Email Marketing Tricks

In email marketing nothing matters more than measurable results.  Clicks and sales equal money.

Every trick here borders on the ridiculous, but they all work.  Even better, they can double or triple your conversion rates compared to the standard way of handling your email marketing.

Just like everything else someone suggests to you, these tricks are worth testing.  See if they boost the performance of your campaigns.

Special Characters In Subject Lines

Everybody knows what an Emoji is, but very few know what “Unicode” is.  The simple explanation is that Unicode is pre-emoji.

The best part is all email service providers allow it.

You can see some examples here, but I’ve also included a screen capture below:

The easiest way to use them is to simply copy and paste the Unicode you’d like to display into your subject line before you send your next email.

They key with this is to keep it relevant.  If you do that, it’s possible to see double your open rate.

Resend To Unopens

Sadly, this isn’t possible with every autoresponder.  Check the help area of yours to see if you can do this.

It’s early morning and you send out an email to your list.  You get a 20% open rate and a 10% click through rate.

While those numbers are normal, they suck.

A smart way to improve your results is to resend the same email later on in the day with a new subject line to those that didn’t open the first email.

If you really want to kick it up a notch, you could do something similar with anyone that didn’t click.

For those that didn’t click, give them new reasons to click the link and see what you’ve sent them.

Ask For Replies And Read Them

Roughly 75% of the time I’ve done this, I’ve made money.

Send a brief email asking a question related to something you sell:

“Hey NAME,

If you recently ordered PRODUCT, why did you get it?

If you didn’t order it for yourself, why not?

Just hit the reply button.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks,

YOUR NAME”

There are numerous benefits to this, but the first is sales.

If people are replying to a message like the one above, they’re interested.  You just haven’t done a good enough job of selling them.

Take this opportunity to address their concerns and conquer them.

This also lets you see what your biggest objections are.  If you discover what they are, you can build things that are designed to overcome them into your sales messages.

Double Your Subject Impact

Have you noticed that most email service providers now provide a preview of the email?  There are two ways to ensure that yours helps you get more opens.

The first is to use a sub headline as the first thing in your email.  The only catch with this is if you send html emails, it may not show up.

If that’s the case, use this code inside of html of your email to add in a hidden second subject line:

<style type=“text/css”>

span.preheader

display: none !important; }

</style>

</head>

<body><span class=“preheader”>INSERT YOUR SECOND SUBJECT HERE</span>…”

Keep in mind that this works on desktop and mobile devices.
Use this to give your readers another reason to open your message.

Video/Image Trick

This is sneaky and if you do it wrong, you’ll upset people.

We’re so used to watching video online that we naturally click a video’s play button.

Since we can’t (yet) embed videos into an email, use an image of the video instead.  

For this to work, you’re going to have to have the video be one of the first things they see.

As long as you do that, you’ll see people clicking the image like crazy.

Bonus Trick:  Easy Mode List Building

When it comes to list building, many traffic sources don’t want you to send people to a squeeze page where it’s only purpose is to capture an email address.

Small Business Ideas

Loyalty marketing happens when a company focuses on marketing to existing customers with perks and incentives to encourage repeat business, instead of solely attempting to find new customers. This type of marketing can be a powerful tool for small business owners who are trying to grow their small business and increase revenue. It also generally costs less to keep current customers actively purchasing from you than it does to repeatedly attempt to bring in brand new business.

There are many types of loyalty marketing programs you can use in your small business. Here are 10 small business ideas that will help you give loyalty marketing a try.

  1. In-Store Gifts: One way to get previous customers back in the store is to offer limited-time giveaways. Try offering a free gift that promotes a new product to get the attention of past customers and encourage them to revisit and make another purchase.
  2. No Obligation Trials: If you are selling software, a subscription service, a particularly expensive product, or a product or service that generally has a number of challenges to making the sale, providing a no obligation trial can be a great way to break through those sales objections.
  3. VIP Club: A members-only VIP club creates a level of exclusivity that can get customers back in the store again and again. Your VIP club doesn’t have to cost your customers anything, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or costly for you to implement either. You can offer VIP perks like new product previews, time-sensitive deals, an expedited checkout process, free samples and more.
  4. Free Offers: An effective way to encourage a purchase is by boosting the value of the purchase. Buy one get one free offers that promise customers something free or at a reduced cost are a popular way to pull in past customers and introduce them to new products.
  5. Punch Cards – Many businesses, particularly in the food and beverage industry, use punch cards to track and reward a customer’s patronage. The more purchases the customer makes, the more freebies they receive, making a powerful case for your customers to become frequent shoppers.
  6. Customer Surveys for Incentives – Customer surveys are an excellent way to find out what your customers think about your business and what they would like to see more (or less) of in the future. There are a number of ways to get customer surveys in front of your customers; you can include a link or QR code on a receipt, you can send a postcard in the mail, or you can follow up on purchases with an email asking for feedback. Incentives can be as simple as entry in a drawing for a giveaway or a store coupon.
  7. Free Upgrades – If you are selling software or another type of application that has regular updates that improve the user experience, offering free upgrades to the most recent version can be an excellent way to keep previous customers engaged in your business.
  8. Birthday and Anniversary Perks – If you have a customer database, you can use information your customers submitted to provide perks that lead to loyalty. For example, consider sending out small gifts or greeting cards when your customers are celebrating a birthday or anniversary. This can also be a great way to build an email marketing list for your business — free gifts on special days in exchange for signing up for your list.
  9. Partner Programs – Loyalty marketing can also extend beyond your business. You can create partnerships with other businesses in your local area for cross-store discounts, shared promotions, and sales events that get customers in your store more often.

Try these and other small business ideas & marketing incentives to bring customers back into your business to make repeat purchases on an ongoing basis.

If you are able to incorporate some of these small business ideas into your business practices consistently, you may find that you are able to generate revenue from customers who have already expressed an interest in your business, instead of solely targeting new customers.

5 Internet Marketing Solutions

We have been doing the whole internet marketing thing for over a decade now, and get asked internet business questions all the time. Whether it’s at live events or via Facebook or another social media platform, it’s a fairly constant thing. A short while ago, I spent over 2 hours answering questions on a call and realised that most of the questions I get asked are the same exact ones. Here is an internet marketing solutions guide.

Assuming you may have some of the same questions, I thought it would be cool to post answers to the 5 internet marketing queries I hear most often.

What is the best way to get traffic?

This is probably the question that frustrates me most. It’s normally asked like the answer should be a one word response. The truth is that this is an incredibly complicated question with an equally complicated answer. The short answer is that every product or service will have a completely different best source of traffic.

The best source of traffic would provide you with the perfect customer. Someone that not only wants what you sell, but has a desperate need for it. This traffic source should provide you with not just customers, but raving fans that love you and want to buy EVERYTHING you sell.

To find this elusive customer, the first step is to identify them. You need to know exactly who they are. You need to speak directly to their situation. Your marketing, sales messages, and any other forms of communication you use need to focus on them.

The first step to identifying them is to think about where they go and use those websites to figure out more about them. Quantcast can be a gigantic help with this if a site has been “quantified”. I’ll use TMZ.com as an example:

This helps with language you should be using, the nature of your sales messages (if they’re spending time on TMZ, it would be helpful to match the type of messaging they use), and gaining a better idea of who you serve.

Once you’ve identified them, you need to find them. Alexa.com will give you ideas. It’s owned by Amazon and they have a ton of data they’re willing to share with us. Throw your primary competitor’s URL into Alexa and they’ll provide you with data including what sites are referring traffic their way, what sites link to them, and similar websites. Some of those sites may offer advertising options or accept content that they’ll post to their audience for you.

Once you have this data, it’s time to start testing strategies. The first choice is whether you want organic traffic (free) or paid traffic (costs money). If you’re starting with little money to spend on advertising, organic traffic is going to be your obvious choice. If you have a budget, paying for traffic provides instant visitors. Either way, you choose to risk money or time.

Finally, get to testing out different strategies. I can’t dictate where to start or where you’ll finish. The path you choose to take makes no difference. It will take time and testing to get it right and find your traffic “holy grail”. Never give up and if something doesn’t work it’s just a test that didn’t work out. Keep at it and you’ll find the one that works best for you, your skills, and your audience.

Internet Marketing Solutions Guide to; Why doesn’t my website rank in Google?

Again, super complex question with a long list of possibilities. It’s nearly impossible to give a precise answer without seeing the website in question. Instead, I’ll give you a few things to consider that will help you fix the problem:

Is your on-page SEO setup right? This is where ranking in Google begins and if you do it wrong, it can be where it ends, too. Images should be named accurately and with keywords where appropriate. Pages should be named accurately and with keywords where appropriate. Titles should be accurate and contain your keywords where appropriate. Highlighting should be natural and focus as much on conversion as SEO. Notice a common thread here? Your best bet is to focus on creating a great page.

Is your site socially viable? Are people spreading around your content? Is your website valuable enough to your audience that they recommend it to others? If not, you need to figure out how to make that happen. The easiest way to do that is to create solutions to any barriers that would get in the way of people buying from you. That’s the same type of content that gets shared.

Are you getting the right links pointing to your sites? Socially viable content will also generally attract links just for being awesome. Building links for the sake of building links is a dead process. Article marketing, press release marketing, and things like blog commenting as a way to drive links is a bad idea. Instead focus on getting quality links from quality sources. The more authority links you get the better.

Is there a penalty against your website? If you have had your website for more than 2 or 3 years, odds are you used some very “old school” link building strategies that are now frowned upon. If that’s the case, you’ll want to develop a list of the old style links and use Google’s disavow tool.

Are you a trend chaser? If so, I’m guessing that your business is nearly nonexistent…

Trends can be great traffic sources, but a very low percentage of the “big things” you try are going to pan out into real businesses in the end. I’ve been testing some automated Amazon affiliate products for over a year. I’ve made roughly double what I’ve spent on the products, but barely. Also remember that I have a far deeper knowledge base than most people…

Fulfilled by Amazon products, Autoblogs, Blog networks (private and public), Kindle publishing, T-shirt selling, and who knows what else. Any trend is going to be a goldmine to a small percentage of people. For most, it will simply be a massive waste of time.

Instead of worrying about trends, find an audience to serve, products and services they want AND need, and a unique selling proposition that speaks to the specific group of people you’re looking to serve. Not only will you be a lot happier, the odds of you succeeding go way up.

Once you have that sorted out, figuring out a way to take advantage of new opportunities and feed any new customers into your current sales systems is worth trying.

Why aren’t people buying the stuff I sell?

This problem is based upon two main issues:

Crappy offers AND Message to market match. Either of the two will kill any chance of making sales.

Your message is the core of what you’re selling. It’s needs to be convincing to your audience and should enter a conversation they’re already having with themselves.

In my personal experience, the sales copy I think will perform best is almost never the best performing. The key is to test everything. The offer the headline, the bullets, the close, the post script.

Let your audience tell you what they need to hear to buy what you sell. Test EVERYTHING.

If your message is wrong, change it.

If you can afford it, hire a copywriter. If you can’t afford the best, ask one of them for one of their students. You’ll get insight into your messaging from one of the best at a drastically lower expense.

When you have a bad offer, nobody will buy what you’re selling. If it isn’t working, change it.

Why aren’t I Succeeding?

Only a few percent succeed at this internet business thing. Instead of telling why you’re not getting into that small group, I’ll tell you a few things you need to get there:

Persistence – It’s good to know when to give up or stop wasting time on something, but the moment you give up could be the moment you’re about to break through. It’s a delicate balance, but you’ll be better served by sticking to a project until you make it work than giving up on it. This applies to traffic strategies, too. If you aren’t making it work, figure out how to make it work and then, MAKE IT WORK.

Discipline – This is the one that gets me most often. You have to force yourself to get things done. Not just anything, but the right things. My solution to this problem is to break down a project into the smallest possible pieces. A sense of accomplishment will usually be enough to drive me to finish things up and instead of focusing on the end result I’m working towards, I do better when focusing on each small piece.

Value – Are you providing measurable value to your customer? If so, how? Identify this and it makes it easier to sell your products and services, too.

Differentiate – “Me too” products and services die every day. Most of them should. Do something to make yourself different from your competitors. A crazy guarantee, personalised service, better bonuses… Do whatever you can to be different in the eyes of your customers because that’s what will get them to come back.

Passion – Do you love what you’re doing? If not, stop. Find a way to make money doing what you love and it becomes a pleasure to do the work. It stops being work.

If you enjoyed these five internet marketing solutions then spread the word, thanks for reading.

How Do You Build Your Profitable Online Business

Below are 7 ways to build a profitable online business.

1. Focus on building a community.

A community of people who know like and trust you can make you money for a lifetime if you treat them right.

2. Focus on providing value and helping people.

Give and you shall receive – they say. And it’s true – the more you give, the more people will follow you and trust your recommendations because they know you act in their best interest.

3. Focus on building your brand.

A brand is an asset. Once people associate your name with high quality this increases the value of everything you create. People are more inclined to check out what you have just because it comes from you. Also if you decide so in the future you can sell your business as a brand.

4. Focus on selling high quality programs.

This is how you provide even more value to your community. You shouldn’t be ashamed to sell. Because there are programs and products out there that can change a person’s life! And it’s in their best interest to get these products in their hand. You’re helping them by providing them with quality products. The keyword is quality. You should never promote crap products because that will only hurt your reputation and people will lose trust in you.

5. Reinvest your profits into growing your community.

This is how you scale a small business into a big business. Reinvesting your profits is key to your success. Your community is your #1 asset. The bigger your community, the more authority you will have in the marketplace. And the more money you will make because you will have bigger influence and more people ready to buy.

6. Focus on building a high converting sales-funnel.

This is how you make more money with the same amount of traffic. A high converting sales-funnel will allow you to make a lot of money with a small community and ultimately allowing you to grow that community by reinvesting your profits back into your business.

7. There’s only 2 things you should work on in your business: TRAFFIC. And CONVERSIONS. 

So focus on those 2 things.

Every minute you spend working on your business ask yourself this:
Is what I’m doing now going to increase my traffic and influence? Is it going to make me more sales? Is it going to provide some kind of value to my community?

If the answer is no, it means you’re doing the wrong thing! Stop immediately what you’re doing and focus back on the activities that will make you money. For example: creating videos, writing a promo email to your list, finishing your product and gen

10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach

10 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach Today

1. Find your optimal posting times

Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still relevant as timing is a factor in the algorithm.

Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.

Instagram Expert, Sue B. Zimmermansuggests posting when the majority of your audience is online:

It may take time to get a long-term understanding of your followers’ activity, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting when the majority of your audience is online.

If you are using an Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day.

To access your Instagram Insights, tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon (Insights icon) on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Instagram Insights - Followers

2. Experiment with videos

Several studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be!

On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos!

Instagram Engagement Study

It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.

3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. We found that hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage our followers.

Buffer Instagram giveaway contest

Some of the call-to-actions we have tried are:

  • Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below 👇
  • To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
  • To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media! 👊
  • What’s on your reading list this week? 📚 Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team! 😄❤

While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts, we try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.

Something that we do more often is asking a question in our Instagram posts. Several of our most-commented posts (excluding contest posts) are posts with a question such as thisthis, and this.

4. Curate user-generated content

Brian Peters, our digital marketing strategist, grew our Instagram account following by about 500% (4,250 to 21,000) in under six months. His secret? User-generated content.

Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.

Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other non-user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.

User-generated content infographic

5. Tell Instagram Stories

In our State of Social Media 2016 report, we found that while 63 percent of marketers surveyed use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded!

Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds.

It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm; possibly one very similar to the feed algorithm. Spend the time to craft great Stories to help them rank better.

6. Go live on Instagram

A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.

Instagram Live

Social Media Examiner found that the more they went live on Facebook, the more their non-live content received exposure. Michael Stelzner said that one reason might be their brand is in front of their fans more often so the fans might go to their Page to see their content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video.

This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.

From our State of Social Media 2016 report, we concluded that live video has yet to hit mass adoption as only 27 percent of marketers surveyed had created live video content. While the percentage might be higher today, I believe live videos aren’t mainstream yet. So it’s another perfect way to stand out and deliver great content!

7. Use Instagram ads

This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.

If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!

Instagram ads - Promote existing post

So which post should you promote?

Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:

  1. Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
  2. Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.
  3. Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
  4. For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.
  5. For the second filter, select “Engagement”.
  6. For the third filter, select “7 days”.
  7. You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.

Picking a top post from Instagram Insights

As these posts have received the most engagement from your followers, they would likely also resonate with the people you promote to (assuming you have targeted people like your followers).

8. Post less

When explaining social media algorithms, Michael Stelzner encouraged marketers to re-think your posting strategy.

Rethink is the keyword here. Rethink your posting strategy on social media – Less is actually more!

Sue B. Zimmerman also gave a similar advice for marketers who want to overcome the Instagram algorithm.

If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.

I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.

Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.

9. Create specifically for Instagram

One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.

For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Crossposting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.

Now with Tailored Posts, you can write customized captions for each social network. We’re hoping that this feature would encourage you to be (even) more creative with your social media posts and would help you drive more engagement.

Buffer Multiple Composer

10. Be a great Instagram user

This last point might be a little vague but it nicely wraps up many of the points above.

Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks.

My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:

  • Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)
  • Answering questions on your posts quickly
  • Thanking people for commenting on your posts
  • Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them

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What’s your Instagram strategy?

The main objective of Instagram (and most social media platforms) is to make users happy and let them enjoy the experience. As brands on Instagram (and social media), I think we can do a lot to create great experiences for our followers — which will, in turn, benefit ourselves.

I’d love to learn from you, too! What’s your strategy on Instagram? Is anything in particular that is working well for you on Instagram? Thanks.

Your Business Needs Search Engine Optimisation

You have likely heard highly rated Internet marketers say over and over that your small business needs SEO. It is very probable that you get a daily drip of emails from SEO businesses with the aim of marketing their services to you. But very rarely do you hear WHY your business needs Search Engine Optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation, SEO for short, certainly plays a major role in the online success of your business. It adds to favourable search rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing and assists in the branding of your business as well. We have listed below the reasons your business should invest marketing pounds into being ranked favourably in the organic search results whether that be on a local level or a national level.

1. YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WILL GET A HIGH ROI FROM SEO

No other Internet marketing strategy yields a return comparable to SEO. All to often, an SME won’t gain noteworthy success with SEO because they use the services of an inexperienced SEO agency or one that just outsources the work. Low-quality companies have very little idea when it comes to the requirements of a successful SEO campaign. They are lacking when it comes to delivering results.

In spite of that, when done in the right way, SEO is more than effective when sending constant organic traffic (website visitors) to your business website. The same amount of traffic would cost you an enormous amount of money if you paid for it through a paid search marketing campaign such as Google Ads.

2. YOU CAN BET YOUR COMPETITORS ALREADY DO IT

A large number of small to medium sized businesses erroneously presume that SEO is required only until top rankings are achieved. However, this belief is not accurate. When your business website reaches a Page 1 ranking in Google, it needs even more SEO work to continue to keep this ranking. In fact, you need to aim to improve your rankings further.

Always keep in mind that your competition are also trying every trick in the book to get these top positions in the search engines too. Hence, you need to step your game up and keep ahead of that competition. If you relax and take your foot off the gas, your competitors will take over these top spots. They will gain your business website’s portion of website traffic at the same time. People that would have visited your website will now visit your competitors website instead.

In short, you need to comprehend that by sitting back, you allow your competitors to take your share of the web traffic in your industry. Disregarding SEO is equal to giving your website visitors and potential customers to your competitors without putting up so much as a fight.

3. YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS ARE USING MOBILE DEVICES

As is stands, mobile website traffic has increased sharply and outpaced the traffic via desktops and laptops. SEO ensures that your business becomes more visible to customers who are busy searching online for the products or services your business offers.

Local search engine optimisation (Local SEO) makes it easier for local customers to find your business in the search engines. These favourable search results can result in telephone calls, visits to your shop or offices, or even on-the-spot online purchases via your eCommerce website. Mobile search is undoubtedly the future of search. Make sure your business website is equipped for mobile search.

4. Search Engine Optimisation IS HERE TO STAY

SEO is not going away. What is required is for your business to adapt over time as SEO develops. The companies that have a firm grasp on the ever changing landscape of SEO adapt continuously to it without so much as a stutter. In the past 10 years, Google have punished websites utilising spammy link building techniques. Now, the focus is firmly on developing top-drawer website content and thus earning links from relevant and authority websites.

The core attributes of SEO will always stay the same. In spite of that, the techniques to keep top rankings will change all the time. In consequence, SEO will stay around for as long as the Internet remains as important as is currently does to businesses and individuals. Thus, it’s imperative that you get involved in SEO right now instead of remaining on the sidelines and allowing your competitors to gain your share of what could easily be your website traffic and potential customers.

5. EVERYONE SEARCHES FOR BUSINESS SERVICES AND PRODUCTS ONLINE

Having an SEO campaign in place enables you to increase the chance of potential customers trying to find your business website and engaging with your business. Try to think from your customer’s point of view and understand how extremely important the Internet has become to your customers.

Any person can now search for a business online and consequently review that business, review their products and services, and even buy directly from that business. And all of this can be done from that persons home or even on the go by means of a mobile device. For those reasons and if you wish customers could easily find your business online, you need Search Engine Optimisation, SEO.

IN SUMMARY

To enable your potential customers to find your small business online, your business website requires a powerful SEO strategy to pull in organic search traffic. In this day and age, SEO is more of a branding game and less of a marketing strategy. Given Google’s ongoing advancements in their search engines’ algorithms, it’s important to invest in a robust, SEO Internet campaign. Make sure you employ the services of an experienced SEO consultant to propel your small business website to page 1 in the search engines and to keep it there.

For the best SEO marketing tools take a look right here!!

Why Use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

For business to business social networking, LinkedIn is where the action is!

LinkedIn is the most professional of the major social networking sites, used by over 450 million business professionals worldwide. Since it is largely focused on business to business connections, LinkedIn should be a big part of your social media marketing strategy.

Most people only use LinkedIn as an online resume. To take LinkedIn to the next level and use it as a marketing tool, put the following recommendations into action.

How Important Is Your LinkedIn Profile?

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive resume on steroids. In addition, to information about your work experience and education, LinkedIn allows you to enhance your profile with the following Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase your expertise:

Status Updates: One of the best ways to keep your connections informed about your happenings is by posting ‘status updates.’ Status updates are brief statements that you feel your connections will find useful. In addition, they can include links to related content on your Website or third-party Websites. To appear active in the LinkedIn community, post useful and actionable status updates on a regular basis.

Posts: LinkedIn allows you to easily publish articles (or posts) to your profile. This is a great way to establish yourself as a though leader getting exposure to your LinkedIn community.

Videos and Presentations: If you post PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare or videos to YouTube, you can display these valuable content items in your LinkedIn profile.

Recommendations and Endorsements: LinkedIn makes it easy for you to request recommendations and endorsements from your connections. A collection of glowing recommendations that underscore your expertise and experience will significantly enhance your profile.

Publications: If you wrote and published traditional books or e-books, you can highlight these publications with active links so connections can view and purchase them.

Projects: If you have successful projects you want to highlight, post your projects including a description, link and the team members you worked with.

Take Advantage Of LinkedIn Community Features

In addition to your profile, LinkedIn provides a number of community features that allow you to communicate and collaborate with other LinkedIn users, including:

Groups: LinkedIn Groups help you stay informed and keep in touch with people that share your interests. You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise. Participating in LinkedIn Groups by adding value to the discussion is a great way to expand your circle of influence.

Company Pages: Company Pages are a powerful research tool that you can use to find companies to do business with or research competitors. In addition, you can create a Page for your company to showcase your expertise. You can publish your company’s description, headquarters address and Website address. To further your company page’s value, you can post targeted jobs, recruitment videos, information about products and services and company images.

LinkedIn The Business Building Tool

LinkedIn can be a valuable business tool to help you grow your business and catapult your career. The following strategies will help you use this resource to produce results:

Brand Your LinkedIn Address: When you create a LinkedIn profile, it will create a LinkedIn Web address that will appear like a collection of odd letters and addresses. LinkedIn will let you customize this address to create a branded LinkedIn address with your name.

Become an Recognised Expert: By actively participating in LinkedIn group discussions and publishing thoughtful posts on a regular basis, you have an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader.

Warm Call Sales Prospects: If you’re in sales, you can use LinkedIn as a ‘warm calling’ tool. If there is a prospect you want to reach, you can easily find them on LinkedIn and see how you are connected to them. If you have an active list of LinkedIn connections, you are most likely only two or three connections away from the prospect. Use LinkedIn’s introduction features to ask one of your connections for an introduction.

Find Rock Star Employees: Successful business people are always looking to find valuable employees that will ensure their future success. LinkedIn provides you with an easy place to find them. You’ll have access to a pool of talented individuals within your LinkedIn groups. You can also post a job directly on LinkedIn to attract a talented set of candidates.

Keep Your Connections Current: Whenever you meet someone, connect with them on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to expand your influence and keep connections up to speed on your accomplishments.

7 Ways To Increase Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

If you are thinking about starting a blog or have been blogging for many years but the traffic and engagement or even sales have reached a grinding halt, it could well be time for you to transform your social media marketing strategy.

It is always a great idea to keep things fresh and up to date when creating a social media marketing strategy. There are a few things you can do in order to keep on top of new trends and increase engagement from your peers.

Why is social media marketing important for a blogger?

As a new or seasoned blogger, it’s important for you to create a community around your blog. Your community is going to be made up of loyal readers, people who share your content, and those who purchase products or services consistently.

Social media is the bridge that connects your audience with your content.

Having a solid social media marketing strategy is going to not only increase traffic and engagement, but it will also increase your income.

Check out the following ways to transforming your social media marketing strategy if you are ready to:

Increase your blog traffic.

See better engagement across social media and on your blog

Build a supportive and loyal community of readers and buyers

1. Set Defined Goals

Before you can even begin mapping out your social media marketing strategy, you have to set clear and well defined goals. You need to know exactly where you are and where you want to go.

Think of your goals as your GPS. Document your starting place and where you want to end. For example, I am starting with a group of 100 people in my Facebook group and I’d like to have 1,000 by the end of the year. Having defined goals will eliminate the guesswork and you’ll also have to opportunity to see just how much you’ve grown over time.

2. Deliver Content Wisely

Your audience’s problems are not only key to your content marketing strategy but also your social media strategy.

You have to not only provide great content, but provide great content in a way that your audience can best receive it. If your target audience is young male body builders, you may best reach them with live videos or short video clips that they can watch while at the gym versus long wordy posts.

Ensuring that what you are creating is received in the best way possible by your audience is going to increase engagement greatly.

3. Ask Questions

Such a simple thing is often overlooked. Simply asking questions at the end of social media posts can really increase engagement and even shares. Many of the post that do well for me are concluded with a question.

You can even do things to get your audience more involved: for example, asking them to tag a friend or share their favorites, or top things related to your post topic.

4. Share Content from Top Influencers

This can really help increase engagement. You should already be sharing 80% of others’ content, but many people are not sure what to share or whose content to share.

Try taking a look at some of the content of the top influencers within your niche. By sharing their content, you are showing your audience that they can trust you because you are willing to reach outside of your own work to connect them to useful content. When your audience feels that they can trust what you share, they begin to trust you and your brand and will be more willing to interact and engage with your content.

5. Focus on What Works For You

Just because you see others doing well on Facebook, doesn’t mean Facebook is for you or your blog.

Be sure to check your analytics and take note of which social media platforms are driving the most engaging traffic. I get a lot of traffic from Facebook because of the promotional groups I participate in. This isn’t engaging traffic.

Wherever you are getting organic traffic, that’s where you should focus your efforts. Every platform isn’t designed for every blog or blogger. Go where your audience is. My audience is made up of moms so Pinterest is a great platform to focus my efforts on. Focus on what works best for you, not on what others say you should focus on.

6. Be Transparent

It’s okay to be open with your audience. You don’t have to give everything away, but you should share some personal moments from time to time with your audience.

Social media allows us to connect with our audience in a more personable way. Use it to make sure you are creating that connection. Post a photo of your dog lying next to you while you work, share a story about a time you failed in your business, things like that not only connect us, but humanize our brands.

When your audience gets to learn more about the real you, they will want to engage and connect with you more.

7. Always Link to a Product

Whether it’s paid or free, you should always be sending your audience to some sort of product or service.

You want to give value in your posts and videos but always send them to get more. Every interaction is an opportunity. Many of us are afraid to promote ourselves, but if this is your livelihood, then you have to do more.

Link to opt-ins or paid products or services in your bios, on Pinterest, on live videos, within Facebook groups, on Twitter, everywhere. Remember, social media is a bridge. Use that bridge to get your audience to your blog, business, products, and services.

Social media is ever-changing. But you can always do these things to help you stay relevant and keep your audience engaged with your content.

Be sure to be social and actively respond and connect with your audience. Many people lose support by failing to respond to messages or comments. Even a simple, “thank you for sharing” goes a long way.

Whatever challenges you face in the world of social media marketing, remember to focus on what works best for you and what will allow you to best connect with your audience.