What You Didn’t Know About Social Media Marketing And Were Afraid to Ask

Your business can magnify its potential and elevate its customer base in a dramatic way by leveraging the power of content and social media marketing. But it is important, even as a business owner who will outsource your company’s SMM efforts to an agency, to understand what drives SMM. This understanding will allow you to build a foundation that will serve your brand, your customers and helps achieve your business goals.

It’s important to listen to what your target audience is saying

Your social media marketing efforts will be way more effective if you listen more than you talk. Try and understand what your target audience is saying online, join in their discussions to get to know their views and truly feel what’s important to them. These insights will help you create relevant content that is engaging and will allow you to spark conversations that they will want to participate in.

Have a specialty and don’t be a jack of all trades

It’s always better to be great at one thing than be just about ok in everything. A content marketing and social media strategy that is focused on one thing are known to have a better chance at success than a broader strategy that attempts to focus on everything all at once.

Quality is better than quantity

This is the case in real life as well. Quality is always better to have than quantity. On a social media set up, it is better to have 500 fans who share, read and interact with your content, rather than 1.5 million fans who connect with you just once and then disappear.

Success on social media doesn’t happen overnight

The process of seeing success on social media happens over time and is not an overnight thing. You need to prepared to commit to the long haul if you want to see lasting results in your campaign.

Focus on creating content that sells itself

Relevant content that is engaging and sticky and interests users will work on its own to be shared, commented on, liked and RTed, by fans and followers. You won’t really have to do much after you create your content to propagate it. If it is valuable enough, your fans will do the needful and share it on their Facebook and Twitter pages, on their blogs and more. This discussion and sharing of your content allow search engines like Google locate it in keyword searches, thereby offering an SEO perspective too. This could snowball into more and more ways for your target audience to find you and interact with you online.

Spend time finding the right people to interact with

When you target the correct audience, they are more likely to interact with your set of products and services. There are certain online influencers who you need to locate, who have their own set of loyal followers. Targeting these influencers means acquiring access to their set of followers and widening your follower base too.

Top Tips for Digital Marketing That Business Owners Should Know

Digital marketing is a great way to give your business that much-needed edge over its competition. Here are some tips to keep in mind to create a winning digital marketing strategy that can impact your business.

Customer loyalty should be built at the first encounter itself

If potential customers aren’t engaged right from the time they start to interact with your digital property, they will be lost forever. People’s attention span is dwindling over time and it is even lesser where the online medium is concerned. Your digital marketing strategies need to incentivize consumers on the spot. Customers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to earn rewards and if your digital marketing efforts entail them doing that, they won’t think twice before ditching it and moving on to some other business that offers them the same service in a much more hassle-free manner. Your business needs to aim for ‘consumable loyalty’ to create the right match for a reward at the exact time when your customer is the most receptive. This is a great way for your business to maximize your marketing message in as little time as possible.

Your focus should not be on impressions, but on moments

Impressions merely indicate whether or not an ad has been viewed by a customer. They don’t offer any other kind of insight like whether they enjoyed the ad or even engaged with it. Brands and businesses should, therefore, focus on moments instead. Why these moments are important, is because they embody a particular kind of emotion. Every digital marketing strategy has some level of moments. They may vary on degrees of intensity, but they are present. The impact of your campaign is at its best when the consumer you are targeting is feeling a particular emotion, or having a moment. These moments can be positive or negative. Either way, both have the potential to exert a response from a consumer and meaningful engagement results from both.

Don’t try and change consumer behavior, rather celebrate it

As a business, you should go where your consumer is going, and not try to change their path. For instance, after a consumer has finished a particularly intensive workout at the gym, what are the most likely to interact with – an invite to download a jigsaw puzzle or a reward for a complimentary energy drink? What seems more relevant to them at the time? Obviously, the jigsaw puzzle holds no value for the consumer at the time, but the free drink will help perk up his energy, and he is more likely to remember the brand or business that offered it to him, as it is tapping into a stream of behavior that already exists.

In the minds of a consumer, brand engagement becomes a delightful experience rather than a chore, through a highly interactive connection. When your business keeps things simple and clear-cut, the chances of engaging a consumer is much higher and so is the possibility of creating a lasting bond with them.

Things to Keep in Mind Where Search Engine Optimization Is Concerned

It is essential for any website to be optimized for search engines to make them more visible and accessible to potential customers. Through effective SEO, you can ensure that your website is positions adequately to be found at the most critical junctures of the buying process or when potential customers are actively searching for your website. Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind when doing SEO.

Look at your website like a delicious cake with many layers

The icing on your cake may be your paid search, links and social media, but the sugar that holds it all together is your content, your content management system, information architecture and infrastructure. Without these key ingredients, your cake would lack flavour and be boring and staid.

Understand what search engines are looking for

The main aim of a search engine is to direct users to results that are most relevant and pertinent to what they are searching for. When you understand how this relevancy is determined, it will give you a clearer picture as to what your SEO efforts should comprise. There are many factors that determine how search engines sift through websites to throw up results. The theme of the website, titles, descriptions and text on the page determine the content, performance is gauged by how effectively your site works and how fast it loads, authority is measured by gauging whether or not your site is referenced by other authoritative sites or your content is engaging enough to be socially bookmarked, and user experience is determined by how your site looks, whether or not it is easy to navigate and its bounce rate.

Understand what search engines avoid like the plague

Search engine penalise websites that resort to unethical means of SEO. So if you’re thinking tricking a search engine into promoting your website, think again. Search engines are constantly on the lookout for tactics like the overuse of keywords and purchasing links. Another factor that could significantly hamper your SEO efforts is sub-par user experience. If you have too many ads that make it difficult for the user to navigate or reach the content they are trying to, your bounce rate will inadvertently increase. Getting to know your bounce rates will give you insights on other bits of information regarding your website. For instance, if your bounce rate is 80% or higher, and you have content on your website, you will know that something isn’t right somewhere.

Identify your business model

This may seem like a pretty obvious step, but many people just take it for granted that they know what their business’ goals and aspirations are. It really helps all your marketing efforts and the brief you share with marketers, if you list down the following:

• What according to you would a conversion be?
• It is merely eyeballs or impressions that you are interested in or what people click on?
• Have you assessed your goals?
• Are you aware of your assets and liabilities?

Social Media Marketing Tips Every Business Owner Should Be Aware Of

If you want to up the ante on your social media marketing efforts, here are a couple of tips and tricks that will send your efforts skyrocketing.

Use LinkedIn tags to stay on top of mind

It is not a LinkedIn best practice to send an email blast to your connections, but it is ok to create a list of ‘tagged’ groups so that you can send you the information to the contacts that you want to connect with at certain times. By tagging your LinkedIn connections, you can filter or sort them on the basis of the tags you set and send a message to up to 25 people at one go. You can use a different subject line to share the very same tip with many different tagged groups, but it is prudent to create a calendar so that you can keep a track of what’s being sent to which group. These targeted messages can be sent out to create top of mind awareness, build trust and credibility among connections and also an online brand identity.

Don’t forget to post in ‘micro-opportunity’ windows

This social media marketing tip is great for any B2B communication. All B2B social media marketing entails one business connecting with another. Most businesspeople are engaged in one single thing almost on a daily basis and that is meetings. People are more likely to check their social media profiles just before or after their scheduled meetings. So, if you had known about this scheduling, you could set your social media marketing to deploy during these micro-opportunity windows.

Keep an eye on what content your competitors are posting

If your competitor has been posting some content that has become increasingly popular among your target audience, you need to jump on the bandwagon too. As long as you don’t resort to copying this content word for word, and keeping it within the general ballpark area, you should be fine.

YouTube is an important social forum so use these tips wisely

Being popular on YouTube can mean a substantial amount of eyeballs for your business online. But how do you cut the clutter with the sheer number of videos online? One of the most efficient ways to do that is to create attention-grabbing thumbnails for your videos that are compelling and draw the user into clicking them. There are aspects to creating a compelling thumbnail:

Graphics: A closeup of your face or a good headshot will add a much-needed personal touch to your thumbnail. Don’t forget a colourful background to grab users by the eyeballs.

Text: Users want to know what your video is all about without having to click it. So don’t forget to add text to your thumbnail design which tells users about your video. You can also use your video title here. Make sure it’s easy to read and that the text is located on the right-hand side of the image.

Emotion: Injecting emotion into your thumbnail will intrigue a user and compel them to click on it. Emotions like amazement, shock, enjoyment, and disgust work best.

Digital Marketing Strategies That Can Grow Your Business

Taking your business digital is the need of the hour today and developing a digital marketing strategy is even more essential. Digital marketing seems like the best way to stay ahead in the race, especially because your potential customers and your competition are already online. Here are some basic digital marketing strategies to follow which will be instrumental in helping your business to grow.

Set a Goal

Whether you are looking to acquire more customers, to increase your visibility online or to stay ahead of your competition, either way, it helps to define your goals. Having a preset goal in your mind increases your chances of success and chalks out a path for you to follow. If you jump onto the digital marketing blindly, without setting goals for your business to achieve, you will be left confused. Having a goal gives you something to focus on.

Create a Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel refers to the process of mapping out the journey of a customer from when they start off as a complete stranger to when they convert to a lead and then assign strategies into place that will lead them effectively through this funnel of conversion. Some of the most successful businesses have marketing funnels in place to boost their digital marketing efforts. The different components of a marketing funnel are calls to action, lead magnets, offers, and opt-ins.

Create an Effective Call-To-Action

A call-to-action is a text or an image that encourages a user to perform a particle action, like view a webinar, subscribe to a newsletter, sign up to receive a product demo etc. effective CTAs lead users to landing pages where they can feed in their contact information in exchange for a marketing offer that they find valuable. When a CTA is effective, it will result in more conversions and leads for your website. The process of lead generation is illustrated to this journey from the click of a CTA to a landing page. Your digital marketing strategy and digital properties should be rife with appropriate and effective CTAs in order to increase visitor-to-lead conversion opportunities. These CTAs need to be evenly distributed and optimized. They should grab a user’s attention and lead them into your marketing funnel.

Create an Effective Lead Magnet

Your lead magnet can be used in tandem with your CTA or as a stand-alone product. It could be used within your marketing funnel or as a way to drive customers into your marketing funnel. While driving your potential customer into your marketing funnel, you can use your offers as a means of gathering more information about them. When you supply your potential customer with something of value, it makes them more likely to convert into a lead who will spend time and money interacting with your business. The main aim of a lead magnet is the trade of information. It could be in the form of a free download or a discount on a product in exchange for information about them.

Choosing a Web Design Company-(Infographic)

You need to be able to provide your customers with the best brand experience online if you want to stand out from among your competitors. Marketing efforts have changed over the last few years and consumers today have so many more choices that they once did, not only where brands and businesses are concerned, but also where the medium is concerned. It is therefore vital for your business to be armed with a great web design agency who can successfully deliver your marketing message across in the best way. Here are a couple of guidelines for choosing the right web design agency.

Know your goals

You have to be clear about what you want your website to achieve at the end of the day. Consider your aim carefully, identify your goals and think about how you will measure your success. For instance, if your website is an e-commerce portal offering products for sale, your focus will be on conversion of sales, high return-on-investment (ROI), and building and maintaining your customer base. If you are launching a business, product or service for the first time, your focus on brand awareness needs to be paramount, with your website disseminating information about your business. When you are clear with what you want and what you want to achieve, it makes it easier to locate an agency who will be able to get the job done and communicate your brief to them unambiguously.

Know how much you want to spend on a web design

As with everything else, there are different price ranges when it comes to a web design agency – it all depends on how much you are willing to invest. But remember, you get what you pay for. So if you keep a shoestring budget for your web design, you will end up with one that might not have the kind of value a well-designed one might. Design and development should ideally never be compromised on, as they have the power to make or break your credibility as a business. If you’re cutting corners when it comes to a budget, your website will not be able to reap as many long-term benefits or deliver the kind of results that you want.

Get to know the agency in question

It doesn’t matter how long an agency has been in business, but what matter is the kind of business that they do. Get to know the team and understand how well they can grasp who you are and what kind of services you offer. Let them bounce some ideas off you and ask them to share past case studies if they have worked with some similar businesses in the past.

Communicate with them and learn from them

It is important that you can communicate unambiguously with your web agency and that you understand what they say and do. The ever-changing digital space is hard to keep up with, especially for business owners who aren’t in the thick of things. The web design agency that you choose should explain every process and pitch diligently.

Choosing a Web Design Company- Infographic

Why You Should Consider SMM For Your Business

Ignoring the benefit of social media is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make. Social media isn’t just for people to connect with each other, but is a great way for brands and businesses to connect with each other. Here are some reasons why you should consider SMM for your business.

You can be part of the conversation

Social media has become a part of the daily lives of almost everyone. Your potential customers want to be able to see the brand and business they associate with, on the forums that they spend most of them times. This makes them assume that you are in line with the advances in technology and are ‘with it’. If your business isn’t present on social media, you will come across as staid and old-fashioned in the mind’s of a potential consumer and you will not be able to get an edge over your competitors who are present and interacting with this audience.

Your business gets the recognition it deserves

The very basic tenets of marketing state that a brand needs to be present wherever its customers are. With the help of social media, you can reach a large number of potential customers in ways that seem very organic and not forced. It is vital for your business to be present on social media so that it can get the recognition it deserves. According to certain studies, potential customers need to hear a company’s name at least 9 times before they decide to associate with it. Other research states that over 50% of Twitter followers and Facebook fans states that they were more likely to purchase from or recommend a business if that business had a social media presence.

You get access to niche marketing

One of the most challenging parts of any marketing campaign is to find one’s target audience. Based on specific interests and demographics, businesses can create social media profiles and viral messages with the aim of targeting current and potential customers.

You can generate an increase in site traffic

Social media boosts your website traffic by linking your social media pages to your company’s website. When you create relevant and engaging messages that hook your social circles and promote the sharing of your content, more and more people will be led to you website.

You can monitor how your business is doing

When you are an active part of what is being said about your business online, you can dictate some part of that conversation and secure your reputation online. Social media is a great forum where you can respond to comments, negative reviews, and other interactions from potential customers.

You can reach a wider audience

Through social media, your reach is automatically wider than with any other form of marketing. Say you have an event that you are organising, if you post it on your Facebook page, chances of reaching a wider audience is much higher than if you were handing out flyers at a street corner.

Why Good Web Design Is Important

Building a website isn’t rocket science, especially with the many free tools available in the market. But just because someone can build a web design, that doesn’t mean that they can design it well. There are many different aspects that go into creating a website that is well-designed and all of these factors need to be kept in mind when designing it. A website that is designed well is absolutely crucial to the success of your business.

A website that is well-designed makes you and your business look professional and increases your credibility in the market. A website that is badly designed, has tons of broken links, bad navigation and irrelevant images and content can reflect negatively on your business as a whole. Today, internet surfers are much more in tune with the online medium and are more sophisticated than they used to be a couple of years ago. Plus, there’s also the fact that there are so many choices for them to make, that if your website isn’t well-designed and doesn’t hook them as soon as they land on it, they are likely to choose another option. That means that you will be driving potential business away from your website. If your site comes across as badly designed and unprofessional, no one is going to want to associate themselves with the business or services that you provide.

Navigation is a very important factor that can determine the success of a website. Bad navigation is one of the most common things that can drive potential customers away from your website. People are looking for something when they arrive at your website and if they can’t find it easily, they are just going to leave and go someplace that they will. It is much easier for them to close your website, and use a search engine to lead them to another site that offers the same services. With a well-designed website, with great navigation, you can keep web users hooked by giving them exactly what they are searching for.

A well-designed website can very well make potential customers exert a certain type of behavior that you as a business owner, wants them to exert. You have built your website for a specific reason. It could be to increase sales, visibility, to provide consumers with information or to have people sign up to be part of a mailing list etc. Either way, as a business, you are aiming to achieve a certain goal. Your website must be designed in order to achieve that goal. Whatever is your goal, should be your main focus.

Your website is one of the most visible, most accessible aspects of your business. It is often the very first interaction that many people have with your business and can, therefore, be instrumental in forming the first impression. Many businesses forget about this critical aspect when they are designing their website. They do so only to have an online presence and don’t think much else of it. View your website as an entity in itself, and you will reap the benefits for an extended period of time.

Why Digital Marketing is Crucial for a Business’s Success

The time has come where pretty much everything has shifted course from analog to digital. Every single day, people are seen consuming more and more digital data on their laptops, their mobile phones, desktop computers, tablets and more. Whether they are at work or at home, they seem to be glued to their device consuming some form of digital data. Therefore, it is vital for companies who haven’t yet jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon, to hop on right away. Business owners must be aware of the benefits of digital marketing so that their business can enjoy visibility it gets.

Many business owners will ask, ‘why is it important to invest in digital marketing campaigns‘? For the simple reason that digital marketing is the future of marketing and it can rapidly grow your business with effective strategies. In fact, the day isn’t far off when digital media will replace other forms of traditional media and marketing completely.

Business owners who come from a different time, when traditional forms of marketing like TV, radio, and print trumped any other marketing effort, are sure to grapple with the new digital age of communication. But it is prudent to break free from convention and consider the new heights that your business can reach if you broaden your horizons with the power of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is a faster means of communication. It is more streamlined, practical and versatile and can be tweaked to any standard. The great thing about digital marketing is that it offers as many benefits to marketers and business owners that it does to consumers.

Some forms of digital marketing include:
Websites and SEO content
• Blogs
• Internet banner ads
• Online video content
• Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
• Email marketing
• Social media marketing (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
• Mobile marketing (SMS, MMS, etc.)

Why digital marketing?

There are many reasons to consider digital marketing for your business. To begin with, business owners will be happy to know that digital marketing is a much more affordable option as compared to other traditional offline marketing methods. For instance, a social media or email campaign can successfully communicate a message to consumers to a fraction of the cost as compared to that of a print or TV campaign. It can also reach a comparatively higher audience.

Another important benefit of digital marketing is the ease at which business owners and marketers can track and monitor results. digital marketing allows you to do away with the expense of conducting customer research. Instead, business owners can measure the success of their campaigns and view customer response rates in real-time, thereby allowing them to effectively plan further campaigns.

But nothing compares to one of the most legitimate reasons for opting for a digital marketing campaign, and that is the fact that digital media is slowly taking over traditional forms of information consumption.

When it comes down to it, the digital age is here to stay and it makes sense for businesses everywhere to recognize its potential and create campaigns of their own.

SEO May Be an Investment, But It’s a Great One

SEO is a great way of making your website accessible to all those potential users who are searching for it. This amazing organic presence continues to work 24/7 to give your website the visibility it deserves on the web. But still, many business owners continue to grapple with the dilemma of whether or not they should invest in SEO. This dilemma presents itself mainly because of the cost. the truth is that while SEO can be a costly affair, business owners have to understand that his inbound marketing strategy offers higher ROI and is much less time-consuming and more cost-effective when they compare it to other outbound marketing strategies. This makes SEO a much more viable option.

The term ‘expensive’ is subjective and differs from client to client. The trick is in finding a strategy that allows your business to meet all its goals and juicing up the strategy as time goes on. But one cannot argue with the fact that White-Hat SEO strategies can be a lengthy process that requires a lot of expertise to pull off. It is tedious and time-consuming work that is best left in the hands of a professional.

Good SEO Strategies Take Time

You can’t just whip up a winning SEO strategy in a week and expect it to work fabulously. There may be the odd chance that it does, but most often, good SEO strategies take their own time to devise. On an average, a good strategy takes anywhere between 6 to 12 months to draw in the highest quality customers, with a focus on the best keywords for the right searches. A winning SEO campaign entails tons of planning. This includes on-page SEO, e-mail marketing and capture, social marketing routines, and website improvements. You may see results within a month of taking the SEO campaign live, but it takes longer to achieve your business goals.

Good SEO Calls for Adequate Research

When you were college and had to write a thesis about something, chances are that you got good grades only when did adequate research for your thesis and put in facts and figures that were relevant. The same goes for SEO. There are many baseline reports that need to evaluate. The research entails the SEO company getting to know the niche market where your business is operating and competing in. It also involves them getting a clearer picture of the competitors of a business in the market that they are operating in. SEO companies take time to research the weaknesses of these competitors and use it to leverage the campaign they create. This is a critical aspect of SEO and one that drives cost but ensures the efficiency of a campaign.

Good SEO Takes Skill

If you broke your arm, you wouldn’t look up home remedies to cure it, would you? Chances are that you’d rush to the emergency room to get it treated by a professional medical practitioner who is qualified and adept at his job. The same goes for SEO. A successful SEO campaign can only be created by an expert who is qualified.