How To Create An Effective Offer For Your Local Business Part 2

We have talked about the right offer in the first part of this blog. Today. We will talk about two more offers that can help you with marketing for your local business.

Free or Discounted Introductory Offer

An example would be a laundry delivery service that I’m working with. They need a good offer. Clean laundry is something that people need every single week for the rest of their life. Huge lifetime value!

loss leaders can work really well for people who have great lifetime value. They are really good at upselling. They have either a variety of levels of their product or service. They have just a variety of products and services to offer.

For them, we don’t want someone to just try them once. We want them to try for an entire month at different times so that they can become really excited at the prospect of never having to do this again. It takes several times for people to build a habit especially if this is a continuity offer.

Their offer can be 50% off your first month of laundry delivery. If they were to offer your first load free, could it work bringing leads in? Absolutely!

Is that going to be the right offer to keep them long term? You’re not!

You’re not showing them how much of the difference this is making in their life.

Let’s take for example for restaurants. Some restaurants are oftentimes giving out three different vouchers or coupons such as:

    One could be for your entree
    One could be for your dessert
    One could be for a drink
    One could be for an appetizer

The goal is to get someone to come back three to four times because you’re establishing a great long-term customer. At that point, an event is also an amazing loss later. It’s sort of a mixture of all three of them.

Live Local Events

I have loved using live local events for businesses. It’s not like a celebration event or a grand opening. This is really based on education for the most part.

This is an educational seminar where some of the information you develop in your dated content offer could be something that you teach at a live event. It’s going to bring people to you. You are giving your time for free and that’s really where the loss leader part comes in.

You are probably going to be buying some food. Maybe some gift bags but you are bringing your ideal clients to your physical location. You’re eliminating some of the time and it might take to follow up with all those people because you have them right here in front of you at once.

You can absolutely close a lot of sales from events like those. If you’ve never considered events, I would highly encourage it. It’s one of my absolute favorite offers for local businesses.

With the right system, they can be easy breezy and produce consistent results repeatedly.

Product Preview Offer

Product Review Offer is something that most people would be interested to do. It could be financing or a payment plan which can be a really good one. It could be a time-based incentive. Think about it like a remodeler; giving someone a bathroom remodel in one week instead of one month is a great offer!

It has nothing to do with price. It has to do with time. So if you have a business that in any way could benefit your client by expediting the timeline, you could consider this as your offer.

Your offer could be a bonus with the purchase or it could be a bundle. I love using creative packages and bundles for different businesses. It can be product-based or service-based. People love to feel like they’re either getting a deal by bundling things together or they simply love the convenience of doing that because a lot of times you don’t have to discount that at all.

You’re just packaging something in a way that’s truly unique. Something that drives people to buy from you over someone else.

Good offers overcome objections such as: :

    Competition
    Money
    Time
    Effort
    Skill
    Simplicity
    Convenience

For instance, if what you offer has a skill attached to it, then your offer could include something like various training support bundle to make things much easier and convenient could be included in a bundle.

You’re saving time for someone having to research and find all of these different parts and pieces themselves. You’re giving it to them at once! Time and effort can be a great bundle offer.

We just talked about money is an obvious one. You should really think about where your audience is struggling. Think about what your offer can do to overcome their biggest challenges. Your offer matters! This is not just a discount. It needs to incentivize buyers either to act at all or act now.

You don’t have to come up with a false sense of urgency. However, know that anytime there is some sense of urgency attached. It’s going to work well. This could be a natural sense of urgency for something like an event.

There is an exact date this is happening. You can promote a sense of urgency, maybe it’s based on a holiday. There are a lot of different ways you can use urgency as a motivator however, I do not ever encourage anyone to be dishonest. Done correctly, this can be a great way to get people to act quickly.

Payment Plans

Create packaged payment plans or financing if you have a high ticket product or service. It is an amazing way to have a great offer without even really doing anything different other than coming up with some creative options for your client’s valuable content. While it may be true that anything that’s going to provide a lot of value like educational events or seminars, you want to make sure it addresses objections.

    It could be a special discount or promotion.
    It could offer individual support as I discussed.
    If you’re a gym it could be personal training sessions.
    It could be something that is one-on-one tutoring or where you’re gonna walk through this new product or program with someone so that they better understand it. They’re gonna get more value from it.

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call to schedule a time to talk!

How To Set Clear Goals when Marketing Your Local Business

There is one question all local business should ask before starting to run paid ads on Facebook, Instagram or any other platform:

What are your goals?

Your goals are very important to establish early on.

    Is your goal to drive leads?
    Do you want to get purchases?
    Is it foot traffic?
    Would you go for brand awareness?

You also want to understand what is a lead to you. Many people mistake a lead as a sale.

A lead is only the beginning of the process. This is simply someone who has erased their hand and self-identified as being interested in what you have to offer. There are many steps that need to be taken to ensure that you can turn that lead into a client or customer. We’re going to talk about this today.

You also want to make sure that your goals are realistic. I see this a lot and if you have unrealistic expectations even if your strategy is working well. You may not realize it and you could potentially stop something that is actually benefiting your business. So make sure that those goals and those expectations are very clearly set from the beginning.

What do you hope to see?

Don’t base that on a gut feeling or a wish or a desire. Base it on actual numbers so you want to know what is going to define success to you.

Is it according to be the number of leads that come in? Perhaps, it going to be the number of clicks to your website? Or is it going to be the number of people that walk through your door if you are a brick and mortar business?

Based on what those things are, you’re gonna have very specific KPIs that you need to be paying attention to. We’ll talk about what some of those would be for the various types of campaigns that you can run.

A lot of times, I see people putting up ads and they have no real idea of number one what their goals are but two what their KPIs are. If you’re trying to really define success by the reach of your ads, that is typically not what you should be looking for.

If you are having a foot traffic strategy and you’re defining success by engagement, it could potentially be helping but that’s really
not what you need to be looking at.

You want to make sure that your tracking and attribution are very clear. So that you can make realistic decisions based on data and again, not just on your gut feelings. We want to make educated decisions on:

We’re gonna be talking specifically about Facebook and Instagram ads today. I feel like there are very few businesses that these platforms are not a good fit.

There are billions of people on these platforms and I don’t care what the size of your local community is. There is going to be a large chunk of your ideal buyers on Facebook and Instagram.

The question is…

    How are you going to reach them?
    Are you going to drive them to take the action you want them to take?

There are a lot of different ways to market your business in 2020. I feel like Facebook and Instagram ads are a necessity for every business. You can reach the people you’re trying to reach and develop that relationship in that two-way communication while you’re at it.

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call to schedule a time to talk!

How Local Businesses Should Budget For Marketing

I want you to think about omnipresence in marketing if you’re a local business looking to make an impact. This doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere. But it does mean that you need to be hitting people from a variety of angles.

You may have a larger marketing budget and you’re doing TV advertising or radio advertising or trade shows or Direct Mail. This needs to be a compliment but also a core part of that strategy.

However it’s not going to end there you want to focus on your email marketing, text message marketing. Any type of touchpoint that’s going to increase frequency is something that you have to focus on in 2020 because consumers are now savvier.

The immediate direct response marketing does not work exactly the way that it used to. You have to get in front of people multiple times in order for them to trust you enough to make that buying decision.

What is your marketing budget?

Overall, establish what your company’s marketing budget will be. There is no one right answer. The range is between 3% and even up to 12% of revenue on your marketing that can depend on how aggressively you want to grow.

If you are a new company or an established company, First, identify what the overall marketing budget is based on actual facts. Again everything should be based on real facts and real data.

You’re also going to want to pull all the information you have on cost per lead, cost per acquisition. These very critical numbers that are going to guide you through this strategy.

Those numbers are going to heavily dictate what you should be budgeting on this type of marketing based on what you expect to see. So again, setting those goals is crucial because if I want to see 200 leads coming in per month.

Well, I can’t just throw a dollar amount and say this is our budget and I expect 200 leads. I need to know this is our typical cost per lead. I may not have that data from Facebook and Instagram yet, but that’s a great place for me to start.

How much money will I then have to spend theoretically to be able to get 200 leads?

Again, make sure it’s really based on facts!

If you don’t have those numbers yet, that needs to be a top priority for you. It’s going to be very difficult for you to make educated decisions without that type of information.

Your cost per acquisition is also a really strong number to know because you will be tracking that throughout this process.

If you’re really serious about maximizing your return on investment, so the next thing you need to talk about is are you going to have a testing budget when you first get started on Facebook or Instagram? Or if you’ve already been advertising, you need to test there is no one-size-fits-all method.

There are different audiences and different markets that respond to different things. Again, you don’t want to drag out the process of finding out what they’re responding to. You want to find that out as quickly as possible.

Most importantly find out what’s not working and stop doing that. This is going to save you a lot of money long term. It’s going to save you time and it’s going to expedite the success that you’re going to see. You also want to understand if your offer is proven.

I work with a lot of local businesses that don’t even have an offer. But if you do, has this offer been proven to work? If it does that’s something that you can factor into the budget because you already have a good idea of what may work for your audience.

This is pretty extensive because those things are going to help you. If you do have those things again something to factor in. It will play a part in the results that you’ll see early on. If you do not have an audience you need to understand that you’re essentially the new kid on the block.

Whether you’re just a business that’s never done a lot of advertising or you’re an uber business people don’t know you yet. So you have to be realistic in the time that it’s going to take them to be aware of you and also to buy from you.

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call to schedule a time to talk!

The 3 Key Things I Learned from Funnel Hacking Live 2019

Funnel Hacking Live 2019

This year, I was blessed enough to be able to attend Funnel Hacker Live, one of the country’s biggest and most exciting marketing conferences for online marketers & business owners.

To sweeten the pot, I decided to go down a day early to to attend a 15 hour Mastermind hosted by 3 of the industry’s top marketers & entrepreneurs.

It. Was. Awesome!

After I got back, I’ve had several clients, friends and business contacts ask me if it was worth it, and what the major takeaways were from the event.

While I had SO many AHA moments, there were a few things that really stood out that I wanted to share, in an effort to help you benefit!

1. Content is more important than ever.

If you’re trying to market in 2019, you better be producing high quality content, and often.

High quality doesn’t mean you need a video production team following you around, or a staff of writers pumping out content 24/7, but you do need a plan, a system, and the right content that your audience will respond to.

It encouraged me to refine my system to develop over a years worth of content in one sitting, allowing myself, my team and my clients to feel as if they never have a content block.

2. Diversify Your Marketing

I’ll be honest, it’s not something I love to hear. I help clients with several marketing mediums and platforms, but I LOVE facebook advertising, and it’s working so well that why would I spend a lot of time seeking other options?

But It’s necessary. Facebook may not be around forever, and if that day comes, you better not have all your eggs in one basket.

That’s why you need video.
You need blogs,
You need an email list that you can market to.

So make sure this year you sticking with what’s working, but you’re building your assets and your presence in other areas in the event that one option becomes obsolete.

3. It’s not always about getting more clients, it’s about selling more to your existing clients.

This can apply to any business. There are a few ways that any business can increase revenue. You can sell to more people, you can increase your prices, you can increase your margins, or you can sell more to the people who are already buying from you.

Typically, the easiest route is to offer more to the people who already know, like, and trust you.

You’ve already done the work to win them over as a client. It’s so much cheaper to sell to an existing client than to acquire a new one.

You can do this by creating new offers, new products or services, and improving your follow up marketing through email or messenger to remain top of mind.

While I learned a million incredible things at FHL 2019, these were the 3 that really stood out.

If you feel like you need help with implementing these systems in your business this year, I’d be happy to jump on a quick call and see if we might be a good fit to help you out.

It’s really easy, just click here: alliebloydmedia.com/breakthrough

Creating Entry Point Offers For Home Improvement Businesses

Offers for Home Improvement businesses

Today, we’ll discuss creating marketing offers for home improvement businesses. An issue I see with many home improvement retailers, dealers or businesses is the lack of creating entry point offers for their clients. This makes it very difficult to gain traction with social media or online marketing.

Do you know the difference between your product or service and your offer? Most businesses don’t. They think “I’ll promote what I sell, that’s what I offer.” Yet that’s completely off base, and an ineffective way to market your business in the online world.

What is an offer?

Your product or service is what your business creates or provides. So for you, it would be your remodeling services or your kitchen cabinets, countertops, or tile, for example.

Your offer is the way that you package it.

One of the most overlooked type of offers is the entry point offer. Many businesses go straight from the “introduction” (awareness) to “asking for a major commitment” (a big sale), and that’s not how human relationships work. You need to build familiarity and trust.

Your audience needs to know more about you, what you do, and feel confident in what you’re selling. They need to be able to take the relationship at a pace that makes sense.

So how do you do that in your online or offline marketing?

With the 3️⃣ key entry point offers! The main types of offers are:

➕Gated content
➕Loss leaders
➕Product previews

What does that REALLY mean to you? Lets look at some examples.

Gated Content Offers for Home Improvement Businesses

Gated Content offers are ways to get the initial relationship started with typically free content. Gated means that you’re asking for their basic info, such as name and email, in return for content that they would need or want.

Many home improvement businesses see this as a strategy that only “online businesses” would employ, but its for all types of businesses. The strategy behind gated content is to identify what the consumer is interested in, deliver content that builds trust, and to follow it up with quality emails related to that topic, and how you can help.

In some forms of online advertising, you don’t need to collect contact info, such as with a blog. But it only works well if you’re retargeting with advertising to that customer based on the content they read. If that’s the last communication you have with them, it won’t work so well.

Examples of Gated Content:

  • Templates
  • Lists or Checklists
  • Buyers Guides
  • E-books
  • White Papers
  • Blogs (with retargeting, such as facebook ads)
  • Gated Promotions

So how does that translate to home improvement businesses or retailers?

  • Kitchen Design Templates
  • Bathroom Remodel Checklist
  • List of all tools and materials you’ll need for a bathroom remodel
  • Kitchen Countertop Buyers Guide
  • Your Guide To Windows E-book
  • The top 10 bathroom styles of the year blog
  • Remodeling Budget Guide
  • A coupon after you enter your email
  • A contest you sign up for via email
  • A sale that you can only shop after entering your email

home improvement marketing

It’s easy to create quality content for your audience. They’ll get a feel for what you do, who you are, and why you’re a great choice for their needs!

If you’re looking for great content ideas, click here to get 261 Home Improvement Blog Topics for FREE! 

Loss Leader Offers for Home Improvement Businesses

What is a loss leader? If you’re in retail, you’ve probably heard this term before. A loss leader is an item that you offer basically at cost (or for free) that will bring customers in, in the hopes of them buying more.

Great loss leaders are useful, but incomplete. It needs to have full value as a stand alone service or offer, but allows you to try and upsell in a very natural way.

Examples of Loss Leaders:

  • Free gutter cleaning for a roofing company
  • Free design for a retailer or kitchen/bath remodeler
  • Free cabinet demo for a kitchen remodeler
  • Free flooring demo for a flooring installation company
  • Free Measures
  • Free Fertilization for Lawncare Companies
  • First mow for free for Lawncare companies
  • Free checkup for an HVAC company
  • Free tile trowel for tile store

I say free, but you could charge a small fee for any of these and still consider it a loss leader. You just want the price to be low enough that its a no-brainer for the customer. You know if they need these services, then they can use the other products or services that you offer. Once you’re working with the customer, it’s an ideal way to ask what else you can help them with. You DO NOT want to require a purchase for this. It needs to be a completely stand alone offer that SHOULD lead to about 80% of customers taking the offer you want them to purchase.

Product Previews for Home Improvement Businesses

A product preview is a way to give clients a taste of what you do. This is typically for a more serious prospect, as there is no perceived value if they don’t intent to buy.

Examples of product preview offers for home improvement businesses:

  • Design Consultation
  • Free estimate or quote
  • Product demonstration

Conclusion:

There are several ways to create entry point offers for home improvement businesses. You just need to see it as a necessary part of your marketing. Odds are, you probably have a product preview offer, but I would strongly encourage you to come up with at least 2 more from gated content and loss leader categories. These are for people lower in the buying funnel, meaning there are a lot more of them out there. This will allow you to snag a larger portion of the market than you’ve previously been able to convert.

I hope this has been helpful! If you have any other questions on offers, online marketing, or marketing your home improvement business, please let me know! I’d love to work with you.

By: Allie Bloyd

How to: Use Interact Quiz to Generate Leads

Interact-Quiz-Builder-Featured

In today’s blog, I’m going to discuss quizzes for lead generation, and specifically Interact Quiz! Quizzes are THE number one lead magnet type at the moment. They engage your audience, provide a fun activity for them, provide value, give you some really valuable information about your prospect if done correctly, AND generate mass amounts of leads!

There are many quiz platforms out there, and I’ve used several, but today I’m going to show you exactly how to build a quiz using Interact Quiz, which is my builder of choice. It’s easy to use, has all the features that I need, and works like a charm to drive leads into our marketing ecosystem.

How to Build a Quiz in Interact Quiz:

There are two ways to build a quiz using Interact Quiz Builder. You can start from scratch or use a template. I’m going to show you how to build a quiz using a template, because it’s easy, fun, and is a great way to learn the platform when you’re just getting started. It’s also great because they have several awesome quizzes already built fairly well for the home improvement and interior design industry, which I haven’t seen in many other builders.

Follow these simple steps to build your first quiz in Interact.

Step 1: Choose Quiz Type

You’ll first select “Create New Quiz” on the home page. You can’t miss it. Then, you’ll select the quiz type that best fits your goals. I have ideas for quizzes in all of these categories, but for today, we’re using the Personality quiz type from Interact quiz.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 7

Step 2: Choose Quiz Building Style

Choose to work from a quiz template or from scratch. I recommend new users start with a template to get a feel for the platform. Templates are customizable.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 8

Step 3: Choose Category

For home improvement businesses, we’re choosing Home & Garden.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 9

Step 4: Choose your Quiz Template

Decide which quiz will best fit your needs, or use the exact quiz template!

Interact Quiz Builder Step 10

Step 5: Evaluate Current Template

We’re using the “What’s your bathroom style?” quiz, so we’re going to look at the questions and answers that they have built, and decide if we want to edit them.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 5

Step 6: Edit Questions

Image questions are a great thing to use to for home improvement style quizzes, so take a look at their options and see if you want to switch anything out to fit the end results that you want.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 6

Step 7: Continue Editing

Take a look at the text questions that the template provides and see how you would like to edit them. Maybe you want to change the questions completely or maybe you just want to edit the answer selections.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 3

Step 8: Connecting Answers with Results

On the top right of every question, there is a button that says “Edit Result Correlations”. When you click on it, you’ll see something just like what is shown below. As you can see, each answer is tied to a final result. Some are tied to multiple results. The end results will be the result that had the most answers tied to it. It is an easy drag format. Make sure to do this on all questions if you change the end results, and specifically the questions in which you change possible answers to make sure they still match up correctly.

Interact Quiz Answer-Correlation

 

Step 9: Edit Results

You can do this at the very beginning if you want to completely change the results, but if you like the results that the template provides, you can simply do this at the end. You’ll just want to decided if you want to change images, verbiage, and link the call to action as well as change the text that it uses on the button. This is the place to PROVIDE YOUR SOLUTION. If you’re a remodeler, offer a free bathroom design consultation and link to your landing page.

 

Interact Quiz Builder Step 4

Step 10: Decide how you’ll promote

Where is your quiz going to be promoted? I suggest you use ALL the options for maximum results, but you’ll choose 1 at a time to get it set up. You can use the direct link in blogs or emails, and the others are pretty self explanatory. The website options are great ways to take traffic from visitors to subscribers.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 11

Step 11: Get it out there!

I selected to promote my quiz in a Facebook ad. After selecting this option, it shows me how my quiz will look and gives me the link to use, as well as gives me setup instructions on how to track conversions.

Interact Quiz Builder Step 12

There you have it! Interact Quiz provides an awesome platform to build quizzes that will further your brand and drive leads! Look out for our next post on how to create a quiz from scratch! Click here to take the quiz and see for yourself how cool it is!

Want to learn more about how to market your remodeling business? Check out my complete marketing training program for home improvement, home service and real estate professionals, “Remodel Your Marketing”, at alliebloydmedia.com/remodel-your-marketing!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

 

2018 Digital Marketing Trends: What You NEED To Know

digital marketing

We’re more than halfway through 2017 and marketers already are looking ahead to 2018 to determine the New Year’s direction for their digital marketing campaigns. Many are wondering if they should stay the course they charted in 2017 or make changes. Here are six developing digital marketing trends to consider, both for the rest of the year and beyond.

Personalized Content: Think Unique Customer Experiences

More than half of B2B buyers rely on content to research their buying decisions. What’s more, 47 percent want to review three to five pieces of content before they engage with sales reps.

Clearly, content is the beating heart of every marketing campaign. But as digital marketing matures, so does the nature of content. One of the increasingly important factors in creating content that connects with consumers is personalization—content specifically tailored to both customers’ needs and where they are in the buying process.

Consider These Stats and Facts

  • 94 percent of digital professionals believe personalization is “critical to current and future success,” according to Monetate
  • Personalized content performs 42 percent better than non-personalized content, according to HubSpot
  • Marketers who deliver personalized web experiences are getting double-digit returns in marketing performance and response, according to Forbes’ Publish or Perish analysis
  • 94 percent of senior-level executives believe delivering personalization is critical or important for reaching customers, according to PWC’s Digital Services group

Tips to Leverage Personalized Content

  1.    Start by targeting the “low-hanging fruit” in your client data: names and emails—most visitors will share these with you in exchange for valuable content, such as an eBook.
  2.     Once you have this basic data, start lead nurturing campaigns offering prospects access to more great content in exchange for more data.
  3.     Add value to visitors’ personalized experiences by asking: Will this help prospects and customers solve their problems and better understand our solution?

SEO and Content Conversion: Help Them Work Together

Few companies discuss marketing without including a conversation about SEO. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, the two functions have reached a point of conversion, according to a study by BrightEdge. In the survey, 97 percent of digital marketers believe that SEO and content have become more integrated or are converging into a single function. The marriage of content marketing and SEO impacts marketers’ three most important content performance metrics: conversions, engagement and traffic.

Consider These Stats and Facts

  • 52 percent of marketers recognize that fluency in SEO is critical to long-term content marketing success, according to BrightEdge
  • Organic search drives 51 percent of content consumption

Tips to Leverage the SEO and Content Conversion

  1.     Use SEO data to discover how prospects consume and engage with your content. Identify what generates interest and results in prospects who take action.
  2.     Conduct ongoing customer analysis, because prospects’ interests can change quickly.
  3.     Consider how customers engage with different types of content across channels and devices and at different stages of the journey.
  4.     Always be measuring. Set realistic and concrete goals for your content at every stage—from awareness to conversions.

Social Media Marketing: Sharpen Your Focus

In the coming years, B2B marketing leaders expect to spend most of their time on social media. As a result, social media budgets will expand, according to a TEKsystems 2017 study. Central to the success of this expansion is understanding consumers’ point-of-view: Namely, they want consistent brand messaging and intuitive interactions whenever they encounter a brand or are considering making purchases.

Consider These Stats and Facts

  • Facebook continues to dominate social media use, according to Top Rank Blog
  • Social marketing is shifting toward emotionally engaging content and storytelling because strong emotions increase content’s “spreadability,” according to Oregon Web Solutions
  • By the end of 2017, we’ll likely see most of the major platforms enabling users to create and share video content, create and share live video content and discover news and what’s going on around them (based on location), according  to Buffer App

Tips to Leverage Social Media Marketing

  1.     Ask: How do current customers feel about their experience interacting with our brand on social media?
  2.     Determine which networks are most important for your business and spend the most time creating fully fleshed out social presences there.
  3.     Consider dropping or reducing your time on social platforms that aren’t delivering lead generation and brand awareness.

Video Marketing: More is Better

Remember the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words? Consider the new adage about video: Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words. Clearly, video is a critical direction in the future of digital marketing. Cisco Systems’ recent Visual Networking Index report found that video will continue to deepen its dominance on internet traffic with volumes increasing fourfold between 2015 and 2020. By 2019, video will represent over 80 percent of all internet traffic. Viewed another way, the internet will support 3 trillion internet video minutes per month by 2020, which equates to 5 million years of video per month, or about 1 million video minutes every second.

Consider These Stats and Facts

  • 63 percent of businesses are using videos as marketing tools, according to Wyzowl
  • 65 percent of business decision-makers visit a marketer’s website after viewing a branded video, according to comScore
  • The average video retains 37 percent of viewers all the way to the end, according to Vidyard
  • 92 percent of people who consume mobile videos share them with other people
  • Video is shared 1,200 percent more than both links and text combined, according to Simply Measured

Tips to Leverage Video Marketing

  1.     Assess how much video content you currently use and the ROI. If you haven’t done enough, expand production.
  2.     To make your videos as memorable as possible, ensure that you’re keeping them in line with your brand strategy.
  3.     Boost your SEO by adding video to your landing pages, website and content offers.
  4.     Experiment with different lengths and subject matter for your videos.

Mobile Marketing: Time to Get “Mobile Friendly”

It’s full steam ahead on mobile marketing in 2017—and beyond. For one thing, Google’s announced mobile-first algorithm is expected to launch in early 2018. With this change, Google will primarily index mobile content and use it to decide how to rank its results, regardless of whether you’re on desktop or mobile. There no longer will be any type of “mobile-friendly” adjustment done just for mobile users.

Mobile marketing

Consider These Stats and Facts

  • 69 percent of digital media time is spent on mobile, according to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus report
  • Worldwide, $143 billion will be spent on mobile ads in 2017 (twice that of $71 billion in 2015), according to Moinstall
  • Location-targeted mobile ad spend will grow from $12.4 billion in 2016 to $32.4 billion in 2021, according to BIA/Kelsey

Tips to Leverage Mobile Marketing (From Google)

  1.     If you have a responsive or dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you should not have to change anything for Google’s upcoming mobile-first algorithm.
  2.     If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site, including making sure to serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.
  3.     If you’re a site owner who has only verified your desktop site in Search Console, add and verify your mobile version.

Digital Advertising: Dominating the Future

digital marketing

If you’re not yet engaged in digital advertising, now is the time. According to a new report from Facebook and IHS Technology, by 2020, media buyers will spend $84.5 billion on mobile advertising, with mobile accounting for 75.9 percent of all digital ad spend globally.

Consider These Stats and Facts

  • Facebook’s advertising revenue in Q2 2017 reached $9.16 billion, up 47 percent year-over-year
  • Twitter’s ad revenue fell in early 2017 by 8 percent to $548 million as advertisers pulled back from the social media platform
  • LinkedIn earned nearly $1 billion ($975 million) in sponsored ad revenue in the first quarter of 2017

Tips to Leverage Digital Marketing

  1.     Experiment with ads on different social media platforms to see which perform better for your brand.
  2.     Leverage advanced ad-targeting tools, such as location-based advertising, which put your ads in front of users at the moment they’re in your area of interest.
  3.     Privacy is a real concern for all customers, so be sure to enable opt-in and opt-out in your advertising.

The future developments in digital marketing are approaching at blinding speed. This is no time to rely only on what’s worked in the past. Now is the time to start planning for—and even implementing—the leading trends that will impact digital marketing success in 2018 and beyond.

Social Media Tips Part 2: Executing with Excellence

social media tips for business

Executing With Excellence

After my last article on social media tips for beginners, I thought we could step a bit deeper into the depths of the social media ocean and come up with a few pearls of wisdom. Some of these tips can be executed right away, but others will take time and you’ll need to build upon your skills in order to reap the full benefits. You’ve already gotten your feet wet, so now it’s time to dive right in with 10 more tips to take your social media game to the next level!

1. Remember the Reason

Relationships are the name of the game in social media, so no matter how badly you want to master this new craft for your business, don’t forget to approach it with a spirit of helpfulness and friendliness. The point of social media is to put a human voice and face to your brand. Don’t let the stuffiness of day to day buying and selling overwhelm your presence.

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2. Collect Data

This is one of the most valuable functions of social media. The data you can gather on your demographic and target audience is priceless. In addition to the standard age and gender questions, you can find out what makes your customers tick. You can find out what their pain points are, what their questions are, what they relate and react to. Don’t let this data go by the wayside. Record it and return to it often.

3. Act On Your Data

When you find a new nugget of wisdom about your audience, don’t just write it in your notebook. Act on it. Adjust your efforts to fill this need, answer this question, or offer the type of information that their craving. This will help you produce quality over quantity in terms of content.

4. Focus on campaigns that run across all social media channels

As we discussed in the last article, you shouldn’t try to build a strong presence on all channels. Stick to 3 or 4 to start off with. Create a campaign that can be translated onto all your targeted platforms. But beware, you can’t typically take the same photo and content and successfully post it on all channels. Different word limits, ideal photo sizes and key hashtags will differ on these channels, so adjust accordingly. Keeping the message the same on all channels will promote easy recognition of your brand and it’s values.

5. Research Repeatedly

We covered researching before planning in the last article, but research should be a regular part of your social media journey. Continue to research your competitors and see what is and what is not working for them. Research the best hashtags to use. You can find this on sites like iconosquare.com or hashtagify.me. Using appropriate hashtags can spread your content much farther than your immediate followers.

6. Testing

Test different image shapes, sizes, fonts, colors and even emojis to maximize your reach or gain quick recognition with your followers. Sometimes the small things make you stand out and can break through the clutter in a newsfeed or timeline. In our “Before and After” and “This or That” posts, we found that if we made our image twice the height of a standard Facebook image, our reach would triple or even quadruple! This happens because more than half of all Facebook users are on mobile. When you view this post on mobile, it entices you to click to see the “after” or the “that” image that you can’t see due to the size. The key is to put the “AFTER” or “THAT” text in the middle of the photo, so that people will understand that there is something to see below. When people are constantly clicking on your image, they’re telling Facebook that they value your content, and Facebook recognizes it as more important, making the reach skyrocket. In addition, those who click your post are served more of your content in the future because Facebook knows that they feel it is relevant. Without testing, trial and error, and closely monitoring the way that our fans are interacting with our content, we would have missed this awesome realization!

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What they see in the mobile feed

 

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7. Use calls to action!

As in any advertising medium, use calls to action and a sense of urgency to drive your potential customers into the buying funnel. While social media is not all about buying and selling, but when your posts directly relate to your products or services, there is no harm in adding a simple call to action. It can be as easy as “Click to shop more of these _____” or “Sign up today for more ways to save!”. Getting them to convert to your website or email list is the name of the game. Guide them in the right direction with a little encouragement!

8. Use contents to grow reach, engagement and the “fun factor”

Simple giveaways can be extremely powerful. Many contests will tell fans to like, comment and share to have a chance to win. These posts can get hundreds of thousands of interactions, with most of the giveaway prizes worth only a few hundred dollars. That kind of engagement is worth every penny.

social media contests

9. Make it trackable

Make sure that if you’re promoting contests, giveaways, discounts or specials on your social media accounts, that you have promo codes associated with them for your sales staff. This will allow you to see how many people are claiming this discount in store. This allows you to see which channels are working well for your target audience, or what categories are especially of interest.

10. Cross Promote Social Media Channels With On And Offline Channels!

I can’t stress this one enough. If you are going to take the time to use social media, make sure you get the biggest reach possible. This can be done by sending email blasts about your social activity, putting social share and follow buttons on all of your blogs, images, products, and pages on your website, putting social icons in your email signature (all staff should have this with an invitation for the recipient to follow for “Daily Design Inspiration” or whatever your company provides via social media.) You can also tie this to your other advertising channels, such as TV commercials, radio ads, or in store signage. This makes it easier for customers to follow you no matter where they are when they see your message or interact with your business.

Instagram poster at brick and mortar store

Good luck in your social media journey! If you have patience, persistence and dedication to follow the tips that I’ve laid out, I’m confident that your social presence will continue to rise daily. Don’t lose faith if things don’t take off over night. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t burn yourself out in the beginning. Have a plan and pace yourself so that you will be sure to endure in your efforts for years to come. Pleasant posting!

 

Social Media Tips For Business: Beginners Basics

social tips media

The world of marketing has shifted over the last decade, as I know all of you are aware. What you were doing 10-15 years ago is likely not as effective as it once was.

Digital is taking over the world, with social media the reigning king. While some may think that social media is just for teenagers, others may be well aware that it is an important facet of their marketing plan.

Whatever side of the fence you are on, you need to understand that in today’s marketplace, those who do not embrace this change will soon be left behind.

However, it can be scary and somewhat intimidating when trying to attack this new medium that you may have little experience with. I’m going to give you some social media tips that will help get you moving in the right direction!

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Social Media Tips: #1

You can’t do it all.

As far as social media tips go, this is a big one. Choose a few platforms to do really well instead of being mediocre at all of them. One of the main reasons that social media can seem so intimidating is the fact that there are dozens of social media platforms, each with a different niche.

You can never be great at all of them. You need to think hard on this before you jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, because this can be the choice that brings success or failure to your efforts.

Some of the main platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine, Tumblr (or any other blogging platform), Periscope, Google+, Houzz, Buffer, Delicious, Digg, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbledUpon, and many many more. In deciding the platforms that you’ll start with, ask yourself these 3 things:

  1. How much time or resources can I dedicate to this? If you are ready to fully commit, you can choose more platforms to tackle than if you can only dip your toes in the water. It is better to dominate one platform than to not make an impression on many.
  2. Who is your demographic and which social media platforms are they spending more time on? This is another question of key importance. If your demographic is between the ages of 45-55, you won’t have much success with Snapchat, or likely Vine. These platforms skew a much younger generation. Facebook has an older demographic, while Twitter is popular with a middle aged crowd. Do your research before getting started! You’ll be wasting time and resources if you don’t.
  3. Ask yourself what your key demographic would be looking for on these platforms. This greatly depends on your business. If you are in the Kitchen & Bath category, you know that there is a lot of information that goes into making the decision to remodel. If your audience would be craving information & clarity, you need to know. If they’re looking for design inspiration, you need to know, if they’re looking to know more about your specific business, you really need to know! Don’t give them what you THINK they want, give them what they want.

Social Media Tips: #2

Make a plan.

After you’ve done your initial research on the platform(s) that you should be focusing on, you need to make a plan. If you’ve decided that your audience wants information about product materials & design inspiration, you may have chosen to start a blog (on your website or Tumblr), to share this information on Facebook (The platform your demographic is using) and to share design inspiration on Pinterest (where your demographic goes to get ideas on style and trends).

Here are some social media tips on how to make your plan.

  • When to post. You now need to do research on the best times of day for the different platforms that you’ve chosen. This can have a big impact on your engagement, which is the point of your posts in the first place. Every industry is different, and those that like or follow your page will have their own habits of checking social media. There are many tools online that can help you with this. Sprout Social is a dashboard that will give you key information on your demographic’s habits. You can use IconoSquarefor Instagram stats or TweetDeck for Twitter. If you spend some time digging, you can find anything you’re looking for.

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  • How often will you post? You want to make sure that you post consistently, but not TOO frequently. Those who will follow your social media accounts want to see action, or they will lose interest. There are different “rules” for each platform that you can find if you do your research.
  • Research competitors & businesses in similar industries. This will give you ideas on the type of content that may work for your audience. If you see certain types of posts with lots of engagement, take it as a sign that this audience is interested in what they’re being given. Adjust these concepts to make them your own. This is a “Hypothesize, Test, Repeat” kind of thing. You may not hit a homerun on your first try, but analyze what is working vs. what is not, and adjust accordingly. Doing your research up front on posts that are working for others will save you a lot of time in the end. Take a look at the hashtags that are being used by your audience and tie them into your posts! Make sure you link all posts back to your website, when at all possible. The point is not just to engage on social media, but to pull them into the buying funnel.

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  • Put it in writing (or typing). Now that you know where you’re posting, when you’re posting and what you’re posting, you need to set it in stone. Nothing great is ever accomplished without a plan. There are many templates online of content calendars for social media that you can edit in Excel or Google Sheets. They will have columns for all the key information that you’ll need to effectively plan you posts. You can opt for a social media dashboard like HootSuite, which will allow you to plan & schedule all of your posts (for most platforms) in advance. This will definitely save time. I recommend you take 1-2 hours each week getting all of your posts scheduled for peak posting time.

 

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Social Media Tips: #3:

Engage to get engagement.

This is probably one of the best social media tips. I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “To have friends, you need to be a friend.” This concepts hold true in the world of social media. It is rare to get without giving in some way. Social media can be seen as a “Cocktail Party”.

When you think of it this way, it helps you understand the concept more clearly. When you’re at a cocktail party, you don’t simply go up to everyone you see and tell them why they need to buy from your company. That would be very inappropriate and in-your-face. The key is to network. You meet someone, have a great conversation with them, and let them know what you do. You become interested in what they do and how you can help them. When that person is in the market for your services, they may reach out to you, as they remember the positive interaction that you shared.

 

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They may even tell their friends about you! Keep this in mind as you embark on your social media journey. You need to genuinely be interested in the business or lives of others to get people interested in you. Seek out companies like yours or individuals in your demographic to follow or connect. Engage with their content and share your thoughts! This is the “introduction” at the cocktail party. Remember that this is a long term plan to increase awareness and sales in your business, and you will need to work at it in order for it to work for you.

Once your posts are scheduled for the week or the month, log on various times during the week to engage, or answer questions or comments directed at you. This is key in becoming successful in social media. I hope these social media tips helped!

In our next article, we’ll dive a little bit deeper into social media marketing success. There is a lot to learn, but if you take it one step at a time, you will find that it not only gives you a great return on investment, but it will give you much deeper insight into what your customers are looking for. Until next time, pleasant posting!