Content is everywhere. From viewing street signs to reading articles on the internet, content is a major part of our day-to-day lives. Anyone can start a blog and create content, but great content marketing is about creating stellar content with a purpose and strategy.
One of the most important ways to lure in potential clients or customers is to make sure your content is catchy, consistent, and entertaining. Here’s how:
Catch Their Eye
8 out of 10 people won’t read an article/blog if the title isn’t appealing to them. So, focus on creating a catchy, relatable title. Some ideas include: stating an unknown fact that will entice the reader or create a list-style subject line. List-style articles make it easier for people to skim.
Less Content is More
When writing, make sure to keep sentences and paragraphs short. Most people skim over what they read in order to save time. It’s important to be consistent, so keep paragraphs to a 3-4 sentence maximum. Another option is to use bullet points. This way, readers can jump right to what they want to read.
Don’t be boring!
If you want your readers to stay interested, you need to write conversationally. Nothing is worse than reading something boring and awkwardly formal. If you write as though you’re addressing a good friend, people are more likely to be absorbed in your writing.
Educate your prospects.
A blog is essentially a publishing platform for your business. It allows you to speak directly to your prospective customers and educate them about what your business does. Educating is far more powerful, more trustworthy and more relevant to website visitors than pure selling or even traditional marketing content. Education means that you have thought about their situation and can anticipate the questions they may have. It also means that you understand who they are.
By publishing blog articles, you create relevant content for your site. For some businesses, it’s very difficult to actually update website content and a blog platform provides you with a solution to that problem.
Publishing content on your blog enables you to attract organic traffic to your site. These are new visitors who are finding you because of your content and not because they are searching directly for your business and your company name. In so doing, you are expanding the circle of awareness and opportunity for your business.
Remember that generating blog momentum takes time and commitment. The sooner you start, the sooner you see results. Plan on a minimum of 24 to 50 articles before you can expect to see the traffic build-up.
In the marketing and advertising world, content is key. Video has recently become one of the most prevalent ways to pique an audience’s interest. Therefore, it’s only fitting to create a type of video that immediately appeals to consumers.
Since the average attention span is decreasing rapidly, it’s crucial to keep all forms of content short, sweet, and to the point. The shorter the content, the easier it is for people to remember it.
Short-form videos have the power to get right down to the point, which first catches viewers’ attention, and ultimately leaves them wanting more.
Another perk of the short-form video is that smaller file sizes are easier to upload. In the end, that saves you time!
How to Create Them
Reevio, a web-based video-making platform, allows you to create and edit professional-quality videos or animations. It has the largest library of templates of any online video software. Additionally, Promo by Slidely lets you create customized marketing videos that include music and logos.
All in all, short videos are the best way to grab attention online. The best part? Shorter equal less work for you!
An Instagram in-app payments feature was just added early this month.
This new feature allows social media users to make purchases on Instagram. How? Users can add a credit/debit card to their account, with a pin for security. After they set-up and verify the accounts, users can make purchases through their Instagram account.
Instagram hasn’t stated when it plans to roll out this service.
Weaving commerce more deeply into social media apps offers potentially huge rewards for companies behind the apps, as well as those with products to sell.
Instagram says that more than 80 percent of its 800 million-plus users follow a business on the social network. With numbers like that, the Facebook-owned company will be keen to build out its shopping services to draw in more advertisers and boost revenue even further.
What does this mean for businesses?
You’re able to show your product and store where your customers already are.
One of the biggest challenges businesses face is getting your customer to your store and check out.
While Instagram already offers shopping opportunities via tagged items shown in an image, making a purchase currently involves navigating a pop-out page and completing various steps, including entering payment details for each new merchant.
Instagram in-app payments are now erasing that hurdle for businesses. Your customers won’t even need to leave Instagram to purchase the product you’re showing on your feed. The more steps involved in the buying process, the more likely a customer is going to fall out of the funnel.
It might not seem like Instagram is the place for businesses to communicate with their audience, but Instagram reports that over 200 million Instagrammers actively visit a business profile every day.
How will Instagram in-app payments work?
One of the first equipped is a dinner reservation app Resy. Some of its clients’ Instagram Pages now offer this native payment for the booking. And in the future, Instagram says you can expect direct payments for things like movie tickets through the app.
A tap through to the terms of service reveals that Instagram Payments are backed by Facebook’s Payments rules.
With its polished pictures and a plethora of brands, shopping through Instagram could prove popular and give businesses a big new reason to advertise on the app. If they can get higher conversion rates because people don’t quit in the middle of checkout as they fill in their payment info, brands might prefer to push people to buy via Instagram.
The whole point of Instagram not allowing links in captions is to keep you in a smooth, uninterrupted browsing flow. Getting booted out to the web to buy something broke that. Instagram Payments could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board. Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people if the native payments mean more of them actually complete a purchase.
How can businesses utilize Instagram in-app payments?
Whenever a new trend or update comes to social accounts, your first thought should always be “How can this benefit my account?”?
Once Instagram opens up the payment option to the general public, you’ll be able to enable your audience with the ability to purchase your products and services directly on Instagram.
Until then, there are things you can do to prepare for the upcoming update.
Make sure you have an Instagram Business account
Business accounts provide businesses a lot more flexibility when it comes to managing your account and presence on Instagram.
They allow you to have an office location and hours in a separate section from a regular Instagram bio. Business accounts also have access to helpful analytics and promotional tools.
You’re also able to boost specific posts that will help you reach a wider audience.
Make sure your site is mobile-optimized.
Since you’re wanting to drive your audience to purchase from you online, the first step is to drive them to your site and store. Instagram is a mobile app, so visitors will be accessing your site from their phone or another mobile device.
Giving them a poor first impression will seriously hurt your chances of ever nurturing them into a customer.
Looking to the Future
Overall, the Instagram in-app payments update is very exciting for businesses and customers alike. Instagram is helping streamline the buyer’s journey through their app, and we’re excited to see how this will pan out.
Do you have any questions about marketing on Instagram or other social sites? Contact us here!
Not only does email marketing build credibility and strengthen customer relationships, but it is unique from other marketing strategies. Here’s why: it’s either very inexpensive or free, meaning you have nothing to lose if it fails. On top of that, studies have shown that a successful email marketing campaign can produce up to 4,300 percent return on investment.
Sadly, not all email marketing approaches are effective. People find them to be annoying, due to excessive floods of emails, cheesy wording, and the possibility of spam. However, there are ways to change attitudes regarding an email marketing strategy. Here’s a list of tactics that will pique your consumers’ interest as well as keep them engaged in the content.
1. Directly address the consumer’s name at the start of the email
Even using an automated system that includes each person’s name at the beginning of the message makes it more likely for people to open an email. When a message is personalized, people feel special. This also helps strengthen customer relationships, because they feel valued as a client.
2. Don’t flood your consumers’ inboxes
When targeting a specific audience, take into consideration how large or small it is. The larger the audience, the more emails you might have to send to get your message across. If it’s a smaller population you want to reach, send fewer emails. Better yet, give your customers the option of how often they want to receive emails.
3. Make the “unsubscribe” button clearly visible
How many times have you not been able to figure out how to unsubscribe to an unwanted email? Many times, companies trap their email recipients into receiving excessive messages. Making sure you implement a large, clear “unsubscribe” button in your message builds trust with your customers.
4. Keep your email marketing strategy content simple
The more words and visuals your message contains, the more distracting it is. Simply including just two or three sentences makes it more likely for consumers to be interested in the message. Another tip is to avoid stock photos. Instead, use original images that people have never seen before.
5. Scrap the “click here” option
To put it simply, people associate sketchy links with spam. A “click here” option will turn people off if they think it will lead to a virus. Rather, what you should do is use a different phrase. Make them an offer they can’t resist by using persuasive language. Like “sign up now” or “learn more here” and direct them to your website.
Since email marketing is a great way to build rapport with your clients for free, make sure you do it the right way. If you have questions regarding email marketing tips or software, contact us!
Google My Business is a free tool that helps businesses and organizations manage their online presence on Google. It helps customers find your company’s information, such as hours, recent updates, photos, etc. Also, it allows you to respond to reviews, update information, and add posts.
Why use it?
Having a Google My Business sidebar appear after someone searches for your business makes it appear more professional. It can also improve its local rankings. Additionally, it provides viewers with quick and short information so that they don’t have to dig too deep to find what they are looking for.
With the new Posts feature, users can create and update more information on the business sidebar. For example, posting about sales, promotions, or upcoming events is a good way to attract customers.
Recently, Google added a Q&A feature, which displays frequently asked questions to viewers right away. This makes it easier for them to decide if they are interested or not. In addition to Posts and Q&A’s, Google has created a real-time chat mode with customers and businesses. This allows for more client engagement and increases brand loyalty.
In short, Google My Business is a great way to keep your small business or organization at the forefront of peoples’ minds.
Want to find out more about best practices on Google? Ask us!
External communications are as important as internal communication. It’s about sending messages to your audience. Such as your clients, investors, suppliers, members of the community, or others.
Certain software can aid in effective communication with people outside of your business. Here’s a list of 3 helpful applications that can benefit your business’ external communications.
If you’re looking for a way to create and update social media content on multiple platforms at a time, try Buffer. It’s the easiest option for communicating information to prospective or current clients. When using the application, you can schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
Canva, a free graphic design website, is a valuable marketing application. It lets you create marketing and advertising materials such as posters, flyers, invitations, etc. Additionally, the best thing about Canva is that even non-designers find it simple to use. Providing the user with premade templates makes it easier on those who aren’t very artsy.
Facebook Pages Manager App
Finally, this app from Facebook allows you to oversee up to 50 of your Facebook pages from your smartphone or tablet. Therefore, it proves to be an efficient social media platform for managing your company’s external communications. You can check activity and keep up-to-date with the page insights.
Overall, if you’re searching for the right communication to reach your intended audience, we recommend you try one of these. If you have questions, let us know! Contact us.
Effective communication within an organization is essential for it to function correctly.
A quick but efficient way to communicate with other employees within your business is to use digital applications. Here are a few examples of useful apps that your business can use:
Let’s start with the simplest software. Skype is an application that provides video calling between devices. Additionally, it serves as an instant messenger, so you can quickly send information to other employees in (or out of) the office without having to get out of your chair.
One way to keep employees organized is to use Trello. It’s a web-based project management application that allows members to collaborate by adding projects to “boards”. In short, it tells you who is working on certain tasks within your organization, and when they are completed.
Finally, Infusionsoft is an email marketing platform and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software all-in-one. Therefore, this means that you can manage your clients’ contact information, interaction history, and other individual records. Infusionsoft saves you hours of time by making your customer details simple and well-organized.
Without a doubt, these three applications are helpful tools that aid in managing your business’ internal communications. For more information about these platforms, contact us here.
Fall is the season of change. It’s a great time to update your strategy and promote your business with some fall marketing tactics.
Read on to find our 3 favorite methods for marketing your business in the fall.
1. Photo Fun
A fun idea for fall marketing is to invite your customers and followers to engage in a photo contest.
You could have them post pictures of their favorite fall activities, like jumping in piles of leaves, picking apples, going to a football game, or anything else!
It’s even better if you could have the activities align with the products or services you offer.
2. Go, Team!
Fall is also the time of big team sports. Basing promotions, deals, and sales around games and events are a great way to market your business in the fall.
You can base promotions on local, college, or big team games. Examples of ideas you can try are having a discount or sale if the local or college team wins their game. Or you could offer a percent discount based on a star player’s number every game day or every home game.
3. Happy Holidays!
Fall is a marketing season filled with Holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving are 2 of the major Holidays, but you don’t just have to focus on them.
You can make your business stand out with fun, social media friendly holidays unique to your business, like a “National Taco Day” sale or an “International Coffee Day” sale.
Are you looking for assistance in your marketing strategies or ventures? Contact us here!
Over the past couple of years, Instagram has become a power house in the realm of social media. With over 700 million monthly active users, the platform has become a great place to share content with your audience.
Whether your strategy needs an update or you’re a newcomer to this social media network, you can use these 6 tips to help your improve your Instagram marketing.
1. Your profile is key
As a company, don’t get too caught up in fitting all of what you do in 150 characters. Focus on your most important description or your next big thing – be it an event, promotion or product launch. Since the only clickable link is in your Bio section, make a habit of updating it frequently. Think about promoting more than your website. You can include the link to event registrations, app downloads or even purchases links.
2. Get Creative
Focus on the solution you provide to your audience, not the products you sell. On Instagram, it’s necessary to show value to your customers and look great while you do it. Never underestimate the fact that the most important asset on this social media network is visual content.
3. Stop, collaborate and listen
Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customer success stories. Take into account that not everyone is monitoring hashtags on social media, so tagging an account is usually a better choice if you want to get noticed.
4. Analyze your Instagram ventures
Without taking a step back and analyzing what worked and didn’t, marketing becomes a guessing game. Make sure to regularly measure your follower count, engagement, and clicks, all to refine and improve your strategy.
5. Show them the business behind the curtain
Customers have a natural curiosity about where their products/services come from, and you can use Instagram to show them the whole lifecycle.
If nothing comes to mind, you can share something that everyone has – sketches, notes, and filled whiteboards or blackboards. You may find that it’s best to try out different post types until you strike gold with the one that will engage the audience.
6. Use hashtags wisely
Use hashtags to expand your reach. These can be campaign specific or general – all that’s important is that they are relevant. This makes it easier for people to find content related to you as well as your main account. It’s best practice to use between three to five hashtags and consider how you add hashtags. Whether they’re added at the end of the post, in a comment or in the actual post.
Have any more questions about Instagram marketing or about any other social media? Contact us here!
Everyone understands the need for a great website design. Your website is a reflection of your company. Therefore, your credibility and authority rely on having a top-notch design. Moreover, a design must capture the attention of your audience not only to motivate sales but because user engagement is a major factor in search result placement. Therefore, a design must build trust, keep your visitor’s attention, and encourage clicks and social sharing.
There are hundreds of details and ingredients that go into successful website designing. However, not everything works for every type of business, Nonetheless, there are ways to improve your website design no matter what industry.
1. Diminish Clutter –
An overly cluttered design can confuse visitors, create distractions, and make finding information difficult. Remove everything that diverts attention from your message.
2. Include White Space –
This is the area left empty on your web pages. The great benefit of white space if making your content easier to read and make guiding a reader’s attention to a call to action more manageable.
3. Use the Power of Color –
Marketing firms have long understood the psychology of color and use this power in everything from advertising to logo design. Whether your image is youthful, wealth, or trust, use colors that strongly conveys that message.
4. Stop Using Stock Photos –
Your visitors know that those stock photos do not represent you or your company. Additionally, these images make your website look very generic. A better choice is using a professional photographer.
5. Improve Navigation –
A visitor to your website should find the information they are looking for within a few seconds. Visitors will leave if they become frustrated. Moreover, primary menus should focus only on main pages.
6. Increase Speed –
It is a simple fact that the longer it takes your site to completely load, the more likely a visitor will become aggravated and leave. Optimize your site to load quickly.
What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk more about ways to improve your website design, or need more information, please contact us.
Social Media is all about the images. No one has time to stop and read about your day or what’s hot and exciting in the world. They just want to see it. So how can you keep up if you aren’t a graphic designer and can’t afford to hire one? Here’s our list of 5 simple and easy-to-learn online programs that you can use to create stunning graphics without the need for an art degree. Don’t worry, Adobe won’t be involved in this relationship so you can put away your wallet.
PicMonkey is photo-editing made easy. But they’ve also added features for design and touch-up as well. Their site is primarily free to use with a minimal upgrade fee for certain “Royale” features. With PicMonkey you can crop, add effects, touch up, add text, make collages or even add fun shapes, stickers and themed details to your photos. If you don’t have a photo you want to start from, no worries. Just click the “Design” button on the homepage and create something totally from scratch.
Everything is very easy to find and set up to be completely user-friendly. But you will want to play around with it a bit at first, just to get used to all the features. This site is great for editing your photos before posting them to social media. Or adding a quick block of text to a flyer. Creating a great graphic for your next blog post.
Perhaps you’re thinking…. but I don’t have any photos that I need to edit. I just need to access free, non-copyright photos to use for my business. Pixabay is perfect for just that. They have a staggering collection of over 420,000 quality images that won’t come back to bite you in the legal ass.
They of course also have the option of upgrading to some paid royalty-free photos. But almost always you can find what you’re looking for without needing to do that. They rely heavily on donations so after downloading multiple quality images; you might feel inclined to “buy them coffee”—but it’s never required.
Canva is a newer platform that was beautifully designed to create stunning graphics with minimal effort. They have hundreds of “templates” organized into various categories such as, “Social Media, Documents, Marketing Materials, Email Headers, Blogging and Books” and more. Each template is sized properly for the platform is was created so no worrying about sizing issues. There are usually about 3 free templates per category that you can use or pay an upgrade fee to use all the features.
Canva is similar to PicMonkey in that they have many of the same editing features but Canva’s templates are a time-saver for sure and also highly beneficial if you aren’t “layout-inclined”. You can also save your pieces publicly or privately if you choose. Publicly allows you to share your work with others in the community and also see what else is being created. It’s a great place for inspiration, or just to ask questions if you aren’t sure how to improve your work.
While Dropbox might not seem like a graphically-inclined site to choose, it’s actually invaluable if you take a great deal of photos using your phone or want to quickly exchange graphics between desktop and mobile. The app and desktop icon interact with each other. So if you set your photos taken on mobile to auto-upload to Dropbox, the next time you open your desktop, they’ll all be there—ready to use.
The same applies for editing. If you use one of the great platforms listed above to say, create a stunning graphic for your next Instagram post, the only way to upload it to Instagram is on your mobile device. No problem! Just save that graphic to Dropbox, and it will also be on your phone. Then you can easily open it, save it to your phone, and share to your heart’s content. Plus Dropbox gives you 2GB for free. If you find you need more than that, upgrading to 1TB of space will cost you just $9.99/mo. Incredibly simple, not to mention a great back up system in case you deleted something from your phone or desktop you weren’t quite finished with. And you can access all your photos/files anywhere you are.
What if you just want an amazing app for mobile use for those on-the-fly times when you can’t sit down at your desktop and create the perfect image and take lots of time doing it? Afterlight is the app for just that! It has 74 of the most beautiful filters. 78 natural textures and 128 frames for you to create just the right look.
It’s awesome if you hate the “perfect square” shape of Instagram photos and want to add more character to those images. Afterlight is very easy to use and once you’ve created the perfect look— sharing is simple with the “save & share ” feature. Here are some shots edited with Afterlight.
Is it David Ogilvy, who literally wrote the manual on sales strategies, or Dale Carnegie, who convinced you it was possible to win friends and influence people?
Whoever your sales icons are, they weren’t born overnight. It took years of fine-tuning their skills to become the amazing salespeople they are. While there’s no shortcut for hard work, we do want to help you streamline the process to achieving sales success. That’s why we gathered the most secret secrets from the best salespeople to share with you as you start on your path to becoming a master salesperson. But, as any good seller knows, what you should do is as important as what you shouldn’t do, which is why we’ve also compiled some of the most common, yet easiest mistakes to avoid. If you’re ready to start to become like your sales heroes (or even surpass them), nailing down these sales strategies skills is the first step. Ready, set, go!
7 Expert Sales Strategies the Best Reps Use
1) Sell benefits, not features.
Research by Impact Communications found 70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve problems, while only 30% make decisions to gain something.
Although your product may have a lot of features that will add to a business, they are more likely to buy something that solves an existing problem. That’s why you want to present them with benefits that reduce the problems the company faces.
2) Set and stick to your ideal buyer personas.
Efforts spread too thin are inefficient and ineffective. Use ideal buyer personas to help you understand the “why” of your ideal customer.
Your buyer personas, which are detailed descriptions of different types of ideal customers for your product, should outline more than basic demographic information, and get to the heart of why a customer needs your product.
By setting clear ideal buyer personas and sticking to them, you’ll stop wasting time with supremely unqualified prospects that suck your energy away from people who could really benefit from your product.
3) Spend time wisely.
Time is money in the sales world, and beyond knowing your ideal buyer personas, you need to have a plan of action each day to maximize your productivity. In fact, the 2014 Sales Execution Trends by Qvidian found that 59% of a salesperson’s time is not spent selling, but is wasted with hunting for sales resources.
Start each day by understanding your goals, and have a clear plan for how you’ll accomplish them. Find a sales or project management platform that can help you keep a strict schedule to maximize productivity.
Another way to increase sales strategies productivity is to limit multitasking. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it takes you twice as long to get a single task done when your brain is pulled in a million different directions. Give yourself a time limit to finish one task at a time; you’ll be more efficient and have a better understanding of what actions are time sucks and when you can get the most accomplished.
4) Personalize your message.
The best salespeople know that developing a personal connection with your clients is the key to success. Start relationships off on the right foot by sending personalized messages to prospects and avoiding “one size fits all” scripts.
Identify the prospect’s unique pain points and tailor your message to address how you can solve those needs. When a prospect feels like you care, you’ve already made the greatest first impression possible, without even stepping inside the room.
5) Make your process measurable.
In order to learn and grow, your process should be measurable, which means you should have a process for collecting quantitative (useable numerical data) and qualitative (details that help you gain an understanding of underlying motivations) information about your process.
To gather both types of information, practice being obsessive about your process. Keep track of each move you make from initial contact to closing the deal and use that information to pinpoint weak spots. You should also keep track of how many cold calls, follow ups, and meetings you do each day. The goal is to document everything so you can optimize your process.
When you do find weaknesses, make improvement actionable, instead of just telling yourself to “do better.” This will give you specific direction on how to improve, and also help you monitor your success.
6) Take notes.
As smart as you are, you don’t have perfect memory (and if you do, we want to hire you). It’s important that you record the promises you make to clients so you can deliver. You also want to take down feedback and important information about their business; clients should never have to repeat themselves, so pay attention.
Additionally, taking notes does more than give you a hard copy of the conversation—it shows clients you care. Take notes using a pen and paper. This gives clients the impression that you’re more attentive and involved in them than if you simply used a laptop or your phone.
7) Tap into the buyer’s emotions.
Use emotion-centric language to address a buyer’s concerns, since our brains rank feelings above logic when making a decision.
Answer objections with the words “feel,” “felt,” and “found,” and work phrases like “I know how you feel…” and “When this customer used the product they felt…” into your presentation.
9 Rookie Sales Strategies Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make
Feel like you’ve got a lot to practice tomorrow? Well we aren’t done yet! Instantly jump from sounding like a beginner to a seasoned pro by avoiding these mistakes most new salespeople make.
1) Don’t forget to define a goal for meetings.
Every interaction with a prospect or client should have an end goal. Make sure you outline the purpose of every meeting and have a metric to measure your success at the end.
2) Don’t be your only advocate.
There’s a limit to how many bold claims you can make about you and your company to a client. Collect endorsements from objective advocates to back you up.
3) Don’t make too many follow-up calls to unqualified buyers.
If a buyer is unqualified or clearly not engaging with you, drop it. Don’t waste time on impossible sells.
Master salespeople take the guesswork out of this step. Use Fileboard to help you track when emails are opened, which attachments are viewed, and how long the prospect spent going through your files. You can use this information to follow up with the prospect with a targeted pitch, now that you know what about your product is interesting to them.
4) Don’t forget to listen.
If you listen to the prospect’s needs instead of overselling them you can directly answer how your product can soothe their pain points. Master salespeople believe you need to see, hear, and process that information before speaking.
5) Don’t leave a meeting open-ended.
Remember to set clear next steps that outline expectations and prompt action from both parties. If you leave a meeting unsure of what the next step should be, send a simple and straight-forward follow up email asking for clarification.
6) Don’t distract clients with irritating crutch words.
Practice pitches beforehand so you can cut out “umms,” “hmms,” “ers,” and “ahs.” These distracting non-words weaken your argument and lose the client’s attention.
7) Don’t bail on commitments.
Don’t develop a reputation as a salesperson who lacks follow-through. Build trust by keeping your word, or stop making promises you can’t keep.
8) Don’t ignore the budget question.
You can easily waste time pitching a service that’s way beyond your prospect’s budget. Ask questions about their budget upfront so you can determine how high they prioritize your service and you can better tailor your offer to fit their needs.
9) Don’t use statements instead of questions.
You want your close to be firm, but not ambiguous. After a prospect agrees to work with you, clarify the sale with a pointed question. Don’t assume you know the final deal without confirmation from the decision maker.
In truth, the secret to becoming the ultimate seller is practice, practice, practice. Understand your own sales strategies process as much as possible and educate yourself constantly.
Facebook Canvas advertising is no joke. I sincerely and somewhat aggressively recommend to all of my clients. That they use some form of their service as part of their marketing strategy because it’s game is THAT strong. And how could it not be? With approximately 1.5 billion monthly active users that spend 20+ minutes a day using the platform (DMR); it’s definitely an open audience that cannot be ignored.
But how best to reach that audience if everyone else is using the same ad service? Well first of all, it’s ALWAYS important to utilize Facebook’s very comprehensive audience targeting options. Pinpoint your exact customer, as specifically as possible. And then not only are sales more likely, but you’ll be presenting yourself right to them. Without competition from other less specific ads.
It’s obviously still also very important to make sure that your ad graphic (whether it be a static image or a short video) is engaging and interesting. This just means whatever form of image plus copy you use; should be well branded but also something you yourself would want to know more about.
Once you are running consistent engaging Facebook ads, you’re already going to see awesome results in your page engagement and also your product sales. But what’s next?
Facebook’s all new mobile ad unit that now takes your ad from a sponsored post pushing to an external site to a totally Facebook-hosted full page experience where you can scroll and explore all original content. Facebook Canvas is designed to be a way to break through all other ads, telling a fuller story of your brand, through an interactive fresh environment.
When using Canvas, customers will click on the ad, and then see a “fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer’s website to purchase”. The pro to this type of ad is that the customer doesn’t have to worry about waiting for a website to load. Having a mobile experience that isn’t optimized and having everything they want in a shopping experience using only one app on their phone.
So how do you start using Facebook Canvas NOW?
Well, you join the waitlist. That’s right. Anything worth wanting always involves a waitlist right? But something tells this Marketing Director, this one is worth waiting for.
Have you had this experience? Search for an answer on Google, click on a webpage and before you can even complete reading a sentence of information; you are bombarded with an ad or a window to “sign up now”. You haven’t even decided how you feel about this information, page, media or site and already are being told what to do. It’s threatening almost.
The same used to be true for television. Sit down to relax after a long day and within the first three minutes of your selected entertainment you now find yourself being told exactly how to spend all your hard earned cash. Except now we have the option to fast-forward through those advertisements. Or bypass them entirely with paid services such as Netflix.
Introduce: the mobile device. According to the digital analytics firm Flurry, people spend two hours and fifty-seven minutes per day on average on their mobile devices. Which is ahead of time spent watching television. Obviously businesses, marketers and advertising agencies cannot ignore that statistic. They must find a way to reach those customers. Enter in, Social Media.
Social Media began as something teens were doing in AOL chat rooms. With friends, in their basements as yet another venue to box their parents out of “what was cool”. It was the texting of this generation. But then in February of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg took online networking to a whole new approach. What if people could connect together to build a networked community? Share their thoughts, feelings, updates, photos and even opinions beyond just one-on-one. But within an entire network of friends/family. The possibilities were endless. And now in 2015, as the social networking platforms have expanded, that online community is something a business cannot be without in order to succeed.
The question becomes, how do we gain the attention of that audience? In the near three hour window of time they are spending in Social Media communities. How do we sell to them? These five tips will change the way your business interacts socially. While also giving you that rare moment of attentiveness from your customer.
You do not need to use every social platform available. You might feel being on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest is best in order to reach every possible audience. In actuality what ends up happening is that you spread yourself thin trying to keep up. on each of these vastly differing platforms that you aren’t posting quality content to. The audiences that do engage and therefore missing opportunities for your business.
It’s best practice to figure out your customer base. (who they are, where they shop, what they do and what are their needs). And then pick 2-3 social platforms that best suit that customer. You do not want to start a Pinterest page as a law firm because posting the best recipes for crockpot cooking isn’t going to bring you closer to your target customer. You are going to want a Twitter account so you can talk about the latest updates to the law and interesting articles regarding the type of cases you take on.
Along with that idea, the next tip is to focus on which platforms people are using regularly. Posting your very best content on those platforms. In 2014, there were a reported 1.28 billion users on Facebook with those users on average spending 21 minutes per day on the site (Digital Marketing Statistics). That number is five times higher than the number of active users on Twitter; which is still remarkably high at 232 million.
What this means is that businesses are no longer in a place to ignore the use of Social Media if they want to gain any kind of attention from their customers. However, you also cannot just create a Facebook page, fill it with ads and posts about your business and expect users to follow excitedly. You must build a community online. Engage with your fan base. Give them content they are excited to read and comment on and then occasionally remind them about your latest and greatest products and/or services.
Recently I was looking over notifications for one of the Facebook pages I manage when I stumbled into this message alert atop the page about a beacon:
Facebook is certainly one for new innovations that usually aren’t introduced. But rather implemented. Therefore, I was less than shocked to see yet another “Facebook update” that I hadn’t heard of. Even working day-to-day in the Marketing and Social Media world doesn’t necessarily grant you awareness of current trends. But being that I like to have know-how of such events. I thought I’d investigate these new Facebook “beacons” and find out if indeed this was a special invitation.
Basically what I’ve found is such:
A Beacon is a Bluetooth device.
Facebook plans to send these devices to businesses with great activity on Facebook within their local area for early access trial runs.
The beacon will interact with your customers’ Facebook apps while visiting your business. To let them know inside “tips” about your business. These tips are based off of comments your friends have made on Facebook, reviews of the business, photos that have been posted and more of that liking.
According to an article posted in Facebook’s Help Center: “Your location is determined using cellular networks, Wi-Fi, GPS and Facebook Bluetooth® beacons. Viewing place tips doesn’t post on Facebook or show people where you are.”
When I clicked “Get Free Beacon” I was taken to a form to fill out name, address and business name. There’s also an option to send the device to a different address. Than that of the business page you were on. If you are like me and managing a page for another company.
Is this the future?
So far as I see it, this new addition to Facebook technology could either be a fantastic advantage for businesses and their customers. Or it could be taken as yet another creepy invasion of technology that we now need to block in our privacy settings. As a Social Media Maven and voice for many businesses soon to receive these beacons. I’m obviously pushing for the former to be true.
At this time we have not yet received the device or put it into action so only time will tell how people react. We will update once we have more information for you and try these little Bluetooth gems for ourselves.
Have you heard about Beacons? Were you invited to use one? What are your thoughts on this technology and Facebook introducing it to their platform?