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Finding Related Keywords on Google

KW Research - find related keywords

In this video I take a look at how you can find related keywords on Google to boost your position in search results.

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Using Canva to Create Beautiful Images

Canva is a great tool for business owners to use, to create those eye-grabbing images for social media. It is an easy to use platform, that allows you to be super creative and make amazing images without being a graphic designer and having to pay a fortune for images. Canva is great for creating your branded images, marketing materials, presentations, menus and so much more! Sometimes you will see an image as you scroll through social media and say WOW that is an awesome image! You may think to yourself “how did they do that?” Now you know! Create images that STOP THE SCROLL as we say! Enjoy!

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Google Analytics – Top Three Reports Your Need to Run

Google Analytics Reports

Do you know if writing your blogs and sharing them is actually leading to more traffic? Is it helping you reach your business goals?

Maybe not yet, but I wanted to share some help reports through Google Analytics that will help you to see the benefit of the blogs you are writing. We use Google Analytics on nearly all of our client websites because it is free, it is user friendly, and even though some of the data is hidden, it allows us to make clear, actionable changes based on how users are interacting with a website.

Which Google Analytics reports should you run?

Report 1: Audience >> Location/Technology/Mobile Reports

BIMS Presentation – Introduction to Google AnalyticsHere take a look at the Location, Technology, and Mobile reports which will tell you:

  • Where your site visitors are coming from. If you are targeting a very specific location, you will want to make sure visitors are actually coming from here. Or, if you run a specialized campaign on Google Adwords for a conference, for example, you’ll be better understanding if these folks actually came to the site.
  • The Technology and Mobile reports allow you to see if folks are using one browser or device over others. This could sway marketing decisions in the future.
    Audience reports google analytics Audience reports google analytics

Report 2: Acquisition >> Source/Medium Report

  • The Source/Medium report shows which sites drive traffic to your blog.
  • Within this report you can dive down to Keyword to see how your blogs are translating to organic traffic.

Acquisition reports google analytics Acquisition reports google analytics Acquisition reports google analytics

Report 3: Behavior >> All Pages

  • The All Pages report will show you which pages people are viewing the most frequently.
  • It can give insights into other topics you should be blogging about.

Behavior reports google analyticsBehavior reports google analytics

Each of these reports can be altered to provide more detail, but these will provide a good start to understanding how visitors get to and interact with your website and blog.

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Do colors really mean anything for your brand? I mean it’s just colors, right?

What are brand colors

WRONG! There’s a whole lot of research done behind the meaning of colors!

When you think of your ‘Brand Identity’ what does that mean to you?

Personality is the emotional, and human, association to a brand. Identity is the image created and used by a company to relate to consumers. An identity can include all forms of communication and visuals such as logos, colors or fonts. But the two are symbiotic. A brand’s identity should be part of its personality.

This is one of our favorite color meaning charts: Attribution http://blog.visme.co/color-psychology-in-marketing-and-brand-identity-part-2/  

When you talk about creating a brand it all starts with the colors, fonts,  and styles.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Mood Board Inspiration
    What’s a mood board?

It’s a collection of different items that can help you get a feel of what your brand is all about. It can contain images, textures, patterns, typefaces, and other design elements. You may even put together a mood board with logos, website, images that you like the feel of to maybe replicate.

How to make an effective mood board:

Don’t set limits.

The moment you start making a mood board, understand that this is not a place for you to hold back. Put as many elements into it as possible. Remember that it’s always easier for you to take out elements that do not work out in the end. But if you hold back, you might miss out on things that you could have added, but thought twice about

Be detailed and specific.

Sometimes, you would add an image that struck you because of a specific element. A screenshot of a webpage perhaps, or a poster you found online. You may like the font used, or the color scheme applied. In these cases, make sure you add notes that specify what you liked about the image. This way, you can remember which element you should be zooming in on when you encounter the image in your board.

2. Color Palette & Fonts

Your brand identity is not just a logo of your business, but a reflection of your personality. When it comes to creating your brand, color plays a vital role in the process. People choose brands, make buying decisions, change their actions, choose what stores to go into, all because of COLOR, and they may not know they even do it!  

Think of a stop light, you always know Red means stop, Green means Go and Yellow means caution or slow down, right? This changes the way we think about colors and what they mean to us as individuals. At the end of the day, Color is EVERYTHING! These colors will be in your logo, website, social media, print materials, publications, promotional items and so much more, it’s important you take your time and really think about this.

What color makes you happy? What’s your favorite color?
– Which colors and fonts are you naturally drawn towards?
– Are there certain colors that can represent your design niche the best?– Which colors would you prefer to avoid?

-Are there certain colors that can represent your design niche the best?

-What do I want the identity of your business to say to my clients?

3. Logos

Primary Logo—Size and Scaling The logos are all saved to paths—which means they are rendered as vector art and can be continuously scaled. When changing the size it is important to do this proportionally and not stretch the art or change the original proportions. The logo shall not be used below the minimum size shown below
Primary Logo—Color Usage The primary logo may be used in four different color combinations as shown below. The logo should never be used in any other color combinations other than those specified below.
Secondary Logo The secondary logo was created for situations where Highline is more of an endorsement or equal party. It can be used in situations where there is limited space or where the full name is not necessary. It may also be interchanged with the main logo if the name Highline Community College is stated elsewhere.
Secondary Logo—Size and Scaling Like the primary logo, the secondary logo is saved to paths—which means they are rendered as vector art and can be continuously scaled. When changing the size it is important to do this proportionally and not stretch the art or change the original proportions. 

Do you have one? Do you have a stacked logo for social media?

4. Social Media & Marketing Graphics

When you are creating all these graphics, it’s so important to make sure you have the right size for each social media platform, cheat sheet here http://www.visualistan.com/2016/12/the-2017-social-media-image-sizes-cheat.html


What social media platforms do you have, that you need to make sure your graphics are correct?

5. Website & Consistency –

When communicating as the brand offline or via your website, social media profiles, or other online channels, it’s important to keep a consistent tone and personality. If your brand is fun and friendly on Twitter, it should have a similar flavor on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your messaging on LinkedIn may be less casual or more professional, but it shouldn’t sound like it’s coming from a different brand altogether. Think about it this way: there is the “at work” you and the “at home or with friends” you. Your personality is the same, but your mannerisms adjust to the context. The same goes for your brand personality and selected communication channels.

Is your brand identity unique?
Does it have passion behind it?
Is it consistent?

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4 Easy Steps to Optimized Email Marketing

optimize email marketing

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.

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

 

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How to Get More Twitter Followers [Curated Content]

How to get more twitter followers

This resource originally was published by Hubspot. So you’re new to Twitter. You’re in the right place. But first, it’s important to understand why your followers matter for driving engagement with your business online. When someone follows you on Twitter they are opting-in to see your Tweets. They’re the ones who will see what your…

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Facebook Marketing in 2017 – Action items for your business to reach the next level

Facebook and Marketing

We’ve all heard that we need to have a presence on Facebook for our businesses, but what does it actually look like? Over the years, Facebook has turned from a free marketing platform that was easy to grow to, to one where only about 16% of your Likes will see any give post.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of businesses turn away from even wanting to market on Facebook, but it still is an essential network for your business big or small. In this blog, I’m going to take a look at the important steps to build a viable Facebook marketing strategy, dos and don’ts of Facebook for business, and little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing.

Building your Facebook Strategy

Facebook, just like any modern marketing avenues, is much more than just sharing a piece of content. Our tribes are composed of smart individuals who no longer want to be told what to do, but appreciate brands that help them to discover new, meaningful things. Facebook, luckily, is the perfect avenue to increase our presence and set ourselves apart from competition.

Step 1: Complete your Business Page Profile

Your profile picture, cover photo (or cover video), and about section of your business profile create the first impression your business gives to your Tribe on Facebook. It is very important that these elements are all completed mindfully, rather than just putting up the first thing you see or think of.

Let’s start with your profile picture.

Your business profile picture should be an easily recognizable image that conveys who you are  as a brand or company. Many solopreneurs, freelancers, or businesses with an individual as the face of the company should and can get away with using your headshot as the profile picture. On the other hand, businesses that have a brand identity should use their business logo as the main profile image. The Facebook Profile picture is the thumbnail image that appears next to all of your social media posts, comments, and messages, so it is important to take your time and choose this image wisely.

A little later in this post, I’ve included an infographic from TechWyse with the  exact dimensions of each type of image you can use on Facebook so you can be sure your pictures always appear crisp and clean. A profile picture should be 170px by 170px.

Next we have your Cover Image.

Facebook just recently changed the cover image so you now can also include Videos! This exciting change can really help your Facebook Business Page stand out among competition. Your cover image is prime real estate on your Facebook page. It is wonderful space to highlight a marketing campaign, seasonal offering, or exciting news for your brand.

In this image or video, you can include a call to action, and even entice individuals to use the buttons directly below the image to Contact you, Claim an Offer and more!

Businesses that coordinate their cover image, profile picture, and pinned or promoted posts see a much greater return from their Facebook pages than those who don’t.

Facebook cover photo | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

Your About Section

All too often, we see businesses with incomplete About sections that link to old websites and don’t fully explain their business service offerings or their brand promise. The good news is, once you have this written correctly the first time, you can reuse it or similar content for other social media networks.

A preview of your About section appears below your profile picture, so it is important to make sure this information is relevant accurately conveys your brand. Companies with ill-planned About Sections on Facebook are doing themselves a disservice. Try playing around with the language you use and measure the responses to those changes.

In your About section of your Facebook Business Page, be sure to describe your business, use keywords, and include a call to action to get people liking your page or heading to your website.

Three steps to creating a income-generating Facebook marketing strategy #FacebookMarketing #TheBIMSTeamClick To Tweet

Step 2: Posting to your Facebook Business Page

As you begin posting to your Facebook Business Page, it is important that you follow a strategy to remain on point and brand. It always surprises me when some business owners still want to post only about their business. The truth of the matter is that 80% of your Facebook posts should be about something other than linking directly back to your website. The other 20% can be blogs, promotions, and information about your company and business.

By sharing information that is not directly linking back to your website, you are helping to show your authority in your niche. You are sharing resources that your market can benefit from, quotes and images that can engage your tribe, and more generally, information that will interest your followers.

When you are posting, think about:

  • What other businesses are in your space
  • The information that will appeal to your market
  • Things you are passionate about in your business
  • Other influencers with whom you could engage

Then, create a plan for how you will share your content. Make sure you include:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • Tips
  • Quotes
  • Questions
  • Calls to Action
  • Throw back posts
  • Educational Articles
  • Your blog posts

Lastly, use this infographic to make sure all of your images display properly in your Facebook Business Page posts.

Facebook Cheat Sheet | Facebook Image Sizes | Image sizes for Facebook Marketing | Facebook business page image sizes | Guide to Facebook Marketing | Facebook for business | Facebook tips

Step 3: Growing your Likes and Engagement on your Facebook Business Page

It is great that you are now posting on your Facebook business page and following a strategy, but how do you actually grow your Likes and Engagement? These tips will help you to make sure that your business is on its way to a profitable Facebook presence.

Invite your Email List and Personal Friends to Like your Business Page

Many business owners with whom we work are nervous about sending an email to their email list or inviting their personal friends to Like their business page. You’ll be surprised, however, to see how many people respond to your request! As someone who often keeps my personal life and business life separate, I forget that many of my personal connections may actually be interested in learning more about digital marketing or may be starting their own business.

Facebook makes it very easy to invite people to Like your page. If you go to your Page and scroll down, on the right side of the screen you will see a box that says “Community”. In this box, there is an option to “Invite your friends to like this Page.”

community box on Facebook

When you click this link, Facebook will prompt you to select the friends you would like to invite to Like your Facebook page.

With your email list, I recommend sending an email rather than utilizing Facebook. In the email you can explain some of the perks of Liking the Facebook page and what people can expect from following your account.

Share your posts to your personal profile

Another way to increase your page Likes and to gain more engagement is by sharing your business posts to your personal profile. While I don’t recommend sharing every post, consider sharing your blog posts, videos, and images that represent your brand and personal values. These posts won’t come across as you trying to sell to your personal relations, but that your goal is to better educate them on what you do and your industry.

If you work with a team, you can even ask your employees and contractors to Like, Comment, and Share posts that relate to them, as well.

Boost Posts and Run Facebook Ads

I won’t go into much detail here, as this would create another LONG blog post, but using Facebook ads and boosting your Facebook posts is a great way to increase engagement. Here I recommend playing around with boosting the post to:

  • Your current page Likes
  • A custom audience made of your email list
  • Specific targeting of your tribe’s demographics.

Facebook’s targeting options are incredibly advanced, so just like with any sort of marketing, I recommend testing very specific niche’s rather than typing in everything demographic or psychographic identifier you can think of. This way, over time you will be able to more easily tell which interests or job titles, for example, lead to the highest number of new likes, follows, shares, and comments.

Post share-worthy content

Of course this needs to be listed. I’ll go into more detail below, but one of the most important pieces of your strategy to gain traction on Facebook is to post content that people want to read and share. This means that in addition to finding other articles and resources, you need to be making these for your own website, too. Take your time and really come up with pieces of content that will WOW your tribe!

Not sure how to create a content calendar for your business? Take a look at our Free Master Class on Finding Topics your Tribe will Love!

Dos and Don’ts of your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Your Facebook Marketing strategy needs to change as Facebook makes changes to it’s algorithms and adds new features for business owners to take advantage of. Regardless of the nuances of Facebook’s algorithms, there are some items that you need to be sure to include in your Facebook marketing strategy. Above, I reviewed some of the steps to create a Facebook marketing strategy for your business, but here I will be highlighting those items you must include and the common pitfalls of business owners as they jump into Facebook marketing.

DO: Plan your posts ahead. Just as with other marketing strategies, you never want to be stuck wondering what you will post the day something needs to go out. It is better to plan ahead, even if it is for the entire month, rather than coming up with posts on the fly. This way, you will be sure your Facebook posts align with promotions, holidays, and other important events in your business. One way to do this is by using this free editorial calendar to manage your calendar!

DO: Use Facebook’s scheduling feature. I absolutely swear by tools like Buffer.com and Hootsuite.com for scheduling social media posts, but on Facebook, it is more advantageous to schedule your posts out directly through their publishing tool rather than a third party. Yes, you can still incorporate some posts scheduled with Buffer, but a majority of your posts, especially those specifically about your business or from your blog, should be published directly through Facebook. Why? These posts have been proven to reach a wider audience than those that are scheduled through a third party.

To schedule a post on Facebook, write the post as you normally would, but rather than clicking “Publish”, select the drop down carrot to its right and select “Schedule”. One perk of doing this is you can play around with the different types of posts you use from multiple images to galleries, slideshows, and carousels.

DON’T: Only post links to your own content. Talk about boring, right? Our tribes are too smart to follow businesses on Facebook that only talk about themselves. Marketing is no longer a one-way street. It is about building a community around your brand. And to build a community, you need to set the example by listening and sharing rather than just pushing information.

DO: Include images, text, and video in your posts. The more diverse your posts, the more likely you are to capture your audience’s attention. You can use Facebook’s slideshow creator to build short videos with music and captions for your Facebook posts if you don’t have software on your computer to create your own from scratch.

Better yet, try a Facebook Live event and put yourself out there as the face of your brand every week as a way to engage your audience in a whole new way!

DO: Collaborate with other businesses on Facebook. Start reaching out to businesses that are similar to yours or who work with the same individuals you do. By commenting, sharing, and collaborating with them, you are introducing yourself to their audience and helping to boost both of your businesses in the process.

DON’T: Overlook the importance of setting goals. When we set  goals for our business, we have a very clear sense of how to understand what is working and what is not working with our strategy. It allows us to aim for something rather than just taking successes and failures in step.

DON’T: Forget to measure your results. You can’t set goals without the following step of measuring your results! Luckily there are incredible, and free, tracking services available for you online. The top ones we use are Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Pinterest Insights. The rational here is to see how your efforts have effected your movement towards achieving your marketing (and Facebook) goals.

DON’T: Just post the article title as your post. Say something meaningful about what readers will find if they click the link or take a quote from the article that highlights your main takeaway. Though titles should be descriptive, the same content will appear directly below your post in the link display.

DO: Test the effectiveness of Albums, Slideshows, Carousels, and single Thumbnail images if you are linking to something with many images. Each of these different types of posts will lead to a different response from your followers. We have a photographer, for example, who posts a link with a thumbnail when she first edits a wedding album and creates a blog post as a first peak. Then, she creates a slideshow to reengage the couple and their networks once all of her edits are complete and the couple has access to the images.

Dos and donts of Facebook marketing | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

 

Little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing

Facebook is always changing, so it is necessary to take a look at some of the lesser-known strategies on Facebook that maybe you haven’t considered for your business. Some of the strategies below are ones you have seen others implement, while others may be brand new!

Facebook Groups for you Clients and Prospecting

Most users on Facebook are a part of numerous Facebook Groups. These groups are great for your business for a few different reasons. One point to emphasize here is that the groups run through your personal profile rather than your business page. Make sure your personal profile on Facebook links to your business page, is branded with a professional picture, and has the proper security settings.

  1. Joining other groups in your niche provide an avenue to position yourself as an expert and to meet new prospects for your business. I recommend finding 1-3 groups that are active on Facebook and seeing if you can share information that the members will benefit from. Many groups have guidelines about selling to members, but providing valuable information is always appreciated.
  2. Creating a Facebook group or groups for your clients. This can be a great add-on to your services or courses that you run online. Because only paying customers have access to the group(s), you will be more motivated to participate and engage.
  3. Think twice about creating a group for your email list. Recently, many very successful Facebook group managers have been shutting down their ‘public’ Facebook groups. They find themselves spread too thin to really focus on the public group and the specific groups for their clients. I recommend starting small and being engaged with your paying customers rather than trying to create a huge group to prospect from.

Create Custom Audiences when your run Facebook Ads and Segment!

Running ads on Facebook can transform your business or they can be a waste of money. One of the most successful ways to see an ROI from your Facebook ads is by being very niche focused and targeting specific people. By this I mean:

  • Upload your email list and promote posts or specials directly to the list
  • Add a PIXEL to your website and integrate retargeting to your website visitors. You can set the campaigns up to only target people who are been to specific pages on your website. For example, you can show ads only to people who viewed a specific landing page or who downloaded an ebook.
  • Use look-alike audiences to find other individuals who are similar to the people who have responded to your ads.

When you create the audiences and run the Facebook ads, make sure your offer, image, and landing page all are in alignment. Your tribe will pick up if things seem disjoint or like you are targeting too wide of a net.

Add a Video to your Facebook Page Cover Image

This new feature can transform your engagement on your Facebook business page. Guidelines for Facebook Cover Videos are below:

  • Video Dimensions: 820 x 312 pixels
  • Length: 20-90 seconds and can look
  • Sound: Though you can include sound, Facebook automatically mutes the video for user experience

So, what should you do now that you can have a video as your Facebook Cover? Try creating a slideshow video or a quick iphone video that captures your brand. This can be simple to start, but the movement when someone first goes to your business page is sure to keep folks on the page for longer and be more engaging. You can also test out interview style videos or webinar style videos are your cover video.

Wait to Boost a Post

As you can tell, I am all for businesses using Facebook ads to increase the engagement on posts and the traffic to your blog or landing pages. When you plan to boost a  post, hold off on pressing the  Boost button until the post has had a chance to gain organic exposure first. This organic exposure can really help with gaining more traction and keep your costs  down.

Test out Lead Ads

These ads are incredible! If you have a content upgrade on your site or can automatically register people to a webinar, the Lead Ads may work well for your business. Basically, when you create the ad, you also create a form. The form can then be set up to capture someones name, email, and other information. When a user fills out their information, they will be redirected to a page of your choice. For example, you can direct someone to the ebook download page on your site, or to a webinar sign up thank you page. These ads can also be to build your email list.

We’ve found these ads to have a much lower cost per conversion than a lot of other marketing efforts.Example ad by Land Rover for Facebook Lead Ad

 

Schedule your Facebook Posts

Now you shouldn’t always schedule your Facebook posts,  but if you are like most business owners, you are pulled in many directions and hoping on Facebook every day may not be realistic. I  recommend using Facebook’s scheduling functionality for most of your Facebook posts as a way to batch your efforts. Take one day a month and find all the relevant articles, make all of your custom images, and schedule your promotions to be published in advance. Then, as you write blog posts over the course of the month and have other items to share on a daily basis, you can log in and specifically share that content.

We used to always use Buffer for scheduling content for clients, but have found a higher level of engagement when posts are created directly through Facebook.

Add a Call to Action Button to your Page

This is fairly easy to implement! Most of the time we see our clients create their CTA when they first set up their business page. If you haven’t already, however, go to your Facebook business page and click the blue button that states “Add a Button”. Here you can select your CTA and a landing page for any user who clicks the button. Tracking is available through Facebook Insights.

Use fb.com as a URL shortener rather than typing facebook.com

Surprise! fb.com is a URL shortener for all facebook.com addresses.

Surprise! fb.com is a URL shortener for all facebook.com addresses | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

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How To Plan Your Marketing Budget With Four Free Templates

marketing budget tools and template

The following information and templates was originally by CoSchedule [How To Plan Your Marketing Budget With Six Free Templates]

Your marketing budget is the driving force behind your team. The money that is invested is meant to be funneled into the right projects that allow your team to create the most meaningful results for the company as a whole.

Setting budgets, however, can be a hassle. So, that’s why we built these half-dozen free marketing budget templates (and wrote up this detailed guide on how to use them).

By reading this post, you’re going to learn:

  • How to prioritize projects that will make a real difference (and get the budget for them).
  • How to understand how much budget you have available (and avoid going over).
  • How to plan budgets easily and efficiently (with six free templates).

You’ll be able to keep a clear understanding of what your team will be doing (and how much you can spend to get it done).

Download Your Free Marketing Budget Templates

The six different templates that you’ll receive when you download this bundle include:

  1. Social Media Marketing Budget Template: the social media budget template allows teams to break down their budget spend on everything from boosted posts to video production.
  2. Content Budget Template: the content marketing budget template allows teams to break down their various types of content, agency fees, and more.
  3. Advertising Budget Template: The advertising budget template is an all encompassing template that allows teams to record spend on both traditional and digital ads.
  4. Annual Marketing Budget Template: The annual marketing budget template is an all encompassing, all in one budget tracker that includes every project breakdown that is in the previous five templates.

Get Your Free Marketing Budget Template Bundle

Get Your Free Marketing Budget Template Bundle

2018Budget Template advertising Marketing       2018Budget Template Annual Marketing

2018Budget Template content Marketing       2018Budget Template social media Marketing

Why Does Your Marketing Budget Matter?

Your team is dealing with multiple projects that need to be prioritized. Having a marketing budget allows your team the clarity they need to funnel your budget into projects that will make the most meaningful impact on for your company.

There are three main reasons that your team needs to care about your marketing budget:

1. Use it or lose it. If you can’t justify the cash flow that your team needs, your organization will spend it somewhere else.

2. Prove your projects are creating growth for your company. Knowing how much you’re spending on marketing as a whole can help paint a clearer picture around how much return on investment you’re generating, too.

3. Provide reasoning for your allotted budget. When your company’s finance department turns to your marketing heads to determine how much investment you’ll be getting for the next year, having a document outlining your needs can help build a case and show where all that money is going.

How Can You Align Your Marketing Budget With Your Business Goals?

Another big step in your marketing budget is trying to invest your budget into the right projects that will create the most 10x growth for your business.

High priority projects would receive more money from your projects than projects that don’t contribute that same amount of growth.

For example, say that one of your overarching business goals for the year was to increase the amount of traffic that is going to your website. It would make more sense to funnel more money from your budget into projects that contribute to that goal than say events.

To do this, first, work with your team to come up with a list of overarching marketing goals that are going to contribute to your bottom line.

Then decide as a team which marketing projects will contribute the most growth to those goals.

Those top projects will be where you contribute a majority of your budget.

How To Not Go Over Budget

So you have your projects set, your budget is approved, and you’ve started investing your allotted money.

But then you start to realize that one of your projects is about to go over budget.

Yikes, right?

There are ways that you can avoid all of that.

Accurately Estimate How Much Your Project Is Going To Cost

The biggest step your team can take to avoid going over budget is to accurately estimate how much your top projects are going to cost to complete. There are two ways that you can do this:

  1. If the project is a repeat of last year, look at how much your team spent to finish the project. Base this year’s estimate off of what you spent last year.
  2. If the project is new, calculate every small step of the project that needs to be completed and how much it will cost to complete those steps. Use those step costs to formulate an overall project cost.

Keep Track Of Where Your Money Is Going At All Times

If your team decides to spend 15 dollars on a Facebook ad, record it right away. It could be in your template, or in a separate document, but do not let those small purchases sit unnoticed.

So let’s say that you’re working with your social team and they get a series of receipts from boosted posts on Facebook that total up to 256 dollars.

In your social media marketing budget template, scroll down to the section labeled boosted posts:

Update the budget template with the money your team has spent:

Keep repeating the process as often as your team needs to keep the budget up to date.

How To Use The Templates You Downloaded

Remember those templates that you downloaded earlier? They’re pretty awesome, right?

But there’s also a lot going on with them. Let’s walk through how to use them quickly.

Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Breakdown

In your template, you’ll see that your budget is broken down into three pieces:

  • Monthly spend
  • Quarterly spend
  • Yearly spend

You can see monthly spend on each of your projects by scrolling down the vertical monthly column. You can also see what percent of your budget you have spent in that month as well.

Your quarterly project spend is broken down horizontally across your screen:

To see the total that you’ve spent for the month and the quarter, scroll down to the bottom of your template:

You can also see a monthly breakdown in the chart below each quarter. These will automatically populate for you:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-quarter-chart-example

Your yearly breakdown can be found by scrolling to the left to the last column in your template. The pie graph at the end of your spreadsheet will also automatically update as the numbers change in your template.

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-total-spend-video

Entering Data

Bolded Numbers mean that there is a formula attached to them. These are total project costs and will usually feed the graphs and total budget numbers throughout your template.

Numbers in plain text are usually contributing to the bolded numbers above it. These are breakdowns of what amount of money is being spent on a project.

Whatever you do, do not type over the bolded numbers that have contributing pieces to the overall total. This action will break the formula.

“Okay, but what if I do break the formula?”

Hitting the back button won’t always work, so here’s the quick fix:

  1. Select the box that used to contain the function
  2. Type =sum in the box
  3. Select Sum from the popup menu
  4. Highlight the columns or sections you want to be totaled in the box
  5. Hit enter
Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-fixing-functions

This process applies to every function that is part of the spreadsheet. To see if a box has a function attached to it and which boxes are contributing to the total check out the following video:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-finding-functions

What To Do If You Need To Add More Rows To Your Spreadsheet

So let’s say that you have a project that needs more rows added to the category. For this example let’s say that you wanted to add Snapchat into your social media column:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-adding-additional-rows

How To Edit Your Bar And Pie Graphs

The last part of today’s instructions are going to show you how to edit your bar and pie graphs in case something breaks:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-editing-graphs

Once you get going, the templates fall into place easily.

Select Your Templates

For this post, there are six different budget templates that different sections of your marketing team can utilize.

Social Media Marketing Budget Template

The social media marketing budget template is a place for your team to record different expenses that social media can accumulate including content development, graphics, and videos as well as boosted posts and ads:

Content Marketing Budget Template

The content marketing template is a place to record any expenses that come along with creating original content for your company including different content creation costs, freelance costs and even space for agency and tool costs:

PR Marketing Budget Template

PR professionals are going to love the PR template because it records all those smaller detail pieces that go into public relations including but not limited to content production, sponsorships and a detailed space for recording event planning costs:

Advertising Marketing Budget Template

Advertising can make up a huge part of marketing budgets and can easily get out of control if not tracked correctly. This template contains sections to record your budget spend in areas like digital, social and traditional advertising:

Event Planning Marketing Budget Template

This next template is every event planner’s dream. Packaged all in one place, event planners can keep track of venue, catering, decorations and other miscellaneous fees:

Annual Marketing Budget Template

This last template is an all encompassing budget tracker that will allow your marketing team heads, higher ups and clients see exactly where you’re spending your money. This template includes budget tracking for all of the projects that were included in the previous five templates:

Keep Your Spending On Track With Your New Budget Templates

Now you have the knowledge and skills to organize your marketing budget. By having the right information and the right plan you can funnel money into the projects that are going to grow your efforts by 10x.

Get Your Free Marketing Budget Template Bundle

2018Budget Template advertising Marketing       2018Budget Template Annual Marketing

2018Budget Template content Marketing       2018Budget Template social media Marketing