Author Archives: Mike Gingerich

About Mike Gingerich

Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite . Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact. Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.

How to Use Coupons and Discounts to Boost Your Email List

How to Use Coupons and Discounts to Boost Your Email List - 315Compare the carefully crafted email you wrote to your subscribers to a heartfelt love letter sent to your beloved.  You most likely can’t wait for your subscribers to open that email.  However, that email often ends up in the trash or it gradually floats out of sight to the bottom of their inbox.

Eventually, your brand (and reach) starts fading. Stop the inbox to trash life cycle by adding discounts and coupons to your email marketing strategy.

Consider the following headlines:

  • “It’s Springtime, so order our services and enjoy this great weather in style.”
  • “This Spring, take advantage of our 25% off deal and be prepared for Summer.”

Which one has the most appeal?  Of course, it’s the second headline. The first one reads almost as though you are ordering your customer to buy your services. However, the second is more suggestive, giving the customer the feeling of choice and power. It demonstrates your brand’s willingness to provide services with value.

Think like a customer. Would you rather read an email that gives you an offer?  Or do you want to be dictated to? Keep that in mind and get creative on how you incorporate coupons and discounts in your emails.

Using coupons in your email marketing

Seasonal Offers

Seasons and holidays are a prime time to add offers to your marketing schedule. Brainstorm how users can utilize your services seasonally or during cultural events.

Repeat Business

Keep customers coming back by offering a “thank you” coupon 1 to 3 months after their first purchase. By sweetening the pot with a discount, your customers more likely to return.

Coupons and Social Media

Offer a progressive discount when customers take action on social media while using a coupon. If a customer would have received 10% with a coupon, they would receive 15% off for being a Facebook fan and 20% off for sharing posts while being a fan.

Keep it Up

While email marketing is a proven method of capturing customer loyalty, your subscribers can disappear if you aren’t consistent. Your email marketing should keep and grow our list.

Drive Sign-Ups

Use coupons and exclusive discounts in conjunction with your website and social channels. Seed your email list with coupons to keep your audience engaged after signing up.

Convey value over deals. Coupons should not be the end all be all of your marketing. Create engaging and informative content that is relevant to your brand.

Offer Coupons with Waftio!

Waftio makes it easy to offer coupons to your audience. With Waftio, you can create a simple form for your site visitors to fill out. Once they’ve completed it, they get their discount code or printable coupon and you add another lead to the list.

Waftio can be integrated with marketing tools like MailChimp and Aweber to automatically add visitors to your list.

Do you use coupons for email marketing?

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What is a Website Call to Action?

The question, “What is a website call to action?“, is a frequent question I get.

Beyond the need to know what it is, online marketers need to be using a call to action regularly and effectively on their websites!  It’s often one of THE most overlooked lead capture and digital marketing components out there.

A call to action is literally a specific tool to get the visitor to a specific action you desire on your site.  Is your business using call to actions effectively on your website?  Let’s look into the “what”, “how”, and “why” of call to actions for your website.  This little piece has tremendous value!

Ready to dive in?

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Video version of What is a Website Call to Action

What is a Website Call to Action?

I’m glad you asked!  The “what” is the starting point.  A website call to action is a tool (image linked, widget, form or pop-up form) with the specific goal to move (or call) the website visitor to take a specific action that you want them to take on the site.  Typically this is a means to do the following:

  1.  Keep them on the site
  2.  Move them into your lead funnel
  3.  Obtain their email address to use in further marketing

The “Why” of a Website Call to Action

The call to action is a needed digital marketing funnel action to move a visitor into the funnel, and to move them from “unknown” to a “known” based on having a email address.

In my book, Game Plan for Social Media Lead GenerationI showcase the digital funnel.  It’s in the “lead capture” area where you Call to Action takes place.  In the Capture area you have reached ideal potential customers and now directed them to your website and this is where the CTA needs to kick in and work for you!  See Digital Marketing Funnel image below…

The funnel is a strategy of reaching the right audience, engaging that audience, and then bringing that audience to your website.  Once on your sight it’s critical that the website Call to Action do it’s job as noted of moving the user to take action.

Additional values of a Website Call to Action

Other benefits a call-to-action helps with are building trust, adding value, and offering related resources….it’s a next step and a way of further connecting with the visitor so that when they are ready to purchase, you are top-of-mind!

  • Can Build Trust (by taking to additional value-adding resources)
  • Helps visitor in their research
  • Introduces next step content

Blogging is central to the Digital Marketing Funnel strategy as you are producing valuable resource-rich content on your website that you can share on social media and integrate with CTA’s.  As you use the blog to market your products and services, it’s crucial to include a CTA (call to action) within each post.

Without a CTA to motivate your readers into taking the action you want them to take, your readers won’t take any action at all. It’s simply information on the web they see and then leave.  You need to guide your readers to take the action you desire!

Help others learn about website Call to Action…

Here’s what a Call to Action can do for your website:

Increase Web Time on Site

The more pages a visitor goes to on your site, the more they increase time spent, and the more opportunity you have to build trust and rapport.  With statistics showing that up to 70% of web visitors don’t come back to a website, you’ve got to capture them and give them some great info that first time!

Get the Reader to Read More Content

One of the best ways to convert traffic is with quality content that makes the reader stay on your website. Adding a call to action of related articles to your blog posts will invite readers to read your other posts. All you have to do is link to the related topics using keywords. For instance, the keyword “online marketing” can be linked to other articles on social media marketing, website marketing or email marketing within the blog post.

A simple and clear way to do this is with a titled area “Related Content” and then have a bulleted list with keyword titles linking to other articles on your blog or website.

Grow Leads

Email marketing is a powerful strategy to generate sales. Use a call to action to get your website readers added to a email nurture list.  One of the best ways to tempt people to subscribe is by giving discounts or access to premium content in exchange for them signing up. For example, if your blog post focuses on photography, you could offer a free eBook with tips about photography to readers who provide their email address.

The “How” of a Website Call to Action

The call to action should be action-oriented!

It should be brief, concise, clear, and easy to locate. Readers should be forced to see it, but it shouldn’t be so large that it diverts attention from the main content. It should also not ask for lots of information.  Keep it simple, like name and email address to access a ebook.  Try different call-to-actions including sidebar CTA’s, in-page call-to-actions, and pop-up CTA’s.

Example of a website call to action pop-up

Value adding resource Call to Action pop-up using Waftio.com

So, what are you waiting for?  Go look at your website and your last blog post.

How is the call to action integrated on that page?  Take a look at my site here, how many CTA’s do you see?  I use waftio for the main pop-up and I also have the call-out at the end of the post.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources: Keys to Online Success


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Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

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Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?

Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

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Hazel by Noodlesoft – Dashboard Cleaner and Automation Review

Hazel by Noodlesoft - Dashboard Cleaner and Automation ReviewFile maintenance on your computer can be a pain. Dragging and dropping, copying and pasting, organizing files, re-organizing, setting up hierarchies, and creating folders can take up time. Of course, not taking the time to organize can lead to even bigger headaches.

Cluttered computers make finding rogue files through search or Spotlight challenging. Can you really afford to waste so much time sorting or even losing important files? What if there was a tool that would take care of the clutter automatically on your computer? Look no further than Noodlesoft’s Hazel for the Mac.

Hazel and Your Business

Hazel gives you the ability to increase your business’s productivity simply by freeing up your time. It automates the tedious file management tasks of the everyday and allows you to focus on the more pressing business matters.

Think of Hazel as your Mac’s personal housekeeper slash administrative assistant. It cleans out your trash and organizes your files while following the rules you’ve laid out for it.

Hazel by Noodlesoft - Dashboard Cleaner and Automation Review

Hazel helps you achieve a self-organizing computer by:

  • Performing assigned tasks – Once you set the rules, files are organized automatically.
  • Automatically organizing files based on attributes – Based on the attributes (type, name, and date) you have chosen, Hazel will tag, rename and upload files.
  • Deleting duplicate and trash files and applications – When you are ready to delete an application, Hazel’s app sweep searches for any lingering support files to get rid of as well.
  • Matching patterns – When Hazel finds a consistent pattern in file names, it will process your file based on the rules you set up.

Using Hazel

It is easy to get started with Hazel even without being an advanced user. Right after installing it, you are able to set up the rules you want Hazel to follow.  Clicking the + button on the Rules editor allows you to add rules. For example, folders that are older than a  certain number of days old can be sent to your trash folder or deleted automatically.

By placing your documents into the Incoming Scans folder, you can begin to tell Hazel how you want your files organized. For example, you can have Hazel scan the contents of a file. If the file meets certain criteria (certain words or numbers), Hazel will rename the file, add the appropriate extension, and sort it into the correct folder. Documents that don’t match any existing criteria will be left in Incoming scans to be dealt with manually.

Hazel by Noodlesoft - Dashboard Cleaner and Automation Review

Hazel also gives you the ability to manipulate files. Bills, receipts, videos…..Hazel can handle any type of file. You can have word documents converted to PDFs or mp4s converted to AVIs automatically.

Hazel has many, many options available to both casual and advanced users. However you choose to use it, Hazel can be an invaluable tool for file automation. Set your rules, let it run and spend your extra time on the things that matter.

Magnet Marketer: Tools to Help You Delight Your Customers

Tools to Help you Delight your Customers

Today’s consumers expect more than standard customer service. They have a lot of choices and your competitors waiting right around the corner. Want to go one step further and delight your customers? Use these tools for the edge you need.

Sugarwish

4 Tools to Help you Delight your Customers sugarwish

Let your customers know that you’re thinking about them by sending a personalized sweet gift! Your customer gets a link to an online candy store, and they can pick out their favorites. A few days later, they get to enjoy their favorite candy, courtesy of you! New customers are impressed right off the bat, and these make a perfect current customer birthday gifts.

Send Out Cards

Emails are great, but they often get lost among the hundreds of other messages in the customer’s inbox. Stand out by putting yourself in their snail mailbox with Send Out Cards. You personalize the cards with unique messages, and they’re great for holidays and other significant events.

Enthusem

Want to send a physical card to your customers but tie it back into the digital experience? Much like Send Out Cards, Enthusem gives you the space to personalize the messaging on the cards, but you also include a special link to a video. You loop this offline experience back into the online world, which creates an excellent foundation for an integrated marketing campaign. You can use this service for pretty much any customer outreach, from thanking them for a recent purchase to sending a “just because” card.

BombBomb

4 Tools to Help you Delight your Customers bomb bomb

Video content attracts a lot of attention and engagement from viewers, so make sure to incorporate it into your customer relationship building strategy. BombBomb sends a personalized video to their email address, so you have a great chance to have them watch your video. Once they open the email and watch the video, you get a notification to track your engagement rates.

Your clients and customers want to know that they represent more than just dollar signs. By using these methods to exceed expectations, delight your customers and build your relationship, you show them exactly how you think of them. That goes a long way to keeping them around as loyal clients and getting word of mouth recommendations coming through your door.

Tell us how you delighted your customers below!

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Facebook Adds Automated Video Captioning Tools to Pages

Facebook Adds Automated Video Captioning Tools to Pages - 315You have the perfect video content for your audience, but your Facebook Insights show low engagement and views.

Not sure what the problem is? Your answer might come from where and how your followers check out your content.

People check Facebook throughout the day, including while they’re at work. In fact, they are spending over 40 minutes a day on the platform, far more than on any other social media network. They don’t want the boss to know they’re on their work device going through social media, so they use their mobile phone.  When on Facebook, the videos auto-play in the news feed, but they do so SILENTLY. Without subtitles, people can’t check out the video in detail or understand what’s going on.

Now, however, that issue is over! Facebook has added an automated video captioning that tool gives your videos a simple way to gain more viewership and consumption.

What is Facebook Auto-Captioning?

Auto caption for Facebook videos

Facebook videos have always supported manual captioning, but that requires a significant time and resource investment, as well as some technological skill. Facebook wants people to understand and engage with video content, so they created the auto-captioning feature to add context for the people who watch videos without the sound on, and they made it dead simple for the average person to use.

How Facebook Auto-Captioning Works

When you upload your video to your Facebook page, it goes through an automated process that attempts to accurately transcribe the video.

While auto-captioning is very effective, it doesn’t always get everything right on the first try. So Facebook gives you a simple way to edit, line by line, the transcription of the video. Generally, Facebook does a solid job transcribing and it can be from 75-95% correct from the start!

Why Businesses Need to Use Facebook Auto-Captioning

facebook auto captioning

Just an FYI … If you embed a Facebook video into your website the captions do not show up.

You’re losing out on a large portion of your audience if you rely entirely on sound to convey your message. Many people on Facebook browse without their sound, and you also have an entire audience of deaf and hard of hearing viewers that can’t hear the video.

Captioning your videos gives you a better reach, viewers can watch your content anywhere, anytime. Manually adding subtitles to your videos may not have been cost efficient. But with the automated process, there’s no reason not to get captions.

People also engage more with these videos. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a crowded location or where the sound is difficult to hear. Your audience lingers on the video in their feed, improving your brand awareness and encouraging engagement.

Adding subtitles to on your Facebook page videos will give them a larger audience and more engagement!

How to Succeed Online – 4 Keys for Online Marketing Success

How can your business have online marketing success?

What does it take? What are the key online marketing foundations?

These are questions I was recently asked, and I decided to answer in this podcast with a look at the 4 key foundations I believe are absolutely essential to online marketing success.

Is your business doing well in the 4 areas I note below?  They are essential and cover your website, social media, email marketing and more.  Let’s walk through the 4 in detail!

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

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How to succeed online – 4 Keys to Online Marketing Success

To succeed in marketing your business online today, you really need to be strong in these 4 fundamentals.  Each plays a part, and the sum together makes a cohesive strategy.  The 4 keys are:

  1. Content
  2. Social Media
  3. List Building / Lead Capture
  4. Partnering / Networking

Video Version of the 4 Keys to Online Marketing Success

Content

By content, we mean a blog resource center with great articles.

The starting point of success online is quality, regular content on your business website/blog. This is the “home base” for any company and one which needs to be carefully crafted and meticulously maintained. It is the source for quality information to share on social media. It’s the “footprint” that can be searched and discovered online.  Let me say that another way…good content on your website helps both SEO and Social Media.

SEO value comes from having keyword rich, resource blog post articles that answer questions, build trust and offer value.  These posts can then be found by those searching the web, and they serve as great material to share on social media.  This is not product specific, but more about the application of and resource material.  The “how to’s” are great.

Content needs to be generated at least weekly if not more to build a footprint out on the web.

Social Media

For social media, it’s imperative online to amplify your quality website content, you have to be fluent and fluid in social media sharing, engagement, and conversation. Knowing the difference between being a bullhorn and being a magnet (see www.magnetmarketers.com) is key. Social media really needs to flow as a relationship building tool, one where the end goal is to help and add value to others.

With average users spending 40 minutes on Facebook a day cumulative, it and other social media networks are where the people are spending time!  You want to reach them and connect?  Go there!

50% of your social media efforts are simply to attract the right type of person to you (the ideal customer persona) and to engage with them.  30% of your social media efforts are to drive them to a specific lead capture on your website via social (more on that below), and 20% is direct sales offer.  Largely Social Media isn’t a direct sales channel!  It’s a discovery and connecting tool that can be ultimately used to move people to your website.

List Building / Lead Nurture

The last 2 keys, list building, and networking flow from a solid web content foundation and are key business strategy tools.

First, list building and lead nurture.  For lists, we mean email lists.  Getting their name and email is moving from a fan to a lead you can nurture.  A solid lead nurture list for email marketing is critical for online success.

This is best done on your website.  Soft offers of value (ebooks, videos, coupons) that give a value-adding resource are the way to grow leads.  I recommend adding our Waftio lead capture tools to your site as pop-ups and active widgets work best to capture the attention of your visitor. Simply ask for name and email and offer the resource while getting permission to add them to your list.

Then nurture that contact and build trust through regular, resource-rich emails over a multi-week time period, ending with a sales offer.

Partnering / Networking

Networking online to build relationships and partnerships that can benefit both parties is the quickest and strongest way to really ramp up online once you have your foundation in place. Find near-product/service partners you can do joint ventures with.  Share their content, and have them share yours!

So, in my opinion, you’ve got to look at 4 keys…..Active social media presence, great content on your website, list building lead capture tool for email addresses and peer networking to build momentum and partnerships. It’s possible! Go for it!

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources: Keys to Online Success


Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?

Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

web and social media marketing checklist planner

Review of Fiverr.com

Review of Fiverr.com - 315If you’ve done any sort of online marketing at all, chances are, you’ve heard of Fiverr.com in some way. Whether it’s a good (or bad) review or using the platform yourself. You may wonder whether the platform is legitimate, or a scam that is too cheap for quality work. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Fiverr.com?

Fiverr.com is an online platform that connects buyers of digital services, with people willing to do them. Services used to all cost $5 (hence the name), but that’s now been changed to include higher priced services.

How Does It Work?

For users of the service, you simply create an account and link a payment method. Browse available services or create a special request. Choose a service provider, pay, and wait for your service to be delivered in the timeline outlined.

What Are the Benefits of Using Fiverr?

  • It’s quick and easy to get started.
  • Most services are delivered within a day or two of purchase, so there aren’t any long waits.
  • You can get quality services at very low prices.
  • There’s a huge range of options that will solve most marketing problems.
  • You can create custom requests and get “bids” from interested service providers.

What Are the Drawbacks to Using Fiverr?

As with anything, there are also a few pitfalls you should look out for on Fiverr:

  • Remember that even if you get a refund for a service you weren’t happy with, it won’t go back into your bank account. It will go into your Fiverr wallet, which forces you to keep purchasing services on the platform.
  • If a service provider cancels a service, you won’t be able to give them a review. This can be frustrating!
  • Remember that you often get what you pay for; exercise caution when looking for services on Fiverr.com. A good example would be the article writing services. Sure, it’s cheap, but 5 bucks usually doesn’t buy a quality blog article, and you might end up with something you can’t use.

Conclusion

I’ve used Fiverr with a mixture of results, some good, some not so good.

Infographics

The infographics I’ve gotten have been both wonderful and horrible. You definitely need to do so due diligence to find the provider that understands your style. I gave them a link to my website to check out to see what I had posted in the past. Also, I gave them tight requirements for font, colors, layouts and images. What I learned is that I also have to specify how wide the infographic needs to be.

It took a couple of tries to find an infographic artist I was happy with and even then I’m now using Visme for my infographics. Also, the price for an infographic is a lot more than $5. Most people charge by the number of points in your image.

Fillable PDF forms and PDF formatting

This is the service that I love on Fiverr. I’ve found a brilliant provider that is a wiz with PDF forms.  CEBooker is very professional, does multiple revisions if necessary, (I’ve only ever needed 1 revision) and makes complicated PDF’s clickable and fill-in-able. Instead of buying Adobe PDF maker, I create a Word Doc, send it to CEBooker and in a day or 2 I have a beautiful, usable PDF. He’s not $5, but he’s well worth the cost.

Transcription

Again Fiverr shines here. I’ve found a couple of great providers. The cost is well over $5 but the transcripts are virtually word for word. I do read them over and correct grammar. Reading the spoken word can sometimes be confusing, so I make sure they’re understandable when read. This has to do more with the speaker and not the transcriber. AnnPhillPotts https://www.fiverr.com/annphillpotts and TransExpert https://www.fiverr.com/transexpert are my go to transcriptionists. They have both done a wonderful job for me and I switch back and forth as their workload necessitates.

A long time ago, I ordered a logo that was so hideous that I couldn’t even stand looking at it. It was $5.

I’ve ordered a couple of pencil and ink drawings that I’ve used for blog post title images that were wonderful. And they were $5. Probably someone scribbled something quickly while watching TV and it turned out perfect.

Like any service, there are pros and cons to using Fiverr.com, and you do need to be selective and cautious about what you purchase on the platform.

On the other hand, if you have limited time and a small budget, it’s a treasure trove of great services, that can help you to build up a quality marketing portfolio quickly and easily.

Choose wisely, and this may well be the best 5 bucks you ever spend.

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Magnet Marketners: 9 Trends for Social Media in 2017

Magnet Marketners: 9 Trends for Social Media in 2017

It’s the start of a new year once again, so we have another crop of predictions for social media. Will there be big changes? Find out in this fearless forecast:

Automatic Messaging

For faster response times, chatbots will provide real-time answers to FAQs. The need for responses from humans will be saved for more complicated inquiries. Facebook is already at the helm of this technology when they included automatic responses in their Messenger app.

Better Personalization

With technology getting more precise, expect to get more personalized content in 2017. Your location, browsing habits, search history, and all other influencing factors will all play a role in the delivery of content you’ll find interesting.

Disappearing Content

Snapchat started the trend of offering content that expires after a certain time period (usually 24 hours), and Instagram and Facebook followed suit. Expect more users of this content delivery method in 2017. After all, it’s perfect for time-sensitive announcements and sneak peeks.

Live Videos

Both individuals and businesses alike have embraced live videos in 2016, and that will carry over to this year. From fun clips of parties to controversial shots of current events, live videos prove to be a powerful way of capturing things as they happen.

Micro-Influencer Marketing

In 2017, minor celebrities like bloggers and social media stars will be favored by brands in an effort to reach more people. They’re a step up from an average consumer, but they’re more accessible and relatable than big Hollywood names. The use of these so-called micro-influencers works because they’re effective for word-of-mouth marketing.

Mobile First

More people use smartphones, so it’s no surprise that the mobile platform is given importance over desktop. In fact, Google is already working on a  mobile-first web index to give mobile-friendly sites more leverage. Thus, it’s time for websites to be mobile-friendly if they don’t want to be left behind in search engine results.

Quality Content

Bye, fluff and filler content. Before frequency of posts was seen as more effective so there was a proliferation of short pieces. But now, longer posts, better videos, and richer whitepapers are deemed more relevant and substantial both by search engines and real people.

Response Time

Facebook now lists the responsiveness of a business on its page, so people will know whether or not they can expect an answer within the timeframe they want. This pushes businesses to reply as soon as they can if they don’t want potential customers to look for someone who can give what they want sooner. But how fast is fast? Half an hour is the usual expectation.

Virtual Reality

It’s no longer just the stuff of sci-fi movies. Virtual reality is here, and it’s the perfect opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services. Something as simple as a 360-degree photo added to a listing can make a big difference. Facebook, WordPress, and YouTube already support this format.

It looks like 2017 will usher in many changes in social media. Can your business keep up?

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3 Reasons To Use WordPress Themes For Your Next Mobile App

You may think that WordPress is just that platform used to create blogs, however you would be wrong. Keeping pace with the technological developments of our era, WordPress has become a multifaceted content management system, with over 24 percent of the internet using the platform. Part of this growth has been WordPress’ integration into the mobile world, providing a number of themes that assist in easy use and appealing interfaces for mobile apps and websites. So why use WordPress themes? Check out these quick reasons why a WordPress theme is beneficial to the development of your mobile app.

1. Customization

One of the most outstanding features of WordPress is its user-friendliness. Not only is it free to download, install and modify, but its step-by-step interface means that you don’t need a programmer or tech professional to navigate your mobile app. In addition, WordPress has a diverse thematic offering. With thousands of free and paid themes to choose from, WordPress is a simple way to attach a user-friendly theme to your mobile app. Also, most themes have an options tab that allows you to personalize the theme, including change of color, sliding features, logos and a company background.

Research shows that app downloads peak at about 50 to 60 per device and that users don’t download an app for a brand that they rarely interact with. Bearing this in mind, WordPress be imperative to the success of a mobile app as you can ensure that the interface and design is in line with company colors, values and the interests of your customer. For example, if your an online shopping company, you may decide to customize your theme so that it’s simple and uncluttered, knowing that your customers will be looking for easy maneuvering around the app.

2. Responsiveness

When adapting your desktop site to a mobile device or creating an app, making sure your interface adapts to the smaller screen can be vital to its success. As a frequent mobile site and app user, there is almost nothing more annoying than having to zoom out on every page and then zoom in to click on something because everything is created for a large desktop screen. As a brand, it is important to keep this in mind to avoid frustrating your mobile app users. Many WordPress themes already have built-in responsiveness, meaning it’s foundation has a fluid grid system that allows your website to automatically adapt to any viewing environment. Smartphones have become such a prominent part of everyday life. iPhones in particular, including the latest Apple iPhone 7 Plus, are used by so many people for research, shopping and travel. In fact, according to a study conducted by Morgan Stanley, mobile browser and app use has surpassed desktop use. Therefore, it may even be smart to start with a mobile theme and use WordPress’s responsiveness to easily integrate onto desktops and other viewing platforms.

3. Supported Plug-ins

WordPress also offers a wide variety of plug-ins. After choosing your theme and customizing it to suit your customers, plug-ins provide that extra level of personalization that can really make your brand’s mobile app stand out. With thousands of free and paid options to choose from, WordPress plug-ins can add extra functionalities and provide your customers with the user experience that suits your brand and its products or services.

Mobile internet has become such a big part of society and, as brands, it is important that user-friendly and personal apps are created to suit this market. WordPress themes offer the customization and ease-of-use that make mobile apps simple to create and valuable to the overall customer experience.

Tools for Instagram

Tools for Instagram - 315(1)Thought of as a platform for sharing inspirational experiences and quirky personal encounters, Instagram shouldn’t be overlooked by businesses! With more than 400 million monthly users it is a fast-growing social media platform with a number of new business features.

To help your business get established on Instagram, and to manage your presence as it grows, third-party tools can be invaluable to help you post, follow, and share so your business can connect with your audience there and not always need to do it from a mobile device. Let’s review eight tools that help you manage key areas of an Instagram account.

Crowdfire

This tool can help you manage your Instagram following, on the web or your smartphone. Use it to find, identify and manage your company’s followers and non-followers, to locate who’s interested in your products and services, and who isn’t.  Furthermore, It gives guided direction on the right type of people to follow.

Social Insight

If you’re a big believer in analytics, you’ll love this tool. Social Insight is web-based.  It presents in-depth analytics on all interactions and engagements, follower growth, and on un-follower trends. Consequently, you’ll be able to identify the best times to post on Instagram based on past reception. You’ll know when to post and whom to engage with for best value.

TabSite

This Facebook-centered tool allows you to showcase your Instagram account on your Facebook page or even embed it on your website.  It’s a way to bring what you are doing on Instagram to your other key website or social media assets.

Tapshop

Gets right to the heart of your marketing goals, and encourages your Instagram fans to start shopping. Your followers will see a Tapshop page of products linked to your own product pages. Collect email addresses, clicks, links, and orders from your Tapshop page.

Latergram.me

This handy tool will schedule your Instagram posts and notifies you that your scheduled post published. You may find the ‘search & repost’ feature useful. It allows you to search the web for content and re-post it.

Offerpop

Run interactive promotions and make use of content generated by your Instagram followers. Use Offerpop to create sweepstakes, promotions, and generate sampling programs. This tool can generate exclusive offers for loyal customers, display branded content and ads, create content galleries which can be shopped by users, track sales performance, and export lead data to your company’s CRM system.

AgoraPulse

Use AgoraPulse on mobile or the web. It’s a Chrome extension allows you to share your favorite images quickly and easily on Instagram, and schedule to publish at peak viewer time. Managing more than one Instagram account? Use AgoraPulse to monitor all your Instagram and social media accounts from one dashboard. Track your audience growth, engagement, and the awareness of your brand with AgoraPulse analytic tools.

HootSuite

Hootsuite allows you to upload, schedule and publish images and videos to Instagram. In addition, use its dashboard to monitor and engage with your followers, competitors, and #hashtags. Do you manage several Instagram accounts? Use HootSuite to manage them all from one place. In addition, you can communicate and assign messages and tasks to team members inside the HootSuite dashboard.

Prices vary per took but each has its place in helping a business maximize what they are doing on Instagram.  Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a rapidly expanding social media platform that is growing in all age demographics, specifically in use by those 30+.