Category Archives: Business Tips

Business tips posts for startups and entrepreneurs

How to design the perfect call to action

How To Design The Perfect Call To Action

Effective Call To Action

Do you have a strategy for your call-to-action button? I bet you do have. However, does it call to action effectively?

The best way to design a call-to-action button is to focus on effectiveness.  It is not just a button on your web site; it is where the action is. It prompts your website visitor to make a purchase, sign up for offers or download an item. If you want your conversion rate to increase, designing an effective call to action button is mandatory. Let us focus on its three main important aspects that work effectively together to attract conversion from your website visitors.

  • Copy
  • Design
  • Placement
  1. Your COPY in call to action

In digital marketing, it is important to address your searchers through their needs and satisfy them with your content marketing. Your words aka copy, must inform and encourage your website visitor to act.  You need to address the following areas in your copy to make your website visitors act.

Be specific with your language

If your Call-to-Action button explains exactly to your readers what will happen when they will click, that is an instant click.  The specific wording you use on your call-to-action buttons can have a great impact on your conversion.  Make your copy straightforward, specific and simple as possible.

Example of a simple and effective call to action copy

Focus on your offered benefits

Your call-to-action has to show a benefit to your searchers, you need to promise them a benefit in order to get them to click and take your offer. The micro copy (minimal words) needs to communicate this benefit clearly. For instance, instead of using a “Read More” button copy or “Buy Now”, use “Learn to write email copy that sells” or “Learn More”, this will reinforce the benefit the searchers will get in clicking your button.

Be careful of your friction words

Buy, download, order and submit are common friction words that imply your searchers have to do something they do not essentially want to do.  You need to lessen the perceived effort of your searcher and replace these friction words with light words like “Get” or “Learn” and you can add up with a benefits statement like “Get your free account” or “Learn to make how to…” You can also use buzzwords such as ‘free’, ‘discount,’ ‘instantly,’ ‘bonus,’and ‘sale’ to be more effective. It is best to imply a benefit than being so persuasive with your copy.

Give the sense of ownership

In reality, humans tend to be driven by the sense of loss and it triggers a benefits for your call to action button to use first person possessive determiners like “my”  or “I” to convey ownership to your offer. Projecting this sense of ownership like “Get Your New Items” to “Get My New Items” could be a cool way of getting your searchers to take action.

  1. Your Design in call to action

Let your design also speak with your copy.  It is also an important element with your call-to-action button.

Your design must: Shine out on the page

Great designs for call to action buttons

Ensure your call-to-action button to shine out within your page. It must be noticeable.  Use or select a button color that contrast the other colors used in your page.  You can try “Squint Test” to see if your button stands out.

Shine out like a button

As your button must be noticeable, it must also look like a button.  Do not make it too fancy so as the searchers must easily recognize it.

Shine out in an appropriate size

Too big or too small is not a good size for the call-to-action button, it must be just right so as the other content on your page can also be noticed and your button will not appear too promotional.

Shine out within the whitespace

The space or the whitespace around your call-to-action button can help it to shine out but not leaving behind other elements in your page.  Be sure to shine out connected, not too close and not too far; just let it be noticed, and making the searchers more aware of your page’ set up.

  1. Your Placement for call to action

Your call-to-action button location is often above the fold or the part of the page that is visible before the searcher is required to scroll. However, the ideal location or placement of your call-to-action button is in relation to the complexity of your offer.

If your offer is easy to understand then you can position your button towards the top that allows searchers to easily find and click the button.

If your offer is a little bit more difficult to understand and you want the searcher to understand more, you can place it just in the right place that it will not appear before the offer. Let your website visitor feel free to click as you motivate them to understand well your offer and what benefits they can gain out of it.

The call to action button placement is important for website visitors to understand and take action

 

As the digital marketing grows with its trends, call-to-action button makes its own growth as it has a big action to take in your marketing.  It is where the action is!

The purpose of the “Call-to-Action” Buttons placement:

Main purpose is to get a visitor or searcher to your site to do something or guiding them what to do. It can lead them to add a product after viewing photos and content, download something, request some information or anything else they need.

Importance of the placement for “Call-to-Action” Buttons:

The placement of Call-to-action buttons are important on your page as it increases click-through rates by making it clear to your searcher and guiding them what step to take next.

As you have the best thought design of your “Call-to-Action” button, you must not forget to test everything.  All the changes you make must be observed, studied, analyzed and tested.  You can A/B test your call-to-action button and analyze it.  You change and test to improve not just for sake of observation.

Take advantage of its purpose and importance of call to action copy, placement and design in your digital marketing as it can lead to more conversions.  Its goal is to reach your business KPI.   It is important to design and create your call to action button with the end goal in mind.  Put the right copy for the right searcher at the right moment!

What are the spending mistakes to avoid in marketing?

Spending Mistakes To Avoid In Marketing

The Cost Of Customer Acquisition

Investing in effective forms of online marketing will help your company to acquire more customers; the challenge is in knowing what, and, how much to invest inIn order to maximize the return on investment of their marketing spend, companies try to avoid expensive mistakes. Some marketing methods are a complete waste of money because the cost of customer acquisition (CoCA) is too high compared to other methods. 

The cost of customer acquisition can be discovered from tracking digital marketing campaigns. It simply tells you how much is spent to get customers. By taking the money spent on acquiring customers, and dividing it by the number of customers acquired, you will get the cost of customer acquisition.

When is the cost of customer acquisition too high?

Companies usually know when their cost of customer acquisition is too high. It is an unsustainable cost for the company. They determine this by calculating the life time value of the customer (LTV), which simply means the profit they can earn from repeat business with this one customer.

To avoid spending mistakes in marketing, you need to justify the cost of customer acquisition by the profits you can make from customers. A $100 cost of customer acquisition with a customer lifetime value of $20,000 is much better than $100 cost of customer acquisition with a customer lifetime value of $200.

Expensive mistakes to avoid in marketing

Making the best decisions about marketing spend is not easy. Despite the resources available to companies, the best allocation of resources for each company vary. There is no one size fits all when it comes to marketing spend. Some companies will find certain channels of marketing more effective than others and invest their monies there:

Survey showing the most effective channels of marketing 2015

As you can see, the effectiveness of marketing channels differs for every business. The spending mistakes in marketing for one company can be a good investment for another. What matters is knowing the cost of customer acquisition, customer lifetime value and the effectiveness of various marketing channels for your particular company.

Nonetheless, here are the costliest mistakes to avoid in marketing:

1. Spreading yourself thin across too many channels

Successful companies know which marketing channels are effective for them and focus their marketing efforts accordingly. One of the costliest mistakes in online marketing is to spend money on too many channels of marketing at once. Choose channels for the greatest impact you will make on your target customers, whether this be conversions, engagement or brand awareness. By focusing effort and money on building trust through those effective channels, you will avoid wastage.

2. TV marketing is not for everyone

Hyper inflation in advertising costs and availability of alternative marketing methods have dampened the attractiveness of TV advertising. Even the effectiveness of TV marketing is being threatened. Two decades ago, marketing on TV was effective because that was where the audiences were. The biggest threat to TV is smartphones and tablet devices in 2015; a report by Accenture found that 87% of people watched a second screen when they watch television. Furthermore, 50% penetration of digital video recorder (DVR) in homes means that TV adverts can be skipped altogether. Without the attention needed for TV advertising to work, it would be a lot of money wasted. For niche products, television audiences are too diverse to drive targeted traffic.

3. Unrelated mass media publications

Hiring PR companies to put your company name in mass media publications can be an expensive mistake to avoid. Unless your publication is highly related to your product-for instance, a B2B automation tool in a B2B magazine, it would not bring any conversions. You might gain a lot of traffic, but your conversion rate will be low. Appearing in New York Times and the Wall Street Journal will boost your confidence, but it may not boost sales. Find relevant publications for your targeted audience; they are more likely to be looking for the solutions that you are offering-and convert.

4. Building a website that is not optimized for mobile and SEO

A website that is not optimized for mobile and SEO, no matter how beautiful it looks, will never be found by your target customers. The rise of mobile shopping, search and apps means companies need to prioritize mobile first designs and optimization. Mobile friendly websites is a necessity for every online business. It is surprising how many companies opt for an expensive website without mobile friendly features and mobile optimized content.

5. Hiring a bad marketing team

Hiring the wrong marketing team is an expensive mistake companies can avoid. There are many ways companies can find out if their marketing hire is a mistake. Here are the common symptoms of an incompetent marketing hire:

  • Badly coordinated marketing campaigns
  • Lack of tracking, measuring of marketing campaigns
  • Lack of communication between the marketing team and company CEO/director
  • No quality control in place for content creation, distribution channels
  • Lack of understanding for the company’s industry and customer demographic
  • No justification for the marketing fees they charge
  • Poor work ethic and attention to details
  • Inflexible mindset to marketing/one size fits all
  •  Disregard for marketing channel integration: no cohesion in the marketing plan

Unfortunately, the damage done by bad marketing campaigns can incur even more expenses down the line to rescue the company’s reputation.

6.Bidding on inflated Adwords

With more companies bidding on (and inflating the price of) the most competitive keywords, the costs of PPC or pay per click can shoot through the roof. Competitive keywords have high search volumes, but not necessarily high conversion rates. Companies that pay for highly competitive keywords may be wasting their marketing money for poor results.

Instead of highly competitive single keywords, companies can bid for long tail keywords containing phrases people are likely to use to search for their product. This is cheaper because of less competition and the searches will be from highly targeted leads. So instead of bidding for a highly competitive keyword such as ‘books,’ you can bid for ‘first edition signed copy of Harry Potter.’ The traffic you draw will be much more focused and ready to convert.

7. Not using location specific marketing

Local businesses can use Google Places, Facebook ads and location specific keywords to target potential customers. When people search for businesses in specific locations, they will be able to find your company at the top of search rankings. The costliest mistake is to spend money on non-specific location advertising if you are a local business. Even if your advert is seen by many thousands of people, they will be too far away geographically to convert. An example is a local cafe shop advertising for the whole of Vancouver when it is specifically based in 6th Avenue.

8. Not tracking your marketing

Tracking the metrics and ROI of your marketing can help you allocate your marketing spend better. It can minimize wastage. There are many excellent marketing tools available for measuring the data of your online marketing campaigns. Google Analytics and Omniture are just two reliable tools you can use to find the conversion rate of website visitors and leads from other marketing channels. You can also track meaningful data such as the length of time website visitors stay on your site and their return rate.

Social media monitoring tools can help you find out what customers are saying about your business and their areas of interest. These insights can help you allocate your marketing spend wisely and even find new opportunities in marketing.

9. Meaningless marketing metrics

Marketing metrics are not all created equal; some are irrelevant for the company’s goals. Spending too much money on increasing traffic volumes when you want actual subscriptions is a waste of time and money. Traffic is a meaningless metric because it does not necessarily lead to more conversions (in this case, subscriptions).

To avoid spending mistakes in marketing, determine which key performance indicators (KPI) are important to the company, and specify an actual target.

10. Spending not aligned with marketing goals

By defining your marketing strategy, business goals and quantifiable KPIs, you can minimize spend in areas of ineffective/irrelevant marketing. If you cannot justify why you are spending X amount in certain areas of marketing, then it is an expense to avoid.

Conclusion

Every marketing plan require flexibility along the way. There are so many unforeseen circumstances in running a company that relying on one course of action would set you up for failure. This flexibility mindset applies to marketing spend where allocation of budgets is determined by the objectives of the company. A good marketing strategy is constantly being defined, reassessed and redesigned in tandem with your business life cycle.

Is content marketing sustainable or not in todays digital space?

Is Content Marketing Sustainable?

An Excess Of Content

The supply of content marketing far outweighs the demand from consumers. That is precisely the problem with it. Producing content is free and the huge quantities of ubiquitous content is clogging up the digital space. It is clogging up the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where millions of users vie for attention. How can marketers ever compete? 70 million photos are published on Instagram daily and within the same timeframe 500 million tweets are being sent out. 

Yet business owners are advised to create ever more content; taking up their resources to provide content not in demand by consumers. There is a word for this glut of content marketing: content shock. Consumers are simply not able to consumer nor retain that much content. To get the consumer’s attention, your content has to be exceptionally good. This is achievable through deep pockets or an astute and highly efficient team of content creators. Failing that, your content marketing will just lurk around the Internet as if it never existed.

So, in the light of reality, the question: is content marketing sustainable? Are businesses really doing the right thing, in the long term by investing in content?

Content Marketing is difficult

That must be the understatement of this decade. Content marketing is becoming increasingly competitive because the bar is raised for the quality and amount of published content. Online business owners are advised to publish free and fresh content 3 times a day-a feat that is incredible considering that is 1095 pieces of free content per year. On top of that they had to optimize content for mobile devices, different social media platforms and find time to promote it!

In theory, content marketing sounds like a magnificent method to deliver value and build trust with consumers. In reality, there are many obstacles in producing content. According to recent statistics, 60% of content marketers are ineffective at content marketing; 67% of marketers cannot measure their content marketing efforts, 69% of all content marketing are inferior in quality and only 21% of marketers said they could track content marketing ROI.

Why are we stuck in a content marketing rut?

The more you post, the more credibility and authority you will earn for your industry area. The most prolific content writers are gaining the kind of visibility that makes traditional advertising methods pale in comparison. In addition to creating fresh content, the content quality has to be high for readers to pay more attention. The amount of free and high quality information available on the internet makes this a difficult task again.

Brands competing with other brands for higher visibility, technology levelling the playing field and the accessibility of content online for consumers has created  some major problems for content marketers. Virtually anyone can create content for free and quickly from their laptop or smartphone. Still, marketers cannot abandon content creation because it is proven to work. As long as the content is relevant, interesting and targeted-all will be good. Producing high quality content works very well if you are capable of producing high quality content.

Content shock is good for consumers but not for businesses

Content shock is fantastic from the consumer’s standpoint; highly competitive content are more relevant and entertaining. This is where creative talent and thinking outside of the box content triumphs. At some point, a maverick marketer will rise above the noise.

From a business’ standpoint, the outlook is not so good. More money needs to be spent on promoting content; social media ad prices will go up and the most talented content creators will be hired by the big brands. How can smaller businesses compete with million dollar budgets for the best marketing teams?

Content marketing is sustainable or not?

At this rate of content creation, content marketing is not sustainable. The rate is doubled every 9-24 months. This leaves marketers no choice but to focus on the most important things. 

What is the solution to content marketing shock?

Content will need to address very specific queries or none at all. The audience will be segmented and the social media platforms of distribution narrowed down to a few. Brands that do well with YouTube marketing will need to excel in video content. Brands with very engaged audiences on Twitter will need to engage more and build relationships with other influencers. The gist of it is to focus on one or two channels where content marketing is effective and differentiate yourself from others. Google Analytics can be used to assess which channels are worth focusing on.

The other solution is to be really honest with what the business needs to achieve. If it is quick sales then PPC, hyper targeted social media ads or email campaign may be most effective. Writing down the specific content marketing goals is another way to avoid contributing to the content shock. Businesses can trim off the useless content and concentrate on creating content that is getting the results (measured every month).

Content marketing lessons we can learn from Star Wars Force Awakens

5 Content Marketing Lessons From Star Wars

Star Wars: Master Class Of Content Marketing

The highest grossing UK film release of 2015, Star Wars: The Forcer Awakens was the blockbuster that put James Bond Spectre and Jurassic World in the shade. This should not be a surprise looking at the box office takings of the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the first film of the Star Wars Trilogy but it is not unusual in the success it has garnered. All of the Star Wars films have been very successful.

Part of the new Star War’s success can be accredited to the film’s content marketing. In 2015, the prevalence of internet marketing has made marketing efforts more fragmented across different channels but Lucasfilm has made sure that the new content is consistent with the entire franchise.

Star Wars content marketing in the digital age

Social media marketing has become one of the most popular ways to promote new film releases. Big film releases, such as Star Wars, distribute content on social media channels that are shared virally. The timing and context are incredibly important for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It has to implement a content strategy within the context of the entire Star Wars franchise and market it just in time for the box office release.

What are the content marketing lessons we can learn from Star War’s success?

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has an aggressive content marketing strategy

In a world of fast content and even faster consumption, it is hard to get the audience’s attention. Star Wars has an aggressive content marketing strategy that gets attention through effective channels of online marketing. Marketers of the Star Wars film produce high quality content that are engaging for the target audience. They produce content that would resonate with fans of the Star Wars trilogy and appeal to newer fans. They then distribute this aggressively along all the channels where their audience would have access to it. In other words, they focus a great deal on their content strategy and getting it to their target demographic.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very active on social media where thousands of content are distributed and produced every day in the lead up to the film release. Star Wars Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are followed by millions of fans and the content is shared virally across wider networks. This content marketing approach gets more impressions, engagements and leads for the film.

 

2. Big budget on mass media marketing

Lucasfilm have spent tens of millions on traditional media; in November 2014, Lucasfilm released an expensive teaser trailer across cinemas in United States and in 2015, another trailer to screened at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim California. The first trailer generated 88 million views and second one 30.5 million within the first 24 hours. The content marketing lesson from this is that spending a lot where it gets you the most attention, i.e on YouTube and in cinemas, is a smart investment.

3. Star Wars creates engaging and nostalgic content

Star Wars understands the context of content marketing for audiences that would later see their film. Original visual content is created daily across Star Wars social media profiles, official websites and video platforms. The official Star Wars website and Facebook are full of engaging videos, games, photo stills from the movie, exclusive behind the scenes feature, premier night footage and other fun content. Star War’s weekend opening success is mostly due to the nostalgic trailers and carefully created content distributed across the internet.

4. Context marketing is king for Star Wars

The target audience for Star Wars are general cinema goers and fans of the franchise. Content was created to entertain, fascinate, inform and ultimately to convert their audiences. To appeal to children audiences, Star Wars have interactive content and game apps too readily available for download on iPhone. Adult audiences can follow the official Star Wars blog or go behind the scenes. Clearly, Lucasfilm understood that behind the scenes features and nostalgic content would appeal to adults whereas games would appeal more to children.

5. Content marketing for the target audience

Star Wars has shown that advertising and distributing content where their audiences is is an effective tactic. Instead of concentrating all their marketing on traditional cinema trailers, Lucasfilm have embraced creating content for new channels of online marketing, such as Instagram and Twitter. Lucasfilm understood that the majority of their customers (by age and interest demographic) will be on social media platforms. Posting content where your audience is most likely to consume it is the underlying factor of Star War’s content marketing success.

Conclusion

Disney/Lucasfilm has targeted large audiences both offline and online to get the attention it needs to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens a success. The content marketing strategy used by the film studios is aggressive, contextual and highly nostalgic in creating multimedia content. The movie industry is spending big budgets with modern channels of marketing such as social media and Star Wars has captivated it’s audience with content long before the film release.

The reasons why email marketing is helpful to growing your business

How can email marketing help your business?

 

The cheapest marketing option available online, email marketing can work wonders if you handle it well. How can it be of any value to your business it is just some email, after all? Most people have an email account whether they are individual users or a business. It is relatively easy for marketers to reach people through email, making it one of the most effective digital marketing methods.

Inbound and outbound marketing gets a boost through email marketing, and this can earn you more benefits in search engine ranking than SEO. This is because the subscribers can refer you to others, mention you on their social accounts and increase your brand reputation.

Ways email marketing can improve your business

To get subscribers, first of all, you need to place the specific tab on a prominent place on your website. Keep this position for this tab on all pages. Make the process easy and straightforward. To tempt more visitors into subscribing, you can offer special discounts and perhaps some limited time free products or useful content.

Common observation tells us that subscribers are more predictable than normal traffic and generate more revenue. This will mean that you can gain a good quality of customers and hence have better prospects for your business.

Let us talk about the benefits associated with email marketing.

1) Save time and money without sacrificing the benefits

With great new tools available on the market, you can save precious time which can be used in other forms of online marketing like social media marketing and content marketing. You can automate the mails that save you the trouble of sending it to the subscribers. You can use the templates available in the tools to make beautiful, eye-catching emails to make yourself heard.

2) Laser focus on customers

When people subscribe to your site, you get to see them much more closely. Knowing where they come from and what their interests are lets you develop your content marketing strategy in a more effective way. You can keep different types of subscribers based on their interests and demographics in different mailing lists and then create highly targeted content. This is bound to have a huge impact and make your inbound marketing much stronger.

3) Helps you connect to your customers

With regular emails, your customers will be constantly reminded of you. This will keep you fresh in their minds and increase the possibilities of sales. Personalized emails make the customers feel valued and cared for and lead to generation of loyal customer base which, of course, is more than anyone can hope for.

4) It is reliable

Unlike traditional traffic, email marketing is dependable and predictable. The subscribers are steady source of revenue, and so you can rely on them. There are no seasonal peaks in the sales which keep it running smoothly.

5) Improve brand reputation

When you communicate with customers on a more personal level, their psychology leads them to trust you and prefer you over the others. They also tend to refer it to others hence bringing in more traffic. Increase in traffic means an increase in the probability of subscribers and the cycle continues. This, however, is not the only benefit. When your brand gets trust and is mentioned over the web, its popularity increases and it gets higher ranking by the search engine. This means more customers for you.

What can Google Customer Match do for your digital marketing plans?

Google Customer Match And Digital Marketing

Google Customer Match Features

With the words, ‘Aim for the ‘right moment’, ‘right target’ and ‘right goal’! Google introduced their Customer Match feature to the world of online marketing. To remain competitive in business, it is vital that the right moment and target is defined; the Google Customer Match will allow digital marketers to upload their email contacts for targeted ads through Gmail, Display, paid search on Google and even YouTube.

Reaching customers on Gmail is an effective way to target ads. Since they are already opt in contacts, targeting them will help to achieve higher rates of conversions. When you create marketing campaigns, these will be specifically tailored to reach the highly converting audiences. As we get closer to an era of highly personalized and contextual digital marketing, what are the implications of Google Customer Match on your content strategy?

Customer Match will help reach valuable customers

When you know the preferences of your opt in contacts, marketing should be more efficient. In the right moment, Google Customer Match will allow your customers to see targeted ads that are highly relevant to them. The more relevant the ads, the more likely it is that customers will act upon the content. They may be influenced to make a purchase or browse your website for new content.

Customer Match improves segmentation

Email segmentation is an area of improvement for most marketers; 62% of marketers said that they needed to segmentation for their client lists. In digital marketing, targeting the right segments of customers is vital to conversion success. With Google Customer Match, marketers can set bids and create ads for specific segments of their customers. This increases the rates of conversion and allows for better email marketing strategies. Using Customer Match, marketers can also promote supplementary products-such as an international plug adapter for an electric toothbrush. Customers will appreciate the relevant content.

Customer Match helps to capture new customers

Customer Match can help companies reach similar demographic of customers.  Similar Audiences is a smart marketing feature that allows marketers to group email lists with similar interests. This feature works on YouTube and Gmail and will automatically build audience lists that are similar to current customers. This enables new customers to find your products through specific ads.

Customer Match creates personalized content

Personalized content sent to your customers based on their characteristics or interests give you higher chances of conversions.  It is a challenge to enhance the lives of your customers by giving them relevant ads.  With Customer Match, you can surely achieve that goal to connect and engage fully to your customers.   You can inspire them to plan for their next move through your marketing content.

Another personalization feature is non-cookie based targeting. Ads will not be targeted according to cookies stored in browsers, but actual Gmail accounts. This enables consistency and improved personalization because it will be the same customer logging into their Gmail accounts.

Customer Match provides value to customers

Customer Match is not all about advertising; it is about sharing relevant content to give value to your customers’ lives.  This is the foundation of marketing content in digital marketing.  Your campaign will match your customer’s needs which is why it is called Customer Match.  It allows marketers to build a relationship that lasts and satisfies.

As this new door opens to the global market, Customer Match will help to create a great and high quality match for customers. The right moment in targeting customers will be optimized through content.

The ‘right target’ or ‘right audience’, lies at the core of all these marketing, and it must be served with consistent and constant high quality content that can really touch your customer’s lives.The ‘right goal’ is to remain in touch in the real world in the digital space. By giving your customers what they want, you will be achieving business goals faster. 

What are the most surprising social media statistics around the world in 2015?

Surprising Social Media Statistics From Around the World

Surprising Social Media Statistics 2015

Technological advancements around the world is an indication that telecommunications is changing drastically. Some of the channels of social media popular with most individuals are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Google. In 2015, these social media channels serve the purpose perfectly for connecting individuals around the world. Some may argue that we are losing our basic face-to-face social skills, but that is a topic for another blog.

The beauty of social media is the wide communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Of course, it is the most expedient way for people to promote their personal brand, or implement social media marketing. Presently, social media is a funnel for promoting products enhanced by content marketing and cross device digital marketing strategies. It is always commendable to know the statistics for social media marketing as a foundation of your next social media marketing strategy. How can you align social media marketing with your business goals?

Furthermore, surprising social media statistics proves invaluable in convincing others of the merits of this channel of digital marketing.

Social media statistics you should know

There are many social media marketing statistics but which ones are important? We all consume so much content on a daily basis that making decisions based on the relevant social media statistics can be difficult. Nevertheless, here are some surprising social media numbers from around the world.

The fastest growing demographic on social media ranges belongs to the age bracket of 45–64 since 2012.

Social media users in the 45-64 age bracket are increasing daily. This discredits any assumption that the older demographic of consumers do not use social media. In addition to the fastest growing age bracket;

Twitter – since 2012, users in the age bracket of 55–64 years old increased by 79% increase.

Facebook – since 2012, users in the age bracket of 45–54 years old showed a 46% increase.

Google+ – since 2012, users in the age bracket of 45–54 years old showed a 56% increase.

This statistic reveals an impressive argument against the prevalent fact that social media is merely for teenagers. It gives support to the assertion that companies need a solid social media marketing strategy provided that this age brackets fits into your demographic target.

Millions of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’

Mobile usage is increasing daily for social media users. According to the latest figures, 655 million Facebook users accessed the social media site exclusively via mobile device as of 2015. Not only does Facebook have millions of users who don’t access it from a desktop or laptop, but mobile use generates 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue as well. 

As for Facebook access via laptop or desktop – this is surpassed by mobile access when 79% of users have their phone nearby.

The statistics showing that more users access Facebook from mobile devices is a worthwhile consideration on what content marketing scheme should be formulated ahead before posting on mobile devices.

YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network

You better believe it. Cable networks is falling out of favor with the younger age demographic. The latest surprising social media statistics show that:

YouTube – The majority of viewers belong to the age bracket of 18-34 year olds in the U.S

Cable Network – Age bracket of their majority viewers ranges from 35-55 year olds in the U.S

Whatever your video marketing stance, it is time to consider your target age demographic and their preferred social media channels before posting content.

Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn

The professional networking site has 400 million users as of October 2015.

Number of people becoming LinkedIn members per second– 2 people (as of 05/01/15)

Total number of LinkedIn user in the US – 107 million users (as of 11/09/14)

Number of monthly unique LinkedIn visiting members-100 million (as of October 2015)

This shows a gradual increase in the number of people joining social media networks. LinkedIn derives its value from its enormous user-base. It’s worth paying attention to social networks where you may connect with targeted users.

Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web

Porn website users are changing. There is a drop of 10 % porn users from 20 % a decade ago, and the hottest Internet searches now are for social networking sites. “As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased,” said Tancer, indicated that the 18-24 year old age group, in particular was searching less for porn.

Social media websites make up the most popular searches nowadays, it’s the most common thing we do online. Social media matters more to people than ever. This trend will continue in the coming decades, as new platforms continue to launch and develop. We are also obsessed with celebrities on a global scale; celebrity social media profiles garner more attention and their actions are more influential than most.

Putting time and effort into your social media strategy can be an investment that performs well for decades to come.

LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook

LinkedIn may have 400 million users, but the percentage of active users is below that of Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. To engage customers with your content, an analysis on which social media platforms to choose should be given emphasis. Based on these statistics, Twitter and Facebook might be a better place for your contest or survey, whereas passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.

93% of marketers use social media for business

It should be no surprise that marketers sees an opportunity of reaching their customers through social media marketing. An overwhelming 93% of marketers include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy. This includes a broad range of industries from B2C to B2B companies.

Only 7% of marketers say they don’t use social media for their business because they don’t want to spend time or money on this.

This statistic will assist companies when aiming for an effective digital marketing strategy. For some niche businesses, the cons of social media marketing may just outweigh the benefits. Not all demographics of consumers connect to brands on social media channels.

For companies that want to reach customers on social media, a strong marketing strategy is required to align any actions on social media with the business goals, be it conversions or brand equity. Having the right social media marketing metrics in place can help marketers measure their efforts on social media channels. Just be sure to use the right social media management when it comes to digital marketing via social media. Don’t make these avoidable social media faux pas!

25% of smartphone owners aged 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone was far from them.

Some people are inseparable from their phones and reaching out to their smartphones is second nature. The percentage of smartphone owners who could not recall a moment when they don’t keep their phones at hand is 25% for the 18-44 age range.

However, 75% of people from  the 18-44 age group do recall when they were away from their smartphones.

Companies need to take heed of the fast growing mobile engagement. Based on survey, reaching people could no longer be a problem since they always have their phones with them.  This also means that marketers can have the access (with permission, of course) to interrupt any part of their lives.

Only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger

Content, such as blogs, generates 3 times more leads compared to traditional marketing. This is why the majority of marketers plan to blog. In spite of the positive ROI (82% of marketers who blog see ROI for their inbound marketing) , only 9% of marketing companies employ a full time blogger.

25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings

We’ve seen a lot of news about social media companies and privacy. Facebook itself has been in the news several times over privacy issues;

Instagram users – The recent NSA news has seen people become more conscious of their privacy online.

Facebook users – Velocity Digital reports that 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings.

Social media integration with the business world poses many challenges. One of them is the personal privacy and sensitive customer data issue. There are data protection laws instructing businesses about data privacy as well as rules for what types of information can be shared with third parties.

10 Growth hacking tips you need to know for your business and digital marketing

10 Growth Hacking Tips You Need To Know

Growth Hacking Tips For Your Business

Ever since Sean Ellis coined the phrase, ‘growth hacker,’ people running startups are calling growth hacking their method of growing a business. Of course, methods employed in growth hacking are nothing new. Anything related to growing a business quickly and in a scalable way can be described as growth hacking. A true growth hacker obsesses about business growth and will find data driven and creative ways to achieve it. When we think of growth hackers, we often think of mavericks who think outside of the box; AirBnB and Uber are startups famous for their growth hacking methods (and high valuations).

What are the growth hacking methods you can apply to your business? With a little creativity and tracking, your business will benefit from the following growth hacking tips.

Effective growth hacking tips you can use

Growth hacking tips you can use for your business

Growth hacking tip 1: stand out from the rest

Getting attention is key for growth hacking. Create an exciting persona for your brand and differentiate yourself from the start. What is your unique value proposition UVP? Does your content reflect how exciting you are as a brand? If your content marketing looks bland chances are your target customers will not see it. If your brand has a message that divides consumers, now is the time to be bold and make your message outrageous!

Growth hacking tip 2: test like there’s no tomorrow

Multivariate tests, A/B testing for email marketing, split testing; testing everything to refine your digital marketing is what growth hacking is all about. Every test should lead to improvements-after all, you are focused on growing big fast.

Growth hacking tip 3: streamline the process

Automation and technology is your friend in growth hacking. Use time saving software and automated marketing to get the bulk of emails/content posting/customer segmentation out of the way. Reserve your energy for the next tip.

Growth hacking tip 4: customer acquisition

Customers equals more sales. You must be proactive in customer acquisition for growth hacking. Referral schemes, behavioral advertising, limited time offers, follow up emails, introductory products, freebies, prizes and contests are some ways to gain customers.

Growth hacking tip 5: user generated content

Have satisfied and loyal customers? Let them market for you; customer generated content on social media, testimonials and videos are effective. Some examples include user generated video hauls on YouTube, photos on Instagram, live video streaming for your business events and even bloggers in your market niche. User generated content has a ripple effect on your brand visibility.

Growth hacking tip 6: think niche

Getting lost in the noise slows down growth. Going niche will draw highly targeted customers to your business. Create content for niche industry forums, sites, bloggers and social media platforms. The key is to be very knowledgeable about your business and stay true to your brand persona.

Growth hacking tip 7: know the demographic and competitor data

Knowledge is power in growth hacking. You should know more about your customers and competitors than anyone else. Applying insights from competitor and customer data will serve you well in your digital marketing efforts.

Growth hacking tip 8: puff yourself up

You may have a small team and no email subscribers yet. The world doesn’t need to know. Market your business as if it was the hottest startup around; big up your talented team and talk about the latest successes on social media. You don’t have to go over the board and start throwing lavish launch parties-give the impression of confidence in every piece of content you create. Act as if you have a billion dollar valuation and live up to your products/service claims.

Growth hacking tip 9: follow up

All your life you’ve been told to show up, how about follow up? Following up emails and reminding customers about their purchases/special offers will result in more sales. Consumers get distracted easily, however they are still partial to suggestions. Remind them of a time limited offer or new stock in your online store.

Growth hacking tip 10: reach out to established, complementary companies

By tapping into the customer base of another complementary business, you will gain more customers. When approaching a complementary business for partnerships, emphasize the mutual benefits and what connections you can bring to the table.

 

Targeting customers using Facebook dark posts is an under utilized social media marketing method

Targeting Customers Using Facebook Dark Posts

What Are Facebook Dark Posts?

If you have been regular on the social media site Facebook, and are using the platform to promote the goods and services of your company, probably you have heard of Facebook dark posts. The dark posts on Facebook or the unpublished posts are considered to be effective tools for social media marketing using Facebook.

Dark posts are effective ways to advertise your products and services to targeted customers. Read on if you want to be a master of the dark arts of social media marketing through Facebook.

Benefits of using Facebook dark posts

These are the posts that are created, but are never published on the site. You can use a tool like the Power Editor to create posts complete with the necessary links, videos, or photos. Now, you do not publish it on your page as a post, but use it to promote the products and services of your company in the form of advertisements. These posts reach only your most highly-targeted audience. There are loads of benefits in using these posts in social media marketing. Given below are a few of the benefits of using dark posts for marketing the products and services of the company:

  • One of the major benefits of using Facebook dark posts for promoting a business or a company is that unlike regular posts on the social media site, the dark posts can target audience based on their interests in addition to gender, age, education, status, language, and location. Thus, with the dark posts, your advertising is not just targeted, but highly-targeted.
  • With the use of dark post you can promote the advertising message of your company, but not in the typical manner. People often react negatively to hard selling advertisements on their news feeds. However, with dark posts you can approach the customers in the most friendliest of ways. Through the dark posts you can promote the most popular post on your company’s blog. This is a new way to bring value to your customer instead of just asking them to use your products and services.
  • Dark posts along with geo-targeting strategies of your company can give tough competition to your competitors in the business. You can use the location filter of the Facebook to target customers within a certain radius. Through the dark posts you can target advertisements to the potential customers of your locality. The dark posts are a great way to get directly in front of the people whom you want to turn into valuable customers. Through such posts, social media marketing is effective and the message to the prospective customers is direct.
  • You can do niche targeting to promote the products and services of your company. There is a huge number of fan pages niche on Facebook. It is possible to find your niche target audience with the help of dark posts. Thus, you can add value to your company or business in the form of valuable customers.

Unpublished posts on Facebook or Facebook dark posts can serve as highly targeted ads

You can reach across platforms with facebook dark posts

You can use the dark posts of Facebook for various social media marketing tasks. For example, you can become popular on Vine and get a fan following of a few million people on the site. However, you are not advertising on Vine. If you need to create awareness about your profile’s popularity on Vine, create a Facebook dark post about it and target that to the people who are interested to try the products and services that your company deals with.

You can promote your companion product with Facebook dark posts

Facebook dark posts are great for selling and promoting companion products. If you have a business selling mobile devices and you also deal with an associated product like mobile cases, dark posts are great for promoting the cases. It is easy to target specific customers using dark posts as the target audience for the posts are already people who are interested in the main product or the mobile.

Facebook dark posts are great to win back lost customers

The Facebook Power Editor lets you choose custom audiences for targeting the dark posts. With it, you can create a list of people you can target directly. If you have a list of customers whom you want to send advertising messages, dark posts are the ways to do it. If you have a list of potential customers who are not on Facebook or do not like your page, you can send them dark posts to build a relationship with them. You can connect with them on Facebook too through marketing using the posts. If you have a long list of customers’ email ids who used to be your customer, you can also connect with them through dark posts. Creating a custom list of customers from lost customers is what you should be benefitted from using these posts for promoting. You can send them Facebook dark posts with personalized messages asking for feedback, and letting people know that you have what they are looking for in your business.

 

Video content to gain more leads for your business can be accomplished using Vine social media platform

How to Use Vine to Gain More Leads for Your Business?

Generating More Leads For Your Business Through Vine

It is common to dismiss Vine as an unusable tool for digital marketing purposes by businesses. After all, you can only create videos that are six seconds long in order to get them posted through Vine. In an age where long form content is encouraged, short six second videos seem to contradict all the content marketing advice. Be that as it may, you can still make use of the social network to generate leads for your business.

In order to make use of Vine properly in your business, you should first explore it thoroughly. You need to learn how to adapt yourself and your social media marketing messages to the time constraints. If you manage to make appealing and interesting videos in spite of the time limitation imposed, you will find Vine to be a particularly great way to increase the leads and reach of your business.

It is possible to engage with your targeted audience with such short videos. You can even use them for educational purposes in addition to providing entertainment to customers. As long as you are creative, you will find Vine to be an excellent tool to attract the attention of your audience. Of course, you can always attach a tweet or social media link URL to the Vine video and make it a part of your social media marketing strategy.

Product demonstrations using Vine

You can use the six seconds of the Vine video to show off a new product or feature to your customers. The time can also be used for showing the customers the features of the product or how to use it. In the Vine video above, HTC demonstrates the ease of their mobile customization-heightened by creative effects! Short tutorials are another great way to use the six seconds. If possible, you can also use the video to show the product in action. Make the video accessible so that your customers do not have any problem in understanding the product. If in doubt about the clarity of your Vine video, ask people to view it and give feedback. If they do manage to grasp the features and usage of the product, you will find it easier to convert the audience into paying customers as they will have become qualified leads for your business.

Go behind the scenes with Vine

There is nothing that people love more than to get behind the scenes, be it a party or a company. People want to know more about your business such as the place you work or the processes that occur in such locations. They would love to know more about the way you create the products or the games you play in the office. You can easily give the customers a short tour through the six seconds of the Vine video. The video can show a quick glimpse of the workspace or a brief introduction to the factory. It is also possible to shoot short introductory videos for each member of the team. You can even show the viewers a typical day at your office. This can be great if you are trying to impress potential employees along with your prospective customers.

Declare promotions with Vine videos

The short format of the Vine videos makes them perfect for showcasing any promotional offers or events that you have in the pipeline. A Vine video will be enough to generate the interest amongst your target audience and prospective customers. Utilize the six seconds of the video to inform them of the basics of the promotion such as the maximum discount within a time limit available. Use the videos to tell your customers the locations where the offer is available and how to take advantage of it. If you have trouble fitting your promotional message within 6 seconds, then your promotional message is too long. State clearly; what is the offer, date and place for your audience to take advantage of the offer and become leads for your business.

Tell your business history with Vine videos

People love to know more about companies before they purchase anything. At the same time, existing customers will enjoy learning more about their favored brand. Therefore, you can make use of Vine videos to tell the story of your company. The videos can be a short lesson on the history and the background of your business. Bits of information such as the founder of the company, the reason behind the foundation and notable achievements can be broadcasted through the medium of a short video. In the Innocent Company Vine video above, they have incorporated humor in the launch of their new coconut water: “We’ve cracked it.” Energy drinks company Red Bull even filmed a short video about flying, to promote the slogan-Red Bull gives you wings!

Of course, it is possible that you may not be able to provide the adequate amount of information in just six and a half seconds. Therefore, you should attach links to your other social media profiles where such information is given in much greater detail such as Facebook and Twitter. Alternatively, you can make a series out of the Vine videos to increase interest in them. You can share the videos on important dates to make them all the more interesting. For example, you can create and share a Vine video about your founder on the company’s foundation day.

Do not forget the call to action!

Of course, you will not be able to generate any significant amount of leads unless you implement a proper call to action. Without it, your customers will rarely take the necessary step for conversion. You can place any call to action that you feel is suitable. For instance, you may want your customers to place an order to sign up for your newsletters. Either way, it is essential that a call to action is placed.

You should not be afraid to try out Vine videos as part of your digital marketing strategy. After all, you may become so good at it that it forms the core of your marketing activities.