The Five Areas Of Marketing Experts Will Excel In

Starting out in business can be overwhelming. When you have an idea that you love and that you know can work, you’re often excited to get stuck in. But before long, you’ll realize that a lot goes into running a business. And you can’t always manage everything on your own. In fact, it’s impossible. As your business starts to grow, you can’t spend 25 hours every single day doing admin, making sales, taking care of customer service, watching the finances, running operations, and marketing the business too. You’ll never have the time! Instead, you need to delegate. And even more so, you need to make sure that you’re delegating to people that are going to be experts in each area, particularly when it comes to marketing. Because you’ll often get the best results when you work with people that really know what they’re doing.

  1. PR

When it comes to PR, you will always want to make sure that the time spent on this is going to get the best coverage possible. If you don’t have the contacts, then you won’t even be able to come close to what an experienced agency or PR consultant can do. When you’re thinking about running an event or working with influencers, PRs can pretty much nail this for you too. You just have to stand back, enjoy the results, and pay the bills.

  1. SEO

Right now, you may think you know keywords, but do you really? Are you putting as much time as possible into getting your site to rank well on Google? Are you even doing any off-page SEO at all? If not, then you need to leave it to the experts. When you have an SEO agency or consultant in place, they will be aware of the latest techniques and policies, so that your SEO can always stay fresh.

  1. Advertising

Next, you have advertising. And if you’ve never created an ad before or even tried to set up a campaign, you may find that you’re pouring money down the drain by trying to do it yourself. Of course, you could learn, but this is better outsourced to advertising agencies that get results. If you know you want sales or traffic or customer or anything else, then leave it to those in the know.

  1. Social Media

From here, you then have social media. With so many different platforms to consider and a whole host of noise being made on all of them, do you know how you’re going to stand out? Probably not. But a social agency will know exactly what strategy your business needs to make waves and engage with your audience. So hire one and let them do their stuff.

  1. Copywriting

If you know that you can’t create great copy, you could spend more time trying to get it right, or you could just cut your losses and get someone in to do it for you. Compelling copy matters on everything from your website to your newsletters. So make sure you have the right writer on the job.

How to Build a Successful eCommerce Brand

People are rapidly turning to online shopping, which makes it a perfect time to start an online business. However, there are probably hundreds of companies out there offering products that are same, or at least similar, to yours.

The good thing is that branding can be a lifesaver for your business. You have to stand out from the crowd and show people why they should purchase your products, and not the products of your competitors.

Your products might be great, and your website appealing and well-optimized, but that doesn’t mean that you will succeed. According to statistics, 55% of all eCommerce sales are done through branded stores, while 45% are done via marketplaces. Therefore, you have to build a strong brand in order to beat your competitors.

It’s time to take the first step towards your success.

Personalized, but safe service

Customer data points are very useful for personalization. The data is your gold because you will know what your customers want before they do.

So, include those data points in your eCommerce business:

  • Shopping Cart – recommendations based on the current content of a customer’s wish list or cart
  • Search Queries – recommendations based on search terms
  • Purchase History – recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases
  • Social Behavior – recommendations based on product rating, shares and likes

You can also recommend products based on geographic location and customer segmentation, such as demographic. Use this data to provide your customers with the best service possible. This will help you understand your customers and their relationship with your product and brand.

Are your customers mostly gift-buyers? How often do they buy products from your website? Look for patterns in your customers’ behavior because that is precisely what will point you in the right direction. Also, it’s always a good idea to personalize your product packaging. Many brands are doing it, and people seem to love it.

Since, as an online business, you will collect and retain sensitive personal information about your customers, you have to show them that their information is safe with you, especially when it comes to payment and delivery.

You can make your brand trustworthy and reliable by using payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS). These standards apply to all organizations that store, process or transmit cardholder data, so your business should have PCI DSS compliance, too. However, keep in mind that, even though you are operating online, you still need to adhere to your federal and state privacy laws.

Engaging approach

The impression you make on people who come in contact with your brand for the first time is very important. Therefore, you should make sure that they see your brand in the best light.

First, you have to ensure that your customers can see and feel that they can engage with your brand.

Always ask your customers for their opinion. Give them an opportunity to review your products and chat with you. Use these options on your website and social media pages. 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend that brand to others. So, this will help you both increase brand engagement and attract new customers.

Next, you can turn your customers into brand ambassadors who will help you share your amazing story all over the internet. They are a powerful tool that will help you raise awareness about your company. The reason that brand ambassadors are so credible is that they don’t actually work for your company but are only huge fans.

Emotional connection with your target audience

If you want others to share your story, you have to give them a reason to do so. Tell them your story and engage with them on an emotional level. By giving customers a strong “why” you will provide them with something to believe in. Try to answer these questions:

  • How did you start your business and why?
  • What are your values?
  • What makes you different from your competitors?

People like to hear a story behind the products they buy. Get them to fall in love not only with your products but your brand as well.

For example, if you use your lifestyle as an inspiration for your brand image, you will attract people with similar interests.

If your vision matches your customers’ opinion, your fans will be dedicated to you. Actually, if you include this vision in your posts on social media and newsletters, they will be happy to share that with others.

Consistency as a branding tool

Did you choose your style? What about the color, design, style of writing, and other elements of your brand? Do your social media channels, emails and adds follow your style?

Once you determine your style, it’s important to stick to it. Use it consistently in all of your marketing efforts in order to become recognizable.

Your style represents your brand’s personality. It can tell more about your values then you think, and it can engage people on an emotional level.

Whenever you want to share something, ask yourself – is this consistent with your brand story?

Remember, your employees should also understand your style and vision. They have to represent your brand in the best possible way.

Conclusion

If you miss the opportunity to build a brand today, it can cost you your business. Products come and go, but if you build a personal brand, people will keep coming to your web shop.

Remember, brands are not established in a day, but these tips will help you get one step closer to success.

 

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Looking to Make Money Blogging in 2018? Six Smart Steps to Make It Happen

The idea of making money blogging might sound like something straight out of 2005, but there’s no denying that savvy bloggers today are indeed making a full-time income from their craft.

Even in an era of ad-blockers, it is possible for those who’ve unlocked a buzzworthy niche and having some sort of product or service they can promote alongside their writing.

Beyond writing chops and motivation, what else do you need to do to make your blogging dreams a reality, though? We’ve broken down six steps to help you get started.

Sort Out Your “Paperwork” First

Whether you already have a blog or are starting from scratch, you need to make sure you actually have avenues to create revenue via blogging.

From ensuring that you have appropriate terms and conditions on-site to not getting short-changed by affiliates, there’s quite a bit of setup that goes into a monetized blog from both a legal and technical perspective.

Much like the challenges of a compliance manager, combing through details, metrics and legal loopholes to keep things running smoothly, you need to keep a watchful eye on both the front and back-end of your blog.

Choose the Right Affiliate Offers

Riddling your site with affiliates is bad news for your site and visitors; therefore, you need to pick and choose carefully when it comes to offers.

Sure, you can feature tons of products via Amazon, but the payout is oftentimes paltry unless you’re selling high-ticket items. As such, try to incorporate offers for software or online tools that produce a better ROI.

For example, there are tons of marketing bloggers out there promoting email marketing tools (like ConvertKit) or even blogging tools (like Grammarly) that would be relevant to their audiences. These types of offers and subscription services are ideal versus one-off product purchases.

Create Your Own Products

Perhaps the best way to get paid through blogging is by promoting your own products so there’s no middle-man involved. Such options which have become the bread and butter of bloggers include…

  • Online courses via Udemy which teach your audience an exclusive skill
  • Digital products such as webinars or e-books which can be created for next to nothing
  • Access to a subscription-based service such as a mastermind group

Nurture Your Community

You can’t expect to create a long-term sales funnel with random organic traffic. Instead, you should strive to create a community with the help of platforms such as Facebook (Groups, specifically) or an email newsletter. Given that both types of communities can be started for absolutely free, either is viable even for those with little to no budget.

Link-Building is a Must

For the sake of time and efficiency, link-building campaigns are crucial to the success of any modern blog. Given how long it takes to drive organic traffic, it pays to take a more proactive approach to outreach and link-building these days.

As long as you have in-depth, link-worthy content (think: long-form, valuable, not fluff) then you likely have link-worthy assets to promote already. By reaching out to fellow bloggers and influencers, you can get your name out there and sow the seeds of a much larger audience over time.

Reinvest Your Earnings Wisely

Once your blog’s success starts to snowball, it’s crucial to keep the momentum going. Reinvesting the earnings from your blog might seem like a gamble, but will ultimately make your life easier and boost the earning potential of your blog. Such investments to consider include…

  • Paid tools on-site, such as lead capture forms, CRM software or paid email marketing
  • Facebook ads, the high ROI of which are well-documented
  • Hiring a virtual assistant or content creator to help you expand via outreach and SEO

Sure, getting started with monetization might seem like an uphill battle, but the initial legwork is totally worth it for those with enough motivation. Rather than sleep on your potential money-making idea, consider how you can put these tips into action ASAP.

Stop Cutting Costs! Increase Your Income Instead

When profit margins are slim, most businesses decide the best course of action is to cut costs. They limit their expenditure, trim their budget, and try to spend less and less. However, this isn’t always the best option. Instead, you should focus on increasing your income instead. How can you do this? Just look at these three ideas for inspiration:

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Make As Much Money From Advertising As Possible

Advertising revenue is one of the best secondary sources of income for business. It helps keep your income ticking over, and can present huge profits come to the end of the year. The key is ensuring you make as much money from adverts as possible. How? By monetizing as much as you can. Get ads on your website, ads on your mobile app, you should even have a separate blog site and get ads on that too! One brilliant idea is to start a YouTube channel and monetize it. You can earn some serious revenue through YouTube, and it will dramatically increase your income. Plus, there’s the added benefit of helping reel in new customers and broaden your appeal with a YouTube channel too. The bottom line is that you must take advantage of ad revenue and use it to boost your income in any way possible.

Sell Gift Cards

Gift cards are a brilliant way you can boost your income without having to come up with a crazy new product idea. With a gift card, someone can spend money and get a car that they can only use with your business. Most people buy these for friends and family as a present on birthday or Christmas. They’re convenient, and benefit you in that you have one extra thing to sell and gain money from. It’s easy to get gift cards printing done and have some cards that look great and follow your business design ethos. Also, gift cards are brilliant for bringing new customers to your store too. A loyal customer might buy their friend a gift card, meaning they have to buy things to spend the money, a real win-win for you.

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Start Selling ‘Add-Ons.’

A great way to boost your income is by selling add-ons along with your main products. What this refers to are any additional things that can be sold to go with your main products. For example, phone companies sell smartphones, then they have loads of accessories like cases, headphones, chargers, etc. Look at your product and figure out what things you can sell to compliment them and provide something more for the customer. That’s the key with these items, they need to enhance someone’s purchase. A customer needs to feel like their main purchase is made better by getting an add-on as well. The good thing is, these items are usually much cheaper than your main products, which helps entice customers while keeping your income ticking over.

Focus on improving your income, and you’ll see larger profit margins without having to make sacrifices and cutting your budget.

If you’re looking for advice on how you can boost your personal income, then we’ve written a guide on that for you to enjoy too!

Why The Natural Connection Works Much Better Than Ad Bombardment

Every business needs to work at getting the most out of their target market. For a lot of businesses, advertisements are a crucial part of reaching more people and creating leads. When they’re targeted well, they are certainly good at doing that. However, a marketing strategy that relies entirely on advertisements is far from cost-effective or even time-effective. If you want marketing efforts that cost less and have longer-term benefits to offer, then you need to think about fostering the natural connection customers. You need to think about making your marketing inbound.

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Take part in conversations

When you get people interested in your brand and in your products, capitalize on them. The best thing you can add to a brand is positive word-of-mouth. For instance, consider asking for testimonials and building them up until you have enough to feature on your site to make good use of positive social proof. Make sure you’re working on keeping social media channels active and participating in conversations about the industry or other topics relevant to what you do. Don’t be afraid to even have a little fun with online communities. The personable, human approach on social media shows that there’s a human core to the business. That’s what makes a brand memorable.

Make your business easier to find

On the internet, you’re not just competing for the customer’s money but for the attention you require in order to convince them that your business is worth that money. Visibility is crucial and while outreach might inform more people of your business’s existence, you might be able to see more cost-effective results by targeting those who are actively looking for your services. Search engine optimization ensures that your site appears in those kinds of searches and in a better position than your competitors. Techniques like using meta-data properly, content marketing, and link-building as mentioned in http://theprauthority.com/link-building-and-why-you-need-it/ all contribute to giving you a place of prominence on search engines. It’s well proven by now that people trust what they see on the first page of Google much more than they do what they see in a corporate branded advertisement.

Have the site do more

The website is supposed to do a lot more than giving people information on what it is you do. It’s supposed to convert visitors into customers. As https://conversionxl.com/ways-to-increase-your-conversion-rate-right-now/ states, there are plenty of ways to create a site that is better at making customers. Elements like calls-to-action, clean navigation, and concise text providing a clear value proposition are all necessary. Too many businesses make their websites too complicated, too crowded, and not truly focused on the customer at all. A strong website can be a fantastic tool for building leads naturally if you use it right.

The best marketing strategies weigh heavily on the inbound side, using advertising when they can capitalize on a new offer or a seasonal high in the business. If you’re just constantly trying to throw ads out there, you’ll find that the customers you do win might not be enough to support your marketing costs.

 

Using SEO And Social Media To Grow Your Business This Year

Using SEO and social media isn’t just an option these days; it’s a necessity. If you want to make sure that your business grows at the rate you want it to, then focusing on your strategies for these things is a must. This year, social media and SEO are more important than ever. SEO is now all about making the experience a customer has with you as pleasant as possible, from the moment they land on your site right down to the purchasing process. It isn’t about manipulating the search engines. Social media is so popular that you’d be missing a huge trick if you didn’t incorporate it into your plans. Let’s take a look at a few tips and ideas that are going to help you grow your business.

SEO Can Improve Your Social Media Campaigns

SEO and social media are not two different things. SEO can actually improve your social media campaigns when you are smart. You may already know the importance of analysing the right keywords for your industry and niche. Just about any internet marketing SEO company will tell you the same thing. If you don’t use the right keywords, you’re not going to attract the right audience, or as big an audience as possible!

You can make sure you are utilizing both by using the keywords you discover on your social media profiles; on LinkedIn, on Facebook, even in the tweets that you write. Obviously you don’t want to get spammy about it, but you should definitely make sure you include them where possible to help give you a boost.

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Make Sure You’re Dedicated To Social Media

Social media is no joke. It takes real planning and dedication for it to work! You need to make sure you listen to your audience, as they are going to give you many clues on how you can make this work. You also need to make sure that you’re sharing relevant messages. Once you’re doing that, you must make sure others can share that message too. When you’re sharing interesting, relevant stuff, others will naturally want to share it.

Social media marketing can be one of the most cost effective marketing tools to help you build authority. You just need to make sure you get it right. A few blog posts and status updates are not enough to make it work. Making sure you use the appropriate platforms and post at the right times is crucial, along with content that’s going to draw people in. Here are some bullet points so you can make sure you get it right:

  • Only start with as many platforms as you can handle. If you can’t keep up, don’t start another platform. This is why so many business owners choose to invest in a social media manager.
  • Make sure you’re posting at the times your audience are most likely to see it.
  • Make sure you include pictures with your posts. They make people want to read more!
  • Make sure you actually speak to your audience. Use their language!
  • Always be consistent. Consistency is key to making this work.

Read on for even more tips!

Be Helpful

Make sure you’re not just looking to receive with your content. You should aim to give. Help out your audience. This will make them far more likely to come back to you and choose to buy from you. The hard sell really isn’t attractive! Share your knowledge. This might seem scary, but it really will go a long way to helping you establish yourself as an authority. Don’t be a knowledge hoarder, as it won’t help you at all!

Always Include A Call To Action

Although you’re not going for the hard-sell, actually including a call to action really will go a long way to helping you get what you want. If you post a piece of great content, why would you not ask your audience to give it another share? Including a call to action actually works, so the last thing you want to do is forget it. This could be a simple ‘liked this? Share it!’ at the end of your post.

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Engage With Your Audience

Social media is all about being social. What does that mean? Make sure you’re actually engaging with them! Ask them questions, answer their questions, start discussions and conversations. Make sure you reply. Engaging with them is the key to nailing social media. It makes them feel like you care, and helps you to build a stronger relationship with them overall. When you build a relationship with your audience, you get brand loyalty. You should reply to comments that are both positive and negative. You need to make sure you have the same ‘brand voice’ throughout. Ensure you don’t take negative comments personally, either. Always reply professionally and aim to fix whatever the issue is in the best way possible. Making sure you give the best customer service this way will help you to get far more recommendations and word of mouth reviews.

Start A Blog Right Now

If you haven’t got a blog, you need to start one. Right now. A blog takes time to establish, but it’s so worth it. If you can build your online presence, this can help you to get a huge number of followers. Your blog can be used to share interesting stuff and tips regarding your industry, products, services, etc. You can answer questions your customers always want to know the answer to. If you make your posts good enough, there’s a chance they’ll go viral. Although you shouldn’t count on this, getting lots of shares is still possible. Starting a blog is mostly about social media, but the more quality content you create, the more it helps your SEO campaigns too.

Get Involved With Video Marketing

Thousands of people search for videos on the things they want to know. Videos also allow you to present your information in a more attractive, shorter amount of time, and allow you to show your personality more. To do this, you can use Youtube, Vimeo and other video sites.

It’s important you take the time to build your channel and ensure informative videos. Your videos should be attractive, so you need to make sure your equipment is pretty good. You don’t need to invest in the best of the best right away, but you should have a clear picture and sound. Knowing how to edit your videos is also key to getting it right.

Offer Discounts And Deals On Social Media

Offering exclusive deals will help you to get more follows and shares. They don’t have to be huge, and of course you don’t want to do this all the time or you can easily lose custom the rest of the time. You don’t want to cheapen yourself! You could even offer discounts for people who recommend you to a friend, and run social media competitions. Competitions like this are extremely popular!

Use The Right Tools

You can use tools to make your social media campaign a little easier. You can use things like Hootsuite and Post Planner to give you nudges and post for you. Automating your posts is a must if you want to save time and be able to focus on your business. You can get tools to alert you when somebody interacts with you, so you can reply virtually right away. You’ll never miss a mention! You can also schedule your posts to go out at the right time, so you don’t have to login and logout multiple times throughout the day. Always analyze what is working for you too, so you can do more of what is and scrap what isn’t. It’s easy to get a picture of which posts are being responded to the most.

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Consider Paid Advertising

Paid advertising will cost you a bit of money, but there are many benefits that make it worth it. It’s an investment, as the money will likely come back to you in the form of sales. It’s one of the various forms of social media marketing that can encourage growth. Be creative and make sure you come up with your own strategies though, rather than copying others. When you decide to use paid advertising, you can make sure you’re targeting people who have an active interest in what you do, or those who fit your target market. For instance, if you sell products for newborns, you can get your ads to target new parents.

Make sure you’re using SEO and social media together to grow your business this year. Whether you’re a small local business or an ever growing corporation, you need to utilize these things to make a big impact. Making sure you create a budget for it is crucial; you don’t want to be doing all of these things yourself, as it can get stressful, confusing, and take time away from what you’re good at. Remember; anything you invest will always pay off when you get more conversions.

 

 

 

4 Tips to Getting Your Brand Seen and Heard

In order for your brand to get the maximum exposure it needs and deserves, coming up with a myriad of ways to advertise it is imperative.

For instance, do you do much in the way of outdoor advertising? If not, you’re missing out on a great means to tell the public about your brand.

The same can be said for social media initiatives.

Too many business owners fail to take advantage of all social media can offer them. Most notably, social media is, in essence, free.

Still another way to get your brand seen and heard is through your customers.

Those customers who can’t get enough of what you have to offer will oftentimes help promote your business through their word-of-mouth efforts. Such efforts can pay huge dividends for you, this as family members and friends of these customers get to know more about you, ultimately wanting to spend money with you too.

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities (and others) for you to get your brand noticed.

With that in mind, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work?

Be Smart and Aggressive in Promoting Your Brand

So that you can cover all your bases when it comes to effectively promoting your brand, swing for the fences with these tips:

  • Outdoor advertising – Even with millions and millions of people on computers and mobile devices at any given time of the day, don’t turn a blind eye to the impact outdoor advertising can have on your brand. When you use outdoor advertising to promote your brand, you have myriad of options in play. For starters, you can turn to billboards, something that is sure to catch countless eyes in and around town. If you do opt for billboard advertising, keep them simple and sweet, avoiding a look that has too much for the passing eyes to catch in just a few seconds. Your ads can also adorn places such as buses and bus depots; taxi cabs tops and sides, subway and train stations, and even ride sharing vehicles. Most importantly, have your brand’s message where consumers won’t have a hard time viewing it. One mistake to avoid is placing your advertisement where it gets lost in the shuffle. If you’ve ever seen a street corner during (and even after) political elections, you know all too well how too many messages can be missed or even tuned out by passersby. Always consider placement when looking at where your outdoor advertising will receive the most positive attention.
  • Web advertising – Even as the popularity of mobile devices continues to soar, many brands still want their banner ads and other advertising vehicles seen on the web when consumers sit down to laptop or desktop computers. You may even opt for pop-up ads, though keep in mind that some consumers literally detest these forms of advertisements, oftentimes leading them to click the close button as quickly as possible. Lastly, make sure any ads you have on the Internet are properly formatted, along with giving consumers a reason to learn more about your product or service. If they choose not to click on your website and learn more about you, you’ve just wasted time and money.

Socializing the Brand Experience

  • Social media – You can’t get much more free advertising than social media. By spreading your brand’s message on various social sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc.), you become a part of the social conversation. Be sure above anything else to engage consumers when they leave you with comments and/or questions about your products and/or services. Too many business owners drop the ball when it comes to carrying on a social conversation, thereby leading to missed opportunities to potentially land new sales.
  • Customer advertisements – Finally, encourage your customers to be part-time brand ambassadors. In doing so, they can spread the word about all your brand has to offer. If incentives are needed, giving them some discounts, the chance to buy products or services before they go on sale to the general public etc. are two good starting points. Remember, without your customers, you would not be in business in the first place. Letting them talk glowingly about your brand is as good a recommendation as you can receive.

As you look this year and beyond to get your brand seen and heard more, how will you go about it?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.