This category will feature articles about new and upcoming trends in digital marketing, to keep you up to date with the most relevant and interesting ways to get in touch and reach your end-users, fans, or customers.
Many people treat the dawning of a new year as an opportunity to reflect on the previous year, identify goals for the months ahead, and create action steps they can use to make things happen.
With that in mind, here’s 5 ways to make 2015 a year that counts for your small business…
How did performance compare to where you were when you started the year? Were you able to increase your business’ bottom line as 2014 came to a close? Do you have a larger social media following or more leads on your email list?
If you aren’t ending the year where you wanted to be, see if you can identify one to three actions, derived directly from your performance numbers, that you can put into practice to make sure you see growth in 2015.
Example: If your website lost sessions and unique visitors as you moved from August to December, and you know it’s because a certain referrer wasn’t performing well, your action step could be to improve referral performance or even invest that time in an alternate referrer.
Even if 2014 was a booming year for your small business, there are always areas that can be improved. Use a critical - but not harsh! - eye to look at all aspects of your business. There might be something that can be better optimized.
Example: Is it easy for you to drive traffic to your website but difficult for you to convert those visitors into leads? Take some time in 2015 to assess your landing pages and optimize.
Throughout the history of mankind and our existence, humans have constantly been in the pursuit of making life easier. In most cases, this has been achieved by developing new tools and technologies that help achieve things faster, easier and more efficiently.
Today’s modern online marketing tools are no different, as they allow the modern digital marketer to achieve many tasks faster, with less effort and more efficiently overall. Let’s explore what Internet marketing automation is all about.
In today’s digital marketing world, marketing automation refers to the ability to program, schedule, or automate one or more tasks to make a marketer’s work more effective.
Marketing automation comes in various shapes and sizes. It can range from a task as small as scheduling a social media post, to a very complex automated marketing and sales funnel that includes web user tracking, e-mail sign-up forms, lead scoring, e-mail open & click rates that help trigger specific emails, printed mail pieces, scheduling a rep to call a lead, and much more.
As the Internet continues to evolve, there’s a constant flow of innovation that bring to life new, better and different types of online marketing automation tools. Some of these tools are stand-alone applications and work independent of other software, some work only as add-ons or extensions to other applications and some as a combination of both.
Within the various automation tools, some solutions target specific online marketing niches - such as E-mail or online ADs only, others offer a complete solution of various pre-integrated marketing tools, while others offer the ability to easily connect independent web-based tools with each other to add automation capabilities without the need of complex custom-made programming.
It’s noisy out there.
And I’m not just talking about on the street.
I mean online. There is so much action every time we dial up (hopefully you’re not still actually using dial-up) that it can be almost overwhelming to keep your sights straight.
It’s even more overwhelming when you are one of those businesses adding to the noise. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely should be. The jury’s out as to the impact of an online presence (for those late to the game the answer is a resounding YES). The internet is a great way to get your message heard. Be loud and proud. A lot of people will hear.
But you might be asking yourself what an online presence exactly entails? There’s a lot to do and see on the internet. Where should I focus my attention?
Is it on having a professional website? Maybe it’s Facebook? Or perhaps I should post more consistently to my blog?
Those are all important. In fact, you should have at least one foot in each one of those doors. But there exists an older and arguably much simpler answer to this puzzle. An answer that today seems to get ignored by many businesses but realistically could generate more leads than all those other options combined.
That answer is email.
Marketing has evolved from the days of Mad Men. The key to marketing success in the 21st century is not flash and glamour, but engagement.
Engagement is building and fostering long-term relationships with customers through continual contact.
And email is the best way to build engagement.
Make sure you include compelling social media copy in all of your posts - even if you’re posting to share a video, photo, or link. Even though Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ will make your post look appealing by providing a video, photo, or link embed, you’ll miss an opportunity to engage your reader if you don’t include a relevant caption.
Think again about how you browse social media. You probably skim posts, right? Make sure your copy is easy to understand even at a glance. Unless your social media audience is primarily made up of professionals who are well-versed in and expect high-level content, you probably want to write simple, easy-to-read copy, using a tone of voice that’s consistent with your branding, that includes clear headlines and calls-to-action.
You don’t know who makes up the majority of your audience and what they expect? Read on…
It’s easy and free to get your company started on social media. After just a few minutes’ worth of set-up, you’ll have your accounts up and running! But how do you know if your social media activity is actually helping out your business?
You should spend the majority of your time running your business — not worrying whether social media is a waste of time! Put your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to work with our tips. And if you’re in the San Diego, CA area, make sure to join us for our upcoming workshop on content and social media on November 19!.
It’s exceptionally gratifying to see your follower counts go up as you spend time online. Are those followers converting into paying customers, though?
Keep in mind that social media is at its most valuable when it refers prospective customers to your eCommerce website or your brick-and-mortar location.
Provide thoughtful opportunities for customers to visit your website, learn about your services, and take the next step towards converting. But make sure that these opportunities are written with your audience’s motivators and needs in mind! They’ll be more likely to click through to your site if they believe you’ll be able to provide personal value to them.
If your business already has a website, then you’re on the right path to generating more money through the amazing benefits of promoting your company online. On the other hand, if your company still doesn’t have a professional website, then many could argue it doesn’t exist. Well, it might physically exist, but if it’s not a click away on the Internet in today’s digital era then it basically doesn’t exist in the eyes of most people. Agree?
Having a professionally designed business website is the first step in ensuring that your company can succeed in today’s online world. Want to learn more? Read about the Top 5 must-have digital tools to take your business online.
From this point forward, let’s just assume you already have a business website. Great! “Now what?” you may ask yourself, “How can I make money from my website and generate leads?” That’s exactly what I’d like to help you with, so let’s get to it.
The five basic steps for generating leads are as follows:
1) Create landing pages on your website, 2) Drive traffic to your website, 3) Attract your online visitors by offering them valuable information & tips to help them solve their problems, 4) Capture their information (convert them into leads), and 5) Follow-up with them via automated e-mails.
Take a look at these great tips and statistics on the importance of not only doing online marketing but on focusing on inbound marketing techniques to allow users to find your company naturally online.
Whether you’re preparing to launch your small business or have been open to customers for years, it’s never too late to get started with social media!
This post will focus on quick and cost-effective ways to use social media to help customers learn about you, monitor conversations about your company, track reviews and comments, and improve your business.
Make sure your business is easily found online and that all of your key information is up to date by setting up your business on Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare. These networks allow customers to share information, tips, and reviews about businesses and to share where they are with their friends.
Even businesses without a brick-and-mortar location can benefit from claiming their brand names online. Make sure to add a well-written description that includes keywords people may use to describe your business, like ‘brunch,’ or ‘web development.’ Users who search for these keywords may find your business this way.
Opting not to have a social media presence for your company in today’s marketplace is electing to remain in the internet Stone Age. Even if you aren’t an avid user yourself, social platforms have become essential tools for promoting a brand online, plain and simple.
Growing a business through social media, however, can be much more than collecting ‘likes’ on a Facebook page and blasting out the occasional update. Entire books and courses are dedicated to a slew of ‘insider tricks’ from outwitting your competitors on Twitter to networking more efficiently on Linkedin.
While those are all great options and definitely worth looking into, in front of us all lies a painfully simple, 100% free method to blowing up your brand (in a good way) via social media that most firms are actually too afraid to even consider.
This method, my friends, is to encourage your employees to post company updates on Facebook.
Let me first start by sharing with you that this is the first time I’ve ever written a blog post, so bare with me if things aren’t perfect just yet. I’d love to introduce myself, but it’s probably best we’ll do that later. I invite you to checkout www.jaimenacach.com to learn more about me and my marketing, design and small business consulting experience.
After attending a great event last night titled “Branding: How to tell a better story” which featured four panelists who are in the marketing and branding field, I felt inspired to change my original first post topic and write about what me and my company are all about. Hope this is a great way to start off this blog, where we’ll be constantly posting about marketing trends, technology, design, tips for small business, entrepreneurship and other relevant content.
The event focused on discussing the future of social media, what a brand is, what’s the difference between branding and brands, great examples of successful and unsuccessful companies who’ve created positive or very negative experiences with their customers and much more. Yet, at the end of the night I asked myself, what are the key takeaways that I can take from all these conversations and apply to Bloominari?