Social Media Marketing Problems You May Encounter

Nowadays, it’s very uncommon to find someone who doesn’t have at least one social media account. Hence, integrating it into your business will be a great choice. In fact, many small and established companies tend to use social media platforms to reach out to the maximum number of customers. Furthermore, you will have to constantly engage with your customers to keep the ship moving. Of course, figuring out the right thing to say every time can be a bit tricky. To tackle this issue and nail your business campaigns, you can use appropriate social media strategies. Note that every social media platform is different and features different frequencies. Still, all these platforms have one thing in common; regularity.

Anyhow, when you decide to integrate social media into your business, make sure that you are clear in your purpose. Then, decide on the factors that you are likely to consider when it comes to determining your overall success. This will give you a clear idea about the content or stuff that will be ideal to post on the social media pages. However, amateurs and even veteran businessmen are likely to encounter some issues when relying on social media marketing. Some of those issues and their solutions are listed below.

Changes in Facebook algorithms

Facebook use to modify or change its algorithm at times to offer a better experience to their users. However, these frequent algorithm changes can create some issues for certain brands. For instance, when Facebook changed its algorithm in 2018, many companies experienced a dip in their organic search. This was because the content posted by many companies was not reaching most of their potential clients.  This puts a number of brands in a dilemma when it comes to connecting with their Facebook clients organically.

Solution

If you are also facing such an issue and your company’s organic reach has fallen, do not panic. Rather, try out different strategies to improve the organic performance of your company. Here are a few useful strategies you can include.

Conversion – generating content

Facebook once stated that the type of content that a company or brand produces and the way users reciprocate to it is the key to determine the reach of their reach. Hence, you must always focus on crafting quality content that your customers can easily connect with or can create conversion. This will keep them engaged.

Note that shareable content can play a great role in boosting your engagement. Hence, with such content, you will be on the social feed of most Facebook users within no time. However, keep in mind that this is not an overnight process and it will take adequate time and consistency to achieve the best results.

Facebook ads and live stream videos

Another way to enhance your engagement is by featuring live stream videos. Many studies report that an average live stream video can boost engagement up to 6 times. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best ways to make your brand a topic of discussion amongst your Facebook followers. When it comes to Facebook ads, this is the best way to target the right clients to achieve your business goals. The dynamic ads will surely help to promote your brand site.

Changing market trends

Another issuer social media marketers tend to encounter is the difficulty in keeping up with the frequently changing market trends. Note that Livestream videos, AI marketing, influencer marketing, ephemeral content, and augmented reality are some of the latest marketing trends that you must have a good grip with for the time being. However, make sure to choose the right options since not every method will yield the same results for all brands.

Solution

To tackle this issue, you must first understand your clients or audiences. This will help you with choosing the right social media strategy for your brand. Otherwise, try multiple methods and figure out what works best for you and your customers. For instance, if most of your potential customers tend to check out their Instagram pages regularly, go for Instagram stories rather than posting live stream videos on Facebook. Note that studies report that more than 300 million people all over the world tend to check out Instagram stories.

In case you are facing a lack of resources, you can tackle it by considering the influencer marketing strategy. This is cheaper when compared to the advertising strategy. Plus, it can save a good share of your time and resources in the long run. In short, the key is to concentrate on your ROI (Return of Investment) and ways to deliver conversions.

What You Should Know About Starting a Membership Business Online

It seems like a good idea to operate a membership-based business online. Picture yourself seeing outstanding amounts flowing into your business while you take pleasure in the fact that revenue is expected to continue in the future. However, setting up shop, achieving business success, and staying at this level of satisfaction is tricky.

Test Your Business Idea

The first thing you should do is test the membership website idea. Have you gained supporters, members and/or a committed audience? You perhaps work for a networking group, a non-profit organization, club, chamber of commerce or association. If this is the situation, you have gained members and could just afford not to perform the test. Otherwise, you may be a creative person with interesting work or thoughts to share. Else, you are likely a domain expert or career coach looking to earn income with minimal effort through this kind of business.

How to Test It

  • Create and market a blog through social networking websites and groups as well as a mailing list. You have to let individuals sign up for updates in order to find out the interest level among the audience.
  • Make your own list servers, groups and so forth on social networking websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and more. Consider creating a group where individuals can share anything concerning the specific problems they go through. In the event you can gain a decent following for this online group, you can sell your idea to interested parties in the future.
  • Make profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and/or Twitter. Create profiles on any of these social media channels, on which you feel that people may spend time, and start to share their insights there without charging money. At first, you could just market your wisdom to those who follow you on that group. When your followers continue to share whatever you post there, this is a sign that your content is valuable.

Create Value

When it comes to a conventional business, you may consider a single sale to each customer and then expect more businesses to come through word of mouth. In the case of a membership business, you would continue to give information, products or service to customers. The good thing with a membership-based business is that revenue will keep coming into it. You would still have to keep creating, supporting and giving value to customers for a number of years.

For writers who expect to market their skills, this activity may be to create content that will be delivered to the audience via their blog, newsletters and social networking platforms for some years. If you start to doubt whether you could come up with fresh content for a long period, you might want to think about creating fixed memberships. The negative aspect of that move is that you will only get money from people until their term of membership.

Opt For the Appropriate Platform

You won’t have to keep producing something fresh or seek the services of programmers for membership management applications. You could find software with the combination of features that are appropriate for the kind of site you plan to launch. You might require a subscription management platform such as WordPress which is a membership plugin or learning management system.

Discovering the most suitable application is difficult. You need to think about several factors, like the following.

  • Operating costs and setup expenses.
  • Features you would ideally have and must have.
  • In what way these will fit in with your processes. Consider these thoroughly together with all the possible effects.

Make a matrix in an Excel form in which you will be able to note down things when you are doing research.

Gauge and React

Add analytics to your website to gauge traffic to it and the actions of those who come to it. Using Google Analytics, it is possible to set objectives and recognize patterns to discover important details concerning your website visitors and which information they like the most.

There will be measurement tools on the application you use. On the program, you’ll be able to see who the new members are, who have changed their membership status, etc.

Think about what would be appropriate to communicate to members during every single membership phase. For instance, you might want to consider doing more than just sending welcome messages to fresh subscribers. Think about incorporating personal outreach from anyone in the business. In the event an ongoing activity does not seem so easy, create an auto responder to make members more aware of the advantages you offer and help them use their membership to their maximum advantage. This way, you will be able to retain more members than you otherwise would.

Another important metric is the attrition rate. Keep track of the number of subscribers you had at the start of any given month and those who continue to be your member throughout the whole month.

Selecting the Best Strategy for Your Business

The term ‘business strategy’ refers to a plan of measures to be taken to accomplish business goals in the long run. Having the right strategy in place will make it easy to measure the direction in which your business is going. It’s not surprising that top senior executives with experience regard it as an important component for every business to succeed.

You may choose any business strategy from the numerous kinds of strategies out there. However, choosing the best business strategy is something that requires careful consideration of many different factors. The best strategy is one that fits the structure, requirements, and capabilities of an organization. Let’s discuss the following matters here.

  • The main schools of thought about business strategy
  • The reason for the failure for a number of companies in spite of having what appeared to be the best business strategies.
  • Ways to choose the right business strategy

A Set of Ideas about Business Strategy

A large number of schools of thought about business strategy exist. That is because businessmen and women seek efficient and appropriate planning and the majority of business strategies come from forerunners in various fields. So, there is no easier way to categorize the schools of thoughts than to consider the most important aspects which these pay particular attention to. A few examples are as follows.

Experimentation

Initially, carefully test strategies on a micro level before you put money and time into your business or take more risk than required.

Scaling

Discover the service or product working on the market, and then increase the number of that offering.

Investment

To generate extra value, invest more money and effort in business.

Minimum Viable Product

Deliver your goods to a select number of customers as before time and frequently as you can, to quickly test their performance and obtain their response.

Diversification

Always try to discover the existence of markets and keep exploring places that you can get into.

Information Superiority

This refers to the advantage you have gained from your capability to gather, process and spread information without interruption while taking advantage of or denying the same capability of a competitor. Make practical and effective use of this advantage. For example, use it to find out a requirement, which the market is yet to fulfill and customers are yet to actively seek. Many such needs are hidden in the market, and it is only when a product or service is launched that customers even realize that these exist.

Social Capital

Increase your connections between those who have a concern in your offerings, such as customers, workers, partners and more.

Why Strategies That Seem Flawless Do Not Work

There are a large number of plans of action to pick from, but in spite of using seemingly perfect ones, some businesses end up failing. Ever wondered why this is the case? Usually, this happens because implementing such strategies is not possible or simply not worth it. Here are some mistakes to avoid while you select a business strategy.

  1. Usually, the one which business owners choose is not even a strategy worth implementing. This happens particularly when they attempt to produce a business strategy, without seeking an expert’s help. As a result, business owners get strategies that have no practical value, and that are utopian.
  2. One more situation is a business “strategy” ending up being essentially just objectives. This just specifies that business plans on accomplishing, such as “improve operational productivity”, and does not provide any clear plan on ways to accomplish that.
  3. Then there are businesses that do not achieve success in another department. These businesses specify two priorities, which barely add up to one coherent strategy.
  4. It may be argued that the most annoying situation is this one. You build up a competent plan of action that is likely to be successful, but fail to write it down in a way that it can be understood, acted on, and conveyed to everyone who has interest in your business.

How to Choose the Right Strategy

To get a plan of action which fits your company the best, you have to do an in-depth study of both your business and the most important components of it.

  • Define Your Long-Term Objectives

You must find out your goals before selecting a plan of action. Is it a must for you to boost sales as soon as possible or hold onto your market position? You have to set not just specific goals, but also those that can be measured.

  • Identify Your Present Business Situation

Examine the previous record and every part of your business.You need to find out three things: present opportunities, the factors that are causing your business success or hindering it. Analyze the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business.

  • Define the Vision

On the basis of what you wish to achieve in the long run, outline the future path, values, and purpose of your company.

  • Define the Mission

The vision is a mental picture of the position you wish your company to reach in the future, and mission describes the purpose of its existence. It is serving that purpose for a long, sustained period time that will help you reach that future position. Take a detailed look at the target customer base and rivals of your business, and determine its value proposition.

When you determine all the above, you will have a better idea about what plan of action is best suited for it.

Methods to Optimize Your Content for SEO

Optimizing copy for SEO can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be. You can do plenty of things to easily and quickly make your copy more web optimized. Keep reading for simple yet effective methods to achieve it.

Use Keywords Naturally and Within Reasonable Limits

You perhaps know that copy with organic keywords is what helps increase ranking position in the search engine results page. Google will penalize a website, which uses the keyword stuffing practice. This is a practice where a webpage is loaded with too many keywords than needed to manipulate that website’s ranking in SERP. The Google Penalty means that as a result of that practice, the website’s position in the search results will go down. In order to avoid this, use keywords naturally and evenly in your copy.

The key thing to remember is to write for your target audience, not the search engine. Instead of overloading your content with the same primary keyword, use alternative ones wherever you want it to appear. By alternative keywords, we mean variations of that primary keyword you plan to use. For instance, when writing for real estate your main keyword is “best builders in New York City”, use alternatives such as “top builders in NYC” and so on. Besides including many keywords organically in your content, also keeps the copy fresh for your readers too.

Create the Kind of Copy Many People Can Understand

It’s good to have creative writing skills, but make sure that that creativity does not come at the expense of accessibility. If you love to write with a creative flair, then save that skill for your personal blog. What is creative for you may not be easily understandable for readers, so always keep them in mind when writing copy. If it’s too high-brow or dense, it’ll possibly appeal to only a small number of people.

Readability affects SEO. It refers to the ease with which readers can understand online content. If they cannot understand your content, it will affect your SEO. So, it has to be understandable for the reader.

To make your content SEO-friendly, focus on two things: the kinds of writing style you use and the readability of words you use. Keep that aspect of readability in mind when you write copy. Aim for sentences with no more than 20 words to make such content for SEO. Write longer sentences only if you must a few times in your copy. The idea should be to limit such sentences so that these do not exceed 20% of the overall content.

Search engines value convenience and accessibility to the audience above everything else. As such, basic and readable copy will improve your ranking.

Relying On Tools

Seeking a little more help is okay to optimize your copy. There are numerous applications and tools out there to make that optimization task a bit easier. There is more to creating SEO-friendly copy than just keywords. There are tools that help you find useful and relevant content trending on the internet. Creating such content is sure to get engagement.

Besides, your ecommerce platform likely has many tools that you can use as well. Some platforms include numerous built-in SEO features and also offer various SEO plugins. There are also apps that help you find out top keywords, offer in-depth analysis of website content, and even help with AdWord campaigns.

However, not every online store builder offers unusually good copywriting SEO features. It is worth comparing CMS platforms. Web-optimized copy is one of the important features for ecommerce SEO that is worth considering when you decide on a platform.

Be Sure To Optimize Your Meta Description and Title Tags

When it comes to SEO, both of these elements are important, but some undervalue their importance. Those SEO professionals perhaps do not understand what these elements mean or the purpose for which they are used. These elements tell the reader what your content is all about.

A title tag is nothing but the HTML element specifying the title of content in a webpage. A title should be up to 65 words long, otherwise, the rest of the words will not appear in Google search. A full title gives the reader an idea about what that content is about. Conversely, if some words are cut away in Google search and the title does not make it clear what it is, the reader may not be tempted to click on it.

The same things apply to the meta description too. This is the short description or a summary of your content. A good meta description is one that persuades the user to open that site by clicking on the respective link. If the title says something, and the description says something else, your audience will likely be uninterested to read it.

Your title has to have your primary keyword in it, and your description should include your primary and secondary keywords. You cannot always include your keyword in the title, especially when your content is about something unrelated to it. This can be the case even when your keyword is not complete enough to be used in the title. In the latter case, it’s best to replace your incomplete primary keyword with a complete alternative one.

Pay attention to all of the above the next time you create copy for SEO.

Ways to Make Email Marketing Efforts Better

This is the kind of marketing where electronic mail is used as a channel to communicate either fundraising or commercial ideas to customers. Email marketing is something that needs to be handled tactfully and carefully. Neither can you afford to just flood one’s inbox with scam-like emails, nor can you afford to send nothing at all. Doing either of those things will likely affect your brand awareness. Email marketing is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, so you should invest money and time in it for your own sake.

The end objective is to make your customers respond to the messages you use to prompt them to take immediate action.

Present an Understandable Call to Action (CTA)

You need to focus on conveying just one message in each of your emails. Do not scramble your customer’s brains with one too many CTA’s. That is a bad strategy you need to avoid using in email marketing.

When forming call-to-action, think about the thing you are attempting to achieve and create these messages with clear-cut ideas in mind. Are you looking to tempt the target audience to sign up for your newsletters, to view your product demonstration, or achieve something else? No matter what you’re trying to make your audience do, just confirm that your call-to-action is designed in such a way that they will be prompted to take action based on that. An effective CTA is like a good teacher’s instruction – it tells exactly what customers are supposed to do and encourages them to act right away.

Give Customers a Reason to Act

Your call to action tells them what to do, whereas your content has to inform them why to take action. Explain their incentive for doing so. For example, in the case you are looking to make the audience buy something for a discount, detail how easy it is to make the purchase on your website. Give your target customers an incentive for that, such as free delivery or a gift card. They wish to receive something like that in return for purchasing online, so you should pay attention to their requirements.

Make an Engaging Email Subject Line

The first thing one sees in his or her inbox is this one-line summary of an email message’s content. Your customers will probably have a lot of messages in their inbox. So your subject line should be unique and it should appeal to them instantly. Make it short and concise; ideally, it should be up to 50 characters long.

Create Content That Is Not Too Long or Complicated

We live in a day and age of social media, where most people seek instant gratification. No one would like to go through long emails, which takes up a lot of space and a considerable amount of time to fully read. What works best is a short and sweet message. Get your point across in as fewer words as possible. Put the key details in the top half of the email body; thus, customers can find your message without any delays.

Endorse an Exclusive Offer to Customers

Give customers offers that will end after a specific number of days or are for a select number of responders. Here’s an example; “Two for the price of one exclusively for the first 100 responders”. Social and event marketing can be done this way as well. No matter what you’re offering your customers, make it a point to convey your message with a sense of urgency. Much like a call to action, urgency is also a key component of email marketing.

Customers Have Their Say on B2B Marketing

Businesses at times overuse their marketing strategies. Whether they pick B2C or B2B marketing to go with, the process itself no longer impresses customers the way it used to. In fact, these days, if you are not careful, your marketing tactics can easily end up boring them.

A recent survey conducted by advertising agency WHM looked at the Business-to-Business (B2B) advertising market. It concluded that purchase decision-makers are bored and wish for creative and engaging advertisements as part of their buying journey. Although consumer-targeted advertising is pulling on the major share of business budgets, B2B marketing is still a lucrative part of the sector for those that specialize in it. Receiving uninspiring and dull B2B marketing content is equally problematic for small and big enterprises.

“The truth is, the vast majority of buying decisions are emotional,” said the WHM agency partner Audrey Merritt, in a recent press release. Besides, if customers are fed up with the first thing that they see concerning a particular service or product, they will not get involved in it emotionally. “It’s hard to sell something if you’re boring people to death. So much B2B marketing falls flat because it doesn’t make the audience feel something,” added Audrey Merritt.

As per Thomas Whalen, another WHM partner, customers want to know two things before considering any pitch: who you are, as well as in what way can you serve them. The recent study provides some great insights into what B2B customers are looking for, and how they can be served in a better way.

Statistics on B2B Marketing

One of the most telling topics of debate which the survey raised was this: “All other things being equal, do you wish that advertising for business products and services had more of the creativity that consumer advertising is generally known for?”

Over 82.6% respondent customers in the survey answered in the affirmative, with the rest answering NO. So the vast majority of respondents have given a thumbs up to better B2B advertising only. However, the answer to another question just about contradicts this one. When asked what they make of the advertisements they receive today, 52% of the respondents said they are equally interesting because ads targeted to consumers tend to be. On the contrary, the other 48% said B2B marketing was not as creative, but rather boring. Apparently, a certain percentage of purchase decision makers are indifferent to the advertisements which they get.

Taking that into account, the next question is whether these ads really inspire them. The answers are extremely revealing since only 22.4% of respondents said they are oftentimes inspired by these ads. The other 50.1% said they are occasionally drawn in, 24.3% said they seldom feel that way, and 3.2% basically said “never”.

B2B Websites

A way in which one business discovers things about another is through the latter’s websites. In most cases, B2B sites are not nearly on par with those used by B2Cs, on the creative side that is. In the study, the respondent base was split into nearly even halves on this matter; where 50.6% of them said the websites of business services and products were as creative and interesting as consumer sites tend to be, the other 49.4% thought otherwise.

Better Buying Decisions

The survey asked participants if they believed a more inspired advertisement would help in making relatively better buying decisions. 80.8% said yes, while the remaining said it wouldn’t. In any promotion campaign, the aim of an ad is to influence or draw businesses or consumers towards that very important sale. While approaches towards that differ among businesses, the WHM survey has proven that most consumers wish to get inspiring and engaging advertisements to go on.

The Question of Brand Rebranding and Refreshing

Brand identity is a huge thing when it comes to running a company. As time progresses, it becomes more and more essential to evolve with current trends, innovations, tastes, and popular demands with respect to customers. The changes in the marketplace must also reflect on your brand. Under that, there is always a question of whether you should rebrand or refresh your brand.

Rebranding you Brand

When it comes to rebranding, you get something similar to plastic surgery. And what that means is you need to make a drastic change in visual appeal, culture, customer experience, and messaging. The objective of rebranding is to change ideas and influence the customer regarding a service or product. All this is done with the greater aim of rejuvenating the brand’s influence and expanding popularity among the existing customers, as well as the new ones. Under this process, storytelling, manifestos, and different presentations are utilized.

Rebrand When

  • …your brand is forming a negative impression on your audience.

  • …there is a fundamental change in our market.

  • …you come up with a totally different product or range of services compared to the original brand’s identity.

  • …there has been a major change in the administration, and you have to express yourself differently from your former image.

Interesting Example: McDonalds® implemented a complete rebranding strategy to ensure that it now underlined the importance of nutritious dining among its customers.

Refreshing your Brand

In the case of a refresh, you basically undergo a brand update. This means your audience will know that you are modern and up-to-date. Besides, it also displays your connection to the industry, and the current trends. The underlying aim is to express new energy on behalf of the brand. This includes a makeover in the appearance, aesthetics, and other things including style, color, tone of voice, and use of color. It is seen that most companies go for a simple refresh rather than a comprehensive one, because it involves less risk. However, it could still yield the results you were hoping for.

Refresh When…

  • …your brand has to establish a relationship with a new audience with a modern mindset, you also have to undergo a refresh that makes you “catchy” and attractive, while still catering to your current targeted needs.
  • …there have been drastic changes in the market.
  • …there is a bit of misalignment between your product and your brand.

Interesting Example: Southwest Airlines went through a brand refresh where they altered their visual identity into something more modern and dynamic. They did this with the Southwest Heart, which offered a matching visual character, and the change was in line with their ongoing strategy.

Six Ways to Boost your Search Ranking through SEO

When you build out new webpages, whether it is a blog page or a “Contact Us” page, it is essential to employ SEO in order to be able to achieve the best possible benefits for your webpages. Here are some valuable tips on how to get your website ranked as high as possible:

Focus Keyword

Each webpage in your site has to contain a “focus” keyword, but the same focus keyword should not be repeated more than twice onto other pages. This is because pages that contain repetitive content would affect your ranking on Google. Keep in mind that you can have many important keywords throughout your webpage, so make sure your content is kept organic. Such content is not stuffed with keywords that are scattered here and there, which would be bad from an SEO point of view.

Optimize Your Titles

The header titles have to include the focus keyword you pick. For instance, when the keyword you want to highlight is “Digital Marketing”, the title could be “Digital Marketing Company in Los Angeles”. Titles have to be specific, and include the keyword in its entirety.

Include the Keyword in the First Paragraph

It is best to put your focus keyword right at or near the start of your webpage. The sooner a visitor sees it, the better. Then again, you should not make it seem that the keyword was forced or stuffed in expressly for this purpose. Ensure that you are including it in your copy in such a way that writing does not seem bungling as a result.

Meta Titles and Descriptions

Meta titles and meta descriptions are what your audience see on Google. In addition to including your focus keyword into your meta description and title, you have to make them short and concise. In addition, your description has to convey what you are trying to communicate through your content. It should give a brief idea about your content, and preferably have an open ending, so that users are prompted to click on the page link on the search engine to learn more.

Images

It is essential to use good quality images on your webpage. Having them there will let you keep your audience engaged, and help break up the content for better viewing. Besides, it is very important to include alternative text comprising your focus keyword in it. The “ALT text” describes what an image is all about, and it is important for SEO.

Internal Links

Finally, on your webpage, it is essential that you add a link to another webpage on your own site. This will increase your organic traffic, in addition to allowing more visibility to other areas on the site, especially those which customers would not visit organically.