Online Marketing on a Budget


Marketing is one of the single most important things you need to do to succeed in the business world. The problem? It can use a lot of cash to make it work. For an entrepreneur just getting started, marketing budgets can often be practically non-existent.

Fortunately, the age of the Internet has made it easier to run a full-scale marketing campaign with very little cost up front. Here we’ve put together a list of ways you can utilize online marketing resources, often for free. Yep, FREE!

Online Review Sites

Making sure your business is listed on online review sites is important. Not just for traffic and product sales, but for ensuring your online reputation stays positive. The following sites are some of the most influential review sites out there.

Google My Business Page: Setting up a page here will get your business on Google Search, Maps and Google+, as well as allow customers to review your business. Local business reviews usually receive high rankings in the search results, giving you some great, and free results real estate.

Yelp: Since it’s the biggest online review site, creating a Yelp listing is definitely worth it. It gets you in front of the site’s more than 140 million monthly users and, it’s free.

Yahoo: Yahoo offers local businesses the option to get a basic business listing in its directory. Listings are incorporated with other of their products like reviews, maps, and events. And yes, it’s free.

Social Media Marketing

Industry Groups: Choose two or three groups in your business’ industry on Facebook and LinkedIn. By offering advice and support, you help establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can even take it a step further and create your own groups. Eventually, these outlets will build your reputation and drive sales.

Facebook: If you haven’t already signed up with social media platform, Facebook is probably one of the best places to start. Since its inception, Facebook has been in the fore front of social media advancements and has developed and perfected a number of tools for small businesses.

Twitter: This platform has proven to be a powerful, platform for immediate information. By studying and following people in your industry or expertise, you will quickly learn, some dos and don’ts figure out the best way to use it, then set up your own feed and start to Tweet.

LinkedIn: The fastest growing and most influential professional platform online, LinkedIn has done for Professional Media what Facebook did for Social Media. Set up an account to meet, engage and, connect with other professionals about jobs, careers, and branding

YouTube: Visual marketing, especially in the form of video, is still at the top when it comes marketing. With You Tube, this form is now more accessible. Use it to tell a story, showcase your personality, or demonstrate a product without having to pay for ad time on TV. You can be as casual or formal as you want, as long as you are ready to be on camera.

Monitor Brand Mentions: It’s now easier to keep up with what’s happening. Using a social listening tool like Social Mention to monitor and contribute to conversations happening in your industry will help you stay current on trends without having to spend every hour surfing postings.

Blogging: In addition to your own blog, find other blogs and websites within your industry and create Guest posts. Comment thoughtfully on blogs and then leave your website URL in the appropriate field, just be sure to use your real name or business name, not keyword-rich anchor text. Noticing others will get you noticed as well.

Installing a free social sharing plugin on your blog, like Share Buttons, makes it easy for your readers to share your posts and increase your audience.

Other Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

Hold free webinars on your site: If you’ve researched this prospect before but decided it would be too expensive, consider some of these alternatives. WordPress has a webinar plugin called WebinarIgnition, with a one-time cost of $97 for unlimited webinars with unlimited attendees. Or, you can utilize your Facebook account and do a Facebook Live event.

Join Forums and Answer Questions: These days there are multiple forums out there for just about anything. Take the time to make meaningful contributions to conversions by providing real assistance to those posting the questions. This will get the attention of other readers and make them more inclined find out more about you. You can get started on sites like Quora, where real people are looking for answers to questions. Search the site for relevant questions you can answer intelligently.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out): Sign up and get free PR by responding to relevant media queries. This will turn into free mentions and links in publications like Huffington Post, Forbes more.

eBooks: Anyone can be an author and publish now. Whether it’s about business or, choosing the best wine, you can create an eBook simply and for free. Just input your content into chapters using MS Word. Add some images and links, edit, review and spell check. Then save it as a PDF and you have an eBook. Post it on your website, blog or offer it in exchange for a person’s email address, aiding you in growing your email database.

By now you may be experiencing the feeling that the room is spinning out of control, knowing that there are so many options out there that you can implement.

Not to worry. Look at the list and narrow it down to 2-3 options you are really excited about. Once you have them under your belt, move on to a few more.

As a special treat for you, here is a link to a Forbes article outlining 33 great marketing tools for professionals.

Ready…Set…Go!!!

Virtual Assistants-Taking Your Online Marketing to the Next Level

 

In this era of the Digital Age, more and more people are turning to the Internet to increase their marketing exposure. The problem? Every day the ways to use online marketing seem to grow exponentially.

In one blog post at Wordstream.com, they offer a guide to the top 99 Online Marketing Tools. You read that right, 99! And, they are only listing the TOP 99.

From Clothing Boutiques to Real Estate Agents, Social Media Marketing has become a necessity to keep up in today’s marketplace. So, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, how do you find the time to run your business, increase your productivity, have a personal life, and keep up with the ever-evolving online marketing field?

The short answer? You don’t. You hire someone to do it for you. Enter the Virtual Assistant (VA).

Who are Virtual Assistants?

Virtual assistants are home-based, skilled professionals, offering businesses, and entrepreneurs support remotely instead of within the traditional office setting. Communication is usually done via email, phone, or even face to face services like Skype. This alleviates the need to provide additional work space at your office or other business location.

Don’t Virtual Assistants Just Provide Basic Admin Support?

Back when remote assistants first came on the scene, the majority of their services focused on administrative tasks that were similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary. They were just done from home. However, with the growing number of VAs available, their offerings now run the gamut, and thanks to the incredible increase in popularity of Social Media Marketing and other Online Marketing, specialists in that area have become easier to find, and are extremely beneficial to have working with you.

In fact, just a few years ago, the University of Florida created the first Bachelor and Masters degree programs to provide accredited education in Social Media Marketing and other schools followed quickly after that.

A Few Things to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When you choose to hire a virtual assistant the first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want them to be an employee or a self-employed contractor. There are pros and cons with each arrangement.

When you hire an employee, even a remote one, you’ll need to provide any benefits your other employees receive, based on their employee status, ie: Full-time, Part-time, or hourly, as well as add them to the regular payroll. A real estate agent in the northern California area reported he has a full-time person who’s only job entails maintaining all Social Media postings for active

If you choose to work with independent contractors or a freelancer you will have none of those responsibilities. But, you will have little control over what hours they work or be able to demand when they can be available.

To be designated as an independent contractor, an individual must be free to determine how the work will be done to completion, free from the client/company’s control. The contractor is responsible for the final product only as far as the terms of their contract requires.

Where Can I find a Virtual Assistant?

Just as the internet provides the opportunity for the concept of a VA to work, it also provides locations, and even platforms to easily find, hire and pay your VA. Here’s a short list of websites that provide freelancers and businesses a way to find each

24/7 Virtual Assistant
Assistant Match
eaHelp
Fancy Hands
Freelancer
FlexJobs
People Per Hour
Red Butler
Time Etc.
Me
Upwork
Virtual Assistant USA
Virtual Staff Finder
Worldwide 101
Ziptask
Zirtual
Hiring a virtual assistant will leave you with more time and energy on your hands to focus on the other aspects of your business.

For more information on finding the best Virtual Assistant for your needs, check out Virtual Assistant Assistant for reviews of the best virtual assistant companies.

Business Funnels–Marketing and Sales–What’s the Difference?

Marketing Funnel–A system that assists in tracking the steps potential clients move through to before ultimately making a decision on the purchase of goods, or use of services.  Marketing funnels let you see at each step what you need to do to influence potential clients toward the end goal, turning them into actual clients.

Sales Funnel–Refers to the buying process that businesses direct a client through when purchasing products or obtaining services. Like a Marketing funnel, it is divided into several steps.  These steps will differ according to your particular sales model.

Or to put it more simply, marketing funnel is about capturing a lead and taking people to the point of a sale where a sales funnel captures and then leads people through the sales process via a series of pitches, etc.

In businesses where the marketing and sales departments/people are separate roles from one another, the two different concepts are implemented separately with Marketing Funnels working to create interest at the top and acquire clients at the bottom, these acquisitions becoming the top of the Sales Funnel.

In smaller businesses, this distinction may become a little muddled as employees may need to wear multiple hats, but for the sake of this article, we’ll go with the simplest viewpoint.

Your marketing is responsible for compelling an individual to become a potential client by creating awareness. It will typically focus on a broad area through a variety of methods, with the idea of attracting as much interest as possible.  These days this of commonly done via social media, paid advertising, blog posts, and PR.  Thanks to the internet, the possibilities are almost endless when looking for a target audience.

This initial scouting is the TOP of the marketing funnel.  The goal of these endeavors is to provide enough information to interest the general masses in taking action and becoming potential clients.

The final goal is to end up getting the potential client to provide contact information and hopefully specific product interest.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways including a free eBook download, providing a contact form with the promise of more info, calling a toll-free number, or any other process you can collect their details.  This result makes up the BOTTOM of the marketing funnel.

By acquiring this info from a potential client, you will then be able to move them into the procedures outlined on the sales side and bring them to the TOP of the Sales Funnel.

Different businesses will show a variety of ways that this transition from Marketing to Sales may happen, but the overall desired result will be the same, gaining a loyal and long term client that will refer others to a business’s products and services.

So essentially, sales have the power to change condition through the skills of the sales team. A sales funnel dictates the actual steps used to lead your customer towards the final goal, the actual purchase or use of services that you are offering.

Marketing, however, generally does not possess this same power. It needs to work with conditions as they come.  The use of a marketing funnel is to create some anticipation about what is being offered or sold.

Both Marketing Funnels and Sales Funnels can become very complex systems with numerous sub-steps within each primary step, depending on who your client is compared to what you are offering.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

Choosing the Most Effective Social Media Posting Times

 

It never fails, you received a free eBook and get excited to read about the latest, and best, way to utilized Social Media posting for your business.  You hungrily tear through the information and then re-write your marketing plan to implement this new strategy only to receive entirely different information the next day, week, month, and so on.

Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to CoSchedule.  In their great wisdom, they have put together information from a variety of reports to provide you with the last word in Social Media Post schedules.

We learned in school that there are 4 time zones in the U.S. So, with clients spread from sea to shining sea, what are the best times to post on the various social media platforms?

To decide this, we need to take into consideration where most of these clients are living.  According to Census records, 80% of those people living in the United States are found in the Eastern and Central time zones.  It would make sense, then, to focus our schedules on time as it is followed in those locations.

Facebook

As the platform that brought social media into the spotlight and taught us a new way to communicate and market ourselves and our businesses, it’s still the first account most new businesses, and 13-year olds, open when getting started in the Social Media universe.

Best Days: Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Best Times: 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm

Notes:  Posting at 1 pm gets you the most shares while posting at 3 pm will get you the most clicks.

 

Twitter

Best Day:  Wednesday
Best Times: Noon, 3 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm

Notes: Wednesday about Noon and between 5-6 are the peak moments of an employee’s break times.  Also, Twitter users are 181% more likely to be on their account during the commute home. Hopefully, for the rest of us, this refers to carpoolers who are not in the driver’s seat.

LinkedIn

Best Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Best Times: 7-8am, Noon, and 5-6pm

Notes:  Business people are most likely to peruse LinkedIn in the morning, in the same manner many (used to) peruse the paper.  Also, even though LinkedIn is geared more for the business market, the best time to post is still before or after work.

Pinterest

Best Days: Weekends (Saturday and Sunday)
Best Times: 2 pm, 9 pm, and 2 am

Notes:  The best window for posting is Saturday nights between 8-11pm. The worst time is during business hours.

Instagram

Best Days: Monday and Thursday
Best Times: 2am, 8-9am, 5pm

Notes:  Avoid posting between 3 pm and 4 pm.  Posting a video at 9 pm can get you 34% more interactions.

Google+

Best Day:  Wednesday
Best Time: 9am, 11am, 12-1pm

Notes: 90% of people on Google+ are lurkers, people who are just looking and not wanting or perhaps not ready to engage with the content or a call to action.

Additional Notes for Each Platform

Facebook: Widely used both via mobile and stationary devices, at home and at work.

Twitter: Audience dependent, as Facebook is also. Often set up as an RSS feed and visited during commutes, breaks and other down times.

Pinterest:  Used mostly in the evenings after work and on the weekends during a viewer’s free time.

LinkedIn:  Designed for the professional world, viewers use it during work hours and in the mornings.

Google+:  Targets professionals in a similar manner to LinkedIn

Instagram: Designed for the mobile platform and therefore used at any time.

So, a special thank you goes out to CoSchedule for their tireless efforts to make scheduling social media posts across all platforms as easy as pie.  For this and more information on their services, visit them at Coschedule.com.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

Post #1187

about-us-1

Our Approach

You could also call this heading "Our philosophy" or "Our vision." This is the place to talk about what drives you and your business and what's unique about your process. What you write here should be something distinct and interesting about your business that sets it apart from others in the same industry.

Our Story

Every business has a beginning, and this is where you talk about yours. People want to know what opportunity you saw or how your passion led to the creation of something new. Talk about your roots--people wanna know you have some.

Meet the Team

Write something about the people who make your business go or your philosophy behind customer service.
Why? Because people want to know who they're doing business with. It's a human thing.

Regan McCook

Founder & CEO

Include a short bio with an interesting fact about the person.

Eric Teagan

Vice President

Include a short bio with an interesting fact about the person.

Timothy Barrett

CFO

Include a short bio with an interesting fact about the person.

Next Steps...

This is should be a prospective customer's number one call to action, e.g., requesting a quote or perusing your product catalog.

What You Need to Know About Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs)

With the ability to personalize the online advertising experience, remarketing strategies are gaining traction as one of the most popular internet marketing strategies. Online marketers no longer must rely on keywords as their only targeting strategy.

Keywords haven’t been left behind as there are methods that work alongside them such as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs). RLSAs have been around since 2013, but they’re still being overlooked and underused.

This post will help you understand what RLSAs are and some strategies on how to use them. Once you get a basic understanding of what RLSAs do and how they work, implementing them for your benefit will become much easier.

What are RLSAs?

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads takes traditional display ads a step further to target ads to customers who’ve visited your site, on the Google Search Network. RLSAs allow you to apply different keywords, bids, and ad copy to a variety of audiences.

RLSAs provide an opportunity for greater personalization in a world where tailoring ads to users is essential. It is now easier to create ad copy that is relevant to the user and enhance interactions between them and your company.

To get started with RLSAs, you will need to set up your website with Google Display Network remarketing and set your campaigns to include all features and settings. RLSAs use the same lists and management as your Google Display Network. These pre-existing remarketing lists will allow you to:

  • Target visitors on the search network who’ve already visited your website
  • View visitor behavior while active on your site
  • View search queries on Google

You don’t have to set up new campaigns or ad groups. Simply attach a remarketing audience and campaign of your choice. However, don’t hesitate to experiment and set up new campaigns and ad groups to specifically test RSLAs.

Getting started with RLSAs

Keyword research is essential to having highly relevant RLSAs. By applying different audience targeting you can refine who you reach out to and refine keyword sets appropriately.

With this you can bid on more generic words or wider math types for visitors that have visited your site before or are more likely to convert – the possibilities are endless.

You can tailor your bidding strategy is any which way you choose as some keywords may be too broad for general search traffic. Think about bidding more to:

  • Customers who viewed high price items
  • Customers that spend a certain amount of time on your site
  • Customers who leave their carts with items or don’t fully complete transactions

The benefits of implementing RLSAs

It’s important to understand that Remarketing Lists for Search Ads are targeted for people who have already visited your website or app. People that are familiar with your site are much more likely to convert in comparison to new visitors.

RLSAs give your company an additional opportunity to target your previous visitors through a different channel. You can better targeted qualified and valuable users who already know about your website or app.

When implemented correctly, RLSAs can deliver:

  • Efficient use of ad spends
  • Higher click-through rates
  • Better conversion rates
  • Lower cost per conversion
  • Better return on investment (ROI)

How to implement RLSAs

You must update your Privacy Policy or Cookie Policy on your website or app to affirm your use of DoubleClick cookies. You need at least 1,000 cookies in one list to utilize Remarketing Lists for Ads.

Currently, RLSAs require the use of AdWords Remarketing code as opposed to the Google Analytics remarketing code. Add the AdWords remarketing code to your website, but you can have both sets running alongside each other.

Once you’ve completed these basic steps, you can begin to:

  • Set up remarketing lists to be used for RLSAs within AdWords interface
  • Add a remarketing list to a search campaign group
  • Add a negative remarketing list to a search campaign or ad group

Getting the most from your RLSAs

Setting on Remarketing Lists for Ads on your campaigns is the first step. The next step is to ensure that you are using RLSAs efficiently. Here are three ways to ensure you’re getting the most out of your RLSAs:

  • Personalize as many ads as possible
  • Adjust your bids
  • Explore keywords

Tailor your ads to your specific audiences—be as creative as possible. Interchange approaches between ads and works towards making them increasingly relevant and personal. Don’t use the same ad for people who left items in the cart and those who didn’t get past your homepage.

Take advantage of what you already know and bid for audiences that are most likely to convert. Lower your bids for those who are less likely to convert or not as valuable to you.

RLSAs give you the opportunity to bid on keywords that you wouldn’t otherwise. Creating an entirely new search campaign for your RLSA doesn’t pose the same risk as targeting your audience through a random standard search.

Now that you know what Re-marketing Lists for Search Ads are and how to implement them, there is no excuse to not be using them.  Don’t be left behind by simply targeting keywords. To learn more about RLSAs and how to use them or explore other internet-marketing strategies, click here for my done-for-you system.

What Smartwatches Mean for Email Marketing Campaigns

Both Apple and Samsung have created their own version of a smartwatch that link to a user’s respective smartphone. Users can send text messages, use a variety of smartwatch-enabled apps, and check their email.

While smartphones have brought users conveniences like Google at their fingertips, interactive messaging features, and social media apps on the go, smartwatches are on their way to doing the same thing. No need to pull out your phone when you can check your messages the same way you check the time.

Since their introduction to the market, Apple has sold over 13 million of their Apple watches. As these watches begin to penetrate mobile technology, let’s take a closer look at how that will impact email marketing campaigns.

Smaller interface means a shorter subject line

Email marketers should prioritize short, concise subject lines to make their content quick to read and easy to digest. Research on unique subject lines revealed that three-word subject lines have the highest engagement, but seven-word subject lines are most common.

Word choice is extremely important given you only get a few. When drafting a subject line, stay away from these trigger words that ranked low on engagement rate:

  • Free, help, reminder—triggers spam filters and users often associate these emails with bombarding, repetitive messages
  • Tired internet slang such as bae, fleek, ftw—rank low on open rates because they are mistaken for text messages
  • FWD: and RE: lead to a sense of deceptive familiarity and are reminiscent of chain emails – too long!

Links, hashtags, and graphics could be in trouble

Subject lines accompanied by long URLs and hashtags have less than 10% engagement. URLs and hashtags also take up valuable space in an already small screen.

Email marketers should focus on a strong call-to-action in the email body. Just as the subject line, call-to-action statements should be clear, concise, and to the point.

Without optimizing your emails, images and gifs will either not load or not appear to be the right size on a smartwatch screen. Unless you’ve tested your images and are certain they will function correctly, it’s best to forgo them.

The Apple Watch doesn’t automatically download images when it is opened, so email marketers need to prepare alternative ways to engage with their readers. Include the graphics, but switch to HTML if you haven’t already to take advantage of the tag for email images.

Clean, easy to read emails

As with certain images and graphics, there are email templates that will cause issues for smartwatch users. Most email templates are designed for desktops and laptops with HTML widths of about 600 pixels.

Email templates are often too wide for most smartphones, so it goes without saying how this would taint the viewing experience on a smartphone. These inconsistencies could also prevent horizontal scrolling.

Email marketers should consider that confined space that smartwatches have and adapt their email template to a single column format or plain text. This format is easy-to-read and doesn’t require horizontal scrolling.

Think about the face of a smartwatch and the size of your index finger. If buttons and hyperlinks are too small, there’s a possibility that you could open the wrong thing. It’s not long before a user will close an email in frustration and forget what they were going to click on entirely.

With a strong call-to-action, email marketers should consider designing action buttons that are easily accessible. Buttons should be large, visible, and easy to tap on a smartwatch screen.

Email campaigns will take a little more thinking to reach smartwatch users correctly and effectively. Now that you know how smartwatches will affect your marketing display and open rates, keeping the user experience in mind is crucial.

Your customers read your emails on a variety of devices. Click here for my done-for-you system to learn more strategies about creating a successful email marketing campaign, regardless of the device.

Expanding Your Marketing with Pinterest

Why Pinterest?

 Visual marketing has always been a popular tool for businesses. With the introduction of the camera phone, photos have become even more common both in business and recreation and, for many, sharing has become almost as second nature as breathing.

 Is Pinterest Part of Your Marketing Strategy?

 Up to this point, you may not have thought about Pinterest as a viable marketing outlet, however, every business has a story to tell.  Visual marketing will help you tell your story.

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has grown to over 70 million users and 25 Billion pins.  500,000 of their users are business accounts. Pinterest’s audience is active and already very engaged. Taking advantage of this would be a good way to expand your marketing and drive more traffic and sales to your business.

Here we’ll look at how some national brands have utilized this particular type of social media to increase their product’s appeal to more buyers.

Don’t Just Show Your Products, Show the Lifestyle They Can Create

Currently, the most popular pins on the site are fashion, food, and home decor.  Enter Lowe’s, a brand that has worked to customize its activity to appeal to Pinterest’s audience.  Lowe’s Pinterest subjects include everything from inspiration for a new room design to gift ideas that link neatly to their online store.

The result is a digital arena of ideas and 3.5 million followers.

 Bring Pinterest to You

 Since there are still people who like the process of actually going to a store, finding an outfit, and trying it on, Nordstrom has advanced its marketing process to include Pinterest as an in-store promotional tool. The store highlights its most popular pins by showcasing on site in their store locations.

And, Nordstrom isn’t the only company integrating this new type of marketing approach. Target and others are also transitioning their in-store promotions.

Highlighting the most-pinned items in your store will encourage people to buy. Whether you sell exclusively online with eCommerce or have a brick-and-mortar location, you can highlight your most pinned products to draw more attention to them.

 Humanize Your Business

 Try forgoing the glossy marketing you may have been using up to now.  Straightforward, down-to-earth images can be just as engaging.  Just look at Ben and Jerry’s marketing to see how well it can work.

Ben & Jerry’s Pinterest boards include the History of the Company, and The People Behind the Pints.  By telling their story through pictures, they’ve provided fans with an invitation to look at their brand’s wider mission.

Your staff, stores, customers, and hometown are all worth celebrating.  Showing the human side of your brand builds a more personal relationship with your customers.

 Work to Inspire Your Audience

 Most people would probably think GE would be the last company they would see on a Pinterest board.  It would be hard to show the visual side of a manufacturing brand, so GE when another direction and chose to share the inspiration that drives them to innovate.  They found a way to draw-in their followers by making the most of their stunning pictures.

Their boards highlight specific ways their products can be used, with titles like FABULOUS Kitchens, Brilliance in Motion, Gifts for Geeks, and Under the Microscope.  GE has created an exciting, original profile that appeals just as much to style-conscious follows as it does to techies.

If you don’t think you have a Pinterest-friendly brand, try to think outside the box. Attract your followers through the images that inspire you and your brand’s innovation.

Pinterest is a great visual social platform that is increasingly becoming a powerful source of customers online for store owners.

Visual storytelling is the most popular way to reach your fans right now.  Even if you don’t feel like you have the allure that most Pinterest users like remember, it is all about cultivating a body of images that can be used to inspire your followers.

For more ideas on how to make Pinterest the next stage of your marketing campaign, check out ArticulateMarketing.com.

How to Best Promote Your Sales Promotions

What is a Sales Promotion?

 When done correctly, sales promotions can transform a business.    Most of us these days know sales promotions are usually designed to increase sales or, encourage the use of a service. They are also often one type of marketing strategy confused with general advertising.  In fact, the two are different.  Because, each entices a different part of the buyer’s nature.

Advertising is emotional in nature.  It induces consumers to purchase products or services through images, sounds, and experiences. Sales promotions draw on a customer’s logic.

To get the most out of the efforts you put into creating a promotion, it’s important for you to promote your sales promotion. I know, that’s a lot of use of the base word promote, it’s confusing, but accurate.

Promoting Your Promotion

This concept is often where many small businesses and entrepreneurs come up short and, usually happened in one of two ways.

 The first way is that many businesses simply don’t let their customers and potential customers know there is promotion opportunity going on.

When it comes to small business marketing, the first thought is advertising, but this can add expense. Here are some optimal ways you can get the word out, without breaking the bank.

  • Highlight the promotion on your website home page.
  • Create a web page specifically about the promotion.
  • Post the info on your Social Media Pages and Blogs.
  • Where permitted, include it in guest posts on other pages and blogs.
  • Sent email notifications sent out to your approved email contacts.

These steps will go a long way in getting the information out there.

The second way many businesses aren’t successful with their promotions is that they, get the word out but, put out the wrong information.

Your first instinct will probably be to make your message about your offer, and that is a good place to start.  But, your message should also be about your customer.  More specifically, how they will benefit from the offer you’ve taken so much time to plan and execute.

Let’s say an accounting firm decides to run a discount promotion on all services they provide, for a specific period of time.  To promote this, they start sending emails and posting on Facebook that for a limited time, clients can come in and receive a discount for any service they need.  Most people will see the post or email, make a quick mental note about it, and then move on with their day.

The communication aspect was successful, but the desired conversion wasn’t.  What you need to do next is persuade your client that this will make his or her life easier.

Persuasion begins with building a link into your customer’s head. Start by thinking about your service promotion from your customer’s viewpoint.  Then make a list of the things that may be on your customer’s mind.  Some examples could be, whether or not their job is currently stable, whether they should buy a new car or even, where they are planning their next vacation.

No matter what they have in their heads, there is a good chance they are not thinking about seeing an accountant.  It’s your job to put the idea in their head and then, attach it to the things they are thinking about:

“Want to fly during your next vacation instead of drive?  Let us help you find your maximum deductions and use your larger tax refund to start a vacation fund!”

Next, go on to explain the benefits of having a professional go over their taxes instead of doing them at home.

Last, include an effective call to action: “Call now for your appointment!”

Now that you know how to promote your promotion, take a look at this article on ThriveHive.com for examples of what kind of promotions you can consider offering.

Generate More Traffic Via Social Media Influencing

Word-of-mouth, 20-50% of all purchasing decisions are made from it.  Customers are more likely to respond to endorsements from a person they respect than to advertisements.  In the world of digital relationships, word of mouth extends beyond friends and family, and into the realm of influencer marketing.

 Twitter has shown that: 

  • 49% of buyers will seek advice from social media influencers.
  • 20% of users said that Tweets from an influencer motivated them to share their own product endorsements.
  • 40% of users claimed they made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer’s Tweet.

Who Is a Social Media Influencer?

 A Social Media Influencer is a user of social media who can show a level of authority in a specific industry. They have access to large audiences through their knowledge and scope of impact.

 So, what is Social Media Influencer Marketing?

 Influencer Marketing is the practice of creating relationships with people who can then build additional relationships for you in return. Whether the audience is small or large, an influencer can touch consumers via social networks and blogs, in ways traditional branding may not be able to reach.

 Influencer Marketing Strategy Components

 Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing.  We’ve all see T.V. commercials where a well-known person takes 30 seconds to tell you how great a product is.

Now, with online media, regular people have become online “celebrities” with highly engaging social media followings.  A survey last year found that YouTube creators took eight of the ten top spots in a survey of influencers, outranking traditional celebrities.

 Increase Your Traffic by Becoming a Social Media Influencer

 Social Media Influencing has become very popular with blog enthusiasts to make passive income through affiliate marketing and utilizing these Influencers have become standard practice among many of the top companies selling on the market today.

But why stop there?  Why not generate even more leads and traffic to your Brand by becoming one of the Influencers yourself.  There are a number of recommended actions out there to become a social media influencer.  Here we’ve gleaned together some steps to help you to get started.

Choose 2-4 social media channels you’ll use to cover your subject, taking into consideration what you excel at.  Are you good at writing engaging posts on Facebook and Twitter, or are you better at photography or creating and editing your own videos?  The type of content you want to publish should showcase your best skills.  If you’ve decided to be a platform-specific influencer, clearly, you’ll want to use that as your primary social network then utilize the others for greater exposure.

Create a strategy for your content. What are your information preferences? Try to imagine why people will be enthusiastic to follow you, then plan accordingly.  Try to plan for at least 3 months in advance, prepare the strategy, and then start posting.

The purpose of your content is to attract people.  To accomplish this, you must be publishing consistently. You know what message you want to convey so stick to it, but also make sure you are keeping a lookout for new info.

Promote yourself by guiding your audience to your content.  Share it everywhere it might seem interesting to other followers.  Build your community by going to forums, fan pages, and inviting new people to engage with them as well.

Contact other people and brands in your industry.  Chat, comment on other posts, exchange likes and ideas.  One of the fastest ways to gain status is to contribute your unique content to other blogs and publications.  Guest postings can improve your merit among peers and increase traffic to your own blog. Show that you notice other people and you’ll start to be noticed too.

Over time your efforts will start to pay off.  You’ll begin to cultivate an audience that will listen to and follow you. The more people that join your audience, the more seriously your views will be taken and the level of influence you create over others will increase.

Publish on LinkedIn.  People generally believe LinkedIn posts are from the most influential leaders in a particular subject. So, in addition to your own blog, create posts using LinkedIn’s publishing platform.  You can accomplish this most easily by cutting and pasting your previously published blog posts and add a headline with keywords and an image to draw the eye.  Consequently, when people in your network also see your articles on LinkedIn, they will start to view you as an authority too.

Finally, keep your content and sources organized for easy access.  This way if someone asks a question about a particular post, you can easily answer the question or elaborate. This will also assist you in giving the appearance of having a good knowledge base of your subject.  There is no reason to hold anything back.  Sharing your expertise is how you can truly be a good influencer.

So, make sure you interact and build meaningful relationships with your audience as well as your peers.  This way you can present yourself to brands as having a strong following in your subject.

For additional info on becoming a Social Media Influencer, check out this post at Marketingland.com