A lot of business and site owners still approach internet marketing head-on. We’re so used to having different resources and tools helping us handle social media campaigns and content marketing that we often forget about the importance of good project management. Internet marketing is one continuous project that can definitely benefit from good project management.
According to recent studies compiled by Brandeis University and its masters in project and program management program, good project management involves five important steps: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. By approaching an internet marketing campaign using these five steps, we can actually boost the impact of every campaign substantially. Proper planning, for instance, can help the campaign be more specific and have clearer goals. This, in turn, will make the entire campaign easier to execute and monitor.
The Many Tasks of an Efficient Project Manager is an infographic by Brandeis University.
If 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:
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.
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.
As with anything, there are also a few pitfalls you should look out for on Fiverr:
I’ve used Fiverr with a mixture of results, some good, some not so good.
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.
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.
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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Don’t wait until January to prepare your 2017 marketing. It's the perfect time to lay out your key projects and identify everything you need to accomplish them.
But whatever your plans are, make sure you can keep up with the fast-changing nature of the internet. That way you'll have the edge over the competition. In line with this, here is a digital marketing checklist of some things you need to look into by the time the New Year rolls in:
Social media marketing is undeniably effective, but nothing beats having your own website to establish an online presence.
What works on one social media platform may not necessarily work on another, so don’t hesitate to drop those platforms that aren't effective. Experiment with different kinds of posts to see what gets the most engagement. Your observations will serve as guidelines for future content.
Posting times have an effect as well. Social media analytics will give you an idea of when people are likely to engage with your content. Is it before they go to work? Is it at night after a busy day? Try mixing up content depending on schedules – informative posts in the morning and fun posts in the evening.
But whenever you post and whatever the form, you can’t go wrong with quality content. This should be the foundation of your overall strategy.
Your website’s goal is to capture qualified leads. To encourage people to give up their email address, you have to offer them something worth their time, like valuable content that tackles a relevant subject in greater depth.
Once you have their email address, you can build a lead capture funnel through an email list. To keep potential customers in the funnel, send them periodic emails as part of your lead nurturing strategy. The idea is to establish a solid professional relationship where you give them something of value in exchange for something you need from them.
To grab their attention in the first place, you must have strong call-to-actions. Pop-ups are the go-to choice for this purpose, but 2017 may introduce new trends especially when Google starts changing the rules, so watch out for that.
Do these things in 2016 to help improve your 2017 online marketing strategy. But whatever you do, always put the customer’s point of view in mind to help you deliver the best experience.
Email marketing has been around for a long time, and it has a proven track record of success.
If done right it can increase your leads and sales. If done wrong it can seriously harm your reputation. There are some basic do's and don'ts you should always follow and in this post we want to give you a quick guide overview of the keys:
Whether you have a list of thousands or just a few hundred, you need to send quality emails in a timely, organized way. There are many platforms available to help with this.
Make sure you test and analyze every email you send. See what works and adjust accordingly. Include links to your social media accounts and social share links so your readers can share your articles with their networks.
Here's the full show with Jessika, and me. Enjoy!
Having a solid marketing plan is essential for every small business to get the word out about their products and services. Companies need to be cost-effective (i.e., small marketing budget) and one way to maximize your dollars today is through online social media marketing.
Social media is a legitimate business marketing avenue. People spend significant amounts of time on platforms each day and it’s a way to get in front of them where they are at. It's an important tool to promote your business and ultimately help increase income. The question needs to be not about how big your marketing budget is, but how you intend to spend the marketing budget you have. Here are some ways to maximize your budget while still getting the best bang for your buck with social media.
From the start, your focus should be on building relationships via social media - and trust - so your fans and readers ultimately become repeat customers who tell others about your brand.
Developing a target audience by defining who to engage with is critical. You don't need to talk to everyone - only the ones that are most likely to be attracted to what you offer. Who are your best customers? Figure that out and ask them what social media networks they use.
Outline your specific goals and outcome before you develop your marketing strategy. Determine what you want your social media marketing strategy to achieve. Approach things in 2 ways: goals and objectives.
Set high-level goals, although they don't have to be precise. Be sure you're always aware of the big picture and the vision that keep you motivated and ambitious. A goal can be driving 15% more traffic to your website through using social media.
You can become more detailed when it comes to objectives. Determine how many leads you want to generate, what you'd like your close rate to be, and how to accurately measure increases in brand awareness. You can run Facebook Ads and track them all the way through to ecommerce purchases so you know a particular ad generated a particular sale.
You make a promise of value when you make a value proposition. It can help you stand out from the competition. And whether you want to promote a product using Instagram or Facebook, you need to distinguish your product and company from similar ones. For your value proposition to be valid it has to be relevant, visually appealing, clear and concise and include a call-to-action.
Creating an effective value proposition on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin will motivate users to click your ad. You could offer a free eBook or offer a download to a printable coupon...or anything that details the unique value your product provides.
Creating an effective value proposition on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin will motivate users to click your ad. You could offer a free eBook or offer a download to a printable coupon...or anything that details the unique value your product provides.
Every social media strategy needs a strong foundation of well-crafted, carefully chosen content. Content adds substance to social media, and developing a content strategy that's effective for your target audience, and effective when assessing your competitors, will have the most success.
An important part of your content strategy is to develop and maintain a consistent tone of voice to guarantee the ongoing quality of your content no matter who is creating it. It's also helpful to be consistent. You need to post regularly so your audience gets accustomed to the times and opportunity to interact with you.
It's wise to create different types of content, both written (articles, blog posts), and visual (tutorial videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.), and track what content is most effective on your social media networks.
Following those overarching keys can help make your social media marketing successful. Social media is where people spend time, so it’s important to develop ways to reach them there!
Need help with your social media strategy? Contact me, I can help.
Facebook ads have quite a bit of appeal. These ads can feature your business on a social media platform that hosts millions of users every single day. When you place a Facebook ad that features your product or service, you should be able to reach more people than ever before, right?
The process of setting up a Facebook ad can be fairly straightforward, but to get the biggest “bang for your buck” you need to go deeper and drill into the detailed setup. This is where the “good stuff” is and yet also where some of the complexity can lie.
The guidelines, rules, regulations and chance of rejection for an Ad is quite high with Facebook so much so that many advertisers give up before they have an ad live. If you create an ad but forget one requirement the ad is going to be rejected.
One of the rules that is frequently forgotten is the 20% text rule. This rule has been the bane of many ad creators. Facebook would reject all ads that had more than 20% ratio of text on the image.
BREAKING….Recently, however, the 20% rule was changed! (But not completely discarded)
Until recently, Facebook had an established rule that text could not make up over 20% of the image you use for your Facebook ad. This rule resulted in high ad rejection rates. The ad creator had a grid tool that let you see the area of your image your text covered. This tool was not well liked because if you had text in any portion of a grid box, that counted as the whole box and towards your 20% max text. So often ad creators and designers had to finesse images and make multiple adjustments to work within the grid system.
This may not seem like a big deal, however, businesses that had pre-made images of products, with text found it problematic. For example, text on their shirt or coffee mug in the image engages the 20% rule.
Chances are, these businesses and marketers will be happy with the recent changes!
Facebook has made some helpful changes to the 20% rule. The former grid tool, which was helpful for many people, is now gone, and even if you wanted to use it, you can’t. Instead, Facebook offers a guideline that is a bit vague regarding text overlay.
Rather than have a “yes, the image/text ratio works,” or “no, it doesn’t work,” your image will now be classified into one of four areas based on the amount of text overlay present:
Keep in mind that all of the following will count as text on your ad image:
The good news is that Facebook ads are not limited to the amount of text on their ad images any longer. However, the rules related to text and ads are a bit vague, making it a bit more difficult to create an ad with superior visibility. The more text, the lower the visibility and reach Facebook will give to the ad! And they make the decision. It’s not a clear process a marketer can follow to ensure maximum reach other than to keep text at a minimum under the old 20% marker really.
For small business owners who need assistance with their digital marketing, this news is helpful and beneficial, but not a homerun. It’s an improvement in my opinion, to assist and can help marketers achieve greater success in the world of Facebook advertising with more ease of getting ads published.
Need help with your digital marketing or Facebook Ads? Contact Digital Hill, we’re happy to answer your questions.
It’s important to keep up with the frequent changes on the web that affect your company’s online presence. Here are several key points to keep in mind to make sure your business has an effective web presence that is consistent and performing well according to today’s standards. The way that you present yourself on the web will influence your audience's judgment of your company and whether they stick around to interact with you.
Having a site with responsive design is a must. This means mobile and tablet friendly as the website “responds” to adjust and present content well based on the device it is being viewed on.
An increasing number of users are navigating the web on their tablet or smartphone. Ensure your company’s visibility by having a responsive design. The mobile view of your website should have large, clear text, images, and buttons that are easily clickable with a finger. Don't put clickable links too close together and make them easy for large fingers to click. Analyze each page of your mobile website individually for its usability and design.
A website layout refers to a framework or pattern that defines the structure of a website. It structures the information seen on a website, both for the owner and the users. A web layout provides clear navigation paths within web pages and places the most important website elements at the front and center.
Typically, the users of your website will do what you “tell them” to do.
By having an organized site navigation, you’re making it easier for the user to complete a goal. That goal is usually a conversion of some sort; it may be checkout completion, an email opt-in, registration sign-up, etc. Once the goal is initiated, make sure your users know they have arrived at the correct place with relevant content on the appropriate page.
If you want to embrace HubSpot web design, for instance, you can work with a HubSpot specialist who can be an extension of your web design team. By doing so, your business will have a repeatable stream of new leads and customers to attain consistently high revenue.
Check the following tips when designing your website layout:
For users to view you as an authority, you will need to display your company’s expertise and be a resource.
A blog allows you to publish content quickly and easily. When you provide value upfront in the form of content, you allow others to build trust in your knowledge. That trust supports your credibility and places you in the position of the expert. Users will come back to your site time and time again when they know your site contains a wealth of resources in the form of guides, videos, whitepapers, and other content you can publish on your blog.
Here are some tips to make your website a blog resource center:
Moving someone from visitor to lead is lead capture, and to do so you need a CTA (Call to Action).
It’s essential to stay current with best practices for gathering information from your viewers. Many sites have had good success with embedding an email opt-in box in a blog post. Nowadays, it’s necessary to get creative. The old email opt-in box in the sidebar of your site trick isn't working as effectively and should not be your only means of CTA on your website. On your blog, offer expert level information as downloadable content. Use call to actions to entice a viewer into downloading your content to gain a valuable lead for a product or service you offer.
To be an effective web presence, your site needs to make it easy for your own business, as well as any visitor, to share your great blog and web page content on social media! Offer the primary social media network sharing buttons at the top or side of key pages. It’s highly recommended to have them on every new blog post you publish on your business site. Typically this is a one-time setup by your web developer. Allowing others to share your content helps your content to get spread wider and farther online.
Become an active social listener in your industry and learn the pain points of your audience. The more problems you can solve for your audience, the more value you provide, which enhances your web presence and the value your audience recognizes in your business. By following these 5 simple guidelines on your business website, you can establish an effective web presence online that grows business.
It's not just a website, it's a sales tool!
Knowing your audience is one of the fundamentals of marketing, and an important step for getting better conversions.
In today's world, simple web traffic knowledge is not enough. You need to have an understanding of deeper data points such as your social and mobile audiences as well. These audiences are having more and more of an impact on the web for one, and, second, mobile and social audiences are massively growing, and projected to continue scaling as shown in these stats:
You cannot ignore the huge mobile and social audience if you want more conversions on your website. Your site needs to work well for these audiences and you need to know what is working. The good news is that Google Analytics makes it easy to learn more about your mobile and social audiences.
After you login to Google Analytics, click add segment on the dashboard.
A drop-down menu with many options will appear. Click the checkbox next to mobile traffic and any other segments you want to view and then click apply.
This will bring up a graph that compares all users with mobile traffic so you can see how much mobile traffic your site has received. The pie charts below the line graph break down the segments by percentage, so you can see the percentage of mobile visitors you've had.
Now that you have added the mobile viewing segment, you have a wealth of information available to you about your mobile visitors. You can find out about the age, gender, and interests of your visitors and how those interests break down according to the device used. You can also discover referral sources by device. All of this information can be used to learn more about your target audiences and how you can improve your marketing toward them.
To learn more about your social traffic, scroll down on the sidebar to the left to the button labeled "acquisitions." When you click that, a drop down menu will appear with more options. Click the one labeled "social," and below that, "overview." You will then see an overview of how your social networks are working with your website. You can see how much of your traffic comes from social networks, and which social networks are giving you the most traffic.
Below "Overview" is "Network Referrals," which will show you where people are engaging with your content. You can identify the content that is working the best for each social media network. With that information, you can adjust your social media marketing plan to create the type of content that has worked well in the past or discover new ways of getting engagement.
Moving down, the Social Users Flow chart will show you where your social traffic originated, where they went on your site, and how they interacted with your site.
You can also track conversions through mobile traffic on Google Analytics. You can view your conversion goals through various segments, such as all users, mobile traffic, and tablet traffic to see which devices are getting you conversions.
A huge amount of information is available through Google Analytics. Make sure to use the tools available for social and mobile analytics to guide your marketing efforts!
What’s your next step you need to take today for your business in Google Analytics?
Finding a cost-effective, and efficient method of generating leads is always at the top of marketers lists. Surveys are a great way to interact with your target consumer base and gauge your brand's marketability based on its reception by the public. If you keep them simple, surveys can be a great way to learn and even grow leads at the same time.
Waftio is a convenient lead generation system that comes with a built-in function that allows you to easily create your own embedded survey app to give to your target audience.
Use a survey to connect with your viewers and get answers from your clients and prospective clients on their perspective or experience. Here're a few tips on surveys.
Here are some tips and tricks to creating a simple, but effective survey using Waftio's user-friendly interface.
You'll want log into Waftio, and locate the Add App tab. Click on either the Add App or Click Here located at the bottom of the tab.
You'll see 3 options, Survey App, Form App and Sweepstakes Form App. Click on survey app to continue this process.
This is the step in which you'll get hands-on and craft your survey according to your needs. There are several settings options on board to assist you in this process, which are:
You'll use the App Builder function to add relevant images to your survey and fill the app with necessary data to serve its intended purpose. Simply click the Add option and plug in any question you wish to be answered by your viewers.
Ideally, you will want to use questions that relate, either directly or indirectly, to your product, service or brand. Once your survey is complete, you can embed it on your webpage.
Under the Stats tab, you have the option to view statistics about your survey. You have the option to see if and when users submitted their information and what type of device they used.Deciphering the information itself can be a bit trickier. Your app could be as simple as asking the user to provide their name or email, or feedback on your web page itself.
Not getting the response you'd like? You might need to change a thing or two in your app. Waftio is an excellent, easy to use lead generation system and its ability to completely automate the process of conducting surveys can be invaluable.
How have you used surveys to get the vital info need to keep your business growing? Share with us in the comments.
Marketing personalization is a rapidly growing arena in online marketing. This applies to every industry; tech, retail, auto, etc. If you can personalize your marketing to viewers, it builds trust and rapport that can lead to sales and loyalty. According to Forbes, personalization is the key to the future of marketing. And at Entrepreneur, they have outlined in reports that marketing personalization is no longer simply a luxury, but a need.
So what is marketing personalization? It uses data on the user to then give them a more customized message/experience on the next interaction. You’ve likely been on a website, and then soon after went to another site and saw an ad from the first site. That’s an example. Or maybe you were on a site and filled out a form to get a coupon. Soon thereafter you received an email with “Hi <your name>, hope that coupon was valuable to you.” That’s another example of marketing personalization. It may seem daunting, but there are tools like Perfect Audience that help you accomplish this.
As with any other marketing activity, personalization isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are a lot of things to do before your business sounds like a person reaching out to another person in a customized way. For quicker success you need to allow a digital agency to do the work, or you need to use tools that can help you tackle the job.
Perfect Audience is one of those tools. It’s a self-service software that helps marketers personalize their marketing quickly and easily. Perfect Audience is part of Marin Software, one of the leading providers of cross-channel advertising solutions in the USA. Marin Software acquired Perfect Audience in 2014.
Perfect Audience provides marketers with powerful software tools which can be used to gather useful customer data to drive marketing campaigns.
One area where the company excels is retargeting. Retargeting identifies consumers who visit your website and after that follows these consumers around with targeted ads. Whatever websites they visit, your ads can appear on that web page.
Studies show that over 80% of visitors leave your site without making a purchase or contacting you. Retargeting will get your business/brand at the top of their minds by “showing up again for them” so if they decide to purchase at a later date; they’ll remember you and you have a better opportunity that they’ll purchase from you.
Perfect Audience offers 9 different retargeting solutions; mobile app retargeting, cross-device retargeting, partner retargeting, HubSpot retargeting, Twitter retargeting, display retargeting, Facebook Exchange retargeting, and news feed retargeting. Again, retargeting is targeting a visitor to your website on another platform with an ad after they have visited your website.
Here’s an overview of the Perfect Audience top 3 retargeting services:
Mobile app retargeting involves re-engaging targeted consumers to ensure these people are always thinking about your app. If your app is a game, retargeting may mean sending the appropriate ads to remind users to come back and play while they are in another app or game. Perfect Audience even has a tool that helps app owners track app revenue and conversions.
Cross-device targeting is exactly what the name suggests – being able to retarget users across devices. Today’s consumers own several devices. Some may have a smartphone, and a tablet, and others a smartphone and a laptop. Cross-device targeting allows you to reach any consumer on whatever device they are signing into at the moment.
The Perfect Audience Dynamic Product Retargeting service allows merchants to turn over 16.9 million products into personalized Facebook ads, driving a 200% boost in ROI.
Perfect Audience's account set-up is free of charge. That alone should be reason enough to try the services. They also offer a 14-day free trial period!
Also, there is a low minimum spend, meaning that you can start off with as little as $5 per day. They bill on a CPM (cost per metric) basis with billing done every Monday for services of the past 7 days. You can also request a demo to know what exactly you’ll be getting.
Again, Perfect Audience is one of those tools that helps you customize and personalize your marketing. It’s a key trend to touch base in a more personal way and to follow-up on people that have visited your website. Are you ready to try more personalization marketing or need someone to do it for you? Let me know!
It's no secret that video is fast becoming the most effective means of publishing content and building an audience. People are watching more and more video online thanks to high-speed Internet and smartphones. YouTube is an obvious destination for video content creators seeking an inexpensive home for their videos and a chance for the videos to be discovered easily.
Google, the owner of YouTube since 2006, is the chef, cook, and bottlewasher of the content promotion, paid-discovery, and organic SEO landscape. They're able to dictate (with their algorithms) which content comes up on the first page of a Google search, and they do the same for YouTube searches as well.
If you publish videos online, on YouTube specifically, you're probably always looking for new and useful tips and tools to hack your YouTube publishing experience. You want more people to see your videos, more subscriptions, and perhaps even more sales for your product or service. TubeBuddy could quite possibly be your new best friend.
TubeBuddy offers a powerful suite of superpowers; that beef-up the abilities of the YouTube publisher's default toolset. More specifically, TubeBuddy offers a set of powerful content management and publishing tools, right in line with the regular YouTube experience. It all started with a small team building a browser plugin...and TubeBuddy was born.
By incorporating the TubeBuddy functions into a browser plugin, the new features are presented to users as if they were built-in YouTube features. In fact, once you get in the habit of using TubeBuddy on a regular basis as you upload videos, and because the process is so seamless, you'll probably forget which features are original to YouTube and which are from the TubeBuddy plugin.
For the most part, TubeBuddy is for the YouTube power user. For those wanting to add Call-to-Action cards within multiple videos. They offer a free service level, and those publishing content regularly and in large quantities to YouTube will gain the most from using it. The meat and potatoes of the TubeBuddy tool lie within its ability to bulk manage cards and annotations. Those experienced in YouTube marketing already know that cards and annotations are the gateway for bringing traffic, leads and potential sales from the YouTube video platform to your own website. Without TubeBuddy, you're left going into the card or annotation feature and making changes one-by-one, every time you want to change something, rather than efficiently doing this in bulk.
It might be a smart idea to put a card 60 seconds into each video you upload that mentions a specific call-to-action, such as a free webinar or discount you're offering. Well, isn't the date and time of that webinar going to change? Of course, it will. After the current event has come and gone, you're going to schedule a similar webinar, seminar or event and want to promote it in the same place in your videos. So, instead of having to go around to each video one-by-one to update your cards, TubeBuddy gives you the power to make a change in one spot and be done. It's a major time-saver as it updates each location you used it.
The features of TubeBuddy extend beyond cards and annotations with tools related to SEO optimization, channel rank tracking and various reporting and promotion abilities as well. It's also nice to know that it's not an all-or-nothing proposition as TubeBuddy is offered in 4 service levels, starting with a pretty solid free basic plan. If you're generating revenue from YouTube or using YouTube as a lead source, TubeBuddy could pay for itself by increasing views and engagement across your videos.
It's a difficult balance. Automating social media can save you a lot of time in your busy schedule. But social media is by nature a social, personal platform. Too much automation can cause you lose that personal feeling that's so important to social media interaction. People don't want to interact with robots!
But we understand that automation is very useful. With your busy schedule automation helps you establish a presence without dedicating hours and hours to social media. But timely, live posts have an excellent value. A mix of automated posts and live posts will help you develop an exciting social media presence. Here are some tips to help you strike that balance.
You won't have social media success if you're not posting at least once a day on each platform. Be willing to learn about social media platforms and use the ones that are best for your industry. Take some time to learn how users make their posts personal and human, and do the same for your posts to add value to the conversation. You may only need to use 2 or 3 social media accounts, which is perfectly fine as long as you invest time in those accounts.
Different platforms have slightly different tones, styles, and rules. Hashtags are very popular and useful on Twitter, but they work differently on Facebook. If you're creating content ahead of time, be sure to write each post a little differently for each platform. Twitter has a character limit you have to follow while Facebook allows a little more room for detail. Match the tone of your posts to the platform you are posting on.
If you've scheduled posts for certain times of the day, make sure that you're ready at that time to respond. The best practice is to respond as soon as you can when there is interaction. If you wait too long, you'll be out of sight and out of mind.
Auto direct messages feel like spam, and sound like robots, no matter how you word them. "Thanks for the follow, check out my Facebook." Don't do that. Auto direct messages are annoying to Twitter users.
Be flexible in your content creation so that you can add your voice to relevant breaking news or trends. People can tell if all of your posts are automated. It's also very important to do some quick research on trending hashtags to make sure you know what you're talking about. Hashtags' meanings can change, and their meanings are not always obvious.
Experiment with multiple automation apps and choose the one that works best for you and will make you sound human. Be on the lookout for new apps as well.
These are some basics to help you use automation wisely and effectively. Any questions?
Here's the full blab with Jessika, Ravi and I. Enjoy!
Remember, you can join Jessika, Ravi and I live on Blab every Tuesday afternoon at 2pm for Magnet Marketer Blab videocast online.
Splice is a free video editing app for iPhone, and iPad. The app is easy to use and lets users edit HD pictures and videos into a professional quality video that's great for sharing online. The app provides many features including transitions, trims, borders, sound effects, background music and voiceover.
Videos are an excellent way to capture a potential customer's' attention with your online marketing efforts. Splice makes it easy to turn videos and pictures on your iPhone into a high-quality video that'll impress your audience.
Here's a quick overview of the app that'll show you how to make some impressive videos.
Open the Splice app. The first screen you'll see is the projects page. To begin a new video project, hit the plus button, and name the project. From there you'll have some settings to choose from for the project: HD or SD, border options, orientation, and a default transition selection. Hit the "done" button when you have selected your desired options.
On the next screen, you'll choose what you want to be the very first part of your video. You can create a title screen by hitting the "title" button, or choose to begin with a video or photo. On the title screen, you can type in text, change its location and change the zoom on the text. You can also select how long you want the title screen to show in the video by adjusting the "duration" slider. Once you've created the title and hit done, you'll see the title you have created, along with "plus" buttons on either side and button with a pencil in the middle. The plus buttons allow you to add content before or after the title or selected video. The pencil button lets you edit the title.
Hit the plus button to the right of the title, and select the video/photo button to add photos and videos. The "albums" screen will come up. Any videos you have on your phone will be in the "camera roll" section. Select the videos in the order you want them to appear in your video, then hit "done." The app will ask if you want to use the default transition you selected at the beginning between the videos. After you choose, the videos will begin to upload into the project. Once they've loaded, you'll be brought back to the main screen where you can scroll left and right to view the project. The blank windows represent the transitions between the videos.
When you tap on a video in the project screen, you will see the "plus" and "pencil" buttons appear. To edit the video, tap the pencil and you'll be given several editing options. You can trim, adjust the speed, crop, duplicate, or delete the clip using the buttons. In the trim feature, you can adjust the starting and ending points by adjusting the points in the slider beneath the video. You can also edit the audio by hitting the audio button, where you can add background music or voice recordings and adjust the volume of the videos.
Splice has a lot of great features that make video editing a breeze. This overview is a quick introduction to the app to get you started, but the best way to learn it is to give it a try for yourself. You'll be making business product and service videos like a pro in no time!
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One of the biggest problems with work projects today is finding the right way to communicate effectively online.
Every team has dreamed of finding a way to work on the same presentations, documents, and spreadsheets without thousands of emails going back and forth.
Enter Google Apps: A powerful online suite of business software tools from Google.
With Google apps, there is no need to send files through email and deal with the pain of sorting through it all to find the single file you want. There's also no need to try and retrieve the file again at a later time if someone made updates to it.
With Google apps, everyone on the team will be able to use Google Docs, Slides, and Google Sheets with shared access to files.
This allows the team to edit the same file - even simultaneously - and talk to each other within the files. In this post, I’ll dive into some of the ways Google Apps can add value to team communication.
When it comes to working together on projects, it can sometimes be challenging to keep up-to-date on projects and schedules. Deadlines and tasks are constantly changing.
Put all your tasks and tracking together in one place with the help of Google Sheets, which is the Google version of Microsoft Excel. This will ease the pain of trying to access and makes changes to the same project plan, or update team members on status and task changes.
Create a project calendar to keep the team updated on the latest due dates and milestones using Google Calendars.
You can keep track of the availability of team members and schedule important milestones and dates by sharing the calendar among team members.
With Google Hangouts, teams will be able to work from all over the world via video meetings and chat. With this app, everyone will be able to talk face-to-face without spending loads of money on traveling.
No need to talk face-to-face? Keep the chat tool open in your browser with one or more team members so you can have quick, short bursts of communication as needed. The beauty of this option is that it works on desktop, tablet, and smartphones.
As noted, there really isn't a need for the Microsoft Office tools when using Google Apps. Create your own files with Docs (like Word), Sheets, and Slides (like PowerPoint), and store them all in Google Drive so you can access them from anywhere you log in. This includes tablets and smartphones!
Easily share files with the “read only” option, or use the "editable permission" option to make and view changes to a document. This includes the ability to revert to a prior, unedited version.
Google Apps is a great way to collaborate and to stop messing with sending files via email each time changes are made! Using Google apps for your business can bring your virtual team much closer and make corroborating easier than ever.
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".
From there, either an existing or new account can be added or created. With Facebook and Instagram connected, ads can run on both platforms.
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.
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. However, many new programs now exist and offer to increase likes or followers with their ads. However, some like Instazood are a scam, and you should choose alternatives if you choose to use a third-party app.
In the comments below, let me know of your successes with Instagram ads.
When people think of social media, the two platforms that come to mind first are typically Facebook and Twitter. However, in the business community, LinkedIn is the dominant social network of the professional community. Users spend an average of nearly 10 minutes per day on the social platform. Users of LinkedIn say they are 50% more likely to buy from a brand they engage with on the platform, thus making the case that LinkedIn should be part of any business' social strategy.
LinkedIn has two versions, free and premium. The free version is used by the masses and covers the social media aspect of the platform: individual profiles, search tools, connecting, messaging, posting articles, groups, and so on. According to LinkedIn's help center, the free version features include ability to:
The premium version has a few major feature differences:
If you've made the decision to move to a premium account, you can now choose the membership that best suits your needs. LinkedIn offers four premium tracks, which are tailored for:
Each one of these premium options requires a monthly subscription cost, which can be done month-to- month or as an annual purchase. The annual purchase price is typically discounted 20%.
You’re likely familiar with the free version of LinkedIn but how about the premium options? Whether you are seeking the right job, to hire the right person, to increase your professional networking opportunities, or to grow sales, LinkedIn has some key tools that might be of value for your specific need. LinkedIn has proven to be an essential tool for companies and professionals across the business spectrum. Hopefully, this outline of premium options gives you some new insights on tools you might be missing.
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.
To get the best results with LinkedIn Publisher there are a number of things to keep in mind, and I’ll outline those here:
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.
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.
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.
Instagram has been on fire the past year and a half. Growing crazy fast and expanding, it’s a strong social media platform and under the tutelage of parent Facebook they’ve now opened up advertising to businesses.
Using Instagram ads to expand a business' social media presence is a great way to grow a brand, and connect with new customers. Creating Instagram ads is a straightforward process. They are created and launched in the Facebook ad platform under Pages, and there are a few tips and tricks we’ll look at today that can help a business increase their conversion rate with this newer ad option.
Before the ad starts to run, it's best to make sure there is already a solid amount of content on the account. This means previously uploaded images and videos. There is a good chance people who see the ad will visit the company's profile, especially if they are interested in becoming a customer. An account with nothing in it may look spammy, but good content that's already been posted will make visitors feel even more inclined to follow, comment, and ultimately make a purchase.
An image that draws a user in is essential since so many people browse through their Instagram feeds quickly on their phone. Making someone stop to actually look at the ad is the most important part of the advertising process. Without that initial interest, a CPM campaign will quickly start showing a negative ROI.
Instagram offers a "Learn More" button and it's helpful to direct viewers to your website. The call to action text, combined with the button seen on every sponsored post, increases the chances that visitors leave Instagram to be completely focused on a company's goods or services. That’s your main goal, engage the viewer and get them to your website.
While the call to action is important, the rest of the text plays a role in converting a visitor as well. Offering a discount for people who purchase from the ad can have a big impact on conversion rates. Everyone loves a sale, and offering a decent discount can go a long way in getting a visitor to make a purchase.
Finding the right audience is crucial for maintaining a positive ROI on an Instagram ad campaign. Marketing managers should have a good idea who the target demographic is already, and when they're most active. One idea is to take a look at what times of the day the most sales are made on your site and schedule your ads to run during those times. Another is to watch your Facebook Page Insights for active time periods and run ads to Instagram in that time period since users are often active on multiple platforms when online.
It may be a good idea to start small at first to see if a campaign will do well, then increase the budget once it shows potential. If a certain creative or audience isn't performing well, don't be afraid to stop that aspect of the ad campaign from running altogether.
Constantly testing to see what works and what doesn't can help companies determine the best way to advertising on Instagram. This includes the picture, target audience, time of day, text, everything about the ad. Figuring out the most successful elements of an ad will allow a business to run their campaigns efficiently and effectively.
Keeping these tips in mind while running Instagram ads can help companies get the most out of their advertising budget.
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 top features for social media management 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
As mentioned previously, AgoraPulse is affordable for small businesses. 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 Brand24, Hootsuite and Sprout Social and they’ve done a great job carving out key user features that set them apart. The whole user interface makes all tasks quick and easy. Everything is laid out well. It's also very quick to duplicate required posts and then edit if needed.
One of the best features is having the ability to adjust copy between platforms without having to start a new post. I learn new things about this program all the time. It has really helped my productivity in the way that it saves me time.
"The whole user interface of AgoraPulse makes all tasks quick and easy. Everything is laid out well. It's also very quick to duplicate required posts and then edit if needed. One of the best features is having the ability to adjust copy between platforms without having to start a new post. I learn new things about this program all the time. It has really helped my productivity in the way that it saves me time."
Neal Taparia, of Imagine Easy Solutions, a portfolio of educational software services that reached 30M students annually. He sold the business to a public company, Chegg, where he was an executive for three years. His new initiative, spider-solitaire-challenge.com
Wondering what to tweet about? Here's some ideas for businesses to get started:
Thanks to RedWebsiteDesign.co.uk for this great infographic.