Lead Nurturing: 4 Steps to walking the buying path with your customers

Imagine you have a downloadable resource on your flashy and attractive website. Your online promotions bring visitors to your landing page. A user signs up and downloads the resource.

You sent him an engaging email offering your products/services. He again comes to your website and buys your offerings. Since you provide value along with your offerings, your customers act as your brand advocates. Promote your business on their portals and stay loyal to your brand. How easy and simple! Is it the usual case with almost all online businesses? The answer is a big NO!

Agreed, for any business, lead generation is the vital activity. However, that’s not the end; in fact, it is just the start.

According to Marketo, on average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy.

What all you need to do is lead nurturing so that your leads get converted into your customers and in future, they can act as your brand ambassadors.

Process of lead nurturing

Basically, lead nurturing is a four-step process.

  1. Attract – your targeted customers to your website
  2. Engage – with them and capture their attention towards your offerings
  3. Nurture – them and create their interest in your offerings, explain how your products and services address their pain points
  4. Convert – them into your customers by helping them in validating their buying decision

Let’s take you through the 4 steps to walking the buying path with your customers – a deeper insight into lead nurturing!

Build a relationship with the lead

Lead nurturing itself means building relationships. Once you get the information about your lead, start paying attention to their activity and interest on your website. The leads who are at the top of the funnel are called marketing leads and those who are near the bottom are sales leads. Once the marketing nurtures leads, they are passed on to the sales team in their CRM. To walk through their buying oath along with them, in the very first place you need to build a relationship with them. Well, it’s not that easy as it is said often. To win their trust and establish a rapport, ask questions, respond to their queries, follow them on social networks, share important information with them, and offer them FREEbies.

Educate lead based on his buyer journey stage

To close your sales cycle, first of all, you need to educate your leads. And this education should be done on the basis of his user journey stage. Education at awareness stage will not be the same as the way you educate him at other stages.

It is not easy to identify at what stage your lead is. However, it can be done by analysing their entry points to your CRM. Visit your analytics and understand which ages they have visited, to what extent they have scrolled, check their social profiles and know what they are talking about. No doubt, this exercise requires logic and analytical skills. After all, marketing is all about applying logic, isn’t it?

Nurture through emails, but not to the extent of torture

Remember two basic rules of lead nurturing – don’t email your leads on daily basis and don’t send each and every email to all your leads. Email marketing is the best lead nurturing technique, but you should not torture them by sending irrelevant emails at the irrelevant time. Rather send them personalized emails on the basis of their user journey stage. When your leads are towards the end of a sales cycle, personalized emails are extremely helpful in conversions.

Each of the email’s subject line and body content should be personalized in such a way that it provides solutions to their pain points. At the same time, it should have a human touch. One of the most common yet evergreen trends is to use their names in the subject line and body content.

In short, sending right email to the right lead at the right time results in faster conversion process than usual. And, this can be easily done with the help of CRM. We recommend InfusionSoft as one of the best automation tools to handle your lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion emails.

Repeat the process until you succeed

To convert your leads into your customers and later on brand ambassadors, this is the only tired and tested procedure. Repeat the process until you succeed and you will!

Whenever necessary, re-engage with your leads. At any stage, if you realise that they are losing interest in your emails or offerings, provide them value to create a sense of urgency. Add incentives, discounts, offers, coupons, vouchers and other Freebies to the extent you can.

Email marketing is the most effective but not the only technique of lead nurturing. At times, lead scoring also fails if it lacks enough data. If email lists and emails aren’t working well with you, reach out to them via social networks, where they roam online. Keep checking your email analytics to assess the effectiveness of your emails.

Time to start now..?

The quantity of leads does not matter in your conversion process if you don’t know their quality. Not all your leads will get converted. However, they are all equally important to you. How? Those who aren’t interested should never be ignored entirely. Those who do not buy anything from you can also refer the right person to you, provided they have a positive experience in your funnel. Lead nurturing can help you get not only customers but also brand ambassadors. So, it’s the right time to start now!

Title: Lead Nurturing: 4 Steps to walking the buying path with your customers

Meta description: The goal of lead nurturing is to help progress leads from initial interest toward buying intent. Read proven and proved steps to walking the buying path with your customers for conversions

Author’s Bio

Raj Gautam

This article is written by Raj Gautam. He is CEO & Founder of QL Tech, Located in Perth, Australia. QL Tech is one of the best agencies that offer unique Digital Marketing & Web Development Services by the virtue of its dedicated professionals. Our professionals are extremely proficient in offering Digital Marketing.

How to Skyrocket Your Online Reputation in 2018

As a business owner have you ever wondered about your current online reputation or how does your portfolio look like whenever someone searches you online. Maybe, most of you have never considered this as a major factor which can affect your business.

But, according to a research, it was found that your online reputation can affect your business by 64%. That is the reason why all big companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Adidas, etc are spending lots and lots of their money as well as time building their online reputation.

With the growing technology, almost every person is now on the internet. In fact, according to the latest stats, more than 78% of the internet users analyze or search a product or service online before actually buying it.

So, if you or your brand has a good online reputation then your business can improve by more than 78%. Also, building an online reputation also increases your influence on the audience and hence people will trust your product or service and even your words the most.

So, here were the reasons why top-notch companies spend their time as well as money building their influence and reputation online. Now, let’s look at some strategies which are involved in building a massive online reputation.

Research Your Competitors Reputation

If you own a business then it’s pretty obvious that you must be having some competitors which are ahead of you. Note down those competitors and try to keep a peep inside what are your competitors doing to improve their online reputation.

They must be doing various things to improve their reputation online but all the things may not be working well while some of the strategies may be working like a rocket. You should take a closer look at the strategies of your competitors which are working well. Also, you should try the same strategies with your brand as well.

Most of the time you might find a great strategy which you would have never thought about and this will help you expand your reputation building strategies even wider. Also, this will help you to see how your competitors work and you will get an idea of how your rivals market their brand online.

Creating Your Social Media Influence

Social media is becoming way more popular now as compared to what they were earlier. Social media can introduce you to millions and billions of people and also it is one of the greatest ways to build your online influence.

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands on Facebook and has a fan following of over 107 million users. They have a great social media influence and reputation which helps them reach a wider audience. That’s the reason why every new product by Coca-Cola skyrockets in the market just right after its launch.

Also, you need to build your own social media influence to leverage even a wider audience to know about your brand. Here, you can build social profiles with your brand names and then start sharing contents around your business regularly. Always remember that you should be regular in posting things around your profiles.

For, this you can take look at what things do your competitors post on their pages and also you can look at contents which work the best on their pages by looking at what’s being shared and commented the most.

Also, you can use similar content on the best working topics and start posting them on your pages. This will ensure more interaction of audience with your content. Also, you will start your profiles to lift off the ground and start gaining some followers.

Creating Reputation across Different Q&A, Forums & Content Sharing Sites

These days many people search for their answers online and that’s the exact reason why sites like Quora receive more than 200 million unique visitors per month. Also, these sites allow you to create your own profiles and start asking and answering questions there.

You too should start building your profiles on these sites today. Also, you should start answering as many questions as you can which you think are related to your industry. This way people will become familiar with you and will also start to know about your brand name.

Also, many big websites like Medium allow you to write articles for them. You can start writing nice in-depth informative articles on your topics. Also, since these sites are big and authoritative so you will be presented in front of a massive number of audiences which are interested in your article.

Creating Your Blog & Write Guest Posts

Creating your own blog is one of the most important tasks to do whenever you start building your online reputation. Almost every big business giant including some influencers like Neil Patel has their own blog. This is not just because it’s their hobby but it’s also because it’s so important.

Also, guest blogging is one of the fastest ways to present you in front of tons of audience as long as it is done in a right way. If you write guest posts for big and authoritative websites then you can become one of the top influencers in your industry very fast as well as you will also gain some legitimate social fan following.

Also, guest blogging is one of the greatest ways to get authority backlinks to your site. As you will have your blog you can link to it whenever you write a guest post and this way your own blog will also become authoritative. Hence, you will be rewarded by search engines and also people from different websites will start recognizing you.

Conclusion

It’s 2018 and the market is crowded with a number of companies and some of them ruling the top positions. So, nowadays simply creating your business around something doesn’t work at all. If you have a business then you need to spend time promoting it and spreading your words in front of millions of people.

So, if you just create a business or anything and sit back thinking it will skyrocket one day then you might be just wasting your time. In today’s market which is overcrowded if you need to stand out of the crowd then you need to build your online reputation and your online influential presence.

All the above strategies will ensure you a great online portfolio which is clean and profitable for your brand, business or whatever you are trying to skyrocket.

Author Bio: Shubham is the founder of Quick Understand which is a growing web directory. He currently writes about Blogging, SEO, Business related stuff there and is planning to expand this website even wider. You can follow him on Twitter @shubhamblogs.

5 Simple SEO Tips for Beginners

Search engine optimization, backlinking, title tags. If you research on how to improve your website ranking in Google, you might have come across these terms every so often. While these are proven ways to increase your audience reach online, these concepts can be mind-boggling for beginners. You may even come across SEO materials that are designed for big companies with different goals and needs than yours.

What you need are search engine optimization (SEO) techniques which are crafted for smaller establishments. This is how you work with the resources that you have and add to your knowledge as you learn the ropes of doing business online.

Start with these 5 simple SEO tips for beginners:

SEO Tip #1: Maximize Internal Linking

You will read and hear about backlinking as you work to promote your website. While it is ideal to have third-party websites linking to yours to build credibility, it’s just as important to build links internally.

When you create a post, direct the readers to other helpful materials within your site. You can even do a series of posts about a single topic or cross reference your previous blog posts. Help your readers expand their search by promoting other pages in your turf.

When Google detects that readers spend a long time in your website and browse one page after another, your website value adds up. The result? Google will rank your page higher in its results pages.

SEO Tip #2: Invest in Social Engagement

Social media platforms are a gift to small business owners. Now, you won’t need to pay thousands of bucks to advertising agencies to let people know about your company.

Just create a page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to reach people easily and directly. Because people now spend more time on their mobile phones than watching TV or listening to the radio, you have a better chance of reaching them with social media.

Get a social media VA (Virtual Assistant) to take care of your regular postings, answer messages, and regulate comments. Because Google now considers traffic and activities in social websites for ranking, a proactive and engaging profile will increase your chances in results pages.

SEO Tip #3: Refresh Content

What posts in your social media or blog have gained optimum results? What topics roused the most reactions?

Update your content or draw inspiration from it to create a spin-off. This is a fast and easy way to make sure your posts retain its spot on the top of social feeds. If it’s a blog, it will keep your content up-to-date and relevant.

SEO Tip#4: Mind Your Site Speed

If you’re still building your website, it’s easy to get caught up designing it. That is why you need to watch the widgets, images, and videos that you add. While these may spice up your website, it can also slow it down.

Websites that take a long time to load make visitors frustrated and will likely make them abandon your page. No wonder Google added website speed as a ranking factor for websites.

SEO Tip#5: Get a Responsive Website Theme

Have you seen how your website looks like on mobile phones or tablets? When choosing a website theme or drafting a post, make sure that you select elements that will fluidly fit on any type of screen. You wouldn’t want your killer blog post to go to waste because it doesn’t load properly on a mobile screen.

Remember that people no longer access websites exclusively on computers. In fact, people will most likely come across your website on their smartphones. Recent studies have shown that the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. That’s why Google updated its algorithm so that mobile-adaptable websites rank higher.

As a small business owner, you need to cover the basics and apply practical techniques to improve your website ranking in search engines. These 5 simple SEO tips for beginners are designed to help you do just that.

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Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at communications@20four7va.com.

http://20four7va.com/|twitter.com/20Four7VA

7 Tested Ways to Strengthen your Facebook Ads in 2018

Facebook is arguably the most popular social media platform out there, and marketing on it is quite difficult as there are countless others who are also utilizing Facebook just like you. To stand out, you’ll need to come up with brilliant campaigns.

Facebook is a preferred digital marketing platform because it is targeted, it is not expensive, and it has an undeniable potential to connect to its vast network of users in every corner of the world.

A lot of people and businesses are very aggressive with advertising on Facebook. However, not all Facebook ad campaigns are effective.

Some fail because their ads are not targeted. They have overestimated Facebook’s ability to connect them with a lot of consumers. But reaching just anyone won’t cut it. You would have to target your ads to your ideal customers for them to work.

Some more others make ads that are not like-worthy. You have to understand that even for Facebook advertising, the preferences of your audience are always changing. You would have to be aware of what’s hot at the moment so that your Facebook ads would be effective. Be in-the-know all the time of what’s trending can help you craft your ads better, and like-worthy.

To aid you in your Facebook advertising endeavor, we have come up with a guide, featuring 7 tested ways on how you can strengthen your Facebook ads this year. We are dedicated to helping you become successful with your Facebook advertising efforts. Here are our 7 tested ways to strengthen your Facebook ads in 2018:

Using Video Marketing is Booming

Video ads are quite popular on social networking sites, including Facebook. There are many ads that are in video format, and these are appreciated by the audience, especially when they are just short ads. The shorter the video ad is, the better the chances for them to get watched until the end. There’s a lot that videos can convey, and it’s not enough that you just have any video, but your video should be well-crafted and again, it should be short.

Videos are greatly appreciated because they can tell a lot. A picture is said to be able to paint a thousand words but videos? They can tell a whole lot more. So commit yourself to coming up with video content and you shall see for yourself that Facebook users appreciate it a lot.

Create Ads and Promote Our Products using Storefronts

Facebook, though some apps, allows your business pages to have storefronts where you can feature your products for sale. While it may appear that you have a virtual store on Facebook, the actual transaction will still have to be done on your own site. Your customers will be directed to your page. Aside from being a nifty way to showcase your products for sale, you can use your storefronts as another channel where you can do Facebook advertising.

A lot of buyers admit that Facebook is a great influence on their buying decision. Being able to provide a way for customers to almost complete the purchase process through Facebook is a good thing. Sooner or later, Facebook would be able to be a complete sales platform but for the time being, utilize the storefront as a stage where you can do marketing of your products.

Build Responsive Mobile Ads

A huge lot of Facebook users are on handheld devices. That is why it is important for you to strategize your mobile ads well too. Studies also show that up to 70% of a smartphone owner’s time is done on using his or her smartphone. There truly is no reason why you shouldn’t level up your mobile ads.

In order to make your mobile ads more responsive, please use an eye-catching image. While you’re at it, keep texts short too.

Plain ads that are not engaging will definitely not be enough anymore. You will have to be more creative when it comes to ads, especially for mobile ones as mobile Facebook users simply are quite more active.

To ensure that in 2018, you will be serious when it comes to mobile ads and that you will make them more engaging.

Know your Competitors: Use them as an Inspiration for Creating Successful Campaign

A wise move is to know how the competition is going. Check your competitors. Confirm how they are doing their own Facebook advertisements. This way, you would be able to see what makes the difference. However, make sure that you only take inspiration in what they are doing and that you won’t copy other’s work. Learn from what you see and do your own unique Facebook Ad.

Assess whether your competitors are doing well. See what their Facebook advertising’s strengths are, and what their weaknesses are too. Simulate their strengths, and resolve their weaknesses so that you will have better ads than theirs. It’s always essential to know your competitors so you can always aim to do better than them.

A/B Testing: Quality Test Ads to Optimize

A smart business owner should already know who they’re targeting. Testing your target market is not a way to improve your Facebook Ads – it is a business prerogative that you should never take for granted. Selecting your target market is an item that we can put into an ultimate guide to business plans at another time.

What you should test, however, is as to which types of Facebook advertising techniques appeal to your target market. There are many different ways as to how to present your products to your potential customers. Not all of your efforts would bring about the best results. So do the test and identify which strategies work best for you.

Promote your Product with Influencer Marketing

You should participate in influence marketing in 2018. Influencer marketing is capitalizing on a Facebook personality’s huge following. Invest a little by tapping into active users with a big number of followers, and have them do some sort of marketing for you.

A lot of users find influencers as truly reliable sources of information and they would definitely be pulled into what the influencer is saying or doing.

Influencer marketing is very big in 2017 and is expected to become even bigger in 2018. As much as 90% of influencer marketing found that this is very effective, and very much worth it. So this year, make a promise to start with influencer marketing, or if you already do, that you would do better in it this time around.

Facebook + Instagram Ads Campaign

Facebook, in itself, is a really good platform for digital marketing. Instagram, is one too. Utilizing both platforms is definitely a good idea as they work so well together. Each of these two top social media sites is great not only for their respective users as you can now connect the users of these two sites hand-in-hand can make you shine in 2018!

STRENGTHEN YOUR FACEBOOK ADS WITH OUR 7 TIPS ABOVE

Facebook advertising is an effective way to promote your product. It would only be great though if you can use it strategically. Our 7 tips above are tested measures on how you can strengthen your Facebook Ads. Do it and 2018 would be a good year for you.

Author Bio:

Designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade, Philippine web design expert Kenneth Sytian is the owner of Sytian Productions. His no-nonsense approach to design coupled with his vast creativity is a winning combination for his clients.

Top 9 Reasons to Strengthen your Company’s Social Media Profiles

Doing SEO for rankings in search engines is nothing new anymore. Many companies and individuals spend time and effort to improve their ranks in the SERPs. But in doing so, they often make mistakes that can wipe out the website penalized by Google’s algorithms. To avoid it, it is important to have a roadmap and consider every aspect which Google loves. Among the factors loved by Google is the presence on social media which many people overlook.

Businesses need to be present at the places where their consumers are. Currently, social media networks receive a large number of visitors and it is very likely that they are also your potential customers. Therefore, presence on social media is highly recommended but there are many more reasons which I will share with you in this post.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/DfMMzzi3rmg

1 – Locate the Target Audience

Having presence on social media platforms lets you precisely find the target audience. Once you have located your target audience, one of the huge benefits of social media is to find their opinions and reaction so as to realize what they, like, want and need, above all, you come to know what they hate most.

2 – Be Visible to Your Target Audience

With your online presence, you increase the chances that a potential customer will find you. One vital factor Google values to rank you higher or lower in the results of a search is precisely your presence in the social media networks, your interaction with users and the quality and relevance of your content. Take seriously your business profiles to and increase the flow of visitors to your website, which can be translated into handsome sales.

3 – Build Trust of Your Brand

When a business receives positive reputation online, it triggers the target and potential audience to trust the business. Always remember that the consumers have changed and updated and they do not go with the traditional ways of advertising. To buy anything, they seek reviews and recommendations from other users of the particular product or service. At that stage, positive online reputation turns out to be extremely vital.

4 – Increase Brand Awareness

It has always been said that what does not come out in the traditional media i.e. television, newspapers, etc., is as if it did not exist. Now it has changed the paper and what is not in the social media networks or in Google does not exist. Brands should be present where their target audience consumes the information to increase their visibility and virality, as the number of users of social networks increases exponentially.

When we have a good experience in the use of a product or service, it generates a positive and trusting feeling, which creates a new buying process that can become an unconscious process. The idea is to learn to take the concept of brand to the personal terrain, with the aim of enhancing your image as human capital and making yourself visible to others.

5 – Use It as Employee Communication Tool

Communication is a daily activity in a company for the performance of business operations and here <a href=”https://www.postbeyond.com/“>employee communication tools</a> play a vital part. If you are good enough with the management and monitoring, social media can help you build employee communication means without spending a penny.

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Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/EDZTb2SQ6j0

6 – Have Real-Time Activity & Result Measurement

Social media statistics are quantifiable immediately, in real time at times, while those in traditional media often require monitoring over a long period of time. With social media networks, companies can afford to do the A/B Test, a highly recommend practice, which is nothing more than testing different pieces of content, collecting feedback and statistics from users and adjusting a final message that goes to everybody, and has already passed the filter of many of the users that will consume that content.

A key aspect of any successful marketer, who stands out above the others, is to measure and analyze the success with the help of social media management tools. Without monitoring and measuring, there will be no way to explain the data. The important thing is to be able to demonstrate that this measurement has its very reason, as it can be an analytical control of the content of your social media, and for this UTM codes are used to facilitate the task of data collection.

The UTM codes are small pieces of text that are added at the end of the URL and are intended to help you monitor the clicks that are made on those links that contain them. Measuring the impact of your online marketing campaigns, for example, can be quite difficult without a tool like UTM parameters.

7 – Learn What They Say About Your Company!

In social media networks, opinions are criticized and recommended. A good presence in social media networks favors positive opinions. The advantage is that you can know the opinions and change the ones that are negative. You can interact with an unsatisfied customer and improve the attention to your customers, and give on-time solutions to their issues and they will spread a good word for you.

You can make requests for reviews through social media networks. If you have already created profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc., it should not be difficult to get positive feedback from users within these social networks. You can post updates by encouraging your users/followers who think about your business, but you will be luckier by sending each individual a direct message asking for a review with a link to your Google Places page or a link to the page you have created on your website where you have the links to the pages to leave the reviews.

Social networks are becoming one of the basic pillars that every company must not only manage but control and monetize too. For this, there are many tools available on the market.

8 – Improve Your Medium to Long-Term Goals

If you do not get sales goals immediately, does your strategy fail? Well, we all know that consistency is a major factor for the success of a project, but a lot of good ideas die even before they’re born. Therefore, your strategy has to be well thought out and built and properly implemented. If the first one fails, well, go for the second one. And what if the second one fails? Hmmm…. go for the third to infinity! So many failures can make you stronger than you think. In the end, you will find the key to success.

9 – Boost SEO Campaigns with Social Media Links & Engagement

If your company is building links to improve search engines rankings, social media networks are going to give a huge and vital support to your SEO campaigns. Since the radical changes in Google algorithm, it is increasingly important that you and more importantly your users share your content in the social media networks, because it means that they are interested and want to share your content with their friends or family. This is significantly taken into account by Google and Google gives it great importance, so never forget to create social media profiles and manage proper social media campaigns of your company.

I hope it is a good read for you. What do you think of these reasons to have presence of your brand in the social media networks? Do you do them all? Is your company secure in the social ecosystem? Do you think there is any reason left? Do you have any experience you want to tell? Do you have any doubts or questions? I would love to know your experience on this subject, so I ask you to leave a response to this post. It does not matter whether it is a criticism or a simple thank you, as I will be very glad to read it and answer to it.

Author Bio

Carleton Watkins is a passionate Social Media Marketer and loves to find the most effective practices in the world of social media. He is presently associated with https://www.postbeyond.com/

How to Use Chatbots in a Social Media Strategy – for Fun and Profit

The social media marketing arena and, more generally, the digital marketing world is inevitably one of the most dynamic, innovative and disrupting sectors, with new technologies popping up almost weekly and swarms of tools and products being launched almost daily. One of the latest and most exciting innovations in this area is undoubtedly represented by “chatbots”, virtual assistants who can autonomously interact with users and prospects on Messenger, Telegram and many other platforms (even more exotic ones such as Amazon Echo or Microsoft Cortana) and manage in total independence information request, lead acquisition, first-level customer care and even complete e-commerce transactions.

Given the power with which this innovation is sweeping magazines and blogs (mainly related to social media but also more “pop” ones – even Vogue has launched its own chatbot!) and especially their practical effect, in this article we will explain in bit more details the “chatbots” phenomenon, showing you why this is really a trend to follow today and, above all, giving you a practical way to easily start offering to your customers this new, intriguing and powerful social media marketing tool.

What are chatbots?

Let’s start with the basics and define what a chatbot is – without getting too technical but trying nonetheless to understand a bit better what happens “under the hood”

A chatbot is, in its simplest and most essential form, a software that integrates with a messaging or virtual assistant platform such as Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Cortana or Amazon Echo and knows how to intercept and reply to messages that users send using that system. For example a Messenger chatbot is linked to a Facebook page and thanks to a very well documented API it is able to “hook” itself to the page getting called whenever someone sends a message, activating its internal algorithm so that it can interact autonomously with that person, either by triggering certain answers based on specific “keywords” that the user has typed or trying to interpret the “intent” of the message through artificial intelligence and natural language processing mechanisms, responding as appropriately as possible.

As you can see from this simple description, the flexibility of such a tool enables marketers and digital entrepreneurs to provide a full, rich and effective conversation allowing users to query a knowledge base, receive 24/7, 365 days a year automated yet possibly complete and useful customer support or consult catalogs, lists of articles and breaking news in a natural and engaging way.

Why yes and why now

Analyzing deeper the reasons why chatbots are a unique opportunity, right now and right here, we can identify at least five good because, 5 compelling arguments (actually, 4 + 1 “bonus” 😉 that should convince any social media marketer to start studying, designing and deploying chatbots – today.

Interaction is natural

If you think about it, the most natural way that mankind has to interact with other people (humans, businesses or brand), engage and discover the world is using “conversations”: ask questions, get answers, and proceed in a logical and chronological way through a series of verbal interactions with an “other” than themselves. Although artificial intelligence has not yet reached levels that mimics a real human (don’t let the marketing fool you about this…), chatbots already allow people to access the same information that could be provided by a website or a book through a discursive, interactive and definitely more natural interface, using questions and answers.

Billions of people are already chatting, every day

The number of monthly users of the major messaging platforms have already surpassed the people that use the “Big 4” social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin): people love to “chat” especially on platforms such as Facebook Messenger (where every month almost one and a half billion users talks and interacts with friends, relatives, businesses and brand). The potential market is really immense, made by virtually every single person who has a connection to the Internet – no matter on what device.

Bots are always accessible from any device, anytime

Speaking about devices, at least 75%of people use the chat apps from their smartphones: what this means is that with a chatbot you will always be right in the pockets of your users, prospects and customers – who, as you can easily imagine (and see for yourself), are ready to respond very swiftly to any alert from their phones, especially those from chat apps. In addition to this, Messenger and other platforms “remember” what’s been said and the answers received, allowing the user to continue the conversion path that the marketer will have defined very naturally, almost without realizing it and no matter on what device, situation or moment he is chatting.

There is still little competition

If up until now we have seen why it makes (a lot of) sense to start using chatbots, we will now define why it’s important to start right now.

The first, main reason is that there still is (relatively) little competition. Of the 20 million pages currently existing on Facebook, for example, only 100,000 have an associated chatbot – less than 0.5%. Agencies, companies and consultants fast and smart enough to understand today the immense potential of this tool still have the chance to leverage such a powerful channel before the rest of the competition, gaining quickly the positions from which it will be very difficult to remove them. Remember the first businesses that have used SEO or Social Media Marketing?

They are (relatively) easy to make

The last (but not least!) reason, the “bonus” we mentioned before, it is that despite what might appear creating chatbots for clients and for oneself is, after all, quite simple to do.

Leaving aside the direct use of the API of the various platforms – obviously those with programming skills can start from scratch and write their own bot in the language they prefer, from PHP to Python, Java or C# – there are are a few platforms for creating chatbots that, a bit like WordPress does for websites, enable non-technical professionals, consultants and marketers to design, create and manage powerful bots ready to be used on Messenger, Slack Telegram and other platforms..

A Google search for “chatbot builder” should always provide the freshest results and allow anyone with reasonable computer skills to develop and deploy their own chatbot, often within minutes.

What do you think about all this? Have you already made a chatbot for you or any of your customers? Do you have doubts or questions? Comments are open!

Silvio Porcellana is an entrepreneur, marketers and coder working on the Interweb since 1999. In 2017 he created ChatbotsBuilder, a complete, simple and free-to-use platform for building Facebook Messenger chatbots.

Embrace 5 Stats to Make the Most of Your Content Marketing Strategy in 2018

Content marketing in the current era is evolving at lightning speed. The prime reason for this is the consumers who are now discontented with the direct advertising and sales tactics that don’t lure them and appears as cheap, gluey, or deceitful.

Alternately, now they’re engaging with legitimacy, clarity, and cordiality in a brand.

The emergence of the World Wide Web and Social Media Platforms plays a significant role in Content Marketing. These channels help the buyers select and choose precisely the brands that they want to associate with. If the web audience doesn’t entertain your ads, they’ll drop and move on next – very simple.

In such scenarios, marketers have realized that they need a different way to approach the buyers. The same old ads are ineffective to meet the present-day buyer needs. Alternatively, the marketing strategy must add value to buyers’ lives in order to get the most out of it.

Hence, the basics following content marketing – involvement-building, focusing on – buyer or the brand – were born as the conclusion.

The below five statistics explain how this approach acts as the foundation for a successful content marketing.

  • The content should now be longer and more visual

The fair-to-middling share of 19% of blog posts are the ones that are drafted with 1,050 words
For current norms, long-form content is compulsion instead of choice. Instead of outlining short pieces of content, invest more time in, highly informative content posts that deliver a greater audience value. Though it is little fussy to compile such lengthy yet they are useful for both the brand and audience.

  • 53% of emails are accessed on mobile devices
    In 2018, email marketing, when is the part of content marketing, must be mobile-friendly. If you’re targeting your users by forwarding the content through emails, ensure the email templates are mobile responsive so that they best accommodate the current marketing needs and goals. Further, it helps to boost ROI and increase the content readability.
  • By 2019, Mobiles will hold 72% share of digital ad spend in the US
    As mobile devices continue to progress as the preferred medium for users, accordingly marketers are increasing their advertising expenses. Back in 2014, the mobile searches dissociated with desktop, so it is entirely right a lot of marketing efforts should be towards the mobile ads.
  • On an average, only 37 seconds are spent by the user on reading a blog post
    It’s a very short span (extremely short) to impress a user, so content requires to be readable and influential. Content writers are embracing the average reading time, are now realizing the significance of apparently scannable article structure and use bold, headings, sub-headings, to make the essential things clearly visible.
  • Personalized email subject lines, 26% are more likely to get opened
    Personalization boosts the content marketing, as the content stuff feel more customized as per individual taste. Utilize the data you’ve received from your web audiences and put it to serve to push open rates and enhance the efficiency of your endeavors. Email is one such section where personalization is easy and smooth to deploy.

Conclusion:

Content marketing, especially the accelerating adoption of customization, visuals, and interactivity as ingredients of your strategy, will consistently improve how existing and prospective customers see your brand through content. A good content marketer is very well known to this, and for him, it’s a critical thing to stay on the top.

It’s not the question of finding leads and customers, but the question is the right content that will encourage your visitors to make a purchase on your website. Hope the above content marketing stats help you get the right efforts for your digital marketing and make most out of it.

Author Bio:
Janet Parker is a Digital Marketing Strategist. A tech Blogger with over 6+ yrs. of global experience in IT industry.  At present, she is associated with ViitorCloud Technologies, which offers Web Design and Development Services globally. You can follow Janet Parker on Twitter and Google+.

Everything You Need to Know about Online Reputation Management

Have you recently ‘Googled’ your name? Today, people regularly search other people online, before an interview, a meeting, or even a date. Consider the following statistics:

  • 44% of adults online have googled the person or company whose services or products they require in a professional capacity, like an electrician, lawyer, or dentist
  • 50% of all adult internet users gave an online review of a service they used
  • 78% of internet users usually perform product research online, and trust the reviews they read online
  • 80% of people claimed to have changed their purchase decision because of a negative review they read online

If a prospect Google’s your name or brand, you want to ensure that whatever comes up is positive as it will shape their impressions of your business.

What is a reputation?

As a business, you have probably experienced the joy of a radiant online review and the sting of a negative online comment. Your reputation is a product of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you and/or your business.

It has become increasingly easier for consumers to share their opinions about your products or services on social media networks, which often appear within the top results of name searches. It is important that the information posted online about your business be accurate and reflect you in a positive light.

A good reputation will lead to increased prospect confidence and more sales. Conversely, a bad reputation will result in diminished consumer confidence and subsequent reduction in sales and profits.

What is online reputation management?

Whether positive or negative, any social media feedback is a valuable source for guiding improvements and spreading the word about your business. If any negative information appears, you want to be able to address.

This is online reputation management, and it has a direct bearing on whether or not prospects will buy your product or service. ORM involves managing search engine results and protecting your brand’s reputation from negative exposure online.

If done well, ORM will prevent negative buzz from happening, protect and cultivate your brand, and have a positive impact on your sales. It will deliver high rankings and visibility for good publicity, which will help to dilute and push bad publicity down search engine listings, and out of public view. This is likely to work because online searchers rarely view more than 2 SERPs.

Impact of Reviews on your Online Reputation

Studies show that online reviews can significantly impact a brand’s reputation, and subsequently sales. These reviews are widely read, and tend to influence consumers’ purchase decisions. This implies that reinforcing or rebuilding your online reputation largely depends on promoting positive reviews, or highlighting what’s good.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 59% of users consider customer reviews to be more valuable than expert reviews
  • 60% of online shoppers offer feedback about their shopping experience, and usually feel more inclined to post a review based on a positive experience rather than a negative one
  • 70% of Americans claim that they check out product reviews before purchasing a product or service
  • 70% of consumers worldwide trust online consumer reviews. This makes them the second most trusted form of advertising after word of mouth
  • 71% of online consumers read reviews, which makes it the most widely read consumer-generated content
  • 71% of consumers use keyword searches to find products or services
  • 80% of the time spent by consumers shopping online is used to research items rather than making the actual purchase
  • 92% deem customer reviews as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ useful
  • 92.5% of adults often research products online before proceeding to make an in-store purchase.

How to Get Started with Online Reputation Management

It is important to listen to what is being said online about your business, brand, products, or services, even if it is negative. Listening gives you the opportunity to respond and address in-house issues or deal with adverse information online, both of which can negatively affect your image and reputation.

Here are the steps involved in a standard ORM strategy:

Step 1: Research and Analysis

Before you can initiate your ORM efforts, you should first examine how your online reputation currently stands. This involves your brand/business/product research on search engines to see the results concerning your business that visitors and prospects see when searching for your keywords.

You might need to use several social monitoring tools, including:

  • Google Alerts – Receive email alerts every time a user mentions specific keywords you are tracking
  • Social Mention – Tracks Twitter, blogs, images, audio, video, blog comments, and mainstream news so you can easily stay up-to-date
  • Technorati – Do your research on keywords or key phrases related to your brand or competitor brands here
  • ReputationDefender – Intended to help online business preserve and restore their reputation in social media. This tool offers robust monitoring services to help you track your brand and deal with the results that show up in SERPs

Step 2: Competitor Backlink Assessment

More research is necessary to analyse your industry rivals and their online standing. It helps if you know where your business matches up to industry rivals as this also impacts your brand’s reputation.

Step 3: Review Building and Influencing

At this point, you can post genuine customer reviews of your products/services/brand in leading web properties so they can surpass the negative reviews in SERPs. The objective of this process is to reduce the number of negative reviews while increasing the number of positive comments and favorable reviews of your business.

One of the best ways to counter attack negative comments is by responding with a positive one. You can influence the outcome by actively participating in the conversation to improve the perception of your brand. Even a simple comment like the one below can do wonders:

‘Thank you for your feedback. We are working on resolving this issue’

Step 4: Social Media Profile Creation and Optimisation

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Here is an example of Linkedin power profile

If you don’t currently have a presence on different social media platforms, it is important to identify those that are most relevant to your business. Set up social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other platform where you can easily reach your target audience.

Choosing the right social media network is key to building and promoting your online reputation. To deliver better customer service to your market, it is crucial that you engage in the right and appropriate social network for your industry.

Beyond creating these profiles, dedicate some time to optimise them with regular updates, comments, and participating in group discussions. If need be, seek professional help with customising your social network profiles as per your promotion efforts.

Step 5: Social Media Promotion

Consider hiring a professional SEO or SMO team to provide valuable and informative content on your social media profiles, and to maintain a high level of activity to enhance your reputation. This process involves regular updates and discussions to boost engagement and friend/follower acquisition.

Keep in mind that two-way conversations need not use official tone. Use language that shows you care. You need a particular way to confer to your audience and it should coincide with your company’s tone of voice.

Step 6: Content Generation

Consider outsourcing on/off-page content creation techniques such as article creation, blogging, and press release. Optimise the content with the right keyword usage, anchor texts, and links. Keep in mind that visitors and search engines like valuable content. The more valuable the information on your site, the more visitors you will be able to attract.

Conclusion

Online reputation management is fast becoming a critical strategy for organisations. This relatively new field in today’s online landscape is not just a personal issue for today’s internet shoppers, but a critical marketing tool for all business, whether online-based or otherwise.

Remember that customers and prospects go online to learn more about the companies they want to work with. A positive review will likely get you a new client, whereas a negative comment from one unsatisfied customer could easily destroy everything you’ve built.

With a concise online reputation management strategy though, you will be able to build back your clean reputation online.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hill is the Outreach Coordinator at TechWyse, an SEO agency in Toronto, Canada. While she isn’t building relationships with bloggers and influencers in the marketing world, she can be seen rooting for the Blue Jays.

7 ways to create a winning email strategy for your startup

Many business owners may find it hard to believe but email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for digital marketing. In fact, one report claims that email marketing returns $38 for every $1 spent. Additionally, 59 per cent of B2B marketers still find email as the most effective channel for revenue generation. In the year, 2014, email marketing was listed to be one of the best marketing tools for customer retention as well. However, many businesses fail to get the desired results with email marketing.

We are all aware of the fact that a good email marketing practice will pay out. But where to start? How to create a winning strategy for email marketing?

To help you out, here are some ways that will not only ensure that your email marketing campaign is a success but will also give you some link building ideas alongside as well:

Plan

Just like you plan your marketing efforts for newspaper ads, social media channels, and signboards – your email newsletter also needs a strategy.

Make sure that your email newsletter is planned for the core target market. These are mostly people who are or will be interested in the product/service you offer. Take the time out to research. Make sure that the email newsletter template you select is aesthetically appealing for the target audience and also reflects your brand image thoroughly.

Additionally, keep in mind that content is always king. Besides taking care of all the other aspects of your email newsletter, don’t forget to work on creating quality content to engage your readers.

Segment the list appropriately

One of the biggest mistakes novice entrepreneurs make during email marketing is address the entire email contact list as one entity – regardless of whether they are long-term customers, new clients, prospects, or even decision makers.

If you do your research, you will find out that there are a variety of personas that make up your email lists and if you send all the contacts on your list the same boring, run-down of your company, then you are likely to lose a lot of business.

This is why, it is important that you segment your list appropriately and send out content that is suitable for the specific group.

Set a specific time and day for emails

While most business owners presume that most emails are opened during the office hours, i.e. 9 – 5, the Experian Marketing Service reports that 8 p.m. to midnight receives the best open rates. This time block not only received better open rates but also better click through and sales.

Sending emails on a wrong day can also lower the response rate of your efforts. In fact, MailChimp previously did a survey on the same and found out that weekends had the lowest opening rate while Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays have the highest opening rates.

Give something away

Let’s admit it, we all like freebies. Of course, we are not encouraging you to give away free iPhones or plane tickets but a small token of appreciation can be a good gesture for your customers and of course, helpful for building your email list as well.

Not many are aware but when the renowned candy company, Tootsie Roll released a new lollipop flavor, it failed to attract much attention. However, the company organized a giveaway where they asked fans and followers to enter for a chance to be one of their taste testers. The interested participants were asked to share their name, email address, phone number, and other basic information to participate in the giveaway. In the end, the company not only succeeded in receiving feedback of their new candy flavor but also got access to email addresses of many fans and followers allowing them to engage with them frequently.

The same tactic was also used by Josh Earl, a freelance writer and programmer. He had a list of 5,500 email subscribers for his text editor called the Sublime Text. However, he wanted to acquire more subscribers and for that, he created a giveaway in which a free license for Sublime Text (priced at $70) was offered. After just 11 days of promoting the giveaway, Josh managed to acquire 187,991 email addresses along with 398,896 visitors on his website.

Optimize email for mobile phones

Did you know that 36% of emails are opened from smartphones? And if your email newsletter is not optimized to be open on mobile phones, chances are it might stay in the customer’s inbox for many days.

Think about it, if your email lists accounts for $100,000 in sales each month, can you afford to lose $44,000 just because your email does not look appropriate on a mobile phone.

Thus, make sure your email is designed in such a way that the text and images are easily scanned from mobile devices. The call-to-action buttons should also be visible and easy to tap. Additionally, ensure that you follow the guidelines of different mobile phones.

Re-engage with inactive visitors

Congratulations, you have succeeded in growing your email list. However, have you ever noticed how many inactive recipients are there on your list? Research shows that average inactivity for an email list is 63 percent. This means that most of the recipients of your email don’t follow up. Well, the best way to interact with them and keep them interested is to re-engage with them by sending them a follow-up email.

Additionally, don’t forget to welcome new visitors by sending out a welcome email. This not only shows a friendly gesture on your part but is also a powerful way to set expectations.

Re-check before you hit send

Once the ‘send’ button is tapped, nothing can be undone. This is why it is important that you re-check all aspects of your email before sending it out. Is the layout correct? Are the font and images set in proportion? Have you ran spelling and grammar check?

Make sure that you check everything and then send out your email to minimize the occurrence of any errors.

Develop a better email strategy

Discussed here were just some basic tips that you can apply to your email marketing strategy. With the right fundamentals in place, we are sure your emails will get better results and perform better. Good luck and do let us know how your email marketing strategy works.

AUTHOR BIO

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting Today’s Marketing Landscape

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Artificial intelligence used to be something of the future — something that was only fathomable in The Jetsons when we were children.

Alas, 2020 is nearly here, and while we may not have flying cars, what we do have is artificial intelligence (AI). If you have ever used Siri, you’re familiar with how one form of AI works. You can also see it when Facebook automatically suggests whom to tag when you upload new photos.

Many industries have already seen the impact of AI in their industry, the best example could be Uber’s mission to automate driving using AI by developing self-driven cars and processes. Website building & development is another industry currently being disrupted by AI in the case of Bookmark’s Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AiDA) which builds a whole new website that fits a certain niche in a matter of minutes.

What is Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is a complex combination of algorithms that imitate certain human actions: speaking, seeing, making decisions, and translating. In a limited way (for now), it’s a machine that can think for itself and make sophisticated decisions using networks of information and data

As AI’s uses and implications are catching on, more and more industries are finding ways to use this disruptive technology to transform the “normal flow” of work. The marketing industry, among other industries, is the latest to be impacted by AI.

The changes are not bad; in fact, we are seeing a lot more positive impacts with the right use of AI. With artificial intelligence, for example, “human error” might just become something of the past, increasing our efficiency and productivity.

 

The Disruption of the Marketing Landscape by AI

Prior to the use of artificial intelligence in marketing, we used to trust our gut when it came to improving our marketing process.

However, that left a lot of place for something we call human error. We might like to believe that we make objective decisions with regards to our marketing campaigns, but we can also be hindered by our being human — our biases rising from our backgrounds and experiences, our personality, our energy level at that time.

All these could mean mistakes in how we proceed with the campaign, mistakes that could prove expensive later on.

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An AI software, on the other hand, won’t have this human error problem and will be able to go through all data tirelessly and objectively. It will work round the clock at a speed unmatched by any human, and will never get tired.

This raises the question: what will happen to the human in this equation? Will there no longer be any need for us? Will we be staring at the world as our creation is literally taking over?

While that’s not going to be likely, and will remain in the domain of science fiction, there will, however, be some changes that will modify the way marketing works. Here are some of them:

 

1. Automated Decision Making

Making a decision can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. Whether we like it or not, humans will have a lot of “what ifs” in mind, and this will prevent us from making a timely decision.

AI, on the other hand, won’t face this limitation, simply because there is no “feeling” involved. It’s just hard data. The AI can go through hundreds of algorithms in just a few seconds and analyze all the information necessary to make an objective decision.

When AI software makes a decision, it will back it up with reports on customer behavior, strategies, and real-time trend analysis. It will tell you exactly where you are in the marketplace and where you will be if you make a certain decision.

With artificial intelligence, all actions are done logically and with profit in mind, with fewer chances of human error affecting the decision making process.

 

2. Advertising Goes from Art to Science

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When companies first started advertising their business in the marketplace, they had the tendency to focus on aesthetics, making campaigns into a work of art that they believed would suit the image of their business well.

Unfortunately, there is a big difference between what looks good and what will actually bring you profit.

AI has a predictive nature, and it will know beforehand whether a campaign will be successful or not, without having to subject it through numerous test runs. It will know, for example, if using the blue button will be more successful, or if you’ll have more success with the red one. This will be based primarily on understanding certain key metrics such as consumer behaviors, past purchasing history and marketing campaign performances.

With the use of AI, advertising will go from art to science, potentially contributing much to the company’s growth.

Plus, since all the reports on the campaign will be done automatically, there will no longer be a need to waste workforce on this kind of tedious work. You will reduce human error, improve productivity, and more importantly, you will have freed up time for yourself to focus on other things that are more important for growing your company.

 

3. Personalized Customer Experience

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Have you ever noticed how all the online ads seem to lead to things that actually interest you? You look up your favorite cell phone type, and soon enough you’ll be getting ads on the same kinds of phones. You probably didn’t realize this, but an AI is also responsible for all this.

The AI will “map” your online behavior, understanding how you think (by noting which websites you checked out, what links you clicked, etc.), and then use that data to make your experience even more pleasant by bringing you exactly what you want.

Some may describe this as creepy, but this is also an attempt to improve sales and the overall user experience. For instance, AI can predict where you are most likely to click on an ad and when, therefore improving your marketing experience.

The idea of an AI is to be a true detective that will always see what the customer is doing. That way, a company will be able to offer the right item to the right person, making it much easier for both parties.

 

4. Boosting Customer Service

In the past, customer service means a team of people somewhere in the world answering phones, emails, or chatting with clients regarding a product line.

These people get tired at the end of their shift, and sleepy, and more likely to commit mistakes. Sometimes, they are also short-handed, leading to long waiting times on the phone or chatbox, often leading to reduced customer satisfaction.

With the introduction of artificial intelligence in customer service, there’s no longer the need to wait. The system, unlike the human, has access to unlimited data — and they can scan through all of it very fast, giving answers just when the customer needs them the most. It doesn’t get tired and it doesn’t go to sleep.

With increased efficiency in the use of AI in customer service, the customer experience will definitely improve, leading to potentially higher sales for the company. Some experts however, believe that AI shouldn’t replace customer service as it will take human empathy out of the process. Nevertheless, AI will definitely become an integral component of the customer service process.

 

5. Optimized Schedules

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If there’s something we actually dislike in marketing, it’s coming up with the schedules. It’s cumbersome, it’s time-consuming, and the risk of “human error” is very high.

An AI, on the other hand, will be able to properly schedule everything for you, so that you will no longer have to work long hours on putting a program together — especially when you could use that time to do something more important for your company.

 

In Conclusion

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Surely, artificial intelligence is on pace to become one of the most disruptive technologies in recent years. It’s disruptive nature will have a major impact on various industries around the world. We are yet to see exactly how it’ll impact the world as we know it, but small business owners who want to get ahead of their competition will definitely need to take AI seriously and assess how they will integrate AI into their everyday business operation. Whether it’s by using an AI-powered marketing software, web design platform or even simply by using Siri, the potential of using AI to make your business operations highly effective & efficient is higher than ever!