Tag Archives: digital marketing

What is Facebook Messenger Day and How Do You Use it for Business

What is Facebook Messenger Day and How Do You Use it for Business-315In its quest to be the one-stop shop for social media, Facebook recently launched another tool called Messenger Day.  Even though Messenger Day does bear many similarities to Snapchat Stories, it has unique features worth exploring that position it as a potential Snapchat rival.

It’s worth noting that Messenger has 1.2 billion active users since it is from Facebook’s existing Messenger platform while Snapchat only has around 301 million users. For a business, Messenger Day may prove to be a more helpful tool for many companies than Snapchat Stories.

What’s in Messenger Day?

Messenger Day is integrated into Messenger, so if you’re already using Messenger, just update the app on your mobile device to get this new feature.

In Messenger, you can use clips or images from a chat, or shoot a new video or photo, and post them to your Day. You can jazz up your Day by adding filters, doodles, and other special effects. But, like Snapchat stories, anything you add to your Day will be viewable for only 24 hours.

How can Messenger Day be used for business?

Behind the Scenes

Using Facebook Live on your business page is a good way to cover a relevant event as it happens. But for exclusive sneak peeks of what’s happening behind the scenes, it’s better to use Messenger Day on your personal account. This move not only attaches a face to your business (making it more relatable), but it also encourages people in your network to check out your business if they still haven’t.

It grows your potential client base because you’re pulling in folks from different avenues, and avenues that already know you.

Calls to Action

Among the many filters available to use on Messenger Day are superimposed texts like “Who’s up for …” When used personally, these filters work as simple invitations. But for businesses, these can work as powerful calls to action.

For example, if you own an online retail store, you can use “Who’s up for …” to ask people to check out a sale. You can say something like, “Who’s up for a good deal? Visit us now and get 70% off. Offer good until this post lasts.” Make announcements more engaging and fun this way.

Employee-curated Content

Since businesses aren’t allowed to have Messenger Day…yet, you can leverage this new feature through your personal account and have employees do this through their accounts. If several of your staff members all make a business-related Messenger Day post, you can curate these posts and present them in one clip on your business page. This humanizes your brand. On the internet, people are more inclined to trust a brand with a face.

It’s still too early to tell whether Messenger Day can topple Snapchat Stories. But given the bigger user base of Messenger, it would be a smart bet. The last thing you want is for Messenger Day to take off while your business is left behind snapping!

For now, have fun experimenting with Messenger Day. It may not be long before Facebook rolls it out for businesses so get ready!
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What is Geofencing and How to Use it in your Mobile Marketing Strategy

What is Geofencing and How to use it in your Mobile Marketing Strategy-315(1)Even if you’re comfortable with digital marketing, the term “geofencing” might still be new to you. That’s okay because it’s new technology, but if you’re looking for targeted ways to use mobile marketing to boost your small business sales, it might be just what you’re looking for!

What Is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a type of mobile marketing that allows advertisers to limit their advertisements to a specific geographical area. Sometimes, those limitations can be as precise as a single shopping mall, or a block of a street.

Geofencing is tied to your own smartphone app and limited to the area you set. When people who have downloaded your app are in the area, your ads are automatically sent to their mobile devices.

Why Does Geofencing Work?

We all know that targeted ads are the best use of your marketing dollars. Marketing to people you know are interested in your products and services will always be an easier sell.

Geofencing takes targeting to the next level, by targeting ads to people who are a) interested, b) downloaded your app, and c) within the physical geographical area of your store.

With these 3 targeting criteria met, all you need is a little digital nudge to turn prospects into customers.

How to Use Geofencing

This might be the best thing to happen to mobile marketing since the smartphone itself! You might be wondering how to leverage a geofenced app to bring foot traffic into your store. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create pop-up sales only available on your app. When customers are in the vicinity of your store, they’ll look forward to getting notified of special deals!
  • Offer customers a complimentary item if they come into your store. If you own a restaurant, it could be a free dessert with their meal, or a salon might offer a discount on products with a new hair style.
  • If you use a point-based loyalty system, create a system that reminds users how many points they have (and how many they need before they can redeem them!)
  • Use your geofenced app to run a contest. “50th person to make a purchase today gets 50% off!)
  • Use the app to send reminders to customers, for their next dental check-up date or oil change.

Geofencing is a great marketing tool, and if you do have a local business, it could be the most effective tool in your mobile marketing arsenal. So if you don’t already have an app, get one, and if you do, consider adding this useful feature!

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A Review of Drip.co Email Service Provider

A Review of Drip.co Email Service Provider - 600It doesn’t matter how well-crafted that email is if it is sent before a lead is ready to convert or if that lead moved on. Through automation, drip marketing of emails allows your message to be delivered “on-time” over a set period. From weekly specials to the monthly newsletter, drip marketing connects your lead with your message. Drip.co is an email marketing tool that goes beyond simple email newsletter delivery to give you advanced and helpful, intelligent business features.

Features

Drip’s features make marketing automation easy. Here’s an overview of key areas in the online tool and what each part does.

Workflows

Drip’s workflows make life easier by uncovering the blind spots in your marketing strategy and strengthening your sales funnel. When it appears that a prospect is on the cusp of leaving or unsubscribing, an email will automatically be sent out to them.

As soon as a subscriber fills out that first form, your workflows applies tags to the subscriber and places them in a campaign. A subscriber stays in a workflow until all emails have been sent or a goal (like closing a sale) has been achieved.

The magic of workflows lies in that it’s nearly hands-free once set up. For example, you can automatically funnel new subscribers to a page to download an eBook and thank them after they do so…all automatically.

Tags and Events

Forget juggling multiple subscribers lists. Drip.co uses tags to segment subscribers based on their actions (what they downloaded, what pages have they visited). You can develop a profile of a set of prospects and target them. Events give you the option to pinpoint the circumstances of the tags. For instance, dates when products were purchased and affiliates involved.

Split-Testing

With Drip, you can fine-tune your email content by analyzing the results of an A/B Test campaign. Testing elements of your email will give you an idea of what’s working and what isn’t. By taking the time to see what customers are responding to, you’re ensuring current and future growth.

By creating emails and sending them to 2 separate groups of subscribers (you can select subscribers based on factors like when they subscribed and if they’ve purchased), you can determine which segments of your subscribers responded to the optimized subject lines and copy.

How to Start with Drip.co

As a bonus, the Drip team offers courses to help you create workflows and boost conversions.
Drip.co is a powerful email marketing tool. This service provides a ton of features at an affordable price (plans start at $1 a month). With Drip, you can harness email marketing automation to improve your marketing efforts and control your marketing campaigns.

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Later for Instagram: Help with your Instagram Marketing

Later for Instagram_ Help with your Instagram Marketing -315We all know a solid social media strategy requires consistency, organization, and timeliness. However, it is not always easy to stay on top of dozens of posts per month and a load of content. With Instagram growing massively in terms of users in the past year and adding many business marketing features, it’s a relevant platform for many businesses to have a strong presence on.

Need help implementing your Instagram marketing plan? There’s an actually an app for that. Let’s get acquainted with Later.

Top Features of Later

Later (formerly Latergram.me) is a simple (and free!) app that helps keep your Instagram account updated with less effort. The Later app has the following features:

Pre-Scheduling

Have trouble keeping your page consistently updated? Later lets you pre-schedule your posts months in advance. Just upload your content and pick the publish date. Upload your photos in bulk, schedule when they roll out, and you’re nearly done.  Simply stay current with your mobile device alerts and you can then easily roll posts out at the scheduled time. Plus, your pics are automatically organized in chronological order in the Media Library, saving you a good amount of time in a search.

Mobile App

Schedule your posts from virtually anywhere with your phone. In addition to a PC version, Later offers a mobile app that lets you create and schedule posts on-the-go.

Preview

Later lets you preview how your posts will look before they get sent. For an entire month, get a chronological calendar and gallery view of your posts as the audience will see them. This gives you a feel for the flow of the content and how each post fits thematically. Want to add more posts? Just drag an image from the gallery to the calendar.

Captions

Writing a proper caption on a mobile device can be nothing short of frustrating, With spacing issues appearing during the transition between mobile and desktop and difficulty typing on tiny keyboards, typos, and weird formatting can crop up in your posts. Later smooths out these kinks by keeping the spacing the same regardless of what device you draft the post on.

Want to go beyond a basic caption and hashtag? With Later, you can flesh out your brand’s story. With the ability to start a post on mobile and finish it on a desktop. You can write the kind of engaging content that tells your brand’s story and keeps the follower count rising.

Reposting

Add your favorite posts from users in your community to your library with a simple click. You can search for content to repost through location, hashtags, and usernames. Once you’ve found the posts to share and added them, they can be dragged into the calendar like your uploaded images.

Notifications

When it’s time for your content to be scheduled, Later doesn’t auto post as this goes against Instagram’s terms of service. Instead, notifications are sent right to your phone. Tapping them sends you directly to Instagram, where your post is ready to be activated and sent out to your page.

Later makes managing your Instagram marketing efforts much easier. Schedule and edit posts in advance while staying on track. Gain control over your Instagram content with Later.

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WordPress plugin: WC Marketplace

WordPress plugin_ WC Marketplace-315While they might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think of ecommerce sites, marketplaces have been around for a long time. The concept of a multi-vendor market is not just for the local farmer’s market but now also is an available platform that has spawned many internet success stories.

There are the retail-based marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, and service based platforms like Upwork (formerly oDesk and Elance) that have been generating income online for many years by allowing others to buy and sell on their sites.  You might think these types of sites are outside of your budget or web design skill set, but there are several commercial website tools and plugins that can transform a basic WordPress website into a custom marketplace.  WC Marketplace is one of these robust tools.

What Is WC Marketplace?

WC Marketplace is a WordPress plugin that adds marketplace and multi-vendor functionality to a regular WordPress site or blog that is already using WooCommerce for e-commerce on the site. In other words, instead of having to code your marketplace from scratch, you download this plugin and install it on your site. Configure the backend settings as needed, and launch your marketplace in no time at all where sellers and buyers can all converge.

How Simple Is It?

The truth is, while plugins like WC Marketplace do take hundreds of hours of coding out of the process of launching a site like this, there are still some steps to get your marketplace making money.

You’ll need to:

  • Decide what your marketplace is about. What will users be selling?
  • Choose categories
  • Set up payment options
  • Create a help system for sellers and buyers

It will take some time to get your marketplace ready for public use. But compared with doing it from scratch, it’s practically nothing.

What Can It Do?

WC Marketplace is a very complete and comprehensive plugin for WordPress. It features all the tools you would need to own and manage your marketplace.

Admins have the ability to approve, reject and ban users. They have access to messaging and forums, as well as the ability to approve and edit listings on the site. They can set commissions, and make changes to financial and other areas of the site that users cannot access.

Vendors can create profiles, add their own products and services, invoice and contact customers, and more among many other features.

Buyers can search by category or keyword, create project requests, and communicate and pay via the platform.

In short, anything those big, fancy marketplace platforms like Etsy can do, you can do on your website, with this plugin. Which is pretty phenomenal when you think about it!

Who Should Use WC Marketplace?

You’re probably not going to knock Etsy or Upwork off their spot in the internet hierarchy. But if you have a great idea for a new twist on the marketplace idea, then WC Marketplace is a great place to start. Well worth the small investment, and easy enough to figure out if you have basic web design and internet skills.

If you are looking for a multi-vendor ecommerce solution you can manage, this is one to consider!

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FoundonTack Review

FoundonTack Review - 315Putting your company’s identity onto a social media platform inherently involves more direct communication with: customers, associates, rivals, the potential trolls, and so on. While the Instagram interface is good for interacting with people, it’s not spectacular at analyzing their behaviors and measuring marketing impact.

That’s why I love the world of Cloud services. I always get excited when I see software that helps small to medium businesses compete with the big dogs. I recently took a look at an Instagram-focused service named Tack, using both their free area report tool and their Instagram curation service on a Pro-level account trial.

Super pumped for my new purple T-shirt from @foundontack #smmw17

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Scouting the Social Media Landscape

Tack comes swinging out of the gate with free access to their area report tool whether or not you sign up for their service. Either 500 posts or up to 12 months of activity are combed through and picked apart. Then you get a rundown of important data points like what the most popular posts were or which hashtags saw the most activity.

It would be nice to get the updated reports in real-time, but the emailed reports are easy to share with your team. You can run up to 4 locations per hour per account, which is plenty enough to look at a city with a couple neighborhoods and landmarks.

Let’s move to the account-based Instagram curation tool. It comes in 3 levels (Starter, Pro, and Enterprise) with the major difference being the number of Instagram user profiles and the maximum number of followers managed.

Once you’ve connected a profile to an Instagram account, you can look through user activity using a hashtag or a location. Input a hashtag or location into the large boxes, and you’ll be treated to posts that match your request. From there, you can quickly like, comment, or request permission to use the media yourself. All of these increase your Instagram visibility in the targeted field. It gives you the opportunity to use user-generated content in your own account.

On the main menu, you can perform several functions. Review activity on your posts, comments, requests, and manage your media library just below the curation fields. The last two fields let you customize your request message and response hashtag to whatever you’d like them to be.

Is It Worth Paying For?

Yes, if you intend to take your social media presence seriously. Also if your audience has a heavy focus on Instagram use or image-based media. Tack is useful for any company looking to run a social media blitz on a specific city or neighborhood. Especially due to the information you get in the free area report and the curation tools. Are you a new restaurant trying to break into a packed downtown scene? Are you an app creator selling a new game that wants you to walk around hunting for monsters? Tack is a useful tool.

Try a two-week trial of the starter and pro versions to see if the curation tool works for you. It doesn’t come with training wheels. However, it has a straightforward interface that should be easy for anyone with an understanding of social media. The staff is very responsive. They were more than willing to help walk me through the ropes of using the tools effectively.

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How to Use Board Booster to Ramp Up Your Pinterest Game

How to Use Board Booster to Ramp Up Your Pinterest Game-315There’s no denying the traffic potential for your website that can come from Pinterest. Many business-to-consumer businesses report that Pinterest is one of their top traffic referrers. You can see similar results if you use the platform correctly.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your Pinterest is simply to pin, and pin a lot and consistently. Spending time on Pinterest every day isn’t conducive to a busy business owner, which is why there are tools like Board Booster.

What is Board Booster?

Board Booster is an online web software that can help automate your pinning so you’re still pinning regularly without putting in the individual effort of everyday pinning.

How does Board Booster work?

Board Booster has several techniques for automating your pinning. Work on your Pinterest account when you have the time and schedule your own pins and pins from other websites to post over the course of a week or so.

Scheduling pins is a great strategy because it allows you to save hundreds of pins at once, but will share them with your followers over time. This is extremely helpful because you increase the possibility that many users will see your pins over time, rather than a handful seeing all of your pins at once.

Campaigns

Board Booster also has a feature called Campaigns, which allows you to create a single pin that will get repinned multiple times over a few days, weeks or even months. This is a great way to share your own pins (i.e, your blog posts, content extras, infographics, quote graphics, etc.) over and over again to your boards and increase their reach and engagement rate.

There are two types of Campaigns: scheduled and random. In a scheduled campaign, you pick the pins that are sent out multiple times during the course of your campaign. In a random campaign (which is great for bloggers who don’t have many web pages except their blog posts, but not great for websites with lots of pages that aren’t Pinterest-friendly), you choose the URL (i.e., your website) and the campaign pulls random links from that source.

Looping

A third feature that can really increase your website traffic is Looping. Board Booster’s Looping tool allows you to revive old pins that you saved before new users followed you. Old blog posts and website links that are helpful but buried deep down in your old boards will be reshared. Effectively put in front of your new followers.

Is Board Booster worth the investment?

Your business should be using the power of Pinterest. Board Booster can help you ramp up your Pinterest game. Also, it’s extremely affordable when compared to its competitors. Use tools like Board Booster to help you to grow your Pinterest followers. Therefore increasing the number of people who see your pins and click-through to your website. This increases the potential of becoming paying customers. And that makes the tool 100% worth it in my book.

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The Value of a CTA in your Blog Post and Where to Place It

The Value of a CTA in your Blog Post and Where to Place ItA blog is the best resource to connect with new website visitors and to keep returning visitors engaged. It’s one of the reasons CMS platforms like WordPress are so popular. They make blogging easy.

There are a few golden rules when it comes to a successful blog. CTAs (Calls To Action) are a must have.

Without a CTA, customers who are interested in your products may not know what to do next. You may lose them even though they were ready to buy. Instead of hoping they contact you, a CTA tells them what the next step is, and invites them to take it.

How Your CTA Helps

More Web Traffic

One of the metrics search engines use to rank websites is traffic. The more quality traffic your site gets, the more online clout your site has. Use a link in your CTA to funnel visitors from your blog to your main website, and get the benefit of the added traffic source.

Encourage Contact

If your CTA includes an embedded form, you’ll get leads directly from your blog posts. While you won’t get site traffic, you’ll get quality leads from people already reading your blog and interested in what you do.

Lead Your Readers to More Content

Quality content helps to keep visitors on your website and proves you’re an expert in your field. Well written content answers questions and establishes a relationship. So when visitors do contact you, they feel like they’re talking to a trusted peer, rather than a complete stranger. That’s a major leap forward in the sales process!

When your viewers read your content, you’ll build trust. It’s always a good idea to lead your readers to more content. Do this with links in the post and a “Related Content” section.

Improving Shareability

Billions of people use social media every day. It’s no surprise that “going viral” is the holy grail of digital marketing. Make sure you write killer content and include social sharing buttons, to encourage visitors to share your posts with their networks.

Get More List Subscribers

Another great use for CTAs is to encourage readers to opt into your email marketing list. A simple offer or a reminder there’s more great content in your newsletter can encourage visitors to share their email addresses with you. Now you’re marketing to a prequalified, captive audience.

CTA Must Dos

Get the most out of your Call To Action links and buttons using the following tips:

  • Focus on the action you want the reader to do.
  • Keep it brief and simple.
  • Make it easy to find, and use big, bold fonts and buttons.
  • Use a variety of different CTAs in different positions, to cover a range of desired actions.

A well planned CTA can be a powerful marketing tool, so start experimenting, and see what works on your blog.

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Review of SurveyAnyplace

There’s no denying that market feedback is just as important as ever. Companies still need to get insight into their customers and prospective customers thoughts. The more you know, the better you’re positioned to deliver exactly what your customers want.

The good news is that technology has stepped up to the plate. It’s easy to poll or survey your customers, website visitors, and even social media followers, and SurveyAnyplace.com is one of the best ways to do just that.

What Is It?

SurveyAnyplace.com is a platform to create “entertaining” surveys and quizzes, to ask questions, engage with prospective customers, and gather data, especially geared for today’s “mobile-first” Internet users.  I especially like the “emoji” selections and ability to use mobile swipe features for fun things like “scratch to see if you win” options and more.

You don’t have to be particularly technically minded to create your business surveys and polls. It’s a simple, straightforward setup interface.  As well, thanks to many different plugins and output types, you can post your surveys and quizzes on all sorts of platforms from your own website to social media and beyond. You can even generate a QR code and put it on your marketing materials!

What Does It Cost?

SurveyAnyplace is priced for small business. In fact, since there is a free package, as well as several other paid options. Get started with the platform without spending a dime!

Why It’s a Good Idea

Internet marketing is an interactive game. People and companies who succeed are skilled at creating engagement. Customers online don’t just want to have information force fed to them. If they did, they could just watch TV like they did in the old days!

The key to engagement with your customers is to make it fun or to allow them to have their say, and SuveyAnyplace does both.

Build fun quizzes on the site and share them on social media. The surveys are a great place for people to feel that they are being heard. Everyone loves being heard!

Is It Easy?

Many small business owners are technophobes who break out in a cold sweat at the thought of doing anything more complicated than sending an email. Fortunately, SurveyAnyplace uses a super easy interface, that feels much like creating a desktop document. Not a whiff of code or anything too scary here!  Simply answer questions and make selections to create your custom survey.

surveyanyplace.com_overview

Grabbed my logo from my email address!

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Clean, easy to use

The Verdict

If you’re looking for low cost, high impact lead generating tools that are easy to use, then SurveyAnyplace is a great choice. Signing up is quick and easy. You can get your first projects up and running in minutes. Best of all, if you try the free version before you buy, there’s absolutely nothing to lose!

surveyanyplace pricing

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What is Google AMP?

What is Google AMP_

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, also known as Google AMP, is a relatively new framework by Google that focuses on mobile content. When you follow this open-source standard, your website page content loads immediately on mobile platforms for the best quality mobile user experience.  With more web users using mobile devices to surf than desktop, it’s an important item to consider. So how does this work, why does it matter and is it worth the time to implement on your websites?

How Does Google AMP Work?

An AMP web page is a static, simplified version of your web page that doesn’t have resource-intensive elements on it. When a mobile user clicks on an AMP result, the article loads right away rather than going through a lengthy loading process. While you host the page yourself, you can also take advantage of Google’s AMP Cache and third-party providers to cache and distribute the page for better load times.

Why is Google AMP Important?

Google’s search engine ranking algorithm has made many mobile-centric changes over the past two years, so staying on its good side by catering to your mobile visitors is a good idea for ranking well. Google is also highlighting AMP pages in some results, which gives your content greater visibility with this audience. They’re also marked in the search results, which can help you stand out from competitors that aren’t using AMP.

You also provide a better user experience overall for mobile visitors to your site. The majority of your market has smartphones in their pockets, and they’re doing a lot of reading on their devices. Your primary website may have a responsive design that adapts to the size of the screen, but the smartphone still has to render all of the visual elements on the page, supported scripts and other resource and data-intensive features. With AMP, all they need to do is load up the particular page without anything that’s going to kill your page speed or their data limits.

Is Google AMP Worth It?

You do need to take some time to implement AMP on your site, but your content management system or a good web developer may make this an easy and hands-free task for you. For example, WordPress has an AMP plugin that serves up this content without a lot of hands-on work. Other sites simply need a developer to implement the AMP protocols once and it will be done and ready.

Whether now is the time to implement it will be up to you.  You can join in early and get a headstart on the competition or you can wait and follow suit in due time.

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