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. It’s important to work on growing online reviews.

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!

Why Buy New When Slightly Used Will Do? The Pros & Cons of Buying an Existing Website

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Starting your own online business is an attractive idea for many aspiring entrepreneurs. After all, the ideal scenario is that you can run your business from anywhere in the world, with minimal running costs, and access to a global audience.

Of course, these things are rarely as straightforward as you might hope, and the time, energy, and resources required to establish a new brand can be substantial. You need to choose a suitable niche, understand your audience, scope out the competition, and then create an attractive, functional website. And all this comes before you’ve even begun to attract a following, let alone make any sales.

On the other hand, you could take on an existing website, and build your brand from there. Whether you choose to turn around a struggling business, or purchase a successful online store and help it to grow further, this strategy is a helpful alternative for anyone who feels underprepared to simply start from scratch.

Even so, there are two sides to every coin, and while there are many benefits to taking on an established website, there are also potential drawbacks. So to help you reach a decision, here are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages to skipping ahead and building your brand on a pre-existing business.

Startup Capital

Launching a startup requires capital. Yet, while this sum can be kept relatively low, depending on how you structure your initial marketing and content delivery, you will always be gambling that capital on the success of your business.

However, the same applies to some extent when purchasing a business. Depending on the prior success of your chosen website, the initial costs could be even higher than those of simply launching your own site. And of course, there is still the risk that your investment could be lost if things do not work out.

The difference with making a purchase of this nature is that you can make a more informed decision about the potential value of your investment. Looking at the website’s history, and conducting your own research into its potential for growth can give you a comprehensive insight into the worth of an online store at any point in time. Don’t be afraid to ask the owner these questions if you cannot access the information you require.

If you are purchasing an ecommerce store via a verified website marketplace, you can even investigate past transactions involving that website, as well as prices paid for stores with a similar profile. This can help you to avoid paying over the odds for a website, and get a sense of the earning potential of a struggling business should you choose to take it on.

Pre-Existing Content

One of the strongest arguments for purchasing a website is that it should come with a body of content already in place. This can save you a huge amount of time and effort in the early days, as your website will already have useful information for visitors to browse when they find your site.

This content can even help to boost your search engine rankings, not only through the age of the site itself, but by providing a selection of relevant, engaging content which will help guide people to your site, or even to a specific section of your online store.

However, it is vital to perform a content audit when taking on a website. Not only do you need to know the age, subject, and performance of existing content, but you will also need to verify that it will have a positive impact on your SEO.

This means checking it uses the correct keywords for your niche, and that it is accurate, timely, and original. Plagiarism can be extremely damaging not only to your rankings, but to your brand’s reputation, so be certain to vet all existing content thoroughly when taking over a website. Tools like Small SEO’s Plagiarism Checker can help you with this.

Naturally, the problem then becomes that additional time is expended checking through old content, instead of creating new. However, this can still be a worthy investment, providing the bulk of that content is usable. Furthermore, some items may be suitable for reworking into other forms, giving you the additional benefit of a range of free, easy-to-implement content ideas.

Once again, you should investigate the website before making an offer, so you have a firm sense of the work required to make it profitable.

An Established Reputation

When choosing whether to purchase a website, you will also want to investigate whether it has any additional accounts connected with it, such as social media pages, or storefronts on global marketplaces.

Not only does this help you to determine how much work will go into maintaining the business’ current level of activity, but it can also give you an insight into its reputation. This, in turn, will inform your marketing decisions during the transition into your ownership.

For example, a successful, popular business with good reviews and a loyal following may expect things to stay largely the same when you take control of the website. However, if you choose to take on a website with a bad reputation, more work may be required to win the trust of your followers, and reverse any negative social proof.

Fortunately, you can make a big impact in this area in a relatively short amount of time by being as vocal as possible about the change of ownership. Seek feedback, and interact honestly with your audience. This will reinforce that you have their interests at heart, and that you seek to change the business for the better. The news may even spark the return of former customers, keen to find out how things have changed.

Traffic & Revenue Streams

Building your audience and steady revenue streams can be tough when you are new to the world of ecommerce. However, with an established website you can grow your business from the traffic and sources of revenue already in place.

The important thing to remember is that you need to be sure that the sources of traffic and revenue are in line with your business aspirations. Look into the website’s history to ascertain whether the traffic is steady, or has been artificially inflated by a recent spike. You should also research the variety of demographics that comprise the existing audience.

Depending on your plans for the business and any changes to its practices, you may find that you are no longer catering to the same audience. This again will likely mean extra work reaching out to potential consumers in a manner that suits their needs, and your business model.

Experience & Originality

If you have never run an ecommerce store before, purchasing an existing business could be a good way to get a sense of how things work, and build upon a successful model, rather than having to start from scratch with no experience.

However, the flipside to this is that without experience, you could find that an established online store comes with greater demands from its customers. While much of the initial legwork has already been done for you, to ensure the continued success of the brand, you will need to be able to meet consumer expectations. Too many changes too soon could risk costing you a proportion of your audience.

Meanwhile, the more established and recognized the brand that you purchase, the harder it can be to leave your own stamp upon it. This can be fine if you are happy to build upon an idea that was not your own. However, if you seek to create something completely original, you may find that attempting to do so via an existing business holds you back.

Part of the problem may be that your ideas simply don’t gel with the existing business model, or established policies. This could then either mean extra work adjusting these to suit your aspirations, or having to compromise on your vision.

Alternatively, you might find that your fresh point of view, and commitment to your concepts for the business are just what’s needed to breathe new life into an existing brand. As ever, the key is to conduct careful research before making your purchase, so you know what to expect, and where improvements could be made.

Image Credit: StartupStockPhotos via Pixabay

Whether you set up your own business, or decide to invest in a website that is already in existence, you should work to ensure your own aspirations are not lost along the way. It is your business, after all, so don’t be afraid to shake things up, and make your mark on it.

There are pros and cons to both choices, but if you have any uncertainties, you may be safer investing in a business that has already make it through the early stages of its life. Keep the guidance above in mind, and remember that it is only through continuous testing and improvement that any online business can be sustained.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared to give a pre-owned business the time and attention it needs to thrive, you can not only make it your own, but leave a mark on the industry that will boost your reputation, and your confidence for future endeavors.

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other businesses grow their online brands through great content.

5 Mistakes You Are Making Trying to Improve Your Email Response Rates

Businesses often make mistakes that cripple their email campaigns. As a result, they get low response rates and question whether they can justify the cost of email marketing.

If this sounds familiar, spend some time evaluating your tactics. By avoiding the following mistakes you can breathe new life into your email strategy and enjoy a healthy return on investment.

1. Your Subject Line Is Too Long

Most email inboxes display a fixed number of characters from your subject line. This especially holds true for mobile users. In other words, if your subject line is too long, it may seem unclear to a majority of users who open emails on mobile.

You have only one chance to captivate the attention of your recipients, and you must say it using only a few words. Your goal is to motivate someone to open your message and then read it.

Whenever you write a subject line, revise it to eliminate unnecessary words. To be sure, use words that accurately reflect the contents of your message and make your subject line stand out in crowded inboxes.

You can also personalize your subject line using your mailing list software. When people see their name in their inbox, it becomes even more intriguing. Also, avoid making the mistake of reusing your subject lines.

2. Your Message Is Lengthy With No Real Value

People have only a limited amount of time to spend reading emails. For this reason, you should ensure that your messages are concise and easily readable. When you do this, you encourage your recipients to read what you have to say and respond to it.

Writing long, rambling messages that have no clear purpose waste time and can get busy subscribers to blacklist your emails. Instead, build a reputation for your brand by delivering value inside every message.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep your content short and sweet. Doing so increases the impact of your message. As a rule, aim for creating emails that people can read in a half-minute period. Also, use plain language and focus on fostering engagement rather than pitching sales. Include practical tips that solve problems and explain how to use your products and services.

3. You Didn’t Find Your Email Frequency Sweet Spot

In many ways, the number of emails that you send affects your results. Companies that have achieved a measure of success from their email marketing campaigns face the temptation of sending too many messages, which can become self-defeating.

So, an important part of your job as a marketer is determining the right number of messages to send. By sending too many, you might get more exposure, but you can also weaken your brand and come across as a nuisance. If you send messages too often, even faithful readers will either unsubscribe or relegate you to their spam folder.

When you send too few messages, people forget about you and your brand. In other words, you need a minimum amount of exposure to maintain brand awareness and keep your competitors at bay.

Generally speaking, people prefer receiving either weekly or monthly emails. Moreover, daily messages are too many for most people. In the end, optimize your campaigns based on your recipients and their preferences.

4. Your Email Address Looks Spammy

Even when they have an effective subject line, many messages hit the trashcan because their sending address looks suspicious. After all, no one wants to risk opening a message from a spammer or scammer. Furthermore, many spam and malware filters will automatically delete such emails.

Although you can safely use addresses from Gmail and Yahoo for casual correspondence, a good idea is to use one from the same domain as your website. When choosing your email provider, keep in mind that Gmail and Outlook offer the advantage of allowing you to recall unopened messages after you send them. In other words, you have some leeway if you discover a mistake after clicking “send”.

5. No Call-to-Action

What happens when you send an email that has a fantastic subject line, a professional sender address, and concise content? The answer is “Nothing,” if you never ask your readers to respond. Why go through the trouble of sending marketing emails if you get nothing in return?

Instead, increase your response rates by adding a visible, easy-to-tap call to action button to every message. When properly composed, your call to action communicates a sense of urgency and can inspire recipients to act. Additionally, your call to action puts you in control of what you want your readers to see next.

Conclusion

Stop making the above mistakes so you can improve your email response rates. Appropriate timing, when combined with a properly composed subject line and professional email address, can persuade people to open your emails. Once your readers see actionable content and a clear CTA, you will get the results that you deserve from your email marketing strategy.

Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Connect with Ashley via Twitter.