High Impact Website Conversion Strategies

funnelIt is all about attracting your customers to your brand and this is what we are here to do. Businesses are for the customers and by the customers and so it won’t be completely wrong to say that the customer is the “King.” Prosperity is where the “King” is and you always want to prosper. For that what you need to do is keep the “Kings” coming for more.

This is what defines a great website conversion strategy. It is nothing but a reason that you give your clients to visit your website and then keep visiting it again and again until they become your returning customers and then spread the word perhaps. You are in need for constantly updating and upgrading your efforts and tools if you want your conversion to show great results. There is no easy way out of it but the following 4 strategies are some good examples that you can use in your business for the same effect. They are not exactly the only or the most supreme ideas that ever crossed mortal minds but they will indeed prove helpful in positively impacting on your website’s conversion rate.

Aim of Your Website
What are you doing here? This is the most important question that you need to ask yourself and probably your website too. The answer to this question is hidden in your website’s primary aim. So determine in time what the main goal for your website is and from there you can move on to other things rather smoothly. Understand what you would have your website visitor doing upon visiting it.

Do you want to sell more products? Do want them to subscribe to your maintenance services? Do you want them to enroll for your monthly newsletter? It could be absolutely anything and so, before you can even think about starting to improve your website’s conversion rate, this is something that you must look into. So don’t sit and waste anymore time delaying in identifying what the primary goal of your website should be. The main ‘conversion’ action will happen only when you are sure as to what you want your website visitor to do.

Call to Action? There it is
Never forget to remind your customers of what exactly they are there to do. You want to make sure that your customer is never left with a moment to contemplate leaving the website without clicking on the call to action link. So, formulate and utilize a clear call-to-action strategy. This is the step that you take after you have identified the primary aim of your website.

Every page, every part and probably the footer of the website too should have this call to action link that would lead the visitor to a simple sign up page or a subscription page that would make them your returning clients. So you need to make sure that you further this process with every single click of the visitor. Every page or link that they visit should take them one step closer to signing up with you. It is quite simple really because all you have to do is add an appealing and attractive call-to-action link throughout your website. This is like asking the visitor to actually take an action now that he or she has had ample time to visit every nook and corner of the website.

For instance, if you are looking for more subscribers for your website’s newsletter, your visitor would only want to or rather could subscribe to it if only you include hyper-links, tabs and banners throughout your website. Yes, these areas with the text ‘click here” written on them are very useful for getting you a newsletter subscriber or a potential qualifying marketing or sales lead. With these links spread out and readily available to the visitor across the website they don’t have to go back or search for the pages ahead to get enrolled or sign up. So, this is all about making it easy for the visitor to connect with you and eventually become a loyal consumer.

Simplify the Sign Up
Not many of us understand the importance of simplicity. It is due to this very reason that you get ample traffic but none of them gets actually convert. For your conversion to happen and become successful you have to make sure that it is amazingly easy for your website visitor to take the plunge. Yes, the action that you desire out of them is kind of a plunge for them and if you have got your prospects loitering about on your website, now is the time to convert them. This is a function that you are going to adopt so as to simplify the process of signing up or taking the desired action for the visitor. This can be done by clicking the call to hyper link that you were clever enough to provide on every single page.

This is the general rule of thumb that when you ask them for more and more information about themselves, you are basically asking your website visitor to take more actions as they move along the way. So by the time they are done introducing themselves to your website, more than half the job is done and all that is left is signing up with just a click. The entire process that is explained here should make you a winner among your peer websites with the most number of call to actions registered and honestly shouldn’t really be that difficult since you are making them sign up as they browse through.
It is very important to improve your offer. When you are asked by your website visitor that what all you keep with you that makes you different from others, what exactly do you have to say? It can’t just be a better price for the same product that is available with the previous seller. For any customer to be able to take an action on your website, the ‘offering’ has to be great. This has to mean something of perceived value to them. It could be free consultation, informative blogs or articles, or a weekly or monthly newsletter subscription or even a retail saving of 30% on any of your products or service or a free gift for a lifetime membership. Like I said, t could be absolutely anything. So, this was a little something that we had on our plate today and felt like sharing. Stay tuned for more fun marketing insights.

Top Online Marketing Strategies to boost your Business

2017marketingThe Internet and its trends always keep you on your toes. What is in today probably won’t be in tomorrow and what you thought would become the new norm is soon kicked out before you are able to adapt to it completely. Such is the charm as well as the biggest drawback of digital marketing. But what is your position on all of this? Where do you stand? Are you one of those who are constantly surprised by the latest developments and then do all you can to catch up? Are you one of those whose eyes are untiringly scanning for any wave of change so that you can mold your strategies in time? Whatever the case may be, there is no one perfect way or an absolute choice when it comes to internet marketing.

Yes, what may suit you or your business may not suit somebody else and therefore labeling one online marketing strategy as the best thing that ever happened to you since sliced bread or a nail clipper would be entirely wrong. The best internet marketing strategies for your business would only and always be the ones that deliver results.

Paid Search

For instance let’s consider Paid Search and now you’re alert but relax, services such as Google AdWords, Baidu (China) and/or Yahoo are still one of the top most online marketing techniques. They get your loyal and potential customers to your website right away. You have tried everything organically up until now. This is the time you should give paid search a chance and in 2017 this might be the new trend to follow. This is a fairly straightforward marketing plan that any leading search engine would provide happily. But also be warned that if you don’t adhere to your budget all the while, you might end up wasting a lot of your money. Now that would be a part of your capital that would never convert into sales.

Whenever you receive a mail that says, “100% top ranking on Google,” it is from an online marketing agency that has just offered you paid search. All you have to do is choose those top ranking keywords and phrases that you so diligently researched upon (preferably the ones that your customers use to search for and find your goods and/or services online) and incorporate them into your paid search internet marketing plan. You have to bid a certain amount of money per every keyword that suits your listing for it to be able to show up in the top “advertisement” area of the search results page.

Paid Search through Social Media

Not to forget that paid search also works amazingly well with your social media platforms. Yes, this is another option for quick results and it leads traffic to your site almost immediately. While we all agree that it has taken a rather long while for the leading social media companies to hone their online paid advertisements structure, it has still come out pretty nicely. A lot of issues plagued the earlier apparatus of social media sites and thus after having ironed them out, depending upon the type of products and/or services you sell, this can bring in a lot of immediate profits for your business.

Then moving on to the “three big B’s” of social media and these can be understood as follows:

  • FaceBook, which is mainly for consumers, i.e. Business to Consumer, (B2C);
  • Then comes LinkedIn which is highly suitable for Business to Business (B2B);
  • And last but not the least, Twitter which is a bit of both.

All these social media sites and many more are well connected with almost all your existing clients and you can’t possibly deny that. They all invite discussions, reviews, testimonials and much more related to various products and also function as a spot to find the most relevant shopping ideas. Don’t underestimate the power of social media marketing as it is only to get bigger in 2017.

Referrals

Referral programs can become an important part of your overall internet marketing strategy. This is one strong promotional tool that can really help you leverage your customer connections. A referral program works to encourage your customers to share their positive experiences and stories regarding the use of your goods and services with their friends, family members or colleagues. Now, we all know that how strong the power of a written word is and in this case a personal referral comes in with a much bigger and stronger trust factor. Other online marketing techniques may still fail at times when it comes to garnering trust and response but due to that fact that the former is straight from the horse’s mouth it gains more traction with your audience.

Videos

Videos are something that never let you sleep. Literally, is you just happen to visit a documentary during day on a website about a small cottage industry in a village in Africa that sells handmade pottery and in turn educates the women and children and does charity work and immunizations for the society at large, it would actually have such an impact. Having conveyed this message in the written form does not really leave any impression but when your visitor has an opportunity to witness the thing in motion, the impact created is more than 100 times stronger. Videos make for an interactive form of internet marketing tool and they sell.

THEY ACTUALLY SELL. Period.

So what have you thought about your current internet marketing plan? Are you willing to make any changes with it? How do you plan to be an even bigger success in the coming year? If you are still not sure, stay tuned for more.

Analyze Website Conversions & Boost Traffic for Your Business

Results

We all seek them, be it at the end of the year or mid-term. Holding your son’s report card at the annual parent teacher meet is definitely not the ideal way that you want to spend the rest of the day; especially when he scored a coveted B- in Math. He surely deserves a treat and so do you for all the hard work that finally paid off. So get back in the car and let’s go for a long drive along the coastline with his favorite KFC bucket. Doesn’t it feel nice to have something to show for all that midnight oil that you two burned for weeks prepping for the paper? Same thing applies to your business site as well.

A Report Card Of Sorts You Say?

Yes, website conversion analysis is something of a report card that tells whether your business has been doing well or not.

When you come to doing this in practicality, just having increased traffic to your website is not enough. What you want to be sure of is that your visitors have enough reason to perform a certain action. That action is preferably the one that leads to a sale and drives your visitors to actually making a purchase once they land on your page. Now let’s just start with the basics, shall we?

What is Website Conversion Analysis Really?

Every website that you come across on the Internet has only one specific goal which is to earn profit. For instance, an industrial website is developed to generate leads, ecommerce stores which we see plenty of working online these days are developed to sells products, and a blog simply converts your visitors to subscribers. All of it backed by a single motive, profit. But sadly, most websites and Internet marketing campaigns you see tend to ignore conversions completely. Success is not measured solely in terms of the traffic that your site gets or the rankings of your page but in terms of conversions.

Long Story Short

So basically, website conversion analysis is a measure of how many visitors you get to your site that actually become your customers. So simply put, whenever a business overlooks this one function, they are not only failing at paying attention to how many potential customers can actually become loyal customers but risking their future in the industry as well. For this you need to refine and alter your metrics and move beyond looking good on paper.

Numbers, Are They Important?

It feels however, quite nice to be able to brag about getting so many visitors every month but where are the numbers? Having made it to the mark of 10,000$ as sales after receiving such traffic and visitors justifies everything. On the other hand, if there is no financial gain that you derive out of it, then all of it is in vain. Nothing; and I mean nothing can explain the purpose of website conversion analysis better than this. But beware, before you set out to measuring things because it is very easy to get caught up and being obsessively keen eyed about every little thing. You can go about measuring things that don’t even qualify for having any significant effect on your customer base.

Are You Being Too Social?

Many online businesses today are all engrossed with the power of appearances and the number of likes and popularity of their website on social media for example. What they do is end up ignoring the amount of traffic that could be coming through the front door. They tend to overlook the main purpose of their website which is again, to get more sales. Yes, turning those visits to monetary gains is what you are here to do and that is facilitated by a careful analysis of website conversion.

Understanding CRO

An important part of conversion analysis is conversion rate optimization, or popularly called CRO. It has become so very important for businesses online because it gives you the power to pin point and understand what is not working and why. It also guides you on how to go about fixing it. Whatever activities that you perform online; right from generating interest among potential customers for your products and services to convincing them to buy them, to finally closing a sale is called, in one word, your Sales Process, well in two words actually but never mind. This in technical terms is known as your Sales Funnel. Conversion analysis of your website is that process of your online marketing strategy that does the testing of your sales funnel in order to identify leaks and fix them in time.

Types Of Conversion Analysis You Will Find Useful

 Usability Conversion Analysis

If you want to avoid all kinds of confusion, do this well in time, and prevent your users from leaving your website. There are certain web standards that should be followed at all times and if your site does not level up to the mark or may be has a non user friendly interface, your visitors might become frustrated and leave. An inviting, and usable website is the one that boosts your conversions from qualified visitors in the first glance.

Internet Marketing Conversion Analysis

So, we agree that your website is extremely friendly, inviting and easy on the eyes as well as pleasantly navigable. What about your traffic quality and quantity? Is it great or ok perhaps or just too poor to encourage conversions? You have to find that out too. You should be able to ascertain that your website is written and designed keeping in mind your best possible potential customers. These are the people that actually matter because they are most likely to convert into loyal and returning customers. This step will make sure that your Internet marketing campaign does not bring unqualified and poorly-targeted customers as your visitors. Therefore, it entails an in-depth analysis of your Internet marketing campaign which ensures that you are driving the most relevant visitors to your site.

Conversion Funnel Analysis

Conversion funnels, hmm…interesting term, and the function that it performs is even more so. Your conversion funnel is, from your visitors’ point of view, the paths through your website that they go through before converting into customers. Each page of your site that lies between the landing or entrance page and a final purchase decision or conversion page is full of opportunities. Opportunities for you to keep them interested throughout and for your visitors to become disinterested and leave. A clever conversion funnel analysis ensures that your process is less intricate and more interesting so that the willing visitors stay on the right track until the final conversion hits them. And trust me; it should hit them like a soft caress of the ocean air that they went to find on a drive along the coastline. Make them want you and they will for as long as you are in business

How Marketing through Social Media is a Boon

social media marketingIf you want to make your business a worldwide success, think about leveraging the power of social media and the content it lets you post on it. We all know that marketing helps us elevate our brand image among our target audience easily. As a customer comes online, he is barraged with numerous options, so it becomes natural for you to impact their perspective in a more dramatic way. Marketing through social media lets you do just that. But you should know that getting started in this field without any knowledge or previous experience would be challenging.

It is absolutely vital that you understand social media and how marketing fits into it. There are some fundamental rules at play here and the more obediently you follow them, the better it is for your business. Marketing through social media can maximize quality of your overall promotion strategy and do wonders to increase your online presence. There are several entry points to the realm of social media which are namely, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler, Linkedin and so on. All these platforms help you build a strong foundation for online marketing that can serve your customers, and your brand.

You Can Listen Well Through Social Media

Yes, we all knew it but none of us ever really said it out loud. Marketing through social media gives you an opportunity to listen to your customers. If you want to be a success with social media and content marketing, what you are going to require is more of listening and a little less of talking. You can read your target audience’s reviews, their online content, opinions and join in on the discussions being carried on by various online communities to learn what is important to them and what is not. This is a way to spark up conversations that add value to their experience.

Social Media Allows You to Focus Better

When you enter into the online scenario, you quickly realize that it is better to specialize than to generalize. You want to the king of your trade than be a jack of all. You need a highly focused and specialized social media and content marketing strategy. This should be intended to build a stronger brand and give you a better chance for success.

The Quality Factor Plays Out

Quality always wins over quantity. So if you think that you have millions of followers online, think again. You will soon realize that it is much better to have 1,000 loyal followers or legit online connections that actually take out the time to read, share, comment on and talk about your content. You can do away with those 10,000 connections that simply follow your followers for the sake of following someone. Leads that actually have a potential of becoming sales always benefit your business.

Patience Is the Key with Social Media Marketing

Don’t be in a hurry to enlist your social media success story on an inspirational blog site. This is not going to happen overnight and neither is your online content going to market itself. Becoming a success is very much possible, and it will happen sooner than you think but not so soon either. You need to commit to it for the long haul to achieve maximum results.

The Compounding Audience Effect

When you decide to publish your amazing, quality content on social media sites, you work to build a bigger audience and more loyal followers. This results in your content being shared by them among their own followers or audiences on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn. This is called the compounding audience effect and it works. This continuous sharing, posting and re-sharing and discussing of your marketing content bring your content to more and more people. Eventually it opens new entry points for the leading search engines like Google to find your content in keyword searches making you an even bigger success.

Social Media Success Strategy

The world and everyone in it is online. Even a brand’s website and blogs find spot here. We are all children of the internet. We have become dependent and addicted to it. Everybody around us is more into their smart phones and laptops than in the person sitting next to them. Well, that is a topic of discussion for some other day perhaps. Internet is one of the most important marketing tools now. So, how is your online marketing department faring these days? Do you have any new insights regarding your competitor’s promotion tactics? Or do you think that you are better off without any? Do you think that all of it is more hyped than is actually important? Think again.

Times have changed and you are not an intern anymore but someone who occupies a coveted position in an ambitious company that aims to grow by the second. Today is not the time when brands could say random things in front of people and get away with it. This is the time of social media overflow. We are surrounded by people that practice freedom of speech via words and imagery through FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler and what not. Yes, social media marketing is growing and has given a great playground to brands like yours to have some fun while gathering enough attention.

To make your presence felt on these platforms, you need to have a social media marketing strategy in place. It has been able to deliver real results and measurable impact on many businesses online. When planning for a great social media marketing campaign, you need to ensure that it contributes to the greater objectives of your brand and business.

Setting goals just comes naturally to you when you are running a business. They are a staple of all your marketing strategies as well and therefore social media is no exception. Of course, with so much at stake here, you want to make sure that these goals are determined well in time and keeping in mind your purpose for going social. For instance, you can look into the traffic that your website is attracting. If you think that it has declined over a period of time or isn’t as much as it should be or could be, then designing a social media marketing plan around this objective is the wise thing to do. Vanilla isn’t it? You enter the social media scenario simply to solve a purpose and then move on to the next in line which could be inviting your users to write their opinions on your webpage or join an online discussion community or visit the local mall for the special screening of a short movie that introduces your new logo. It could be absolutely anything you want.

Customer retention in times like these poses a real challenge. Having an intelligent social media marketing strategy can help you do just that. Well, if you go by what The Chartered Institute of Marketing has to say, then understand that acquiring a new customer would cost you 4 to 10 times more than what it would to retain a loyal customer. That is why you need to focus on retaining the loyal ones and social media is one way to keep them glued to your brand. Social platforms offer us so much in this regard. They help us keep our returning customers around by enabling us to communicate with and engage them.

Having a good social relationship with your customers has become a must if you want to retain them for longer. It just translates into a better understanding of your business model, and positively impacts your image in the mind of the user as an industry expert. Their perception of you depends highly on your socializing capabilities and empathy that you display towards them. That in turn helps you build a strong offline relationship and results in a stable brand loyalty.

Exceptional customer service is another factor that can be considered while designing a social media marketing strategy for your business. For all those businesses that find it difficult to assess what their clients and customers expect from them, this could be the solution to all their woes. Nowadays, people turn to social media for everything and I am not joking about it. You find entertainment and something of value on those sites that never fail to engage them. Similarly you can make your business a source of something that not only has value but an entertainment quotient to it as well. Therefore, it becomes important for you to monitor their activities and behaviour so that you can understand their expectations better. Gaining an insight into the needs and preferences of your customers enables you to be ready to help them on any social channel that they access. No matter through what platform they contact you, your social media team will always be armed with the information, materials, statistics, education and authority that will make you respond to customer questions like an industry expert should.

All this is focused on one ultimate goal. That goal is to make your brand stronger. How do you do that? Through the various social media platforms that allow you to reach out to a much broader audience. You are not only advertising and promoting your brand online but honing and perfecting the art of conveying what you have to say. Everybody has something to say indeed but then the messages that do get across faster and with more flair are the ones that garner results.

What makes them so different? If you look closely, you will find that they say exactly what you meant to but with a distinct approach. It takes brain power, patience and time. If you want to create authentic and longer lasting awareness for your brand you should avoid throttling your potential customers with a slew of promotional emails and messages. Rules of dating apply here too. You don’t want to come across as needy. Not ever. Period. Instead, you need to shift the focus from quantity to quality of messages. Start creating content that is interesting from top to bottom and holds relevance with your customers. By adding meaning to your advertisements, promotional content, demos and pictures you can attract more and more users to your business.

Having a strong brand personality comes through effective use of words, phrases and images. One thing that lets you use them to your advantage is your choice of social media channels. It is not just about determining the most relevant hash-tags but how to put them to use for your benefit. It is not just trying to become an industry influencer but engaging with actual expert figures in the business to add authority to your content. Yes, you have been given a chance to engage with everyone that matters so tap into this resource and extend your brand awareness beyond what you thought was possible.

US Best Social Media Marketing Plan

SEM_planThere is no hard and fast rule to successful marketing just constant evolution. We have evolved from the age of TV and radio to the internet. Now it is all about finding the right formula for your concoction that is your business. Just like the people who are online right now socializing on the leading networks, the core essentials of your marketing plan too will be diverse. No matter what business you run or in which state you are in the whole of US, your audience’s attention is what you’re viewing for and hoping to target before your biggest competitor does.

There is no such thing as the best social media marketing plan much like there is no pill for the common cold. But there is a catch here. While we know that there’s no one size that fits all, social media marketing though can as a whole fit well into your marketing plan. The strategies and techniques can and will be diverse as pointed out earlier. And while getting started with it is something that you will find relatively easy and straightforward, it is the part that entails knowing how to launch, run and optimize it that is critical. Whether it is a brand new launch or a simple optimization of an ongoing initiative, you can maximise your FaceBook likes and/or Twitter comments and user engagement for an increased ROI.

Social Landing Page

Sites such as FaceBook give you an opportunity to make your funnel strain out all the marketing leads and convert them into sales leads easily. For that you need to make an impressive landing page of your website that will be linked to the Call to Action page on your FaceBook profile.

In case you are not able to do that or think that gathering more visitors this way is not paying off well, you can always employ the use of certain PPC and social media advertising formats. They allow marketers to bypass landing pages entirely by using for instance the Facebook “Call” button. You’ll find this powerful feature in your ad. It allows mobile users to call your business directly with a simple click on your social media page ad with no landing pages or load times whatsoever.

Loving Life and ‘Life Events’
These sites make it possible for you to target the right people at the right time. It is incredibly important and effective and surprisingly simple when it comes to doing it through social media channels. The birthdays, the baby showers, the anniversaries, the first tooth and the list goes on; these all are “Life Events.” From landing a dream job to your ex getting married to a douche bag from business school, everything counts and this is what you as a marketer needs to focus on.

If you have a toddler clothing line for instance and also happen to keep supplies such as pacifiers and cribs then you better make sure that all that is conveyed to the new clueless mother online. Not only can you target audiences based on these events, but you can even specify the time period after which your ads will start attracting business from the most relevant audiences. Another very suitable example could be of a pregnancy announcement that would eventually lead to a baby shower and if you are able to cater to a group of hungry ladies, then wait for the right time and you will probably have their account and contact details from other would be mothers as well.

Gorgeous Ads That Grab Attention
Your social media marketing plan is incompetent if you are not able to provide a seamless and appealing visual experience to your users. Your potential clients come online not just to be informed but to be delighted in general. Your ad doesn’t have to be the one that exemplifies best web and online promotion practices but rather something that conveys your message through a well-designed and clever ad.

It is absolutely crucial that your ad is creative, intuitive, well-designed, aesthetic and seamless from beginning to end. This also implies that your website’s landing page should coincide with your ads perfectly. You should not only take into consideration the design and look and feel but the overall tone of the message as well.

Building a Community for Growth
Building communities is a clever move and if they are around actionable hash-tags, even better. Experts believe hash-tags to be far more useful for a marketer. They not only serve as a means of helping your users find relevant content but can also be used to build a loyal base for your brand.

Building a community across various platforms is easier as the hash-tags can be used seamlessly across several social media platforms for the benefit of your business. This allows you to link your various social media marketing campaigns across those varied platforms all the while ensuring a great user experience, regardless of where the user is interacting with your brand.

Focusing On Business Objectives
Never ever forget your business objectives and if you can structure your social media marketing account and efforts around them, even better. Any well experienced social media advertiser would advise you to launch a campaign only when you have a suitably structured social account.

Your account and business profile will be about your goals that you want to accomplish through all these efforts. You are responsible for overcoming a messy and disorganized account. Simplify it and clearly state your purpose in order to make it easy to optimize.

For instance, FaceBook ad campaigns offer many options such as “Promote your Page” or “Reach people near your business,” etc. No matter how you choose to structure your particular advertising campaign, your objectives should be outlined in detail before you launch any campaign.

Narrowing Down Your Target Market
Your social media marketing plan will be the most effective if it is able to target your relevant audience. This will boost user engagement and reduce costs. Let’s take for instance Twitter and its feeds, how do you actually go about improving them? The trick here is to focus on increasing user engagement by narrowing your focus to the users that are most likely to get affected by the discussion or react to the relevance of it.

You have to keep your proverbial net rather narrower to achieve higher user engagement rates with your every tweet. A higher engagement rate ensures that whatever you pay for all your great performing ads is justified. For instance, if you are targeting a local audience, let’s say a particular town anywhere in the US, you are more likely to benefit from tweeting about to the residents that live close by and not the ones that live in another state. This is what Twitter’s geo-targeting function does for you.

Don’t be disheartened if you didn’t know of all this before. Don’t be intimated by it either though it was just a glimpse of what all you can and should do with social media at your disposal. Take it as a learning curve because like I said earlier, there is no hard and fast rule here just constant evolution.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

socialThe year is 2016, where are you? You are probably penning down the various marketing plans that you should have written while the New Year was still under way. Anyway, one thing is very clear that social media has now become a vital marketing tool. It is a channel that suits businesses of all sizes and types. The common question is still, “why should you use social media channels for your business?” I say, why shouldn’t you?

Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and the like are now being treated as business growth partners. Well, you should be excited since these platforms are a great way to enhance your market share and spread the word about your brand.

The not so exciting part of it though is the fact that there are many businesses out there that are not aware of this amazing channel. They are still trying to make it big in the market through the old school methods and the ones that are onboard with social media are doing it without so much as a sliver of a proper strategy. Now, isn’t that disappointing?

For the ones that want to do it right, you should benefit from knowing that you can start today and right now! But the first thing that you need to do is know yourself, your brand and most importantly your customer. In order to come up with an effective social media marketing strategy you need to know where you are headed. So, take a quick look at your current position in relation to your business’s existing social media presence.

Assess the networks that you are currently active on and their level of optimization. Evaluate all your networks well to point out the ones that bring you the most value and also compare your business profile with those of your competition.
Assessment of your current position

Having made an assessment of your current position, time is now to recognize your customer. Knowing your audience counts as it enables you to target them without losing focus midway. For instance if your target market is young corporate heads or professionals, chances are that they make use of emails and social networking sites more than the suburban parents of ages 30 to 50. So, that increases the chances of your compact e-notebooks that you designed with your technical teams on your very office table being an overnight hit.

Therefore, you will have to be as specific as possible with this step. The target audience is something that if ignored, even the best marketers won’t be able to save you from failing as a brand. Take into consideration their age, location, income group, most used social network, etc.

Mission statement

Creating a mission statement for your business comes next and is very important. It forms a crucial part of your social media marketing strategy as it will drive all your promotional actions. So make sure that you put some serious thought into it because this statement will tell you and the world your rationale behind entering the social media scenario in the first place.

You are going to announce to the world that you have arrived and won’t be easily shoved aside by competition. You need to make clear your purpose and the way you plan to use your social media presence. Always keep in mind who your ideal customer is when creating this statement.

For instance you could be entering the social media scene to educate your current and potential clients about the upcoming subsidiary brand of your already existing smart phones. You can inform them that the products and services with the subsidiary brand would be every bit as unrivalled in quality as those with the original.

Key metrics
Identifying your key metrics is another important aspect of your social media marketing strategy. You need to able to measure to improve and that applies to even a summer time weight loss program that you wish to enroll in before the bikini sale ends. Each one of your achievements needs to be measured against the goal that you had set. How will you determine that?

Your social media marketing efforts are successful only when you have gained more followers; and only when you have made more money; and only when you have beaten your toughest competition to the number one spot. The bottom line here is that you need to get a hold of and understand a few concepts such as conversion rate, reduced bounce rates, time spent on your page, reach, total shares that you received over a period of time, etc.

Engage with relevant content
Engage them with exciting and relevant content. Now, this is something that has been mentioned over and over and over again and mulled over many more times than we could count. Why, because it is true with a capital “T.” But sadly, many businesses do not realize its importance and the ones that do, jump straight to it. This is an important step only after you have performed the necessary functions that lead you to it.

The various steps that you just happened to read here in this piece should come before you go about creating and curating any engaging content for the user. All that will be done to be shared on your social media channels but, all in good time. They can be images, videos, blogs, company testimonials and news, e-books, interviews, demos and experience narratives, etc.

Tracking
Tracking and optimizing all these efforts would conclude your social media marketing strategy. And if you think that, you are hugely and sadly mistaken. Marketing is an ongoing process and it will keep on evolving just as you will have to with it. What is new today might be obsolete tomorrow or perhaps in the next minute. So, remember, there is no absolute rule in marketing but there is an absolute winner and that can be you.

Internet Marketing Decoded

strategiesYou have your brochures designed and the magazine ads planned out. You even have the newspaper spread in front of you and the business cards are out for printing. Your storyboard for the quarterly promotions is being brought in by your trusted assistants as we speak. Everything is practically on its toes and just about to be deployed. But wait a minute. Hold on just for a sec; what about your internet marketing strategies?

Yes, what about The World Wide Web that everyone but you seems to be talking about? It is not mere a tool with limitless possibilities but a portal that can lead your business to immense success overnight. Creating and maintaining a successful business presence offline is the thing of the past because clearly online companies are becoming more practical now than ever before. Now hold on again for just a bit. That doesn’t mean at all that you should start ignoring your offline audience; no way my friend. It is striking the right balance between the two that matters the most and in fact, if you don’t succeed in either, you won’t be able to realize your business’s full potential.

We see online companies popping out like runner grass on wet land but truth be told; to sustain a successful business online is easier said than done. There is an overwhelming amount of information available over the Internet and as users have most of the control as to what exactly to view and what not to view, you are going to find that getting your product its due attention from potential customers can be a real challenge.

Over the years there are a few simple principles or you might say rules that I personally think apply to this digital era. Well, I could be missing out on a few points but then the world and the internet are constantly changing and you can’t really blame me for simply trying to explain things, right? So here goes nothing.

Knowing your market

Yep, your online or internet marketing strategy can never be successful unless you understand where your interest lies. Better yet, try to understand where the interest of the audience lies and then you can come up with things that are going to sell like hot cakes. Either way, you just have to have a clearly defined audience before you spend a dime on your marketing efforts. There’s absolutely no need to pay a fancy market research firm to figure out your target market. If you know your product well, you would know who or what parties will be most interested in it. It can be men, it can be women or children or youngsters. Their age group defines it and probably their gender or income for that matter. All you need to do is get a thorough profile of your relevant audience to target your ideal customers. You need to determine how and where to reach them which may take a little while but it’s going to be worth it.

Setting goals

targetAudience

You have to have a destination or a level or a picture in mind that depicts your desired position in terms of success or number of customers or sales figure, etc. For any business to grow online the need to determine what they are looking to gain out of their marketing efforts becomes primary. So what exactly do you seek, is it increased awareness or web traffic? Is it a hike in annual revenue or probably multiple goals? But the practical thing is to keep track of what all you need to measure to ascertain your success. If and when you reach your initial goals, it is time to set new ones and move on to expand your horizons and continue to grow further and higher.

Working on a set budget

Having a target market was just the start and now it is time to talk money. Your entire internet marketing strategy stands on slippery mud if you don’t have the budget straightened out yet. You have to plan your budget according to your goals and audience. The unique thing about online marketing and promotion tactics is that you can be successful even if you have a tight purse string. There are a lot of platforms like YouTube or FaceBook that charge absolutely nothing to upload your content and you get unhindered exposure and limelight. However, it is not advised to religiously follow only the free forms of online marketing. You need to carefully scan through your options and choose the right marketing mix for your brand.

Talking about Brand

talk

Setting yourself apart from the crowd comes next and this is how you beat your competition. There are thousands, probably more companies that are trying to sell the same products on the Internet as you are. So, what makes you unique and stand apart from the rest of them? That is what you need to establish through a brand. Making your image and product begins with having your very own website. Try to buy a domain name that is also your company’s name. You may consider changing it if in any case you find people confusing you with another brand. This way you can make sure that your brand is viewed by relevant customers all over. Having a well functioning and professional website at one hand and a strong social media presence on the other can prove to be a profitable combination.

Search Engine Optimization

This comes in handy when someone (most preferably a potential customer) enters a word or a phrase into a search engine. It is usually something that they want to find information about and in case they want a product that you sell, then it is obvious you would want your name to pop out first and foremost in the search engine results page. But how do you make that happen? You do that by making your website more appealing to the leading search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. You can do this by using keywords that are commonly searched by your potential clients. SEO can be complicated and time consuming but it is well worth your effort as it helps your site to be found more easily. So prepare your online tools and methodologies to garner the best results. Happy marketing!

Content Management System for Marketers

cmsThe written word: of what value is it to you after all? The power of your website lies in the written word and its content,. How do you go about it? You simply employ the modern day tools.

A content management system or CMS as we choose to call it often a web application that facilitates adding, editing and managing the content on a website for non-technical users. When it comes to selecting the right content management system nobody wants bad things to happen to their business. It is always advised to choose it sooner then later. A carefully selected Web CMS platform will ensure that the most difficult tasks are simplified in a matter of days. But coming to the one that suits your business needs is important and very decisive in many ways. Let’s understand the ways to go about it.

As a serious CMS buyer you should be looking for a vendor that is capable of building a mutual relationship with you. He should be able to provide you with support and this may include basic product patches and services like hosting, web development, user mentoring, strategic guidance, etc. He should be able to convey his vision to you well enough to function with you on the same wavelength. The way he sees the market and opportunities for your product will determine its roadmap to success. If you are well aligned with the vendor, then the product is destined to grow. As a prospective buyer you are bound to come across cultural differences along with the technological ones. Therefore it’s a good idea to evaluate your vendor’s professional services and work culture beforehand.

Be clear of what you aim to do with your content. You should be well aware of your own strategies before you think of investing in any content management software or system that your marketers can put to use. A strategy does not merely imply a checklist of do’s and don’ts or features and functions. It means to paint a holistic picture of your overall information management practice and specific business goals. You just cannot approach the CMS selection process without having done a thorough research of the market. As a corporate head or a potential buyer you are expected to have some knowledge of the subject at hand. Being educated about different tools and their operations and drawbacks puts you in a better position to decide upon this investment in technology.

A few steps that you can take to ensure that you are able to grab the right product for efficient content management system:

  • What is the most relevant technology for your business
  • State a clear budget for all your operations
  • Define business functionality of the system
  • Decide on the level of proximity with your partners

For all those out there who are wondering what possible benefits their business could derive out of a content management system, have a look here:

Not Only For A Geek

Not everyone in the room is as well versed with the latest gadgets as you are. So for all the users that struggle with technology, the basic CMS functions are a heaven-sent. From writing and editing to publishing content, to adding media and links, everything can be understood without having to go through a formal training.

Not Only For You

There are many people that are involved in your business and they all have valuable inputs to your decision making and website as well. From your product page designers to your blog post writers; everyone should have publishing permissions for constant consumer support and marketing.

 Not Only For Marketing

Having an effective content management system in place ensures that your website is maintained. When you need to change something or add or remove something, the underlying architecture more or less remains the same. This makes adding different functionalities possible and it may also keep on updating automatically.

 Not Only For SEO

This is an obvious thing that search engine optimization has to be there but there is content that is seasonal and occasional. Some businesses go out of the way to incorporate their SEO strategies into festive offers and celebratory or promotional content. For instance, if you have a Thanksgiving or Christmas campaign in place, a clever CMS would enable you to replace that existing content with newer and fresher posts without a single glitch or hiccup at the change of season.

Not Just For Your Marketers

With a strategically put CMS, you are in control. And this is probably the biggest advantage of it. You don’t have to rely on an expert or an external vendor given the simple and effective tools that are at your disposal. It is easy to use and delivers results.

And ultimately you want a content management system that does everything to fulfill your business requirements and is obviously easy to use. Now, you don’t want to call upon the vendor’s staff every time you have a problem while uploading or downloading a file or document. You need to take steps to evaluate Web CMS software for functionality. You need to make sure that the features are suitable and usable. Though it takes time, but it’s worth your while. The last thing that you want to do is waste your time, money, energy and resources on getting friendly with the wrong product.