So, One of your primary struggles with online marketing will be getting your product or service seen by the masses. While there are many ways to do this, but one of the most important will be to get people to find you online – what happens when someone in your area is looking for what you offer?
Nowadays, they’ll likely take to a popular search engine like Google to find what they’re looking for. To prepare, there are numerous ways to “trick” search engines into making your website appear higher, increasing the number of people that are likely to see your business, and thereby use you for what they need! These tricks are called search engine optimization, or SEO for short.
What is SEO?
Primarily, there are two major forms of marketing. Paid advertising involves, as noted, the kinds of things that you can pay money for. Google advertising, Facebook advertising, and paid blog postings are all examples of paid advertising. By following some rules and contributing money can work to draw people to your website and brand. In contrast, organic marketing refers to all of the ways that brand visibility can be gained without the need for paying.
SEO is a prime example of this. Instead of using money, SEO is both the technical and creative knowledge that is used together to bring your website to the top in any search engine. Confusing? It can be. There are things on your website that contribute. There are things off of your website that contribute. Both of these things matter.
Go to your favorite search engine and type in the phrase “winter clothes”. What comes up? How does it come up? Why does this search engine think that these websites are the ones that you might want to visit? What appears in the first five places? Click to page five – what appears here? SEO using the tools of the trade to ensure that your website and business is appearing where people will see it when they make a related search, instead of buried where no one will.
Why is SEO Important?
The internet is here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. As long as it’s around, users will need to navigate the depths of the web to find the information they need. This is where SEO is useful. While someone may be able to stumble upon your site through social media or by a link from another place, most people search targeted phrases to find what they need,
and when you can show that you have what a customer is looking for, they’re likely to explore your offering.
The more people to your website, the more likely they are to spend their money with you. But when these customers can’t find your website, you won’t get their business. So showing search engines when they should show your website to potential customers is huge for your business success.
How Do Search Engines Work?
The internet is gigantic. There are tons and tons of websites and pages that might relate to any search result. For anything that someone might want to know, search engines need to have some awareness that this information exists online and that there’s value for the person searching for it. Based on the data found on these web pages, engines make an assessment of whether or not a website is relevant to the user and is popular enough that the user is likely to want to reach it.
With more research and technology, determining what someone is looking for has been refined. There are tons of factors that a search engine looks for to determine whether or not a website has the information a user is looking for. In combination with the technological aspects that trigger information for search engines, user friendliness and customer interaction make an impact as well.
SEO is constantly changing, and engineers tweak algorithms to refine the imperfect system and bypass “black hat SEO”, or methods used to unfairly advance websites that would not otherwise appear highly on search results. Therefore, it’s never a one-time only process! This introduction to SEO only covers one small part of why this is important to pay attention to this – we’ll be covering more about SEO to come soon!
Advertising on Instagram
There’s no doubt about it- Instagram is here to stay, and having a presence on this platform is as essential as those for Facebook or Twitter. As a purely visual representation of your business, Instagram is perfect for posting pictures, illustrations, and videos related to the regular, day-to-day life of your brand. In addition to the power of great visual content and a cohesive hashtagging campaign (we’ve compiled some great tips on getting started on Instagram before…), you can help increase followers and attention to your brand through Instagram advertising.
Paid advertising may seem intimidating since you need to lay money on the line, but can ultimately have immense benefits. You’ll see immediate and direct traffic to your site, target your product to specific audiences that will be likely to make a purchase, and increase the overall reach of your brand. Starting small isn’t a problem, either. Putting a small amount of money towards paid search to dip your toe in the water is always better than doing nothing at all.
Instagram Advertising 101
That being said, trying out paid advertising on Instagram is a definite. We’ve created a perfect, 101-guide to help you figure out the advertising platform of Instagram.
Type of Instagram Ads
Instagram offers three different ads on their platforms, all of which are extremely visual-based.
Photo: A still image that could be branded or simply sponsored
Video: A video similar to those allowed on the platform
Carousel: Multiple images with a call-to-action button
Depending on your advertising goal and budget, you’ll be able to choose the right design for you, based on your goals. For example, carousel ads are best to encourage a user to complete a specific action, like a purchase, while a well-made video can help rack up followers.
Determine Your Ideal Targeting
Helping you decide on which Instagram ad type you should be considering is your target audience. Think deeply about your business and who your ideal clientele is. Since Instagram is connected with Facebook, you can take both data from existing followers and connected Facebook accounts to begin targeting. Do you currently have an email list? Upload email addresses into Facebook to find people that may like your product, but not your social media accounts.
However, since Instagram is run through Facebook, Instagram ads should be set up through Facebook advertising. This means that you’ll need to have a connected Facebook account to run this data through. How should you do this?
Create a Facebook business page for your business
Get a Business Manager account to run ads
Add your Instagram account details under “Business Settings”
Connect your Instagram account with your Facebook ads account
Create campaigns based on targeting!
Be sure to be placing the ads on Instagram rather than Facebook in this setup!
Determine Your Objective
If you’re exploring Instagram advertising, there’s a reason why. While Instagram’s focus is on beautiful imagery, there are ways to use this to your advantage in order to drive a certain goal. Are you sending people to your website? Simply driving awareness? Looking to drive sales? Your creative should match your eventual end goal – this is important as you keep designing in mind.
Create Your Design
Now that you’ve established the type of ad, your objective, and your target audience, you’re ready to begin designing the ad itself! If you have some graphic design expertise, you may want to consider creating your own custom image to post. If not, that’s okay too! You can use your phone’s camera to capture an image that will still rack up the likes and shares on Instagram.
Things you want your ads to be:
Things you don’t want your ads to be:
Low-quality or blurry
Filled with clutter
Importantly, no matter the image or video you ultimately choose to use as your advertisement, it needs to feel organic and authentic. Cliches, stock images, or vague posts won’t resonate and will likely cause viewers to trust your brand less than they would have. In short, make the post 100% yours and the complete embodiment of your business
Facebook Lessons For Your Business
Facebook is a social media and advertising giant, with over 1 billion active users that use the platform on a regular basis. This is not only a huge number of people but gives you the perfect opportunity to reach the immediate audience in your community and a larger, global audience as well. While you may have your own personal Facebook account that you use to provide life updates and speak with friends and acquaintances, your business Facebook page will have a bit of a different purpose than your personal one.
Schedule important posts in advance. There’s a value to posting in real time on Facebook, but for your own sanity, you can explore means of posting information without needing to actively be on your Facebook. This is built right into the “post” feature. Instead of “Post”, choose “Schedule”, and implement a date and time in the future your post should be shared. This can be helpful during busy weeks when you’re running a promotion, or simply just want to post a holiday wish.
Use the “Boost Post” feature for notable posts.
Boost post is a paid advertising option where you can allocate even a small sum of money to push the post into other people’s newsfeeds. When used correctly, this can be a valuable tool for increasing conversions and growing your Facebook following. We recommend this for informative blog posts and promotions that you definitely want people to reach!
Appropriately brand your Facebook page.
As with any social media account that you want to filter followers to, you’ll want to be sure that your Facebook page has identifying information about your business. For businesses, this can be your company
logo and branded cover photo. If you’re a solopreneur, then consider a professional headshot and a branded cover image with your logo. Even better, change these images with the season toconnect with followers.
Use incentives as a way to get a user to like your page.
With so many pages on Facebook, how can you convince a user to engage with yours?
One way to do this is to offer a perk for liking your page, such as offering a discount.
Consider doing this through email newsletters, or even offering an offer directly on
your Facebook page. Be careful since anything that is done on Facebook needs to
abide by their guidelines to prevent your page from being prematurely shut down.
Videos and images are the best content to be posting.
Unlike Twitter, which can be text-based, other social media platforms place
higher value on videos and photographs. In many studies, the highest kind of
engagement that is seen on these social channels occurs on posts with some other visual
component included. Videos tend to be better than images for engagement, but only if
they’re well done! Explore social post options that utilize higher visual quality.
Refresh your content often.
One of the biggest mistakes business make is reusing the same images over and over again without taking new ones. As important as visual content is, you’ll also be needing to use content that relates, and once someone has seen your image once, they don’t need to see it again. Connected, using your Business Insights can really help determine what people connect with – and use content like this more often.
Use your cover photo as marketing.
We’ve mentioned that having engaging and rotating cover photos can help to convince engagement, but you can take this further. As you rotate your cover photo for the holidays, seasons, or for a promotion, use the description to include a link to a relevant page on your website or blog. These links will appear on your follower’s feeds for more exposure to your page! Or, as the largest and initial image that a user will see when visiting your page, you can use your cover image to promote events you have happening.
Be sure to post consistently.
As the Facebook newsfeed algorithm changes often, it will be important to stay at the top. You’ll appear higher if people are engaging with your posts, and people will engage when they see your posts. Unfortunately, posts are not rendered chronologically, meaning that you won’t often reach all of your followers. This means that you’ll need to post more than once to Facebook – and we have a handy guide explaining how often you should be posting to social sites. Even try posting outside of regular business hours to see how that affects your engagement.
Consider post targeting when you are posting.
Post targeting segments your followers based on age, gender, location, or interest and choosing this option will weight your post more
heavily to these populations. Posting about a local event?
Targeting those in your hometown may be the be best way to get your post noticed!
Your About section is more powerful than you may realize! Your About section is
a part of your profile where you can clue your potential fans in about what it is that your
business does and any notable milestones you’d like to promote. You have the option for
a Short or a Long description, and use these appropriately! This is a great way to tell your
company’s story, and while images can bring users in, your story can be what makes them stay.
Don’t post about any and all topics.
There’s a reason you have a different personal page and Business page. Your Business page should stay on topic about your Brand and related information about your field. Your personal page is where you can post life updates, your random thoughts, or anything outside of what’s relevant for your business page. Staying on track is essential!
Facebook has some important options that are available for business owners and those that should be considered! If you create a business page, you’ll have access to the business, analytics platform that provides important insights on the kinds of people visiting your page, when they’re visiting it, and what kind of posts they’re liking. This is the perfect way to take your business’s social media to the next level!
Twitter Lessons For Your Business
We recently posted a blog about the top tips for utilizing Instagram, and we’re continuing this social media series with many of the top platforms that businesses use to engage their current customers and appeal to new ones. Twitter is great for up-to-the-minute updates, and information on Twitter moves fast! Many businesses choose to engage in conversations on this platform, both with businesses and individuals, all within 140 characters. Even within those limit constraints, Twitter can be valuable for the spreading information and connecting with your audience. But while Twitter can be second-nature for some, it’s a little more complicated for others. We’re here to help break Twitter down a little further for you and help to ensure that you’re using this platform the most effectively for your needs!
Choose a Twitter handle that represents your business.
Your Twitter handle and profile image are the two things that will consistently appear when you interact with customers and other businesses, and these need to accurately represent you! Your Twitter handle, most effectively, should be your name or something notable about what you’re doing. Consider this! It’s difficult to change your handle once you’ve chosen one, and other users will get used to your name being what it is.
Take the time to put together your profile. Nothing is less appealing to other Twitter users than an uncompleted profile without a profile picture, cover header, or bio. After choosing your Twitter name, fill out your bio with a little about your brand and a link to your website or other social media channels. Use your logo design as your profile image, and a branded social header that relates to what you do. Your visuals will likely convey a lot of information by a quick look so be sure these are accurate representations! Side note: if you need a logo or branded social cover, Tailor Brands can help you out!
Don’t be afraid to follow people and follow back.
Following related businesses and important people in your space is important for keeping abreast of news and joining in conversations. Why would you want to do this? One of the main tips for attracting followers and customers is by becoming an authority in your field – and when you’re the person who knows what’s happening and having influential conversations with important people will place you as your authority in your field, or at least someone very interesting to follow.
Tweeting links? There’s a proper way to do it.
If you’re tweeting out links to articles, there’s a proper way to do it.
If it’s your tweet, be sure to include your message with the link and an appropriate hashtag to draw
people to the tweet. Adding commentary brings your own personality to the table and prevents your
Twitter from being simply a repository for information – and even if you quote or retweet from another
source, be sure to add a little bit of your own opinion. Further, don’t only tweet articles from the same source. Having a myriad of people that you follow can help ensure that your information stays dynamic.
Engage in conversations by using trending hashtags or directly engaging users. The trending hashtags bar can clue you into some of the things that people in your area and
around the world are currently speaking about. Using these hashtags can involve your account in
the conversation as well. Or, directly tweet at users who are speaking about this topic to directly
engage them and get their opinion on what’s happening.
Don’t over-tweet unimportant details.
It is easy for a Twitter account to become a dumping ground for personal or mundane thoughts.
Unless you’re using humor to shed light on the mundane, your daily tasks may be a lot less interesting
to others. Every once in awhile, this works great to humanize your account, but excessive commentary
on your day-to-day life will most likely miss the mark.
Use lists to organize your feed once you start following a lot of people.
Twitter lists allow you to segment your audience and create multiple, smaller feeds that can
make engagement a little easier for you, or differentiate business accounts and personal accounts. You stream will be easier to read, and you’ll be able to engage as needed!
Schedule tweets in advance to reduce your burden. We’ve posted blogs about the recommended number of times that you should be posting to Twitter per day, and this can be overwhelming! One way to ease your Twitter burden or maintain a presence when you’re busy is by posting Tweets in advance using tools such as Buffer. This is perfect for |throwbacks, old articles or news you think you should revisit, and anything that isn’t necessarily time-specific. You can even use this advanced method to post information
about sales and promotions you know are coming.
Avoid some recommended, but spammy methods to garner followers.
There are a lot of recommended ways to help garner followers that some social media experts will claim are foolproof but can actually be spammy and more frustrating. Examples include sending automatic direct messages to those that follow your account, using more than three hashtags per tweet, directly tweeting at people with a direct link to your website or storefront, favoriting or retweeting every tweet that you’re mentioned in, and follow – unfollow strategies.
Don’t forget about the power of images for Twitter.
People respond to visuals on social media, and using pictures and videos can help you to engage with others. There is a lot of evidence showing the ways that images help social accounts succeed, and a new visual angle will help your engagement!
Twitter is secondary to some and involves work for others, but regardless of what your skill set may be, the above tips are important to ensure continual engagement on the platform. Get it all out in your 140 characters! Happy tweeting.
Smart Strategies for Mobile Marketing
One of the biggest challenges many marketers face is along mobile marketing. With more and more users every day using mobile devices to access information and connect with businesses. This leads to websites that need to be optimized for the various kinds of screens that a user may use to using mobile-friendly advertising to stay ahead of the competition.
Especially when it comes to small businesses, keeping up with the rapidly changing technology can be difficult. But if you’re not considering how mobile devices affect marketing as you’re promoting your small business, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers and clients that may solely be engaging with your business on their mobile devices.
Update Your Mobile Marketing!
One of the most common ways that larger businesses have chosen to engage mobile customers is through the creation of an app that allows quick and easy engagement.
So as a small business, how are you supposed to ensure that you’re following mobile best practices without devoting all of your time catering to mobile devices? There are some easy ways that you can stay on top of mobile marketing without causing yourself too much stress.
Ensure that your mobile site speed is not too slow. While your site may load quickly on a desktop computer, viewing your site on mobile may cause it to be slower depending on images, graphics, and more that can take a toll. Check your site’s speed with Google PageSpeed Insights to learn what may be slowing your website down and gather suggestions on how to fix this.
Try and connect with local users as much as possible. Location data, checking in, and review sites are great ways to bring attention to your business within the local community, especially since many users are interacting on social media on their devices. Having these accessible can both help users find your business, but allow you to see where people are coming from when they interact with you – and if you explore advertising on any platforms, you’ll be able to target users specifically when they’re near to you.
Take steps to mobile-optimize your website. There are tons of different screen sizes when you consider mobile, tablet, and desktop brands, and a one-size-fits-all approach will not work in these instances. Mobile-optimized simply means that the website’s elements will arrange themselves to fit whatever kind of screen a user is coming to you on without needing to zoom in or otherwise scroll around. When a site is hard to navigate on their device, they’ll spend less time engaging with it and simply click away.
Using advertising? Adapt your messaging accordingly. It’s tricky, but what works on a desktop may not work on a mobile device. There are different capabilities, and with a smaller sized screen, intense graphics or lines of text may get glossed over. Concise, clear, and snappy messages work on both mobile and desktop!
Consider your checkout process for online purchases. There’s a good chance that a visitor to your website on mobile will convert – mobile conversion rates are oftentimes higher than desktop conversion rates, and around 4 out of every 5 mobile users makes purchases on their device. Your checkout process needs to be friendly to these users to ensure that you’re not missing out! Reducing forms, adding payment options, and not requiring an account are only some of the ways that you can make a difference in your checkout process.
Mobile marketing needs to be considered differently than desktop marketing in order to ensure that you’re getting the full benefits from users visiting your website on their devices. Even as a small business, the difference in the business that you’re getting from mobile matters!
Choosing a company that can help ensure your website is properly optimized and checkout-friendly across devices is one hurdle, the next step is ensuring that messaging is applicable for both mobile and desktop users and that your website health is maintained for both.