describes the content before you hit “send”.

A newspaper headline has 2 functions: 1. it sums up the content of the article; 2. it captures people’s attention. Based on this headline, you can decide whether or not you want to read the article. Your email’s subject line should also do the same thing.

If you have a very short message to convey and can include all the information the person need in the subject line, even better.

Struggling to write a subject line? I recently wrote a post with tips to create an award winning headline here

Keep it simple

People are more likely to read short and concise emails. Keep messages clear and brief. Use as few words as possible, but make sure that it contains all the important information. Also, focus on one particular subject per email. If you need to talk about a separate topic, then write another email.

We’re all busy. And if someone opens your email, this is your chance to get the message across. Don’t ruin it with poor content.

No one wants to read a long, ambiguous email. So get to the point and keep your word count low. Also, use simple English and steer clear from technical lingo.

Be personal

Just as you would in a letter, it is polite to add a salutation before jumping straight into the text of the email. But be sure to address the person appropriately.

If you are sending an email to a prospective client, then you want to address him as Mr. Johnson. Meanwhile, if you are writing to a friend, starting the email with Dear Mr. Johnson would be too formal. In this case, “Hi Bob” is the best way to go.

Email is usually the way professionals communicate, but that doesn’t mean that you should sound like a legal document or a spammer. The content should feel as if it came from actual human being, not a machine. While it’s good to keep the message short and brief, including a personal note can help warm up the conversation.

Tip: Back to ConvertKit (or any other CRM).. make sure that you are trying to capture both the first name and email address of your subscribers. Then, whenever possible, use the NAME embed code to automatically personalize your emails. 

Proofread

Your emails are a reflection of your attention to detail, values and professionalism. The last thing you want is to send an email that contains embarrassing spelling mistakes, horrible grammar mistakes, lack of proper greetings or one that is written in bright colors. Make sure you edit and proofread your email for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes before sending it.

STEP 3: Increase your Open Rate

Tips for businesses to increase open rates with email marketing

Email marketing is considered as an important part of a business’ marketing campaign. It has one of the most effective ways to engage with your prospects and customers. Plus, it provides the highest returns on investments.

Open rates give you an idea as to how your campaign is doing. If the open rate for your email program is better than the average, then good for you. But if your open rates are getting worrisome, you might want to look for ways to improve it.

Here are some easy ways to increase your email open rate.

Create an interesting subject line

If there is one opportunity to convince recipients to read the email, it is the subject line. After all, it is the first thing they see on any email. Your subject line must be clear and concise. It should tell readers what to expect from the email.

A good subject line is the key achieving better open and response rates. Since most people receive several emails in one day, they only need a few seconds to decide whether or not they’re interested to read the email. If your subject line is not interesting enough, people are less likely to read it. Also, make sure that your subject line is short enough that recipients will be able to read it at a glance.

Make it personal

You’ve spent so much time collecting people’s first name and email address, now is the right time to put them to use. Personalization has been proven to drive engagement and convert more leads. It is also a good idea to send your emails from a person or an employee, rather than from the company.

Studies show that subject lines that contain the first name of the subscriber boosts open rate every time. This is a subtle trust builder and an instant attention grabber. Make sure you personalize subject lines with first names.

Timing is key

Timing is everything in marketing. If you send emails too early in the morning or too late at night, they can get lost in the shuffle of other emails. If you send it too late in the afternoon, they may decide to put off reading until the morning since they might be too busy accomplishing some tasks before going home. The best time to send emails is during lunch or after work, when you know they’re reading.

If your campaign has a B2C focus, your audience may have time to check their emails after work or during lunch break. If you are running a B2B campaign, it might be best to send emails early in the morning or in the afternoon. Your goal is to send an email exactly when the recipients are checking their inbox.

In Practice: Honestly, every business and every tribe is different. You may find that your emails with promotions receive the highest open rates on Tuesday’s, but your newsletters sharing blog posts have the highest open rate on Sunday’s. One recent study stated that Friday emails had the highest open rate, but Saturday emails had the most conversions. MailChimp has another study that states Tuesday and Thursday are the best to send emails. It really just depends on your market and your promotions. Don’t be afraid to play around with different days of the week and times of day. 

Be consistent

Send too frequently and you may end up losing subscribers. Send too infrequently and you may cause your readers to stop interacting with your email. Send your emails at a consistent frequency to build your email reputation. A good rule of thumb is to send no less than 1 email a month and no more than 1 email a week unless it is for a specific promotion.

Clean up that dusty old email list

Most businesses are so determined to expand their email list that they tend to ignore the open rate. It doesn’t matter if you only have a small mailing list, as long as it is filled with engaged subscribers. It’s a good idea to remove inactive subscribers periodically.

STEP 4: Email Mistakes to Avoid

Email marketing mistakes to avoid for small business

Email marketing isn’t dead. In fact customer acquisition has quadrupled over the past 4 years. This goes to show how effective email marketing is for small businesses. That’s great news, provided that your emails are being read by the recipients.

In order to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts, you have to focus on what’s killing your open rates and find a way to fix them. While some mistakes are harmless, the following mistakes could be costly.

Poor frequency

While a flood of emails may distance the customer you’re trying to attract, the same reaction can also be expected if you send emails on an inconsistent basis.

Have a consistent enough cadence that your subscribers would be thrilled to receive an email from you, yet relaxed enough that they don’t wonder whether or not you’re still sleeping at night.

Forgetting to send emails at important events

The introduction of new products or services, promotions and events your business will be holding are some examples of email worthy announcements. If you have an important event to cover, make it a point to create a multi-email campaign around it.

Tip: I always recommend clients put together a content calendar as a way to visualize their entire year. In our model, as presented in Blogging Your Business, your blog is at the center of your marketing efforts. You want to make sure your blog posts are Timely, Relevant, and Authentic. This content then can be shared across all of your other marketing efforts from social media to email marketing, and even offline presentations. Creating the content calendar keeps you aware of external events and holidays that can affect your business. 

Poor subject lines

Subject lines are your first impression to every email recipient. They have to be clear enough that people know why you’re sending an email, short enough that they fit the screen of tablets and smartphones and enticing enough not to give away the entire email. Also, be cautious about using words and phrases that could mark your email as SPAM.

Unreliable email list

Whether you’re emailing inactive subscribers, not removing hard bounces or collecting bad data, having an unreliable email list can affect your open rates.

The key to a successful email campaigns is clean data. Make sure that all customer information is valid and up to date. Hard bounces should also be removed from your database.

Additionally, 43% of email recipients click the spam button based on the sender email address and name. So, it’s extremely important that the recipient knows who you are and are expecting to receive emails from you.

I invite you to register for my free workshop on The Secrets to Creating Content that Sticks.

Please click here to register today!

Optimize email marketing | Email marketing tips | How to use Email Marketiing | Email marketing for business

Optimize email marketing | Email marketing tips | How to use Email Marketiing | Email marketing for business

Optimize email marketing | Email marketing tips | How to use Email Marketiing | Email marketing for business

 

If the social media numbers and statistics that we are seeing already for 2016 are a glimpse into the future for 2017, you are going to want to get in the game!  It’s time to take the Social Media landscape seriously and apply it to your business for maximum growth and exposure.

Check out these numbers from SmallBizTrends.com

General Social Media Use

  • 97% of online adults aged 16-64 say they have visited or used a social network within the last month.
  • Internet users have average of 7 social media accounts.  This is a HUGE jump from 2012 where most people reported having only 3 social media accounts.
  • 8 out of 10 internet users visit and/or use social media from their mobile devices.
  • Users spend a minimum of an hour on social media per day (I think this number is too low!)

These numbers tell us that Social Media is not only increasing in popularity but it also tells us users are finding tremendous value in it.  What does this mean for businesses of any size?  It means we need to embrace social media and start using it effectively.

Which Social Media Platform Should Businesses Concentrate On

create-865017_960_720Many industry professionals will tell you two things when it comes to where you should be spending your time as a business when it comes to Social Media.  They will tell you:

  • Go where your target customer spends their time
  • Focus on 1 Social Media platform and get comfortable with it before you add more

While I agree with what other industry professionals advise, I also believe this is one Social Media powerhouse we cannot ignore.  Facebook.  Have you noticed, slowly but surely Facebook is adding all the most popular features each of the major Social Media players.  Here is what I mean:

  • Live video was huge when Periscope came on the scene.  Facebook saw the value and created Facebook Live for its users.
  • Simple, to the point text is what Twitter is all about.  Facebook now amplifies short text with a larger font size so it stands out in your news feed.
  • Instagram is wildly popular with its highly visual platform.  Facebook purchased Instagram.  Now Facebook advertisers can promote posts from Facebook to Instagram without even having an Instagram account!
  • SnapChat is highly popular with its disappearing posts.  Instagram (owned by Facebook) has embraced the same technology through Instagram Stories

Plan Of Action

computer-768696__180Over the last 2 years or so, Facebook has added an incredible amount of features and nuances to its platform.  For most, it is hard to keep up with all the changes.  It seems once you have it down, Facebook amps up its game, forcing you to learn more.  Many times, your focus is taken off your business and craft to learn the next Facebook marketing technique.  Learning the new features of Facebook is a necessary evil if you are the person in charge of maintaining the social media footprint of your business.  While being in charge of executing your business’s social media content seems like a good plan, it can backfire.  More often than not, businesses who manage their own social media accounts are:

  • Inconsistent with their presence and message
  • Tend to be overly pitchy or “sales-y”
  • Misuse the functions of the social media platform
  • Often post just for the sake of posting in order to have some sort of presence

The best defense to social media marketing is to spend the time to craft an annual social media plan complete with a budget and measurable goals.  Once you have the plan designed, outsource the work.  The people you outsource your social media plan to can generally do it faster and with better results, freeing you up to do what you originally got into business to do in the first place!

So You Think You Can Get Along In Business Without Social Media

office-620817_640Think again!  Before social media hit the scene, to gain credibility in the marketplace, you had to have a website.  Today, it is extremely important to have a website PLUS have presence on social media.  Here’s why:

  • Studies show consumers check out social media first before even going to a company website. 
  • Consumers engage in “social listening” watching and reading how people react to a company or product
  • Social Media gives consumers the opportunity to quickly engage and build a relationship with their favorite brand or product
  • Potential customers can get real time, personalized responses from companies through social media

What will your social media plan look like in 2017.  It is not too late to start thinking about it now.

Most businesses use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach out to potential customers and promote their brand. But if you are looking to extend your social media reach, you might want to consider adding Pinterest into your social media marketing campaign.

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In fact, there are over 500,000 businesses with Pinterest business accounts. It has become the hottest ticket item for business marketing.

Here are 4 ways to use Pinterest for marketing your business.

Inspire your audience

Aside from feeding obsessions with gourmet foods and exotic destinations, you may also use this social channel to inspire your audience. If you are selling kitchen appliances, show them what an ideal kitchen should look like. Make sure that your appliances are included in that picture. If you own a flooring company, then feature beautiful homes with stunning flooring. Provide style inspirations for each room in the house. If they like it, it can translate to big sales.

Humanize your brand

Social media can help spread the word about your business. But people are less likely to buy from you if they don’t trust you. You can use Pinterest to humanize your brand and build a relationship with them.

Instead of bombarding people with advertisements about your product, try telling your story. Create a board about how you started. Pin old photos of your first office, company founders, your first holiday party etc. By telling your story and introducing the people behind your company, you are sure to build an amazing Pinterest following.

Contests and giveaways

Contest and giveaways are a great way to capture the attention of your audience and generate exposure for your brand. Everyone likes free things, especially if it’s valuable.

You can ask people to re-pin your pins that feature you products. If you include a link to your website, then this will help generate traffic to your site. Choose a prize that your audience will find interesting or valuable to encourage them to join the contest.

Interact with other users

Creating boards on Pinterest would be ineffective without engagement. Just like other social media platforms, Pinterest requires interaction. Interact with other users and re-pin their posts. This may encourage them to pin yours in return.

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Social media is big and continues to grow and evolve. According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business and reach their business goals. Converting followers into paying customers is the ultimate goal of every business. To achieve that goal, you need to have a good social media strategy in place. If you manage your business’ social media marketing, read on.

Here are some tactics you can implement to help you get started on improving your social media strategy.

Choose your Image Wisely

Visual is king in digital marketing. Thanks to the availability of camera phones and social networks emphasizing visual elements, the ease of taking and uploading photos has increased dramatically.

Marketers who use visual content get more followers, more leads and more customer engagement. But to get that attention, you need to connect with the person on the other side of the screen. Choose images that appeal to your target audience, but make sure that it also fits your brand’s voice, style and mood.

In today’s mobile-driven world, producing content on a regular basis is a must in order to maintain a strong online presence. But with so many creative minds joining the social media sphere and great blogs emerging on almost a daily basis, capturing the attention of your target audience has become extremely difficult.

How do you cut through the noise and stand out in the online world? Visual content can help. Don’t believe us? Studies show that content with relevant images get 94% more views, likes and comments as compared to those without.

digital marketing and your business

How to Create Awesome Visual Content for Social Media

Customize stock photos

Stock photos have been tremendously helpful for those who don’t have a sizeable design budget and those who need them fast. But in order to stay with your brand and visual identity guidelines, it is important that you customize these photos. Plus, you wouldn’t want your audience to see the exact same photo in other sites, right? Tweak and customize stock photos to make them your own.

Use online editing tools

Creating visual content can be challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert in photo editing to create great images. There are several online editing tools like Canva, Picmonkey and RelayThat that can help you create stunning visual content that looks like it came from a professional graphic designer.

Add a call-to-action

Ideally, great visual content should eye-catching and entice people to take action. Now that you have successfully captured people’s attention, let them know what you want them to do. Do you want them to share, like or comment on your post? Or do you want them to click through your content? You can either add a call-to-action on the image, in the description or both.

Be consistent

Colors can help make your visual content pop. It can help you capture the attention of your target audience and provide amazing results. But it is also important to stay consistent with the type of visual element you use like colors.

Choose 2 to 4 colors and stick to them when creating visual content. Use it in your logo, texts, images etc. Remember, having a consistent color palette is a must.

Focus on Platforms Where Your Customers Are

 

In order to build an online presence, you first need to define your business’ personality. Ask yourself how you want people to envision you. Also, define a consistent brand voice to drive consistency in your content creation efforts. Even if people view your content on different channels, you want to make sure that they could identify the content as coming from your brand.

When you are defining your brand, pay close attention to the types of people you hope to attract. Where are you going to find them?

Just like everyone else, most small business owners are pressured to have a presence on every social media platform. The problem is that a hot, new social media tool hits the scene almost every few months, making it extremely difficult to manage all those social accounts.

To make the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you need to focus on platforms where your customers are. Fish where the fishes are. Don’t waste your time, energy and resources fishing in an empty pond.

social media management focus on one network

It is okay to not have an account on every social media channel.

In fact, we recommend only focusing your attention on the one of two networks that your tribe is using. Master these and then, if you wish, you can begin using and focusing on additional networks. My strategy if you don’t have a team to back you up is to choose one social media network and stick to it. Really focus your efforts on growing engagement, your network, and traffic to your site.

A lot of business owners feel like they need to do EVERYTHING, but this can get overwhelming quickly. It can turn your best intentions into a quick hatred of all things social media.

By choosing one network and mastering that, you can always expand later.

So how do you choose which network to grow? Think about where your target market hangs out. B2B businesses often choose LinkedIn, but Pinterest could also be a great avenue for growing your online traffic.

Having huge networks is great, but you also want to make sure they are made of the right type of people who will potentially buy from you in the future. Focusing on one network can help you see these results more quickly.

Get the Attention of Influencers

An influencer is someone who carries influence over others. In the new world of digital relationships, people are receptive of recommendations from people they trust and respect. In fact, one study revealed that 40% of consumers had made a purchase because of an influencer’s recommendation; while 49% seek purchase guidance from an influencer.

One of the easiest ways to get an influencer’s attention is to share their content. Go ahead and share those contents without asking anything in return. Link out shamelessly and unceasingly. When you do, they are likely to take notice.

Another great way to capture the attention of influencers is through guest blogging.

Guest blogging is where you partner with another website and write an article specifically to publish on their blog. This tactic is an incredible way to increase your exposure to a new network of individuals. In order to leverage each guest blog post, however, you need to give readers a reason to head on back to your website. This is where the content upgrade comes in.

A content upgrade is a downloadable resource from your website that complements your guest post article. This could be a checklist, eBook, PDF, template, or whitepaper/case study. The important thing is to capture the individuals name and email address when you offer them their freebie.

Our strategy is to link your by-line or author bio in your guest blog post to a landing page on your website that discusses the content upgrade and includes a form to capture their name and email address.

social media marketing and your business

What Tools Can You Use to Manage Your Social Media

Aside from your website, social media provides an effective way to increase your web presence. It provides a way to generate PR for your company, build your brand and drive traffic to your website. You need to be active on social media if you are serious about achieving these goals. After all, you can’t expect any results if your page is inactive. The problem is that, social media marketing takes time.

If you are a business owner, you can’t afford to spend all day hopping from network to network, managing your social media accounts, planning future posts and checking analytics.

Are you looking for a better way to manage your social media posts?

Here are 4 social media tools to add to your arsenal.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most robust social media management tools around, and social media managers swear by it. The tool has a feature called Autoschedule. If you have multiple accounts, you can use this feature to manage your posts and make sure that they don’t appear on different channels all at the same time. It also shares your updates at the best possible time of the day to give them the greatest chance of being seen. Hootsuite also allows you to monitor and analyze your performance on your main social networks.

Buffer

Buffer allows you to easily distribute your content across multiple accounts. Just drop your updates to your Buffer queue and you don’t have to worry about when it will be posted. These posts will be posted for you well spaced out throughout the day.

Buffer also allows users to schedule up to 10 updates at once. The paid version, on the other hand, allows unlimited scheduling.

SocialOomph

Twitter has become one of the must-have marketing channels for any business. If you are interested in automating your Twitter marketing, SocialOomph is the best tool for you. It has a feature called Twitter unlimited, which allows you to manage your Twitter followers and direct messages box from within the app. The free level also allows you to work on up to 5 Twitter accounts. It helps you track keywords and schedule tweets.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social allows you to manage all your relationships, interactions and customer support from a single dashboard. This tool also analyzes your audience to determine the optimal times to deliver content. Because it’s not free, this is recommended for larger businesses that are looking for an all-in-one solution to manage their social media presence.

Social Media Strategy | Manage Social Media Accounts | See a Difference in Social Media Networks | How to Optimize Social Media