Top 5 Ways to Engage with Your Audience Online

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June 14, 2018
Audience Engagement Who Is Your Audience

Businesses don’t exist in a bubble. If you can’t successfully gain loyal clients, your business will slowly run dry. You can have a brilliant sales pitch, but if you can’t successfully engage with your potential clients, no one will care about your great service or product.

Nowadays the virtual online world, is just as important as the real world. You might be a great sales person when dealing with a potential client face to face. But if you can’t transpose that energy into an online persona, you’ll miss out on a huge market segment. Two brands can offer exactly the same product or service, yet one is highly successful and the other remains average. The difference between successful and status quo, can be seen in how you engage with your audience online.

How to Get Your Customers to Interact with Your Brand

People make decisions based on their emotions, not logic. You may think you’ve rationalised buying that new pair of shoes. But in actual fact, your emotions made the decision for you, long before you started reasoning with yourself about the price and the quality.

If you can sucessfully pull at people’s heartstrings, half your sale is already completed. To effectively engage with your audience online, make sure you are closely acquainted with your target audience. Also, people like doing business with people. It’s a challenge to bring across the human element in a virtual world, but it is not impossible.

Related: how story-based marketing can grow your business

Engage WIth Your Audience Online

#1 Build A Sense of Community

If you can introduce yourself to your potential customers in a personal way, they will already feel more eager to do business with you. Instead of keeping information on your website and social media pages purely professional, add a tasteful personal touch to it. For instance, tell people why you are passionate about the service of product you are marketing. What made you decide to start the business? Add little bios of your team members on your website.

Another simple trick to use, is to respond to people on social media with a face linked to the brand. Instead of using your company name and logo, use the profile of a team member to respond to a comment or question. This way you engage with your audience online from a human angle than a corporate angle.

How do you build a community? The same way that you get to know someone new in real life. Just think about the usual social protocol when you meet someone new at a party. You will want to get to know them, by asking a few personal questions. Try to follow the same steps for your business.

You could also create a brand ambassador. For instance, Apple had Steve Jobs. This way your potential customers will feel like they are doing business with a person, not simply a faceless corporation. Consider creating an online forum where people can directly engage with you. Or take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

Related: Facebook page vs Facebook group

#2 Make Your Customers a Part of the Team

Target AudiencePeople like feeling important and useful. If you can create a way to collaborate more closely with your customers, embrace it. You could consider adding a page to your website, or posts on your social media, which showcases customers with complementing skills or products to your own.

Include customers when celebrating milestones. Each year for your birthday, you can create special exclusive offers for loyal customers. On bigger birthdays, such as 5 or 10 years, consider creating a big event where your team can interact with customers.

Also, invite feedback from your customers. Create focus groups to test out a new app or website feature, or simply to find out if you are hitting the mark with your service or product. As a thank you for the feedback, you can offer a small gift or discount. This way you make your customers feel both important and appreciated.

#3 Share Exclusive Content or Offers

To engage with your audience online, think outside the virtual world box. There’s nothing like the VIP treatment to make people feel special. Even something small like a 10% off coupon for new newsletter subscribers can do the trick. Or consider releasing exclusive content or deals on your website for a limited time only. Keep people in the loop with a timely email, or social media post. This way you kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, you engage with your audience online, and secondly you create more loyalty when they regularly visit your website or social media pages.

#4 Host an Event

This doesn’t have to be a real-world event. Create a webinar or use a service like meetup.com. It’s a great way for your customers to engage with your company, plus you are also offering them an opportunity to network with other customers.

If your company offers local services or products, hosting a real event can be a great way for you to transition from the virtual world into the real world, offering your customers a chance to engage with you face to face. Both types of events create a great sense of community, as well as making people feel important because they were specifically invited. Also look out for trade show or exhibition opportunities in your industry.

#5 Create a Competition

Building on the idea of offering exclusive content, create a competition to make people work a little bit for the free stuff. You can also gather a great deal of personal information from your customers this way. But don’t ask too many questions, or people will feel like you are just turning the competition into a marketing scheme.

With the wonder of technology, there are many ways to create interactive competitions. Ask people to upload photos to Facebook or Instagram, write a little service/product review, or like and share a post. Use the power of social media to your advantage. A voting contest is also a great way to engage with your audience online.

 

Top 5 Email Marketing Tools for 2018

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January 2, 2018
email marketing tools

Email marketing is the use of email to promote products and/or services. It is aimed to develop relationships with existing clients and potential customers. In other words, it refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads. Its purpose is to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, requests business, or solicit sales or donations. Email marketing has been proven effective for modern-day businesses.

email-marketing-tools

Email marketing tools have been developed because email marketing is not an easy task. These email marketing tools help business owners to promote their products and services through marketing automation, providing customizable email templates, helping create highly engaging emails, list building features, and other features for less burdensome email marketing. Here are the top email marketing tools:

MailChimp

MailChimp offers a very easy to use interface with great tools and awesome support. No wonder it is on the list of the top email marketing tools. MailChimp has huge integration list. It integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, ZenDesk, Magento, Salesforce, Mandrill, BigCommerce, Drupal, and Google Analytics, among others. It also comes with easy email creator, merge tags, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking and analytics. Another feature that makes this email marketing tool a favorite by many is the fact that MailChimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails up to 2,000 subscribers. MailChimp is definitely one of the best email marketing tools because of its flexibility in campaign creation, its easy newsletter creator, responsive list-management system and high delivery success rate.

VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse offers an email software program with excellent tools for creating a professional newsletter making it perfect for businesses with image-heavy newsletters. It also integrates with several emails and CRM programs and offers an API for further compatibility. VerticalResponse offers generous free plan, simple interface, knowledgeable and helpful customer support, and can send an unlimited number of emails per month. VerticalResponse’s free plan enables you to send up to 4,000 emails per month and store up to 1,000 contacts.

email marketing

Benchmark Email

Benchmark Email allows business owners to save time and drive revenue by sending automated email series that are triggered by website and email engagement. It has a modern and useful interface for creating attractive and professional email marketing campaigns. It offers several newsletters and email templates, which are attractive and easy to adapt.  Its newsletter-creation interface and subscriber-management sections are easy to navigate. Benchmark Email’s Free for Life plan allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month

AWeber

AWeber is one of the top email marketing tools today. It offers a wide range of tools for small and medium-sized businesses to manage their email marketing. AWeber gives you the flexibility to manage contacts and customize your own email templates. Its templates simplify the process for creating visually attractive email marketing campaigns and the reporting dashboard tracks the most important basic statistics. In sum, AWeber offers a mix of basic features with advanced features in an easy-to-navigate user interface.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing tools in the world. It is also the easiest to use and beginner friendly email marketing service. It offers more than 400 free templates to create newsletters and email list mailings. Aside from its core competency in email marketing, the Constant Contact has also expanded to include other marketing related services. It also offers support with live chat, email, community support, and a vast library of resources.

Top SEO Tools for 2017

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September 19, 2017
top SEO tools

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. It consists of a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page.

Here are the top SEO tools for 2017

Google Analytics

Google analytics is one of the top SEO tools for companies of all shapes and sizes. It is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Because lets Google Analytics lets you measure advertising ROI as well as track Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications, it is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet. It helps the users identify poorly performing pages with techniques such as funnel visualization. It also shows where visitors came from and how long they stayed, including their geographical position.

Google analytics shows high-level dashboard-type data for the casual user and more in-depth data further into the report set. It also provides more advanced features, including custom visitor segmentation. Google Analytics 360 Suite is designed to help users get the most out of your market research. It delivers a seamless user experience and cross-product data integration which helps enterprises to gain useful insights and get better results every day. The Google Analytics 360 Suite combines enterprise analytics, tagging, site optimization, data visualization, market research, attribution, and audience management into a powerful measurement solution for your business.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps business owners visualize how the site may appear in search.  It teaches users how to influence different appearance elements. If your aim is to maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results, then Google Search Console is really a must-have tool. It does not only provide you with crawling errors, HTML and improvement suggestions but also help you understand how Google views your site and how to optimize site’s performance in search results. Indeed, Google search console is one of the top SEO tools.

In order to monitor your site’s performance in Google Search results, you should make sure that Google can access your content. Keep in mind that it is important to create and monitor content that delivers visually engaging search results. Submitting new content for crawling and removing content you don’t want to be shown in search results are also good practices. It is also paramount that you maintain your site with minimal disruption to search performance and monitor and resolve malware or spam issues so your site stays clean. Lastly, business owners who delegate, SEO specialists or marketers, site administrators, web developers and app developers should use Search Console.

Moz

In addition to the list of the top SEO tools is Moz. MOZ is a leading keyword research tool that provides keyword suggestions, SEO competition, opportunity, SERP features, saved lists, and accurate search volume data. It has a series of tools in its SEO Toolbox, including Moz Keyword Explorer, Moz Analytics, Open Site Explorer, Followerwonk, Moz Local, Rank Tracker and Fresh Web Explorer and more.  Moz offers an SEO browser tool called MozBar. It also has a tool for researching popular search trends called mozRank which is an alternative to Google PageRank.

MOZ works well for making your inbound marketing to be easy. It also enables you to analyze and monitor SEO, link building, social media marketing, and other similar online marketing areas. Overall, MOZ brings the best SEO tools under one roof and provides you with the knowledge and resources you’ll need to use them and optimize your website. It is indeed one of the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools that you have a look for.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free AdWords tool that helps to build new Search Network campaigns or expand existing campaigns. The tool is a product from Google Adwords that provides data around the search queries that happen in Google and other resources for planning a Google Adwords specific advertising campaign. The Google Keyword Planner will help you to get keywords and ad group ideas, historical statistics, keywords trend, competitions, bidding etc. The user can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. Keyword Planner can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use with your campaigns. This tool really deserves a spot on the list of the top SEO tools.

What Is Google AdWords? An Introduction To Google’s Advertising Platform

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June 13, 2017

Think about the last time that you conducted a search using Google. When the list of search results came back, you may have noticed several listings at the top of the page that had the word “ad” printed under them. These text-based ads, which are designed to blend in with the natural search results, are paid search advertisements that were purchased through Google Adwords.

Adwords is Google’s advertising platform. There are several different types of advertisements available. Along with paid search advertisements, the system also provides advertisers with an opportunity to purchase display ads, video ads, or in-app ads.

The price of the advertisement is determined by how competitive the keyword is. Multiple advertisers bid on the same keyword. As the popularity of the keyword increases, so does the price for the top advertising positions.

The key to success with AdWords is to choose the right keywords for your advertisement. If you choose a keyword that is too general, you can wind up wasting a lot of money. Because Google gets so much traffic, it is easy to blow through your entire advertising budget in a matter of minutes if you choose a high-traffic word or phrase to bid on.

Although it may seem like a lot of traffic would be a good thing for your site, it actually depends on the quality of the traffic. If the keyword that you bid on is too general, it will be hard for you to convert the people who click on your advertisement into buyers.

For instance, if your company sells cameras, you should avoid bidding on the general search term “camera”. It is too hard to know what people are looking for when they type in something that general. Are they hoping to buy a camera? Do they want to learn more about the history of cameras? Do they need help fixing a problem with their camera? You could wind up wasting a lot of money advertising to people who aren’t actually in the market to buy a camera.

A much better option is to bid on keyword phrases that clearly show the person’s intent. For instance, bidding on a phrase such as “buy Sony mirrorless camera” is a much better option. With that search phrase, you have an extremely clear idea of what the person is looking for. That means that you can use your advertisement to direct them to a page that contains the exact products that they are searching for, helping to increase your chances of making a sale.

You can also purchase display ads through the program. These ads show up on websites as banner ads or text-based ads. Through the program, you can also place advertisements at the beginning of videos on YouTube and can purchase ads that will show up in apps that people install on their mobile devices.

All in all, Google AdWords offers a comprehensive advertising experience for businesses. There are many different ways that you can use the service to promote your company and gain new customers.

The 3 Best Ways To Generate Traffic To Your Website

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June 13, 2017

Building a website is important for any business, but many people find that generating traffic is much harder to do. There are many ways that you can get traffic to your website, but some methods are better than others. It is important that you know what some of the best ways to get traffic will be and how long you will have to wait to see the results.

Implementing An SEO Strategy

The best way to generate traffic for your website is to have a good SEO strategy in place. SEO or search engine optimization will provide you with organic traffic and you can target the traffic as much as you want. However, you will need to follow certain steps to create and implement your strategy. You will also need to be aware that it can take months to see the fruits of your SEO labors.

SEO is the process that helps you rank on the search results for specific keywords or phrases. There are a number of aspects of SEO that you have to be aware of and they include on-page, off-page and technical SEO. All of these aspects need to be looked at and you need to take the time to implement them correctly. If you use black hat techniques or incorrectly implement your strategy, the search engines may penalize your website and this will make it harder to get traffic.

On-page SEO relates to the content on your website and how informative it is to the user. Off-page SEO relates to the external links that your website has and the overall online reputation of your website. Technical SEO relates to the coding, ease of use and navigation of the website.

Build Up Social Media

Social media is a part of daily life and you need to leverage this to get traffic to your website. There are a number of ways that you can do this and you need to consider using one or all of these methods to get the most of social media. The first step that every website and business should do is create a presence on social media platforms.

There are certain platforms that you should be on such as Facebook and Twitter. These are large platforms that everyone can use, but there are smaller ones which you should consider depending on your niche. If you offer professional services, you need a presence on LinkedIn and if you are in a visual niche you should look at Pinterest and Instagram. You should also take the time to think about which social platform your target audience uses and create accounts on them.

Another method that you need to consider is to leverage social influencers. A social influencer is a person in your niche who other people respect and listen to. If you have a fashion website, a social influencer will be a fashion blogger with a large following. Creating a working relationship with influencers is important and when these influencers mention your products or website, you are going to get a boost to your traffic.

Use Paid Adverts

If you need to get traffic to your website quickly, you should consider paid adverts. There are a number of platforms that you can use for this and you need to consider which would be best for your business. Paid search adverts are one option and another will be paid adverts on social media.

It is important to note that you need to be careful when it comes to paid adverts. It is very easy for the costs to run away with you and you need to be aware of this. Some advert platforms will charge you a set amount per click while others will charge per impression. You need to have a clear budget when using adverts and ensure that you do not go over this.

When you create your adverts you need to complete testing to see which images and copy work the best. It is recommended that you continue to test your adverts to ensure that you are always using the best converting one. The best platform to use will depend on the website and product you want to promote.

Top 5 Reasons Your Business Needs SEO

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June 13, 2017

It seemed like yesterday when consumers opened the phone book in order to find local companies that offer the goods and services that they need. In recent years, our advancements in technology have rendered phone books almost entirely obsolete and This SEO company in Cape Town says that Internet search engines have taken their place. The online shopping habits of consumers are constantly changing and evolving, but one thing we can be certain of is that search engines play a prominent role in our modern shopping habits.

A study revealed that over 60% of consumers using Google will click on one of the top three search results and ignore the rest. The basic idea is that your company needs to rank on top, or your customers will go somewhere else. Fortunately, there’s a way to ensure your top spot and it includes the use of search engine optimization or SEO. If you haven’t already invested in SEO, here are five of the top reasons that your business needs to:

1. It works.

Some business owners see SEO as a marketing trend as opposed to a necessity, but the reality is that companies that actually succeed invest a great deal of time and energy into SEO tactics. Using search engine optimization strategies will not only help you increase your search rankings, but it will drive a constant flow of traffic to your website. Of course, we can’t expect SEO to always remain the same, and many practices have changed and evolved over time, but the basic foundation is the same as it was over a decade ago.

2. Most consumers do plenty of research before making a purchase.

More than 70% of all consumers research online companies before they give them their business. Based on these statistics, having a simple functional website is no longer enough! You may have the best website on the Internet, but if potential consumers can’t find you buried in search results, you’ll end up losing business. A greater part of SEO is not only enhancing the visibility of your business, but doing so by providing relevant content regularly to consumers. Bear in mind, visitors are more likely to become lifelong customers if your website is properly optimized.

3. Small businesses can especially benefit from SEO.

Mobile devices empower people to find the businesses they want and need regardless of where they are. Most Google searches are performed from a mobile device, and that equals up to 100 billion monthly searches. Additionally, statistics have also pointed out that most consumers are looking at localized search results when employing the use of search engines. Business owners who take the time to optimize their websites for local SEO can instantly connect themselves with local residents and beat competing corporations.

4. Everyone is using SEO.

Even if your business is fortunate enough to live off of past client traffic or foot traffic, the reality is that it won’t be this way in the future. It is getting harder and harder for businesses to rank in search engines and by taking a long time to enact SEO, your competitors are only going to get ahead. SEO ensures that there are only 10 available top spots in popular search engines, which means that millions of businesses are competing for the coveted 10 spots.

5. Build credibility with SEO.

Most web users don’t even look at the paid ads in search results but rather focus on organic search results. When you take the time and money to invest in SEO, you not only get higher rankings, but consumers are twice as likely to trust your company. A combination of great rankings and high-quality content can help you build your brand exponentially and hone positive feelings in consumers towards your business.

Modern society is reliant on mobile devices, and if your company isn’t moving with the times, you’ll eventually go out of business. There are many more reasons that search engine optimization is an integral part of succeeding as an entrepreneur, but hopefully, the top five reasons have given you the leverage you need to move forward with your marketing campaign.

Top 5 Reasons Email Marketing Is Still Relevant In 2017

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June 13, 2017

When the Internet was still in its infancy, consumers loved checking their emails and logging online to find the ever important, “You’ve Got Mail” phrase. Of course, over the years what we’ve come to expect from our emails has greatly changed. Meanwhile, our inboxes were once full of spam messages about winning the lottery, many small business owners are wondering if email marketing tactics are still worthwhile? The simple answer to this question is, yes.

In fact, email marketing still remains a vital part of marketing products and services to the modern consumer. If you haven’t already done so, here are five of the top reasons that your business should still rely on email marketing campaigns for success:

1. The easiest way to reach mobile consumers is through email.

You’ll find that email marketing still remains a valuable asset to businesses simply because it’s the easiest way for them to reach mobile consumers without investing a great deal of money into new technology or software. In a recently conducted study, it was revealed that over 50% of cell phone users in America access their emails through their phones. Additionally, you’ll find that phone users aren’t the only ones with access to email as mobile devices are now commonplace.

2. You can keep customers informed through email.

Email marketing wasn’t solely established to constantly market and spam consumers, but rather to help business owners and their consumers stay constantly connected. It often comes as a shock to many businesses that consumers are willing to sign up for email marketing campaigns to stay in touch with their favorite brands as well as local businesses. Oftentimes, consumers don’t just sign up to receive special deals and promotions, but to hear the latest news regarding their favorite products.

3. Drive online sales by emailing coupons.

Almost half of all consumers want to get something out of their online shopping experience, and oftentimes, it’s to gain access to savings. By signing up for your email marketing list, consumers expect to save money and gain access to the latest promotions. In short, if you hope to gain the respect of your clients or customers, it’s best to send coupons every once in awhile.

4. You can save money through email marketing.

Apart from search engine optimization, email marketing is one of the most inexpensive ways to advertise your business. It allows you to reach thousands of consumers with the click of a button, and you can instantly keep them up-to-date on the latest happenings. Small businesses with an extremely tight budget find that email marketing is a better choice than going with traditional marketing methods that involve paying radio stations, television programs, or using direct mail.

5. You can easily customize your email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing is possibly the most versatile form of marketing that you can use, and you can combine it with other marketing campaigns for success. Depending on how many people you have on your email list, your marketing messages can be something simple or you can go out of your way to create something complex. You can take it one step further by personalizing your email messages to include the name of the user, past purchases, or even recommendations for products they may like.

If you’re ready to build a business empire in the year 2017, you can’t do it without email marketing. It may seem like something that was popular over a decade ago, but for some reason it has withstood the test of time and has become a permanent marker in marketing campaigns worldwide. In short, if your business isn’t investing in email marketing, you’re missing out on money.