6 Instagram Marketing Tips for Businesses

instagram

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!

Essential Ways To Improve Your Website Design

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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.

Design for the Non-Graphic Designer

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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.

#1. PicMonkey

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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.

#2 Pixabay

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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.

#3 Canva

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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.

#4 Dropbox

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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.

#5 Afterlight

After-Light

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.

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Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any design needs you may have. http://killerspots.com/

Seven Sales Strategies the Best Reps Use Daily (and 9 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid)

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Who are the superstar salespeople you admire?

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.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from other clients. According to the Dale Carnegie Group, 91% of customers say they’d give referrals, but only 11% of salespeople ask.

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 20 Miles 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.

For more details, visit Hubspot partner Killerspots.com, Inc.

CREDITS:  Written by Nicholas Little

HubSpot-certified-partner

Facebook Canvas Is Changing How We Do Advertising

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 Canvas

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Image Credit: https://canvas.facebook.com/

Enter Canvas.

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.

Canvas 1

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.

Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any media/marketing needs you may have. http://killerspots.com

Fascinating an Overstimulated Media Market [part I]

media
[AS FEATURED in ULTIMATE MAGAZINE]

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.

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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: 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

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.

Social Media Icon

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.

[TIP ONE]

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 different platforms that you aren’t posting quality content to. The audiences that do engage and therefore missing opportunities for your business.

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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.

[TIP TWO]

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.

—Continued in the next post! 

Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any media/marketing needs you may have. http://killerspots.com/

Facebook has done it again. What the heck is a Beacon?

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:

special invitation
Figure 1 Screenshot of beacon invitation

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:

facebook beacon
Figure 2 Photo c/o Facebook Help Pages

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.

Beacon
Figure 3 Screenshot explaining the beacon further

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?