Tag Archives: mobile marketing

Be Sure to Count the Cost of “Free” When Creating a Giveaway

How Much Does Your “Freebie”

Everyone loves free, except of course the people who must pay for it. That is the unwritten truth that lurks behind any “free” marketing method or campaign. There is usually, though not always, a real cost in terms of time and money.

So how can you get a realistic picture of the real costs of a free marketing promotion? First is by knowing the hard costs you are incurring to create and ship, and then by taking into consideration in your time.

What varieties of “free” are we talking about here?

The most obvious places we see free work its way into our businesses is with the act of gathering email addresses. Offering a freebie is a standard operating procedure, and won’t be changing anytime soon. In most cases we are offered a free ebook, report, video series, e-course, webinar or email series in return for our email address and other contact data.

What you must know is there are costs associated with the creation of these freebies. Let’s take a look at several of the actual hard costs you’ll be forced to deal with in the creation of your freebies.

  • Creating the content – Someone has to write, film, record whatever content you are producing. Unless that is totally you, you’ll pay for this.
  • Designing the squeeze page or landing page – There are several great softwares out there, but they cost as well. And we know how much designers cost.
  • Production costs and shipping – If you want to manufacture a hard product, odds are you’ll have to pay to get it where it’s going.
  • Marketing funnel hard costs – Email autoresponders, setup costs for technical aspects, webinar charges. GoToWebinar for example, charges at the bare minimum $99 a month for their lowest plan, which allows only 100 attendees. (to be fair, there are other lower-priced services)
  • Advertising – Are you going to be taking out ads for this freebie in order to attract the widest possible audience?

Using a freebie, or freemium content as people are referring to them these days, remains a very good way to build a list or audience for your products and services. We just thought you should be aware you’ll want to count the cost of “free” when producing your freebie.

Why You Need to Look into Visual Marketing

Why You Need to Look into Visual Marketing

Visual marketing is coming to a screen near you. The truth is, it’s already there! The practice of using videos, images and other content connected with some visual element, (such as blog posts) is getting huge attention now as these mediums show themselves capable of driving far more traffic and sales than just text. The social world we live in fosters near-instant sharing of our visual content which, as we know, can go widespread in seconds.

Since we now know that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 80 percent of visual content sticks with us as opposed to 20 percent of textual, it ought to be no surprise that visual marketing is responsible for 84 percent more views and 94 percent more clicks than text.

How to make your own visual marketing work

Utilize the social media image giants – There are several social media networks that join the visual aspect with a thriving and vibrant social media community. The big ones that come to mind are Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. All have visual capacity that boggles the mind.

Make sure to add a visual aspect to your other content – Blog posts with images get clicked on far more than ones that don’t, and shares are correspondingly higher as well. There are many places to find great visuals, or you can make your own with tools like Canva and PicMonkey.

Optimize images and videos – Be sure you optimize visual content with appropriate titles and keywords. This will not just help them rank better in the search results, but also allow people to discover them with a keyword search.

Create Slideshows and Infographics – Two of the most highly trafficked and search engine popular visual content sources are document sharing site like Slideshare.net and infographics. Both are shared widely and can generate an avalanche of traffic and visitors. Slideshows are super easy to create, and infographics are becoming that way.

Okay, let me provide you with one more bit of stunning data that will get you thinking: Were you aware that the average Pinterest user clocks an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes on the site compared to 36 minutes on Twitter and 12.1 minutes on Facebook? Let’s hear it for visual content!

It Might be Time to Rethink Marketing with Instagram

Here’s Some Real World Ways to Market with Instagram

Have you thought of using Instagram for anything other than posting the latest photos you take? Perhaps using it for a business purpose?

While it’s really good at posting and disseminating our latest shots, it can have a very positive impact on brand marketing also. Let’s see how that can become reality.

7 Ways you can use Instagram in your marketing

  1. Build a following – One of the simplest ways to do this rapidly is if you already possess a Facebook following. Simply connect the two, and you’ll get a great head start. You also need to start to follow people and brands you admire on Instagram, and engage using hashtags.
  2. Use Instagram video – Becoming increasingly popular, Instagram followed Vine to the show, but more than doubled the length of the videos, 15 seconds to Vine’s 6. There is lots you can share, and while the time constraint may seem limiting, it can actually help you be more creative and unique.
  3. Create a killer profile – Your Instagram profile is a good opportunity to introduce more and more people to your brand. Be sure to have up-to-date and interesting information readily available for people to follow.
  4. Networking on Instagram – Start following brands and people, using hashtags that make sense for your brand, and be sure to engage with people.
  5. Get your creative on – Make use of this opportunity to inject a massive dose of creativity, and dare I say, fun into your brand. While you have to take care to not go overboard on this, it never hurts to portray your company with a more human face.
  6. Use Instagram to tell your brand story – By regularly posting images and videos, you can tell the story of what your brand is about, and giving a human face to the company logo and name.
  7. Instagram is an excellent tool for announcements and news – Use Instagram to introduce new products, profile key personnel, and deliver your customers a shout-out about what’s coming that they need to be aware of.

Instagram presents a wonderful opportunity to get in on the growing visual marketing trend. Acquired by Facebook a little more than a year ago, Instagram is still growing exceptionally fast, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Should Your Small Business Be Using PPC Ads?

Several Reasons Why You Should Investigate PPC for Your Small Business

A lot of small business owners might have never considered the potential for using pay per click ads for marketing their local business. That’s unfortunate, as there are several clear advantages to doing this.

Let’s take a moment to check out four reasons why it’s important for you to at least consider utilizing pay per click ads for your small business.

Four terrific reasons why PPC works well in local marketing

Instant visitors – Probably the best thing about using PPC for local is that you aren’t waiting around for results. People are showing up as soon as your ads go live, providing you’ve set it up and bid properly. You’ll get a mountain of data that can tell you much more about your consumers: what keywords are working, ad copy and much more. Additionally you can easily measure and track all results.

Hog the first page – Getting an organic listing on Google is fantastic, but that can take ages and can disappear overnight for no apparent reasons. Why don’t you own a top PPC listing on page one that’s a lot harder to eliminate? This can help you push your competition down or off the page, and will also serve to give your brand more credibility and authority in the eyes of your searchers.

The ability to target your customers and prospects – With advanced demographic targeting tools available, you can target only consumers who live in a particular area, are of a particular gender, or many other factors.

Employ remarketing – A relative newcomer to online ads is remarketing. They are the sorta creepy, (yet highly effective) ads that seem to follow along with you wherever you go online. Like it or not, ad networks are tracking what your interests are, and using that information. The great news is, you can now use this to your advantage as well.

Email Newsletter Metrics You Need to be Keeping Abreast Of

Want to Gauge Your Email Newsletter’s Effectiveness? Here’s Some Metrics to Use

You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to build a visually attractive, content-rich email newsletter that’s your pride and joy. So, how’s that helping you?

There are several email metrics that apply directly to this, and keeping track of them will provide you with a leg up when you’re tweaking and optimizing for better results. Let’s examine some of these metrics and how you should understand them.

Newsletter metrics you need to monitor

  • Track your clicks and especially conversions – We assume you’re doing this work for a good reason, so it’s imperative to know how many of your readers are clicking and converting, no matter what you’re your conversion goals are. This is your money stat.
  • Monitor your bounce rates – A bounce rate is merely the number of emails that aren’t successfully delivered. You could have a “hard” bounce, which is when you have a bad address, or a “soft bounce”, where the inbox may be full or unavailable, or maybe a server issue. Your email provider will quickly let you know when your bounce rates are too high.
  • Check your open rates – Although not as vital as some of the other metrics, purely by virtue of the fact that there’s really no way to get a “real” accurate number because of image loads, it’s still worth using this as a guideline. An average email open rate is usually in the range of 15-20 percent, dependant upon the industry and the type of email.
  • Low delivery rates and high spam complaints – Your email delivery rate should be no less than 95 percent, and if that’s not the case, there might be a problem with dead addresses, or maybe your email provider. As far as spam goes, if you are getting more than 1 percent of spam complaints, you’ll very likely be sidelined by your email provider, because they take this very seriously.
  • Keep a watchful eye on unsubscribes – It’s normal to have people unsubscribe from your lists occasionally and for any number of good and bad reasons. What you should know is that a typical unsubscribe rate is less than 1 percent, and if you’re anywhere near 5 percent, you need to find out why. Your messages may have slipped off purpose, or here’s a topical one; your emails aren’t optimized for mobile! Since now half of all email is read on mobile, you need to make certain of this one.

Get Ready for a New Facebook Pages Update

There is a new update for Facebook Pages coming our way, and it will need your attention if you are using your pages for anything in your business.

Luckily, the changes are primarily cosmetic, easy to implement, and will make your Pages easier for people to find out information about your business. Indeed, this is mostly a “rearranging the furniture” type of update, but it promises to be beneficial to business pages. Lets’ see how…

New changes to your Facebook Pages

  • Single column Timeline format – Your Timeline will now be found on the right side of the page, in a single column. The left side will have all of your pertinent business information, pictures and videos.
  • Wider pages and posts – The Page posts are going to span a healthy 511 pixels, which represents around a 25 percent increase over the room you had before. This means you can incorporate and feature larger images, making your content stand out visually.
  • Overlaid Like button – This is one that might cause a bit of consternation. The Like button is going to be overlaid onto your cover photo. Which means that if you happen to have a rather busy image on it, there is a possibility that the Like button will be hard to find, and get missed.
  • Apps are further down – Your Apps are now going to be positioned on the left side of the page. This is the least friendly of the changes, as the Apps can be pushed even further down the page by the new Similar Pages feature, making it hard for people to find your Apps.
  • Similar Pages – If somebody likes your page or one of your apps, a new feature called Similar Pages springs into view. This content might also contain your competitor’s pages. Hmmm…

Even though at the moment you have to opt to use the new design, there will very likely be a time when you won’t get that choice. Even if you aren’t thrilled by all the changes, at least it’s more organized and visually cleaner, so that’s a little something.<

Find your customers where they live: on their mobile device

Have you implemented a mobile marketing strategy yet?

We’ve all heard that consumers are making a large switch to doing business on their mobile devices, but what does this mean really? What steps do we have to take as merchants and vendors to reach the mobile masses as they roam the streets, looking for deals they can use?

So why not take a closer look at how the mobile consumer is behaving with their myriad of devices these days, and then look at how you can reasonably take advantage of that.

A quick look at mobile marketing numbers

  • It’s official: fully more than half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device
  • A whopping 74 percent of shoppers are using their mobile devices to research before they buy
  • While a large percentage, 82 percent, still venture into your store to make the purchase, 26 percent manage to seal the deal from their phone.
  • And they’re not waiting around! 55 percent of mobile shoppers want to purchase in an hour, and 83 percent within 24 hours!

Mobile consumers have hastened the buying cycle considerably. Also, they are increasingly more likely to complete the complete cycle right from their mobile device.

So what to do to reach the mobile market

There are a few essentials that marketers looking to take advantage of the mobile market should make sure to do. Have a fully optimized mobile version of your site, and that’s made even better if it comes with a shopping app. The site ought to be simple, fast and easy to load, and available across all platforms.

Secondly, there are plenty of opportunities now within the mobile ad space. Make use of the large inventories of available ads and the relatively low prices you’ll find there. In addition, always be on the lookout for new ways to reach the mobile user. One recent one that’s very promising is retargeting via Facebook ads.

Mobile marketing is a great tool to add to your marketing mix. You audience is already using it, shouldn’t you be?

Offline Marketing Ideas That Really Work

Blog GraphicWhile it’s totally more stimulating to focus on our online efforts when it comes to local marketing, offline marketing did the yeoman’s job for eons, and you would be remiss if you abandoned it like old bread. Many tactics continue to be effective, and can bring a more targeted result locally than many of your online initiatives.

5 Offline marketing tactics that worked for many years still do!

  1. An attractive business card – A business owner with no business card is just like a ship without a rudder. It is directionless, and ultimately will show off as unprofessional. Business cards remain a valuable tool, and you need to make it your business to have great card available at all times!
  2. Promotional items – This can run the gamut from a simple printed brochure, flyers, coffee mugs, t-shirts or any ting else you can dream up that will cleverly advertise your business. Who doesn’t like free stuff?
  3. Local events and meetings – Being present and helpful at local community events and meetings is a simple way to get your business’ name noticed in a good way. You’ll meet other business people who might be willing or able to work well with you, as well as doing some good in your local area.
  4. Sponsor a local team or organization – Sponsoring a local youth sports team or some other organization in need of help is a great source of advertising, goodwill and reach within your community.
  5. Start a local business network – Assuming there isn’t already one you are a part of, you can take advantage of this lack by creating one. If there’s one around, join it and dive in. This is a fantastic way to make local contacts that are willing to help one another’s business with referrals and joint ventures.

Offline marketing remains a viable source of leads and sales. Ignore it at your own peril!

Newsflash! – Pinterest Traffic Converts Like Gangbusters!

Blog GraphicSo, let’s have a quick show of hands: how many of you thought Pinterest was just another place to post your photos, as well as pick up some easy links. Don’t be embarrassed, many of us didn’t know Pinterest would end up being the traffic monster it’s fast morphing into, and even fewer imagined traffic from there would convert. Rethink it all!

5 Killer stats that show how Pinterest is changing the game!

  1. You might find hard to believe: (I did) but it’s a cold hard fact that according to Mashable, Pinterest is sending more visitors to our sites that the combined forces of Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+!
  2. What’s even better is that this traffic is converting madly! Can you think Pinterest traffic is converting at rates 50% higher than all the others!
  3. Pinterest peeps are generally much more likely to part with cold hard cash, spending more money more often than all of the other big social media behemoths.
  4. Pinterest is now getting 4 times more revenue per click than Twitter and a tremendous 27 percent more than Facebook. Who saw that coming?
  5. How much more? According to Piqora, a single Pin can now fetch $0.78 in sales, and that figure is growing by nearly 25 percent year over year.

So how do you make Pinterest traffic work for you?

Like anything else in social media marketing, it can take a continuous effort over some time for you to see significant results. Even though the viral aspects of social media definitely apply to Pinterest, you’ll need to have a plan, and someone to carry it out to obtain the best results.

The first step is knowing what you can pin. It’s not only pictures! Any media that has any sort of visual component has the potential to help out. Think about blog posts, videos, slideshows, book covers, marketing materials, Powerpoint presentations and more. Make it easy for your site visitors to pin your content back to their Pinterest accounts by using a Pin It button. Create a Pinterest account for your business, and start some pin boards, linking back to your products and services on your site. Pinterest is not hard to get started with, and offers the potential to drive a large number of converting buyers to your site. Get in while the getting’s good!

7 Hot tips for Location Based Marketing

As mobile devices partner up with location based services such as Foursquare and Yelp, it has undoubtedly changed the way your customers find and use your business. The data offered by these services is a real time-saver and social proof catalyst that offers them more information on where to eat, sleep, shop and be entertained. What else can you do to make sure that your small business can make the best use of these location based services?

Here are 7 tips to help you profit from location based marketing!

  1. Ensure that your local listings are correct – It really should go without saying, but it doesn’t, so here goes. Make certain that your listings in Google+ Local, Yelp, FourSquare and any other service or listings you have are correct in terms of name, address, phone, maps and anything else you want to convey.
  2. Mobile responsive website design is crucial – Since more and more users are accessing your site from a mobile device, it’s more critical than ever before to have a mobile version of your site that renders correctly.
  3. Pushing  and pulling – There are two ways to reach consumers: you can push ads out to those who are in your area, as well as being available to those who are wanting to discover someone just like you where they are!
  4. Local reviews can make a difference – Most shoppers are making local purchasing decisions based upon reviews they read. It’s still a great idea to encourage and reward reviews of your business, as this could be the swing vote!
  5. Offer great incentives – There is a lot of solid competition out there, so a outstanding incentive will almost certainly grab a larger market share.
  6. Stay up on reviews and social media – Don’t let your social media go stale, and especially don’t ignore reviews, good or bad. Remember, consumers are watching!
  7. Consider deals for mobile wallet users – Here’s one your competition is very likely not using yet: consider offering deals to customers who use their mobile wallets, like Google Wallet, Passbook or any other. Engage them with special offers and discounts only accessible to them!