/Marketing Your Business

8 Ways to Become an Email Marketing Genius

1019_4244283Email is a tried and true tool that often gets the least fanfare around shinier tools like social media, but it is such a dependable and reliable tool in your marketing arsenal that you owe it to yourself to keep your email skills fresh and fabulous.

It is easy to think that after decades of using email that you need not polish your skills. However, this mindset will quickly erode your value as a marketer. As we proceed into the latter half of the year and deeper into our 12-month primer on developing your marketing know-how, I want to focus on ways to improve your email marketing skillset and encourage you to keep developing the tools of your trade.

1. Use cutting-edge lead generation tools.

If you’ve visited a website recently, you’ve probably seen an friendly little pop-up box that diplomatically asks if you’d like to sign up for the website’s newsletter. Scroll Box by SumoMe offers a sweet service that allows you to customize the where, when, and how you can make the same offer to your website visitors.

2. Extend offers like free whitepapers, ebooks, or discounts.

Sweeten the deal by providing extra content or rebates to entice visitors to sign up for your newsletter. It may seem like a quid pro quo offer that bribes your visitors or encourages people to sign up for the deal and then abandon your email list, but have confidence that your high-quality newsletter will persuade your audience to remain with you. Continue reading “8 Ways to Become an Email Marketing Genius” »

By | August 3rd, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

5 DIY Marketing Skills to Build This Month

112_2712553In January, I provided a 12-month calendar to help you improve your marketing. This month’s focus is: improve a skill. Marketing is a must-have skill that you use in every facet of building your business. From writing your business plan to customer service, you are continuously honing your marketing proficiency. By doing it yourself, you build your skills, and in order to develop this know-how, you must dedicate yourself to learning.

If you can use word processing software and know your way around a keyboard, you can polish these DIY skills to boost your brand from this moment forward.

 

Deploy Basic SEO Strategies to Improve Your Ranking

Search engines are the faster and easier way to sift through the giant piles of available information. Keywords are highly relevant, industry specific words that increase your non-paid search engine results. Embrace the principle of using appropriate keywords in a natural manner in your posts and updates, but avoid artificially inserting them into your text as in this case, more is not better.

2. Extend Your Social Media Management Proficiency

There are a million ways to use social media to improve your marketing efforts. If you have attempted a social media strategy, but haven’t kept it up, now is the time to work it into your day-to-day efforts. If you have made that inroad, find another one to tackle. Do you use social media management software to make your posting schedule easier? Have you discovered optimal posting times? Are you building your audience by delivering engaging content? Because social media is such a flexible tool in your arsenal, there are countless ways you can develop your understanding and use of it. Continue reading “5 DIY Marketing Skills to Build This Month” »

By | July 20th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

Are Your Videos SEO-Ready? 3 Tips for Improving Search Rankings for Video

705_3453589If you’re producing content for the Internet, your top priority is making sure that content is seen. You can tell all of your customers to check it out, but that will only bring those who already know about your brand. To truly attract attention, your content needs to make a prominent showing in search results.

With video content, this process can be much trickier. Videos are, by their very nature, SEO unfriendly. Search algorithms look for text and without it, they can completely miss a winning piece of content. Here are some tips to boost your videos in search rankings.

Offer a Transcript

If you’ve ever visited a TV news site, you’ve likely seen the value in providing a transcript to go along with the video. This gives visitors the choice of watching the video or reading the story, depending on their preference and the technology they’re using at the moment. But TV news sites realize that when you have a transcript to go along with your video, you have plenty of text to attract the attention of algorithms.

Of course, in order for that plan to be effective, you’ll need a video that has the best key phrases for your intended audience. In addition to incorporating those keywords as you write your script, you’ll also need to make sure you’re creating interesting videos that people will want to click over to see in the first place. Continue reading “Are Your Videos SEO-Ready? 3 Tips for Improving Search Rankings for Video” »

By | June 30th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

4 Changes You Should Make to Your Marketing Strategy to Prepare for the Smartwatch Trend

681_4921096The Apple Watch is here. While it may be one of the most anticipated product debuts of the year, Apple’s smartwatch joins many others already on the market, including Pebble, Samsung’s Gear, and Motorola’s Moto. While the wearables market is still small, the smartwatch trend is expected to take off in the next few years.

For marketers and small business owners, the new trend means screens are once again changing. Consumers have already moved from their desktops and laptops to smartphone screens. Smartwatches will have them checking email, texting, and playing games directly on their wrists. If your business is ramping up its marketing strategy for the remainder of 2015, here are a few changes you should make to reach smartwatch wearers.

Invest in Ads

Perhaps the most obvious way to target smartwatch owners with your marketing messages is through the use of ads. According to Juniper Research, smartwatch ad revenue is expected to increase from $1.5 million this year to $68.6 million by 2019. Advertisers are working hard to ensure ads reach smartwatch wearers at the best possible time to make a connection. This will be done through technology that learns wearer behavior and sends marketing messages based on that connection. Continue reading “4 Changes You Should Make to Your Marketing Strategy to Prepare for the Smartwatch Trend” »

By | June 16th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

18 Ways to Promote Your Brand Online (Without Being Annoying)

985_4787941Social media has proven to be worthy of all the adulation. It has demonstrated its ability to connect people, enable conversation, and help small businesses build brand awareness quickly. By now, I hope you have an established and up-to-date presence on various social media websites. As these platforms have mushroomed over the last few years, they now share some ubiquitous feature that make them even easier to use.

You probably know you need to personalize your page, engage in dialogue or @ing, connect with leaders in your industry, and build a following organically i.e. don’t pay money for a list full of bots or fake profiles following you. You may have even tried using #hashtags where appropriate, consistent messaging (but not identical to avoid irritating users who follow you on multiple networks), and specialized links for each social network, so that you can measure the origin of your click-throughs.

Those are all fantastic strategies you can use across the board with social media, but I’d also like to give you a few pointers on site-specific ways you can promote your brand via the big six social media sites.

 

 

Twitter

  1. Use multiple images and videos to capture attention. Twitter gives you the option to add images and video to every tweet, and they really do increase engagement. It is more effort, but use them whenever you can and see if those tweets do better.
  1. Signal boost other accounts or websites that align with your brand. While you must link to your own content frequently, remember that networks are strengthened by connections, so also share relevant tweets and posts from other content creators.
  1. Post frequently, but not too frequently. Twitter is a very immediate and ephemeral means of communication. It can be cumbersome to stay on top of it yourself, so make sure that every post has a nugget of gold. Use scheduling apps to stay in front of your audience.

Continue reading “18 Ways to Promote Your Brand Online (Without Being Annoying)” »

By | June 11th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

Facebook Adds New Tools for Marketers

1266_4926866Social media is a vital part of business marketing today and sites like Facebook and Twitter are well aware of it. Facebook’s powers-that-be know that if they don’t provide enough options for marketers, they’ll take their campaigns to the competition. As a result, social networking giants seem to constantly be searching for ways to help marketers connect with customers.

Proving its dedication to win the business customer over, Facebook has spent the first part of 2015 rolling out tools to make it easier to advertise on the site. Here are three tools that businesses can now use to deploy and manage successful campaigns.

Ads Manager App

Launched earlier this year, the ads manager app lets businesses manage their campaigns using a mobile device. This app is a follow up to Facebook’s decision to make a mobile-friendly version of its ad manager, letting users track the performance of ads, edit existing ads and budgets, and create ads. A push notification feature will alert campaign owners when an ad timeline is about to end or when a business’s spending limit has been reached.

Unfortunately, the ads manager app is currently only available for iOS. Facebook promises to release an Android version of the app later this year. To add Facebook’s ads manager app to your iPhone or iPad, visit the iTunes Store. Continue reading “Facebook Adds New Tools for Marketers” »

By | May 26th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

Knock Your Next Networking Event Out of the Park with These Tips

775_4216338All your social media efforts, blogging, and emails might not get you as far as one simple strategy: in-person networking. By building relationships with people in real time, you can pave the way for future sales success.

Still, few people actually master the art of smart networking. I’ve gleaned a few helpful strategies over my years of attending networking events to help you.

Practice Pre-Networking

Many events have an RSVP list available online, such as through Meetup.com or Eventbrite. This makes it easy for you to see who’s attending an upcoming event and do a little investigating on them. Connect with people you want to get to know on LinkedIn and other social platforms. If, after reviewing their profiles you find you have something in common with some of the other attendees (or they sound like your perfect customer), memorize their faces and make it a point to seek them out at the event. You’ll be able to say “I connected with you on LinkedIn” as your icebreaker.

Set a Goal

You’re not going to the event just to hang out. Nor are you going to cash in on $100k in sales. Find a goal somewhere in between, such as “to meet 5 people that fit my target demographic” or “to find a mentor.”

Having a goal for your event will make it easier for you to stay focused. If you end up talking with other people in your industry (and they’re not your ideal customers), then remembering your goal can nudge you to venture out to meet other kinds of people. Continue reading “Knock Your Next Networking Event Out of the Park with These Tips” »

By | May 25th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

Spend Less Time on Marketing: Automation Tools You Can’t Live Without

274_2680671Would you be shocked at how little time I spend each week marketing my business? Probably. On average, I spend under an hour managing my social media, email, and other marketing components. Am I practicing magic? Not so. I’m simply using smart tools to automate a lot of my marketing tasks. I’ll share my secret formula with you so you can save time and get more marketing done.

1. Boost Email Subscribers with SumoMe’s ScrollBox

This is my new favorite tool. SumoMe makes a lot of cool marketing tools, but I love ScrollBox. With it, I’ve got a non-annoying box that peeps up on my press release website and invites people to download a free sample chapter from my book. From there, the emails dump into another tool (#2, in fact), and they start getting my automated emails.

Why you should try it: If your standard email subscription box on your website sidebar isn’t attracting many subscribers, this free tool might just do it. And you’ve got nothing to lose: it’s free.

2. Forget About Your Emails with Active Campaign

Once people sign up for my list, they get entered into one of several lists in my Active Campaign account. Now, I’ve used a lot of email marketing software, and by far, I am most impressed with this one. You can create not just a single email but an entire campaign and decide how many days after the last email the next should go out, take certain actions based on your subscribers’ behavior, and monitor which emails they’re opening. Continue reading “Spend Less Time on Marketing: Automation Tools You Can’t Live Without” »

By | May 11th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

4 Ways Crowdsourcing Can Boost Your Marketing

This is a guest post from Ramon Ray.
1010_4409260As crowdsourcing evolves, brands are getting more creative about using it as a tool for marketing. For a small fee, businesses can rely on the power of large groups of consumers to make their campaigns successful. By working directly with customers, brands build real audiences for their products, with those audiences likely passing the word to their own friends and family members. Here are a few ways you can utilize the power of crowdsourcing in your own marketing campaigns.

Gain Broad Exposure for Events

Imagine if you could sign everyone you know up to post about your campaign on the same day. Thunderclap allows you to do just that. In the days leading up to your product launch or special event, invite online followers and customers to sign up for your Thunderclap campaign. On the designated day, tweets and Facebook posts will automatically execute, allowing you to reach a wide range of people with one big push.

You don’t have to have an enormous online following to be effective. In fact, a small group of extremely loyal followers is often more effective than a large group of vague acquaintances. The free version of Thunderclap requires a minimum number of signups for the campaign to go live but a paid version has no minimum, at a cost of only $45. Continue reading “4 Ways Crowdsourcing Can Boost Your Marketing” »

By | May 7th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

5 Strategies You Should Add to Your Email Marketing Campaigns

609_3546844As social media marketing has grown in popularity, marketers have gradually lost focus on one of the best ways to reach customers on a one-on-one basis. Email marketing is still extremely relevant, however, offering brands an opportunity to connect with customers using coupons and special offers. Data analytics has made it possible for brands to be more effective than ever in their efforts, learning what works and what doesn’t in order to craft more successful campaigns.

But technology has only made the email marketing landscape more competitive. To truly improve click-through rates and increase conversions, brands have to be proactive. Here are five strategies that can help your email marketing campaigns succeed. Continue reading “5 Strategies You Should Add to Your Email Marketing Campaigns” »

By | April 14th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments