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4 Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Business

Are you a small business owner? Looking for ways to improve your social media strategy? Check out these 4 Tips!

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How to Stand Out From the Crowd in 2018 | 4 Secret Social Media Marketing Tips

How To Start With Email Marketing Automation (Tips To Be Successful)

Using Facebook Ads on a Budget

Check out the video below if you have a small budget for Facebook Ads”

Generating Traffic and Leads

Welcome to a 6 part series about the 6 main problems facing the marketing industry in 2017. Over the next few posts we will be reviewing these problems and some solutions to fix them.

The Most Common Marketing Problems We Face, According to the 2017 State of Inbound Report

top-marketing-challenges-blog copy

Graph acquired from State in inbound 2017 market research report

Today we will be focusing on Generating Traffic and Leads. What is currently being done? Why it is not working? How to fix it?

Generating Traffic and Leads

Generating traffic and leads is one of the constant challenges marketers and business owners face every day. It is a constant struggle and as the years progress and competition stiffens, this will only become harder. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts. However, there are ways to overcome it.

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When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants?

For example, HubSpot Research has found that 43% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in the future, while only 29% want to see more blog posts.

Once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice. More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. Instead, articles fill their news feed or buzz in their pocket via mobile notification.

Needless to say, the content promotion playbook is not the same as it was five years ago. To make sure your traffic and lead numbers continue to rise, check out this comprehensive guide to content promotion.

Check these 3 Tips to increase traffic and leads on your site:

  1. Referral Traffic: Referral traffic is a term used to describe the visitors to your site that come from direct links on other websites, rather than directly from searches. By driving targeted visitors to your website, referral traffic can help increase revenue, as the visitors it sends to your site are more likely to become customers and purchase a service or buy your product.
  2. Leverage Social Networks/Social Media: Social media marketing is powerful. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your site and get more leads, social media is an excellent way to generate more exposure for your business. According to Social Media Examiner, a whopping 75% of marketers found their website traffic increased as a result of their social media efforts.
    Every time you participate in a social network (such as tweeting, sharing, liking, or pinning a piece of content), you create an opportunity to drive referral traffic back to your website. Additionally, this increases the likelihood that your content will show up at the top of Google!

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    While not a huge driver of sales itself, being active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest (the top 7 social media platforms used by marketers), is a simple way to score more traffic and leads and develop brand affinity.

  3. Create and Publish Eye-Catching Infographics:A picture is worth a thousand words, which can be very beneficial for your business. In fact, 37% of marketers picked visuals as the single most important form of content for their businesses. Bank on the facts. With human attention spans shorter than that of a goldfish, and since it’s easier for the brain to consume an image than paragraphs of text, visuals may be just what you need to get more leads.Infographics are an even more impressive way to go, as they can help people understand complex data with simple images.
    What’s the goal with infographics? To get yours shared, liked, and pinned on social media or embedded in others articles. This creates links to your website, and therefore, more leads!

    There are many ways to to generate leads and traffic for your site. Using Social Media, Infographics and building referrals are just three of the many ways to do this. Find what works and stick with until it produces results.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Kolowich, L. (2017, May 26). 8 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Will Face This Year [New Data]. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33820/5-major-challenges-marketers-face-and-how-to-solve-them.aspx
Team, T. D. (2017, March 30). 5 Simple Ways to Up Your Referral Traffic and Get More Leads. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://digitalshiftmedia.com/5-simple-ways-referral-traffic-get-leads/
Social Media Marketing Industry Report. (2017, June 20). Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/report/

3 Tips to Create Content that Sells

In today’s world it’s important that you develop dynamic content that is engaging and that people will want to read. Content needs to cover these four stages:

  1. Inform
  2. Entertain or Inspire
  3. Compel People To Share It
  4. Sell Your Stuff

A lot of content only gets to level one- it informs- boring! Next level writers can entertain, inspire and motivate- that’s 2D Content. If you write the kinds of things people share, you may get to the third level- that’s 3D Content. But to go into the fourth dimension- which is amazing content that sells, we have to go further- to infinity and beyond.

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Many companies look at their marketing budget and see what they invested hasn’t produced what they wanted. In order for your advertising to be successful, it must be seen through interaction whether through sales in store or online or being shared and liked. Check out the chart below that outlines all the major advertising mediums used by small and large companies throughout 2016. Look at the percentage of their budget spent with each and what they received.

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Here are three tips to increase the responsiveness of online advertising:

  1. Teach With Story and Sell With Subtleness: Customers want an answer to “What’s in it for me?” If your content only talks about how great a job you did on a project but doesn’t teach, you’re not likely to get the best results. Have some of your best employees whether they’re tradesmen, or garden experts write content about specific problems they’ve encountered on the job and how to fix it. For example, garden experts experience a customer that wants to replace a plant that died under the warranty. However, once your garden expert looks at the plant and realizes that the warranty is void because the customer didn’t water it, the customer gets angry. Once the customer is calm and understands why the warranty is void and how to avoid it in the future, the problem is solved.
  2. Teach With Video (and a personal touch): When people know you and start to trust you, your chance of doing business with them is much, much greater. Video is an amazing tool for this. It allows businesses to integrate the social power of YouTube with the personal power of real people, and the teaching power behind the content. For example, create a video showcasing a special event that your company attended like the local fair or fundraiser where you were a major donator.
  3. Powerful Social Media Targeting: As organic reach on Facebook continues to plummet to zero, investing in paid promotion is a necessity. One of the strengths of today’s social networks lies within the targeting capabilities available to advertisers. Social media platforms have amassed rich data on consumers that financial marketers can leverage. Using your research and sales data, you can identify specific segments that can be targeted within social platforms. You can target people who are either engaged, married or pregnant, or those who are members of local buying group, or customers at businesses in the same industry as yours.

types of interactive content

For more information on Social Media Targeting:

Social Media for Small Business

Understanding Facebook Insights 2017

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Melesko, D. (2017, June 29). 3 Tips to Create Content And Social Media Marketing That Sells. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://thefinancialbrand.com/66036/social-media-content-marketing-strategy/
Carter, B. (2014, September 29). How To Never Run Out Of Great Marketing Copy Ideas. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from http://briancartergroup.com/advertising/how-to-write-copy-content-that-sells/?hvid=PdNvh
4 Ways to Create Content That Sells. (2016, August 22). Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-content-that-sells/

7 Tech Trends that will change Content Marketing in 2018

Today, technology drives everything. It drives our lives through our phones, vehicles, financials and even how we purchase products and services. Every year it seems that technology is advancing at a faster rate than the year before. Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing just about every area of our lives and work, including content marketing. From creation to distribution to consumption, tech is forcing brands to rethink how we use content.

Small and medium-sized business owners should be aware that these days content is key. Being on Facebook and Twitter and posting every day or second day is not enough. In order to get ahead, you must be aware of three things:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What are your customers looking for in a product or service?
  3. What is the most cost-efficient way to deliver it to them?

These days content runs everything from retail to social media to technology. Technology is the leading force behind content marketing. Business owners and their teams’ need to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, identify how they affect content marketing and PR trends, and adjust our strategies to match. So let’s look at seven tech trends that are sure to shake up content marketing in 2018:

1. Investments in Content are producing results

More than 60 percent of B2B content marketers and business owners are reporting that they’re more successful now than they were the year before. This means that business owners and managers are keeping to their long-term investments plans and not pulling the plug too early. In order to succeed with content marketing, businesses need to stay dedicated to engaging, high-quality content marketing in long-term in order to see substantial ROI.

why content

2. Social will serve as publishing outlets, not just sharing platforms

Content distribution relies on a variety of tactics — and social shares are the most common way for brands to distribute content. But platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have been making the move toward becoming publishers in their own right, rather than platforms for sharing links from traditional media outlets.

social-media

Facebook reigns as the most used social platform for small businesses, and publishers have been using its Instant Articles feature to extend their content’s reach. However, they are not the only ones to do so. Twitter and Instagram recently unveiled a similar feature that allows users to read articles at a swipe of a finger.

Social channels offer a way to get in front of audiences where they are and drive them back to your site, just as guest posting content to the right online publications does. But in an age dominated by social media, having engaging brand social channels is just as important as maintaining a top-notch website.

3. Publications are becoming more focused

As content marketing grows, online publications continue to adjust their models to accommodate this change. I’ve seen more publications shift from covering a variety of broad topics to publishing only niche and highly focused content. Kissmetrics, for example, is focusing more on data, analytics, and growth.

This is a huge opportunity for business owners and marketing. Business owners dealing with a lot of competition can stand out by re-evaluating their products and services and offering something that your competitors aren’t. For example, if you are a landscape company. There are thousands of landscaping companies out there offering similar products and services at similar prices. Ask your customers, look at your numbers, see what your customers want in order to stand out. Better experience? Offering more hours than a competitor? Better quality materials?

4. Machine learning will enable content conversations.

Machine learning is evolving at an exponential rate! Every year we are getting closer to artificial intelligence. We already have experienced some form of AI in our everyday lives. For example Apple’s Siri, Google Home. Artificial Intelligence has impacted nearly every aspect of business from financial to marketing specifically content marketing.

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“Content marketing is becoming more conversational, blurring the lines between content marketing and sales. Customers show high interest in having one-on-one exchanges with companies over social media and text message, but companies find it hard to have quality conversations at scale,” Alex De Simone, CEO of Avochato, said.

“Machine learning technologies that enable marketers to tailor who sees a message are starting to decide what the content of conversations should be. The shift from traditional content marketing to machine-mediated conversational marketing will change the way marketers operate, empowering them to deliver better content at scale.”

For more information on artificial intelligence:

Using Artificial Intelligence For Marketing Part 1

5. Advanced tech will make full content personalization a reality

The move toward custom personalized content has been underway for years, but advanced technology will help you take it to the next level. Precision analytics allow you to track audience profiles, establish and target your buyer personas, and generate personalized content and recommendations.

Amazon and Google have already proven the value of creating personalized experiences through hyperspecific customer profiles, and tech will enable companies of all sizes and industries to follow suit. In fact, doing so will become critical: Gartner predicts that by 2018, businesses that have invested in across-the-board personalization will outsell those that haven’t by 20 percent.

6.  Mobile optimization will be the standard across industries

We just don’t use desktops nearly as much as we used to. We want everything on-the-go and on-demand, which is why 69 percent of digital media engagement happens on mobile platforms. While it’s not completely necessary to build your own apps (though it’s not a bad idea, either), your content still has to be optimized for mobile consumption.

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Mobile-only internet use is on the rise, with 41 million people in the U.S. accessing content exclusively from their mobile devices. To grow and sustain your reach, optimizing for mobile isn’t just a recommendation — it’s a requirement.

More information on mobile marketing:

How to Create a Successful Mobile First Strategy?

Mobile Video Marketing

7. Artificial intelligence will begin creating and enhancing content

Content creators are already tuning in to the potential for AI to transform their work, and the technology will shape the industry in 2018. AI tools like predictive analytics, natural language processing, and generation algorithms drive smarter, more effective content.

Big-name publishers, such as the Associated Press, already use machine-generated content to increase the volume and speed at which they release information. And within the next five years, some experts predict that half of all content will be developed by machines, and humans will only oversee and edit when necessary.

Chatbots, data analysis algorithms, and personalized recommendation systems will automatically direct audiences to content that’s relevant to their interests and circumstances, creating a more dynamic and personalized user experience.

As technology drives changes in content marketing, our industry will shift and adapt in ways we can’t yet anticipate. By watching these trends and embracing the opportunities they present, content marketers can develop truly innovative audience experiences and position their brands to lead us into this brave new world.

 

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Brand Awareness For Small Business

Hall, J. (2017, July 16). 7 Content Marketing Trends Brands Need to Prepare for in 2018. Retrieved September 05, 2017, from https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-content-marketing-trends-brands-need-to-prepare-.html
Hall, J. (2017, August 20). 7 Tech Trends That Will Shake Up Content Marketing in 2018. Retrieved September 05, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2017/08/20/7-tech-trends-that-will-shake-up-content-marketing-in-2018/4/#27080a8555b6

 

 

 

 

Using Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of 4 of using artificial intelligence for marketing. A small review to start.

There are 3 main types of Artificial Intelligence:

  1. Machine learning techniques: using algorithms to learn from previous data or successful campaigns and adapt to current trends in the marketplace.
  2. Applied Propensity Models: used to predict events based on the probability to convert into sales.
  3. AI Applications: used to perform tasks that can also be done by humans. ex. answering human questions, writing content.

Each one has different advantages and disadvantages. Some are better for attracting customers; others conversation or re-engaging drifting customers. Today we are focusing on the final five Applied Propensity Models.

15 apps for content markeitng

The Final Five Propensity Models:

  1. Lead Scoring
  2. Re-Targeting
  3. Web and App Personalization
  4. Marketing Automation
  5. Dynamic Content Emails

Lead Scoring:

Certain propensity models are used to evaluate the value and potential of incoming leads. Sales teams use these models that are generated using historical data in order to evaluate if the lead will end up as a sale. This can be particularly important in B2B businesses with consultative sales processes, where each sale takes a considerable amount of time on the part of the sales team. By contacting the most relevant leads, the sales team can save time and concentrate their energy where it is most effective. The insights into a leads propensity to buy can also be used to target sales and discounts where they are most effective.

Lead Scoring falls under the ACT portion of the RACE framework.

Act: Draws visitors in and makes them aware of your product

Re-Targeting:

Much like with ad targeting, machine learning can be used to establish what content is most likely to bring customers back to the site based on historical data. My building an accurate prediction model of what content works best to win back different types of customers, machine learning can be used to optimize your retargeting ads to make them as effective as possible.

retargeting

Engage – Keep your customers returning

Re-targeting falls under the Convert portion of the RACE Framework.

Convert: involves getting your audience to take that vital next step which turns them into paying customers whether the payment is taken through online E-commerce transactions or offline channels.

Web and App Personalization

Using a propensity model to predict a customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey can let you serve that customer, either on an app or on a web page, with the most relevant content. If someone is still new to a site, content that informs them and keeps them interested will be most effective, if they have visited many times and are clearly interested in the product then more in-depth content about a product’s benefits will perform better.

Web and App personalization falls under the Convert portion of the RACE Framework.

Convert: involves getting your audience to take that vital next step which turns them into paying customers whether the payment is taken through online E-commerce transactions or offline channels.

Marketing Automation:

Marketing automation techniques generally involve a series of rules, which when triggered initiative interactions with the customer. But who decided these rules? Generally, a marketer who’s basically guessing what will be most effective. Machine learning can run through billions of points of customer data and establish when are the most effective times to make contact, what words in subject lines are most effective and much more. These insights can then be applied to boost the effectiveness of your marketing automation efforts.

One of the largest marketing automation examples is email marketing. Email is the arena for many marketing automation touchpoints, but getting prospects to click through is only the opening act — persuading them to fill out forms is where the real drama begins.

email-marketing-works

Constructing landing pages is an art form unto itself, and certainly, falls under the reach of marketing automation. Besides A/B testing, delivering dynamic content is the most powerful addition MAPs lend to landing pages, especially in the form of progressive profiling.

To combat form friction, it’s best to limit the length of your form on the initial landing page. This puts the prospect’s mind at ease and helps strike a balance between the information the customer is exchanging and the content you’re offering.

Marketing Automation falls under the Engage portion of the RACE Framework.

Engage: Developing a long-term relationship with first-time buyers to build customer loyalty as repeat purchases using communications on your site, social presence, email and direct interactions to boost customer lifetime value.

For more information on email marketing:

10 Reasons To Use Email Marketing

MailChimp: Email Marketing Part 2

Dynamic Content Emails:

In a similar fashion to marketing automation, applying insights generated from machine learning can create extremely effective dynamic emails. Predictive analytics using a propensity model can establish a subscribers propensity to buy certain categories, sizes, and colors through their previous behavior and displays the most relevant products in newsletters. The product stock, deals, pricing is all correct at the time of opening the email.

If you want to know more about using AI and machine learning for marketing, SmartInsights members can download our AI and Machine learning guide. The guide aims to help businesses of all sizes embrace Machine Learning and AI to benefit marketing efforts. It shows how businesses can effectively manage machine learning projects in place, and how to use the insights generated to improve marketing results.

Dynamic Content emails fall under the Engage portion of the RACE framework.

Engage: Developing a long-term relationship with first-time buyers to build customer loyalty as repeat purchases using communications on your site, social presence, email and direct interactions to boost customer lifetime value.

For more information on email marketing:

10 Reasons To Use Email Marketing

MailChimp: Email Marketing Part 2

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Brand Awareness For Small Business

Allen, R. (2017, June & July). 15 Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing. Retrieved July & aug., 2017, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/15-applications-artificial-intelligence-marketing-robert-allen

Building a Social Media Presence

Having a presence on social media is a necessary part of every business’s marketing budget. However, there are many businesses such as small and medium sized family businesses that are still not online.

It’s understandable that the facing the unknown is frightening.  Many family businesses still rely on outdated and ineffective print media for over 85% of their annual budget. It’s time for a change.

social-media

Many family-owned businesses are run by an older person with limited knowledge on current or updated marketing channels. They are relying on channels that they grew up with that have now become outdated such as newspaper flyers, flyers in mailboxes, billboards etc.

The key to success with social media campaigns is consistency. If your message is not clear and understood by your readers then it’s an ineffective post or ad.  Everything posted affects your brand whether you know it or not. A post filled with spelling mistakes, blocks of text, blurry images can all affect your brand online. Your goal online is to build your followers and interactions through credible content that readers are interested in.

4 Ways to gain followers on Social Media:

  1. Input your email list into Facebook: This will send everyone on your list an invitation to like and follow your page online.
  2. Engaging posts: Have contests, giveaways that will get your online community involved and excited. You can use these contests to also get people to sign up to your email lists.
  3. Use paid Boost Posts & Likes Generator: Put aside a budget for using this feature on Facebook. It allows you to specify your demographic of who you want to advertise to. There are many things you can do. Pay to get more Likes & Followers to your page, Boost a post with a specific message to a much wider range of people.
  4. Create Content Calendars: Content calendars work well across the board for all stores and leaves a lot of room for individuality. But most importantly it keeps on point with consistency.

For more information regarding Social Media check out my other blogs at:

10 common mistakes that small businesses make on Social Media

Social Media for Small Business

Basic Tips for Small Business for building Brand Awareness 

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Brand Awareness For Small Business

 

 

MailChimp: Email Marketing Part 2

What is MailChimp?

MailChimp is an email marketing service and a trading name of its operator, Rocket Science Group, an American company founded in 2001. The platform is used by small businesses and bloggers alike to create, manage and send emails or email campaigns to users.

mailchimp

Why Use It?

MailChimp is the number one solution for sending emails, collecting statistics, and improving performance. It is extremely easy to use for anyone, regardless of how tech savvy one is or is not. It’s also an affordable choice whether you have 100 contacts or 20,000 contacts to reach. It includes advanced features in its email creation and tracking tools.

Who Can Use It?

MailChimp is the best email marketing tool for small and medium-sized businesses. Whether you’re a small-time marketing specialist or someone who manages a variety of accounts, MailChimp is the platform to use for all your email marketing needs.

email-marketing-works

According to Forbes: “Email remains a critical part of the marketer’s toolkit, with 91% of all consumers still reporting daily email use.”

This means email is a key communication tool for small businesses, especially with their smaller marketing budgets.

A MailChimp Email Marketing Tutorial can be found below:

3 Keys Ways MailChimp helps your Email Marketing Campaign:

  1. Sending Emails: MailChimp was one of the most successful in delivering emails to inboxes with a 91% success rate. You can create two different emails with two different subject lines, or slightly different images or design, and then MailChimp tracks the open rate with one group. It then sends the email that was more successful to the group with the lower open rate, thereby increasing your exposure. The time-warp option is another helpful feature in this email marketing solution. You can schedule your email blast to send at a reasonable hour in the morning, and if you have location information for your contacts, the email delivery time adjusts for time zones. This can prevent unsubscribes from readers who would’ve otherwise received an email too early, possibly prompting a loud notification on their phone that wakes them.
  2. Email Creation:  MailChimp makes it easy for you to take existing code from a newsletter or email and use it again within the application. Say you already have an HTML-coded newsletter on your website – you can simply copy and paste the code and then edit what you need to change and it’s ready to go.It’s simple to create an email with MailChimp’s template editor, in which you can drag and drop text boxes, images, and buttons. As easy as the editor is to use, you can also create your newsletter or email in another program, such as Outlook, and then just send it to a specific address in MailChimp. It’s then added to your account and you can send it as is. MailChimp even gives your newsletter or email a quick second look and flags any potential problems so you can fix them before you send it out. It’s an easy system for new users who aren’t all that skilled in design, but it’s definitely do-it-yourself only. MailChimp doesn’t offer professional design services, which would allow you to pay extra to have it design your newsletter or email blast for you.
  3. List Management:  MailChimp makes it easy for you to import contact lists to your account. You can add contacts individually or in bulk. You can even integrate contact management systems into MailChimp, so you have access to customer activity along with your customers’ contact information. Sign-up forms are important for building your fan or reader base. MailChimp lets you create custom pop-up forms that integrate with Facebook fan and business pages, or you can use a template form. MailChimp also makes it easy for you to create targeted marketing campaigns for your customers. You can segment your contact list by any type of information you have about your readers. For example, if you own a bookstore, you can survey customers on who their favorite authors are and then send out emails that pertain to the fans of science fiction, romance or historical novels.

For more information on Email Marketing: https://cosimocreatesbuzz.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/10-reasons-to-use-email-marketing

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Martinez, J. (2017, June 21). MailChimp Review and Ratings. Retrieved July 10, 2017, from https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357226,00.asp

Marketing Automation: Email Software. (2017). Retrieved July 10, 2017, from https://mailchimp.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2bmailchimp&utm_campaign=text&gclid=CMrvwZHP99QCFax_Mgod1cQH6g&gclsrc=ds&dclid=CLjc1pHP99QCFVm9Twodp7AClw

 

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