How Do I Create an Online Quiz for My Business?

alliebloydmedia.com/breakthrough

Quizzes are one of the best ways that home improvement or remodeling businesses can grow their email lists, engage their audience, and add a little fun to their social media or web assets!

A quiz will allow to do 2 things:

  1. Allow your audience to self identify as a potential customer by simply taking the quiz
  2. Allow you to diagnose and prescribe a solution for your prospects problem on a personal level.

Both of these help your online marketing efforts substantially.

The question I often get asked is, HOW would I go about writing a quiz? It seems complicated and time consuming. Is it really that difficult?

The answer is NO! It’s not that hard if you have a plan going in. Quizzes are hugely beneficial, but if done the wrong way, you’ll waste your time, so I’ll cover the 6 easy steps you can take to create an engaging quiz in no time at all!


How To Create A Quiz

Step 1: Deciding on your topic

This is the single most important step in the quiz creation process. A quiz won’t help your online marketing efforts if no one wants to take it. There are three types of quizzes that perform the best:

  1. The “Killer” Quiz – What’s your downfall, what’s your worst quality, etc.
  2. The Graded Quiz – Ex: How Good of a DIYer are you? Get your score!
  3. The Identity Quiz – What’s your bathroom design style, what HGTV personality are you?

Putting your quiz in one of those 3 categories is usually a good idea. These have been proven to be the most clicked on and most popular.

Then, you want to decide what what product or service your quiz will be about. I would always choose the option with the highest potential, highest interest and/or highest margin. You want to sell people something via your quiz. You want to make it as easy as possible to do that.

If you’re a kitchen remodeler, you could do it about kitchen remodeling as a whole, or about kitchen cabinets specifically. The choice is yours. You can always create more over time, so no pressure!

The final step in picking your topic is to make a list of your customers most asked questions. Try and find a question that you could “answer” or address with your quiz.


Step 2: Picking your platform


The second step is which quiz maker will you use for your online quizzes. I have two favorites:

  1. InteractQuiz
  2. Thrive Quiz Builder

Both of these quiz building tools are easy to use and will give you a great end result. Creating a quiz can be easy, you just need the right tool to start you off on the right foot.


Step 3: Creating Your Offers


Your quiz needs to be designed to SELL YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES! Do not forget this. So the question is, what can you offer your your audience related to your quiz topic. Now, don’t forget, your product or service is NOT your offer (see my last blog if you need to read up on this!).

For instance, if you’re doing a quiz on kitchen remodeling,  you could have a loss leader: Free sink base cabinet, you could have a gated content offer: A step by step kitchen remodeling video series, kitchen remodeling webinar or live event, or a product preview offer such as free kitchen design or a free estimate. Map these out first.


Step 4: Crafting Your Outcomes


Now that you know what you want to offer your audience, you need to create your outcomes. You do this before ever deciding on your questions.

If we’re using the offers above:

  1. Kitchen remodeling video series
  2. Free Sink Base Cabinet
  3. Free Kitchen Design or Installation Quote

What types of outcomes could we create to fit within these offers?

If your quiz is a scored quiz on Kitchen Remodeling DIY skills “Are you Ready For a DIY kitchen remodel? Get Your Readiness Score Here!”, then, you need to build levels of readiness as your outcomes.

  1. “You’re READY to take on a DIY Kitchen Remodel!” This could be an offer for a free sink base cabinet. Because they can install the products themselves, they just need to buy the products. People never just need 1 sink base cabinet. It needs to match the rest of your cabinets, so getting this free sink base can lead to an entire cabinet and/or countertop purchase. This offer will vary depending on if you sell products or just install, but you get the idea.
  2. “You’re not quite ready for a DIY remodel, you need some more info!” This offer would be your event, webinar or training series. This could get you an email subscriber to continue to market to, or build a strong trust and connection so that they use your products or services.
  3. “You’re not a good fit for a DIY Remodel” This could be free design services or install quote. They are NOT a good fit to do it themselves, so an obvious next step is for you to do it for them!

See how that works?

Step 5: Building Your Questions

Now that you have your offers and your outcomes, you need to build questions that will address each of the outcomes. I suggest that for people just starting out, you have the same number of answer options per answer question as you do outcomes, so for this example, 3 options.

Then, you need to lump your topic into “buckets”. Anything that you find important in this topic or category should be included.

Examples of “Buckets” for DIY Kitchen Remodeling:

  1. Power Tools
  2. Design and Layout
  3. Project Management
  4. Budgeting
  5. Working with Pros such as electric and plumbing
  6. Knowledge of Building Codes

You can break a few of them down into one or two sub categories if you feel it will have a big impact on determining the outcome. A good quiz is usually 8-15 questions max. You don’t want it to be too long or short, just enough to give you the outcome that is most accurate.

Example Question:

How much experience do you have with power tools?

A. I have a lot of experience – TIED TO OUTCOME 1 – YOU’RE READY!

B. I’ve used them, but I don’t feel 100% Comfortable – TIED TO OUTCOME 2, NOT QUITE READY

C. I’ve never really used them – TIED TO OUTCOME C – NOT A GOOD FIT FOR DIY

It’s that easy.

Step 6: Mapping

Now, it’s time to map your questions to your outcomes. You can do this within your quiz maker tool. Each tool will do this slightly differently, but overall its an easy process.

Your next steps

You’ve successfully found out how to create online quizzes for your home improvement business! Trust me, this could do wonders for your audience and lead generation efforts. Now, the only thing you need to worry about is…

How do you get people to your quiz?

The best ways to do this are through social media marketing and SEO. If you’re experienced in these areas, then you’re all set!

If you’d like to talk to someone who’s experienced in marketing for home improvement and remodeling businesses, I’d love to help drive traffic to your website, your quiz, and generate new leads for your business! Visit alliebloydmedia.com to learn more about how I can help!

How To Choose The Right Facebook Ad Objective

How to choose the right facebook ad objective

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FACEBOOK AD OBJECTIVE

Hi guys Allie Boyd here, and if you’re watching this video I can only assume it’s because you want to understand Facebook ad objectives.

 Facebook ad objectives are the first step in creating your Facebook Ads, so you really need to understand the differences, when you would want to use one over the other, and how they kind of work to deliver your ad to the right people, so I’m gonna go through all of these with you!

 I’m going to tell you some of the do’s and don’ts and my personal experience in running Facebook Ads that have been really, really successful.

So as you can see, you’ve got three columns: awareness, consideration, and conversion. It goes back to the entire marketing funnel, which is cold traffic, warm traffic, and hot traffic.​

You’ve got awareness for your cold, consideration for your warm, and conversion for your hot.

TYPES OF OBJECTIVES IN FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

BRAND AWARENESS OBJECTIVE

So under awareness you’ve got brand awareness. The metric that’s going to be used to determine the effectiveness of brand awareness is “ad recall lift”. So this is not something that I personally believe is really easy for Facebook to track, but that is the metric they’re gonna give you. What’s cool about brand awareness for local businesses is you can actually have a “Call Now” button on your ad that will go directly to your phone number. It is the only ad objective that allows you to do that, so that’s what makes it unique.

REACH OBJECTIVE

Reach is simply going to help you get out to the most people possible.

TRAFFIC

Under consideration we’ve got traffic, so this is going to be clicks to your website, landing page views, things like that – getting someone to your external page.

ENGAGEMENT

Engagement is going to be an ad or a post looking for likes, clicks, and shares. This can be very, very powerful, even if your goal is conversions. You could end up using the engagement objective and get a better result in many instances.

APP INSTALLS

App installs. This is going to be for people trying to sell apps. I never really use it it’s not something that me or my clients will ever need, at least not at this point, so don’t know a ton about it, nor do I really think I need to.

VIDEO VIEWS

Video Views. This is another powerful consideration objective. Honestly it could go in the awareness column as well because you’re just looking to get your video out to as many people as possible who could watch it.

You can use this as your cold traffic ad. It’s gonna build your warm audiences really quickly. You can get one, two, three cent video views. What you’re then gonna do is going to create audiences based on people who have watched 25%, 50%, or 75%, so that you can target them later with offers based on what your video is about.

Video views is something I use all the time. I highly encourage it for newer advertisers to start building their warm audiences quickly, so create a really educational helpful video and get started!

LEAD GENERATION

Lead generation is going to be for lead forms. This is a form that they click on and it opens directly in facebook. It’s going to auto populate with their personal information and you can add some custom questions. It’s really great for a lot of local businesses, however the downfall is that sometimes your quality of lead could be lower because if the email address that Facebook has on file for you is not the email you currently use, if you don’t manually change that, you’re goint to be giving the advertiser a bad email address. That is really kind of the only thing that I’ve seen with that is that the leads can sometimes be a little bit lower quality. But it really depends, so you just need to test it out.

MESSAGES

Messages is one of my favorite objectives! I love using messenger marketing .Connecting my ads directly to messenger is really powerful. This is going to be for a JSON ad, this could be a click to message ad, so you are just looking for people who want to communicate with your business.

Only do this if you have an action for them once they get to messenger, don’t just let them click to messenger and decide what they want to say. You want to prompt them, you want to tell them what they need to message or comment or click on. There’s a lot that goes into that, but it’s a great objective to use.

CONVERSIONS

Then you’ve got conversions. Conversions are going to be something like someone’s signing up for an estimate, signing up for an appointment, a webinar, an event, making a purchase, etc. These are all conversions. Facebook needs about 50 conversions per week to really optimize for this, so if you don’t have the budget for that or if this is a higher dollar product and you’re not going to get 50 conversions a week, it’s probably best to use something like traffic or even engagement (even potentially reach). Even though your goal is conversion, you can use other objectives to still achieve that goal. It all depends on your business, your budget, your product, and your audience at the end of the day.

CATALOG SALES

Catalog sales is going to be used for retailers or e-commerce businesses. This is going to be for dynamic product ads. It’s gonna pull in your product catalog and show the offerings to people and allow them to buy.

STORE VISITS

Store visits is something that’s really exciting! It’s not rolled out worldwide yet, only select advertisers have access to it. Unfortunately I don’t have access to it yet, so I’m just patiently waiting until that day. It’s basically going to allow you to do what you can do with AdWords, which is track people who’ve engaged with your ad that come into your physical location. This is insanely powerful for bricks and mortar locations and businesses. I will be definitely using that a lot when I’m able to really track it.

CONCLUSION

So that is an overview of marketing objectives and Facebook Ads! Ultimately, you always want to begin with the end in mind. If your goal is to get sales, you need to start testing with conversions, traffic, engagement, and reach. You don’t know which one’s gonna perform better, so test them out!

You can easily a/b test, so just don’t assume that you’re  using the right one. However, you can still plan it from the beginning so that you have a better shot of actually achieving your goal.

That’s all I have for today! If you liked this article and video, please comment, share, and subscribe to get a lot more information on Facebook ads, messenger marketing, email marketing, and online marketing  as a whole.

I specialize in the home improvement and real estate industry and I’m passionate about sharing my information and I’m glad I was able to help you here today!

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.

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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

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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!