Tag Archives: facebook

Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools

Website SEO Grader and keyword tools help you get a picture of how your site is performing, and better yet, how to help improve your site!  We cover 4 key tools you can use today…

In this episode, I dive into what a SEO Grader tool is, what a Keyword tool is, and then the details of four tools and the key benefits of each.

Website evaluation tools help you see how well your site is performing and the areas it may be lagging behind. These 4 site evaluation tools will give insights into how and where to improve your website to gain traffic and rank!

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

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

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Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools Video

Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools Show Notes

As I noted, these website tools help you evaluate site performance and the areas it may be not up to current standards. These 4 site website evaluation “graders”, or tools, will give insights into how and where to improve your website to gain traffic and rank.

LXRSEO

LXRSEO gives marketers a rundown of their site’s SEO performance.

For every page on your site, LXRSEO analyzes the problem areas and gives you tools to fix them. If a page is missing a meta description, you’ll receive an alert from the Website Auditor tool. The SEO Webpage Analyzer examines the SEO of a page for optimization.

Key features:

  • Nice free version of the Website Grader
  • SEO Dashboard (live SEO performance)
  • Task Manager for recommended SEO Tasks
  • SEO Toolkit – tools to execute SEO Tasks

SEM Rush

Seeing your competition’s strategies gives insight into strategies to use for your site. With SEMRush, enter a competitor’s domain and research their videos, advertising, keywords, and backlinks.

As a keyword tool, SEMRush helps you use the data found on a competitor’s site and your keywords to boost traffic. With SEO Keyword Magic, you can save and export keyword research related to your website.

Key features:

  • Organic Research
  • Great Website Audit tool
  • SEO Ideas
  • Position Tracking
  • Facebook Audience insights
  • PPC Keyword Tool
  • See competitors’ best keywords
  • Discover new organic competitors
  • Observe position changes of domains

Hubspot’s Website Grader

How strong is your site? Hubspot’s Website Grader will tell you.  After searching your site, Website Grader grades your site based on over 30 factors and tells you which areas need improvement. Website Grader, answers the following questions:

  • Where is my marketing performing well (or not so well)?
  • How do I fare against my competition?
  • How is my blog performing?
  • Is my website optimized for mobile?
  • Are my social media accounts factored into my marketing?

The grader goes a step further and gives pointers to improve your site. Website Grader provides step by step actions to take on each part of the sales funnel.

Key Features:

  • Overall Website Performance – page load, page requests, speed of site
  • Mobile readiness
  • SEO checks
  • Security (https) check

Ahrefs

Ahrefs helps improve your content to build traffic and push your blog up the search engine. This web tool lets you see how Google sees your site, as well as a host of tools to see your own site’s rank and keywords, backlink growth, and top pages by rank and earnings.

Like SEM Rush, Ahrefs gives you invaluable market insights.  By examining competitor content, determine what topics and type of content get traffic and create similar content for your site. If infographics receive a good amount of traffic, create some for your own site.

Website evaluation tools help you see the holes in your marketing strategy so you can improve it. With the help of these 4 tools, you can boost your site’s performance.

Key Features:

  • Keyword Research
  • Backlink Research
  • Content Research
  • Rank Tracking
  • Website Monitoring

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!

Quick Access Resources: Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools


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

Using Facebook Marketing to Grow your Email List

Facebook Marketing offers great opportunities for reaching your ideal audience.

One reason to use it is to grow your email list.  In this podcast I cover key ways you can use Facebook Marketing to grow your email list.

In this episode, I dive into 10 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your email list.

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

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

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Using Facebook Marketing to Grow your Email List Video

Using Facebook Marketing to Grow your Email List Show Notes

Facebook is an invaluable resource for digital marketers. Whether it’s an active and vibrant community page or a highly targeted ad program, Mark Zuckerberg and company have created a premium platform where people spend upwards of 40 minutes PER DAY.

What many people don’t realize is that when you start cross marketing using Facebook with other channels, your impact grows exponentially.

Email marketing and Facebook are a match made in hybrid marketing heaven. Here’s how you can leverage your presence on Facebook and take your list to the next level.

1. Go Live! 

People sign up to get updates from experts. So get on Facebook Live, and show the world that you know what you’re talking about.  As part of your presentation, make sure to share your sign-up page where they can go to sign-up to be updated regularly.

2. Pin a Post

Use a pinned post to send traffic to your newsletter sign up page. Pinned posts stay at the top of your feed and are first to see for visitors to your page. With an eye catching image and a great CTA, they’re the perfect way to drive sign ups.

3. Use the Page Call to Action

If you use a sign up button on your Facebook page, don’t send click throughs to a generic page on your site. Send them directly to a landing page. Dedicated landing pages are proven to convert more!

4. Use Apps like TabSite for Sign-up

Add a newsletter subscription app to your Facebook page itself. You’d be surprised how many people would don’t want to leave Facebook.

5. Use a Group for Engagement and Alerts

Use a group and a page to generate more engagement. Stats show that people are more likely to get involved in a group on Facebook, so by having both, you cover all the bases.

6. Facebook Offers

If you have a promotional offer you use to generate list subscriptions, Facebook’s paid ads can be the perfect way to promote it. They’re super targeted, and who doesn’t like a freebie popping up in their feed? Make sure you know who you’re targeting!

7. Retargeting Pixel for Ads

If you use paid ads, upload your existing list and using Facebook’s super smart look alike targeting option. This option generates a target persona for you, and targets people like the ones who already subscribe.

8. Facebook Contests for Lead Capture

Create a contest. Facebook contests have been a staple of the marketer’s toolkit for years, but instead of likes or comments, promote a incentive sweepstake prize in exchange for signing up for your list as the criteria for entry!  Lead Capture contests for Facebook can be a boon for growing your email list!

9. Teaser Content on Facebook

Give your fans a teaser of your newsletter only content. If your fans know there’s valuable content they can only access by subscribing to your newsletter, they’ll be happy to sign up.  Send them from Facebook to your website where you have a signup pop-up or widget on the post using a tool like Waftio.

10 Text to Signup

Use Text to Join to give visitors and fans of your Facebook page another sign up option. After all, up to 90% of Facebook’s users access it on their phones!

Facebook is a gold mine for online marketers, in many ways, but the key to success is a clear goal. Don’t use Facebook just for the sake of using it, or because everyone else is. Have clear and defined goals about what you want to achieve, and how to achieve it.

Since opt in email marketing is one of the best conversion methods in the digital marketing universes, it makes sense to make list building one of the major goals of your Facebook marketing!

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: Facebook Marketing to grow Email lists


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

Facebook, Instagram, Live Video, and Customer Care Highlight Social Media Marketing World 2017

Facebook, Instagram, Live Video, and Customer Care were highlighted topics at the recent Social Media Marketing World annual conference that brought over 3,000 marketers together in San Diego, California.

Each year the key focus is on what is happening in social media and what is working best today.  These four items stood out as keys that many referenced and spoke on at #SMMW17 this year.

facebook-instagram-live-video-customer-support

In this episode, I dive into my key takeaways and tips gleaned from over 3000+ marketers who descended upon the convention center in San Deigo.  Ready to dive in and get the tips?

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

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

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Facebook, Instagram, Live Video, and Customer Care Highlight Social Media Marketing World 2017 Video

What a highlight to spend time with over 3000 marketers focused on social media at this year’s social media examiner social media marketing World 2017.  The overarching key topics that I heard again and again were Facebook, Instagram, live video, and customer care.

In this episode of my Halftime Mike podcast I want to dive into each of those in more detail and share what I gleaned from the conference, both from sessions as well as the tremendous interactions with peers in the industry….sometimes it was the dinner conversations that delivered the most valuable information!

What you need to know about Facebook, Instagram, Live Video, and Customer Care from the Conference:

1. Facebook

Facebook was a hot topic and in particular Facebook Ads, Live Video, and Messenger.

Facebook Ads continue to evolve in targeting options, types (video!), and in locations.  Did you know you can use Facebook Ads on the web?

Live video continues to evolve.  I discuss more about that specifically below but even in the last week the ability to go live from desktop and now since the conference the ability to invite another person into the live stream so you can do dual-live broadcasts is rolling out.

Facebook is innovating and is here to stay.  Stories for Facebook just launched and is a direct threat to Snapchat.  Watch for more rollouts to Messenger, including a key new arena called Chatbots.

2. Instagram

Owned and part of the “Facebook Family of Apps”, the consensus at the conference was what I’ve been saying…Instagram is on the rise as a social network and business marketing opportunity!

Sessions focused on Instagram Stories (including Live), setting up a killer Instagram Business Profile (Jenn Herman), using the carousel images in posts, and the ability to “Promote” ads within Instagram (tied to your Facebook Ads account and audiences!).

Tip time on Instagram Stories…Use Stories to Introduce:

  • Blog Posts
  • Videos
  • Events
  • Special offers / promotions

Stories last 24 hours but can help you gain awareness and drive traffic.

3. Live Video

The consensus was that it’s still in the early stages but really represents the future.  Your company becomes it’s own media company.  There is still plenty of time to jump in for mainstream small businesses and still be “early.”

Facebook, Instagram and Periscope and the mainstays for live.  Periscope was first but has lost ground to the others.  Periscope itself may go away and just be the live video portion of parent Twitter.

Instead of TV ads, you now create your own “infomercial” that is compete with content and your pitch.  Chalene Johnson even did a keynote presentation on the concept of Live Video as the new social infomercial tool that is the next evolution of the television infomercial.

4. Customer care

A theme I heard often was “relationship marketing”.  It’s not about slick campaigns at the end of the day but about people connecting with and buying from other people.  I talk about that every week with Jessika Phillips on our Magnet Marketers Live Show so it was good to see this picking up steam in other sessions.

A keynote related to customer care that stood out was Joey Coleman’s keynote on “The First 100 Days.”  It was interesting to hear the stats on customer attrition and how the first 100 days are so key, and that a 5% reduction in clients leaving for a company can yield 25-100% more profits!  Wow!

His focal point was that the first 100 days is very critical for establishing equity and the “wow” needed to sustain a client for the long haul.  Often we overlook the fact that “buyer remorse” can set in and you need to pour into the relationship early on to give the relationship a deep level of equity that can sustain it over the longer term.

I loved his ideas about gifts, video, and snail mail being part of your early 100 days mix.  How can you add value to your new and existing client relationships?

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

How to Hire People Using Social Media

How to Hire People Using Social Media - 315Finding the ideal recruit for a position can be tough — and also expensive. On sites like Careerbuilder or Monster, a posting that runs for a month cost at least $500, and that’s still without the assurance of getting suitable candidates.

But why spend that when you can use social media? Aside from the obvious choice LinkedIn, you can use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and similar sites to find fresh talent. Why? This is where people look for new careers. They use their networks to expand their horizons and tap into other industries.

But to reach them effectively, you must:

Know the limits

Don’t ask applicants to reveal the password to their social media accounts; otherwise, you run the risk of violating the Federal Stored Communications Act. Also, take note that different states have different laws, so what’s okay in California may not be okay in New York. And even though it’s not unnecessarily illegal to check someone’s tagged photos, it’s best to look at what the candidates are posting on their own timelines to get an accurate view of how they wish to present themselves.

Build a strong online presence

Don’t be boring on social media. Whether you’re posting, share something that’s unique and current. Also, it doesn’t hurt to show everyone what makes your organization stand out. Do you have a thriving and vibrant workplace? Share short video tours and wacky behind the scenes. Is your organization involved in community projects? Post photos of your recent efforts. And of course, put up job postings.

Show, don’t tell

Don’t just say that your organization is the best. Show it through your posts. If it’s dynamic and innovative, the projects you’re working on should speak for themselves. If you’re fun and youthful, your posts should reflect those qualities. Your audience is smart. They’ll figure out your message without it being shoved down their throats. And if they like what you have to say, they’ll be drawn to your organization.

A good compensation package still plays a big role when it comes to attracting top talent, but first impressions can’t be taken for granted. And in this digital world, social media is where people form their first perceptions of you and your organization. So make sure you leave a great impression.

How to Hire Using Social Media

Jessika Phillips Live stream on Tuesday Nov 15 @ 4:00pm EST

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Facebook Important Updates for Marketers

Facebook keeps on changing!

It’s a powerhouse of opportunity for businesses….if you keep up.

Facebook recently released a number of important updates for marketers.  As the world’s largest human database accessible to marketers, it’s an important place to invest and stay current, because if you do, you can reap powerful benefits!

facebook-important-changes-2016

In this episode I dive into three key Facebook updates, how to use them, and what it means for your business.

 Listen Now:

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

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Covered in this Facebook Episode:

One of the key features Facebook offers marketers is the ability to reach, through Ads, the ideal customer audience your business desires. With users spending so much time on the social network each day, and with all major buying demographics represented strongly, it’s a key place to be….and to be there well a business needs to keep up.  Facebook’s newest features offer marketers some great ways to reach and connect with that ideal customer target you have!

Facebook Live Video for Pages

This first new feature is free and has nothing to do with Ads.  Facebook rolled out live video (formerly called live streaming) in the recent weeks to all Pages.  Previously it was limited to authorized pages and celebrities but it’s now available to all of us and businesses should use it!  Facebook live video uses for small and medium sized businesses can include:

  • Events (your own or events where you present/have a booth)
  • Tours of your plant/store/office/campus
  • Behind the scenes tours
  • Market updates
  • Product releases
  • Talk about new blog posts and other company updates

How does it work?

Simply use the Pages App for your Smartphone (iTunes or Android/Google Play) and go to “Publish” a post as you normally would.

Select the “Live Video” icon to the right of the Place icon, allow it access (first time), and then type in a introductory message for your stream.

Choose your camera to be front-facing or rear, and go live!

Facebook alerts fans and gives top billing to video in the news feed currently.

1. facebook live video  2. IMG_1510  3.  IMG_1511

Go ahead and give Facebook live video a try!

Facebook New Ad Types in Ads Manager:

  • Video Collage
  • Multiple Image Carousel Ads

These ads carry some visual “POW!” with them!  Not available when you Boost a post, these ads can generate traction and capture the eye of the viewer on Facebook.  The Video Collage allows you to upload a number of images and Facebook combines them to make video out of it.  The power is that the video is native to Facebook with all the benefits including auto-play in the news feed and more reach.

The Multiple Image ads do exactly what they say.  Allow you to add multiple images that appear in a sequence you can set in the ad.  So users see the first 2 ads and part of the 3 and can scroll to view the rest of the ads.  Brands have told quick stories through the image sequence or demonstrated messages that build on each other.  The sky is the limit!

On Facebook with Ads it’s all about accomplishing your goal and evaluating keys like your reach, your clicks, and your goals (sign-ups, checkouts, etc.)

First, make sure you message is solid, then experiment with the ads and let them run for 24 hours to see performance.  I like to use great copy message and then run a single image ad, multiple image ad, and video ad and watch performance, then keep the best performing ad!

I’ve gotten some seriously good cost per click prices including this month for a client I’m at $.03 cpc!

Setup for these ads:

Select your Ad type (I selected to get traffic to my website below), then on the Ad Creative screen you’ll come to this screen:

  1. For video collage, select the “A single image or video in your ads”
  2. For the multiple image ad, select the Multiple Images in one ad option of course!

video ad

Video Collage Ads:

Load 3-7  images at least 1200×615 and set to rotate 2-3 seconds depending on length you desire.

video 2

 

Advertise on Instagram via the Ads Manager

Key features:

  • No company Instagram account needed, yet you can advertise
  • Clicks to website options to drive traffic to your site

Yes, Facebook is making Instagram advertising easy for businesses.  You don’t even have to have a Instagram business account!  All you need is your company Facebook page.  If you want to drive traffic from Instagram to your website, select the “Send people to your website” option in the Facebook Ads manager.

carousel and instagram fb ads

Especially if your demographic is on Instagram, you can reach a precise audience using the power of Facebook’s ad platform that narrows down demographics and allow you to hyper-target by age, gender, region, title, interests, and more.  It’s powerful and worth trying out.  Note the recommended image size for Instagram ads of 1080×1080 (Square images).

When I want to test an Ad for Instagram, I turn off all other ad deployment locations (the Facebook and app ones). This allows me to see exactly what performance I can get on Instagram.  I’ve gotten some ads down into the $.19 cpc realm which is very good and worthwhile!

These are key Facebook updates, give them a try!

What’s your key takeaway that you need to do in the next 24 hours based on listening to this?

Share below!

Facebook Resources:

Resources outlined in this episode:


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 a 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!

How to Create an Instagram Ad

How to Create an Instagram Ad

Instagram continues to grow in users and business uses. It’s a great visual platform and many businesses are seeing the power of connecting with their ideal customer audiences on the social network.

Running Instagram Ads is a great way to harness the power of this social media powerhouse to reach more of your ideal audience. The Ad platform is new and it offers some great potential for business marketing.

With over 400 million users from over 30 countries on the site, Instagram is a powerful medium for marketing. Creating an ad on Instagram places the spotlight on the business and enhances the reach of a brand. With a few simple steps, an ad can be published to Instagram.

The process of creating the actual ad is quite similar to that of Facebook’s ad platform due to Facebook’s ownership of Instagram. The benefit is that many same features can be used (provided you’re familiar with Facebook’s Ad setup model).

Because Instagram uses the Facebook platform for ad creation, ads can also take import user information from Facebook and use it in ad targeting (demographics, locations, interests).

The first step in creating an Instagram ad is to have a Facebook account and business Facebook Page. Then connect the Instagram account to Facebook in the Page area.

Under Facebook’s settings, one can add an Instagram account by selecting Instagram ads and then clicking “Add an Account”.

Instagram ads for facebook page

 

From there, either an existing or new account can be added or created. With Facebook and Instagram connected, ads can run on both platforms.

 

instagram ads for facebook

 

The next step is to select what kind of ad will be created based on its purpose and the available ad units. For Instagram ads, three objective categories can be chosen: video views, website clicks, and app installs. The major ad units are image, carousel, and video ads.

Because Instagram is an image-rich medium, ad units are designed for marketing efforts that use visual content. Each ad unit has its own effect on the style of the overall ad.

Carousel ads are more flexible than image and video ads. It’s particularly effective for attracting mobile users as ad viewers can swipe to view pictures in the gallery and links to the site.

Image ads encourage marketers to use photos to tell stories and communicate brand values visually.

With video ads, short, up to 30-second videos are used instead of photos and galleries.Video ads are used by both big and small brands to add a story effect to ads.

After the actual construction of the ads, the final step is to add targeting to narrow your audience. Ad targeting in Instagram works similarly to Facebook. In addition to the usual targeting categories, there are options to create custom and lookalike audiences. Custom audiences consist of a business’s existing customers.

Using that tool, ads can be sent directly to customers who are on Facebook or Instagram. A lookalike audience is an audience with similar interests and demographics to a business’s followers and customers. This group can also be specifically targeted.

Just as the steps for creating ads for Instagram are similar to the Facebook method, the tips for enhancing ads are also the same for Facebook and other marketing platforms.

  • Visuals – Visual content is the backbone of Instagram. The photos in ads should be eye-catching, powerful, unique, and attractive.
  • Hashtags – Use popular hashtags for trending topics to show a brand’s savviness and create a connection with audiences.
  • Calls to Action – Directing and driving the audience to an action is key to marketing success. It is possible to include call-to-action buttons or motivating text in an ad.

That’s the basics! It’s a new ad platform and is showing promise for driving traffic to websites.  If you want to “be where the people are”, then places like Instagram should be considered by your business.

In the comments below, let me know of your successes with Instagram ads.

The Benefits of using LinkedIn Publisher

The Benefits of LinkedIn Publisher 600 (1)

LinkedIn Publishing gives LinkedIn users more opportunity to build influence and reach a target audience. With LinkedIn Publisher, users can share (and prove) their knowledge and expertise and give advice while gaining an important source of professional connections.

It’s basically a blogging platform within LinkedIn allowing users to reach their connections and beyond.

With LinkedIn publisher, individuals have the chance to build their own professional brand and showcase the experience of their company. The posts published on LinkedIn are published as individual posts by the user, not a business, and can demonstrate the experience that one has accumulated over the course of a career.

The articles will show other LinkedIn members the credibility of the writer and can, therefore, build trust in a brand, product, or company service.

With LinkedIn being the dominant social platform used for business, and the only platform where top level executives spend significant time, it’s a key avenue for businesses to consider using and the way to use it well is via LinkedIn Publishing. The ability to reach and interact with thousands of other professionals in specific industries presents many more opportunities as well for partnerships and for showcasing products and services.

linkedin-Publishing-580x270

Using LinkedIn Publisher The Right Way

To get the best results with LinkedIn Publisher there are a number of things to keep in mind, and I’ll outline those here:

1. Creating Good, Quality Content

Content is the foundation for pretty much every popular social network or blog. Since LinkedIn Publisher posts are a way of demonstrating competence and professionalism, it’s important to understand the right practices for developing content.

Offer value and resource-rich material. Don’t just give a sales pitch or talk about yourself.

Share your unique experiences in your posts. Content should reflect what one knows and the skills that have come with it. Individual experiences and the way situations were dealt with or learned from establishes not only credibility but also uniqueness.

Others can gain important knowledge from the experiences you’ve had. This fits in well with the community aspects of LinkedIn.

Whether its experiences with customers or technical problems that have encountered and solved, writing about these experiences build up your status as a professional with credibility in your industry.

The content published should also be convenient for the reader. Like most online content, it should be easy to read and give readers the information they are looking for in a digestible format.

Shorter posts, correctly formatted with content sectioned out are preferable. Use bulleted lists when possible and keep paragraphs short to allow for ease of reading and skimming.

2. Exercising Consistency

Posting needs to be consistent to set expectations for an audience and adds a level of relevance. When an audience expects regular content, they’re more likely to continue to pay attention.

Regular posts also attract more LinkedIn users and builds the LinkedIn community further.

3. Sharing Posts

To get the maximum reach out of posts, they need to be shared. LinkedIn posts don’t have to remain isolated on LinkedIn. Sharing content on Facebook and Twitter as well as other social media platforms allow posts to find a bigger audience.

By default, when you publish a post you are given the opportunity to share to Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to take advantage of this to increase your reach!

LinkedIn Publisher is a potentially powerful way to communicate your message within LinkedIn. It can help you grow trust and demonstrate your company’s expertise.

One idea to consider is to re-work some of your company blog posts and share unique versions of them on LinkedIn that can connect with your connections there.

Have you explored publishing a post on LinkedIn yet?

Connect with me on LinkedIn here to watch my use of LinkedIn Publishing.

What Is AgoraPulse?

What Is agorapulse

Today, there are many web-based apps on the market to help companies and individuals with social media management. While each caters to a specific aspect of social marketing, a rising star with great features is AgoraPulse.

AgoraPulse covers basically everything you could possibly need for social media marketing, monitoring, and management.

Focusing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram currently with more networks set to roll out shortly, it helps small businesses that are on tight social media marketing budgets have a complete tool like the Fortune 500 companies!

AgoraPulse has tools for everything from moderation to competitions. Most importantly, though, it’s sold at a price that most any business can afford. Below I’ll review some of the key aspects of AgoraPulse.

Comprehensive Analytics Tools

The analytics tools found in AgoraPulse are very similar to what you’d find in Facebook Insights. The difference here is that AgoraPulse’s tools are a lot easier to read.

Besides the interface, AgoraPulse also includes all kinds of reports that you won’t find in Facebook Insights. This includes post recommendations, average fan profiling, reach and engagement breakdown, page views, export into Powerpoint, ROI analysis and competitor analysis.

These tools allow companies to get more information on the people viewing and engaging with their business, so they can reach and serve their target audience better.

agorapulse

 Applications

Originally the core feature of the tool, Facebook contests are still offered but have less prominence in the interface. It’s pretty easy and straightforward to setup and deploy a contest. There’s no CSS editing or extensive text formatting.

Practically everything is preconfigured to make it quick to create and launch. This is great for companies that want a simple process to launch contests on Facebook.

agorapulse

Publishing

Creating and publishing content is key on social media networks and the management of this process is important. AgoraPulse does this well. Check out some of the reasons why below:

  • You can customize all kind of things in your post, like the heading, link description and image.
  • You can upload a picture right to the album you want on Facebook.
  • You can view all of your posts at once whether they’re published or not, thanks to a calendar style screen.

agorapulse

Moderation

When it comes to moderating Facebook, it can be a bit tricky. Facebook lets you block specific words (like curse words), and sends notifications when a follower leaves a comment.

This is problematic for those large companies that have a huge following. With AgoraPulse, you can switch up the moderation rules based on the user’s’ comments. You can assign specific moderation tasks to different individuals. This gives you a strong administration role.

You can assign an account administrator that hand’s out moderation tasks manually, or you can have AgoraPulse send a notification email to the person you choose. This offers a quality way to manage comments and interactions.

agorapulse

iOS and Android Apps

One of the keys that in my opinion sets AgoraPulse apart is the powerful and slick mobile app. Available for Apple and Android users, the app has some great features. It allows easy publishing and scheduling.

As well, it offers access to on-the-go moderation and ability to enable notifications so that app users can be alerted immediately of key things such as comments and replies.

AgoraPluse 1

AgoraPluse

Pricing

As mentioned previously, AgoraPulse is affordable for the small business. It costs as little as $19 a month for a small business that wants to manage one Facebook Page and Twitter account. This pricing can change depending on the AgoraPulse plan you choose.

AgoraPulse has a free trial option so individuals can try out this system before purchasing a plan. The trial lasts 15 days and allows you to try all the features so individuals get a true feel.

I’m blessed to count AgoraPulse founder Emeric Ernoult as a friend of mine. We’ve had friendly competition in the Facebook contest space with TabSite but I’ve got to say that the transformation of AgoraPulse to a complete social media management tool has been impressive.

They are a small team going up against big firms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social and they’ve done a great job carving out key user features that set them apart.

5 Items Every Business Owner Should Invest In

5 Items Every Business Owner Should Invest In (2)

Since its conception, the online digital landscape has gone through many changes. Businesses need to keep up with theses changes by developing an integrated marketing strategy, improving website design, and utilizing social media tools.

I’ll outline 5 keys I believe every business owner should be investing in for success on the web:

Responsive Website

A website with a fixed width is no longer sufficient for today’s needs. The use of so many mobile devices requires sites to adjust to fit their specific screen size and reorder content for easier reading.

Mobile phone users constitute a large percentage of internet users. Currently, up to 80% of smartphone users utilize their mobile phones to shop online. Also, the conversion rate for mobile users is three times higher that of traditional laptop and desktop users.

For a business, having a responsive website grants access to an important, vital segment of consumers. Not investing in a responsive website is likely to lead to a significant loss in web traffic and ultimately sales as visitors move on to a competitor.

Integrated Online Marketing Strategies

The new landscape also requires new ways of marketing. Because a website is vital to marketing, it’s the first component of a good marketing strategy.

A website is a hub for information about a business. It’s where customers go after viewing marketing campaigns. Customers often sign up for newsletters and provide contact information through the site.

Having a proper SEO strategy is an excellent way to market a business and its products or services. SEO helps a site rank in the search engines.

SMM or Social Media Marketing allows you to connect directly with the customer. It also allows a company to spread by “word of mouth”.

Many potential customers search for products through social media. In response, those platforms have introduced expanded search engine capabilities.

Having a business’s brand on social media provides the business with important exposure – and having quality, resource-rich content on your website is the second ingredient that together provides your business the engine it needs to gain steam online.

Onsite Methods for Lead Capture

Converting website traffic to leads is important for generating sales. There are many ways to capture leads. An engaging way to capture leads and email addresses is a freebie form.

Freebie forms offer an incentive for customers to leave their information with a business. This opens up the way for businesses to contact potential customers for future purchases. The incentive can be a coupon or free, downloadable resource guide as simple examples.

Social Media Assets

As explained before, social media can get the word out about a company. Social media assets such as a Facebook page or YouTube channel make connecting with customers easy. It also provides a friendly platform for people to learn about the company.

Social networks often come with an option for using campaigns to market products or events. Businesses can use these campaigns to generate more leads. Share your new website content for starters.

Advanced Website Tools

Advanced website tools make your business’s processes more automated and efficient. It also makes marketing content and business products and services easier.

An online CRM software gives one the ability to group leads and customers, and the business can analyze their preferences and market to them more effectively. Make sure to compare a few CRM software options to find what fits your business needs.  As well, a great resource for comparing the best small business CRM systems can be found in this post by Cloudwards.

For example, tied with lead capture on your website, a CRM with email marketing can automatically send a follow-up sequence of emails to “drip” information to a prospect and even trigger different emails based on links clicked in a prior email. It’s about developing smarter online business processes.

Together, these keys are critical to a business serious about making the web work for them. Are you maximizing each of these for your business? Contact us for some help.

Why Content Marketing Is The Foundation For Organic Traffic

Why Content Marketing Is The Foundation For Organic Traffic

When building a business, every customer contact counts.

Your website is the easiest and quickest way for potential customers to find and learn about your business. Your website tells people what type of products and services you have, where to find you, and what hours you’re open.

While this might seem like a simple task, it can be challenging to stay visible online. One of the best ways to be found on the search engines is to create and post more original content on a consistent basis that drives organic traffic.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is when the search engine sends potential customers to your website for free. Google looks through the content on your website when it matches what the searcher is looking for and your site is served up in search results.

Content can be blog posts, infographics, videos, and images. The goal is to create an information base that people find interesting and informational.

Your site becomes the resource for people trying to find specific answers online. Then they will come back or share your site with other people. This is content marketing and the foundation of organic traffic.

Types of Content

To have a successful content marketing program, you must put new content on your website on a regular basis. Content can be as simple as regular weekly blog posts, infographics, and videos.

The more varied your content, the more potential customers you’ll attract. Varied doesn’t mean any type of content, but content that is connected to your industry or services. Learn more about how to create shareable content that will increase organic traffic.

For example, a real estate agent can blog about the community they live in and local events rather than simply announcing the next open house.

Infographics

People love images, and when you want to educate your viewers, infographics are a great tool. An infographic is basically content that educates developed in the form of an image. By using images and text, you can clearly explain even the most complex subjects.

Successful infographics on websites are frequently shared via social media sites which further increases your chances of more people seeing and coming back to your site. Thus, more organic traffic!

Videos

Videos are great at creating organic traffic as well. Most people will take the time to view a 1 to 3-minute video, but not everyone will read a blog post.

Videos should be well made and just long enough for an explanation or to summarize a product feature. How-to videos are often very popular for content marketing.

One quick idea is to create a short “how to” video, load it to YouTube, then grab the embed code and create a blog post where you quickly outline what the video is about and have the video as the main feature of the post.

Learn more about the different video options available to you and choose the right platform for your brand.

Why Content is Important

Content marketing gives you opportunities to connect with potential customers anytime and anywhere. Not everyone will want or need the same type of information, so having a variety of content helps attract people to your site.

Infographics and videos help break down information into digestible bits. Blog content helps create a knowledge base on your site online.

Together, these tips will help you attract traffic which means more viewers and ultimately more customers.

Staying at the top of the search engine searches takes work. By using a variety of content, infographics, videos, and blog posts, you can increase your visibility on the search engine. The higher you are in the search engine, the more visitors and traffic you’ll receive.