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Digital Marketing from the Trenches : Live at the Hive
47 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Social Messaging and 8 Ways to Use It To Grow Your Business
Now that it’s 2021, social messaging has come quite a long way. The features available to us have grown and it’s not just about a quick chat; it’s so much more. What’s new? New in marketing this week: Apple doubles down on privacy, TikTok shares insights into sound marketing, WhatsApp may have a new feature, and Messenger API for Instagram. Apple doubles down on privacy, further complicating tracking and targeting – The new changes, in addition to the App Tracking Transparency framework that rolled out earlier this year, are expected to make it more difficult for marketers to target and track consumers. TikTok Shares New Insights Into the Importance of Sound for Marketing Promotions on the Platform – Music is a key part of the TikTok experience, with many of the platform’s viral trends coming in response to songs and audio clips, which users then remix, re-purpose and reimagine in their own creative ways. WhatsApp might soon come up with a new feature to verify log-in. How it’ll work – WhatsApp is working on a new feature — Flash Calls — that will verify user log-in on WhatsApp via an automated verification call instead of the six-digit verification code, according to news agency ANI. The Wait Is Over: Messenger API for Instagram Is Now Available to All Developers – The Messenger API is being owned up to all developers making it possible for brands to offer messaging experiences on Instagram. What’s Working? What exactly can social messaging do for your business? A plethora of features have stormed these apps and are making it easier for users to create a relationship with their customers. Social messaging apps help answer questions, fulfill requests, and have other useful conversations with users—in real-time. It’s quick and convenient to use, offering more tools and additional features. What is Social Messaging? These are specially designed application platforms that enable communications between one or more entities. They are: Usually free to use Private and secure Built with instant and direct messaging So why should your business use social messaging? Utilizing the features can not only increase sales but make the user experience worthwhile. What are the Benefits of Messaging Apps? Reaching valuable leads and connecting with your audience is one of the many advantages of using social messaging apps for your business. Why is it so beneficial? Interactions feel more personalized. We live in a busy world, and it makes help just a click away. Chatbots allow for quick & efficient response time. Creates a personalized experience for your customers, and builds relationships. Top Messenger Apps According to statisa.com Top 5 Social Messaging Platforms Social messaging platforms are becoming fully loaded with features that we never thought possible. The one-stop shop is something that many of these apps are striving for. Let’s take a look at the top 5 that are making an impact in the social messaging game: Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp There is a combined 500 million users across these three platforms: Facebook Messenger More than 20 billion messages exchanged between business & users/day. More than 300 thousand active Chatbots. Messenger Marketing leads to a 70% better open rate than email marketing. Instagram 25 million business profiles. 81% of users use Instagram to research products and companies. WhatsApp Most popular app in over 100 countries. Over 100 billion messages sent / day. Companies benefit from using this platform for international communication with customers. Messenger Chatbots in Messenger allows you to have an automated conversation with people who click on your Facebook Messenger to start a dialogue. They are a series of menus or keywords that guide customers to the next steps, saving time and eliminating frivolous requests that don’t lead to sales. Messenger chatbots can be used for your website as well. Your customers will be able to find what they need in a timely manner while providing you with valuable information to further nurture them. Instagram DM Automation Allows you to respond to customers and prospects immediately. ManyChat, Chatfuel, or MobileMonkey helps you build an Instagram DM Automation. Using Instagram DM automation for lead generation is a great way for your to generate ROI immediately. Commerce, software, real estate, etc., can use this to qualify your customers from the start. You can give somebody a response instantly—and elevate any conversations that aren’t automated. WeChat Provides text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast messaging, video calls and conferencing, video games, photograph and video sharing. Allows brands to reach out to a huge audience and raise brand awareness in an effective way. You can create content and target it to specific consumers who subscribe to your company based on their browsing history or location. When companies show off their new products on WeChat, they can see live updates on the consumers’ first impressions. Allows e-commerce companies to set up a digital ‘Micro Store’ so that users can browse products within the app and easily make purchases in just a few clicks. Telegram A group of 5,000 people to broadcast your sales pitch, how does that sound? Telegram is a messaging platform that holds end-to-end encryption keys making it safer and much faster. It comes with multiple device functionality where photo editing and animated stickers can get more traction. Privacy and security strategy has led to its growth to 400 million users, though it is banned in some countries. Snapchat Snapchat has 265 million daily users of which 82% are under the age of 34 years old. With Snapchat, you can: Send photos & videos that have a one-time view. Play in-app games and discover new filters. Send instant chat messages. Why should your business use Snapchat? Quick videos showcase company personality and culture. Reach a wide audience. Allows for interactivity, engagement. A powerful vehicle for influencer marketing. Create custom filters to increase brand awareness. Design custom geofilters. Create exposure. TextNow When you sign up for TextNow, you put in an area code and are given a list of numbers available in that area code. A local number marks you as part of your community. You can get your messages, voicemails, and calls from pretty much anything connected to the internet. TextNow allows you to create a custom voicemail greeting to go with your business number. With TextNow, you’ll be able to create a more personal touch to your business, building a stronger relationship with your customers. 8 Ways to Grow your Business Using Social Messaging So how can you use these amazing features to grow your business? We’ll break down 8 ways you can take advantage of these stellar social messaging apps. Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together. – James Cash Penney #1 – Stay Top of Mind Pushing relevant and personalized content allows your business to stay at the forefront of people’s minds. Buzzfeed does this by sending personalized content to their subscribers such as memes and gifs on a daily basis. This small, daily interaction allows your company to showcase your personality. Subscribers have something to look forward to on a regular basis, and your interaction won’t appear too corporate or bothersome. #2 – Respond to Customers Instantly Social messaging apps are designed to help you deliver instant, one-on-one customer service. Responding to customers in a timely manner can help you create a better connection. Allows you to better understand what your customers need so you can better help and nurture them. #3 – Make it Personal Relevant offers targeted right for the individual. Keep your conversations casual but direct. Start the message with the first name to get attention and use emoticons if required. Messages aren’t the only way to interact with your customers; you need to do more than just sell. There should be a human touch even while using scripted messages through chatbots. Having a rewards system or some sort of incentive for loyalty can help ensure they continue to come back. Send valuable information and something that is tailored to the specific needs. #4 – Make Shopping more Fun Entertain shoppers while helping them problem solve! Whole Foods uses Facebook Messenger to help shoppers find new recipes. Users can simply message the Chatbot, send an emoji (e.g., eggplant) and the Bot will respond with recipes that use eggplants. What this provides for your customers is: Convenience. 24/7 assistance. Creative, helpful, and interactive experience. #5 – Connect Directly Use messenger apps internally to talk with influencers in your space one-on-one. They’ll feel more connected to your brand and represent you well on their own social channels. This way of communication is more personal than a blog or social network. #6 – Make Buying Easier Honest Responses – Direct messaging and having a private conversation gives true opinions to both parties. Cost-effective – “Time is money” hence when it is time-efficient and it saves on expenditure. Customers will usually get better advice allowing for a better connection and repeat visits. The social messaging apps are direct and personalized, which facilitates decision-making. #7 – Promote your Product in Real-time Younger generations value companies that are honest and upfront, so real-time promotions can be utilized to show your company’s transparency. Real-time promotions allow for minimal editing and Photoshop, which creates a sense of authenticity – something that many people look for these days. Consider advertising through messenger platforms such as Snapchat for a quick and effective reach. #8 – Tailoring Content to your Audience Many people view content in different ways. You want to make your content accessible to as many of these people as you can so you can reach more customers. Experiment with an automated bot so you can share valuable content. The Power of Social Messaging Social messaging is a revolution in service. It’s a powerful way to help increase engagement for your business. You have the ability to influence the buyer’s decision towards a product or service. Social messaging allows you to create conflict resolution, especially when it is used by corporations for customer service. If you can solve a problem quickly, you are more likely to see them come back. If you loved this read, then you’ll want to check out some of our other great reads: Building your Brand in 2021 New Social Media Platforms You Should Consider In 2021 Using Cornerstone Content to Create a Winning Inbound Marketing Plan 10 Clever and Effective Lead Magnet Examples that will Generate Leads and Awareness How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business
52 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Building your Brand in 2021
When it comes to building your brand, there’s so much more to it than just the appearance. You’ve got to think about what your audience is going to think, say, and feel about your business. When you’re not in the room, what are people saying? What’s New? New in marketing this week: College students are gaining valuable work experience, salesforce expands first-party data capabilities and Amazon is releasing a thing called Sidewalk. College students are getting valuable career experience working as brand ambassadors – Companies like TikTok and Bumble are hiring college students to work as brand ambassadors on campus. Salesforce expands first-party data capabilities with new Snapchat, Google tie-ups – Salesforce, the most widely used CRM platform, is pushing harder on products that cater to marketers’ growing needs around first-party data. Amazon Sidewalk is almost here –Should consumers opt-out, and should brands keep their distance? What marketers need to know about Amazon’s neighbourhood takeover. What’s Working? So, how can you build your brand? What are the steps needed to create a brand that people are going to resonate with? It’s one thing to have brand awareness, and another to have brand recognition. What are the differences? Keep reading to learn about what each can mean for your brand. What is Brand Awareness? Brand Awareness is the measure of how memorable and recognizable a brand is to its target audience. People are more likely to buy from a brand that they are aware of, rather than one they’re unfamiliar with. Establishing Brand Awareness is a vital asset as it builds trust amongst your target audience. What is Brand Recognition? Brand Recognition refers to the ability of consumers to identify a specific brand based on its attributes such as: Logos Slogans Jingles Packaging Advertising For brand recognition to work, companies need to find a way to help people recall their brand. Brand Recall is the ability of consumers to recall a brand name from their memory without any visual or auditory identifiers. How can I Build my Brand? There are some key pieces you need to ensure that you build a brand that your audience is going to enjoy and interact with. Persona. A collection of personality traits, attitudes, and values that your brand showcases on a regular basis to help connect with a certain audience segment. Emotional Connection. Forming a relationship between a consumer and a product or brand by provoking their emotions. Origin Story. A story about how your company came to be. Create, Create, Create. Continue to create and build your story to develop your brand. Persona If your brand doesn’t resonate with your audience, it won’t lead to that awareness, recognition, and trust. You must understand who your branding will speak to. What you learn about your buyer personas will influence your branding decisions down the line. Emotional Connection Emotional Branding is the art of storytelling that connects your product or service with your audience. What feelings resonate with the public when they think of your brand? Awareness and relevance can make brands strong, but it’s the emotional seduction that makes brands great. What’s Your Origin Story? Your story represents who you are, what you stand for, and what your purpose is. Today, consumers look beyond price tags and good deals. They want to connect with the brand, story, and purpose. Origin stories often happen with a pivotal moment of change. What is that change for you? How do you Raise Brand Awareness? Developing a voice & image is crucial in allowing your brand to stand out from its competitors. Some ways that you can allow your brand to stand out are with eye-catching design and strategic communication. Podcasts and brand partnerships are unique and effective ways to gain awareness amongst the public. Design You want to create a pattern recognition in people’s minds so they’ll keep coming back for more content. Your logo and design should reflect your brand personality. Design is a system that supports your brand. There’s more to it than just graphic and visual design. Communication Your communication speaks volumes about your brand. An emotional link is more important to your customers than anything else. You have the ability to communicate through your content: Email Social Podcast Live video And through customer feedback: reviews, community management. Communication doesn’t just come from what you say to your audience, but from how you communicate through design. Communication through Podcasts Podcasts are the most time-efficient form of communication; while completing chores at home, one can listen to mindful thoughts. Since attention spans have reduced, all of us prefer to listen while multitasking rather than read an entire article of 1000 words. Audio blogging has a strong history but a brighter future for marketers. It’s a powerful tool and can be done easily. Why Social is Crazy Powerful! Social media has evolved drastically over the years and has only continued to expand. We are seeing trends constantly develop, taking social to new levels. Social is crazy powerful and allows you to: Put out content consistently Reach a broader audience Create and share similar content Create a schedule & post regularly Put your visual content to work Cross-promote content Advertise effectively Stay on top of trends Gain insights Make use of automations Partnerships AKA Collabs Forming brand partnerships can allow you to enhance your brand’s message. Using influencers and connecting with fellow brands allows your story to be told in a genuine way and can allow your brand to appear more authentic and trustworthy. This strategy is great to help build company growth and reach a new audience. Examples of Great Brand Awareness GYMSHARK MVMT LUSH Your Brand is You There’s a reason you started your business. Define your purpose, tell your story, and build your brand. Establishing your brand identity and connecting with your target audience, will help set you up for success! If you loved this read, then you’ll want to check out some of our other great reads: New Social Media Platforms You Should Consider In 2021 Using Cornerstone Content to Create a Winning Inbound Marketing Plan 10 Clever and Effective Lead Magnet Examples that will Generate Leads and Awareness How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business: Part 2
57 minutes | May 31, 2021
New Social Media Platforms You Should Consider In 2021
Social media has changed a lot in the past few years and it’s only getting more prominent. With the year we’ve had, it’s no wonder the focus has been on these platforms. We’re all aware of the top social media platforms that are widely used, but there may be some you might not know about that are truly making waves. Let’s dive into what they are! What’s New? New in marketing this week: Pinterest is still relevant, Samsung comes for Apple, and a daily brief on Google’s Marketing Livestream and Microsoft’s advertising. Pinterest Now Facilitates More Than 5 Billion Searches per Month – Pinterest has shared some new insights into user search activity as part of an overview of how its search system works, and how it has evolved over time to provide more accurate matches. Samsung Mocks Apple in Its New Smartphone Announcement, But It Backfires – To promote the new Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung once again turned to a trustworthy old tactic: poking fun at Apple. But the marketing has elicited ruthless criticism. The Greatest Hits from Google Marketing Livestream – New features are available in Google Ads for local businesses, travel, and more. What’s Working? Social media platforms aren’t just fun things we go on to pass the time, they have become a way of life for many people and businesses. We use social media platforms to communicate and find people that have similar interests. You can use it to directly connect through groups, networks, and locations. If your business isn’t familiar with the platform or has no interest in adapting it, you’ll still want to be aware of your surroundings, so you can see what the playing field is like. Benefits of Social Media Platforms Everyone is on social media; well not everyone, but a good chunk of the world! Having the ability to adapt to various social media platforms allows you to build your brand; it can help you: Increase your brand awareness Humanize your brand Promote content Drive traffic to your website Uncover industry trends These social platforms can also bring customer and audience engagement, allowing you to: Directly connect with your niche audience Open the dialogue for a two-way conversation Network with your target audience and industry professionals Provide a better customer service Partner with influencers Gain insights and analytics With newer platforms, the algorithms are more generous, so it’s better to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later. Early Adoption of New Social Platforms When you are a first adopter of any up-and-coming social platforms, you’re going to benefit the most. Early adoption on new platforms allows you to learn the tips and tricks sooner, and really position yourself in a place of leadership. It also allows you to connect with key influencers before everyone else does. Staying relevant and ahead of the game is crucial in our ever-changing industries and trends. Social Media Platforms to Keep an Eye On 1. Clubhouse Clubhouse is an invite-only platform where users communicate in voice chat rooms that cover a variety of topics. In this platform, you have the option to join digital rooms that can hold up to 5000 participants. Users can choose to listen as an audience member or request to speak if they wish. The app thrives on the concept of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If you’re not online, you may miss the opportunity to hear something beneficial to you. 2. Twitter Spaces Twitter Spaces is a new way to have live audio conversations on Twitter. These spaces are public, so anyone can join as a Listener, including people who don’t follow you. You can have up to 11 people (including the Host) speak in a space at any given time. Twitter learned from Clubhouse and created a platform that could do, essentially, the same thing. 3. Houseparty Houseparty is a face-to-face social network that allows for group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps. It’s a social collaboration with video, audio, and entertainment. It makes connecting with people and businesses easy and effortless. When your connections are “in the house”, you will receive alerts, to notify you that they are ready to start a conversation. 4. TikTok TikTok is a video-based social network that highlights micro-entertainment. Users can choose to participate in the ever changing trends, or scroll their carefully curated “for you page”. The app uses local trending hashtags to suggest topics to content creators and features a library full of trending songs and challenges. This platform is extremely useful for small businesses to help them quickly go viral, allowing them to gain decent exposure fast. 5. Telegram A cloud-based instant messaging service, that allows users to send multimedia messages and make voice and video calls. What makes it unique is its focus on privacy, encryption, and an open-source API. You can message other Telegram users, create group conversations, call contacts, and send files and stickers. This app comes with secure 1-to-1 messaging, so you know that your conversations are protected. 6. Discord Discord is a digital instant messaging platform designed to create communities for specific topics and discussion pieces. Users can communicate with voicemails, video calls, text messaging, media, and files in private chats or as part of communities called “servers”. Discord has a variety of chat rooms and voice chat features that allow people to connect based on a specific topic. Businesses and streamers use Discord to create a community where they can post updates and share valuable information. The Ever-Evolving Thing We Call Social Social platforms can be used for so much more than connecting with friends and family – ideally, you should utilize these platforms to share fresh perspectives and new ideas. Social presence can benefit business owners and startups, and allow individuals to network, socialize and showcase their personality all while staying on top of trends and industry changes. If you loved this read, then you’ll want to check out some of our other great reads: Using Cornerstone Content to Create a Winning Inbound Marketing Plan 10 Clever and Effective Lead Magnet Examples that will Generate Leads and Awareness How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business: Part 2 Copywriting Tools and Techniques to Help You Efficiently Create Killer Content
52 minutes | May 21, 2021
Using Cornerstone Content to Create a Winning Inbound Marketing Plan
Creating a content hub on your site that provides your readers what they want is a great way to build relationships with your users and rank higher in search. Let’s help you create that winning inbound marketing plan! Inbound Marketing – You Complete Me What’s New? What’s Working? To help you build a winning inbound marketing plan, you’ve got to first understand a little thing called … CORNERSTONE CONTENT! (It’s actually not that little.) So let’s dig in: What is Cornerstone Content? So what exactly is cornerstone content, and how can I use it to build an inbound marketing plan? Well, to start things off, cornerstone content is one of the foundations of your website. It consists of content that addresses the best and most searched queries that your potential customers have. It’s a hub of content that provides people what they need to know to make use of your website and, ultimately, do business with you. If you’re looking to rank higher in search engines, it’s great for improving those pages and posts on your site. Creating flagship content is your best bet! The Benefits of Cornerstone Content There are 5 great benefits that cornerstone content can bring, they include: Increasing your brand awareness – With all your content in one place, your readers will be able to find the answers they need in one place. Higher intent from searchers – Cornerstone content can help bring more readers with actual intent over the searchers who are just browsing. Builds natural links – You are more likely to have natural links; this means that other people are linking to your content, allowing for more exposure to your brand and content. Establishes authority and trust – Helps you establish authority in your industry and bring in a steady stream of site visitors who are likely to be interested in the products or services you offer, whether that be sooner or later. Feeds your funnel – People landing on your cornerstone content have intent, as mentioned above; this means that they are more likely to move to the next step in your funnel, especially if you take the time to nurture that relationship. Defensible Content This may be a term that you’ve never heard of, but that’s okay; you most likely know what it is, but not the name behind it. Defensible content is content that is not commonly found. It can take the form of exclusive interviews and other types of content that include an expert or well-known person in a specific field. Here’s a great example of what that can be: Joe Rogan is a well-known podcaster and commentator for the UFC. If you were to find just anyone to talk about UFC, it wouldn’t be as impactful as interviewing Joe Rogan about the last fight; this would be uncommon content, as he wouldn’t be interviewed or join a discussion with just anyone. Your content would now be defensible. You’d have opportunities to attribute it to your page and create natural links as more people are likely to want to bring their audience to something this uncommon. Structuring your Cornerstone Content Having the content is one thing how you structure your content is another. Without a strong structure, you can actually make or break your page’s effectiveness. Cornerstone Content Structure: How to Identify Queries You want to ensure that when you’re searching for your ideal keyword, that there’s a healthy search volume related to your topic of choice. The higher the keyword volume, the higher the interest and demand. If many people are searching for something, there’s going to be an ample opportunity for you to capture that traffic and create a great first impression of your brand. Below, we’re searching for How to Grow a Beard Faster. The search volume is high, so that shows that enough people are searching for it. It may be high, but that doesn’t always mean we should choose this route. Let’s look into it and see the content that is already out there. Cornerstone Content Structure: Featured Snippet Through a quick Google search of the topic, you can see if the demand is actually being met. There’s an article on wikiHow about the best ways to grow a beard faster, but the rating is low. We know now that there’s an opportunity here to create content that can outshine the competition. Practical Tips: Enticing Google To Display a Featured Snippet You want your content to be featured as a snippet. It’s a lot easier for people to search and find your content. To help entice Google to display a featured snippet for your content, you’ll want to: Have the H1 be the question or problem being solved. Use ordered lists at the top of the content. Link from the ordered list to internal links with more detail. How to Structure your Cornerstone Content A few things to bring to your cornerstone content will help you structure your page and find more success. Queries Choose the most appropriate keyword phrase for your content. You’ll want to ask yourself: “What is the relevant question that searchers ask that your content and business will answer? Title Tags and Headline When it comes to your title tag, you’ll want to use your targeted keyword phrase within it. Search engines want to offer relevant search results, so the title of your page should reflect the words the searcher uses. Table of Contents Having a table of contents is a great feature to help you link to different parts of your cornerstone content, making it easier to navigate. It can also create a high-level view of everything on your page. Internal Link References Internally linking is fantastic for allowing users to navigate throughout your site easily. It provides a way for users to keep their focus on your content, ensuring they meet no dead ends. The goal is to keep them on your site. On top of easy navigation, it can help you establish an information hierarchy and spread link equity around your site. How to Rank your Cornerstone Content You’ve got a great structure to build your content with, but what about ranking? You want to ensure that your content is at the top of search results. So how can we do that? Creating Exceptional Cornerstone Content If you’re trying to rank for a competitive search term, you’ll need links from other authoritative sources; to make this happen, your content must be impressive, both in quality and scope. Having Related Content Search engines favour websites that have a lot of relevant, frequently updated content. It’s a critical way to build general site authority via links, delve into specific and related topics, and reference your cornerstone content. Having a Cornerstone Content (SEO) Landing Page If you’re going to be ambitious in scope with your content, making things easy on the reader from a usability standpoint makes sense. You’ll be able to communicate what’s going on to the visitor as soon as they arrive. The benefits to having a cornerstone landing page are: Increased retention. Links (internal and natural). Easier optimization. Various Types of Cornerstone Content Depending on your topic, there are various ways you can deliver your cornerstone content. They can take the form of: Lead Magnets Calculators Video Libraries Resource Centres Long-Form Guides Case Studies Long-Form Landing Pages Using Cornerstone Content as a Lead Magnet As the Cornerstone content is educational, related to the product, and evergreen, you can use it as a Lead Magnet. It can be used for your paid advertising efforts related to the product you sell without actually selling it. The cornerstone content can also help increase the quality score of the paid ads by improving the landing page relevance. Using Cornerstone Content as a Calculator Calculators are a great resource to open your viewers’ eyes to solutions to their problems; and can help you profile your prospects. The benefits of using a calculator include: Providing instant gratification Personalization and interactivity Building trust Reusable content Higher sales productivity There are a wide range of unique calculators you can use that is specific to your niche; here are just a few: Simple cost calculators ROI calculator Savings/financial aid calculator Comparative calculator Real-time calculator Complex calculator Tools for Creating your Calculator If you want to create your very own personalized calculator, tools like Calconic are a great resource. Calconic is a web-based app that empowers its users to build any custom calculator and add it to their websites without any need for programming knowledge (now that’s amazing). A tool to create your very own cornerstone content calculator – Calconic. Choose from a bunch of ready-to-use templates or build your calculator from scratch. It even comes with a knowledge base to help you learn how to create various calculators specific for you. Using Cornerstone Content as a Video Library Video libraries are an owned video channels to help you manage all of your video content. They allow users to manage privacy and permissions, easily update videos and group-like content. You’ll have the power to put your videos in all the right places and quickly create channels for events, departments, or products. Take a look at our video library for ideas to create your own. Using Cornerstone Content as a Resource Centre A resource centre allows you to collect and organize materials that are useful to a particular group of people. These materials may be very varied, including training manuals, handbooks, reference books, directories, white – papers, posters, games, videos, and other materials that work for your content. Using Cornerstone Content as a Long Form Guide A long-form guide is a great route to take if you’re looking to provide helpful information for your audience all in one convenient area. When using a long-form guide, you must have substance and purpose to rank highly and be deemed useful by readers. Content length is an attribute of a page that will rank highly. Using Cornerstone Content as a Case Study Case studies are people-focused and less formal, making them more enjoyable for people to read. The more information you give your potential customer, the easier their buying decision becomes. Using Cornerstone Content as a Long-Form Landing Page With a long-form landing page, you can create lots of content that is powerful and compelling. If you wanted to get some BIG conversions, then a landing page is something you may want to consider. But piling loads of content into a page isn’t the way you’re going to see the conversions; it’s how the content is organized that truly matters. Ranking landing pages in search requires extra thought, care, and planning. A great example to help you create your long-form landing page: Let’s Wrap Things Up! Cornerstone content is one of the foundations of your site. It helps raise brand awareness, bring site visitors, build links, establish authority, and feeds your funnel. Site structure matters; rank your content and find your keywords. You’ve got to remember that loading your page with content with no real purpose isn’t going to get the results you want. Your content needs to provide real meaning to your audience and structure your content in a way that’s beneficial to them. That’s all we’ve got to say on that, later! If you loved this read, then you’ll want to check out some of our other great articles: 10 Clever and Effective Lead Magnet Examples that will Generate Leads and Awareness How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business: Part 2 Copywriting Tools and Techniques to Help You Efficiently Create Killer Content
48 minutes | May 14, 2021
How to Use SEO and Content Marketing To Power Your Business Growth
SEO is quite often misunderstood, so this week we’re going to take a deep dive into how to use SEO and content marketing to power your business growth. You don’t need to be a wizard to figure it out, and we’ll explain why. What’s New? Some interesting updates this week surrounding vaccines and the global pandemic; check out the articles below! Canadian companies offer freebies, discounts to vaccinated customers – Canadian companies are trying to move the needle on COVID-19 vaccinations with deals and giveaways for customers who show proof they’ve received their first dose. As UGC gets a pandemic bump, brands need to leverage customer content now – Luggage maker Calego says the playbook it developed before COVID-19 has paid off as the importance of UGC grows. According to a news release, McDonald’s deploys marketing muscle for vaccine awareness in a tie-in with Biden admin – McDonald’s partnered with the Joe Biden administration to help raise awareness for COVID-19 vaccines. What’s Working? SEO doesn’t exist. Drama, right? We hear stuff like this a lot, and SEO is dead. Perhaps this is because SEO isn’t a thing. It’s more of a conduit. Applying SEO more broadly is to channel its specific technical endeavors into content marketing. To ensure the success of content marketing is to apply SEO techniques in its implementation. SEO and content marketing work together to elevate your content, making it more refined and accessible. Let’s break down what we’ll be talking about: What is SEO? SEO is strategized around content marketing since every website needs words, articles, substance, keywords, etc. Think of a search engine as the path or pipeline that leads you to the type of content people are looking for. Your SEO research will help define the type of content your audience wants, and in turn, help you develop content that is aligned with what your audience is actively searching for. There are 3 fundamental optimizations (SEO) pillars that apply to a website for users who discover solutions or solve problems via Search Engines. Where Does SEO Fit In? SEO is not magic. You don’t have to be a wizard to do this. It’s a spectrum, touching on a variety of elements, including, but not limited to: Website optimization Keywords Images Tags & meta descriptions Content structure Backlinks Why You Don’t Create Content for Search Engines The goal is not to try to woo Google into ranking your content higher. Remember why you’re creating content and who you’re creating it for. The goal is to create compelling content. You do this by conducting research, finding out what people are searching for, and then making your content align with those searches. It’s like a game of psychology. If you’re trying to make content for a search engine, you’re creating content for a machine and not your audience, and you will not likely get the results you were hoping for. So, create your content and then optimize. For your content to rank in search, it has to do more than just hit all the right keywords – it must provide real value to the audience. It should serve as a conduit into the human mind; otherwise, no one will be interested. The Content Process What are people searching for? How do you find out? Keyword Research is the answer, and it’s something you want to do before actually creating content. There are plenty of tools out there to help you, both paid and free. SEMRush is at the top of the paid list, and for free options, you have Answer the Public (which also has an excellent premium paid version), and of course, good ‘ol Google Search. Once you have a list to choose from, you can focus on keywords where a more extensive search volume already exists. You also want to look at the KD (Keyword Difficulty), as this will tell you how competitive it will be to rank for those keywords. Generally, you want to aim for the 60 range, approximately. This helps you narrow down your options and write toward topics (or niches) people are searching for. Creating Customer Personas (Understanding your Niche/Audience) Now that you know what people are searching for, you can research to find who these people are that are searching. Developing a customer persona allows you to understand your ideal customer. Through the already established keyword research, Facebook insights, and other tools, you can narrow down your persona. Creating the Content You’ve got an ideal customer in mind thanks to your persona. Now you can develop content that supports your research. Create content that speaks to their needs, building a customer relationship. Prioritize Quality of your Content over Rankings This is key. This is where so many make the mistake of creating content for a search engine instead of their actual audience. If you’re doing these, you might be prioritizing your rankings over your content: Practical SEO Publishing quality content will improve your website’s authority and relevance and ultimately increase its SEO power. Optimizing your content for search engines helps it rank better, so you’ll achieve more of your content marketing goals. Just remember that optimizing your content for search engines is not the same as creating content for search engines. How can I best optimize my content? On-Page Content Optimization Title Tags Meta Descriptions Proper Headings Post Length Location-Specific Phrases Link Optimization Anchor Texts Naked URLs Brand Citations Backlinking Internal Linking Optimizing your Content for SEO How to Create Optimized Content Perform keyword research and determine your topic based on those keywords Format for optimal readability Use your keywords throughout your content pieces Include backlinks throughout your content What to Optimize Once Your Content Is Created Title Tags Meta Descriptions URLs Images Your content is now out there, but you can’t just forget about it. Continually optimizing your content can ensure that you stay at the top of the rankings while also providing valuable and relatable content to your customers. Some things you can do to optimize include: Research optimal keywords. Use keywords naturally and strategically. Optimize title tags. Include relevant keywords in the URL. Optimize your images. Write compelling meta descriptions. Link to related authority websites. Internal linking – link to your content. Make it easy to share. Optimize for mobile. Continually work to gain quality backlinks. Analyze and track your data. That’s a Wrap SEO is not just about blogs, articles, keywords, and backlinks but also about optimizing. SEO and content together are the PB&J of digital marketing. They work together to give you insight into what people are searching for, allowing you to create content that will be easier for people to find. SEO is the pathway that leads you to the content your audience wants. As always, thanks for reading; we appreciate you, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories you want to share, sound off in the comments below or hit us up on the socials! Until next time.
51 minutes | May 3, 2021
10 Clever and Effective Lead Magnet Examples that will Generate Leads and Awareness
Acquiring new leads is no easy task, so we’ve put together a list of 10 awesome lead magnet examples to help you generate those elusive leads and build brand awareness. What’s New? This week we’ve got the Google Core Vitals update, Facebook ads revenue is booming, and some fun signage wars between businesses in Listowel! Check out the links below. Google Core Web Vitals Update and Its Impact on Websites – Google announced Core Web Vitals are becoming signals for ranking in search results in May 2021. Facebook ad revenue surges 46% as marketer demand lifts prices – Facebook’s advertising sales rose 46% from a year earlier to $25.44 billion in the first quarter as marketers ramped up their spending on social media. Local Businesses Using Playful Signage Competition to Market During Lockdown – These signs are part of Listowel’s sign war. What’s Working? A Lead Magnet is a valuable piece of content that businesses share with prospective customers in exchange for their email address or other forms of contact information. If you are looking to acquire customers online successfully, then you need a leads list. To effectively build a leads list, you need a strong lead magnet that baits your customers into providing their contact information. Your leads lists can then be used for lead generation and marketing campaigns. Let’s break down what we’ll be talking about: Let’s get to it. Why Use Lead Magnets Lead magnets deliver high-quality content that provides real value to prospective customers to help build their brand awareness, trust, and credibility. They open a two-way conversation and help develop a relationship between the prospective customer and your business. Lead magnets are at the top of the funnel as they target those who are not yet in the consideration stage. By providing valuable content, you can turn these people into leads and further nurture them into conversions. The above graphic is an example of the sales path and where a lead magnet can fit into the funnel. Some lead magnets can be used for the bottom of the funnel, like case studies, free trials, and webinars, but generally, lead magnets are used for top-of-funnel lead acquisition and brand awareness. And that’s a pretty good segway for jumping into those 10 lead magnet examples! Let’s go! 1. Checklists For the first of our lead magnet examples, we have checklists! People love lists. It can’t just be me. So, create an easy-to-follow checklist. Checklists are pieces of expert information that you convey to your audience. They usually highlight a list of tasks your audience can complete reaching their intended goal. You need to know what goal your audience wants to achieve before you can create a checklist. That way, the perceived value of the checklist will drive them to download your lead magnet. Here are some lead magnet examples of checklists: 2. Guides Guides are among the most common types of lead magnets. They work well for nurturing your sales funnel as they provide expert tips and secrets that the audience is not already educated on. People are always looking for information about topics that are important to them. If your guide provides content that your customers need help with, they will gladly sign up to receive your lead magnet. 3. Case Studies Case Studies provide actual and specific results that show prospective customers how people similar to them could solve a particular problem. Showcasing that your product or service has and does work for consumers is a true testament to the value of your business. Backing your claims and showing how your previous and existing customers have benefited from your business pairs with social proof and could be the last push to get people to convert. 4. Surveys & Assessments Surveys and Assessments are a great way to engage with your audience and get feedback at the same time. They are also great sales pieces as they provide your business with real and insightful information about your potential customers. Results can better understand your audience and help create more targeted content based on the pain points. 5. Quizzes Quizzes are interactive and help your audience have fun with your content. People can also share their quiz results online, which will help increase your brand awareness. Tease your prospects, entertain them with a short and simple quiz, and send the results via email. You can use the collected data for multiple purposes, for example, to customize a ‘welcome’ email series that is tailored to the answers they gave in the quiz. 6. Calculators Calculators are a great way to provide quick answers to complex questions. Providing quick information and stimulating positive outcomes can increase the urgency in which potential customers react and take action. Calculators have an average completion rate of 80% because they require minimal effort and are made to be easy and enjoyable to use. An effective way to gain leads is to allow users to enter their email addresses to receive their personalized reports. 7. Reports Reports are valuable content pieces that can drive your audience to submit their contact information to receive your report. They provide potential customers with a unique brand experience by offering them a customized piece of content. For example: SEMRush Reports pull research data from SEMRush’s own database of domains and keywords. 8. Contests Contests are very enticing as they allow your audience to receive a free product or service. Simply inputting your contact information for a grand prize is very easy and effortless for your audience- they won’t even think twice. Offering a prize that is relevant to your business will get them excited about your brand. You’ll also get the most high-quality leads as the people entering will be interested in your product or service. 9. Demos & Free Trials Demos are an excellent way to get people familiar with your product or service, especially if your product is relatively complicated and requires instructions. App and Software companies use demos and free trials to give people a chance to try it out, and in turn, capture their emails. But demos aren’t limited to only complex software. You can get creative, like SnackNation! Here’s a software/app example: 10. Photography Creating a shareable album or photo collection is an extremely effective way to gain exposure and raise awareness of your brand. Websites like Unsplash and Pexels allow photographers to upload their imagery to be used and seen by people all over the world. In turn, photographers are credited every time their image is used. This will increase the photographer’s exposure globally and allow them to find new customers through link building and royalty-free directory submissions. That’s a Wrap! Lead magnets are an effective way to gain a prospect’s contact information and educate and share content with your audiences. The benefits of a lead magnet: Educational Engaging Generate quality leads Provide value Shareable Promote your brand as an authority As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories to share, drop them below in the comments or hit us up on our socials. Peace.
49 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
How to Create Influencer Relationships and Collaborations to Grow your Community
This week we’re diving into the exciting world of influencer relationships and collaborations! Social media has changed the way brands can connect with their audiences, opening the floor to two-way conversations and community building. The days of shouting your message from the hilltop are over. Now we’re able to have conversations and develop long-lasting relationships by connecting directly with people! It’s a welcome change from the one-sided communication of old-school advertising. What’s New? This week we have some articles on how influencers are taking over digital ad budgets and some more Google drama with Daily Mail! Check out the links below! Branded Content, Influencer Marketing Make Up Biggest Slice of Digital Ad Budgets – Marketers are putting 20% of their digital ad budgets into branded content, and influencer marketing combined, meaning these complementary practices account for a larger portion of digital marketing budgets than any other category, including paid search, display, paid social and digital video. Daily Mail Sues Google Over Search Rankings – The parent company of the Daily Mail, Mail Online, Metro, and several other UK publications has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the search giant manipulates search results on its site. What’s Working? Social media is a powerful tool that allows users to reach hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people. Instagram alone has over 1 billion active users globally. From establishing an online presence to growing your brand awareness, social media can help generate traffic and drive your business. Influencer relationships and collaborations can take this a step further by opening up the option to share audiences with others in your niche or industry. Here is a quick breakdown of what we’ll be talking about: What is an Influencer? People often see Influencers as some person behind a phone when they are independent media companies. They’ve built themselves a social empire that gives them the power to affect purchasing decisions of others because of the authority they’ve gained. They have a following in a distinct niche. Two of the biggest influencers on the planet not only have a massive following but also get fantastic engagement on their posts, showing that their audiences are invested and active on their channels: Ryan’s World is a children’s YouTube channel featuring Ryan Kaji and his mother, father, and twin sisters. The channel usually releases a new video every day and has 46.16 billion total views and 29.1 million subscribers as of March 28, 2021. MrBeast – is an American YouTuber, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, with over 10 billion views and over 60 million subscribers. He has been credited with pioneering a genre of YouTube videos that center on expensive stunts. Why Use Influencer Marketing & Collaborations What are influencer relationships and collaborations? Essentially, it uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche. Developing influencer relationships and collaborations builds brand credibility due to the trust and loyalty that influencers have established with their audiences. Rather than creating an ad, influencers create fresh and credible content, such as testimonials, video content, and product reviews. They generate sales by helping your company tap into your niche audiences with tailored content that will drive conversions, using word of mouth mixed with native advertising. Just take a look at these fantastic statistics on social media. Practical strategies for developing influencer relationships and collaborations can be incredibly lucrative and successful. Case Study: The Sorry Girls Let’s look at what we’ve been talking about through an actual case study! Let’s say that we’re a custom-design furniture company called Custom Fit Furniture. We create customized creations for any furniture in a house. We’re looking to reach out to an Influencer to create a partnership. The Sorry Girls is a reputable social media brand & Influencer and is the perfect fit for a collab. Let’s reach out! The Sorry Girls is a full-scale digital media brand focusing on DIY, sustainability, and interior design. They have over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 10 years under their tool belt. Their reach has inspired all different ages and demographics to pick up a drill and do it themselves. Why Engagement is More Important Than Follower Count Here’s something that might surprise you: the size of your audience on social media doesn’t matter if no one is paying attention. You could have millions of followers, but only a handful of them are engaging with your content. Many people assume numbers are the goal, when in fact, it’s all about building community. Anyone can like a post; there’s more intent to share your post or leave a comment. We’re looking for an influencer with an engaged audience base; this is critical to your success when developing influencer relationships and collaborations. As you can see from the images above, The Sorry Girls are getting some pretty fantastic engagement on their posts, so they’d be a great fit for what we’re looking for. Depending on your goals, you can monitor many kinds of engagement across social media – post engagement (Facebook), Content Interactions (Instagram), etc. The specific type of engagement you’re measuring will vary over time. But what won’t change is how you get engagement on social media. Ways you can generate engagement beyond your follower count: The quality of your followers. The reach of your audience. The content of your posts. The timing of your posts. Generating Engagement Beyond your Follower Count Let’s break down those 4 points from above: The quality of your followers. Consider who your followers are. Example: You’re a DJ at a retirement home, and out of the hundreds of people, only 2 are dancing to your mixes; you’re probably not reaching the right people. The more relevant and authentic your followers are, the better the engagement from them will be. The reach of your audience. The reach of your audience is more important than how many people comprise that audience. If you have a few followers who themselves are very influential, it helps connect you to a larger group than you could on your own. The content of your posts. If you have enough followers, everything you post will generate some engagement. What are people responding to? Higher quality content – anything that adds value to a conversation – will perform better than low-quality content. The Sorry Girls do a series called How To Go Do, providing relevant content to their audience; that’s what we’re looking for. The timing of your posts. When you post new content can have a big impact on how it’s received. It depends on your audience – who and where are they? Understanding the natural breaks of your audience is crucial – when will they be online? When are they most active? You want to analyze this data and post it during peak times. Some many tools and platforms provide this data, such as Iconosquare, for Instagram. Check out their heat map graph below! Tools you Can Use to Find Influencers Trying to find an influencer that’s the right fit for our brand can be a big task! We don’t want to be reaching out to the Kardashians. We want to look within our niche or industry. As a Custom-design Furniture company, we’re seeking an Influencer that is influential in DIY. There are a ton of tools we can use to find influencers that would be a right fit for us, such as: HypeAuditor Influencer.co Facebook Brand Collabs Manager Upfluence BuzzSumo Now let’s take a closer look at a few of these tools and what they can do for us. HypeAuditor helps agencies, brands, and platforms improve the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns. A full stack of solutions: Discover 11M+ influencers – Discover influencers with the audiences you need within an 11M+ database, with Demographic search and Audience Quality filters. Analyze Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok influencers – Over 35 in-depth metrics to analyze influencers, Audience Demographics, Fraud Detection, and Brand Affinity. Track ad campaign performance & account growth over time – Track Campaign Results, Account Growth Analysis and Build & Share Reports. Market Analysis of your competitors and Industry Trends – with Competitor analysis, Global market research, Trends & Ranking Analytics And they have the best mascot ever. Influencer.co is a platform for both influencers and brands looking for influencers to collaborate with. Works off a freemium model. Set up an account for free. Social feed for influencers and brands to communicate. Campaign management and reports. The LinkedIn for influencer marketing. Facebook Brand Collabs Manager makes it easy to find the right creative talent, get actionable insights on their most engaged followers, and partner on branded content we can promote with targeted ads. It’s also completely free to join and use. Creators That Meet High Standards Precise Targeting of the Right Viewers Unified, Simplified Partnership Process Streamlined Permission Sharing How To Nurture Relationships Choose the top influencers that you would like to collaborate with, and be sure to nurture those relationships. We’ve chosen The Sorry Girls. Now we will: Follow all of their social channels. Engage with their content. Tag them in relevant content pieces. Send them DM’s to start a two-way conversation. After some engagement, we can showcase a little about us and what we’re looking for; to feature our custom furniture. We offer them financial compensation and creative control; this is vitally important. Level of Influencer Smaller Influencers are more open to DMs as they are looking to grow themselves as well. Medium Influencers will most likely have a contact form or email as a means to get in touch. (This is where The Sorry Girls would fall under) Prominent Influencers will typically have a management team that will handle inquiries. Reaching Out on Instagram Reaching out on Instagram is exceptionally beneficial, effective, and easy! The Sorry Girls are quite active on this platform to be the most beneficial to us. Once you’ve done your research and made a list of influencers that you would like to work with, you can begin to form your connections. Simply visit the influencer’s profile, give them a quick follow, like and comment on their posts, then tap on the message button! We’ll now want to introduce our custom furniture company to The Sorry Girls. We’ve written the first message and hit send. Let’s get this collab started! Reaching Out on Facebook Facebook is an effective way to find potential influencers and build relationships. Most of the time, the influencer will have a business page to send a message, view their contact info, and view their content. Simply give their page a Follow and craft your introductory message by hitting the three dots, followed by the messenger icon. Let’s work together! It’s that simple. Measuring your KPIs The #1 metric on all of social media are shares, with comments coming next. Likes, loves, reactions, whatever you call them, are the least important of the engagement metrics. If people are saving your content and sharing it with others, you’ve done something right. People are loving what you’re doing! It’s important to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve. What are your goals? What are you looking for your followers to accomplish? Sales Inbound leads Direct messages Form completions Business contact Product purchases That’s a Wrap Working with influencers and collaborating with other brands is a great way to expand your community. You can: Share like-minded audiences. Offer bundled collab deals. Engage with your local community. Develop long-term relationships. And that’s all, folks! Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories to share, drop a comment below or hit us up on the socials. Cheers!
44 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Social Videos and Memes: How to Create Content That Will Delight Your Audience
This week we’re diving into How to Create Social Videos and Memes That Will Delight Your Audience. Social media has taken over the internet and video is by far the top-performing type of content, so we wanted to create a guide to help creators up their video production game! What’s New? This week we have fickle Gen Z, referrals from friends, and more Facebook updates! Check out the links below for more: Brands could lose fickle Gen Zers over poor digital experiences – Brands are vulnerable to losing younger consumers who are less tolerant of poor digital shopping experiences and will quickly move on from brands. Why referrals from friends are still key in the digital world – According to Nielsen, 92 percent of people around the world say they trust recommendations from friends and family more than other forms of advertising. Facebook Adds Scheduling for Stories, New Ad and Business Discovery Options – Facebook has announced the addition of some new features for its Business Suite management platform, including Stories scheduling for both Facebook and Instagram, along with a new business discovery process from the News Feed. What’s Working? Have you noticed that social media has taken over the internet, and is now the current state of the internet? Social moves fast, really fast. New networks like TikTok are growing exponentially, while established networks like Instagram are pivoting to adapt to these rapid changes. Add to that video is taking over all of these platforms. But it’s not traditional video, it’s all about social video. These videos are short, high energy, informative, entertaining, and they’re a powerful format that can gain your audience’s attention. Pair that with the power of Memes, and we’ve got a winning combination for your content strategy; after all 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service through video. Some topics we’ll be covering include: Why Use Videos and Memes on Social? Social media video is a powerful way to engage your followers. Video performs better than all other types of content on social media, and you can make your own unique video content with little to no budget! Each platform has very different audiences, video formats & styles that will make your videos effective, so keep in mind that one video will not work for all platforms. You’ll want to tailor your content for each specific channel. Check out these stats to see just how powerful social video can be. Benefits of Using Videos and Memes on Social Using social videos and memes is a great way to connect with customers on the platforms they’re using. They’re engaging and entertaining and perfect for digesting content in quick, snackable bits. They also encourage shares and improve awareness, while also acting as a conversation starter. For example, check out this 1 minute video made by Lucidcharts! It’s a h*ckin good explanation of all the puppers, doggos, and woofers that are popular in memes. Worth it: Memes are also a fantastic way to connect with your audience on social. They’re fun and entertaining, and most importantly, very highly shareable! They can be used in a ton of clever ways to create and support brand relevance and convey a sense of community, giving people a common thread to laugh at together. We all need more laughter in our lives, so please send us memes. Netflix was all over those Birdbox memes, and it worked brilliantly. Chipotle also does a fabulous job of embracing meme culture and having fun with tying them into their brand. Social Media Tactics Make sure your video works well without sound (most videos on social media are muted until the user chooses to turn on sound). TikTok is the exception! Songs are an incredibly important element of TikTok videos and can dramatically increase your reach by using trending songs. As a business account, you’ll have limited access to songs compared to personal accounts, but it’s still a big part of the platform and style. Here are some general rules to keep in mind for all social platforms: Keep it short. Aim for 15-30 seconds. No longer than 1 minute for media channels. Add captions and translations – with a global audience on social, increase your reach! Add an eye-catching title card and aim to grab viewers’ attention in the first 3 seconds. Video Creation Tools There are so many tools available that it can be a little bit daunting trying to find what will work best for you. So we’ve put together a list of some of the tools we use, as well as some others we think are great. Promo is a great platform that allows you to make professional-looking videos with little effort. You don’t need to be Speilberg to make a great video with Promo. It does the heavy lifting for you and allows you to add your own custom flair. Canva is similar to Promo and has a ton of templates to work with to make some quality videos. Final Cut is excellent software on the Apple platform and can help to make the production of videos so much easier and accessible. It is a bit more technical than the other options but still fairly user-friendly. We added TikTok to this tools list because it has a powerful suite of editing tools for your videos. You can shoot some quick videos on your phone and use TikTok to put them together, add layers, audio, text, stickers, polls, and so much more. Zubtitle is mainly used for closed captioning, but considering the global market on social, adding subtitles, and even language translations can massively improve your reach by making your content more accessible to more people. There’s so much more out there, and of course, these tools don’t replace the big boys like Adobe Premiere, but they’re excellent options and more accessible and user-friendly than the pro-level options. Real-Life Video and Meme Examples Let’s take a look at some actual examples of what we’ve been talking about! Example of a video made with Promo: Example of a video made with Zubtitle: Example of a video made with TikTok: Example of a video made with Instagram Reels: That’s a Wrap The best way to get good at social videos and memes is to start making them. Pick a few channels and your social media marketing strategy top goals for those channels and see what reactions you get. If you land on something people like, you’ve unlocked a new source of views, visits, leads, and revenue to help power your video & meme marketing program. As always, thanks so much for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories to share, drop a comment below or hit us up on our social. Until next time.
48 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Building Customer Loyalty: Strategies, Examples & Tips
This week we’re diving into building customer loyalty – with strategies, examples, and tips you can use to get started right now. What’s New? This week we’ve got rising rates for social media budgets and social phenomenon, White Claw, building their tribe! Nearly half of execs expect social marketing budgets to double in the next 3 years; study finds – Social media, already a preferred engagement channel among consumers before the pandemic, has seen its popularity further skyrocket under the health crisis. White Claw, a brand built on social buzz, focuses on fans in its first global campaign – White Claw is releasing its first global advertising campaign as it looks to preserve a lead in the increasingly crowded hard seltzer category. What’s Working? Customer loyalty is the result of a company consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations. When a customer is loyal to one company, they aren’t easily swayed by price or availability. They would rather pay more and ensure the same quality of service and product they already know and love. What is a Brand? Your brand is more than your logo. A brand is how other people think about and perceive you as a company. Apple is a great example – people FEEL that it is a superior product, whether it is or not. What is Customer Loyalty? Fundamentally, customer loyalty is when a person interacts with a brand or purchases a specific product or service on an ongoing basis. Customer loyalty is also when a customer only buys from specific brands. For example, you will only buy clothing or groceries from one store, even when it isn’t convenient or the cheapest option. Loyalty doesn’t always mean purchases, but also behaviour such as social advocacy. A customer may only buy one Ford truck in their lifetime, but they may be an outspoken advocate of Ford vehicles’ quality to friends and family. If you provide great value in your product or service, the customer experience stays consistently good, and your business will reap the benefits of customer retention. Ultimately, when people need something you offer, loyal customers will give you the first chance to earn their business. That is why customer loyalty is such a critical aspect to consider. Ways to Build Customer Loyalty Let’s take a look at 6 proven ways to build customer loyalty. Communicate Your Values Come up with a marketing strategy that outlines what makes your brand stand out, what your purpose is, and how your values align with your customers’ core beliefs. Provide Exceptional Customer Service Your customer experience includes everything about how your customers interact with you, from the moment they first land on your website to when they call and ask your customer service team for assistance. Activate Your Community to Help Spread the Word Once you understand your values, you can find your fan base—the most ardent supporters of your brand and its values. Show Your Appreciation with a Loyalty Program It helps to incentivize repeat purchases with special offers, discounts, or perks to build customer loyalty. Ask for Honest Feedback If you’re looking for ways to build customer loyalty, you should be asking your customers for feedback every chance you get. Continually Improve your Customer Experience. To drive customer loyalty, make this a continuous process of evolution and improvement. Building Customer Loyalty that Lasts Awarding points isn’t always enough. Start conversations. Involve your customers as a community. Go beyond “How can I help you.” Send a handwritten card thanking them. Ask them to take a picture with your product and tag you – UGC. Surprise and Delight. Surprise and Delight tactics can dramatically impact a customer’s experience and can be an easy win for both you and the customer. Something as simple as adding an extra little gift in order – like a free calendar or notepad – can take a simple transaction and elevate it to something customers will tell their friends about. Don’t tell them. Just do it. Customer Messaging – What Customers Want Many customers are expecting two-way interaction with a brand through messaging or online chat. These customer expectations are dynamic, so you need to respond correctly and through the customers’ preferred messaging channels. How you respond creates new customer expectations. Customers expect automation for common questions that don’t require a lot of hand-holding. Customer Messaging – Managing Messaging Data Messaging is an essential slice of overall customer engagement. It’s also a valuable source of customer data. Data from customer engagement is often unstructured and needs to be integrated into the data layer by additional tools or processes, such as ActiveCampaign, Salesforce, Birdeye, etc. This data includes: Customer service Social discussions Reviews and live chat And more. Incentive, Review & Referral Platforms It is the structured use of rewards and recognition to motivate desired behaviour from a specific group of people. By assigning rewards for demonstrating desired behaviours, those behaviours will be repeated more often. This is a psychological principle known as Operant Conditioning, which is a fancy term that means that a response’s consequences determine the probability of it being repeated. Let’s take a look at 3 different platforms that each have their ways of building customer retention. Smile.io Smile.io is a platform that businesses can use to create customer loyalty programs and build brand loyalty. It allows businesses to build programs based on points, VIP programs, and referrals. Tailor your customer experience to fit your brand Manage your rewards program Create an on-site program that will keep users motivated and engaged Businesses can integrate their loyalty program into their current marketing platforms. Birdeye Birdeye is a platform that helps businesses manage customer relationships. With Birdeye, you can: Collect reviews Convert leads Run surveys Text customers Get referrals Birdeye can also help manage your NPS. Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a gauge of overall customer experience. The higher your NPS, the more satisfied your customers are with your business. ReferralCandy ReferralCandy is a platform that businesses can use to reward customers for referrals. It encourages customers to tell their friends and family about your business and makes it easy for them to share offers through social integrations. Influence, measure and manage your process. A referral program that runs itself. Fraud protection. Real-time ROI analytics. Detailed Dashboards. Seamless platform integration. Gamification Gamification allows businesses to create intense customer experiences and strengthen the relationship between the brand and the customer. People love to play games and earn rewards, so get creative with your content! Ways to increase customer loyalty through gamification include: Reward customers when they reach different loyalty tiers. Provide users with a sense of achievement. Make content fun and interactive. That sense of accomplishment is the big one. That’s what keeps people coming back for more. Gamification motivates specific behaviours through rewards and can be used to increase sales numbers by enhancing customer loyalty. Businesses can use gamification to: Collect valuable customer data Identify consumer reactions for retargeting Offer personalized communication Develop long term relationships with customers Create involvement through personalized experiences Drive repeat sales and brand advocacy Case Study: Chef on Call Chef On Call is an excellent example of a fantastic customer loyalty strategy using gamification. What do they do? Award “coins” with every purchase. Encourages app downloads by making the rewards system exclusive to the app. Tiered ranks are awarded by earning coins, and the higher the rank, the more coins you earn. Community involvement, such as The Donator – a menu item that proceeds from sales to a local charity. That’s a Wrap The importance of customer loyalty impacts almost every metric important to running a business. Without happy customers who continue to buy from you, it is challenging to run a business. New customers tend to cost more to acquire and don’t spend as much money as loyal, repeat customers. Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any comments, questions, or stories to share, sound off in the comments below or hit us up on social! Cheers! Happy Friday!
49 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business: Part 2
Local marketing strategies have never been more important, so we’ve decided to build on last week’s topic and dig into more strategies and tools you can use! Check out the video or podcast above. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your chosen platform. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s New? Cinnamon Toast Crunch wins the story of the week with their PR Disaster. What were they thinking? Just….wrong. You can read about it and more below! Challenge-Response Disaster: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Tails – The sugary cereal’s digital team initially tried to deny a writer’s aquatic discovery on Twitter. The prawny saga has become must-see social media entertainment. Wix and Google Announce GMB Integration – Expanded partnership with Google integrates Google My Business. Makes Wix a more substantial presence in local search. How Messaging Channels are Surging and Becoming Critical to Marketing Success – More customers are using messaging channels to engage with brands and make purchases; this is evident in the number of first-time users who adopted a messaging channel in the last year. What’s Working? In part 1 of this blog, we discussed GMB, Google local campaigns, Citations, NAP, and the Map Pack. In part 2, we’re digging deeper into Paid Ads, Ad examples, GMB coupons, how to optimize GMB, and other practical tools to help build your local marketing strategies. Local marketing will be important in 2021! 97% of people learn more about a local company online than any other medium. 88% of mobile online searches for local businesses result in either a call or business visit within one day. Let’s break down what we’ll be covering: Local Paid Ad Campaigns Google Ads is an excellent option for Local Ad campaigns, especially for those with a modest marketing budget. Your ads will appear across Google’s properties, including the Google Search Network, Google Display Network, Google Maps, and YouTube. Some things to consider when developing local marketing campaigns using Google Ads: Create Locations: detailed radius location targeting in Google Ads. Locations bid adjustments. Talk about the distance to your location in the ad copy. Localize call-outs and extensions. Create custom landing pages for each location. Some more pro tips for Google Ads: Call-only campaigns are great for emergency services. Separate mobile and desktop campaigns (on mobile, users can call right away). Don’t be generic, or you’ll get lost in the noise – add specific details that will help people find you locally. Use different messaging for corporate vs. residential. Location Extensions allow you to show a business address, phone number, and a map marker along with your ad text. They can help you close the loop between online ads and offline sales by driving foot traffic to stores. It’s a super handy feature that allows you to add important details to your ads to help users find or contact you. Sync the locations through GMB. Separate campaigns for each location. Can add map pin extensions to ad extensions. Facebook Ads is another fantastic option for developing local marketing campaigns and can be done on a limited budget. You’ll want to: Create Locations: detailed radius location targeting in Facebook Ads. Talk about the distance to your location in the ads copy. Tell people in the area about things happening now. Reach customers within your service areas. Some tips for local Facebook ads: Use the name of the location you’re targeting in your copy. For example, “Hey, Hamilton!” Use images from the location (avoid using stock imagery). Don’t over-optimize! Focus on the specific details. Add at least 4 ad copy variants and image variants. Facebook’s Preferred Audience Targeting You can also use Facebook’s Preferred Audience Targeting for organic posts! If you have never used it before, you need to activate the feature in your settings! Localized Content Ideas Keeping your online presence up-to-date with relevant and fresh content shows Google and directories that your business is active, which will help you rank higher. Quite often, multi-location brands forget that unique local content is just as important as national content. So, what are some ways to get the community engaged with your business? Here are a few to get those creative juices flowing: Google My Business Coupons Google allows businesses to use special coupon codes in exchange for following them. Users won’t see exactly what the offer is until they follow the business listing. Once they follow the listing, they can gain access to any offers or coupons. These offers can be saved to an Offer folder, which can be used anytime later. GMB Products & Services Products and Services is a powerful feature in Google My Business that often gets overlooked. This feature is designed with small to medium businesses in mind. It allows you to showcase your products on page one of Google, for free, within your Google My Business Knowledge Panel. On a GMB Product listing, you’ll be able to: Display valuable details about the product. Link to the product’s page on your website. Display a convenient phone call button to allow customers to call you with any questions about the product. Listing Builders and Reputation Management Listing builder and reputation management tools help organize and compile online data in one place. They collect all the data about your business found online, including: Listing Presence Reviews Social Website Advertising SEO This is an example of the Executive Report in Vendasta, showing the Foundation 5: Advertising Intelligence Reputation Management Customer Voice Social Marketing Listing Builder Bright Local is another Reputation Management Platform that focuses on local marketing. Get access to tools that make it easy to: Monitor Audit Improve local marketing performance All in one place. Key features include: Local SEO Tools Reputation Manager Citation Builder Agency Features You can also learn how to: Increase rankings Get more search traffic Improve visibility and more Their Bright Local Academy courses are also an amazing resource for learning. SEMRush – Local Audit Tool We talk about SEMRush a lot… because it’s awesome – and it has an incredible amount of features. One of those features is the Local SEO toolkit. This toolkit includes: Listing Management Position Tracking Site Audit On-Page SEO Checker With the Listing Management tool, you can: Distribute your business data automatically to the most authoritative directories. Ensure maximum visibility for your business by keeping your listings free of malicious duplicates. Track local rankings. Organize GMB and Facebook listings. Manage reviews and user suggestions. Get the overall picture of how well all of your related businesses perform in local search. Position Tracking lets you track a website’s daily rankings for a custom set of target keywords. You can set your targeting to watch any specific geographic location and device type (mobile phone, tablet, or desktop). Site Audit is a powerful website crawler that allows you to analyze the health of a website. It will provide you with a list of issues that makes it easy to see where exactly a website is struggling. Fixing these issues will help boost the SEO of a website. On-Page SEO Checker offers a complete and structured list of things you could do to improve the ranks of pages on your website. You’ll receive on-page SEO ideas, semantically related words to include on your pages, target content length and readability, and backlink prospects. Geotagging Photos – GeoImgr This is a fantastic tool and can have a significant effect on your SERPs rankings when used. “Geotagging photos” means that you attach latitude and longitude coordinates to a JPG photo file in the metadata. Geotagging images is important because it improves the search engine ranking for location-specific websites and businesses. Very few businesses do this, so taking advantage of this feature will put you ahead of the competition. GeoImgr is a simple web tool for geotagging photos. Easily geotag photos with new coordinates. That’s a Wrap There’s never been a better time to invest in a local marketing strategy. With so many people looking to buy locally and support their communities, your business must implement local marketing strategies. People want to find and support local businesses, so make it easy for them to do so. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories to share, sound off in the comments below, or hit us up on our socials!
53 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
Recipes for Writing Copy That Captivates and Converts: The Awesome Sauce
This week I have the tall order of writing about great writing – writing copy that captivates and converts. No pressure. Easy, right? Did I say writing enough times? You’ve heard this endlessly, I’m sure. The same old advice. “Hey, you want good results? Create amazing content!” Oh ok. No problem. So, I just need to make amazing content. OK. How hard could that be? Think of all the content out there. Now think of all the content that is good. Now think of all the content that is amazing. Intimidated yet? It’s all well and good to just say, “Hey, write amazing copy and you’ll draw people in.” But what does that even mean? How is that good advice? What is considered amazing and how do you write it? The good news – it’s not nearly as complicated and impossible as I just made it sound. If this turns out to be a boring slog of a read, please feel free to roast me. So, what goes into that awesome sauce? Let’s find out. Check out the video or podcast above where Dan and the bees discuss some great methods for writing copy that converts, using examples from their own work, as well as articles from leading marketing gurus and platforms. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s New? We haven’t been inundated with social media drama this week. That’s new, right? There have been some interesting new innovations in some of the tools and platforms we use, though! Slack Launches Slack Connect – Slack was already an awesome internal communication tool with great security for businesses. Now they’re expanding to external communication with the potential to collaborate with up to 20 different organizations at once. They’re aiming to change the way we communicate by making it easier than ever. Google’s Rich Results Test is out of beta – We touched on this topic in our recent blog post on Zero Click Google Searches, and now Google has announced the Rich Results Test tool is officially out of beta and will replace Google’s Structured Data tool. LinkedIn’s New Name Pronunciation Tool Can Make Your Communication More Effective and Inclusive – This is self-explanatory and awesome. Pretty great new tool, especially living in such a culturally diverse community as Waterloo Region. YouTube to Offer More In-Video Ads, Boosting Ad Space and Lowering Cost – Great news for businesses and marketers! Maybe not so much for viewers. Unless we get some highly creative and entertaining ads, of course! Introducing Instagram Reels: Instagram’s Answer to TikTok – Yep. You can record 15-second clips set to music on Instagram now. Will it be able to tap into the phenomenon of how many billion users TikTok has? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Instagram via TechCrunch What’s Working? So I guess I should probably get to the “how-to-write-good” part. WELL. Where do we start. Ahem. You know where. Same as always. The beginning. Do Your Keyword Research Before you start writing, even before the headline, you’re going to want to do your keyword research. This will make a huge difference in how your content ranks with Google. There’s plenty of awesome tools out there to use, like Screaming Frog or SEMrush. Or even using the Google Search to see what keywords and keyword phrases come up first – and those that are displayed at the bottom of the search page in the “Searches related to” section. Using these tools, you can determine the best keywords for your content and use them when writing your copy to help you rank higher as an authority for those search terms. Here’s a quick list of tips for helping with keyword research: Make good use of negative keywords – this can dramatically reduce ad spend and increase conversions by removing the searches that are similar, but not relevant to your business. (for example: you’re selling high fashion lambskin leather jackets and you’re getting clicks for “leather jackets” from people looking for biker jackets, only to be disappointed – but you’re still paying for those clicks.) Add your competitors to your negative keyword list. Target long-tail keywords with a high quality score (over 10). Keep everything including your keywords, ad copy, and landing page synchronized, and don’t mislead your audience at any point. Focus on phrases that read as questions, and answer those questions to give immediate value. Add location to your keywords. The Headline This is incredibly important, and quite often the make or break element that’s the difference between someone clicking on your content and someone ignoring it. For example: Writing Good Headlines is Hard. Click Here to Get Better. If your headline reads something like this, no one is clicking on it unless they had already intended to buy something from you – or they owe you a favour. (Also, how many people tried to click that headline? It’s fine. Just admit it to yourself. No one needs to know.) Before I even start brainstorming ideas, I need to really think about my intentions, my message, what I’m trying to say. I want to tell people about a blog I wrote about writing copy that converts. Now I need to think about the reader. Who are they and why do they want to read my blog? See the above headline. Sorry, that’s lazy. You’ll get over it. In other words, you need to create a persona – or personas, depending on your target audience – so that you better understand who they are and what they want. So how do I make that headline good, now that I’ve taken into consideration what I want to say, and recognized that the reader’s pain point is the difficulty in writing copy that really captivates? How about turning it into a question: Who Else Wants to Know the Mystery Behind Writing Killer Headlines? Or making it an ever-popular list with something unexpected thrown in: 23 Ways to Write Killer Headlines With One Hand Tied Behind Your Back Or the very title of this blog here that you’re reading. To the point, with a little fun thrown in. You clicked on it. Maybe. Probably. Here are some more resources to help you get started with writing your own killer headlines: How To Write Perfect PPC Headlines In 5 Easy Steps Headline Writing 101: How to Write Attention Grabbing Headlines That Convert How to Create Winning Headlines in 9 Simple Steps 9 Steps to Write Your Ultimate Home Page Headline How to Write Copy That Captivates Here we go. Into the thick meat of it. Sorry vegetarians. Please imagine a thick slab of finely seasoned seitan, instead. The one thing you definitely never want to do is try to tap into the pulse if you can’t actually feel it. It will be painfully obvious and if you’re lucky, the only thing that will happen is you’ll get memed into the joke of the week. Stick with what you know, and where you specialize. Writing copy that converts is challenging. An easy way to deal with it is to freakin’ relax. Be a person, and act like you’re talking to a person. I’m imagining you, dear reader, right now as I write, and then I read it back in a weird accent and try to see it as you will see it. (Not that you have a weird accent, it’s just fun to make silly voices, right? I’m not alone here. Don’t judge me.) Some key things to consider when writing copy: Write for one reader – You. Reading this right now. I’m writing this for you. Speak their language – Que voulez-vous dire? Use your customer’s voice, tone, style of speaking. Use headers. Use short words and sentences – KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Use bullet points. Fonts matter – fonts set the tone, so don’t use comic sans unless you’re making a homemade birthday card for your 5-year-old child. Don’t ignore design. Use visuals. Break long blocks of text into smaller chunks for easier reading and visual flow. Get specific – Advertising copy is full of unfalsifiable, blanket claims. Be specific. You can’t bs specifics. Know your medium and channel – the medium is the message, right. Provide a clear, immediate call to action. Test everything. I know, I know. You want examples. Fine. Let’s do this. Which of these 2 copy examples do you find more captivating: Get a discount on these great wireless headphones by filling out this form now! or… We’ve saved you a special discount on your next set of wireless headphones. Put up your tired feet, untangle your old pair to give them a final, loving sendoff for serving you well, and tune in to your favourite song or podcast while you fill out this short form. So, what did I do there? I made it more engaging by speaking directly to the reader, by addressing a pain point and showing empathy, demonstrating that I understand their situation. Let’s take a look at some real examples of posts we’ve written here at Honeypot, and break down what they’re doing right. We’ll look at both organic and PPC ad posts to give you a good range of styles and strategies. Organic Posts Pot FIller for you Dog – Delta Faucet Canada Between the image and the copy, we were able to showcase the versatility of the product. Proving that pot fillers aren’t just for making pasta, but can make it easier for your dog to always have a fresh bowl of water. Yay doggo! Lightbox Inspiration – Honeypot Marketing The image isn’t only lovely, but it’s accompanied by copy that really resonated with the KWAWESOME community, especially during the height of COVID-19 when many small businesses were struggling. One of
47 minutes | Jul 20, 2020
How to Bridge Organic with Paid to Reach Your Customers Everywhere – Wonder Twin Powers Activate
Remember when cartoons were weird, wonderful, and insanely creative? We do, too, but that’s not really what we’re talking about this week. No, we’re diving into yet another hot topic in the marketing industry right now. Can you guess what it is? Hint? It has something to do with the paid side of the sandwich. Oh my, I was leading up to how to bridge organic with paid content to find the sweet spot, and now all I can think about is PB&J. Le sigh. Shall we proceed? Check out the video or podcast above where Dan and the bees discuss the many options available for paid and organic marketing, and how to bring them together for awesome marketing campaign results. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s New? Facebook drama. That’s the big new headline in the paid social advertising space right now. Major corporations, including Verizon, Unilever, Starbucks, Best Buy, Adidas, Coca-Cola, and The North Face, have pulled their ads from Facebook for the month of July, as part of the StopHateForProfit campaign. Canadian companies Lululemon, MEC, and Arc’teryx have also joined the boycott. Scotiabank confirmed it too will pull its ads from Facebook during July, and 3 more of Canada’s big banks followed suit: RBC, CIBC, and BMO. Why You Shouldn’t Boycott Facebook Sure, there are other fish in the sea like Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. if you truly feel strongly about the boycott and want to join the fight. I understand the desire to at least TRY to do something – anything, to make things better. I want a better world, too. I want to fight hate speech and help others. But will any of this force Facebook’s hand, or really accomplish anything? Let’s take a look at what it WILL do. First off, a few brands pulling their Facebook ads for a month will have little to no bearing on Facebook’s bottom line. Secondly, some of the companies, depending on their size, could be hurting themselves more by limiting their exposure on the social media giant’s platform. If small and medium businesses cut their ads altogether, even for one month, this could cause a massive loss of revenue for those business owners. Joining the ad boycott would actually hurt the bottom line of small to medium businesses infinitely more than it would Facebook’s. It’s an unfortunate truth, but there it is. To see real, significant change with Facebook’s content moderating rules and all related issues, thousands of major brands would have to pull their ad budget for a lot more than a month. Major brands are just not going to do that when it impacts their own bottom line. Roughly 8 million companies of all sizes advertise on Facebook, and some of the biggest advertisers, including Walmart, Disney, and Procter & Gamble, have not joined the boycott. Ultimately, you need to do what feels right for you in the end; but, before you make any quick decisions, arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can. Here are some resources for alternative options if you’d like to dive in further: How to Use Alternative Ad Platforms for Your Marketing Strategy 5 Alternatives to Facebook, Google, and Amazon Ads Then there’s the Twitter drama Twitter says 130 accounts were targeted in a major cyber-attack of celebrity accounts on July 15, 2020. The security breach saw accounts including those of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Apple, and Uber tweet a Bitcoin scam to millions of followers. However, US President Donald Trump, one of the most prominent Twitter users, was unaffected. Twitter said it was still trying to work out if private data – which could include direct messages – was stolen. The FBI is now investigating. Google has now removed the prominent Twitter carousel of tweets from the Google search result pages. The Twitter search carousel box is not just gone for those accounts that were hacked but gone for any Twitter account. Google has confirmed to have dropped the box completely from the search results. A Google spokesperson has stated, “we can confirm we have temporarily removed the Twitter carousel from Search following Twitter’s security issues. Before restoring the feature we will carry out a careful review.” If you are currently using Twitter as a Google search strategy, that might have to go on hold until Google determines what their next steps are with Twitter. What a time to be alive. What’s Working? Aaaaaaand, moving on to more fun and exciting topics! Organic vs Paid content!!! Why choose just one when you can bridge the gap between both to find that sweet spot. As long as marketers focus on adding value rather than bombarding audiences with sales pitches in every post, fans will stick around to see what’s next. Let’s dig in. What is Organic Marketing? Most often, when you think of organic marketing, you probably think of Facebook or Instagram posts, but it doesn’t end there. Some of the most common types of organic content include: Posts on social media platforms Search engine optimization (SEO) Search engine marketing (SEM) Writing a blog Your website content Organic marketing is used to develop your brand voice, create authentic interactions with customers, educate and convert readers, and drive traffic to landing pages, your website, and other online properties. People find your business through your site, blogs, search engines, and social media. These all work together to create an omnichannel communication online for your business. Organic marketing tactics are natural, authentic, and value-based. The benefits from these tactics are developed over longer periods of time, ultimately helping you build a brand that customers want to visit regularly. Organic content is about building brand value and industry authority with your consumers. You’re not just trying to drive sales here. You’re working to engage and educate your target audiences. Organic marketing is typically focused on things like: Educating customers Optimizing social and blog content and pages for SEO (Which can boost traffic by 571% when done right) Engaging in 2-way communication with your customers Driving authority in your niche or industry Using targeted inbound/outbound linking strategies Building a long-lasting brand You will want to track the analytics to gauge the success of your content. All of the major social channels offer insights and stats on the performance of your posts, so remember to watch these reports closely and adjust your strategy for what is working the best. This is an example of Facebook insights that track a wide variety of metrics. Here are some tips for organic social media content: Leverage the power of video by publishing product videos to YouTube. Shorter highlights of these videos also work great on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Link your social media accounts so you can cross-post to multiple platforms. Host Facebook and Instagram Live sessions, which generate more organic interactions than other social media posts. Host contests on social media. Repurpose and re-package existing content. If you post a link or blog post, repurpose that into another format to post again later. Reply to comments across all your social media platforms. Publish customer testimonials. Gain positive reviews on Facebook, Google, and so on. Comment on posts that mention your brand (and repost/republish when appropriate). What is Paid Marketing? Paid marketing is more about “pushing” content – mainly in the form of ads and sponsored (or boosted) content – directly to your target audiences. 64% of people surveyed say they use social media to find shopping inspiration, meaning that the majority of your audience could be receptive to your promotional messages. There are plenty of options for paid marketing in the digital space, from advertising on social media channels to paying for ads on search engines and sites. Paid advertising allows you to generate more traffic and reach a wider audience in a short time period, allowing you to push your business into higher visibility. Paid advertising is available on both social media and search engines, so you’re able to target people more specifically on the same channels you use to promote organically. The fundamental difference between organic and paid is that you wait for your post to be found through organic search results, and paid marketing pushes your content for clicks. It makes you get guaranteed results much faster and more effectively. Paid ads will likely have a CTA that points to a product page, a specific landing page, or something that has the potential to drive financial results. Different models of payment for paid ads include: PPC (pay per click) CPC (cost per click) CPM (cost per mille – 1,000 impressions) Some different types of paid ads include: Display Ads Search Ads Social Media Ads Boosted or Sponsored posts Retargeting Ads Look-alike Audience Ads Boosting posts on social media that are already performing well is simple and the most cost-effective route for paid marketing if you are working with a modest budget. PPC is the most widely used, but with each model, you set your budget and decide how much you want to pay. In the most competitive spaces, you’ll want to spend a bit more to rank higher. To understand the success of your paid marketing efforts, you will want to track: Conversion Rates – This measures the traffic driven by ads and, of that traffic, what percentage has successfully encouraged (converted) customers into doing your desired action. Ad Engagement – This measures what optimizable components of an ad (image, text, call-to-action) have the highest probabil
10 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Beyond the Welcome Email: 10 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Today
Hey everyone! We’re taking a trip to the land of dinosaurs this week, and you’re invited! No, wait, that’s not right. It’s more like back to the future, maybe. No, that’s definitely not right. Whatever. What is beyond the welcome email? That is the question. Let’s just get to the point. Email marketing is NOT dead. Yea, you heard that right. Take it to the bank, friends. Check out the video or podcast above where the bees discuss the many options available for email marketing, and how and why it’s still very much alive and kicking. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s New? While email marketing is not new, what we can do with it is constantly changing, thanks to new innovations and new technology. Dynamic content is an awesome way to capture attention or even to encourage engagement, such as implementing gamification that rewards recipients for playing. Gifs, videos, and even interactive polls and surveys are great ways to engage your audience. Interactivity and personalization are 2 of the most popular trends right now, and with a unique and creative approach, you’ll be giving people a great reason to open your emails and engage with your brand. Here are some fun email stats from Hubspot to get you thinking: 86% of consumers would like to receive a promotional email from brands they subscribe to at least once per month. 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from lists because a brand was sending too many emails. Email subscribers are 3X more likely to share social content than others. For 86% of professionals, email is their preferred communication channel. Emails that are triggered by an action perform 3X better than nurture emails or drip campaigns. When it comes to customer acquisition, email is 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. What’s Working? When it comes down to it, if you think email marketing is dead, you’re most likely not doing it right. Email marketing has a high return on investment. On average, every $1 spent on email marketing delivers a $38 ROI. With more than 3.8 billion email users worldwide, it’s the most prominent marketing channel businesses use to connect with their audience. Studies show that 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. According to eMarketer’s 2019 report, 91% of internet users send emails, making it the most popular digital activity, even out-ranking search and video. If you’re neglecting this area of your marketing strategy, thinking email is outdated, you’re missing out on huge opportunities, plain and simple. So let’s take a look at what goes into an email campaign and how to make it work for you: Create the Strategic Roadmap First things first. Always start here. Set SMART goals and choose your tools. Decide what it is you want to achieve, and develop a strategy. Some common goals include: Improving engagement Driving traffic to your website Increasing your campaign’s open rate Nurturing subscribers Growing your email list Promote sales and outreach You’ll also want to decide on the tools you’re going to use, such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact – to name a few. Create an attention-grabbing subject line This is one of the most important elements of your email. The goal here is to use clear, actionable, enticing language that is personalized and aligned with the body of the email. For example, something like “Email Marketing is NOT Dead” is punchy and impactful, but what is it offering? Will the reader want to open the email to learn more? A subject line like “Beyond the Welcome Email: 10 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Today” gives the reader more insight into what the email is about and what they’ll get from it, thus giving them more incentive to open it. Fun fact: Subject-line emojis accounted for increased open rates for 56% of brands. Write like you’re writing to a friend How many emails do you get per day? How many are actually interesting, or enjoyable to read? I’m betting not that many. Businesses too often get caught up in a game of buzzword bingo, and their email comes off as robotic, lacking any real human qualities, sounding like a textbook template of corporate-speak that absolutely no one wants to read. Before you start writing, think about your audience – who they are, what they want, and what they like. This will help you craft the email into content that your audience is actually interested in and will find value in. Give your subscribers a reason to put their confidence in you by being real and human in your approach. Think of it as a conversation, and adjust your tone accordingly. Test different styles – A/B testing The last thing you want to do is send an email out and then forget about it. If you want to see results, you need to test and iterate. Test and iterate. Over and over. I can’t stress this enough. Here is a sample of some of the many design elements that you can test (Remember to test only one element at a time): Subject Line Preview Text Send From Address First Sentence Hook Copy Length Copy Language Hero Image CTA Copy CTA Offer CTA Colour CTA Function Email Format Time Of Send Day Of Send Device You also need to track, monitor, and collect data about your email campaign to measure its results accurately. You can improve your future campaigns by analyzing your data and finding what worked well and what didn’t resonate with subscribers. Some common KPIs to track to measure your email marketing success: Open rate – The number of subscribers who opened your email. Click-through rate – How many users clicked on a link in your email. Bounce rate – The number of users who clicked out of your email. Unsubscribe rate – The number of users who unsubscribed from your email list. Conversion rate – The number of users who open the email, click a link, and complete the intended action, such as downloading a piece of content or making a purchase. List growth rate – The rate at which people enter your email list. Email share rate – The number of people who forward your email. Sender score/reputation – The likeliness that an email provider will block your email, deliver it, or mark it as spam. Landing Page Views Landing Page Conversions Landing Page Conversion Rate Average Time on Landing Page Here are 4 real-world examples of different types of emails from our ever-resourceful bee, Courtney: Ecommerce, Flash Sale, Brick and Mortar Retail, and Long-Form Sales Pitch Ecommerce Flash Sale Brick and Mortar Retail Long-Form Sales Pitch As you can see, your options for customization can be quite varied. Always keep the recipients in mind when choosing which style works best for your brand and reaching your target audience. Optimize for mobile Research shows that more than half of all online traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices, and now that Google is switching to mobile-first indexing, it’s become increasingly important to ensure your emails are optimized for people when they’re on the go. This is the way the world is moving. You don’t want to risk missing out on huge opportunities, and even worse, looking bad if your email looks “broken” on mobile. All text and visual content should properly fit the screen and be easy to navigate. Use a clean, responsive template that works for mobile devices. Personalization This goes hand-in-hand with writing like you’re writing to a friend, but it goes beyond that. Customer expectation for a personalized experience with the brands they love has never been higher, and if you’re not personalizing your emails with one of the many tools available, you’re not going to stand out in the tsunami of emails flooding inboxes daily. According to Hubspot, personalized emails have 26% higher open rates, and an improved click-through rate of 14% when compared to others. You can also use website activity and purchase history to improve conversions and ROI. Data and analytic are invaluable when creating strategies for successful campaigns. Here are some more ways to personalize your emails: Add a first name field in your subject line and/or greeting. Include region-specific information when appropriate. Send content that is relevant to your lead’s lifecycle stage. Only send emails that pertain to the last engagement a lead has had with your brand. Write about relevant and/or personal events, like region-specific holidays or birthdays. End your emails with a personal signature from a human (not your company). Use a relevant CTA for an offer that the reader will find useful. Don’t send from a donotreply@ email address. Create a Landing Page Creating a landing page, or lead magnet is an excellent way to build your email list and gain new potential customers – this is simply something given away for free in exchange for an email address. Here are some examples of things you can give away for free: Ebook Whitepaper Infographic Report or Study Checklist Template Webinar or Course Tool Segment your list This is incredibly important and will help you connect with the leads who are most interested in your brand and likely to be converted. It’s also another great way to personalize your emails and make them more relevant for the recipients. People sign up for different reasons and have different needs. The ways you can segment your lists are only limited by the data you have, which is another reason why knowing your target audience is so important. You can segment your list in many ways, depending on the goals of your campaign. Here are some of
53 minutes | Jul 3, 2020
Turning Zero Click Google Searches Into Opportunities For Your Business
Hey everyone! This week we’re digging into the hot topic of Zero Click Google Searches. Google owns not only the largest search engine, but also the second-largest search engine (YouTube), the most-used operating system (Android) and the most-used browser (Chrome). So, how do you compete against a company that basically owns the internet? Check out the video or podcast above where Dan and the bees share some interesting insights to alleviate the frustration of trying to rank against Google and how you can actually use zero-click Google searches as opportunities for your business. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s new? Zero click searches have been a growing trend in recent years, and a topic of controversy for many small businesses trying to rank in search results. Why is that? Well… What is a Zero Click Search? Zero click searches are searches that result in no clicks from the search results page, due to Google supplying answers on the search results page itself in a Featured Snippet, removing the need to click through to a website or landing page to find what you are looking for. Let’s take a look at a common example, by searching for “how to make tea”: In this example, all of the steps to make tea have been laid out directly in a Featured Snippet, giving the user all the information they need without having to click through to the site at all. What is Position Zero? “Traditional” Organic Web Search results often have the “#1” ranking further down the page. Position Zero refers to the content that appears above the #1 ranking. What is “On-SERP SEO”? With Google moving to a zero-click reality and being very clear about their desire to continue indexing more and more structured data, On-SERP SEO is the process of optimizing your presence on the results page as much as possible. To give you an idea of how much impact zero-click searches have, according to the SparkToro report, last year 50.33% of all Google searches ended without a click on any paid or organic search results. Half of all Google searches. That’s huge. The number of zero-click searches has been increasing over the past few years, and will likely continue to do so. As more searches end without users clicking through to a page, businesses are left with fewer opportunities to engage with their audience. So, how does one compete in such a landscape? The good news is that zero clicks do not also mean zero opportunities. Let’s dig into how you can use zero-click searches as an opportunity for your business. What’s Working? Content and how we consume it is so fluid it can be difficult to navigate the best plan of action, or even figure out what works and what doesn’t. That’s why just sticking to the same old routine will not likely get you the results you’re looking for. You need to test and iterate, and you need to be as fluid as the changing tides. One word: Adapt. Rather than trying to fight the zero-click reality, you need to adapt. Can you compete directly with Google? Not likely, unless you’re Facebook. So stop trying. Google owns top-level content. There’s no way around that. So stop aiming for something you can’t achieve. Do something different. Offer something Google isn’t offering. Think of what users want and expect from web content. Are they looking for top-level snackable bits? No, Google is all over that. It’s just expected information at our fingertips at this point. You want to offer something deeply layered – it doesn’t matter if it’s data, analytics, or trends. It just needs to be more comprehensive than Google’s snippets, with real, unique value for users. Simply put, if you want the clicks, you need to create content that’s worth clicking for. If Google is offering “surface-level” content through snippets, then focus your efforts on a website offering in-depth content that offers the user something of substance. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em. Google is pushing traffic to its own sites, so optimize your content on Google platforms. This is really something you should be doing for your business, regardless of zero-click searches. It can truly make a world of difference. Make sure your company is set up on Google My Business and is optimized with as much information as possible, high-quality photos and videos so that you show up on Google Images and YouTube, and your location, or locations, so you also show up on Google Maps. Check out our in-depth guide for setting up GMB here. Optimizing for Google My Business Complete all of the extended Google My Business profile. Add your products and services. Connect an appointment booking platform (CRM) to enable appointments. Create a content schedule for your posts. Add images BUT understand that Google does not index images in Google Image Search when posted to Google My Business. You will want to properly optimize your images on your website to rank in Google Image Searches. Fill out the Q&A section to ensure your customers have easy access to information. Ensure your videos are on YouTube with detailed descriptions, tags, and meta-descriptions to take full advantage of keyword ranking. Optimize YouTube Update all titles and descriptions using your brand keywords intelligently. Update all video thumbnails. Update your YouTube profile details. Embed your YouTube videos throughout your website(s). Optimize your website using as many Structured Data Features as possible including Video features. Add a video sitemap.xml to your website. Upload consistently to your YouTube channel. Created focused, topical playlists. Add meta descriptions when you upload your videos. Here is an example of utilizing YouTube to improve search results for a professional brand. https://honeypotmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020-07-03_13-34-55.mp4 All of these options are harder to track than clicks, but it puts your business out there and makes it easier for you to be found by potential consumers, so it’s not something you should ignore just because you want to be able to track your clicks. Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets Optimize your website content to work with Featured snippets. I know I just said stop fighting for the top-level spot on the SERPs, but I didn’t mean throw in the towel – just adjust your strategy for better results. There are a couple of ways you can still gain that coveted top spot. Make lists. How to’s. In-depth analysis, industry knowledge, topics that connect to your brand, your mission and vision, of whatever it is your business specializes in. Structure them the way the snippets are displayed. Search Engine Land calculated the CTR on a page increased from 2% to 8% after it secured a featured snippet. Win Definitions & Explanations Broad queries like “digital marketing” are often hidden “what” queries, since people are ultimately searching for “what is digital marketing.” To double-check your intuition, check the existing Page 1 and note the dominant style of pages it features. Win the Image You might have noticed that the text and the image of the featured snippet are usually pulled from different websites. In order to make your image appear, add an image directly under your paragraph, list, or table. In order to win the image, use an image alt tag that is a variation of the headline you used to intro your featured snippet paragraph. Win Lists & Tables If the existing featured snippet displays a list (ordered or unordered), you will want to replicate this structure, too. List style posts and pages work well to win “how to” and “why” queries looking to find step-by-step guides. Tables are best for comparison queries. There are three types of zero-click searches Featured snippets Instant answers Knowledge graphs In order to rank for featured snippets, we will first identify high-potential opportunities and then create a step-by-step plan on how to update your relevant pages to win them. To find quality opportunities, just follow these three steps: Pull a ranking report for relevant keywords. Filter by those keywords that are currently ranking between positions 1 and 10. Filter by those keywords that are already displaying featured snippets. Tools such as Screaming Frog, ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz will all produce ranking reports displaying featured snippets. What’s left are your high potentials for winning the featured snippet. The 4 main forms of featured snippets include: Paragraph – Paragraph snippets appear when you search for queries with “how-to”, “who”, “why”, “what”, etc. That’s how they appear in the SERPs. Lists – Lists are further divided into two parts: numbered and bulleted. Numbered lists appear when users search for a step-by-step tutorial. The above “how to make tea” is an example of a numbered list. Table – Google features tables in the SERPs as well, but they are not as common as paragraphs and lists. 81.95% of Featured snippets are paragraphs, 10.77% are lists, and 7.28% are tables. Video – Videos also get featured in the snippets. They are featured entirely, or Google provides you with a suggested clip. Google also shares snippets where contents from one website and an image from another website are coupled together to provide more productive results. So even if you’re not chosen for the paragraph snippet, your photo could be chosen to be used with the snippet. This is why you want to make sure all your photos are relevant, high quality, and optimized with filenames and alt-text. Another form of snippets is Instant Answers. These are small
57 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Creative Digital Marketing Campaigns To Inspire Your Next Campaign
Hi everyone, we’ve got a fun topic for you this week! The bees have found 5 creative marketing campaigns from local businesses in Waterloo Region that are killing it, and we’re here to share them with you. I know, crazy, right? Top 5 lists! Woot. Ahem. Ok, so maybe I love lists. Don’t judge me. Check out the video or podcast above where Dan and the Bees discuss what these businesses are doing that’s so cool. They take a look at what’s working and even throw in some suggestions on how these awesome campaigns could possibly improve even more. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s New The big news in the world of marketing this week is all about Facebook. Many major advertisers are pulling away from Facebook to protest the social networking giant’s hands-off approach to misinformation and hate speech. Unilever and Verizon are among the many boycotting Facebook advertising as part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign organized by civil rights groups. Another interesting development this week worth mentioning is another new change coming from Google, who recently announced that they will now auto-delete your location history after 18 months. Previously, auto-delete had to be activated by the user. That will no longer be the case going forward. If users are confident that their data will automatically disappear they may be more inclined to opt-in to Location History, and that, of course, will directly benefit Google and its advertisers. * * * Now, let’s jump into that list of 5 creative marketing campaigns with an introduction to these awesome local businesses, and then we’ll take a deep dive into each one and see what out-of-the-box thinking they’ve come up with. All Things Tea Susan Parks and George Broughton founded All Thing Tea in 2006, driven by their passion for quality tea. With over 250 top quality loose leaf teas, as well as 40+ premium spices from around the world, take-out tea and exclusive tea-infused baked goods (including local tea-infused jellies), and a huge selection of medicinal herbs, they have established themselves as the premium place to get tea in the Waterloo Region. Four All Ice Cream Ajoa Mintah, Founder and Chief Ice Cream Maker, created Four All with the dream of making handcrafted ice cream using all-natural, locally-sourced ingredients to provide “Ice Cream For the People.” Four All Ice Cream is made with the best natural ingredients that are locally sourced. Everyone can experience a sweet treat, no matter one’s dietary choices or restrictions. Through their partnerships with local farmers, producers & other small-batch manufacturers, they’ve created fresh and seasonal flavours that support local and showcase the best of Kitchener-Waterloo region. Zero Waste Bulk The owners were on their own zero-waste journey, and once they understood how inconvenient it was to shop zero-waste, they decided there was a need for a one-stop zero-waste grocery store. They opened the first zero-waste bulk store in Waterloo Region, offering package-free bulk foods from locally made vendors and sustainable alternatives to everyday items. Dotsy’s Entertainment Co. Dotsy’s Entertainment Co. is an entertainment store located in St. Thomas, Ontario. The owner of the store is Dotsy, a clown. They specialize in children’s entertainment, such as birthday parties, containing face painting and other fun activities. Dotsy’s also has many party accessories for other celebrations like Graduation, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. Whenever you need to throw a party or are attending one, this is the place to go. Berry Hill Limited Since 1946, Berry Hill Limited has been serving customers through Mail Order and Retail Sales across Canada. From their roots as an incubator sales company to the present day, they have evolved into a well known source for many different and unique “Country Living Products.” Their mission: “To provide our customers the best service and value possible, to treat our customers like friends and neighbors and build long term relationships that will stand the test of time, just like the products we sell.” What’s Working So, what have these businesses been doing that’s so awesome? Let’s take a look at what they’ve been up to and break down all the good stuff. All Thing Tea They transitioned into a phone-order business complete with free home delivery, seven days a week, with a minimum $25 tea purchase to maintain business during the lockdown. Then, they partnered up with several other local businesses that they love, to offer their products as add-ons to the minimum $25 tea orders, or as part of themed kits. There are scones and macarons from The Sconery Chocolates from Ambrosia Corner Bakery Smile Tiger coffee Local honey, farm-fresh eggs Even novels from author Lori Wolf-Heffner. All Things Tea also partners with many local businesses, restaurants, and charities: Local, unpasteurized honey from beekeepers Tom and Julia at Bee Quest Honey Bean-to-bar chocolate from local chocolate-makers, Ambrosia Pastry Co. Locally, ethically-roasted coffee beans from Contrabean JLB (Janet Lynn’s Bistro) Casa Rugantino Berlin Bicycle Café Fork & Cork Grill KW Humane Society Stuffin Stockings Ride for Dad Nutrition for Learning Sanguen Health Centre Broughton’s daily deliveries are farmers’ market-meets-Amazon Prime. Why was it successful? The community loves to support local small businesses, and the spirit of cooperation and collaboration really resonated with the community. They embraced the idea that we’re all in this together and developed a new business model that supports helping out your neighbours. What are the opportunities? Their social media presence is not strong and could use some improvement. They’ve done a great job getting the word out to the community through other local businesses and the local newspaper, but their social media does not get much attention and could use more consistent branding and more focus on the promotion of the other businesses they are partnered with. More points of contact could also be helpful – currently only offering a phone number as the only point of contact. Could optimize GMB with a description. Stronger website, acting as a central hub for all their social media channels so that all channels are linked and easier to access. Solid, consistent branding. What’s the takeaway? Through innovation and a good understanding of the community and its consumers, All Things Tea was able to transition into a profitable business model that not only kept them open but also helped other local businesses survive and grow. * * * Four All Ice Cream Besides serving local ingredients, what makes Four All unique is that they have a holistic approach to their marketing efforts. They have indeed done their work in identifying what makes them unique and have supported this branding with a strong logo and brand guidelines. The diversity in which a customer can learn more and taste Four All Ice Cream is strong, with customers having the choice of online delivery, curbside pick up, purchasing at other local retails, catered events, or even at local community festivals. If that weren’t enough Four All would also donate ice cream for charity events. Their social media presence is strong on Instagram with a fun feed that is both engaging and pleasing to look at. All the images are well produced and formatted correctly. They truly understand how to use Instagram stories to connect with a broader audience, all while reinforcing the message “Ice Cream For The People.” They have also optimized their Facebook page by offering a quick way to purchase their product right at the top of the page. Reinforcing one’s purchase choice is the 5-star rating they have, which is also displayed right beside their product offerings. Four All has also utilized the power of Google My Business, making it easy for customers to see additional ratings, get directions, and also visit their eCommerce/Shopify website. Last but not least, they also have a presence on Twitter, which they have kept active and have used creative hashtags like #TacoTuesday to reach a wider audience with the taco ice cream. Why was it successful? Four All Ice Cream’s marketing works because they have taken the time to understand how they could level up the brick and mortar store and reach a larger audience by utilizing a strong eCommerce and social media strategy. They understand that all strong brands have a recognizable logo and design; they make it was for customers can taste and experience Four All Ice Cream. They even level up their game by being active in the community and offering swag to brand advocates. What are the opportunities? As strong as Four All Ice Cream marketing strategy is, there are some areas of opportunity they may want to consider. They have a GMB account, but there is no phone number linked to the account or hours of operation. Adding these may be to their advantage since they have limited storefront hours available to customers. While there have been some trending food bloggers that have done a spotlight on Four All Ice Cream, they may want to consider adding a YouTube channel, where they could produce content that would further reinforce the value add of Four All. Perhaps sharing of recipes, some of which they already do on Facebook? Pinterest may also be another channel they would like to leverage. With many brands offering different ways to make delicious
49 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Five Foundations of a Successful Digital Marketing Plan
This week we’ll be looking at the foundations of a successful digital marketing plan, and five fundamental Digital Marketing programs you need to be successful and grow your business online: Customer Reviews Citation Listings Google Ads Facebook & Instagram Ads Social Media Content Creation & Publishing Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. What’s New? With so many changes happening in 2020, and the sudden need to shift to digital, we figured now would be a great time to put together a guide for small businesses to get set up online and so they can start leveraging the many benefits of advertising on social media. A website is always a smart place to start, but there’s so much more you can do for your company online beyond just slapping a website together and leaving it to get lost in the mountains of content fighting for the same attention. It may sound intimidating, but don’t give up and run to the hills just yet. We have good news. It’s not as hard as it may seem, and we’re going to show you how to get started with strategies that work for small businesses and large corporate companies alike. Let’s get started. What’s Working? As mentioned above, we’re going to take a look at the five fundamental Digital Marketing programs you need to be successful and grow your business online. So, let’s break them down one by one. Customer Reviews One of the best ways to connect with your audience is through customer reviews. Word of mouth is almost always more effective and powerful than any form of traditional advertising. Most of us generally look for reviews before making a purchase and quite often base our buying decision on those reviews left by previous customers. Reviews offer social confirmation from customers that have used the product or service, help new customers learn more about the product they are buying, reduce the possibility of making a bad purchase, and give customers a better sense of the product’s benefits and limitations. With the rising global trends in e-commerce and social media, it’s more important than ever to be considering online reviews as a marketing tool. Thanks to social media, blogs, and free online customer review sites like Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, Google, and Yellow Pages, consumers can share their opinions about your brand, product or service quickly and easily. Here are some interesting statistics to consider about reviews: 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business. 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Visitors to a product page that have read reviews convert at a 58% higher rate. So, how do you get online reviews, you might be asking? Ask for them – This might seem too simple because it really is. People love to share their opinion on social media, and getting them to be an ambassador for your brand is generally as simple as just asking them. Make it as easy as possible for people to leave reviews – Social media and review sites are a great way to get started, so make sure your business is set up on all major platforms, including Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn Recommendations, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, and more. The more access people have to your business listings, the more likely you are to get reviews. Use your website – This is another simple yet incredibly effective method. People who are interested in your product or service are all but guaranteed to visit your website, so make use of customer testimonials, comments, and stories – and keep them front and center so that potential consumers don’t have to search for them. Positive reviews can be the tipping point for someone already interested in doing business with you. Ask in your emails – If email marketing is part of your strategy, you can send a follow-up email to thank customers for their business and ask for a review, or provide a link to leave a review on your site, or 3rd party sites. Use incentives for leaving reviews – Everyone likes to feel that their time and effort is valuable. Offering a discount, coupon, or gift card for future purchases not only shows your appreciation for their time and effort, but it also encourages repeat sales. Citation Listings A local citation is essentially any mention of your business on the internet. It can be any combination of your company name, phone number, address, or website. This Google My Business listing is an example of a local citation. For example, these are the core components of a local citation: Company name. Company name and phone number Company name, phone number, and address Company name, phone number, address, and website Company name, and website Company phone number Company website You can also add more information, such as: Business categories Hours of operation Driving directions Business description Images Videos Payment forms accepted Geo-coordinates Reviews Owner responses Taglines Links to social and other forms of media Email addresses Fax numbers Alternate phone numbers Attributes Citations in SEO are an integral part of improving your local search results, and quite often get overlooked by many businesses. Your local rankings will improve the more your business is mentioned online, so it’s definitely not something you want to ignore. If you’d like a walkthrough on getting your company set up with Google My Business, check out our handy in-depth guide here. A complete local citation should include your company name, address, and phone number. A citation that doesn’t include all 3 of these is considered a partial citation. Ultimately, you want to keep all your citation listings consistent and add as much detail as possible. A citation doesn’t need to link back to your website. The value of a citation is simply the mention of your business. However, citations that include links are still the best way to go. There are 2 different types of citations: Structured Citations – This is your business information on any business listing directory, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Facebook, etc. Unstructured Citations – This is your business information on any other site that’s not specifically a business listing directory, such as blogs, magazines, wikis, etc. When choosing the right citation sources for your business, try narrowing your search to your city, or industry, or even look at your competitors to see what’s working, or not working for them. A great way to ensure that your citations are consistent across all platforms is to use citation management software and automate the process. Google Ads Google is by far the most used search engine on the internet, dominating the global search engine market with a 72% share of users. It’s where most of us go when we’re searching for something online, whether it’s something to do, somewhere to go, or something to buy. This makes Google Ads a great option for driving qualified traffic to your business while they’re searching for products or services similar to the ones your business offers. Your business will show up on the search engine results page (SERP) when people are looking for products or services like yours in Google search and Google Maps. No matter the size or industry of your business, you can tailor your ads to fit your strategy and budget. With an extensive list of options, from text-based ads in search results, Google Maps ads, YouTube video ads, and more, it’s easy to set up a campaign that’s right for you. Here is an example of text-based search ads and display ads when searching for a Father’s Day gift. Let’s take a look at some statistics to get an overview of how well Google Ads actually works: Google Ads have a click-through rate of nearly 8% Display ads yield 180 million impressions each month For users who are ready to buy, paid ads on Google get 65% of the clicks 43% of customers buy something they’ve seen on a YouTube ad Google receives 3.5 billion search queries a day According to Google, advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads There are 3 main types of ads you can choose from: Search Ads, Display Ads, and Video Ads. Search Ads are text ads that are displayed on the Google search results page. Responsive Search Ads give you the option to enter multiple versions of headlines and ad copy, and Google will auto-test them and select the ones that perform the best to show. Display Ads can show on the right panel of Google searches, or on 3rd party websites that are relevant to your ad. Video Ads are displayed before or after, and sometimes in the middle of YouTube videos. Keywords can also be used to get your ad in front of the right videos. Beyond the ad types, there is the bidding system that allows you to select the maximum amount you’re willing to pay. The higher your bid, the better your placement. You have 3 options for bidding: PPC (Pay Per Click) and pay only when someone clicks on your ad. CPM (Cost Per Mille) where you pay for every 1,000 impressions. CPE (Cost Per Engagement) which is the amount you pay when someone takes a pre-determined action with your ad. Keywords are also just as important for paid ads as they are for organic searches. The closer you match to search intents, the higher you will rank on the page. So make sure to research relevant keywords before crafting your headlines and ad copy to ensure you rank as high as possible. Ad extensions are also a great feature, and since they’re free, you should probably us
49 minutes | Jun 15, 2020
How to Build a B2B Customer Journey
Let’s take a look at how to build a B2B customer journey from awareness to purchase. Understanding this process is the key to building successful relationships. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your choice of platforms. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in the world of digital marketing and join in on the conversation. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how to find success in B2B marketing. However, one thing that always matters is the customer experience – which has been largely ignored in the B2B space compared to B2C marketing. Today’s consumers have more control over how they interact with your brand. There are more touchpoints, more complexities, and so many more options than ever before. We consume information differently; we’re plugged in, busier, and have high expectations – and we don’t want to be sold to before we’re ready to buy. That’s why the customer journey is so crucial to understanding how to build your marketing strategy around the customer experience. What’s New? 2020 has started with a weird bang. Businesses have been left wondering how to move forward, and amidst all these sudden changes come new trends and tactics to align with the culture of the times. Our busy bees have been scouring the internet for the buzz on B2B customer journeys in 2020. We’ve found some gems to share with you: How to Own the B2B Customer Journey in 2020 – A good read from VentureHarbour with insights on lead generation, lead nurturing, and B2B customer retention in 2020. How to Adapt B2B Digital Marketing to the Buyer Journey in 2020 – An interesting article with some eye-opening statistics on understanding the B2B customer journey. Learn how to apply that knowledge to your digital marketing campaigns for success in any economic climate. Perfecting your B2B CX strategy in 2020 – 57% of B2B marketers listed ‘understanding the target audience’ as their most pressing challenge. This article offers 3 ways B2B marketers can build better customer experiences in 2020. The B2B Customer Journey; High-Ticket Lead Generation Strategy in 2020 – Settle into a comfy chair for this one – it’s an extensive overview of the B2B customer journey in 2020. Covered in 6 stages – from finding leads to building trust, to closing the sale. What’s Working? Compared to B2C, the B2B customer experience tends to fall to the wayside. Perhaps this is because marketers are trying to market to a brand, rather than an actual human being. This leaves their efforts ignored or passed over by the people behind the brand they’re trying to reach. Things are changing in 2020, as the customer experience rises to the forefront of B2B marketing campaigns. Competition is fierce and reaching your target audience requires humanizing strategies to build lasting relationships. The best way to understand your customer is to understand the stages of the customer journey, so let’s take a look at that. Below is a chart that details the activation funnel of a B2B LinkedIn campaign with lead score tracking to segment your leads. As you can see from the illustration above, it’s incredibly useful to segment your audience. This filtration system allows for more qualified leads, and that, of course, leads to more sales activations. By applying a lead score at each stage, you’re able to see what is catching the audience’s attention, and where you’re losing them. You can take this data and apply it to the next campaign or the next stage. The result is better, more qualified leads – and just as importantly, less time spent trying to nurture cold, disinterested leads that go nowhere. Most importantly, it allows the customer to work through their buying journey and come to their buying decision after earning their trust and giving them confidence in their purchase. Flywheel marketing is the new way to go, with the customer at the center of the process. Too often, the lead’s contact information is sent to the sales team on the first point of contact and generally ends with no answer and a lost sale. Your B2B lead nurturing strategy should look something like this: Lead qualification – it’s important to choose only the leads that are worth it so that you’re not wasting resources on leads that aren’t invested. Lead scoring – allows you to prioritize and focus on the most valuable leads. The scores will change as you progress through the customer journey. Lead segmentation – create groups based on shared interests so that you can target them with relevant ads. List mapping – assign your segmented lists to specific stages of the customer journey so you can put together campaigns to help move the prospect onto the next stages of the buying process. Campaign delivery – choose the channels and targeting that will be most effective in delivering your campaign at the right stages of the customer journey. So, let’s break down the customer journey by taking a look at a simplified, linear example of how the buying process unfolds: The interesting thing to note here is that more than half of the customer journey shown above happens before the buyer even starts making contact with prospective companies. It’s also important to remember that a customer buying journey is almost never actually this linear. However, this can help B2B marketers understand the process more clearly and adjust their communication to fit into the right place in the buyer’s journey. You don’t want to push away potential leads with aggressive sales pitches before they’re ready to make a decision. A solid understanding of the customer journey can make marketing budgets much more effective, saving your company both time and money. We’ve compiled a list of articles that further delve into different methods and approaches to the B2B customer journey and how to improve overall customer experience to help build and maintain relationships. How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map [Examples + Template] – An excellent resource that walks you through the steps of how to build a customer journey map. 14 Visualizations Mapping The B2B Buyer Journey – This article takes you through the basics of a B2B customer journey, with a variety of visual examples. The new B2B customer journey: Winning the moments that matter – A quick read on the importance of leveraging data and analytic insights, considering the B2B customer’s entire buying journey, and the necessity for clear and connected internal communication across all teams. B2B Customer Journey Mapping — Start with these 5 steps – Another easy read that asks 5 important questions to get you started in the right direction with your B2B customer journey map. Building the Best B2B Customer Experience – A thorough and insightful exploration of the customer experience and how to tie it into the B2B customer journey effectively. 5 Tactics for Creating Better B2B Customer Experiences [and more sales] – A short but excellent read with some unique insights on how to improve B2B customer experiences, such as serving instead of selling during the buying process, connecting offline and online, and the importance of thought leadership. Finally, here is an incredibly handy PDF report from Hubspot with tons of enlightening stats on B2B marketing in 2019: 2019 B2B MARKETING MIX REPORT
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