Category Archives: Web Marketing

June 14, 2017
Does your online marketing strategy have the following?

  • A website
  • Original content (a blog)?
  • Social media presence

If you have all three you’re probably nodding along and smiling at how you’ve checked all the boxes. But what if I told you that wasn’t enough to get your business found online today?

It’s time to go beyond the basics with your online marketing strategy — and should you have to be everywhere to do so?

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/online-marketing-strategy-be-everywhere.png

Is “Be Everywhere” A Smart Online Marketing Strategy?

I recently read an eBook, The Everywhere Brand: Embracing the Universe Beyond Your Website (and App), by best-selling authors Jay Baer and Jeffrey K. Rohrs.

The eBook details the basic online marketing strategy and how it has changed.

These savvy authors say it’s time to think differently about how you engage customers online. And I agree.

Here are just a few of the ways online marketing has pivoted:

  • According to Nielsen, the average U.S. adult internet user visits 45 mobile websites and uses 28 smartphone apps per month.
  • In November 2016, mobile surpassed desktop internet usage for the first time ever.
  • Mobile search now accounts for nearly 60% of all searches.
  • Voice search now accounts for more than 20% of all searches on Google.

Jay and Jeffery define an “Everywhere Brand” as:

“The Everywhere Brand is a brand whose digital knowledge — the factual assets about a company that capture consumer attention — exists consistently and accurately in a great many online locations, not just on a corporate website and app. This universal approach ensures that The Everywhere Brand serves customers on the digital planets they frequent, translates into a better brand experience, and drives more business opportunity.”

The biggest point they underscore is that most website visits are 10-seconds or shorter in duration, and they are often referred by search engines.

7 Key Traits Of Brands ‘Being Everywhere’

Our authors also insist that if you want to be a ‘be everywhere’ brand you must have the following seven traits.

1) You must be customer-centric. In other words, do you really know how your customers see you? How do they search for your brand online? How do they use search, maps, digital directories (think search engines and AI, like Siri or Alexa? Voice search now matters!

2) Be Active. Are you actively updating all of the information that’s available online and through digital media to reflect your brand’s most current information? Because there are hundreds of digital areas that provide information on your company (maps, directories, search engines, social networks, GPS, etc.) this is no easy task.

3) Organization. (DUH!) Outdated data and the cure to being everywhere means you have to put the three things to work:

  • People — who is in charge of being everywhere?
  • Processes — what processes ensure your data is up-to-date?
  • Technology — what technology helps you achieve the above?

4) Thinks in real-time. With 71% of all online searches happening in real-time through mobile devices, your ‘be everywhere’ brand must also happen in real-time. When weather, illness, or other emergencies take place, are you prepared? Is your data instantly updated?

5) Is granular with their data. Taking a page from SEO, you know how important it is to stand out and be different. Meaning you have to get down to the nitty-gritty with your data and be AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE when putting information about your brand on the world wide web.

6) Is always responsive. Do actively solicit reviews for your company? Do you always respond to those reviews, even if they’re negative? You should! Feedback can be hard to swallow but responsive, ‘be everywhere’ brands look at feedback as a way to improve.

7) Strives to be innovative. Granted, this is easier said than done. Resting on what you have done won’t get you anywhere. You’ve got to be a risk taker, make plays, run tests, and constantly be looking for “what’s next” in your industry.

Should Your Brand Be EVERYWHERE?

If your online marketing strategy is to “BE EVERYWHERE” that’s totally fine (and doable). But you have to own it.

You can do that in three simple steps by:

  1. Choosing where you’re going to BE
  2. Making sure those assets (owned or rented) are accurate
  3. Ensuring your online data (people, products, location data) is always up-to-date

As Jay and Jeffrey point out in their eBook,

“This goes far beyond each location’s name, address, phone number, and hours of operation.”

If and ONLY IF you are able to make that commitment, go ahead and be a ‘be everywhere’ brand.

If not, you may want to start taking baby steps to get yourself going in the ‘everywhere’ direction.

How do you feel about the ‘be everywhere’ business mentality? Do you agree or disagree, and why
As seen on business2community.com

Jun 14, 2017 by Larry Alton In Marketing Tips 2

Want your brand to stand out? Stop writing boring 500-word posts on your blog that receives 100 visitors a month. Other than giving your site a tiny shot of SEO “juice,” you really aren’t doing anything positive for your brand. What you really need to do is put yourself out there and make some noise.

Stop Copying Everyone Else

The ease and simplicity of the internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s allowed for unparalleled innovation. It’s also enabled people to become successful without needing access to some of the heavily guarded resources and technologies that only large corporations had in the past. The internet has essentially leveled the playing field by enabling anyone and everyone to reach the masses.

On the other hand, the internet has removed many of the barriers to entry that previously existed in the business world. No longer do you have to do all the legwork that goes into building a business from the ground up. There are drag and drop website builders, cheap freelance labor, and social media networks with hundreds of millions of users.

The issue is that both sides of this “sword” are now cutting at the same time. When you study the digital marketing industry, in particular, it’s clear that everything is oversaturated. Because the barriers to entry have been removed, the number of people, marketers, and brands creating content for the hungry masses has dramatically increased.

You have marketing executives from Fortune 500 firms who have spent 25 years studying business competing with millennials with nothing more than laptops and internet connections in their urban lofts.

Some would argue this is good — and it is, to an extent — but the problem is that the vast majority of people in the industry don’t have a foundational understanding of how marketing actually works. Therefore, instead of being creators, these so-called marketers are mimes. They have the tools to be successful but lack a real understanding of how to effectively use these tools. As a result, the majority of those in the industry end up copying what the few are doing.

There’s nothing malicious in the copying. It’s just a natural instinct. On a micro level, it may even seem to be effective. You get a few clicks here and a couple of conversions there. But when you zoom out, suddenly it becomes apparent that we’re operating in an internet-sized bubble where everyone is doing the same things. The result of this lack of differentiation is an inability for brands like yours to make your marketing stand out.

Make Your Marketing Stand Out

Do you see the problem? In an oversaturated market, it’s the little guys that get squeezed out. The bigger brands have enough of a reputation to survive. When everyone is just blending in, brand equity will catapult these brands to the top. This leaves you scrounging around for the leftovers.

It’s time to stop scrounging and start excelling. Create a game plan for how you can make your marketing messages stand out in an internet landscape that’s heavily oversaturated. You’re going to have to think for yourself, but we’ve got a few big-picture concepts to get you started.

1. Be an Early Adopter

Have you noticed recently that some of the social channels you’ve been using seem to be delivering lesser returns? (This may not be the case for you, but it’s a common problem for many.) Facebook, Twitter, and other traditional social media platforms are experiencing serious content fatigue and this is a good time for you to temporarily (or even permanently), seek out some newer channels.

“For entrepreneurs and startups, it pays to be on the leading edge of social media and other marketing mediums. The early adopters are nearly always the most successful participants in these marketing avenues,” intellectual property attorney Robert Klinck explains. “Sure, you will probably invest some time in some avenues that don’t end up going anywhere, but one big hit will be enough to make up for multiple failures.”

While not technically in the early adoption stage any more, platforms like Snapchat and Periscope offer much better avenues for visibility. They also encourage greater creativity in order to be successful. You can’t just create a clickbait blog post and call it a day. You actually have to dig in and get creative, which will force you to become a better marketer.

2. Understand Traditional Content Doesn’t Work

Traditional content is dead. In other words, you can’t just write a clever headline, develop an opening, slap three or four paragraphs in the body, and then tie everything together with a nice, neat conclusion. The average human attention span is now down to 8.25 seconds. Considering that it takes roughly five minutes to read an average 500- or 600-word blog post, this means we, as marketers, face a distinct disadvantage when it comes to engaging readers.

You must learn how to reach through the screen and grab your audience’s attention from the very moment they’re exposed to a piece of content. For a blog post, this means spending just as much time coming up with the headline as it takes you to write the post.

For a video, it means nailing the opening frame and giving the viewer a reason to stick around past the 10-second mark. For an infographic, it probably means selecting a compelling color scheme that stands out from afar.

It’ll require more time and energy on your part to create content that stands out, but there’s value to be harvested from such an investment. Quality is far better than quantity in today’s internet marketing landscape.

3. Connect with Social Influencers

The irony of the current marketing industry is that brands have more access to customers than they’ve ever had in the past. Yet, despite this, customers are less interested than ever in directly dealing with these brands (at least in a marketing sense). Millennials, in particular, are largely distrustful of brand messaging and would prefer to tap into their own networks for social proof and advice.

When explaining why consumers trust recommendations from a third party more than from the brand itself, marketer Kristen Matthews does a good job of making the issue relatable.

“You don’t usually trust a person at a cocktail party who comes up to you and brags about himself or herself and spouts fun facts about his or her personality to convince you to be a friend,” Matthews says. “But you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers.”

The thing about influencers is they don’t always fit the mold you might expect. They tend to be average people with gregarious personalities and large personal networks who are interested in talking about a subject that interests them. By connecting with these folks, you gain direct access to their followers — who just so happen to be your customers.

It can take a while to build relationships with the right social influencers, but make some time in your daily schedule to create movement in this area. It’s not something that will happen over a single email or interaction. Months of hard work usually go into forging these relationships.

Do What Others Aren’t Willing to Do

At a conference where he was speaking, marketer John Jantsch was recently asked to explain the secret to success in the industry. Despite being blindsided by the question, Jantsch knew he had the answer.

“My answer wasn’t a secret so much as a truth — the secret to success is to be willing to do the things that others aren’t and be prepared to do them for a really long time,” Jantsch explained.

While that isn’t the sexy answer — and probably not the one the conference attendee was hoping for — it’s the truth. You can’t just copy what everyone else is doing and then wonder why people aren’t being receptive to what you’re throwing at them. In reality, your actions say that you’re just hoping to blend in.

Want to make your marketing stand out in a way that resonates with people and gets your brand noticed? Do what others aren’t willing to do. Seek out unique avenues. Learn how to align yourself with the right people. Create stellar content that you’re proud to attach your name to. These things may not be easy, but they work. That’s what it all comes down to. If you want to stand out, you’ve got to know when to blaze your own trail.

As seen on smallbiztrends.com

Social media metrics can be a very good determining factor on how successful your website is to the online community. However, this number alone is something websites owners should not be focusing of as this can be quite deceiving. Be careful of the ways those metrics can deceive you.

Your brand is something your friend and followers might not care about

It might look good on paper to have a considerable amount of followers on Twitter however, these followers are can be useless if half of them are spam accounts while the other half aren’t interested in your brand at all. This is quite true especially since anyone can click a “like” or a “follow” button. It is best to establish genuine relationship and engagement with your followers with regards to your brand.

Social traffic many not result to brand engagement

For website owners, traffic isn’t everything. Of course traffic is important but this number alone is not enough to produce satisfying results. Be certain to analyze that traffic to determine its actual value.

It is possible to receive social shares from bots

More shares lead to a good thing and this is considered to be a general rule. With that being said, not all shares are equal. Don’t go assuming directly that a human is totally invested in your brand with him sharing your content to their followers and fans. This is indeed quite true with the existence of bots and they can mess up the figures easily.

Links are more valuable than shares

Links greatly outweigh shares due to the fact that they pass more authority to your site and your chance of generate referral traffic over a longer period of time is becomes relatively higher. This is why aside from looking at your shares you also need to pay close attention to the number of links that you are getting.

Your reputation can be harmed with brand mentions and shares

Content getting share does not necessarily that those who did all the sharing are intended to favor your brand. Criticizing your content or mentioning your name in an attempt to slander you is also a possibility and you should be wary about it as it can result to a negative publicity.

 

Impressions does not instantly result to you getting seen

Metric to track how many newsfeeds your content and posts have shown up for can be found through “impressions” which most social media platforms offer today. With that being said, this is not the actual number of times your post was seen but the number of opportunities for your post to be seen.

On Thursday, Facebook announced the rollout of a new “Reactions” buttons, in which it allows users to respond to posts with six emoji-inspired faces, as well as the traditional Like.

The new options will appear alongside the familiar thumbs-up icon and all the user will need to do is to press and hold the Like symbol to activate Reactions

You can see how this new feature works in the video below which was posted by Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/chris.cox/videos/10101920404101583/

In the video description Chris also shared his insights about this new feature saying, “As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.”

Back then in September, Marc Zuckerberg said that the company was working on a feature to satisfy people who’d been asking for new ways to interact with posts. A number of individuals assumed that this would be the inevitable “Dislike” button, however these new options allow for a greater range of responses.

So now if you Facebook users can have the option to react to different posts found in their newsfeed in a more effective manner without necessarily drawing the attention and ire of the online community.

As mentioned earlier, Facebook came up with the six new emoji reactions by studying which comments and reactions are most frequently and widely used across the site.

According to a Thursday post by Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, the feature will be tested first in Spain and Ireland and will be available on both mobile and desktop versions when it launches.