How to Generate Sales With Welcome Emails
Email marketing is alive and thriving more than ever. 80% of marketing professionals name email as the top driving factor of customer acquisition and customer retention. And it’s got a great ROI: For every $1 spent on email, you can expect an average of $38 in return.
It doesn’t matter if you’re growing your first email list from scratch or adding new subscribers to your existing list, you need be sending out welcome emails.
At their simplest, welcome emails confirm that a new subscriber was added to your list.
If you’re only using this message for that purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to make money. Compared to other promotional emails, welcome messages generate an average of 320% more revenue.
Furthermore, customers who buy products from email campaigns spend 138% more than customers who haven’t subscribed to your list.
Stop missing out on your opportunity to make money with welcome emails. This article will tell what you need to do to drive sales directly with these campaigns.
Use a double opt-in strategy
Lots of businesses use a single opt-in strategy. With this method, a new subscriber submits their email address and automatically gets added to your list. That’s it.
But there are a few problems with this method.
If you’re not using a double opt-in, it’s possible that customers think they signed up for your emails but actually didn’t. Maybe they misspelled their email address — they’ll never know.
On the flip side, a new subscriber could also sign up by mistake, thinking that they’re submitting the email address for another reason.
In this case, you’re going to be emailing people who don’t want to receive your promotional content, and not emailing the people who do want to receive it.
The double opt-in strategy eliminates these problems. That’s why the majority of welcome emails are double opt-in.
Without a double opt-in strategy, you’ll also end up with fake email addresses and spam accounts on your list. This will throw off your metrics. A huge list of email subscribers won’t do you any good if they aren’t qualified leads who are ready to buy.
When you force new subscribers to confirm their subscription to your email list, it increases their lead score.
Sure, it’s an extra step, and you may lose some subscribers as a result. However, the people who follow through with the double opt-in genuinely want to receive your promotional content. As a result, it’s much more likely that they’re willing to spend money.
It’s also worth noting that double opt-in messages have higher unique open rates than single opt-in campaigns.
We already talked about the fact that welcome emails have higher open rates than other types of emails. By using a double opt-in strategy, you can increase those open rates even more.
Opening the email is the first step in subscribers completing the end-goal action: making a purchase.
Send welcome emails immediately
The timing of your welcome message is crucial. As soon as someone signs up, the welcome email needs to be sent.
Some companies wait and batch out all of their welcome emails for the week at the same time, but that’s not as effective. Here’s why: Your new subscriber was just on your website and signed up to receive your email content because of some benefit that you’re offering, so your brand is fresh on their mind.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a sale. This new subscriber is definitely more likely to buy something if the message is sent in real-time.
Just look at transaction rates for real-time welcomes compared to batched emails.
Furthermore, real-time welcome emails have an 88% open rate compared to just 53% of bulk welcome emails.
Though 29% of people click on the CTA of welcome emails that are sent immediately, only 12% of subscribers click on CTAs that are sent in bulk welcomes.
If you’re not sending a welcome email within seconds of the person subscribing, you’re lowering the chances of that customer making a purchase.
Thank your new subscribers
By thanking your customers for signing up to receive promotional content from your company, it shows that you appreciate them. Here’s an example of this strategy used by Kate Spade.
Saying thank you is just good manners. Even though they haven’t bought something yet, you can still thank them for having enough interest in your brand to subscribe to your email list.
Saying thank you can be more beneficial than you think. That’s why you need to nurture your leads with thank you pages. Take this same strategy and apply it to your welcome email.
Set a precedent for relevant content
Your welcome emails should be a good indication of what consumers can expect from you moving forward.
Tell your customers how often they’ll get emails from you, and what kind of messages they’ll be receiving. Make sure you follow through with that promise.
For example, if someone signs up for a monthly newsletter, don’t send them an email every day. That’s not what they asked for.
In fact, too many irrelevant emails from brands is the top reason why people unsubscribe from email lists.
The last thing you want to do is bother a new subscriber with too many messages. You just went through all of the trouble and effort to get them to sign up in the first place. All of that hard work goes out the window if they unsubscribe.
To learn more, here’s how to get more email subscribers without annoying your customers.
Start a drip campaign
Welcome emails should be the first message of a drip campaign, which is a series of emails that entice an action. Ultimately, you want your subscribers to buy.
Drip campaigns nurture your leads by sending them timely information. As soon as someone signs up, you can have them automatically entered into a drip cycle.
After the welcome email, they’ll receive subsequent emails spaced out over the coming weeks, or however you set it up.
Here’s an example path of what a drip campaign will look like:
The great part about a drip campaign is that the customer doesn’t need to buy something right away in order for the message to be effective.
While you definitely want to create an actionable drip campaign, it’s not the end of the world if that first message doesn’t result in a conversion. You can still plant the seed for a future purchase.
After all, this new subscriber just signed up to receive your emails. Depending on the circumstances, they may not be familiar with your brand, products, and services just yet. But as these subscribers continue to receive subsequent messages throughout the drip campaign, it will increase the chances that they’ll buy something down the road.
Provide valuable information
To get the most out of your email campaigns, you need to understand why people are signing up in the first place.
It’s a common misconception that people only join email lists to get a discount. While that’s definitely a motivating factor, there are other reasons why people sign up for promotional content from your brand. Your welcome letter needs to provide all of this to be most effective.
As you can see, receiving a special offer or a gift ranked third on this list. The majority of people say they subscribe to newsletters to learn more about topics and stay up to date on new content. It’s still worth giving a discount to new subscribers, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your top priority.
You can also keep them engaged by giving a new subscriber an added benefit that they wouldn’t have received if they didn’t sign up for emails. Talk about new or exclusive product releases. Give them an opportunity to create an account to benefit from a more personalized customer experience.
Offer an incentive to buy
Even though it isn’t first on the list of reasons, getting a gift or something in return is still one of the top three reasons why people sign up for emails. And, offering a discount is a great way to get people to sign up for emails in the first place.
Let’s look at an example from Freemans:
By signing up for emails, this welcome message gives the new subscriber 10% off of their purchase. In addition to providing a discount, this message thanks the new subscriber for signing up. It’s personalized with her name. It also gives a sense of inside information with phrases like, “Be the first to hear” and “Here’s all you need to know.” All of these tactics used in one message will definitely increase the chances that a customer will make a purchase.
Send personalized content
People don’t want to feel like they are just a number on your list, when in reality, that may actually be the case. If you’re sending out generic welcome emails with opening lines like “Dear Sir or Madam,” it’s not going to convey the personalized touch that you want to offer.
Start simple by personalizing the subject line.
Getting your new subscribers to open your message is half of the battle. Obviously, nobody is going to buy anything if the message goes unopened. Good news: personalized subject lines have higher open rates.
However, opening the message alone won’t automatically translate to a sale. You need people to engage with your messages as well. The best way to do this is by providing interactive content. For example, adding a video to your welcome email can increase clicks by 300%.
It’s also worth noting that 64% of people are more likely to buy something online after watching a video about a product. By combining engaging content with a personalized message, your welcome emails will have a greater chance of driving sales.
Encourage customer referrals
Welcome emails can be used to get even more people to subscribe to your list. In order to do this effectively, you need to implement a customer referral program that drives sales.
Give your new subscribers a reason to invite their friends and family to sign up as well. Take a look at how Blinq does this in their welcome email:
This refer-a-friend program offers an incentive to the current subscriber as well as any new people who sign up. Both receive a $10 credit. The more people who join as a result of the referral, the more rewards the new subscriber gets. This will also increase their chances of buying.
Here’s something else to consider, if someone who gets referred by a new customer ends up signing up for emails as well, they’ll also receive the same welcome message. As a result, it will increase the chances that they’ll refer new customers too. This strategy encourages business growth without much work on your end.
Plus, consumers are four times more likely to buy something if they are referred by a friend.
Your company needs to prioritize its email marketing strategy. But you don’t need to wait months to encourage new subscribers to make a purchase. You should be trying to drive sales right away with your welcome emails.
By applying these strategies to your welcome emails, you’ll be able to generate more sales from new subscribers.
How is your brand leveraging welcome messages to drive sales?
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December 31, 2018 at 10:01AM
How Pixar, Google, and Facebook Fight Bad Meetings
Infographic brought to you by Wrike project management software tool
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December 31, 2018 at 08:34AM
How to Plan a Social Media Collaboration
In this article, you’ll discover how to partner with another brand to promote products and services to your respective audiences.
Why Run Joint Social Media Campaigns?
The pace and competitiveness of social media marketing often narrow our focus to a cycle of making content and then pushing it through platforms of choice using the latest and greatest best practices.
The potential return on building and serving an audience with this approach is significant. However, as we look for more ways to compete and more ways to engage, we should step back to evaluate the full breadth of assets we develop as social media marketers and look to leverage all of them in a unique way.
Your social media audience and the content you create to engage them are more versatile marketing assets than you might realize.
The audience you build isn’t only a pool of customers to target. The content you create isn’t simply a means to engage your audience.
Think of your content as an access road to your audience. If that access road and audience are high quality, other brands will find value in the path you’ve created.
You can use these assets to extend the impact of your marketing through partnerships, cross-promotions, and other off-social marketing activities to reach and deepen your impact with audiences new and old.
5 Types of Joint Campaigns
The heart of this approach to marketing is the classic idea of bartering. Your audience and your content have value, and you can trade that value to another brand to advance your strategic goals.
That said, you must make these trades in a way that doesn’t compromise the integrity of your brand, or the trust you worked so hard to build between your brand and your audience. When a trade is done well, your audience should actually benefit.
From a high-level perspective, these trades usually involve one of the following:
Partnerships: You enter into an agreement (formal or informal) to jointly pursue an objective with another brand for the long-term. Along the way, you share rewards like revenue or leads.
Collaboration: You join forces with another brand to work on a short-term project or campaign, and share the rewards. The popular practice of co-branding falls under this category, though the true scope can be deeper.
Cross-promotion: You and another brand agree to promote each other’s products and services to your respective audiences.
Content placement: You and another brand agree to periodically share each other’s content with your respective audiences.
Value-add: When making a deal with another brand or vendor, you use some level of access to your audience as a negotiating tool.
All of these potential opportunities hinge upon respecting your audience. If one of these opportunities doesn’t bring value to your audience or compromises the trust they placed in you by supporting your brand, you’ll ultimately poison your own well. When successfully executed, however, your audience will celebrate your willingness to innovate and collaborate on their behalf.
Examples of Successful Joint Campaigns
Some of the most successful brands in the world use this strategy to unlock new opportunities for their businesses. To illustrate, Taco Bell partnered with Frito-Lay to produce the Doritos Locos Taco, which sold 450 million units and led to the hiring of 15,000 more people less than a year after its launch, according to Fast Company. Leading up to that success, though, were dozens of iterations where both Taco Bell and Frito-Lay insisted on developing a product that didn’t compromise the quality of their brands.
In other words, the Doritos taco still had to match the experience of eating Doritos. Simply slapping a logo on the packaging would have sabotaged the goals of the partnership for both parties, so they worked together to develop a stellar product experience that got both of their audiences excited.
Campari Group, one of the world’s leaders in spirits with brands like Wild Turkey and Skyy Vodka under its umbrella, ran a campaign where the comic book character Deadpool took over managing the social media accounts for the tequila Espolòn in the runup to the release of the film Deadpool 2. Deadpool made posts, in character, to the Espolòn pages and was featured in a limited-edition Deadpool Espolòn box set.
Dave Karraker, vice president of communications at Campari Group and one of the architects behind the campaign, told me that not only was the campaign designed to generate interest and engagement for Espolòn’s social media, but the product tie-in gave Espolòn access to premium display placement at stores across the United States. At the same time, the Deadpool brand managers were able to build interest in the new film.
Both of these examples show how different brands can come together to serve their audiences in new, beneficial ways. The relationships may be complex and take time to structure, but the joining of forces and the recognition that they’re targeting similar audiences but aren’t competitors are powerful. And their fans benefited just as much as the businesses, because these collaborations and partnerships meant new products and additional entertainment.
Your brand, big or small, has access to similar opportunities.
How to Develop a Brand-to-Brand Relationship
When you look at the landscape of brand-to-brand collaborations, the work between international businesses can make the scale of these marketing campaigns appear out of reach.
Yes, the Deadpool collaboration with Espolòn was the joining of two brand titans, but partnerships don’t have to operate at this scale to be effective. Several small businesses are applying the same principles in myriad ways.
The husband and wife team behind Inverted Gear, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brand, uses collaboration with martial arts content creators and business owners to tap into new customer markets.
Their diverse strategy includes co-branded apparel products worn by instructors and event organizers, such as a Greenland-themed kimono to celebrate their growing martial arts community. They co-developed content and videos with those instructors as well.
Through Inverted Gear, the martial artists get access to new audiences while Inverted Gear uses the relationships to deepen community ties.
Many of the Inverted Gear relationships with instructors and athletes begin with basic sponsorships and grow into content sharing, product co-branding, and more involved collaborations like documentaries.
Collaborations can also start out as classic social media marketing initiatives.
The PT Services Group, a B2B appointment-setting firm based in Pittsburgh, used thought leadership content developed for industry publications to build new industry relationships. What started as a guest blogging-style relationship grew into industry event invitations and offers for speaking gigs from those publications, all of which were major wins for the PT sales pipeline.
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The lesson small businesses should take from these efforts is to start small, and organically explore more opportunities for your brand to share and work with another brand.
The roadmap for your brand might look something like this:
Reach out to a relevant brand in your space and schedule a meeting with their marketing team to discuss how you might be able to help each other.
Explain that you’re looking for more ways to provide your audience great, engaging content and you think your brands might be able to work together to do that for each other. Be candid about your brand goals and challenges, and ask them to be candid about theirs.
Start slowly with a few shared posts and perhaps small pieces of co-developed content. When that content demonstrates traction, suggest that you look for bigger opportunities to work together such as a co-hosted webinar or event, or an exclusive promotion shared with each other’s audiences.
Hold a strategy session to discuss what your brands might be able to do jointly to establish a new competitive advantage in the space. At this stage, it may be worthwhile to establish a formal revenue-sharing agreement of some kind.
Deploy a co-created product or service into the market, or build a big-picture strategic partnership that allows you to share customers and opportunities over the long-term.
What might start as a sponsorship can evolve into regularly sharing each other’s content, which can morph into a co-hosted webinar and eventually into products and services that involve revenue sharing (for instance). At any scale, however, each brand is still bringing something of value to the table, which is usually a mix of content and audience engagement.
How to Plan a Joint Social Media Campaign
Like the rest of your social media marketing strategy, audience bartering should be approached with thoughtful creativity. Not every idea is a good one, and not every potential alliance is a good fit for your brand and your audience. Though the deeper science of branding and brand management are relevant here, we can distill this large topic down into a few key best practices:
Understand the Value of Your Engaged Audience: While you can look at standard rates for CPMs relative to your audience size for an idea of the market value of your audience, don’t forget that the endorsement from your brand (even if it’s passive) has value, and remember that you’re better off overvaluing your audience instead of undervaluing it.
Look for Potential Collaborators Who Serve Your Audience but Aren’t Competitors: To illustrate, Taco Bell and Frito-Lay likely served a similar demographic within the broader food industry, but Taco Bell wasn’t competing with Frito-Lay for shelf space. The audience fit may not always be perfect, especially if you’re looking to break into a new demographic, but some degree of overlap is a good sign.
Never Compromise Audience Trust: When you begin vetting a potential collaborating brand, look for the value it brings to your audience and make sure that the other brand reflects positively on your own. If a potential partner has a reputation for unsavory business practices, your audience won’t think highly of you for working with them.
The Benefits of Collaboration Should Go Both Ways: When the balance of a relationship is skewed, perhaps by one brand getting far more from the deal than the other, the enthusiasm and interest in the engagement can suffer. Look for brands on a similar playing field in terms of size and reach, and develop plans that are a clear win-win.
Put Your Collaboration Plans in Writing and Set Clear Expectations: Coffee-shop handshakes can feel good at the moment, but laying out a detailed version of which party is responsible for what can prevent disagreements later. Depending on your brand, you might look to make this a formal legal document.
View Your Brand Through NASCAR Glasses: In other words, any blank piece of real estate is room for a potential sponsorship logo. While I don’t recommend actually going to that extreme, you might realize that your weekly YouTube video series is a great fit for the right product placement or that your annual client golfing event could be co-branded. Red Bull has used eSports to engage Twitch streamers, eSports fans, and a range of PC brands (such as hardware and peripherals).
Look for Conversation-Worthy Projects: The best campaigns—and this will be second nature for social media marketers—elicit a response in audiences. If you get excited talking about a potential collaboration, your fans might feel the same way. If the idea seems uninspiring to you, your fans are likely to agree.
Here, BuzzFeed partnered with the Best Friends Animal Society to promote super-cute animal content and the worthy cause of helping furry friends.
Savvy marketers will see this list as mostly common sense, but it’s important to articulate and review these points. Even if we understand these ideas intuitively, our teammates might not, and the true stewards of the brand (our clients or senior management), might need to see these guidelines clearly laid out to be comfortable with this approach to marketing. When you make this facet of your marketing process-driven, you can prevent many fires before they even spark.
When you begin to barter for marketing opportunities, treat the dynamic as a new relationship. Start small and grow the collaboration steadily to build comfort between your brands and your respective marketing teams. Instead of beginning the relationship with a mega-partnership where you jointly develop a new product offering, you might start by supporting each other’s events and sharing each other’s content.
This approach is less stressful for all involved, but more importantly, it helps you test and assess your audience’s reaction to the collaboration.
If your audience is entirely uninterested in content from your new collaborator—especially if your social media following has an established history of engagement—that might be a sign that you should look for other brands to work with. If the reaction is positive, you can water those seeds and grow the collaboration into bigger campaigns.
Though there’s potential on this front to make a big splash with limited-run campaigns, the biggest rewards are often the result of careful development over many months and possibly years. Joining forces with an industry publication to educate readers is unlikely to instantly transform your business.
One published article is rarely that intensely remarkable, but if you work with that publication to consistently create and share original, worthwhile content over a full year, your audiences will take notice. And they’ll take more notice if you deploy your other social media marketing best practices by following up engagement with comment activity and audience replies.
In the broadest marketing terms, bartered marketing is another expression of brand community. Communities thrive when leaders work together to build bigger things than they could ever build alone, but a small initiative can begin someplace small and still be meaningful.
The key word here is leader. You have to be willing to step to the front of the pack and initiate a dialogue with potential partners. Though the practice of bartered marketing isn’t new, many marketers are unwilling to leave their properties to begin something new and fresh with someone else. So take the time to nurture your brand and to nurture the new relationships your brand can build.
From here, circle up with your team and develop an inventory of brand assets. Next, generate a list of brands in your space that might make worthwhile partners. Where do you see potential synergy? Send their marketing team a note that says you love their work and you have this idea about how you might be able to help each other.
Something magical might happen after that.
What do you think? Does this inspire you to collaborate with another brand? What tips can you offer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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December 31, 2018 at 05:05AM
Successful Brands Use These YouTube Marketing Strategies
If you are trying to build your brand, viral videos provide the kind of exposure that helps you increase your footprint in the market. It’s not easy to find the correct combination of cute kids, fluffy animals and touching or humorous moments to inspire a viral video campaign. However, there’s little doubt that YouTube is the right place to do this.
Tips to Building a Viral Video Campaign
These tips can help you turn great content into a viral video campaign.
When you upload a video to YouTube, change the auto-generated filename to include relevant keywords. For example, a video on how to carve a pumpkin could be called “carve-pumpkin-howto.” Make sure your video is optimized for smartphones and tablet since more than half of YouTube videos originate with mobile devices and the average viewing time exceeds 40 minutes.
When you upload a video, the description box is one of the most important items that you fill in. It’s essential for SEO purposes to give your video 300 words of description, including keywords related to your brand and the target audience.
Tag your video with keywords that accurately reflect your content. For example, a dog training video can include phrases like “puppy potty training” and “puppies” as well as related topics “dog behavior” and “happy pets.” You can always come back and update keywords when new phrases and keywords become relevant.
Overlays, or small boxes of pop-up in a video, can be configured as a clickable link. You can place strong CTAs here such as subscribing to your channel, buying a product, or viewing other videos on your site. Repeat the CTA in the description box for an even higher likelihood of success.
Build an Engaged Community
Viral video content gets attention, but you have to be creative to keep your viewers once the buzz dies down. A concerted effort to create valuable content is more likely to succeed that randomly generating content you think might attract attention.
A much better long-term strategy includes building an engaged YouTube community of viewers who relate to your content and develop a loyalty to your brand. Here are a few tips to stay true to your message:
Budget for Adwords of Facebook in order to reach your target market. However, YouTube is a great place to meet your audience to provide value and create a feedback forum for your branding. There’s a tremendous opportunity for segmentation once you establish a following.
There are several Youtube ad formats to choose from on YouTube:
Use each of these advertising types to reach segmented users. Experiment to see what works best for your demographic. For instance, display views by interest, device, demographics or contextual keywords.
Buy YouTube views to launch your videos and attract new views.
“By increasing your ranking on YouTube’s search engine, your videos’ thumbnails are being seen by many more targeted people and get recommended on other people’s personal feed. This exposure to a broader, newly targeted audience will result in getting many more views organically,” according to Get Fans, an online marketplace that sells YouTube views.
Benefits of buying views include the following:
Buying views for your videos is a great way to start your campaign and build a community of your own.
Get Brand Placements
You might not land a Kardashian, but getting product placement with YouTube stars will increase your market. Choose an influencer who will represent your brand in a way that increases value, even if they don’t verbally mention it. YouTube stars that are plugged into your target demographic can make marketing efforts far more effective than traditional methods. A major benefit is that you can then use a hands-off approach and get positive results.
Implementing the tips above helps you connect to your market without spending tons of money on marketing testing. It makes it much easier to stay agile and switch gears as the needs of your target market filter in via feedback on YouTube and other channels.
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December 31, 2018 at 03:18AM
What It Is Going To Take To Run A Successful Link Building And Social Media Campaign
Link building is the lifeblood of digital marketing as search engine rankings are impacted by every link that is built. The coveted position of being ranked on the first page of Google can result in huge influxes of traffic, leads, and these converting into sales. Social media promotion is a large part of expanding the reach of certain articles that incorporate company or blog links. The engagement of those on social media to a specific article or content piece can also impact SEO. The following are things that are needed in order to run a successful link building and social media campaign.
Accurate Keyword Analysis
Targeting the wrong keywords can lead to massive losses as far as profits go and a low ROI for the marketing department. With this being said at times it is not wise to only target the most competitive of terms. For example a small company with large competitors might want to target keywords that have less backlinks associated with them. This can be a good start while the company slowly moves up the rankings for keywords that have thousands of backlinks when it comes to their competitors. With all of the tools available to assist with this, an accurate keyword analysis should be quite basic for the experience digital marketing professional.
An Outreach Team With Good Negotiation Skills
Outreach does not always mean email outreach as social media outreach can be extremely effective as well. There is a chance that a company is looking for an influencer to partner with for an upcoming campaign. Engaging with this influencer before asking them to be a part of the campaign not only is the best way to outreach to an influencer but it can also lead to the asking price plummeting. Link building done through guest posting is going to take a bit more tact as most companies are not going to want to purchase guest posts due to Google’s harsh warning on the practice. Offering things like free content for a few articles in exchange for a link to be included can be done but these would be less than ethical in the mind of some marketers. Influencers that are popular or create great content are often linked back to at a high rate so keep this in mind when putting together the marketing campaign.
Content Creators With Various Expertise At Marketing Agencies
Aaron Gray from the NO BS Agency notes that “Individuals such as content creators with a vast amount of knowledge in various areas can be invaluable as they can create content for any campaign with their expertise.” Readers know when a writer is inexperienced on a specific subject and oftentimes do not want to waste their time reading something written by someone with a Wikipedia degree on the subject. Being able to take on various campaigns allows for agencies to take on more clients and develop more relationships. These relationships can be leveraged for multiple clients making work on future campaigns much easier as well. Running a digital marketing campaign for a personal injury attorney is going to be far easier if it has been done by the agency before as they have established connections already.
A Good Editorial Calendar
A good editorial calendar on the company blog can lead to those in the industry linking back to a piece of content whether it is a podcast, video, or article. Aligning these posts with the social media team is imperative to maximize their reach and possibly generate more backlinks. Mistakes like publishing the most engaging post on a Friday afternoon can drastically change the amount of traffic that the post receives. People tend to consume content during the workday during breaks or simply while browsing on their phone. Finding out when the most traffic visits the company blog is important so that the highest quality articles can showcase knowledge of the company to all readers.
Social media, content marketing, and link building are all interconnected so running these campaigns individually will not yield the best results. If you have a small business with little idea of how to market digitally there are plenty of reputable agencies that can help with nearly every business niche!
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December 30, 2018 at 07:56PM
A Review of Several Instagram Growth Services
Instagram has become a dominant platform for marketing strategies for businesses and brands.
Everyone wants more followers – but as a business or brand, you should always be looking for more efficient and functional ways to boost your engagement levels on Instagram.
This list includes the major players in Instagram growth services.
SocialSteeze is an Instagram growth service that promotes real followers, real growth, and thus; real engagement on Instagram. This service is popular and well-respected by digital marketers.
SocialSteeze is clear and concise with its services and intentions and avoids making promises they cannot keep. SocialSteezeoffers very high-quality services that offer targeted demographics, real followers, and a fully managed service. Professional adds double exposure and prioritysupport to the plan.
Remember that you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for a low price with growth service – and you get what you pay for with this organic Instagram growth service.
Magic Social is an organic Instagram growth service that offers an efficient way to boost your exposure. Their objective is to help you gain real people who are active and who want your products or services.
Again, you get what you pay for. Magic Social’s prices aren’t cheap, but they are still affordable for most. They promote real, targeted followers and quality engagement.
Risesocial is an Instagram growth service dedicated to helping you grow your Instagram exposure with real followers and engagement.
Because Risesocial stays within Instagram’s ToS, your account is safe. You can enjoy real, targeted followers that result in natural and organic growth.
Likesocial isan Instagram growth tool used by many businesses and brands for outsourcing Instagram growth and engagement. Likesocial delivers likes and video views to increase your exposure and put you on the Instagram explore page – which results in organic and natural growth.
Likesocial is considered a respected and well-liked outsourcing option for Instagram growth and engagement.
Managed.Social is touted by some marketers as the very best organic growth service for Instagram with limited client space. Because of this, they often have a long waiting list. They promote a process that is simple and concise as they perform tasks on your behalf.
Managed Social is a top growth tool for to get you more organic followers. Give them a try.
Social10x supplies across a range of social media platforms, but we will focus on its Instagram offerings.You can buy Instagram Followers, Instagram Likes, or Instagram Comments.
The user reviews of this service show it to be a low-risk solution for buying followers and likes for your account; if you want to take that route.
Of course, you can go ahead and outright purchase followers or use an Instagram bot – but both of those have pro’s & cons.
Instead, it’s better to use a tool that grows your account steadily and keeps you from breaking Instagram’s Terms of Service.
If you are seeking effective and efficient methods of outsourcing your profile’s growth and engagement on Instagram, this list of Instagram growth services& tools will be a helpful resource for you.
These growth services all come highly recommended. Give one or two a try and see for yourself.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
December 30, 2018 at 08:58AM
Should E-Commerce Stores Use Paid Acquisition Strategies?
Should E-Commerce Stores Use Paid Acquisition Strategies?
The $2.8 trillion global e-commerce is forecasted to reach nearly $4.9 trillion by 2021. While that should mean more revenue available for aspiring brands, e-commerce giants risk spoiling the party. Take Amazon, which currently holds over 49 percent of the U.S. e-commerce market, as well as global players like Jingdong, Alibaba, Walmart and others.
With shoppers becoming less loyal to brands, and the vast majority of online stores unable to compete with the price, selection and convenience of businesses with evolved logistics infrastructure, we could (and likely will) see more market share seized by these corporations.
This urgency to raise brand awareness, attract more customers and turn them into repeat buyers often pushes e-commerce stores to become too reliant on particular marketing strategies. This can be especially true with paid acquisition tactics.
But does that mean stores should stay away from paid strategies completely? Let’s discuss.
Should E-Commerce Stores Used Paid Acquisition?
Short answer? Yes! Full answer? It depends. Digital marketing’s wide range of strategies is both a blessing and a curse. It’s hard to find the right marketing channels that bring a return on investment without spending a lot of time and money trying different strategies. Because generally speaking, the potential of any marketing channel depends on the e-commerce store testing it out. Paid acquisition tactics are no different.
What exactly do I mean by paid acquisition?
Paid acquisition involves a company paying when their ads are clicked or when they earn a conversion through a premeditated means. The intentional means could be an SEM ad, a social media post or video, a banner ad on a website, a programmatic ad on a mobile phone — even an affiliate link on a blog that’s relevant to your niche.
The Case for Paid Acquisition Strategies
An overarching case for paid acquisition is that every brand has a sweet spot in a particular marketing channel, but it’s difficult, if not impossible, to find the winning equation right away. After all, something as juicy as a sustainable paid acquisition channel should be found only through calculated, ongoing experimentation and testing. Otherwise, a lot more e-commerce stores would succeed with less effort.
Paid acquisition strategies do earn conversions for minimal time spent, However, getting traffic and/or conversions shouldn’t be enough to satisfy e-commerce stores. Any paid marketing channel needs to be scalable in both cost and performance, and ideally, give businesses quality leads that can turn into regular customers. If not, the channel isn’t worth focusing on or allocating substantial budget toward.
The problem is, some paid strategies work enough to get brands dependent on the source of conversions while shrinking margins in the process. A prime example of this is search engine marketing (SEM). Consider how a small online store that sells furniture on an e-commerce platform like Shopify would navigate the waters. Bidding on SEM ads over time will likely lower the furniture store’s cost-per-acquisition gradually (CPA), but an independent e-commerce store’s budget can’t compete with a large retailer like Wayfair, for example.
However, a compelling paid ad on Instagram or Facebook could garner engagement at a modest cost. Likewise, building an affiliate program or leveraging an existing network is usually cost-effective and speaks to every stage of the buyer journey.
Why Brands Should Focus on Organic Acquisition Strategies Instead
The beauty of organic acquisition strategies isn’t that they’re free. Technically, every acquisition strategy is paid. Optimizing your site to rank well in search engines requires a person (or team) with expertise. The same is true for email marketing, social media management and content marketing. These initiatives are also made easier through the use of different software and tools, all of which typically cost money.
The real hallmark of organic strategies is that they continue to work long after the initial investment. They’re evergreen business drivers. Just don’t assume these strategies are more straightforward to pull off. SEO is an ongoing, nuanced process, but if you can outrank your competition, you’ll benefit from increased brand awareness and traffic on a daily basis. Likewise, creating engaging content on your blog, forming syndication partnerships with strategic brands and placing guest posts on well-trafficked sites will yield regular dividends that paid marketing could never produce without a bloated budget.
There’s also the fact that consumer trust is dwindling across the board. Research from Hubspot found that 69 percent of consumers do not trust advertisements, and 71 percent do not trust sponsored ads on social networks. Conversely, 81 percent trust friends and family over advice from a business. After friends and family, consumers usually seek online reviews, comparison guides and ‘best of’ lists to inform their buying decisions.
A final note before you gameplan how much of your budget to allocate toward paid acquisition methods: consider if what you’re doing is helping both in the short-term and long-term. If you’re burning energy and money only to have the performance of your paid campaign capped at a specific dollar amount, it’s worth taking a step back and prioritizing initiatives that’ll position your business for success down the road without sinking your marketing budget short term.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
December 28, 2018 at 01:47PM
Mark Zuckerberg pats himself on the back for a great 2018
It's the end of the year, and for many of us that means taking a moment to reflect on decisions past. For Mark Zuckerberg, however, it means taking a moment to bask in your manifold and unqualified successes.
The CEO published a roughly 1,000-word post on Dec. 28 detailing his company's various wins over the course of 2018 that, while admittedly helpfully informing the most oblivious of readers that there is still work to be done, seems completely at odds with how the rest of the world views Facebook's 2018. Namely, that it was an unmitigated disaster.
Zuckerberg starts by reminding us of the personal challenge he set at the beginning of the year: to fix Facebook. When it comes to issues like "making sure people have control of their information," and guaranteeing "[Facebook] services improve people's well-being," he writes that things are heading in the right direction.
Zuckerberg takes another moment to remind the reader that, yes, he is proud of how 2018 went down for his company — a year, need we remind you, that saw a precipitous decline in stock price and threats of regulation by U.S. lawmakers.
"I'm proud of the progress we've made in 2018 and grateful to everyone who has helped us get here," he writes. "I'm committed to continuing to make progress on these important issues as we enter the new year."
The CEO closes out his post with what, at this point, can only be read as a pleading note: "Here's to a great new year to come."
As we look back on 2018, and forward to 2019, we also hope for a great new year to come. For those of us not named Mark Zuckerberg, however, that increasing looks like a year with less Facebook in our lives. Here's hoping.
Zuckerberg's entire post is below.
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
December 28, 2018 at 12:36PM
People were very quick to voice their displeasure at Instagram's 'swipe' update
Instagram pulled its new "swipe" update after major backlash. Read more...More about Instagram, Mashable Video, Social Media, Social Media Companies, and Tech
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
December 28, 2018 at 12:36PM
Social Customer Care: Why Marketers Should Care
To explore why marketers should care about taking care of customers, I interview Shep Hyken.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert. He’s also a professional speaker and author of multiple books including The Amazement Revolution, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, and The Convenience Revolution. His course is called The Customer Focus, and he hosts The Amazing Business Radio Show podcast.
Shep explains how small- to medium-sized businesses can offer reactive and proactive customer care.
You’ll also discover how humor and convenience help both marketing and customer care.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
Social Customer Care
Shep got his start in customer care when he was about 12 years old. He had a business doing magic shows for birthday parties. After doing a show for a 6-year-old’s party, Shep’s parents offered his first lesson in customer service. His mom told him to write a thank-you note, and his dad suggested he call the family to ask what tricks they liked and improve his show based on their feedback.
When Shep was 16, he bought an old Jeep with a snow plow and started a plowing business. When his Jeep wouldn’t start at 4:00AM after a heavy snow, he couldn’t plow his customers’ driveways. He asked a friend with a newer truck and plow for help, and offered him all the money. That’s when Shep realized he was most interested in taking care of customers.
After college, Shep continued to develop his interest in customer service, and today he’s focused on helping his clients achieve amazing customer experiences. He teaches people common-sense approaches that simplify customer service and improve company culture. He also travels around the world delivering speeches, and his team includes trainers who deliver his material, as well.
Listen to the show to hear Shep discuss his experiences attending and speaking at Social Media Marketing World.
Why Customer Care Is Important to Marketers
Typically, marketers acquire the customer and then let someone else handle customer service. However, acquiring new customers costs more than keeping existing ones. As a marketer, you can benefit from these savings by giving existing customers a reason to share positive things about your company, product, or service.
In doing so, you create disciples, advocates, and evangelists who praise your company. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, people talk about the people they do business with, good and bad. The best marketing you can have is existing customers who tell others about their great experiences.
Using customer care to turn existing customers into brand advocates is different than using a promotion or incentive that gets people to share. When customer care becomes part of your marketing, you’re focused on making sure the customer is completely satisfied so they become return customers and want to tell everyone about your company.
A byproduct of providing this level of customer service is that your company stands out as different from the rest. Being different is great because your company is then no longer competing head-to-head with the same product or service. That’s a powerful place to be in the marketing world.
Listen to the show to hear how I work with my team to make Social Media Marketing World an exceptional experience.
What Is Social Customer Care?
Social customer care is the actual service customers have with companies through social media channels. You no longer have to pick up the phone and call a company. You can tweet to the company, connect with them on Facebook, instant message them, connect through LinkedIn, and so on.
The people who respond to these social media interactions are often the same people who would have picked up the phone. The interaction simply happens on a different channel. Increasingly, people are using their smartphones or mobile devices not for calls but for the apps companies create for connecting with customers. This trend has gotten stronger every year.
Listen to the show to hear Shep share more about the basics of social customer care.
Reactive Customer Care
Social customer care can be grouped into two subcategories: reactive versus proactive. With reactive customer care, someone might post a comment to a review site like TripAdvisor or Yelp, and the company responds. Usually, companies respond only to negative reviews or social media posts.
With reactive customer care, timing is important. The moment somebody posts a comment about your business on social media, especially if it’s negative, you need to respond in a matter of minutes, not hours or days. Shep works with FedEx, which has an unofficial goal of responding to customers within 20 minutes.
Once, Shep received exceptional customer service via Twitter within 10 minutes. During bad weather, his flight couldn’t land and was circling Dallas, where he had a connecting flight. When he saw that his connection was one of the few flights that wasn’t delayed, he used Twitter to contact American Airlines, and they responded that his spot was protected and thanked him for being a customer.
When your company provides great social customer service, you build a relationship not only with a customer, but also with everyone else who sees that interaction online. Shep mentions that in the book Hug Your Haters, Jay Baer says social customer service can be a spectator sport. When someone posts a negative comment, people notice how long the company takes to respond.
When you respond to a negative post, start by thanking the customer for letting you know and apologize for any trouble they’re having. Depending on the issue, you might need to move your communications to a direct message format to resolve the problem. If you have to move to a different channel, the telephone is ideal.
After the issue is resolved, go back online and thank the customer openly. You might say, “I’m glad we connected and resolved your issue. Thanks for letting us take care of you and thanks for doing business with us.” In a perfect world, the customer responds by thanking the company for taking good care of them (although this doesn’t happen often). That’s a great testimonial for your business.
You also need to react to positive reviews or comments. If somebody compliments your business, take a moment to say, “Thank you very much.” When people say nice things, their hope is that you notice and appreciate it. Responding is simply a nice thing to do.
To help you find these posts and respond in a timely manner, you can set up a Google Alert or use social listening software that scours the internet for mentions of your company. The moment your name or your company’s name is mentioned (good or bad), you’ll get an alert.
Listen to the show to hear my anecdote about social customer service that took more than a day.
Proactive Customer Care
With proactive customer service, you enhance the customer’s experience by sharing great content related to your industry. A restaurant might post a favorite recipe. As a speaker and customer service expert, Shep is constantly posting content about customer service. Whether you share blog posts, tweets, quotes, memes, or something else, this content is part of the customer experience.
Using social media to share important or timely messages is another way to offer proactive customer service. After developing a bad reputation for customer service, Comcast has tried to improve its reputation in part by alerting people when the cable goes out in a certain area. Comcast shares this message on multiple social media channels as well as email, text, and phone.
YouTube is a great channel for how-to videos and answering frequently asked questions. YouTube videos offer phenomenal SEO and marketing because they show you offer answers online and demonstrate great uses of your product. One reason Shep uses Salesforce is that both the company and its customers created YouTube videos that explain how to do exactly what he wanted to do.
Shep recommends turning your top 10-20 customer inquiries into a YouTube playlist on your channel. On his own YouTube channel, he addresses questions people ask all the time through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Each week, he shares a blog post and a YouTube video that explain how to address some aspect of customer service.
How-to videos are especially important for technical equipment or products that require assembly because they give customers a self-service option. When Shep bought a ping-pong table, all of the instructions were in German. After typing the manufacturer and model number into Google, he found a YouTube video that explained the whole setup process and saved him hours of work.
Self-service is important because customers often prefer getting immediate help with a video and fixing the issue themselves. It’s a better experience than calling and waiting 15-30 minutes for telephone assistance. A self-service option can also save your business money because you invest once in the online video instead of helping customers with the same question over and over again.
You don’t even need to invest much in creating your videos. You can use the camera on your smartphone. People will forgive mediocre video. Just make sure the audio quality is excellent.
LinkedIn and Facebook groups are another way to offer proactive customer service. Groups provide a social, interactive experience that’s also marketing. Your advocates will be a part of the group, and they love to support and interact with other customers. Groups also help people share ideas.
Experience 3 days with the best social marketers. Discover the latest tactics and improve your marketing know-how!
I note that having a group is super-smart because volunteers or moderators can answer people’s questions, but those questions can also become deeper conversations that reveal possible new features or ideas for your company. In social media marketing, Facebook seems to be a key platform for groups because people are showing up to engage there.
For Social Media Marketing World, we’ll have more than 100 Facebook groups customers can join based on their niche such as university professors, religious organizations, or consultants. With these groups, people can interact and connect around our product, but I also think these groups will provide some amazing insights.
Shep says the idea behind these groups highlights the way social customer service is an extended interaction with your customers. Social Media Marketing World isn’t just a two-and-a-half-day event. It’s months long, and the interaction happens both well before and long after the actual conference. Similarly, Shep provides support both before and after the speeches he gives for clients.
Apps can also provide a proactive and positive customer service experience. Shep offers a free app that features his latest blog posts and videos. If he’s offering a new product, he can create a page for it in the app. The app also allows him to share his speaking schedule. If the user allows it, the app can send a push notification when new content is available on the app.
Although creating an app used to cost thousands of dollars, Shep says it’s now easy and inexpensive to develop one yourself. He uses a service called GoodBarber, which costs as little as $30 per month. As social marketing strategies go, this price makes an app accessible to solopreneurs.
Listen to the show to hear my thoughts about answering common questions on your website.
Humor in Social Customer Care
When you’re creating videos, tweeting, or offering other forms of social customer care, think about ways to make it fun or add levity. Humor done well can endear your brand to customers and it can go viral. In fact, the success of Dollar Shave Club got a tremendous boost when the company made a humorous video that went viral.
Smart Car USA is another good example. Someone tweeted that a bird pooped on a Smart Car and totaled it. Smart Car USA responded with calculations about how many birds would need to poop on the car to damage it. The response included details about how much the poop would need to weigh to damage the car and how many pigeon, turkey, or emu poops you’d need to reach that weight.
Humor can also work against a company when it’s used to offer criticism. After United Airlines broke Dave Carroll’s guitar, he tried to get them to pay for the damages. When they wouldn’t respond to him, he wrote a song called United Breaks Guitars and posted it to YouTube. More than 18 million people have watched this video.
Listen to the show to hear more of Shep’s thoughts about the Dollar Shave Club video.
How Convenience Can Improve Customer Care
Shep wrote his latest book, The Convenience Revolution, after he realized he tended to continue working with companies when doing business with them was easy. Amazon one-click ordering and its Dash button are great examples of a total experience designed for convenience.
Uber tried to eliminate all of the friction of calling for a cab if you live in the suburbs. With a licensed taxi, you needed to call and didn’t know exactly when the taxi would show up or how much the ride would cost. With Uber, you use the app to request a ride and to see how far away the driver is. The app also tells the driver where you’re going and tells you how much the ride costs.
In the book, Shep identifies key ways to provide convenience.
Reducing Friction: Like Amazon and Uber, any company can look at the points where they interact with customers and ask whether they can make those interactions easier. Although reducing friction is an element of all of the principles, some companies make it their total value proposition.
Self-help solution: This allows customers to do their homework and take control of their needs. They don’t have to work with a salesperson.
Panera Bread has kiosks off to the side so you can avoid the line. Before, you picked up your food at the counter. With their new system, a pager on the table tells a server where to bring the food to you. With the new kiosks and pagers, customers can have a faster experience and interact with employees at the table where they can build a relationship.
This example reminds me of an airport convenience store with self-service registers. The only employee was a guy who stocked the shelves and handled questions. I thought that idea worked well in an airport where people want to get in and out quickly.
Shep adds that Amazon Go has designed a store where you don’t have to check out. After you set up an account, you scan as you come in and then take what you need. The store uses sensors and cameras so that you don’t have to stop. You simply walk out with your items.
Technology that creates a better experience: As discussed earlier, an app can create an easier, better experience.
Subscription model: Every company needs to start thinking about how to create a subscription model. After someone becomes a customer, a subscription is ongoing, recurring revenue. As long as you do what you promised to do and deliver a good product and good service, customers will stay with you.
Companies with subscription models include Netflix and Amazon. Many software companies offer subscriptions now, too. With Microsoft Office 365, you pay a monthly fee and always have the latest and greatest version of the software. Car manufacturers like Porsche, Volvo, Lincoln, and Cadillac also have a subscription that lets you switch models anytime you want.
Delivery: Ask if you can bring your product to the customer. Shep left a dealership where he’d been a customer for more than 20 years because another dealership offered to bring him his new car, and pick up his car and leave him a loaner when it needed service. Now, he doesn’t visit the dealership unless it’s time to buy a new car.
Listen to the show to hear Shep share more about car subscriptions.
Discovery of the Week
With Leo AR, you can create augmented reality movies on your iPhone or Android phone.
With augmented reality, you can add things to the movie that aren’t there in the real world and record as if they are. After you find a virtual animated item you like in the app, you tap it and then tap where you want it to appear in your movie. Your camera remembers where the objects are as you record. You can even touch or move these items, which include animals, signs, or smiley faces.
After you drop these objects into the video using the app, you can then use the app to record a video of yourself walking around and interacting with these animations. The app captures the sound in your video, too.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Leo AR app works for you.
Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:
What do you think? What are your thoughts on social customer service? Please share your comments below.
There are 17 tracks of content available to you at Social Media Marketing World. Don't miss this event!
via Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner http://bit.ly/1LtH18p
December 28, 2018 at 05:03AM