How many likes you get are not directly related to how many leads you generate wtih social media marketing. It's nice to be popular, but it's much nicer to generate revenue. One may follow the other, but this article focuses on the important thing: getting leads form your social media marketing.
It’s time to generate revenue. Do you know where your social media is contributing?
Unless you can provide an unequivocal “yes” and the figures to prove it, keep reading.
Nichole Kelly, President of SME Digital, a digital marketing agency, and Chris Baggott, Chairman and Cofounder, Compendium, a content marketing software company, have helped hundreds of clients move from counting “likes” and “shares” to counting what executives care about: sales volume, revenue and cost. They reveal their top tips to help you do the same.
Focus on metrics beyond “likes” and “fans”
“Not that those are unimportant,” Baggott counters. “But they’re not the most important metrics – they’re this mythical ‘engagement’ that used to be called ‘brand awareness’ in the magazine and television advertising industry.”
Kelly advises to begin with cost.
“We know how much we’re spending on consultants or content development,” she explains. “So, in other areas of marketing, you measure cost per impression – how many people the message reached – which basically rolls up all of the retweets, comments, clicks and fans.”
From there, look at:
How many people engaged
“Honestly, it’s almost unfair to compare social media engagement to other channels,” Kelly confesses. “Unlike online advertising or PR, or even TV and radio, [there are] over 500 forms of engagement we’ve tracked through the social channel. [There are] far more opportunities to engage that don’t exist in any other channel.”
How many people converted
“But don’t expect them to convert as fast as other leads, because you’re catching them much earlier in the buying process,” warns Kelly. Here’s the good news: When they do finally convert, they do so at a much higher rate.
How often those converted customers recommend you
“If they’re likely to recommend you, they’re worth far more than your average customers,” she notes, and points to a whitepaper: “NetPromoter Economics: The Impact of Word of Mouth,” which reveals that customers who recommend you are worth 100% more than those who don’t.
Track your prospects’ activities throughout the marketing and sales funnels
“Marketing used to be like bowling, you run it down the channel and boom! You hit your target,” Baggott says. “Today, it’s more like a pinball machine. The customer is that little silver ball and it’s rolling all over the place – bang, bang, bang – and you have to be sure your message and opportunities to convert are everywhere that customer might show up.”
But this makes tracking results significantly more complex. This is why Baggott advises that every social media post links back to a landing page. He believes blogs are ideal for this purpose if they provide relevant content – content that will help the customer whether they buy from you or not. Combine relevant content and a strong call-to-action at the end of the blog post, and he insists you will see results.
“When we do this, we see conversion rates that exceed 20%,” he points out. “In contrast, the average website has a conversion rate of 1.6%.
“When you have a 20% clickthrough rate on your blog, you’re making a lot of people very, very happy, and that’s really easy to measure.”
Read more at: http://socialmediatoday.com/node/728761
You can try many things to grow your business but not all are always fruitful. this article about Stephanie J Hale talks about her experience and reveals the only strategy that caused her business to grow.
What business growth strategies are working right now for entrepreneurs?
Wouldn’t it be great to have one strategy or trick that you knew with some certainty could guarantee your next sale or cash inflow? This kind of certainty would immediately take out the feast and famine experienced by most small business owners.
As a self employed professional, coach, author, other service provider or small business owner, one of the toughest struggles of being in business is attracting and keeping your target audience’s attention. Once you have their attention and permission, then you know you are a step closer to being able to market effectively to them.
People are busy these days so they are very precious about who they give their time and attention to.
So when you meet someone who is repeatedly able to pull a crowd ( 300 to 3000 people) to her events then you know you need to be listening to them.
How Stephanie J Hale grew her business
Stephanie J Hale is a writer, author, speaker and coach who helps authors to get their books published. She runs several successful businesses powered by her event driven business growth strategy. I’ve been to two of her events and each time the room has been packed over the course of the 3 days with a diverse range of people.
“The people who attend Stephanie’s events don’t seem to mind being sold to. In fact they come expecting to purchase a high end coaching programme.”
I found the whole experience quite incredible so I just had to interview Stephanie to find out just how she manages to pull that off.
Her story is a truly inspiring one. In this interview, she shares:
How using an event driven strategy took her business to new heights
Her top 3 tips for growing your business
Her biggest mistake and what she learnt from it
Why and how she manages to keep a positive outlook on life
I really truly enjoyed interviewing Stephanie and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
Marketing isn't usually a one-method job. Mult-channel marketing combines differenet methods to extend your reach and produce a better, synergistic result. But if your mutli-chanel marketing is not integrated, you're losing leads and clients. This article, from Search Engine Watch, describes the situation and how to avoid it.
I recently received an email blast advertising a shoe sale on a well-known shoe website. I didn’t think I needed new shoes (WHAT?!) and deleted the email. A few days later I found out about a business trip and decided I wanted to find a red pair of shoes.
I didn’t have the email handy, but visited the site thinking I would easily find the deal from their homepage or “specials” section.
I think spent 20 minutes ranting to my daughter about how if they're going to do it, do it, and make sure it's noticeable, and easy to find even if you don’t have the details handy.
Now – if this had been an email-subscriber-only offer, I could have understood the reasoning behind not displaying the special prominently on the site, but after ranting and digging through my deleted emails I found the email, wondering if it was exclusive to subscribers. Nope, nothing in the verbiage indicated exclusivity, nor did it say that was the only way to find out about the sale.
The problem is, if every platform you have isn’t integrated and doesn’t work together on the promotion, you're missing out.
Here's the deal, if you're going to do it, do it well, do it right, and make it dead-simple to find, shop, and buy based on your special.
I have a running list of the platforms and ad creative needed to run a successful campaign across multiple platforms. This list is pretty comprehensive. If you're not active in an area and aren’t interested, don’t feel obligated.
When running a campaign, try to think about all the areas where you want to promote your campaign and then what you need in each spot to enhance the promotion; it's more than just words.
What follows is a handy checklist as we start ramping up for shopping season and the holidays.
Ensure your landing page has easy to understand “how to buy” and “what's in it for me” messaging accessible from homepage creative or the sale page.
Press releases are tricky, because you want to announce your deal, but make it sound like news versus sales-speak. The reach you can get with a press release makes it a viable option, but you might have to work with PRWeb or Vocus a bit to get the content fine-tuned to be information instead of being packed full of the hard sell. Remember, press releases are news.
Text ads to test, pointing at your landing page. Have a plan for different calls to action to test and try.
Image ads reflecting the creative you've designed for the campaign. You need these for Display advertising, and at the very least, remarketing. You can use Google's Display Ad Builder or you can have your designer create them for you. If you have creatives already done, having your designer create them is best. The sizes you need and the rules about what ads can and cannot contain are outlined here.
Text ads are best on adCenter. As with Google, make sure you have a plan for the ad copy and calls to action.
You can do some content advertising with Bing, but it's text only. They have display advertising as an option, but don’t offer much detail without submitting a form. I suspect this is because it's priced for large accounts. It's worth a try if you have the budget, small advertisers might want to just stick with text ads.
You want to be careful to pick platforms where they are participating, strong and have an audience. Social media is one of those areas.
If you don’t like Facebook or currently have an active page, then creating a page for a one-off promotion is probably not your best plan. The same goes with Twitter, Pinterest or other social media/networking sites. You don’t need to do all of these, but you need to do it right if you're active in any of these areas.
If your page has 500 likes or more, you can do a sponsored story within Facebook. This is a great way to get your message in front of friends of people who “like” your page.
Facebook recommends using horizontal images in your Facebook Ads – photos say more than words to most users – a 100×72 image is perfect – or an image that you can resize to 100×72 and still be clear.
Does the type of promotion you're running offer new targeting options? Think about those as you go through the process of setting up your campaign.
Promoted Tweets are opportunities for you to have your tweet show at the top of a relevant search on Twitter.
A promoted trend shows in the list of Trending Topics on your website.
Running a promotion on LinkedIn can have good results for business-to-business (B2B) entities. Their advertising platform works much like a hybrid of Google and Facebook's platforms – you can create text ads or image ads and have them show based on your targeting that can be anywhere from industry and geography to group membership and job title. There are a lot of targeting options within LinkedIn.
No advertising platform exists within Pinterest – but you should still promote your products here with seed pins and an engaging profile if the site's demographic is a good fit.
Submitting your promotion-specific creative and landing pages to StumbleUpon can bring big rewards. There are several articles around about getting the most out of a StumbleUpon campaign. I think this one by BlueGlass is the best.
Niche-Related Social Media Sites
These are the places where you and your competitors share ideas and insights. It might be a forum or a community, but it's a place where you can get your promotion right in front of a sure-to-be-shopping-for-your-product demographic.
These can get pricey, so be sure you know all the rules upon how to advertise.
BradsDeals: I really like this coupon site, and they source deals from all over the Internet. If you're running a great deal, it might be worth it to reach out to them. They are currently developing a way for companies to reach out to them, but for right now it's mostly just things they find. My recommendation for right now is to Tweet or Facebook deals to them if you think they're worthy.
Groupon: They take a big cut, so be sure your discount can handle this.
Woot: If your product/sale is a big discount, Woot's “Deals” section may feature it. You'll need creative and text to support your creative.
Honestly, this is where I see the biggest “fails” of all in marketing outreach. I think many people doemail marketing because they feel they have to – but they don’t do it well. This really is sad. Email marketing is by far the highest converting form of online marketing – if – your email list is 100 percent opt in.
Here are five top tips for getting the most out of your email marketing blast in conjunction with an Internet-wide promotion.
Test your subject lines. Take the list you're sending to, split it in half, and test two different subject lines if you don’t know which one will work better.
Send a follow-up blast within 4-6 days to anyone who didn’t open the first blast. Depending upon the platform this can be tricky – but it can be done with some Excel magic.
Best times to send deals are Sunday mornings or Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You might not know what time zone your subscribers are in, you can find out if you collect their city/state when they sign up – then export to Excel and sort – you can probably see what time zone is in the majority
Depending upon what you're selling – location may affect how someone buys. For example, if you sell shoes – you might want to send warm-climate states sandal-type specials, where you might want to send the frozen north an email about boots and slippers. Pay attention to location and demographics. Good email marketing can help you do this.
Never – ever – send a blast from your own email account as a cc or bcc – this could go a long way toward having your email account blacklisted and every email you send thereafter could show up as spam to those that received it. Bad, bad idea. My favorite platforms are Constant Contact, iContact, and MailChimp.
There are a ton of opportunities and variables for you to consider when repurposing one piece of ad creative, or even one promotion idea. Keep track of what you need so you have everything prepared ahead of time and ready to go.
If you have more ideas on any of these techniques or platforms, please feel free to share them in the comments – I'm always looking for more ideas to add to my list, and I hope you are, too!
This article from LogicPath discusses things to consider when planning an online enterprise. There are many things to weigh and make decisions about that can impact the business for years to come. Not to be taken light-heartedly, this article provides some solid advice for your business planning from a financial and legal point of view.
Business planning for a new online business can be tricky. Often, the businesses struggle along, unsuccessfully, for a period of time–so it’s important in the beginning to keep the operation lean.
However, while Internet businesses often start off slow, they can (thankfully) explode with revenues and profits, which means that suddenly the web-based entrepreneur has all sorts of good problems and puzzles to solve.
And of course, there’s also a dark side to web-based businesses that produce windfall profits. Just as they can quickly ramp-up in revenue, cash flows and profitability, they can just as easily implode.
The unique financial characteristics of Internet business, therefore, suggest several business planning gambits:
Internet Business Planning Tip #1: Use a Limited Liability Company
Often in online businesses, you want to protect yourself as much as possible from unnecessary legal risks. The Internet, of course, can be a dangerous place to do business. Not everyone with whom you transact business is someone you’d feel comfortable taking home to meet the family.
Operating as a regular, traditional corporation represents one simple way to reduce your legal liability. However, a corporation automatically requires fairly complex accounting (including the requirement to do formal payroll.) Furthermore, a corporation means you’ll be doing separate federal and state corporate income tax returns, which are expensive and complicated.
As an alternative to a corporation, therefore, consider using a limited liability company. A limited liability company should provide your online business with the same legal protection as a corporation. But a limited liability company, if it’s owned by a single person, won’t require a separate corporate income tax return. Instead the LLC’s income and deductions will get reported on the owner’s regular tax return.
In summary, using an LLC rather than a corporation means you keep things nice and cheap in the beginning–when cash flows may be pretty lean.
Internet Business Planning Tip #2: Elect for Corporate Tax Status If Profits Ramp Up
A quick tip: Tax laws allow you to elect to have your LLC treated as a corporation later on down the road. And you may want to do this if your online business takes off.
An LLC taxed as an S corporation can save you scads of Social Security and Medicare taxes. And an LLC treated for tax purposes as a C corporation (your other option) can, in some unique situations, save you substantial taxes, too.
Internet Business Planning Tip #3: Setup and Use a Real Accounting System
One big advantage of an Internet business is this: Typically the accounting is pretty easy.
Accounting for an online business is easy, by the way, for a couple of reasons: First, someone else (like PayPal or the affiliated company you’re marketing for) often does much of the accounting work for you, collecting and processing the individual transactions.
A second reason that accounting for an online business is easy is this: Typically your financial data is available at someone else’s website (perhaps even your bank) for down-loading directly into your accounting system.
Because accounting for an Internet business is or should be easy, therefore, you really ought to go to the very modest effort of getting something like QuickBooks up and running to do your bookkeeping. (Probably, you won’t even have to enter much of the data yourself… some website will do the lion’s share of the work.)
With a good set of books, you’ll be able to better manage your business. And with a good set of books, you’ll definitely save on your taxes by capturing more of your legitimate business deductions.
Read more at http://logicpath.com/blog/general/business-planning
Smaller budgets require different, brute-force strategies. This article from foxbusiness.com explains how a small business can use Guerilla marketing techniques to boost their visitors and sales.
In an ideal world, you as a small business owner would have an unlimited marketing budget. However the reality for many of you is quite the opposite. Most small businesses must contend with the reality of tiny budgets, if any.
This happens to be the case for a good friend of mine that is in the initial phases of launching her own law practice after being partner with a much larger firm. One drawback of working independently is that she has relatively little cash on hand for a massive marketing campaign. The sobering truth is, however, she does need some type of marketing push in order to give her some initial momentum. In situations like this, I always recommend small businesses go for a “guerrilla marketing” campaign.
A concept gleaned from a nonconventional means of warfare, guerrilla marketing is a way of communicating that is totally asymmetrical – thinking outside the box, if you will. While this approach can be effective for larger businesses, it is a strategy that is deployed by for smaller businesses whose budgets cannot compete dollar-for-dollar with the more dominant players in their respective industry.
Here are some things to consider:
Creativity is King
I recently saw a bus that had a shark image on it for one of those predator specials. The mouth of the shark was strategically painted on the door; so every time a passenger boarded the bus, it looked as though the shark had just swallowed someone whole. Though I’ve seen buses wrapped in graphics a thousand times, this visual was stunning. A highly-creative idea will take you far beyond a limited budget. In the case of this bus, it went on to receive massive exposure and rave reviews on the web.
Read more: http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/marketing-sales/2012/08/15/guerilla-marketing-techniques-for-small-business-owners/#ixzz23kKFnM5y
Looking to increase your online exposure and authority? Online videos are a good way to do it. Here are 5 Tips, originally published at RedOrbit.com to help you get the most out of your online business videos.
You’re looking for better ways to promote your business, you’ve heard about the value of having a good video on your website, but you don’t know where to begin, what a good video looks like or whether it can even help your business…
What do YOU need to think about to get the best Return on Investment from your video?
Here are 5 tips on understanding how to use online video for your business:
Know the market: Who is your audience and how are they watching?
Knowing who will be most receptive to your video will make your production needs clearer. The happiest clients are the ones that know exactly what they need for their video.
How will your segment be watching it? Tablets, mobile phones, computers and TV’s are all highly utilised screens for consumers; knowing HOW your market watches will tell you how to engage them and strengthen your future web strategy.
Being everywhere is more possible than in the past. Think beyond TV, print and website banners. With YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc, consumers are now happy to watch video online and on social media, so take advantage of these distribution channels. Distribution is more affordable now with online viral marketing also a possibility.
Make a quick impact and test, test, test
Youtube advises that the first 15 seconds of your video are the most important. Other estimates show that 20% of video consumers click away within 10 seconds. The best and only way of improving this is by experimenting with options, but also making an impact within those first few seconds of a consumers attention span. Talk with various producers about different video styles. Try animation, interviews and profiles; analyse what is getting the most clicks.
And research! Did you know that, according to the latest ComScore report, live streaming is watched 7% longer than average video? The more time you have, the more likely your consumer will build a positive impression.
Push for clicks
Click-to-action in your video. The easier it is for your consumer the more sales you’ll have. ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Learn More’ buttons turn engagement into sales.
But don’t be too pushy! Don’t let the prompts interfere with the viewing; the more freedom you give your consumer and the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to build a relationship.
Sharing is social
Make it easy for your consumer’s friends to know about you as well – think about how your video can be shared. ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’ and recommendations are the new word of mouth- make it easy to share with 1 click.
Show an embed code so users can easily put your video on blogs, etc.
Analyse where your video is being shared, it will tell you more about your market!
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/5-tips-for-online-business-videos-0244691#KdOKmhcKsafJcGjq.99
Facebook surprised people with the price of their stock when it went public but most of us knew it wouldn’t stay that high…
This article from the New York Times talks about the future of Facebook Stock.
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg News
David Ebersman, center, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said he was “disappointed” in the stock dive.
In May, when investors tripped over themselves to buy a piece of Facebook, not even the skeptics predicted what has happened. Three months after the offering, shares have lost more than 40 percent of their value, closing at just under $21.81 on Friday, from $38 on May 18.
The stock began to dip immediately after its debut on the public markets, and at first technical errors with the offering were blamed. But these problems did not account for the stock’s subsequent plunge, analysts and shareholders say. That decline, they say, can be traced to several factors, among them the sheer size and price of the initial offering, early exits by major investors and slowing growth.
Not least, the stock seems to have been jinxed by Facebook’s own fairy tale.
“The underwriters (and the media) did a great job of hyping Facebook leading up to the I.P.O., and the sell-side (including me) did a great job of hyping it after,” Michael Pachter with Wedbush Securities, an equity research firm, wrote in an e-mail.
Still, some investors remain bullish. Facebook is profitable, it keeps its nearly one billion users glued to their screens longer than any other Internet site, and it is aggressively experimenting with new ways to drum up advertising — its main source of revenue. Just this month, for instance, it began offering application developers a way to focus ads, and sought to diversify revenue by opening its site in Britain to online gambling.
The next test for the stock could come soon. Over 1.6 billion shares will be eligible to come on the market in several waves, starting on Thursday, when a number of shareholders are allowed to sell. Investors may fear that an influx of shares could cause prices to fall even more.
“It becomes a company perceived as vulnerable rather than invincible,” said David B. Yoffie, a Harvard Business School professor who sits on several technology company boards, though none that relate to or compete with Facebook.
Facebook executives say they remain focused on expanding. They declined to comment on the stock price, but in late July, in a conference call with analysts to discuss the second-quarter earnings, David Ebersman, the company’s chief financial officer, said he was “disappointed” in the stock dive. On Friday, Mr. Ebersman was in New York speaking to investors, current and potential.
With such an emphasis on quality content, this is one area you really have to concentrate on if you want to attract natural search engine traffic. This article, from marketingpilgrim.com is a must-read; be sure to click through so you can see the infographic that puts it all together for you.
“Content marketing is such an easy thing to say. It just rolls off the tongue and you can sound incredibly smart in a meeting when you give the mandate that “We must be more active and intentional in our content marketing efforts so we can develop a truly engaged audience!” There is a smattering of golf applause around the meeting room when you lay this one on your fellow marketers. Way to go!
Then there is the reality of said content marketing. Suddenly the pretty words become a millstone around your neck when you have the realization that all the writing and creation is time consuming and not so easy. Oh and why did you have to be so bold about engagement? A little less Red Bull maybe?
Well, never fear there are folks out there who have done this stuff and are willing to share. This infographic from BlueGlass pulls on their wide experience as well as that of the folks at Copyblogger. Let’s just say you will be hard pressed to find more experience in this area….”
More at Content Marketing: Building an Engaged Audience
We all know that search engine marketing is still the method people use the most to find whatever it is they are looking for online. Maximizing this resource needs to be one of your primary marketing goals.
In the following article, some great points are raised on how to increase your search engine lead generation results.
NOTE: There is another great way to generate leads and it's called LinkedIn; if you haven't seriously considered LinkedIn a a lead generation resource, check out this free guide right now: Free Guide — How to Build Business on Linked-In
When you were five or ten years old you may have played the game of hide and seek where the object was to avoid being found. The longer you could stay hidden and the harder it was to be discovered the better.
As a business owner or someone responsible for marketing a business you want to do the opposite. Instead of remaining hidden from view, you want to make it as easy as possible for members of your target market to find you again and again.
You may have a PhD, worked for big name clients, provide outstanding service or have a new ground breaking product but if people can’t find you it is tough to build revenue. What you want is to be found so prospects contact you and you can convert them to client status.
What happens when someone is looking for a new product or service? More and more customers and consumers use the internet to search for the goods and services they need, to the point that ‘google’ has become a verb. They may also use the search engines provided by Yahoo, AOL and MSN.
A prospect types in a set of keywords, your name or your company name into a search engine, with Google being used by far the most frequently. Can they find your website? Go to www.Google.com and try the following three tests:
Help people find you the first time and again with “Creating Web Sites that Sell“. You’ll learn how to structure your site and how to write web page copy to rank high in the search engines and attract prospects.
If you’ve had trouble getting people to visit your site or getting them to contact you once they do visit, “Creating Web Sites that Sell” shows you how to get better results with your web site.
Here’s the link to order your copy of Creating Web Sites that Sell.
1. If a prospect hasn’t heard of your company they won’t be searching for your firm by name. Instead they will be searching using keywords that describe the problem they want solved or the type of information they are looking for. If they are looking for ways to motivate employees, that’s what they will type in the search box. If they are looking for adventure vacation ideas for Costa Rica, they’ll enter that in the search box.
My prospects might enter, ‘attract more clients’, ‘marketing coach’, ‘web marketing plan’, ‘web lead generation’ or ‘marketing services’ in Google. When they do, they’ll find my site at the top or at least in the first 10-15 listings.
Type the problem you solve or the solutions you offer into Google‘s search box. Is your site listed at or near the top of the listings? Is it even in the top 100?
2. Type your own name in the search box. Does your web site come up at the top of the page or in the first 20 listings?
Finish the article here: http://www.marketingforsuccess.com/search-engines/search-engine-marketing2/#ixzz1vfyNyAxL
If you think Facebook is great for lead generation, you need to read this article. LinkedIn is the business version of Facebook and if you want business leads, that’s the place to be. Join LinkedIn, get involved in a handful of related groups and the leads will follow.
|In HubSpot’s newest eBook, Learning LinkedIn from the Experts, five LinkedIn specialists provide key insight into how you can use LinkedIn to successfully grow your network and business.
|Long Description: With this eBook, you will learn how to:
- Build Your LinkedIn Foundation, by Stephanie Sammons
- Grow Your LinkedIn Network, by Jan Vermeiren
- Use LinkedIn to Market Business, by Neal Schaffer
- Use LinkedIn to Market Yourself, by Lewis Howes
- Measure the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of Your Efforts, by Rebecca Corliss
Download Learning LinkedIn From the Experts: How to Build a Powerful Business Presence on LinkedIn
Duct Tape Marketing is impressed with LinkedIn also. Read all about it below.
As I’ve written here in the past, I think there are solid business reasons for participating in most social networks these days, but if your business sells primarily to other businesses, you must get more active on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is not the biggest or most talked about network these day, but when it comes to connecting with people who mean business and generating leads, few can compare to the power of LinkedIn. A study conducted by Hubspot earlier this year suggested that LinkedIn is “277 Percent More Effective for Lead Generation than Facebook and Twitter.”
While those numbers were taken from their user base, my experience suggests that the professional decision maker audience that prefers LinkedIn is much more prepared to participate in the kind of traditional authentic networking that leads to lasting business relationships than any other network.
You’ll find the rest of the article at http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2012/05/21/how-and-why-i-use-linkedin-groups-to-build-my-business/