Everything You Need to Know About Link Building in 2018
Though mobile might be king, people still rely heavily on search engines. Whether they type out their search, or they ask their voice assistant, people search for things all the time. Perhaps they want an answer to a question, check what times a place is open, or simply search for a service or company that they need at the moment. Google will give them results, and chances are they will be happy enough with the first, second, or third result.
If you are not in these top three, or worse, not on the first page at all, then you might as well not exist in the eyes of Google. The ranking is not entirely out of your control, either. You can take several meaningful steps to rank better in the eyes of Google, allowing you to gain more traffic from the search engine. One such step you will need to take is link building.
1. What is Link Building?
Link building refers to guest posting. It means you either write content for another site or have an agency write that content for you. These articles, videos, and even infographics need to be unique, engaging and optimized for SEO. The more diverse your backlink profile, the stronger it will be. The only characteristic you need to look out for is the trust factor. Sites that have been blacklisted for using spam techniques by Google are not a good fit. Small bloggers to big-time news agencies, however, are.
2. What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the steps you can take both on your own site and off-site (with link building) that will work towards improving your site’s ranking on search engines like Google.
3. How Do You Stay on Top of SEO?
With new updates to the algorithm every other week practically, it is important that you invest in ongoing SEO services. If you don’t, your good ranking can fall behind because of some change to the algorithm that you haven’t kept up with.
4. What is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat?
The reason why your ranking will fluctuate is that Google changes what it looks for to help its rankings. Before, it used to be the number of backlinks. Now it is the quality. Google will also look at factors like site speed and security as well, so it is important to stay within their guidelines and be the shining example of the perfect site.
5. How Do You Link Build?
Link building, before you get too excited, is actually quite difficult. It is time-consuming and will require the use of several expensive applications in order to manage. If you do not have the resources to take this on, then it is much better to rely on professional link building services. That way you can benefit from experience and ongoing monitoring to ensure that your link building efforts stay within Google’s guidelines.
Link building will never go away, but it has become more difficult as time goes by. Quality articles, quality publishers, and an emphasis on manual outreach are all goals to live by. If you don’t have the tools or resources to do this yourself, hiring an agency to do them for you is your best bet.
In today’s increasingly internet oriented market, a company’s website is one of their greatest assets. As such, it is well worth the effort and expense to get your web design up to scratch in order to see your sales and conversion rate climbing. The folks at DesignAdvisor have created an enlightening infographic which outlines 15 of the latest web design trends in 2018.
If you’re not entirely convinced of the major importance of web design, let’s take a look at some of the numbers. Statistics show that 75% of users make a judgment (either positive or negative) about a company’s credibility based on the appearance of their website and 94% of users will simply bounce away from a website if they don’t find the design attractive or inviting enough.
This infographic will help you pinpoint some areas which may need beefing up on your website. For example: How easy is it to navigate your webpage? Is your layout eye-catching? Are you providing engaging content? What is your website’s loading speed? Surveys have revealed that most users expect a page to load within two seconds, and even a one-second increase can cause a drop in sales of up to 27%.
You might be hesitant to invest vast amounts of time and money into your website, especially in the initial stages of your business’s development. However, according to research, for every $1 invested in improving user experience, you can expect up to a $100 in returns. It just might end up being the best investment you make.
The abundance of interesting facts complimented by colorful illustrations sprinkled throughout the infographic makes it easy to follow. Another prominent feature is the case study cameos which speak for themselves by highlighting how various well-known businesses benefited by improving specific aspects of their websites. See what insight you can gain from it and take the lead with some of these latest web design trends.
Think about how easy life would be if you could understand and accurately predict the exact thought process of your customer base. E-commerce, in its most basic guise, is a system of supply and demand. Understand this demand, and you’re perfectly positioned to give your customers what they want.
Sadly, it’s impossible to do this. After all, we aren’t mind readers! But don’t fret – while knowing exactly what people are thinking isn’t plausible, there are ways to monitor trends. With the help of online e-commerce platforms, you can work out where potential profits are won and lost. Today, let’s take a look at four habits of online shoppers and learn how to exploit them to boost funds.
With the world constantly evolving, mobile platforms are becoming an increasingly important aspect of any user journey. Shockingly though, this is where most e-commerce businesses are losing ground.
A recent study from Invespcro would highlight this, with their results showing consumer satisfaction was at its lowest when it came to the ability to purchase through a smartphone. Wise online store owners would do well to optimize this aspect of their business, in order to boost user retention and provide a fluid, smooth journey.
Social shopping plays a huge part in the way items are advertised in the 21st century. If you’re selling a product which the customer can tangibly hold in their hand (rather than a service), promoting it on a social media account will help garner attention.
Marketing Land provides a detailed guide on how to get the most out of Pinterest in this regard. This is a platform which is particularly suited to showing off your stock. Dedicate real care and attention towards making listings look as good as possible.
Along the same lines as mobile optimization, consumers are looking for the easiest possible experience when it comes to the checkout process. This is epitomized by the one-click-and-done method which industry leaders like Amazon and eBay have introduced.
In order to implement this, you’ll need to create a system which allows users to have a dedicated account set up on your site. This won’t be too hard and can be achieved with the use of aforementioned platforms dedicated to managing your store.
People are more likely to trust a face than a name they don’t recognize If you’re a smaller enterprise, it’s worth keeping this in mind. While a name itself is enough to appeal when it comes to larger companies, you may need to think outside of the box if you’re a start-up.
Having a friendly, relatable human face at the forefront of your brand is a great way of doing this. Consumers find it easier to trust that which they can see. If they feel a “real person” is on the other end, they’re more likely to hand over their cash.
Have these online habits given you food for thought? Be sure to keep them in mind when running your business. They should make a huge difference.
Use Hootsuite to Schedule and Manage Your Social Media Including Instagram
Hootsuite has expanded its dashboard to make it easier for you to schedule and monitor your social media efforts on Instagram. Previously, Hootsuite provided you the ability to tend to your Facebook and Twitter platforms with ease, now you can do the same with Instagram. With an ever-increasing number of businesses and professionals taking to Instagram, this is a welcome addition from Hootsuite.
There are a number of tactics you will want to consider utilizing to make the most of your Instagram account. Thanks to Hootsuite now being a resource for you, you can utilize this tactics and strategies with greater ease.
Don’t Post All Photos Immediately
Many, if not most, Instagram users are in the habit of posting photos directly after taking them. This can result in images being uploaded to Instagram at points in time at which you will not garner the optimal impact for them. If you are using Instagram for business, you necessarily want to put up your photos at times in which they will have the biggest impact.
Thanks to Hootsuite, you can take a photo and schedule it to go up on Instagram at a future point in time. You can accomplish this at one time and directly after taking the image. You do not need to carve out time, later on, to go back and post your image.
Take Advantage of Iconosquare
In addition to using Hootsuite to up your Instagram game, take advantage of Iconosquare as well. These two apps, when used together, can go far in assisting you to make the most out of your Instagram account.
Iconosquare is designed to analyze your Instagram engagement over time. With this data, you can ascertain what points in time during the course of any given day you can anticipate the highest level of engagement. Armed with this information, you can schedule your Instagram posts using Hootsuite at those optimal junctures in time.
Use the Front Facing Camera for Selfies
Like many people, including business owner and professionals, selfies tend to make up a considerable percentage of imaged uploaded to Instagram. More often than not, these images are taken using the rear-facing camera on a smartphone.
The reality is that the rear-facing camera, the one on the back of your phone, has a notable higher resolution. You should start using that camera to take your Instagram selfies. Yes, you will need to practice to master using this camera. In the end, you will find that your Instagram selfies will be of a significantly higher quality.
Use the Over App
Another app you can use in conjunction with Hootsuite when it comes to your Instagram images is Over. With Over, you can easily add text to your images. The combination of photos and text oftentimes makes Instagram images more appealing, more compelling to your followers. As with other apps, you can take an image, add text, and conveniently schedule its uploading to Instagram for a future time.
Lighting Problems? Convert to Black and White
If you’re struggling to balance out the lighting on an image intended for Instagram, and are beginning to think your efforts are proving futile, convert the photo to black and white. This simple tactic eliminates issues you may be having in regard to a full-color derivation of an image. In addition, black and white photos can prove to be stunning on Instagram.
By incorporating Hootsuite together with these tips and tactics, you will put yourself in the position to get the most out of your Instagram account. In addition to getting more out of your Instagram account, you will optimize its usefulness and effectiveness in an efficient and time conserving way thanks to Hootsuite.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.
Retail Trends Likely to Dominate the Scene in 2018
Trends and predictions are part and parcel with the start of a new calendar year. One area in which trends are analyzed at the beginning of the year involves the retail market segment. There are a number of retail trends that are likely to dominate the scene in 2018.
Grocery eCommerce will Blast Off
A major 2018 retail trend will center on grocery eCommerce. A primary reason a focus in 2018 will be on grocery eCommerce is associated with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and Walmart’s decision to up its game when it comes to online grocery marketing.
Prior to the latter part of 2017, U.S. citizens lagged behind their international counterparts when it came to grocery eCommerce. All of that is expected to change in 2018 due to a significant uptick in the number of U.S. consumers who will embrace grocery eCommerce.
“Traditional” Retailers and the Realization that They Must Change
Forbes, the widely read business magazine, traditionally makes predictions pertaining to retail trends at the start of a new year. In 2018, the magazine focused on one major trend to pay attention to in the retail market segment in 2018. Specifically, the “big trend” to watch for in 2018 is that a multitude of retailers, from different market segments, will finally concede that they must embrace change.
Embracing change does primarily involve so-called traditional retailers, including those stores that have been in business for more extended periods of time. These enterprises have long held firm to the principle that retailers determine what a customer should desire to purchase. These enterprises also believed that retailers held the keys as to how customers shop.
In reality, that has not been the case for quite some time. In fact, in the digital age, customers truly to define the shopping experience on all levels. 2018 is marked to be the year in which retailers reluctant to accept this reality will finally do so.
With a notable number of traditional retailers closing their doors forever, many others muttered the mantra that 2017 was a year to survive. Those that made it into 2018 are expected to be seen realizing that they must change and embracing that process.
Integration of Crypto Currencies
2017 say the cryptocurrency world garner attention from the media and large swaths of the public. By the last quarter of 2017, a growing number of retailers were also starting to take notice of cryptocurrency.
Thus far, cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, has been regarded as an asset class rather than a type of currency or form of payment. A trend among some retailers in 2018 will the integration of cryptocurrency into their sales systems. As part of this effort, some retailers will take the step of holding onto whatever cryptocurrency or currencies they elect to accept from consumers. This will eliminate the fees associated with conversion to U.S. dollars following a cryptocurrency purchase.
Tech-enhanced Store Staff and Elimination of Checkout Counters
Another significant trend to keep a lookout for in 2018 is the further tech enhancement of store associates. Accompanying this trend will be an increasing elimination of checkout counters in stores.
The one benefit that brick and mortar stores have over online retailers is face-to-face human interaction. Increasing the tech availabilities of retail staff, and eliminating the checkout counter, is thought to be a sure way to enhance the overall human interaction between patrons and staff at retailers in the brick and mortar world.
The Rise of the Robot
2018 will not be the year in which robots start to populate retailers floor space in the brick and mortar world in large numbers. There actually will be an uptick in the visibility of robots and automation in brick and mortar stores, but the real trend in robotics will be behind the scenes in retail fulfillment centers.
Major online retailers, with Amazon leading the way, will incorporate robots into the work of more of their fulfillment centers in 2018. In 2017, Amazon had robots in action in about 20 percent of their fulfillment centers. That number will increase, and noticeably so, in 2018. Similarly, other retailers will utilize robots more broadly in their fulfillment operations during 2018.
Guest Blogger: Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.
New Year is a time when many of us make resolutions and Mark Zuckerberg is no exception. However, this resolution may have a big impact on many lives, both personal and professional. In his quest to improve Facebook and help people feel more connected, Mark announced a new “Facebook Algorithm Change.” This change will elevate personal interactions in the newsfeed while de-prioritizing content from business pages and publishing companies.
WHAT DO THESE FACEBOOK ALGORITHM CHANGES MEAN TO INDIVIDUALS?
Latest Facebook algorithm changes are designed to improve our personal experience on Facebook:
We will see more content from our family and friends vs. random pages we followed. Creating a better connection with people we care about.
The meaningless viral videos will no longer be promoted on Facebook. The expected result is that we will waste less time browsing through these.
Interesting, thought-provoking conversations will find a way into our newsfeed more often.
In theory, these are all great changes designed to create a much better Facebook experience for all of us.
WHAT DOES FACEBOOK ALGORITHM CHANGE MEAN TO BUSINESSES?
If you are using Facebook to promote your business expect to see both reach and engagement for your business pages to decline. You will likely have to come up with new ways for your content to be seen.
We’ve summarized 7 practical tips to help you succeed with Facebook marketingafter the latest algorithm change
1 – ADD LIVE VIDEO
New Facebook algorithm will favor Live Video, especially video with engaging content.
This may mean that we will see a lot more poor quality videos recorded in the car. It may also mean that some brands will step up and deliver unique, entertaining, thought-provoking and educational content.
To develop a simple live video strategy, try the following:
Schedule a weekly live series to talk about breaking news in your field
Break down one of your core offers into a series of “how to” live videos
Create featured interview series with top experts in your industry
Facebook algorithm changes will continue to come and go, but building your brand via memorable content will stay. It is your chance to shine. Determine a central theme to your brand and create a live video strategy around it.
Many marketers may opt-in for “shock and awe” type of questions. While these may create some hype around a specific post, these are hardly a way to create a lasting brand.
Instead of going after short-lived entertaining types of questions design a longer-term content strategy:
Focus on interesting, relevant, engaging questions and ways to create a dialog.
Ask questions that may create a discussion and tap into differences of opinions.
Listen to your customers and post answers to their most burning questions.
Engage people via polls.
Monitor engagement on your posts and constantly refine the strategy to focus more on the posts that are performing best.
3 – FOCUS ON GROUPS
Groups have been a great way to create a community around your brand. Facebook algorithm change does not impact content posted in the groups.
While groups are harder to build and manage, group members are more connected to each other. As a group admin, you get to design and enforce the rules.
Some of the most successful groups are uniting members within a particular niche and/or a common goal. These common goals can be:
learning a new topic and sharing best practices, top challenges, questions.
going through similar experiences and making recommendations on resources, approaches; celebrating wins and overcoming failures.
Sharing strong passions and interests.
The possibilities are endless when you combine passionate people in the same group.
4- EXPLORE MESSENGER
Messenger created an unprecedented platform of connected people. Individuals can connect to one another in a matter of minutes. No wonder that popularity of marketing via messenger exploded in the past year.
Messenger bot campaigns boast 88% open rates (compare to an email open rate of 20-25%). Creating a messenger ad strategy for your brand will ensure that more of your messages are seen. Avoid being spammy on messenger. Rather focus on a specific goal:
Tap into messenger bots to create advertising strategy. ManyChat and ChatFuel are two of the top bot solutions.
Create a conversation with your followers via automated conversations or improve customer service.
Deliver valuable downloads to your followers via Messenger Ad campaign.
Messenger is an excellent way to keep in touch with your audience. Even if you are not ready to implement the strategy today, start planning for it.
5 – PRACTICE REMARKETING
Adding a paid social media strategy to your mix is a great idea (especially, with the ongoing algorithm changes). Some marketers speculate that the change will drive the cost of advertising up.
Targeting new audiences via ads may become quite costly. Facebook’s latest changes will lead to less time spent on social networks. This, in turn, will mean less ad inventory and higher cost.
If your page has built a significant following, you can tap into this audience via remarketing. Remarketing is easier than you think. Try some of these simple remarketing techniques:
Show a lead magnet people who engaged with your page or your page posts.
Invite people who watched 25% of your videos to visit your website
Retarget your website visitors with a low-cost offer
Even if you are not ready for retargeting today, Install Facebook Pixel to start learning about your audience.
6 – LOOKALIKE TARGETING
Lookalike (LLA) targeting allows you to exponentially expand reach to people who are similar to your best customers. Instead of guessing who your audience is based on geography, demographic and interest targets, you can try the following lookalike audiences:
Lookalike audience based on your email subscribers (you can upload a custom list to Facebook)
Lookalike audience based on your website visitors (you will need to use Facebook pixel data for that)
LLA targeting is a Facebook goldmine. You have a benefit of tapping into an extensive Facebook database of information on all of its users – and you do that at a fairly low cost.
7 – EXPERIMENT WITH OTHER PLATFORMS
Let’s face it – This is not the last algorithm change by Facebook. With Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to “Fix Facebook in 2018” we may see more changes that will require all of us to rethink how we market.
It may be time to look at some other platforms:
Niche Platforms (e.g. House, Quota, Reddit) – research niche platforms in your industry and join the conversation. These platforms may not have the massive audiences Facebook offers. However, as the rule, their members are more engaged and loyal
Visual Platforms (e.g. Instagram and Pinterest) – both are excellent sources of traffic for any eCommerce business
Conversational Platforms (Twitter) – these platforms may not be as glamorous, but they are still an amazing source of growth
Constantly evaluate platforms that may enable you to get better results for a higher ROI.
The final word is still out on what Facebook algorithm changes mean, but if you start applying these simple tactics today, you will get ahead of the game.
With over 500 million active users per month, it’s clear that Instagram is no small player in the world of social media. There is plenty of potential for brands to leverage and broaden their outreach. But how do you cut through the noise and navigate a platform with such vast scope? You learn from the pros, of course. Here are seven Instagram tips that your competitors are already following right now. By taking these on board, you will be well on your way to mastering Instagram for your own brand.
Are you on the lookout for content marketing advice to improve your overall strategy? Check out our previous post.
Show what your online business does in a creative way
Instagram is the perfect social channel for you to showcase the visual element of your brand. No matter what you do, there will be a creative way for you to document and showcase it. Consistent, visual storytelling cuts through the mediocre noise on Instagram. To grab people’s attention and build an audience that anticipates your next post, you need to get creative with how you share your ideas and tell your brand’s story.
Take FedEx, for example. This brand successfully uses images of their delivery service and combines it with posts of happy customers receiving parcels and flowers. This tactic not only makes an otherwise rather functional and unglamorous service look attractive, but it also serves to tell the brand’s story by giving it a human face.
Brainstorm the different processes your business is involved in, and how they affect your customers. With this information, you can create stories and come up with ways to creatively show how your brand’s day-to-day operations work.
The most successful brand storytelling involves bitesize micro-stories that tie into your brand’s values, mission and customer experience. You want to develop a strong brand presence on your Instagram feed that represents your overall brand image. Check out this post for more examples of visual storytelling.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with Instagram stories
Instagram Stories are a new function, recently rolled out across the social network, which allow you to use a slideshow of videos and images that remain accessible for 24 hours. This feature is in direct competition with Snapchat’s stories, but has the additional benefit of being linked to Instagram profiles. This means that with an Instagram profile for your brand, you have the opportunity to not only bedeck your feed with visual marketing, but to get creative with film and a story to really engage your audience.
Here are some things that you should know about Instagram stories:
Stories are displayed at the very top of your follower’s timelines
They can be used to display your behind-the-scenes content. This is often less staged and lower quality than the permanent posts on your profile
The story function really enables you to experiment with different types of content and see which gets the most engagement. Photos, short videos, Boomerangs, Rewind videos, and live videos are all available for you to get creative
The additional functionality of face filters, text and stickers allow you to really customize your posts and make your mark. It’s very easy to edit your posts on the go
Your posts will autoplay in the chronological sequence they were added, and you can post an unlimited number of times. This feature only works on the mobile app. Check out these unique brands to see how other people are making innovative use of Instagram Stories.
Take your audience behind the scenes of your business
As mentioned, brand storytelling is a really great way to interest your audience and add an extra dimension to your image. The more story you can provide, the more you open your brand up to engagement and conversation.
Some customers are naturally curious about where their products come from, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to answer their questions with your Instagram feed. For example, if you are a Fairtrade company, you could show your customers where you source your raw materials from.
The Fair Trade USA instagram does this to great effect. This non-profit organization shows exactly who crafts or handpicks the raw materials that go into fairtrade certified products. By doing this, their target audience can buy these products, safe in the knowledge that they are cruelty free. This kind of story is what evokes empathy from audiences and encourages them to buy products.
If you have an interesting brand story, don’t be afraid to show it off. Perhaps you started off as a hobby crafting jeweler to help keep food on the table? Let your audience know about your story and why you started your brand. Any kind of shareable information that connects you to your audience is very useful for social media.
Another really great way to broaden your outreach on instagram is to harness the power of collaboration and employ an influencer. Micro-influencer collaboration aligns your brand with their values and mission. This often works more effectively than using hashtags, as the act of following hashtags is often more manual for the user. Banana Republic promoted its clothes to audiences that are defined by their sense of style and interest in fashion. The micro-influencers selected were fashion and lifestyle focused, and this helped Banana Republic to reach a large, but targeted, audience of consumers.
Micro-influencer marketing might be the biggest thing this side of 2017, but don’t worry – you don’t necessarily have to part with a large sum of money to hire their services. Consider offering them some free products to sample, and perhaps they will post to their Instagram feed or story without payment.
If you want to integrate micro-influencers into your marketing strategy, there are a few things you should know first:
You should consider whether your chosen micro-influencers fit in with your brand and values. Ultimately, you want to piggyback from their established presence and gain access to their following. You need to be sure that their demographic is the right one for you to gain maximum ROI
If you are a local or smaller business, consider finding micro-influencers from your local area, with a local audience. This would allow you to be hyper-targeted with your outreach
When searching for the right micro-influencers to work with, you should aim for followers with a similar amount of followers to you, otherwise, you may risk not being taken seriously
For more tips on how to collaborate on Instagram, this article is for you. Once you’ve decided which influencers to target, it’s time to make contact. Consider emailing them directly, rather than direct messaging them on Instagram. Emails tend to get higher response rates, as direct messages are often overlooked.
Analyze the performance of your posts and build on them
As with any marketing strategy, it’s really important for you to analyze the performance of your Instagram posts to make sure that you’re barking up the right tree. You need to make sure that you are spending your money in the right way, broadcasting the right kind of content, and targeting the right audience.
There are many apps and subscription services that allow you to track hashtags, engagement levels and mentions of your brand on social media. Keyhole tracks all of these, and even integrates seamlessly with online store creators like Shopify. This means that Keyhole can access all of your ecommerce business’ data in real-time, and give you the most up-to-date reports. Trackmaven is another great product that puts you in the driver’s seat of your social feeds.
Whether you choose to go down the micro-influencer route, or have a go with Instagram’s new story function (or perhaps all of these ideas!) – don’t forget to consistently analyze your engagement levels. The truth will be in your metrics, and data is essential to constantly improve on your marketing strategy and make sure you’re investing your budget in the right areas.
Which of these tips will you take onboard? Let us know in the comments.
Guest Blogger: Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.
Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing consultant and freelance writer, working with large brands to grow their reach. She loves sharing her expertise with other entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them reach success.
Content marketing grows in popularity with each year. But what is it, a working technology or another trend that will soon come to naught? To competently answer this question, let’s dig deeper along with Lucy Adams.
Let’s face it: content marketing is not suitable for everyone and requires time (up to a few years!) to give results. Like any other trend, content marketing is surrounded by myths and omissions. To confidently decide whether to invest in this tool, let’s consider the facts that we already know about content marketing.
#1 Content Marketing Strategy Should Be Documented
According to Content Marketing Institute, about 42% of companies in b2b operate according to the pre-written content strategy.
On average, successful companies use 15 tools while inefficient – no more than 10. Successful companies allocate about 40% of their budget on content marketing while inefficient – about 15%.
#2 Content Director Will Soon Become One of the Most Demanding Professions in Marketing
More and more top managers will treat content marketing as a necessary tool requiring marketing costs. This means that companies will need not only favorable climate and corporate culture but also responsible managers to create and implement content strategies. Companies that do not assign responsibility for the creation and distribution of content to special people or units will lose the battle!
#3 Content Marketing Attracts More Customers at a Lower Cost
According to polls, in about 60% of cases, content marketing increases both the quantity and quality of incoming potential customers. Moreover, the price per 1 client reduces by 38%! In other words, good content marketing has a tangible commercial effect, increasing the flow of customers and reducing the price of a single lead.
#4 Large Information Articles, Videos, and White Papers Have the Greatest Return on Investment from All Content Marketing Tools
According to a study conducted by copypress.com, the three greatest tools in terms of ROI are feature articles, video materials, and white papers (manuals, reviews, and mini-books that help to choose this or that product or solution).
In conditions of time and budget shortage, you can start your content marketing strategy with posting the materials that give the maximum effect and require minimum efforts. Most likely, employees of your company must have valuable experience to share. Start with it.
You can never know which article will become viral and cause noise. Often the material that takes a week goes unnoticed, and vice versa. That’s why you should prepare at least a dozen of different publications to test the interest of the audience.
#5 Your Subscriber Base Is Your Main Asset
Remember that you can’t make the first impression twice! Be sure to provide visitors with valuable information from the very first try. As soon as you get emails, things will go easier.
There are many pieces of evidence of the effectiveness of proper email marketing. According to icontact.com, those customers who received emailing spend 83% more money on online purchases and make purchases 28% more often. Every dollar invested in email marketing receives the return of $44!
#6 Adjusting the Content Strategy to the Sales Funnel Increases the Conversion
According to Aberdeen Group, adjusting the content strategy to the sales funnel increases the conversion by 73%. Almost all successful companies have internal databases containing articles, presentations, reviews, cases, videos, interviews, checklists, recommendations, etc. along with instructions for managers. It is called lead nurturing.
Prepare useful and interesting materials for clients, which will help them to understand your opportunities and advantages better. Teach sales managers to use these materials, taking into account the degree of customers’ readiness for making a purchase.
#7 People Won’t Read Everything You Wrote
According to Nielsen, only about 25% of the text is covered by an average visitor while 17% of visitors spend less than 4 seconds per page (apparently, these are those who immediately realized that they are in the wrong place).
First of all, make the visitor sure that he will find what he’s looking for. Secondly, make the page convenient for quick scanning, the so-called diagonal reading. Thirdly, provide bright, contrasting and understandable calls to action: these buttons must vividly stand out in the background of the page!
#8 Content Marketing is not Suitable for Everyone
It requires transparency, both in relation to customers and within the organization. One of the main tasks of content marketing is to get the trust of the market. Customers want to work with competent, enthusiastic, afflicted people who won’t quit in a difficult situation.
#9 You Must Have Your Own Content Marketing Platform
Make sure that you post materials on the platform created for your tasks and that you completely control. All the other platforms are the leased territory. They can disappear one day, and you will not do anything about it. Although you need links, you must have your personal platform!
Given the excessive attention to social networks, there is another danger: your competitors can target advertising exclusively to the communities that you lead in social networks, thereby taking away your potential customers.
When it comes to monetizing contacts and customer bases, one targeted subscriber from an emailing base brings the same amount of money as about 15 followers in social networks. That is, the point is to focus on collecting a base of loyal subscribers, considering the audience in social networks as a useful addition to it.
#10 Content Marketing is about a Team, not a Single Person
Depending on your tasks and scales, you will need a person or team that will embody your content marketing strategy. Where can you get a good content marketer? Well, it’s all about your budget. One of the options is to find the best you can afford and train it.
If you can afford only one specialist, must have the skills of writing, editing, getting information from your employees and authoritative sources, as well as preparing the full range of marketing materials, from blog posts to emailing and brochures that sales managers will send out to potential customers.
If your budget is small, don’t worry. Just as morning exercises are beneficial to the body, even one strong article in a couple of weeks can be of great importance if such articles are regularly issued!
Lucy Adams is a blogger and buzzessay writer. She’s interested in education, writing, books, and a few more niches. Simply put, Lucy is a generalist who’s able to bring to life a huge variety of ideas. Feel free to share your suggestions; be sure, you’ll get a grounded response to your each and every request.
If you’re in the business of selling products or services online, your website can make or break your brand. While most companies stay on top of the marketing techniques that can help to drive more traffic to their site, they often forget to make improvements to the site itself. Here are five ways that your site might be hurting sales and how you can fix it.
1. You Have Unresolved Glitches
This sounds like a simple problem that any web administrator with an ounce of sense would avoid. However, many site admins don’t realize that their e-retail platform has a glitch because they don’t regularly check the platform for user friendliness. If customers run into a glitch, they’ll oftentimes abandon the purchase rather than contacting the administrator about the problem. Hence, it’s crucial that you’re regularly checking the site for any glitches or issues.
2. There’s Never Any Rush To Buy
If your site isn’t regularly running promotions that feature a deadline, such as “product X is 25% off until this Friday,” then you’re not creating time-sensitive reasons for customers to make purchases. Companies attach deadlines to their promo codes and sales for good reason; it gives the customer a reason to buy now instead of later. Don’t think of these promotions as sleazy. They’re actually quite common and a completely moral sales tactic.
3. The Tech Is Fine, But The Site Itself Is Hideous
Sure, any e-retailer needs to have a glitch-free storefront that runs smoothly and processes data and promo codes without error. But don’t think that design doesn’t matter. Customers like to be welcomed by a web design and graphics that are pleasing to the eyes. Good visuals can compel customers who are on the fence to finally make that purchase.
4. Zero Social Media Presence
As social media becomes more and more of an integral part of how our society communicates, retailers can’t afford not to have a strong social media presence. It’s common for consumers to look at a brand’s Twitter or Instagram before deciding to make a purchase. If your site doesn’t have any sort of social media presence, customers may actually find that to be odd and somewhat suspicious. Social media isn’t just good from a marketing perspective. Rather, it’s a good way to cement your brand as trustworthy and give a legitimacy to your brand’s entire presence online.
5. Contacting Customer Service Is A Nightmare
No one wants to receive a barrage of petty customer complaints or unnecessary questions. For this reason, many sites tend to bury their customer service contact form or information, theorizing that only customers with legitimate questions will take the time to seek out the contact info. While this idea is okay in theory, it can kill potential sales. When customers have a question that they need to ask before they feel confident making a purchase, they want to be able to contact customer service quickly and simply. This is why a customer service contact should always be plainly visible on your site.
If you stay on top of these five potential mishaps, you can create a site that is user-friendly and conducive to consistent sales.
Guest Blogger: Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your fulfillment
How do you get a mobile app for your big idea or business? The solutions to this question is addressed in Mobile Road Map to Success by J.R. Atkins, MBA. “When I first developed this material I was working closely with entrepreneurs developing mobile apps and companies seeking to add mobile apps to their business lines. As I reflect on this content, a few years later, it’s still sound thinking and applicable today.”
One example of continued relevance is the dominance of iOS and Android operating systems over Blackberry, Microsoft, and Symbian. Microsoft still is active on their platform but it just never took off with independent developers who dominate the mobile app development field.
Another example of relevant content is the mobile app development process represented by the flow chart below. I still run across people who say they have an idea for a mobile app but have not taken step one, which is creating a written description.
A third example of continued relevance is the basic cost associated with mobile app development. I would have guessed that this would have changed but, since they are general categories, the price points still hold true.
Even though time has passed and application development has improved, these are still reasonable guidelines to use in early planning. For more details and the rest of the story on Mobile Road Map to Success, check out the book on Amazon.
I look forward to seeing your comments and questions.
J.R. Atkins has been speaking, teaching and consulting on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA in Marketing from Texas A&M University, an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus and is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. He has published 3 books: Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Mobile Road Map to Success. His company, Something Different Companies, works with churches, individuals and companies to implement effective online communication strategies.