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In this fast-growing era, digital marketers are expected to be skilled in a variety of areas, including analytics, creative direction, sales, digital media and more. Here's how to keep your skills sharp and gain new ones

With more brands than ever relying on digital marketing as their main form of advertising, it’s no surprise that professional digital marketers are in very high demand. In fact, Reuters reports that in 2017, digital marketing spending increased by 44 percent in the United States and to $52 billion in Britain. Globally, digital marketing spend is estimated to approach $100 billion. If you’re looking to work in an industry that continues to grow and provide numerous opportunities, digital marketing may be the perfect career path for you.

What is a digital marketer?

Digital marketing uses many traditional forms of classic marketing and sales techniques, but is coupled with technology for a more modern approach. Depending on your interests and goals, you can train as a digital marketer who is well-rounded in all types of online advertising and marketing, or you can choose to focus on one specific area.

What is a digital marketer

Why should you become a digital marketer?

Even if you don’t have any experience working in digital marketing, this is an industry that offers tremendous opportunities for all skill levels with the right training. It is a fast-paced field that is constantly evolving and as such, new roles that need to be filled pop up quite often. If you’re creative, interested in data, curious about how the consumer mind works, can work well independently and as part of a team, and you’re eager to learn, consider taking the next step toward becoming a professional digital marketer.

Another great advantage of training to become a digital marketer? Although training is often necessary for those new to the field, and a huge plus for those who have some experience, obtaining a four-year degree is often unnecessary. If you’re looking to train in a field that doesn’t require a significant upfront investment, digital marketing may be just what you’re looking for.

The demand for digital marketers is high

Burning Glass Technologies reports that for every four out of 10 marketing job ads, digital marketing knowledge is required. They also report that:

  • Multi-channel marketing and mobile marketing offer some of the higher salaries.
  • Digital marketing positions take approximately 16 percent longer to fill when compared to other roles.
  • Marketing positions that call for digital marketing skills typically offer almost $7,000 more annually.

These numbers are expected to continue to go up as the demand for digital marketers grows as well.

How to become a digital marketer?

The first step to becoming a digital marketer is to enroll in a training program that offers the skills needed to succeed in this field. It can also be helpful to know if there’s a specific area of digital marketing you’d like to focus on, as there are many training programs that target specific types of digital marketing. But it’s always an option to just learn about some of the digital marketing fundamentals initially, and then decide later on if there’s a specific area you’d prefer to concentrate on. 

Enrolling in digital marketing courses

Enrolling in an online digital marketing course is typically the most economical, quickest, and most convenient way to learn about digital marketing. Some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the industry teach these courses, which also include hands-on projects and assignments, allowing students to get a real feel for working in digital marketing. Because the digital marketing field is so competitive, getting certified can get you one step ahead.

Learn from the industry’s best

Whether you’ve already completed a digital marketing course in the past, or you have experience working as a professional digital marketer, it’s important to remember that the industry is constantly changing and evolving. Even the most experienced digital marketers need to keep up with these changes and trends, and by enrolling in an online learning program, you can be sure that you’re always staying on top of these industry changes.

On-the-job training

Without training and earning your digital marketing certification, you may still have a chance at landing an entry-level digital marketing job. Although you can gain some invaluable experience while on the job, you’ll still be at a disadvantage compared to those with several years of experience and/or those who are certified. You may overlook what seems like a minor detail or misunderstand an industry term, and as a result, make a major mistake that potentially costs you your job.

Learn by following the top digital marketing blogs

From learning the basics to fine-tuning advanced skills, following some of the top industry blogs can be a great way to learn about what’s happening in the digital marketing world. There are a lot of great digital marketing blogs to follow; two notable mentions are Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal.

While these blogs can be a great resource for any skill level, they shouldn’t replace a structured online learning program if you’re serious about a career in digital marketing. They are a good supplement to any online course, but don’t provide the organization that online learning programs provide, nor do they provide certifications.

Learn the basics from free online courses

Similarly to following industry blogs, signing up for a free course can be a good way to supplement an accredited course, but it shouldn’t be a replacement. These courses are often not as structured as accredited programs, and usually won’t be able to prepare you for a certification exam. Students in these courses also don’t often have access to the same types of resources that paid programs provide, such as live lectures and hands-on assignments.

Choosing a path

When you’re ready to enroll in an online digital marketing program, we recommend beginning with the Simplilearn Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA). Students learn all digital marketing fundamentals in this program, and can then choose a path to pursue upon completion. Some popular digital marketing paths include PPC specialist, SEO specialist, and social media marketing specialist. Alternatively, you can decide not to focus on one specific area and pursue a career as an all-around digital marketing specialist.

Let’s explore these different paths in a little more detail.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Specialist

Whenever you search the web for any given term, you’ll often see top results in the ad space above all of the organic results. PPC specialists set up these ads, and it’s their goal to bring in as much qualified traffic as possible with their provided budget. In order to succeed in PPC, individuals need to be analytical and organized. Prepare for a career in PPC by enrolling in Simplilearn’s Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Training.

In this course, students will learn various components of advanced PPC, including web analytics and display advertising. As a PPC specialist, learning about display advertising is essential. This skill prepares you to work with ads, third-party agencies, remarketing campaigns, browser cookies, optimization conversation rates, landing pages, microsites, and much more.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial part of any digital marketing campaign, and an essential skill for a digital marketing professional. A good SEO campaign is what helps any given website perform well in search engines, and companies are often looking for experienced and trained SEO specialists to add to their teams. Sharpen your SEO skills with Simplilearn’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course, which teaches advanced SEO, web analytics, content marketing, and other essential components of SEO.

Social Media Marketing Specialist

With social media becoming extremely widespread across several channels, more and more brands are taking advantage of these platforms for advertising purposes. Aside from creating paid advertisements that are tailor-made for specific audiences, social media marketers also manage company social media accounts to engage current and potential customers organically. This can include a wide range of responsibilities, from curating and posting eye-catching content, to analyzing and reporting on data.

Simplilearn offers several different programs that give students the opportunity to learn social media, from the basic fundamentals to advanced principles. The social media course is designed to teach students not only how to draw traffic to social media pages, but also how to protect a brand’s reputation in the process. Students learn how to plan and execute strategic social media marketing plans, as well as how to analyze data for improving and planning for future campaigns. 

Digital Marketing Specialist

If you like all aspects of online marketing, you don’t necessarily have to focus on one specific area for your career path. As a general digital marketing specialist, you’ll get the opportunity to dabble in a little bit of everything when it comes to digital marketing. With this well-rounded approach, you may have the opportunity to lead a marketing team once you have enough experience. Becoming a digital marketing specialist, manager, or director can be a rewarding experience, but it’s also important to stand out amongst the competition by receiving the right training and certification.

Become a sought-after digital marketer

Simplilearn’s catalog of digital marketing courses offers a wide range of programs for all skill experience levels, whether you’re just starting out or have worked as a digital marketer for some time now. Learn more about the various programs offered and enroll today.

Categorized in How to

Today, with nearly half the world's population wired to the internet, the ever-increasing connectivity has created global shifts in strategic thinking and positioning, disrupting industry after industry, sector after sector. Seemingly, with each passing day, some new technological tool emerges that revolutionizes our lives, further deepening and embedding our dependence on the world wide web.

And why not? Human beings have always enthralled themselves into one pursuit after another, all with a means to an end of improving our lives. Clearly, the conveniences afforded by the internet are quite literally earth-shattering to say the least. Three decades ago, few could have ever imagined the present state of our on-demand-everything society, with the ability to instantly communicate and conduct business in real-time, at a pace that often seems dizzying at the best of times.

However, with all of these so-called modern conveniences to life, where technology's ever-pervading presence has improved even the most basic tasks for us such as hailing a ride or ordering food or conducting any sort of commerce instantly and efficiently, many are left in the dark. While all of us have become self-professed experts at consuming content and utilizing a variety of tools given to us, all of the noise being created has effectively drowned us in a sea of digital overload.

The truth? Today, rising above the noise and achieving any semblance of visibility has become a monumental undertaking. How are we supposed to get notice while swimming in this sea of misinformation and disinformation? We've become immersed in this guru gauntlet where one expert after another is attempting to teach us how we can get the proverbial word out about our businesses and achieve visibility to drive more leads and sales. But we all still seem to be lost.

It's clear that online marketing is no simple task. And the reason why we've landed in this world of "expert" internet marketers who are constantly cheerleading their offers to help us reach visibility and penetrate the masses is because of the layer of obscurity that's been afforded to us in part thanks to one key player: Google. Google's shrouded algorithms that cloud over 200+ ranking factors in a simple and easy-to-use interface has confounded businesses for well over a decade now.

Understanding Online Marketing

Google's core algorithms and its propensity to shroud its data in layers of obscurity is not something new. However, it is critical to any understanding of marketing on the internet simply because this visibility is at the heart of everything else that you do. Forget about social media and other forms of marketing for the time being. Search engine optimization (SEO) offers up the proverbial key to near-limitless amounts of traffic on the web.

The better you learn and understand SEO and the more strides you take to learn this seemingly confusing and complex discipline, the more likely you'll be to appear organically in search results. And let's face it, organic search is important to marketing online. Considering that most people don't have massive advertising budgets and don't know the first thing about lead magnets, squeeze pages and sales funnels, appearing visible is critical towards long-term success.

When traffic is coming to your website or blog, nearly unfettered, it gives you the opportunity to test out a variety of marketing initiatives. However, without that traffic, you're forced to spend money on costly ads before really determining the effectiveness of your offers and uncovering your cost-per acquisition (CPA), two things which are at the core of scaling out any business online.

I liken this to a paradoxical Catch-22 scenario, because it seems like without one you can't have the other. It takes money to drive traffic, but it takes traffic to make money. So don't make the mistake that millions of other online marketers make around the world. Before you attempt to scale or send any semblance of traffic to your offers, be sure to split-test things to oblivion and determine your conversion rates before diving in headfirst.

Gaining Google's Trust

The biggest problem that most people have when trying to learn anything to do with driving more traffic to their website or boosting their visibility across a variety of online mediums, is that they try to do the least amount of work for the greatest return. They cut corners and they take shortcuts. Because of that, they fail. Today, if you're serious about marketing anything on the web, you have to gain Google's trust.

Gaining Google's trust doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. Think about building up your relationship with anyone. The longer you know that person, the more likely that trust will solidify. So, the reasoning is, that if Google just met you, it's going to have a hard time trusting you. If you want Google to trust you, you have to get other people that Google already trusts, to vouch for you. This is also known as link-building.

But I'm not talking about any kind of link building. I'm talking about organic link building by getting out there and creating insatiable "anchor content" on your website, then linking to that content with equally-great content that's created on authority sites like MediumQuoraLinkedIn and other publishing platforms. It's not easy by any measure. Google is far more wary of newcomers these days than it once used to be.

However, if you're going to understand online marketing, you have to understand the importance of building Google's trust. There are three core components involved here. These three core components are like the pillars of trust that comprise all of Google's 200+ ranking factor rules. Each of those rules can be categorized and cataloged into one of these three pillars of trust. If you want to rank on the first page or in the first spot, you need to focus on all three, and not just one or two out of three.

Trust Component #1: Indexed Age

The first component of Google's trust has to do with age. Age is more than a number. But it's not just the age when you first registered your website. The indexed age has to do with two factors: i) the date that Google originally found your website, and; ii) what happened between the time that Google found your website and the present moment in time.

Just think about any relationship for a moment. How long you've known a person is incredibly important. It's not the be-all-end-all, but it is fundamental to trust. If you've known someone for years and years and other people that you know who you already trust can vouch for that person, then you're far more likely to trust them, right? But if you've just met someone, and haven't really vetted them so to speak, how can you possibly trust them?

Trust Component #2: Authority

What's the authority of your website or webpage, or any other page on the internet for that matter where you're attempting to gain visibility? Authority is an important component of trust, and it relies heavily on quality links coming from websites that Google already trusts. Authority largely relates to the off-page optimization discipline of SEO that occurs away from the webpage as opposed to the on-page optimization that occurs directly on the webpage.

For example, what are the quality and quantity of the links that have been created over time? Are they natural and organic links stemming from relevant and high quality content, or are they spammy links, unnatural links or coming from bad link neighborhoods? Are all the links coming from the same few websites over time or is there a healthy amount of global IP diversification in the links?

Trust Component #3: Content

Content is king. It always has been and it always will be. Creating insightful, engaging and unique content should be at the heart of any online marketing strategy. Too often, people simply don't obey this rule. The problem? This takes an extraordinary amount of work. However, anyone that tells you that content isn't important, is not being fully transparent with you. You cannot excel in marketing anything on the internet without having quality content.

Quality content is more likely to get shared. By staying away from creating "thin" content and focusing more on content that cites sources, is lengthy and it reaches unique insights, you'll be able to gain Google's trust over time. Remember, this happens as a component of time. Google knows you can't just go out there and create massive amounts of content in a few days. If you try to spin content or duplicate it in any fashion, you'll suffer a Google penalty and your visibility will be stifled.

An Overarching View Of Marketing On The Web

Okay, if you're still with me, fantastic. You're one of the few that doesn't mind wading through a little bit of hopeless murkiness to reemerge on the shores of hope. But before we jump too far ahead, it's important to understand what online marketing is and what it isn't. That definition provides a core understanding of what it takes to peddle anything on the web, whether it's a product, service or information.

When we talk about marketing on the internet, we're talking about driving traffic or boosting visibility via a number of means. Any type of advertising done on the internet to promote any product, person, service, business or place for that matter, can be deemed as online marketing. However, to succeed in this arena, whether it's SEO, social media, email marketing or beyond, you need to ensure you adhere to the three pillars of trust first and foremost.

Types Of Online Marketing

There are ten essential types of marketing that can be done online. Some of these can be broken down into organic marketing and others can be categorized as paid marketing. Organic, of course, is the allure of marketing professionals from around the planet. It's free and its unencumbered traffic that simply keeps coming. Paid marketing, on the other hand, is still a very attractive proposition as long as the marketing pays for itself by having the right type of offer that converts.

#1 -- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO should be a core tactic in any marketing strategy. While it might seem difficult to understand at first, as long as you find the right course, book or audiobook, and devote your time to learning, you'll be in good shape. Considering that there are over 200+ ranking factors in Google's current algorithms, learning, digesting and successfully implementing good SEO tactics is essential to the success of your website or blog.

  • Pay attention to the often-overlooked on-page optimization elements such as your page speed, which can be determined by using tools like GTMetrixPingdom and Google's own Page Speed Insights.
  • Leverage Google's new Accelerated Mobile Projects (AMP) specification to ensure that you appear relevantly on mobile searches using this new lightning-fast loading spec.
  • Utilized Google's Webmaster Tools for suggestions on fine-tuning your site's structured data, rich cards, and other HTML improvements such as discovering duplicate title and meta tags, and so on.
  • Read Google's Webmaster Guidelines and ensure that your content and your overall SEO strategies are in harmony with what the search giant is looking for.
  • Always build high quality, relevant content that's unique, insightful and engaging, paving the way for a higher likelihood of visitors sharing that content organically and naturally.

#2 -- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Organic SEO's flip-side offers up a paid method for marketing on search engines like Google. SEM provides an avenue for displaying ads through networks such as Google's Adwords and other paid search platforms that exist across the web throughout social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and even video sites like YouTube, which, invariably, is the world's second largest search engine.

By utilizing SEM, it provides you with a great avenue for getting the word out quickly and effectively. If you have the budget, then marketing on search engines for competitive keywords might be the right fit for you. But be prepared to pony up. Keywords can range anywhere from a few cents to upwards of $50 and more. The quality score for any term is reflective of what you can expect to pay for bidding on that keyword. The lower the competition, the lower the quality score and the lower the price.

However, SEM doesn't just cover paying for clicks, but also paying for impressions. That means, for example, that every 1000 times your ad is displayed, you pay a pre-arranged amount, regardless of whether anyone clicked on it or not. While this is a less popular form of advertising, it still exists today on some platforms.

#3 -- Social Media Marketing

One of the hottest forms of marketing anything online right now is through social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, amongst others. Social media provides a near-direct avenue for reaching the masses, but it most certainly isn't a simple or easy thing to achieve saturation, especially when we're talking about millions of followers.

In a number of recent articles, where I've interviewed some of social media's rising stars such as Jason Stone from Millionaire MentorSean Perelstein, who built StingHD into a global brand and Nathan Chan from Foundr Magazine, amongst several others, it's quite clear that multi-million-dollar businesses can be built on the backs of wildly-popular social media channels and platforms.

However, getting that saturation is a frustrating process. Obviously, it doesn't happen overnight. Based on my conversations with numerous rising stars in social media, there are a few things that should be done when it comes to gaining attention through a variety of social media channels.

  • Find your voice: decide what your message is going to be and stick to it. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Make a decision and stay committed to it. Whether it's a topic, idea, niche, business or something else, do your best not to waver.
  • Be real and be yourself: people can see through those that try to put up a front on social media channels. Don't try to be something that you're not. Be real and be yourself. It will resonate with people.
  • Deliver value no matter what: Regardless of who you are and what you're trying to promote, always deliver value, first and foremost. Go out of your way to help others by carefully curating information that will assist them in their journey. The more you focus on delivering value, the quicker you'll reach that proverbial tipping point when it comes to exploding your fans or followers.
  • Constantly engage with others: many of the social media superstars I've spoken to have said that, in the beginning, they followed the popular profiles and constantly commented, shared and engaged with others. Not just on their own profiles, but by directly commenting on photos and engaging in conversations on other feeds.

If you're serious about finding your voice and discovering the secrets to success in business, one of the best people to follow is Gary Vanyerchuck, CEO of Vayner Media, and early-stage invest in Twitter, Uber and Facebook, has arbitraged his way into the most popular social media platforms and built up massive followings and often spills out the secrets to success in a highly motivating and inspiring way.

#4 -- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

PPC advertising is a method of advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. As mentioned earlier, with PPC ads, you pay each time that ad is clicked on. PPC ads also exist on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook as well. However, if you're going to engage in PPC advertising, it's important that you determine conversion rates by using tracking pixels.

By using the Facebook tracking pixel or the Adwords pixel, you can help to define your audience and work to entice them to come back to your site. Let's say the didn't finish their purchase or they simply showed up and left after adding something to their shopping cart, or they filled out a lead form and disappeared, you can re-target those individuals.

Re-targeting is one of the most effective ways to market your business online, because you're marketing to "warm" traffic, or people who've already visited your site. If you've ever gone to a website and then seen those ads following you around the internet, then you're well aware of what re-targeting is.

When running PPC ads, it's important that you keep careful track of the specific ads and keywords that you're targeting. You can do this by using the Google Analytics UTM builder to create campaign URLs that you can use to track the campaign source, the medium and any keywords or terms that you might be targeting. This way, you can determine the effectiveness of any campaign that you run and figure out the precise conversion rate.

#5 -- Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the art of marketing products, services or information for others. It doesn't require that you ever house or warehouse a single thing. But it does require that you have an audience to market those things to online. Without that audience, whether it's through search engines like Google or social media channels like Facebook, you'll find a difficult time with affiliate marketing.

However, if you are seasoned online marketer, and you've built a substantial following, then marketing as an affiliate might be the right fit. Jason Stone from Millionaire Mentor has built a seven-figure business with affiliate marketing, while David Sharpe from Legendary Marketer has built up an eight-figure business by creating an army of affiliates that market products in collaboration with his team.

There are numerous repositories to source affiliate products and services from. However, some of the biggest are sites like ClickbankCommission JunctionLinkShare and JVZoo. You'll need to go through an application process, for the most part, to get approved to sell certain products, services or digital information products. Once approved, be prepared to hustle.

#6 -- Email Marketing

For those that are not in the know, email marketing is a substantial money generator. In fact, email marketing can far outstrip standard website sales because, at least for unknown brands or websites that are not household names, clinching a sale on the first interaction often doesn't happen.

That's why seasoned online marketers build squeeze pages with lead magnets, webinars and sales funnels to drip-deliver value and build a close personal relationship with their email subscribers, effectively moving them up a value chain to sell them high-ticket products and services.

If you have a website or a blog, be sure that you create a lead magnet or give something else of value away for free such as a trial software to a SaaS system or anything else for that matter that people could get value out of. Exchange your free offer for the email address and drop them into your sales funnel.

Use an email marketing system like InfusionSoft, ConvertKit or MailChimp, amongst others, to drip-feed value to those subscribers while also working to move them up your value chain. Russell Bruson does a great job of explaining sales funnels and marketing virtually anything on the internet is his best-selling book, Dot Com Secrets.

#7 -- Influencer Marketing

Using influencers to market your products or services is a great way to quickly saturate yourself into the marketplace, no matter what you're peddling. However, finding the right influencer at the right price is the hard part. You don't necessarily have to go to the top-tier influencers; you can also opt for micro-influencers (those that have 10,000 to 100,000 followers or fans).

Some influencers charge a hefty sum for a simple post on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. You can expect to pay upwards of a million dollars and more for some of the top-tier influencers. If you're looking for mid-level influencers, you'll likely get away with paying roughly a couple hundred-thousand dollars and up.

The really important part of influencer marketing is to find influencers that are in your niche. Be sure that they represent your target demographic audience before deciding to part ways with your hard-earned cash. It can get incredibly costly, but it can also bring you instant attention and business.

#8 -- Blogging

Blogging is one of the best forms of marketing online. It's free and it gives you a platform to build a massive audience as long as you don't give up. While starting a blog is relatively easy, actually following through and growing the blog is nothing short of downright frustrating and seemingly impossible.

However, some of the world's top-earning blogs gross millions of dollars per month on autopilot. It's a great source of passive income and if you know what you're doing, you could earn a substantial living from it. You don't need millions of visitors per month to rake in the cash, but you do need to connect with your audience and have clarity in your voice.

#9 -- Video Marketing

Video marketing is a great avenue for exposure on the internet, and utilizing a platform like YouTube to deliver value in the form of tutorials and other useful information such as courses or entertainment is a great way to grow your brand and build a presence.

While there are several platforms for doing this, clearly YouTube is the most popular for doing this. However, video marketing is also a great form of both content marketing and SEO on its own. It can help to provide visibility for several different ventures, and if the video is valuable enough in its message and content, it will be shared and liked by droves, pushing up the authority of that video through the roof.

#10 -- Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of my favorite go-to strategies when it comes to marketing on the web. It's my favorite because it's one of the most powerful, free and organic methods that are available for online marketers no matter where they're from. However, marketing content is difficult. So be prepared to put in the sweat equity.

My favorite style in this is article marketing. You create anchor content on your website or blog, then you build authority-content links to that content, effectively driving up the visibility. I've used this single strategy to rank hundreds of keywords in the #1 spot on Google, and I would highly recommend that if you're going to learn any marketing strategy, that you get really good at this one.

The type of content you can market is wide open. Aside from articles, you can use infographics, tutorials, ebooks and many other forms of content marketing. As long as it's done the right way, and it isn't intentionally setup to trick or fool search engines, but rather to add value to human beings, you'll see immense results from this.

R.L. Adams is a software engineer, serial entrepreneur, and author. He runs a wildly-popular blog called Wanderlust Worker and contributes to Entrepreneur, Engadget and the Huffington Post.

This article was published on forbes.com by R.L. Adams

 

Great Suggestions Concerning How To Make Seo Work For You

With regards to owning a website, it is vital that you will get its name around. If you are a novice or perhaps expert, there are always things to learn when it comes to promoting your site. This post is going to discuss search engine optimization, the easiest method to get web site viewed.

When using SEO in your website, resist the temptation to feature common misspellings of your keywords to boost hits. Most search engines like yahoo today are smart enough to repair users’ mistakes before the search even begins, so traffic will not likely increase using this method. Instead, your web site will appear unprofessional and untrustworthy to visitors.

There are many virtues in the field of Search Engine Optimization, and patience may be the biggest one. If you’re a do-it-yourself businessperson, you have to realize that it requires time to get the business ranked up on the top, when trafficking your blog, especially. You’ll ought to keep working in the meantime, even though results usually takes months.

Although search engines like google will see your site independently in case the content is relevant, you ought to still submit your blog to several search engines like yahoo so that they’re finding exactly what you want these to see. Manual submission gives you a lot more control in the process, and that’s what you need like a marketer.

Make sure you submit your blog to browse engines for ranking after you get to the time and effort of optimizing it. The major search engines can’t rank something it doesn’t learn about. All of that effort is going to be wasted if the search engine doesn’t know your blog exists. Submitting the website yourself will increase the ranking process, although most search engines like google today use spiders.

That you can do your search engine optimisation all on your own if you know enough techniques and techniques. There are numerous resources on the market which can help you. You can look at plenty of terrific websites and books too.

Put a sitemap on your own webpage. A sitemap can be a page that easily links to any or all available pages in your site, and more importantly how to locate them. This feature makes it much simpler for the search engine spiders to navigate your site. The fewer clicks it will take to discover or get to a specific page the better.

Once you initially launch your site, send out a press release to local media who may be interested in within the story. Even though you curently have a well established site, do a “remodel” and distribute a press release for your new and improved unveiling. You might be astonished at the number of publications have space restricted to just most of these stories.

One of the greatest mistakes budding SEO experts make has titles on their own site which can be just too long. Remember that most search engines like yahoo put a 60 character cap on keywords to get a title, therefore the shorter, more informative you possibly can make your title, the greater off you may be.

You ought to take into account that online search engine spiders cannot read images or videos. Make sure you give a descriptive text beside them if you would like include images on your own site. You can even use relevant keywords to tag the image or place the keywords from the name from the file.

Utilize the alternative attribute feature of any HTML page to include extra keywords. This function should really describe the information in the page in an alternative way. It can be used to feature related keywords: be sure to stay on topic and make use of popular keywords. Will not abuse with this function.

Advanced tools for search engine optimization analysis could be a prudent investment. These power tools can display you what links in your website are ineffective or perhaps harmful to your search engine results. Beyond broken links, which are super easy to find, links which lead to loops or often encourage bounce-back can hurt SEO and be hard to trace. Dedicated tools can certainly make the search a piece of cake.

Title tags can be a critical a part of Search Engine Optimization. Title Tags show up in your browser window in the title bar. They clue the search engine in about what form of information is on your page. You need to label each page’s title tags with different keywords to usher in more hits.

Include links in your site in your online signature should you be a respected and popular presence on online community forums or communities. Naturally, this procedure is only effective when you are viewed favorably locally, diligently follow all forum rules, to make valuable contributions towards the larger discussion.

Hire a search engine optimization company or consultant to work with your website designer before your web site goes up if you can. It’s quicker to develop a site that is certainly optimized for certain keywords than it is to change a preexisting site. A Search Engine Optimization consultant may have a better thought of the best way to best manage your website than a novice business owner.

Take into consideration each of the synonyms to the keywords you’re working with to make sure you catch all relevant search queries. If you’re unsure which words you should use, try in search of keywords with a tilde (~) before them. For example, ~athletic could provide you with a selection of words.

When caring for your seo, make sure that the titles and captions of any images you utilize in your website are full of several relevant keywords as you can. Search engines like yahoo don’t pick up text within pictures, only the words surrounding images, so it will be crucial that you take advantage possible usage of your image filenames and labels.

Make sure you’re linking to other websites. Search engines like google often rank websites higher when they are linked to similar websites. So, try building a “resources” page that uses keywords strategically and links with other sites which can be similar or highly relevant to the main topic of your blog. This will help to enhance your ranking and make favor along with your readers.

Every single day which you don’t implement sound seo measures, can be another day that your competitors are getting business that you could have gotten otherwise. Therefore, you should immediately get yourself started on implementing the guidelines above, to greatly increase your business website’s rank, in accordance with your competitors’ sites.
Raising Your Reputation: Guidelines

Businesses aim to retain the best reputation possible. If you are managing your organization, it’s quite simple to create a mistake from the public eye. There may be a bad review online. Alternatively, another rumor flying around. Reputation management is important, although when you’re in plain view, you will always find going to be more haters. Read on to determine a few things regarding this.

Set realistic expectations with the customers. When you own a small business, let your customers know if you will respond to their questions. Place a banner stating that all questions will be answered within a certain amount of time, for example within 72 hours, if you cannot answer every question immediately.

To keep a far more careful eye in your business reputation, try establishing an alert system. This can be a daily email you will get that allows you to know whenever your company has become mentioned online. They do cost some money and take a short period of time to put together, nonetheless they can provide you with lots of useful information.

You should always be sure to give them credit for the if you are planning to make use of anyone’s ideas. Everyone available can learn a little from others, so giving due credit can have folks that you don’t think you happen to be above that. This is a terrific way to earn their respect.

Remember that your online and also in-person reputations both matter just as much. There are many people who are great face-to-face yet they are not very great with customers over the Internet. If the customer will spread negative information that could destroy you, you need to be nice in any case because you do not know.

You must not eliminate it should you receive negative feedback here and there. Most businesses could have unsatisfied customers every once in a while. Men and women start wondering in case you are doing items to make yourself look much better than you will be when you simply have positive reviews all over the place.

Always respect employees if you own a business. Lots of people don’t do this up to they will be, and also this could have some consequences. Lots of potential prospects might refuse to obtain anything with regards to your company if others spread the saying that you just aren’t a great boss.

Produce a mailing list. Make subscribing to your subscriber list fast and uncomplicated. To help you bolster you subscriber list provide a coupon or another incentive to encourage registering. As an extra, it is possible to boost your subscriber list by providing a coupon for referrals. This is often a free small product or possibly a cost saving coupon.

Consider sponsoring a community event over a corporate level. It can certainly help your general reputation. This may give customers an optimistic impression of the company. An excellent impression takes your organization very far.

Everybody makes mistakes, even large corporations. As soon as your business will make a mistake, it is vital that you apologize for this to your customers the instant you can. Describe how your company is likely to make amends. You can still protect your reputation because customers will appreciate your honesty, while you are forthcoming about mistakes.

Be careful together with the information you share on the Internet. Who knows how it will probably be used later, so make sure you watch out. If just a few people access it, be cautious with any social media account you have, even.

Don’t cover it if you have an error in judgment. There is absolutely no sense in trying to fool your client base. Own approximately your error and apologize. Should you offer something extra in return to make up for the error, usually, your clients will forgive you, especially.

Have a plan available to manage individuals who post numerous poor reviews with all the intent of harming your organization. It is far better to have a plan and never require it than to end up the victim of those an attack and be unacquainted with your rights with no idea on how to manage the specific situation.

Customer comments on something like Twitter could make or break a company’s reputation. Word travels so quickly all over the web when a significant company constitutes a blunder, people around the globe will know about this within minutes. Monitor what is being discussed in Twitter with regards to your enterprise and respond when appropriate to guard your company’s reputation.

When managing your internet reputation, always use the high road. The Internet is rife with folks that want to vent their frustrations. Don’t permit them to suck you in. Keep your cool and stay the adult in the room. Do your very best to settle any problems. If you are unable to, go ahead and take necessary steps to eliminate the negativity.

Get involved in projects that benefit the creation of your community’s economy. Being a sponsor of a community program or possibly a donor of the urban renewal project brings more exposure to your company name. And your reputation will improve because of it, your contribution in your community will make a positive impression.

Make certain your organization name appears prominently on the most significant pages on your own website. It ought not to be awkward looking or out of place. It is important to offer an attractive logo tastefully placed on the page. It’s also smart to get the names of important people in your business listed on main pages. This fosters accountability and helps your page gain credibility.

Do a survey to gauge the degree of satisfaction that your particular people are feeling concerning your business. You should find out the reason why it is not higher when the satisfaction is average or lower. Gain knowledge from this making your organization better. This is how your enterprise could possibly get an improved reputation.

Among the best methods to manage your organization reputation would be to provide flawless customer satisfaction. This may naturally create happy customers who post positive comments and embark on your social networking sites. Encourage satisfied clients to talk up as well as mention specifics regarding how your products made a positive influence on their lives.

Will not overlook cultivating your organization relationship with your sub and suppliers-contractors. They are able to affect your company reputation at the same time. Always cope with them with the greatest measure of fairness and professionalism. Always honor your commitments. You desire a good reputation among your colleagues in the market so that they would like to work with you.

You realize you can use it to enhance your professional life. That is the beauty of the things you learned here. If you are using the guidelines above, you may be pleased eventually. A little bit of commitment can cause success! The Net is continually changing, and that means you should constantly change the ways you make use of it to market your products. To do that, you have to be likely to keep track of new marketing suggestions. Here are a few great pieces of advice that can help give your old Web marketing techniques a boost.

Your online marketing might be in places apart from the web. Get in touch with individuals who have blogs frequently and possess them go to conferences you may have. This assists build feelings of community involving the bloggers as well as your brand, improving the bloggers feel more excited about continuing to write relating to your brand.

Obtain a merchant account. This will alleviate lots of stress and headaches regarding payments from customers and clients. When you don’t have got a merchant account and are processing payments from different sources, you will probably find yourself using a frozen account and unresponsive customer satisfaction on the night of your big launch. Spend the money and make use of a merchant account immediately.

When creating a website and wanting to advertise your business, check how the site looks and operations on multiple browsers. It may possibly work effectively on Firefox, but have you ever checked the way it handles on Opera, Safari or IE? Even though it’s a less-popular browser, you continue to want to check how good your web site functions onto it.

An excellent way in building customer loyalty is actually by rewarding your clients with regard to their business. A point system in accordance with the the amount of purchase is a terrific way to encourage your potential customers to buy more, and much more frequently. When customers accumulate enough points at no cost products, they often buy more related items. This may keep the customers returning to your web store.

Track and analyze the visitors aimed at your website. If you can’t measure who seems to be coming, when, where, how long they stay and the things they are going to do on your site, it is tough to improve. This is known as tracking and analytics, and can help you boost your website’s business tremendously.

Your organization should have a Facebook and Twitter page, to be able to improve your marketing presence online, however you shouldn’t include your personal pages. You will want facebook page for your business plus a Twitter account as the owner of the business, although you can nevertheless be a true live person. You can have the same identity, you simply don’t would like customers in your friend’s list, unless you really are friends.

You are able to rarely get it wrong in terms of free gifts. A web-based marketing plan can exploit the allure of “something for nothing” by including offers at no cost samples, entirely free shipping, or free expedited shipping with a minimum purchase. This creates considerable value inside the mind of your online customer.

To encourage other websites to hyperlink to you, regularly connect to sites all on your own page. the best washington dc seo When you backlink to a website, send an email for the site’s owner permitting them to realize that you like their website and this you’ve associated with it from the page. When other sites visit your generous linking habits, they’ll be a little more inclined to link to you.

If you’re linking on someone else’s site for website marketing that you just make sure your link is a “do-follow” link, it’s crucial that. You may select the page source of any link and look at the HTML. Unless it specifically says something to extent of “usually do not follow,” you realize you’re safe here. Make certain to confirm this.

Offer occasional online promotions to your customers, in your website marketing plan. A special discount code to get a discount or free offer with purchase can attract customers to click via your website. Frequently, customers buy more because they peruse your internet site, because they want to benefit from the discount even though it is still valid.

Once your internet business is established, link your most profitable product pages right to your websites homepage. Good sales will enhance your site’s reputation and carry you new traffic searching for the products specifically. This is certainly savvy Web marketing practice for 2 reasons: The improved convenience will further boost sales of people products, and the heavy-traffic internal links will enhance your websites search engine ranking positions.

An integral aspect of your online marketing plan, needs to include communicating the specific performance and level of quality that prospective consumers should expect to take pleasure from when working with your product or service. Your target audience should not need to you know what your products or services does or how rapidly it could get it done. Use detailed metrics, like “10 days or less,” “50 % more” or “100 dollars under our competitor”, by way of example.

When you use email to advertise your internet business, be sure your potential customers are aware of what they’re set for after they first sign-up. When you tell customers when you ought to expect your emails and whatever they will contain, you will get more interested subscribers. Nobody desires to fill their inbox with commercials from a single company.

Offer membership aimed at your website for the fee. Offering great deals to customers who pay a fee for membership can be a fast and effective way to boost revenue. The customers who purchase memberships will often be repeat buyers to be able to make use of the deals you offered them for joining.

When it comes to fully leveraging Website marketing techniques, the tenure of your site is important. Consider the contract length when selecting a domain name while focusing on keeping the website address for as long a period of time as the website is viable. A tenured site has more credibility compared to a new site, plus historical information posted gives visitors a sense of your own personal purpose.

You will be astonished at the volume of individuals who forget that good customer support is extremely important to the survival associated with a business, even though this may seem like sound judgment. Treat all customers like you wish to be treated and they will revisit for your needs.

Make sure to are the first name in the subject line of your sales message when your primary e-mail list includes the initial name and last initial of each recipient. This personal touch separates your brand’s marketing communications in the impersonal spam that a majority of consumers find highly irritating and invasive.

With all the information you merely learned you should begin feeling like you will have a reasonable strategy ready to get started within your affiliate internet marketing goals. Now you have an idea of how to proceed get as started the instant you can. The sooner you begin, the quicker you’re likely to see success.

Source : yahoo.com
 

How can businesses stay on top of the digital marketing ecosystem and achieve the optimum balance of technology and human intervention?

What does the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) conjure up in the mind of the consumer? Will our children be replaced by fun-loving androids as the eponymous 2001 Steven Spielberg film A.I. suggests? Or perhaps grown adults will suddenly be replaced by robots in the workplace? 

While all of that may seem a little far-fetched, in reality, AI is already integral to many consumers’ daily lives – in the form of image and voice recognition on mobile devices; personalised viewing suggestions on streaming platforms such as Amazon Video or Netflix; or voice interaction/recognition analysis incorporated into search engines such as Google. 

AI has also gained recognition in the healthcare sector – machine learning applications that have the potential to assist hospital staff in routine tasks such as keeping a patient’s treatment records up to date are being tested and the voice-controlled Amazon Echo device, Alexa, can assist patients at home with tasks such as reminding them to take medication or arranging a GP appointment. AI also made news within the gaming industry. Earlier this year, a bot named Liberatus learnt the rules and strategies associated with poker before going on to beat four world-class poker players over a three-week tournament. 

And in the digital advertising industry, AI is also emerging as a necessary tool for marketers to better engage with their customers. So, with AI firmly on the agenda, how can businesses stay on top of the digital marketing ecosystem and achieve the optimum balance of technology and human intervention?

The current role of AI in digital advertising

In recent years, the digital world has become increasingly aware of, and reliant upon, AI technologies. To ensure the responsible and transparent development of AI, technology giants including Google, Facebook, Amazon and (most recently) Apple established the ‘Partnership on AI’, which aims to promote the benefits to marketers and consumers, and alleviate any concerns about the impact of AI on daily life. But amid these times of speculation, marketers are beginning to realise that one thing is for certain: AI is a reality, and will inevitably have an impact on the digital advertising industry. 

The first thing for marketers to understand is how AI is already influencing digital advertising. Several ad platforms already incorporate machine learning technology and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to enable the delivery of more relevant content to consumers, as well as creating more cost-effective targeted algorithms and campaigns. NLP works by semantically analysing data at a granular (i.e. page) level – in real time – to comprehend and process words, emotions, and context just as the human brain would. By making use of these sophisticated technologies, marketers can make decisions in seconds as to when and where they should be placing their ads to best reach and engage their target audience. 

Taking digital advertising to new heights with AI

With the proven potential of AI growing daily, many industry experts are making predictions about its role in the future of online advertising. So exactly how will AI impact areas such as data processing, brand alignment, and ad placements for marketers?  

Honing in on the data with first-party propensity profiling 

With programmatic set to account for more than three-quarters of UK display advertising in 2017, marketers are placing more and more importance on the use of first-party data to target audiences through the delivery of quality ads – despite the quantity of impressions served. Machine learning can already be used to filter and refine large volumes of data  – and when used to its full potential, it can analyse and predict customer moods, tastes, and needs to build a propensity profile based on their tendency to interact with a brand or specific message.  Marketers can use these first party profiles to adjust and optimise accordingly for their campaigns. 

For brands, building up first party data sets with customer feedback and digital interactions is a base for AI. As a starting point, brands can match customer interest/behaviour profiles in response to brand campaigns with first party data - we’re not far from the day when all major brands will “learn” from their daily digital customer interactions to create their own propensity profiles. This will help ensure the most effective and continuous buyer-seller relationship using a programmatic environment to deliver personalised messages at scale.

With access to such rich data to stimulate and capture interest from the consumer, the process of lead generation can be revolutionised by AI. The abundance of information readily available online has made it more important than ever to break through the noise in ways that mass-untargeted advertising cannot. 

Understanding a consumer’s need

Knowing what resonates with a consumer is the holy-grail of digital advertising. Taking the information on what interests and content a consumer likes to engage with means digital publishers can produce a content recommendation engine to understand what content they are likely to engage with in the future. Ultimately, this means advertising yields can be maximised as inventory can be sold based on audience segments, dependent on the interests and likelihood of consumers to engage. 

AI-driven advantages 

There are many ways in which AI can help – and is already helping – optimise campaign results. Such advances include optimisation engines that support campaigns from the perspective of the best buying/purchase and delivery solutions, understanding the best contextual placements, and dynamic creativity solutions where AI is used to determine the most effective creative.

Through cognitive and semantic technologies, AI can be used to determine how appropriate a brand’s ad placement will be within a certain contextual environment, and therefore how relevant the ad will be to that particular audience. With video becoming one of the fastest growing ad formats today, as highlighted by research from IAB/PwC, contextual video placements in particular are benefiting from AI technology. Outstream and in-read formats – which can appear anywhere on the page – compared to traditional video ads, which run before, during or after an online video – now account for 40 per cent of total video ad spend. 

With the help of machine learning capabilities and looking beyond simplistic keyword classifications, marketers can detect trends in user traffic and behaviour to enable contextually relevant ad alignment.

Unifying omnichannel marketing

With the rise in omnichannel marketing strategies to harness the explosion of consumer data now available, AI will play a key role in the integration of several different messaging platforms to create a unified user experience that will one day include the use of chatbots and virtual assistants as standard. Marketers will move away from focusing on each channel separately and, with the help of AI, start to assess their marketing campaigns as a whole.

While chat bots are not yet capable of sentience to provide a realistic human experience, AI enriched bots and customer engagement tools can be effective. However, for the full benefits to be realised, AI must be deployed transparently and in a way that is relevant to consumers.

So while it is safe to say that we are still a world away from technological singularity – i.e. androids knocking at your door – now is the time start to thinking about how AI can and will affect your business, and how you can use machine learning and semantic technologies to deliver more relevant campaigns than ever.

Author : Giovanni Strocchi

Source : http://www.itproportal.com/features/ai-technological-singularity-or-simply-the-best-thing-to-happen-to-digital-marketing/

This post was written by Jayne Kendall, Product Marketing Manager for www.ourhomeonline.wales – powered by Nominet who also run www.theukdomain.uk 

“Having an online presence was very important to us. Like every business, that’s how we reach varied audiences in all parts of Wales and beyond Wales, and it’s a shop window showing our business and what we have to offer.” – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

Like Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, small businesses across Wales have much to gain by being online. Your customers expect it, so it’s just a question of making sure they can find you. There are lots of marketing tactics for promoting your business online and the tips we’re about to share are merely the tip of the iceberg, but every small business has to start somewhere…

  1. Get the right name for your website

When you’re ready to take your business online, one of the most important decisions to make is what domain name is best for you. It needs to be memorable, easy to spell and match your business name, and it’s worth securing variations of the one you settle on so that nobody else can set up a website using the same name. For example, if you opted for a ‘yourbusinessname.wales’ domain, you might also want to secure ‘yourbusinessname.cymru’ too.

On the subject of Welsh-specific domains, getting a. cymru or. wales domain is a great way to show off your Welsh roots, and can therefore help to strengthen your brand. As Evans Pharmacy says, “Our business is Welsh and proud and the domain helps us show how proud we are of our Welsh identity and where we were established. Our customers love that our web address is so patriotic and it’s made us more popular than our competitors locally; they want to support the local company with “wales” in its web address. We’re always growing and the. wales domain is now a great part of it.”

  1. Make sure customers know where you’re based

You’ll want to use your website to drive customers to your offline business, so make sure it’s clear where you’re based ‘in real life’. Include your address and contact details on a ‘how to find us’ page, perhaps with a map showing your location. As we saw earlier, a Welsh-specific domain such as. cymru or. wales will also make sure visitors know immediately that you’re based in Wales.

Beyond your own website, you should also make sure that your business appears on all the online map sites, such as Google Maps, Apple Maps and Bing Maps. You can do this by submitting your ‘business listing’ and going through a simple verification process. This will help ensure you appear when customers search for businesses like yours close to them, whether through the normal search engine results pages or on map searches.

  1. Know your keywords and how to use them

What are people likely to search for when they want to find your site online? For example, if you’re a restaurant, they might search for a phrase like “restaurants in Swansea”, “Italian restaurants in Cardiff” or “best restaurants in Aberystwyth”. The process of getting your website appearing for relevant searches is called search engine optimisation, or SEO, and it’s another free form of online marketing that will help you reach the right people. Using keywords with high search volumes in your title tags and page headings is a good start, and will help search engines understand which searches your website is relevant to.

  1. Start a blog

Including a blog on your website is a great way to market your business, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny. You can use a blog to demonstrate your expertise; for example, if you make furniture, your blog could share interior design tips and perhaps explain some of the techniques you use. A blog is also the perfect place for telling the world about your good news, showcasing new products and ideas for using them, and sharing your opinions on subjects related to your industry.

Even better, blogging benefits your SEO, ensuring that your website stays fresh and up-to-date. And, because you’re sharing useful content, you might well find that people start sharing and linking to your posts, bringing more traffic and exposure to your site. For maximum benefit for your business, ensure that your blog is hosted on the same domain as your main website (for example, yourbusinessname.wales/blog), so that your whole site takes advantage of shares and links.

  1. Get to grips with social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social networking sites aren’t just fun; they’re a fantastic marketing opportunity for small businesses. As the Welsh Rugby Union says, “Having a strong online presence is critical to what we do, with so much going through social media and digital communication, and our website is really our main connection sometimes with the people who come to the stadium who wish to engage with rugby in Wales.”

Social media gives you a platform for engaging with your customers, and it’s also great for driving traffic to your website. For example, if you’re blogging, you can share your posts with your social media followers, who might then ‘like’ your post, thereby putting it in front of their friends and followers and growing your audience organically. It’s important to remember, however, that social media is a two-way thing; the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. So, make sure you respond to your customers, and encourage interactions by sharing some of their posts or asking them questions. When they interact with you, their friends see it, and your audience has the potential to get bigger and bigger.

  1. Encourage Reviews

Many people now search for online reviews of a small business before using it, so another way of marketing your business online is to encourage customers to leave a review on relevant sites, such as TripAdvisor or Yelp. Reviews help boost your website for local searches, as well as instilling trust in potential customers. You can also quote some of your favourite reviews on your site, giving potential customers a feel for what happy customers have said about you.

You can get more reviews simply by asking your customers to write one, perhaps in a follow-up email after they’ve ordered from you, or by asking nicely on social media. You could even encourage them by putting all reviewers into a monthly prize draw as an incentive. Don’t be too afraid of negative reviews; realistically you won’t be able to please everyone, and potential customers know that too. However, you can at least respond to them with your side of the story, and you can turn a negative into a positive by the way you write back.

  1. Track how people use your website

Setting up Google Analytics is quick, easy and free, and it’s an important tool for any marketer. Tracking visitor movements on your website can give you lots of insights that can help with your marketing. For instance, you can find out how people found your site, thus showing you which of your marketing tactics are proving most effective. You might find that you have lots of people visiting your website from big locations such as Cardiff or Swansea, but not many from rural Wales; you could then target your marketing efforts to reach new, rural audiences, or redouble efforts to your urban customer base, which is more of a known quantity. You may discover that people typically leave your site on a certain page, without buying from you; this can inform efforts to improve your website to encourage more conversions. You could also find out which posts on your blog generate the most interest, so you can concentrate on writing posts you know your audience finds interesting and are more likely to share.

As you get to know what works for your business, you’ll get a better understanding of where to concentrate your marketing efforts for maximum effect. Get to grips with these basics and you’ll be well on the way to building a strong presence online. As Wales’ leading co-working company Indycube highlights: “I think nowadays you have got to be online and not to be missing an opportunity. Its important people can find you at the click of a keyboard or on their phone or their tablet.”

Author : JAYNE KENDALL

Source : http://businessnewswales.com/successful-marketing-business-online/

Categorized in Business Research

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of small business owners now embrace the use of online marketing channels like websites and social media to grow their company's reputation and their revenue, but many have not harnessed the full potential of their online presence and may be leaving money on the table. This is according to a report released today by Web.com (Nasdaq: WEB), a leading provider of Internet services and online marketing solutions for small businesses, and Dr. David Ricketts, Innovation Fellow in the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard.

"The good news is that our survey shows nearly two-thirds of small business owners truly believe having an online presence will help them grow revenue and attract new customers. However, our report also indicates those same small businesses find it difficult to keep up with the continually changing dynamic of the web," said David Brown, chairman, CEO and president of Web.com.

"In 2017, it is no longer enough for small businesses to be online with only a simple website. They need marketing tools like search engine optimization (SEO), which will get them to the top of search lists, and they need business-specific social media channels that engage customers. The real challenge they face is not knowing where to find the online marketing help they require so that they can focus on running the business."

 (PRNewsFoto/Web.com)
(PRNewsFoto/Web.com)...

The first-ever Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Reportsurveyed small business owners nationwide to learn how they are using online channels to grow their businesses. The survey includes small business owners in a variety of professions, including dentists, contractors, artists, welders, hair salon owners, dry cleaners, and retailers with ecommerce sites.

Online Marketing: Using Basic Tools but Not All Necessary Tools

Despite the number of small business owners now embracing online marketing, only 54 percent of small business owners report they are very confident that their business's online presence is doing the job it's supposed to do. A deeper dive into the data shows small business owners have not yet tapped into the full suite of online marketing tools that are needed today to attract their next customer:

  • Only 17 percent of small business owners will be investing in SEO in 2017
  • 42 percent of small business owners admit they don't use both a robust website and social media channels to market their business
  • Only 12 percent cited that the main purpose of their website was for e-commerce, yet 31 percent of respondents identified themselves as a retail business
  • 26 percent admit to having only a single-page website
  • 43 percent say they have no plans to change or improve their online presence in 2017
  • 85 percent are hitting some kind of roadblock when attempting to use social media to promote their business

A majority of small business respondents (68 percent) say they are handling the building and maintenance of their online presence entirely in-house or on their own, compared to 22 percent who outsource this work to an online marketing firm, and 9 percent who solicit help from friends and family. When asked the number one area in online marketing they need help with in order to meet their top business priorities, the most popular answers were online advertising (29 percent) and website maintenance or expansion (26 percent).

Search Engine Optimization: An Underutilized Asset for Small Business Owners

Although SEO can help businesses stand out from their competitors, most small business owners are not citing it as a priority. Only 17 percent say they plan to add SEO to their online marketing strategy in 2017, and only 5 percent of respondents consider SEO a top priority for the year. The low number of respondents investing in SEO in 2017 may indicate a lack of awareness of the changing but important role of SEO and where to get help implementing it.

"Whatever a business's strategy is to reach customers – whether that's via social media, a website, or a combination of different strategies – small business owners need to stay focused on their main objective: to get their business in front of the right customers," says Brown. "The best way for small business owners to be found is to first identify what's unique and special about their business, and then make sure their site is visible using the right keywords and effective SEO."

Online Security and Small Business: Security Breaches May Go Undetected

An overwhelming majority of small business owners (81 percent) say their webpages are secure or very secure – but they may be unaware of vulnerabilities that could compromise their businesses. A report from online security company Whitehat Security finds that 86 percent of all websites have at least one vulnerability, indicating small business owners may be putting too much faith in their current cyber protections.

"When addressing cybersecurity, the primary question is – do these small business owners truly know if they are secure or not?" says Dr. Ricketts. "Security breaches can go undetected by even the largest of organizations, so small business owners may unknowingly be at risk."

Small Business Owners Are Hitting Roadblocks with Social Media

Small business owners are overwhelmingly (88 percent) embracing social media to support their businesses and half (54 percent) plan to invest in social media in 2017. However, a clear majority (85 percent) reported encountering challenges or roadblocks when using social media to market their business. These include:

  • Concern of reputational risks (15 percent)
  • Being overwhelmed with the upkeep, including the need to constantly develop interesting content (14 percent)
  • Lack of understanding of how social media will help their business (13 percent)
  • Knowledge of how to set up social media channels so they integrate with their business (10 percent)

Additionally, 23 percent of respondents admit they only use their personal social media handles to market their business.

When asked which social media platform was most effective for their business, Facebook emerged as the clear winner, ranking as the 'most effective' four times more than any other social media channel. Twitter was the next most effective platform, ranking ahead of channels like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and Snapchat.

Click here to view an infographic on the Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Report findings.

Methodology

The Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Report surveyed 300 small business owners (defined as a business with 1-500 employees) in the United States regarding their experiences of building and maintaining their online presence.

About Dr. David Ricketts

Dr. David Ricketts received his PhD from Harvard University. He is an Innovation Fellow in the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH). Operating from within the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, TECH enables holistic exploration by serving as a crossroads of innovation education. Dr. Ricketts writes and speaks internationally on strategy, trends and best practices in entrepreneurship and innovation.

About Web.com

Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEB) provides a full range of Internet services to small businesses to help them compete and succeed online. Web.com meets the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle with affordable, subscription-based solutions including domains, hosting, website design and management, search engine optimization, online marketing campaigns, local sales leads, social media, mobile products and ecommerce solutions. For more information, please visit www.web.com; follow Web.com on Twitter @webdotcom or on Facebook at facebook.com/web.com.

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Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-webcom-report-indicates-more-than-ever-small-business-owners-embrace-online-marketing-tools-300403490.html

 

Categorized in Business Research

It’s time you know that an Effective Marketing Campaign doesn’t need to be too difficult or expensive. All successful online marketing campaigns should be within the grasp of any business whatever your budget is. An organized, planned online marketing campaign circling through different targeted sites is not too difficult to coordinate, does not have to be too costly and can generate sales and traffic faster than any other online marketing efforts.

Committing to these steps below and following them through can create a cost effective campaign and guaranteed investment returns within a short period.

It’s time you know that an Effective Marketing Campaign doesn’t need to be too difficult or expensive. All successful online marketing campaigns should be within the grasp of any business whatever your budget is. An organized, planned online marketing campaign circling through different targeted sites is not too difficult to coordinate, does not have to be too costly and can generate sales and traffic faster than any other online marketing efforts.

Committing to these steps below and following them through can create a cost effective campaign and guaranteed investment returns within a short period.

1. Make sure to define your customer

Just as important as naming your business or defining your product, it is even more important to define your customer. If you are yet to do your marketing plan within your business plan, you are missing the most important thing. Taking up this exercise now is the best thing to do. Creating your marketing plan should be focused on your unique Selling Proposition via promotions and advertising planning.

2. Know your targets

Defining your customer is one thing and knowing where to get your customer is another. Where you post your ads matters – how much customers do you generate from there? The most effective marketing campaign is the coordinated efforts across several venues and sites where your customers always visit. Having your ads on several places retains the strength of your message and your visibility in these sites.

Cross-promoting complementary sites to your visitors will show your visibility in these sites too and this will provide reinforcement to your message. Areas to consider in this regard should be Holiday Specific sites which are often well promoted. You might have a different view too.

Considering websites, newsletter or social media for your ads, your focus should be on the search engine placement, the traffic, external linking to this site, the types of messages in the current ads and the quality of the messages. Having a knowledge of these will reveal to you if;

  • You already have competitors on this site.
  • The advertising is complementing your business.
  • If the ads are completely related or unrelated to your business or calculated traffic of the site. With this, you will know if your message is fit to be on this site.

3. Set and examine your budget

It shouldn’t be surprising when some people think setting your budget should be the first move. But in reality, you can only create a better budget for your online business when you already know what is involved and you have a good idea about what it will cost. You really can’t do this when you have not figured out your targets so you can see why the idea of placing budget first may not work well if you need real online marketing campaign success. The mistake most people make is, they need the best for their budget without any knowledge what the best will cost. If you already have a budget made, going back to your marketing campaign sheet and totaling all your intended ad posts cost will reveal what your chances are, either below your budget or exceeds your budget. Until you have a clear understanding of your overall online marketing campaign cost, don’t be too sure about your budget.

Once you have a clear list of what ads you intend to post, you would be able to prioritize them going with your budget as to where you will get the most exposure if your budget is below the estimated ad posts cost. Also, if you are involved in Pay-Per-Click advertising, it’s advisable to always ‘log in’ daily for the first seven days (1 week) to monitor the results of your ads. This is just to ensure you are paying for results.

Make sure to ask if your payments cover ad swaps and bartering and consider this as part of your budget.

4. Organizing your Ad content

It’s true that online marketing works but best when the focus is on one or two things at a time. You may have different kinds of products but choose one of these or two that are attractive enough to your target market and this will do a lot of campaign magic than collecting all items and writing contents all about them. Most of your target customers just want to read something short and interesting with a beautiful image to behold.

Now the question you should ask yourself is “what actually am I selling”? a product or a service. Make sure what you are selling is beneficial and attractive enough to capture the target’s emotional interest. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you are selling beauty and using ads that relate to the customer will have the most success.

Next ask yourself again, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty. Create many emotional words relating to the product- stimulating enough, addictive, relaxing, comforting and fun. You must be able to attract your target or customer.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Your Ads

In maintaining an effective marketing campaign, it’s essential to track and react to your campaign successes. Right from your Website Stats to the PPC Stats, there are diverse ways to check and determine what is really working out for you as planned and which isn’t working. With absolute concentration, you should be able to learn much about your ads and how to sharpen them for best results ever.

The most effective way to track your campaign ads is using tracking services that help track your activities. There are special advertising management services which help you track your ad performances, free or less costly services that are relatively very easy to implement which give powerful ad tracking management and support. Note that some venues such as Facebook ads provide their own ads reports.

The KEY

Ensure that on daily basis for the first 14 days, you keep reviews of your different ads. Make an inventory of this in a tracking sheet and search out for any patterns. Which of the ads are performing, where they are performing and why are they performing there? From here you can easily detect which ads are not working and remove or replace them.

Just as important as naming your business or defining your product, it is even more important to define your customer. If you are yet to do your marketing plan within your business plan, you are missing the most important thing. Taking up this exercise now is the best thing to do. Creating your marketing plan should be focused on your unique Selling Proposition via promotions and advertising planning.

2. Know your targets

Defining your customer is one thing and knowing where to get your customer is another. Where you post your ads matters – how much customers do you generate from there? The most effective marketing campaign is the coordinated efforts across several venues and sites where your customers always visit. Having your ads on several places retains the strength of your message and your visibility in these sites.

Cross-promoting complementary sites to your visitors will show your visibility in these sites too and this will provide reinforcement to your message. Areas to consider in this regard should be Holiday Specific sites which are often well promoted. You might have a different view too.

Considering websites, newsletter or social media for your ads, your focus should be on the search engine placement, the traffic, external linking to this site, the types of messages in the current ads and the quality of the messages. Having a knowledge of these will reveal to you if;

  • You already have competitors on this site.
  • The advertising is complementing your business.
  • If the ads are completely related or unrelated to your business or calculated traffic of the site. With this, you will know if your message is fit to be on this site.

3. Set and examine your budget

It shouldn’t be surprising when some people think setting your budget should be the first move. But in reality, you can only create a better budget for your online business when you already know what is involved and you have a good idea about what it will cost. You really can’t do this when you have not figured out your targets so you can see why the idea of placing budget first may not work well if you need real online marketing campaign success. The mistake most people make is, they need the best for their budget without any knowledge what the best will cost. If you already have a budget made, going back to your marketing campaign sheet and totaling all your intended ad posts cost will reveal what your chances are, either below your budget or exceeds your budget. Until you have a clear understanding of your overall online marketing campaign cost, don’t be too sure about your budget.

Once you have a clear list of what ads you intend to post, you would be able to prioritize them going with your budget as to where you will get the most exposure if your budget is below the estimated ad posts cost. Also, if you are involved in Pay-Per-Click advertising, it’s advisable to always ‘log in’ daily for the first seven days (1 week) to monitor the results of your ads. This is just to ensure you are paying for results.

Make sure to ask if your payments cover ad swaps and bartering and consider this as part of your budget.

4. Organizing your Ad content

It’s true that online marketing works but best when the focus is on one or two things at a time. You may have different kinds of products but choose one of these or two that are attractive enough to your target market and this will do a lot of campaign magic than collecting all items and writing contents all about them. Most of your target customers just want to read something short and interesting with a beautiful image to behold.

Now the question you should ask yourself is “what actually am I selling”? a product or a service. Make sure what you are selling is beneficial and attractive enough to capture the target’s emotional interest. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you are selling beauty and using ads that relate to the customer will have the most success.

Next ask yourself again, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty. Create many emotional words relating to the product- stimulating enough, addictive, relaxing, comforting and fun. You must be able to attract your target or customer.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Your Ads

In maintaining an effective marketing campaign, it’s essential to track and react to your campaign successes. Right from your Website Stats to the PPC Stats, there are diverse ways to check and determine what is really working out for you as planned and which isn’t working. With absolute concentration, you should be able to learn much about your ads and how to sharpen them for best results ever.

The most effective way to track your campaign ads is using tracking services that help track your activities. There are special advertising management services which help you track your ad performances, free or less costly services that are relatively very easy to implement which give powerful ad tracking management and support. Note that some venues such as Facebook ads provide their own ads reports.

The KEY

Ensure that on daily basis for the first 14 days, you keep reviews of your different ads. Make an inventory of this in a tracking sheet and search out for any patterns. Which of the ads are performing, where they are performing and why are they performing there? From here you can easily detect which ads are not working and remove or replace them.

Author:  MICHAEL LILY

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/489608/5-steps-to-guarantee-online-marketing-campaign-success

Categorized in Market Research

With deadlines for 2017 budgets just around the corner, columnist Will Scott discusses why local businesses should be allocating more of their dollars to digital marketing.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You need to spend money to make money.” But for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), this is a particularly challenging mandate to follow when thinking about annual budgets every year. Now is the time they must take a hard look at their finances to determine how to spend less and make more.

So the million-dollar question is: With 2017 looming and budgeting priorities across the board, where will SMBs be putting their marketing dollars next year?

As a small business owner myself, I know all too well how essential it is to make a detailed plan that will tightly control my company’s financial performance. In my experience running an online marketing business, creating a process for budgeting is the single most effective means of keeping your business’s finances on the right track.

But even when times get tough, it’s imperative to remember how important the marketing portion of your budget is for survival. You should never stop promoting your business, even when resources end up being more limited than expected. When your marketing budget is small, you must make smart choices about your priorities to determine how much money you should devote not only to marketing in general, but specifically to the critical components of online marketing.

To succeed in today’s competitive and crowded world, here are three reasons why SMBs should consider online marketing a top budgeting priority.

1. The competition for online marketing is increasing

As more businesses devote their hard-earned dollars to online marketing, television and radio, the competition online is getting fierce. A recent CMO Survey Report showed that digital marketing spend is increasing over time, while spend on traditional advertising is falling.

From The CMO Survey Report: Highlights and Insights, August 2016

Similarly, a marketing trends survey by Selligent and StrongView conducted in late 2015 found that while business leaders increased their marketing budgets overall in 2016, traditional channels fell lower on the spectrum compared to online marketing channels.

Less than 14 percent of companies surveyed had planned to increase marketing spend for print, radio and television advertising, while a majority of businesses surveyed planned to increase spend in four key digital marketing channels: email marketing, social media, online display advertising and mobile marketing. And 42 percent of businesses surveyed planned to allocate greater marketing budget to search (SEO and PPC).

Social media marketing budgets are increasing as well. The 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, released by Social Media Examiner, found that at least 63 percent of marketers plan to increase marketing activities on Facebook and YouTube.

SMBs who hope to compete will need to take a detailed look at their budgets to see how far they can stretch their online marketing dollars, with a focus on creating content customized for their clientele. As businesses continue to allocate more and more marketing spend toward digital channels, these spaces will only become more competitive.

2. The benefits of online marketing are plentiful

Online marketing opens up a world of advantages over traditional advertising. For example, online marketing can offer a higher return on investment than traditional approaches due to the relatively low cost of online channels like social media, as well as the ability to quickly adapt your strategy based on data available from Google and social media platforms. Online marketing has also been shown to reach the same number of consumers at a much lower cost when compared to traditional channels.

Consider the additional benefits of online marketing, too. Not only can you track specific metrics to provide valuable and specific feedback for each individual campaign, but any business, no matter the size, can be a strong competitor with a solid online marketing strategy. This is due again to the lower cost of online channels, as well as the near immediacy of paid advertising on search and social media. SMBs can achieve quick boosts to business through these channels versus the longer waits that often accompany traditional marketing.

Let’s also not underestimate the viral nature of the internet. In the traditional marketing world, for example, you have to wait around for your sales flyers to get passed around between your prospects and customers. With an avenue like social media, share buttons enable your entire message to be shared quickly.

3. More SMBs want to invest in online marketing

So why do some SMBs still refrain entirely from online marketing, or even traditional marketing? A recent LSA survey of 300 SMBs found that one of the primary reasons is a small budget. But when questioned about how they would proceed if they had a larger marketing budget, digital marketing dominated the wish list, with search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search (PPC) at the top of the list. The survey found that 50 percent of SMBs would spend their budget on SEO if they had double their current marketing budget, while 41 percent would prioritize PPC.

Of the remaining channels, 37 percent of SMBs said they would invest in websites, 29 percent said they would invest in social media, and 28 percent said they would invest in CRM tools. The survey results mirrored consumer behavior, as websites and search engines are still seen as the primary driver for consumers searching for local products or services.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, as SMBs finalize their 2017 budgets, they will likely find that the benefits to increasing their marketing budget far outweigh any short-term cost savings that come with reducing it. As more SMBs shift their dollars to online marketing, they will find more prospects and more loyal customers who will visit their websites, read about and rate their products and services, and purchase them and give feedback that will be valuable to the rest of the market.

With digital marketing, it doesn’t take very long for good publicity to positively impact the future of a fledgling business. It also provides a great return on investment. A recent survey of 200 retail marketing executives who were making allocation decisions showed that they favor online advertising. Over three-quarters reported a greater ROI with online advertising than with traditional advertising.

If your budget allows for only one or two things to focus on, remember that quality content — on your website, blog or social media channels — reigns supreme. I would love to hear your thoughts on impending 2017 budgets and how marketing will be impacted.

Author:  Will Scott

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/

Catering to search engines can be frustrating, especially if your usual tricks and strategies have stopped working. Fortunately, there are some strategies that many business owners don't know about - meaning you can get the competitive edge.

 

Implementing these techniques could be just what's needed to tip you over the edge and get your rankings back on track.

1. Optimize your menu items for SEO

Most business owners and marketers know that internal links are important for SEO. However, some forget that your menu items are actually just glorified links. Having a clear and simple navigational structure will help with usability as well as spreading link equity throughout your site.

According to Jason McGovern, optimizing your navigational structure can have a huge impact on rankings. Speaking of internal linking, he writes, "I think it tends to be overlooked as an SEO tactic because many SEOs simply believe it’s not an issue anymore because sites today have such complex navigation menus. That said, even today I have been able to drive significant results for clients purely on the back of optimizing internal navigation structures."

2. Use Google's preferred word count

While Google hasn't actually given us an ideal word count to aim for, several studies have shown a strong correlation between high rankings and longer content. According to Neil Patel's research, the highest-ranking pages are at least 2,000 words long. According to my friends at Searchmetrics, top-ranking content starts somewhere around 1,200 words. When in doubt, go longer; just remember that quality always trumps quantity.

3. Google knows you by the neighborhoods you link out to

Internal links are important, as are inbound links to your site. However, what many business owners forget is that who you link out to is also important. Linking to authoritative sources is not only great for establishing credibility for your content, it suggests to Google that you know what you're talking about - and this is great for SEO. Just be sure you're linking out to useful, preferably high-ranking sites.

Use the free Moz Checker tool to make sure you're linking to sites that will help your rankings, not hurt them.

4. Offer researchers a platform for finding participants

This is a technique I've seldom seen used, but it can be highly effective when done right. University researchers are always looking for participants for their studies, but often struggle with reaching their target audience.

Offer to promote their study to your audience, and often they'll be glad to give you a much-coveted .edu link back to your site! To find studies being conducted in your niche, try simple Google searches like [your keyword] research study or even just [keyword] study, or visit the announcements or news sections of university departmental websites.

5. Look for mentions... and ask for the link

Not every one who mentions your site or product is going to include a link back to your site. The good news is that most SEOs agree these mentions (known as non-linked citations or implied links) do help boost your SEO to an extent.

But since we know that actual links are the ideal, here's what you can do: Set up a Google Alert for brand name, product names, etc. As soon as you see a mention, send a brief email and ask for a link to your site.

You'll be surprised at how many bloggers and journalists are happy to oblige! I've been able to secure links to my payments blog from CNN, ABC and CNBC by just asking. Here are a few other tips for asking for links in my content marketing guide.

6. Promote a ridiculously outrageous offer

How much are links customers to you? Are they worth the cost of giving away some product at 90% off? Or of holding a crazy 3 for the price of 1 promotion?

Promoting a ridiculously good offer is sure to generate some hype surrounding your business; and as we know, hype is often great for getting traffic and links. Just be sure you can actually afford to give away your stuff at cost or even at a loss, and that those links are worth it to you!

7. Use descriptive words in your image file name

You probably already know you should use your chosen keywords in your alt image tags (where appropriate). What you may not know is that you should also be using them in your image file names. Google has gotten pretty sophisticated, but they still can't discern the subject of your image without a little help.

Google has made the importance of descriptive file names clear in their image publishing guidelines: "Try to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image. For example, my-new-black-kitten.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG. Descriptive filenames can also be useful to users: If we're unable to find suitable text in the page on which we found the image, we'll use the filename as the image's snippet in our search results."

8. Go beyond basic keyword research

Basic keyword research might look something like this: go to Google's Keyword Planner and find 2-3 keywords  you can incorporate into a particular piece of content. However, since Google introduced latent semantic indexing (LSI) into its system, this type of basic research is no longer enough.

A better approach is to use your research to find a broad theme to cover, as well as relevant subtopics. Also be sure to use a variety of proof and relevant terms, which show Google you're doing a great job of covering the topic. For more on this, check out my post "The 5 Components of a Modern Keyword-Based Strategy."

9. Your analytics are already telling you how to improve your SEO

Many business owners don't realize how important user experience is to search rankings. Google wants the SERPs full of great content that users love; this is where user signals come in. Your website analytics can tell exactly how your content is performing in terms of user signals, and give you ideas for how to improve.

According to Searchmetrics' most recent ranking report, the importance of user signals can't be overstated (emphasis mine): "User signals such as the click-through rate (the click rate of search results, also CTR), time on site, as well as the bounce rate (visitors who enter a site then leave, usually by clicking back to the search results) are amongst the most important ranking factors for search engines. This is because the direct analysis of users reactions to the search results allows an accurate insight as to whether the user was happy with the result."

10. Big words can actually hurt you

Some business owners think that by using big words and complicated sentences they'll impress their audience. However, research has shown that the highest-ranking pages actually have a slightly lower reading complexity than other pages. To see how your content ranks, you can use free tools like the Text Readability Consensus Calculator. I've found that the highest-ranking pages have a reading level of around 76 - so this is a great benchmark to keep in mind.

Source : http://mashable.com

The State of Facebook Advertising

Social media has become the pillar of the online experience. With over 1.55 billion monthly active users, hundreds of millions of people are interacting and engaging on Facebook. For Facebook advertisers, this represents a huge pool of potential customers. Read our report to understand current Facebook trends based on the Marin Global Online Advertising Index.
Get the report today.

Social media is the Swiss Army Knife of businesses in the 21st century. We use social media to drive our branding efforts, connect with customers, generate new leads, gain insights into buying habits, manage reputation, and bolster our digital footprint.

But, while social media is an essential part of modern business, many companies still aren’t getting the full potential from their digital efforts. As Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report reveals:

  • 92% of marketers don’t know which social media management tactics are most effective.
  • 90% of marketers don’t know the best way to connect with customers.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know how to measure the ROI from their social media marketing.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know how to use social media to find their target audience.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know which tools will help them manage social media.

So what’s the problem? Simply put, most B2B and B2C businesses lack an effective strategy for social media management.

socail-media-marketing

In this post, I’m going to walk you through the most important social media “Dos” and “Don’ts.” At the end of this article, I’ve also included a table that recaps my main points. Feel free to print it out and use it as a reminder whenever you need to get your social media strategy back on track.

Do…

1) Have a Strategy

The single most important part of social media management happens long before you ever sign up for Facebook or publish your first Tweet. Each social media marketing campaign should start with clearly outlined goals and a battle plan that will help you achieve those goals.

Here’s the secret of a good strategy: for a strategy to be effective, it must be as specific as possible.

For example, Social Media Strategy breaks down tactics for dealing with seven of the most popular platforms, and each one is specific in its aims (e.g. increasing Facebook followers by 10% each month, increasing Twitter followers by 5% each month, etc). They refine their strategies further by listing tone/style guidelines, posting strategies, engagement strategies and strategies to find new followers.

Typical start-up social media management strategies will look a little different. These strategies revolve around assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a company, and finding opportunities to turn your early customers into brand evangelists.

Of course, your perfect strategy won’t be a carbon copy of some other company’s goals. When building your social media management strategy make sure you set realistic goals that will have a meaningful impact on your business.

2) Choose the Best Platforms

How’s your Facebook outreach going? What about Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+? Do you have a YouTube account? What about Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr? And lest we forget, Reddit.

With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t stay organized. The worst part is that you overlooking one platform might mean missing out on a huge potential market.

According to Christina Baldassarre’s research, the best platforms for engagement currently are Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube—but you should also consider other platforms where your audience may live.

3) Use the Right Tools

Keeping up with social media is an impossible task for us mere mortals. Fortunately, there’s some handy software options to help you manage and monitor all of your social media accounts from one central hub. Here are some of the best options:

  • BuzzBundle: (disclaimer: my software) We developed BuzzBundle to be the ultimate social media management tool. Not only does it connect with all the biggest social media platforms, but it helps you monitor blogs, forums, and Q&A sites, too. Best of all, BuzzBundle analytics give you the insights you need to reach new customers, boost your SEO campaign, and find key influencers in your industry.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite connects you to over 35 social networks. Like BuzzBundle, Hootsuite lets you find out what your customers are saying about your brand and easily manage your outreach thanks to a central hub for all of your social media management.
  • Buffer: Social media is Buffer’s specialty. Buffer lets you post photos, videos, and posts to the most popular social media sites. It also lets you craft posts in advance and publishes them later for maximum exposure.
  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social’s platform lets you manage your social messages through a single-stream inbox. You can schedule, publish, and post content to your favorite social media sites and then get valuable insights on how audiences engage with your content.
  • Social Studio: Salesforce’s offering helps you engage with your customers by keeping you connected to over 650 million different sources. With this software, you can listen in on conversations surrounding your brand, engage with your audience, and post to all the important platforms.

4) Track the Metrics That Matter

If you don’t know whether or not your social media outreach is impacting your business, then what’s the point? When you’ve defined a goal for your social media campaign, the only way to tell if it succeeded is to gather corresponding metrics.

Here are some metrics that might indicate success:

  • If your goal was to get to expand your reach, measure engagement and new followers.
  • If your goal was to grow brand awareness, measure shares and influencers mentioning your brand.
  • If your goal was to get more sales, measure referrals, CTR, and conversions.
  • The tools listed above will give you a lot of insights into the metrics you need to measure the success of your campaign.

5) Engage and Post Regularly

Last but not least, the point of a social network is to socialize. Share great content regularly to give your followers something to share and get excited about. Don’t forget to engage with their content too—follow the industry leaders in your niche and try to give more than you receive.

To make sure you keep up with social media, consider setting a schedule for yourself. Even ten minutes spent sharing and engaging every day goes a long way toward boosting your web presence.

Don’t…

1) Try to Please Everyone

One of the most important parts of your strategy is to understand your audience. If you try to please everyone, you’ll wind up offering nothing unique, and nobody will be satisfied.

On the other hand, if you know your audience and understand their pain points, you can tailor your services to solve their specific problems. Do that better than any of your competitors and you’ll have a loyal following in no time.

2) Delete Negative Reviews

When you see every mention of your brand, it can be tempting to purge negative experiences from the web. Resist that urge. Instead, reach out to people who leave a negative review—ask how you can improve their experience and work hard to regain their trust. Doing this may not only salvage a sour situation, but it will also show other potential leads how far you’re willing to go for your customers.

3) Lose Your Personal Touch

Automation may be the only way to keep up with all bustling social spheres, but that’s no excuse to lose the human element in your brand. That means posting new content for every demographic, no matter where they fall in your sales funnel. Keep your messaging personal, targeted, and bursting with your brand’s unique personality.

On this note, make sure that your outreach always feels organic. Don’t make the mistake of befriending every follower and spamming inane posts. On the flip side, don’t be a recluse who only posts and promotes their own content. Instead, share content you truly love and connect with people whose insights you value.

4) Become Complacent

Finding your audience on all the bustling social media platforms and watching them respond with gusto every time you post new content isn’t enough. The best social media strategists plan ahead—and they’re always experimenting.

The truth is that social media management is never done. There’s always a better way to reach your target audience, a new platform waiting to be discovered, and more avenues for you to engage with your customers. Stay ahead of the curve and never let your current strategy be “good enough.”

5) Neglect Your Audience

Disengaging is one of the worst social media sins. Don’t neglect one network in favor of another or leave comments and questions from a genuinely engaged audience unanswered. If you do need to go on a hiatus for whatever reason use social media to inform your followers—they’ll value the communication.

Final Thoughts

The days of long customer support phone calls and endless waiting periods on hold are (mostly) done. These days, your customers rely on the internet to learn about your business and connect with you. So don’t let this opportunity go to waste—find out who your audience is what they’re saying about your brand.

To recap, here are the top “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to social media management:

soacil-media-roles

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-dos-donts-effective-social-media-management/169626/

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