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Author: Steve Jesiolowska

Posted 9 August 2019

9 Surprising Facebook Marketing Tips For Small Businesses That Actually Work

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It’s a small margin of people who seek out your page to interact with it on Facebook. Most of those who do probably come from your current customer base or from the Facebook plug-in on your website. So most of your activity that people see is actually what ends up on their news feeds. Focus on optimizing that presence and that category of opportunities for visibility and you’ll get the most of Facebook. As a small business your budget for marketing may not stand to compete with that of larger companies, but the good news is that there are effective and budget-friendly strategies that you can use.

With the right social media management tool and ideas, you can make an impact on Facebook.

Here are 9 tips to help you up your Facebook marketing game:

1. Kill it with your cover photo

In the event that people do land on your Facebook company page through links, redirects or piqued interest from one of your great posts, you have got to be ready! This is your one chance to make followers out of them and you’d be smart to use it well.

Your cover photo is prime property for 3 reasons –

It’s the first thing that people see, a visual is one of the best marketing tools you can have, and it’s free.

So tell a story with it, make it intriguing, create it so your viewers go “Wow”.

Also, one of Facebook’s features is showcasing cover photo updates on timelines of friends of fans. So if someone were to become your fan, your company’s profile picture and cover photo would be displayed on that new fan’s friends’ timelines.

Boom! You’ve got instant, free, visibility. And it’s an image. According to a study visuals get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs.

Try and connect your Unique Selling Point, your brand’s services, or your story to that cover photo. People love stories, and people love pictures.

Here’s an interesting example of a smart image with a strong selling point:

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2. Smart content

If you haven’t capitalized on the currency that is content curation yet, you’re missing out on some real action! Content curation lets you appear active on social media with the least of efforts, build relationships with the people whose content you share, and position yourself as an expert in the eyes of potential and current customers; provided your curate the right kind of content!

How do you curate the best possible content for your industry? You could spend hours reading through multiple sources on the internet to identify the influencers or leaders in your industry, or, you could get an app to do that for you!

Apps like DUBUB Marketing Agency’s Ad Dashboard have been designed using intelligent machine learning and Natural Language Processing algorithms. What do they do? They understand your needs, and find you relevant and fresh content based on keywords that you set, from 100,000s of sources all over the internet.

The ultimate goal of content curation is to be the one-stop destination for information for your target audience. Be exhaustive, cover possible current concerns that your audience might have. Give them everything in one place so they don’t have to go looking for it. Do that with interesting, useful and current information, and you’re easily one of the guys to watch out for on social. The best part of this strategy is that it can be done easily and with minimal time investment.

Here’s an example of a brand that’s pro at curating content:

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3. Go Live

The beauty about live streaming on Facebook and other platforms like Periscope, Meerkat and Hangouts, is that is comes so close to actual face-to-face interactions. If you want to connect with your fans, Facebook Live can drive real results.

When planning a live broadcast, choose a focus in advance. Choose your title carefully, because it’s what people will see as a notification when you’re live.

Pick a device with great audio setup – mic, so your fans can hear you clearly. Always end with a call-to action, like Shop Now, Learn More or Sign Up.

There are plenty of ways you can engage your audience using live video. You could:

  • Create a behind the scenes adventure, and take your fans to an exciting place to discover together. This could be your office, store or an exploring-worthy place related to your brand.
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  • Broadcast a Q&A session, answering questions that concern your fans most.
  • Plan a How-To video, with insightful advice to further your fans’ goals.

4. Be a friend, and a good one

A lot of social media marketers have spoken about the power of humanizing marketing. It isn’t just enough to have a company page on Facebook, an interesting way of meeting your target audience is by interacting with them like their friends would. This also opens the social media platform up for so much more interaction with your audience than you can do by maintaining a purely official front. People on Facebook interact with more people than brands and humanizing your brand is one of the best ways to connect with your audience.

Reach out to your fans occasionally with no agenda in mind. A simple “Hi there! We’re just writing to check on you. Is the product treating you okay?” Or “Hi! Here’s an inspiring write up that we thought would really brighten your day,” could do wonders. Giving away value without expecting anything in return is part of how you build lasting relationship with customers. It is really hard to be promotional all the time and still have people like you. Do you like the guy who’s always talking about himself and who approaches you only when he needs something?

Also, encourage your marketing team to read every comment and reply ASAP, comprehensively and with warmth. It is also a good idea to have them sign off each of the replies with their first names.

One of the best ways to humanize your brand is to post with faces once in a while – like your team’s or your customers’.

Do you know any questions related to your industry that your audience might have at this very moment?

These are gold. If you’ve let these go, you’ve lost valuable social capital. If your posts could be direct answers to any of these questions, you’re being very useful to your audience, and they are more likely to stick with you for a long while.

5. Get your customers to do the talking

Ever looked closely at a successful social media brand page? It has tons of engagement and conversations initiate from both sides – the brand’s and the audience’s.

One great way of getting your audience to communicate with you is handling customer service via social media. By the way, there are more reasons for you to do that – social media is quick and you can quick-fix issues here before they blow up, and there are people voicing their grievances about products on social media anyway, so best get ahead of it and be there with a page dedicated to customer service.

The best part about using social media for customer service however is this – Your audience will tell you exactly what they think about the product. What they like, don’t like and what they wish you had. This again, is gold. How you use this information is up to you, but there is tremendous value in it.

Yet another great way of getting your audience to talk to you is through contents and questions. Do quick, cool contests – quizzes, captioning contests, tweeting contests; Don’t let your imagination limit you. Don’t be afraid to borrow ideas from the rock-stars. Give away exciting prizes – they needn’t be big, or expensive. You could give a discount on a product. Ask them to vote for a favorite design and give discounts on the design that gets most votes.

Ask your audience what they like, get them involved in planning your events, ask them for opinions, everyone loves feeling like a part of something bigger.

Lastly, do story swaps. Share your stories – what happens behind your business front, celebrate your milestones with your audience. Humanize yourself. And encourage them to share their stories. A great story surrounding your product/service is definitely one of the most powerful ways to market it. If it goes with a great image of a happy customer with your product in a picture, even better.

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6. Stop by and say hi

Social is just the entire world online. It functions pretty much the same. You still have to make friends, build relationships and “network” to run a successful business. It is ironic how so little of traditional marketing’s relationship building values go into online marketing.

Don’t feel shy to reach out to people on social. Look at social media platforms as if they were tools, tools to make relationship building so much easier.

For instance, in the past you’d have to physically stop by someone’s office or pick up a telephone and give them a ring in order to touch base. Now, all you have to do is move a finger to “Like” a picture of their on Facebook, or type a few characters to “Comment”. Do this often and you have a cordial relationship.

Of course, you have to be genuine. Keep in tune with what’s happening and be genuine when you react. The great part about networking on social is how easy it is to find people. If you’re looking for potential customers, reach out to them on any of the millions of focused groups on Facebook. You can easily locate groups formed around topics related to your industry.

Who should you ideally network with? Potential and current clients, industry experts and influencers and possible partners who you can work together with for mutual growth.

Suppose you are a band looking for gigs in Bangalore, these are the communities you’d want to be an active part of.

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7. Put yourself on Facebook’s maps

Facebook uses a Google API that lets you mark yourself at places you’ve visited. You know this one, yes, it’s the “Check-in”. You’ve probably used it many times yourself, but you may not have considered what this can do for your business.

If your business is mainly local, this feature becomes especially useful. Each time a customer “checks-in”, their timelines displays the both the check-in and a link to your Facebook brand page. The check-in feature, by the way, works only for businesses listed under the ‘Local Business or Place’ category.

You could encourage customers to do this with discounts or points for checking in each time they visit. If your customers have an average of 500 friends on Facebook and at least half of them are locals, you have instant and targeted visibility for your brand!

Plus, people trust people and many times behavior of people is influenced by behavior of other people, especially friends. Check-ins are effective for this very reason, they encourage friends of friends to visit your store.

8. Go visual and get it right

The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. Images also have the ability to influence human emotions. With the 6 second window you have to capture your audience’s attention on social, you have to bring the big guns. Do it with stunning images.

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Visual content can be really fun. This is has been reiterated by every social media marketer on the internet. But what hasn’t been impressed upon is the need to hit that idea on the nail. The visuals you share have to be pleasing, interesting and varied. There is such a thing as a boring image. There is also such a thing as a sloppy image.

You can pull in stills, collages, graphs, infographics, gifs, comics, videos – anything you think best represents your topic of discussion visually and tonally. This could help you stay new with images. Although, if you find one particular format to work better than images – say quote overlays for example, do more of that than the others. Quotes are also very easy to make.

Are you worried about the challenges in creating great images? Put that fear aside and get cracking with tools that can help you do that. There are quite few good ones that are heavily graphic oriented. Using simple buttons and borrowing from already existing libraries, you can effortlessly create your images.

If you still can’t afford to waste time doing that, you could always curate images as long as you provide proper credit to the creators and a link to the original image.

It is very important to be sure of the availability of the image you’re curating. You can only use it if it is intended for sharing, or if it is under the Creative Commons license. There are image libraries online that are present solely to help you find images to fit your requirements. Some good ones with free images listed are – Pixabay and Freepik.

Again, always remember to give credit to whoever has created the images, whether they ask for it or not.

9. Tell stories 

Facebook now has its very own version of expiring content which is referred to as Facebook Stories (via Instagram). This feature is great for brands that want to keep in touch with their audience everyday, without seeming promotional or annoying. Stories is that unique feature that can help you build a bond with your audience and stay “top of mind”.

There’s much that a social media manager can do with Facebook stories, from sharing behind-the-scenes content to demonstrating expertise, and sharing UGC (User Generated Content), exclusive offers or even light-hearted jokes and memes.

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Some brands even use Stories for audience research, through which they ask their audience questions to which they want instant answers. Through Stories, even the most brand-focused questions are forgiven or met with enthusiastically by fans.

Finally, Facebook Stories is excellent for time-sensitive content, so you can use them to run everyday offers, share seasons greetings or conduct daily communication.

That wraps up 9 surprising marketing tips that you can implement to take your Facebook marketing up one notch. Remember to keep your audience in mind when trying any of these ideas, after all it is them who you’re looking to captivate. If you ever have trouble deciding what you should post, just think like a consumer and share what you’d want to see.

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Posted 8 August 2019

10 Smart & Easy Facebook Marketing Ideas

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It’s rare for a day to go by without me scrolling through my Facebook feed. And I’m not alone: According to DMR65% of Facebook users log on daily.

As marketers, we know how critical it is to have a business Facebook presence, but we also know that it’s becoming increasing challenging to stand out among our peers. With over 1 billion daily active Facebook users, marketers need to be smart in terms of how they grow their audience and business through Facebook.

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It’s tricky, but it’s not impossible! Here are 10 smart Facebook marketing ideas to help you stand out in the crowded social sea.

1. Target an Insanely Specific Audience

Did you know that you can target French and English speaking women, between the ages of 31-56, who live in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who are “fit moms” of grade-school kids?

The super-sophisticated level of ad targeting is one of the main reasons to be excited about Facebook marketing. Hopefully, you’ve dedicated time and resources to analyzing your customer base and forming buyer personas; now you can put those personas to use and go after the people that are most likely to be interested in your products or offerings.

Caution! If you go too specific this strategy can work against you so, keep an eye on the audience definition tool to ensure you’re not getting so granular with your persona targeting that nobody sees your stuff.

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2. Run a Simple Contest to Up Engagement

Facebook contests are nothing new. You’ve likely been exposed to many, and have potentially even entered some (I know I have). But have you actually tried running one yourself?

Running a contest with a tempting incentive is one of the best ways to spur ad engagement on Facebook. What beer lover wouldn’t want a free trip to one of the best beer-fests in Boston (see ad below)?

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The best thing about running a contest is that it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Follow Harpoon’s lead for instance, simply asking people to submit photos with your product in them, and then choosing a winner at random for a fun trip.

3. Create Short, Enticing Video Posts

So, you’ve tried marketing your company with videos on Facebook, but people just don’t seem to be interested? This is likely due to one of two reasons:

  • Your videos are too long
  • Or, they’re just not engaging enough

Facebook users are looking to be entertained. They’re spending their time on a social platform, likely to kill time or stalk their friends, so you need to divert their attention quickly, with entertaining content. What better way to do that then through video?

Other marketers are catching onto this trend. The amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion, bewteen April and November of 2015!

Companies like BuzzFeed have figured out the recipe to driving video engagement – keep it short and sweet, with a visually engaging thumbnail. I spent about 2 hours the other night watching these short video recipe posts on BuzzFeed Food’s Facebook page.

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4. Use Eye Contact in Your Images to Direct Attention

People follow directional cues from other people. If everybody in the room looks up, you’re going to look up too. This is human nature.

“Human beings have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, and we have been coached since birth to follow arrows directing us to where we should be looking/going,” says Help Scout’s Gregory Ciotti.

Take advantage of this fact to focus viewers’ attention toward the most important part of your Facebook ad. For instance, if you have a strong call-to-action, you could show an image with a person looking at or pointing to that text.

Check out Moz’s Facebook post below – the image shows a clear journey of where to direct your eyes, starting with Rand’s gaze and then following the red arrows.

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5. Post Images of Dogs Acting Like Humans or Babies Acting Like Adults

I’m aware that this tip sounds bizarre. But it works! Why? Because who doesn’t love dogs and babies?

Oh, dogs and babies aren’t related to your brand? Who cares? Make them related to your brand by giving them hilarious, brand-related captions. Bark Box happens to be in the pet industry, but they truly excel at this with adorable images of dogs with human-like captions.

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When you’re doing Facebook marketing, it’s a good idea not to take yourself too seriously. Inserting some playfulness into your posts will grab busy, distractible people’s attention, and this is the perfect formula to do just that: Baby + headset and suit + adult-like caption, always makes for a good laugh.

6. Target the Leads You Already Have on Facebook

Did you know that you can upload a list of emails right into Facebook and then show your ads to that audience? Through Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, you can target the leads you’ve captured from your newsletter signup or other lead gen efforts, or perhaps a group of your current customers that you’re trying to upsell.

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In addition to focusing on insanely targeted audiences (see tip #1) you should also be crafting ads to the contacts you already have, but in an even more personalized way. For instance, let’s say you have a list of people who downloaded a guide titled “Introduction to Building Your Own Website.” You can upload that list of people and target them with a highly specific ad that refers to that guide and what the next steps are to take their website to the next level.

7. Clone Your Main Revenue-Generating Audience

We’ve discussed a few strategies for creating relevant audiences; once you’ve acquired enough data, you can clone your top-performing Facebook audience. Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature allows you to take an audience you already have and expand your reach by finding new leads that have similar attributes. You can pretty much clone your best customers. It’s that simple!

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8. Humanize Your Brand with Fun Employee Photos

Facebook is all about people. The original intent of Facebook was to interact with friends, not advertise your business, but it’s easy for marketers to forget this. The problem is, pushing solely product-related messages is only going to take you so far. You need to show the people behind the brand to connect with your audience.

There are a lot of companies that do this well – take Unbounce. They use their Facebook business page to show off employees in a humorous and relatable way. 

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9. Only Pay to Promote Your Best Content

You’re likely reporting on a bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis to see which content is resonating with your audience in terms of page views, shares, comments, and other engagement metrics. With all of this knowledge at your fingertips, you should be using this data to decide where to focus your promotion budget. Put some money behind your best content to get it even more exposure.

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It might seem like common sense, but it’s easier then you’d think to let rockstar content fade away and acquire dust in the corner. Stop doing this, and run Facebook ads to give a second life to your content superstar performers. Evergreen content will still resonate with a larger audience if it did well when it was originally published. (This is especially effective for content that isn’t ranking well in organic search.)

10. Use Emojis in Your Facebook Marketing

In May of 2015 DUBUB Marketing Agency’s beloved data-scientist Mark Jones found that ads with emojis get far higher click-through-rates than ads without. Unfortunately, Google quickly caught on and emojis are no longer allowed in AdWords ad text.

According to AdWeek92% of online users use emojis, and frequent users feel emojis express their feelings more accurately than words. Emojis are kind of like dogs and babies, people just like them. Moral of the story, use emojis in your Facebook marketing posts to add personality and emotion to your text.

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It’s just that easy. Before you know it Facebook Advertising might become your fastest-growing marketing channel!

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Posted 7 August 2019

Our 13 Best Content Marketing Tips… Ever!

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Although paid search is our primary focus here at DUBUB Marketing Agency, we (along with almost every other company these days) are also in the media business. Purely by virtue of having a blog, we’re constantly looking at ways to not only optimize our content’s performance, but improve the content itself.

Since content is such a big part of what we do here at DUBUB Marketing Agency (and the fact that there are so many benefits of content marketing), we wanted to look back at our content marketing advice and collect it all into one, invaluable post. However, we weren’t “content” (pun most definitely intended) to focus on our content marketing advice from 2019, but rather the very best content-related content from the entirety of the DUBUB Marketing Agency blog.

So here we are – the best content marketing advice we have to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger with strong traffic or a fledgling newbie with a small (yet beautiful), brand-new blog, you’ll find plenty of actionable advice you can use immediately in these 13 tips and strategies.

13. Only Publish Your Very Best Material – and Be Consistent

With so much content being produced, competition in today’s so-called “attention economy” has never been more intense. As such, it’s vital that you only publish the very best content possible, or you can’t possibly hope to succeed. It’s better to publish one excellent post per week than five mediocre posts per week.

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Not only do you have to set the quality bar incredibly high, but you also have to keep meeting (or exceeding) this standard. This can be a challenge for even the most experienced content production teams, but it’s essential in standing out from an increasingly large crowd and making your voice heard. Accept that producing exceptional content takes time, effort, and money – and that there are no shortcuts.

12. Evaluate the Success of Your Content with Data

One of the most common misconceptions about content marketing is that simply by publishing blog posts, your business will magically take off and you’ll be besieged by armies of eager prospective customers clamoring for whatever you sell. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Smart content marketers don’t just produce excellent content, but also know how to measure the results of their efforts.

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Some bloggers are content to glance at the number of social shares their latest post has accrued and make a judgment call on its success based on that. However, even the most widely shared blog post may fall short of achieving your business goals. What do you want your content to actually accomplish, and how will you measure it?

Whatever you want your content to do, it’s crucial that you evaluate the performance of your content using analytics and other data-driven approaches – otherwise you could be wasting your time and money on content that isn’t doing anything for your business. For some, success might be measured in overall traffic using Google Analytics. For others, social shares or “attention metrics” such as scroll depth might be more important, a metric that can be measured by tools such as Chartbeat.

However – and whatever – you measure, be sure you’re actually assessing the performance of your content consistently to ensure your time and money are being used wisely and productively.

11. Repurpose Your Content

The best content takes time, effort, and skill to produce. Even if you’re giving away your best content for free (which you should be), that doesn’t mean you can’t get a greater return on investment from your content. This is why so many businesses repurpose content from one format into several.

Think of the last blog post you published that performed strongly. Did it resonate with readers because it served as a valuable, evergreen resource? Did it offer your audience something they couldn’t find anywhere else? Then it would probably do well as a downloadable guide. Similarly, some blog posts might be well-suited to an email blast, or a live webinar. However you choose to repurpose your content, be sure you’re getting your money’s worth from your content production investment.

10. Reuse Your Best Headlines in PPC Ads

If you’re running a PPC campaign and producing content, you should also consider repurposing your most strongly performing headlines into your ad copy. If a headline resonated strongly with your readers, a variation of it will likely resonate strongly with prospective buyers.

If you think about it, PPC ad copy and content share a lot of the same “hooks,” such as an emotionally engaging angle, strong verbs, and easily understood benefits. They’re also similar (or should be) in length – AdWords and Bing Ads have mandatory character limits in their ads that advertisers have no choice but to follow, while shorter headlines of around six words tend to perform strongly from a content perspective.

If a recent blog post, webinar, or whitepaper exceeded your expectations, run an A/B test to see if it performs as strongly as an ad.

9. Accept That Not All Content HAS to Tell a Story

One of my biggest pet peeves about the content marketing industry is the focus on storytelling. Don’t get me wrong – I firmly believe that storytelling is a crucial skill for aspiring (and even experienced) content marketers to cultivate, and that brand storytelling is one of the most effective ways to reach prospective new customers with your message.

However, that doesn’t mean that all content is storytelling, or that all content marketers are storytellers.

You are not a storyteller – Stefan Sagmeister @ FITC from FITC on Vimeo.

Not all content has to tell a story. Sometimes, a straightforward blog post that serves a purpose and provides value for your readers is more than enough. Oftentimes, the people who talk the most (and loudest) about storytelling in content marketing are those who either don’t do it, or don’t understand it. Don’t listen to these people, and don’t worry if you’re not a natural-born storyteller – it’s far from a prerequisite for content marketing success.

Don’t shy away from telling stories if that’s what makes the most sense for your content, but don’t buy into the hype that every single piece of content has to be an engaging, complex narrative – it simply isn’t true.

8. Be Bold and Speak Your Mind (Especially When Others Don’t Dare)

One of the biggest challenges facing content marketers is competing with and overcoming the sheer volume of content being produced. With literally millions of blog posts being published every single day, making your voice heard over the tsunami of (poorly written, useless) content can be an almost insurmountable task – unless you take a stand that nobody else is willing to take.

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So much of the content being produced (especially in tight-knit industries such as digital marketing) merely parrots and regurgitates the opinions and viewpoints of a select few. This is why readers are rapidly becoming desensitized to content – if there are hundreds of blogs all saying the same things, why should readers waste their time consuming that content? This is what makes producing contrarian content so powerful.

Taking an unpopular stance, speaking your mind when others won’t, and flirting with controversy can be a powerfully effective strategy in your content. Of course, you should take care not to offend or be contrarian for its own sake, but dare to be bold and speak your mind. If nothing else, your readers will likely appreciate your candor. In addition, you’ll probably sound and appear much more authentic than you would by merely repeating what others have said.

7. Go After Specific Keywords with Your Content

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to worry about SEO. We’d publish insightful, thought-provoking blog posts about our chosen topics, and find enormous online audiences eager to learn from our experience and buy whatever we’re selling.

Obviously, we don’t live in that world, and we do have to think about SEO.

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Some content experts advocate for a “keyword-less” approach to content; publishing content that serves reader interests first and foremost, and doesn’t concern itself with anything as “distasteful” as keyword targeting. Again, this is great in an ideal world, but it’s a jungle out there – if you’re not thinking about keyword targeting, you can bet your competitors are. That’s why it pays to target specific keywords with your content before you produce it.

A topic as broad and complex as keyword targeting for SEO is far beyond the scope of this post, so I won’t try to condense it here. Suffice to say that you should be thinking of keywords you want to rank for before you sit down to write a blog post or produce any other type of content.

6. Back Up Your Arguments with Data

In today’s digital media environment, trust can be hard to come by. With fact-checking and journalistic due diligence at all-time lows, it’s easy to see why so many readers have become reluctant to accept “facts” as the cold, hard truth. That’s why it’s so important to back up your assertions with data.

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Using data in your content should be as natural and commonplace as spell-checking. If you make a point, include statistics and facts to back it up. Similarly, if you cite data to make a point, be sure to cite it appropriately and, if possible, include a link to the original source. After all, you wouldn’t want somebody else using your data in their content without tipping their hat to your research, right?

5. Ensure Your Content Reflects Your Brand’s Voice

Content marketing is one of the best ways to develop and refine the “voice” of your brand. However, even large, well-funded businesses with dedicated content teams can struggle to identify and define what their brand voice actually sounds like, especially when working with larger teams. 

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Ensuring continuity of brand voice, especially across larger teams, can be a challenge. It requires constant review of editorial standards to ensure that both quality and tone are consistent, as well as a higher-level overview of your blog and content in general. However, while developing brand voice through content can be challenging, it’s definitely worth considering.

For each and every post, ask questions about how the content advances and develops your brand’s voice. Does the writing reflect your company’s values? What does the tone say about what it’s like to do business with you? Is your brand voice sincere, or forced and artificial? These are all questions that can help you take control of your brand’s voice and refine your messaging through content. By answering these questions (and correcting course when necessary), you’ll also provide your audience with a more cohesive experience as a brand, something to which all blogs should aspire.

4. Don’t Copy Other Corporate Blogs – Look to the Indie Superstars Instead

In the past, I’ve worked with several clients who asked me to make their corporate blog “sexy” and more appealing. In such discussions, corporate content managers often point to the blogs of influential solo bloggers who have established vast, loyal readerships as an example of the direction they’d like their blog to take.

This is a more challenging task than it might appear.

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Even large, well-established corporate blogs can learn a great deal from the influential blogging superstars who dominate web publishing. For one, these blogging rock stars simply ooze authenticity, because they’re writing as themselves and representing their own brand by being themselves – a challenge for many corporate blogs. They’re selling themselves by being themselves, a valuable lesson that any corporate blog could stand to learn (and practice).

Whether you’ve been tasked with revamping an ailing corporate blog or launching one from scratch, don’t look to other corporate blogs for inspiration. Study how the individuals behind the most popular and influential blogs on the web have established their audiences, and emulate those strategies instead. Your readers will thank you for it – and come back for more.

3. Constantly Hone Your Writing Skills

One of the questions I’m asked the most often is, “How can I become a better writer?” To many would-be content producers, their relative lack of experience or confidence is the biggest obstacle to their aspirations, and there’s nothing worse than telling people to just stick with it in the vague hopes that their writing skills will improve.

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I’ve been blogging professionally for quite a while now, and although I’m confident in my abilities, I’m always trying to improve and seeking out advice and help from the experts. Writing, like many skills, is a craft that you can always improve. Read more widely and extensively by reading material you may not ordinarily read (and yes, I mean actual, honest-to-God books, not just blogs). Write every single day – yes, every day, even if it’s only a hundred words or so. Be relentless in your pursuit of excellence, and don’t settle for mediocrity.

Even if you know what you’re doing when it comes to content, adopt the mindset of the perpetual student, and never be satisfied. Strive to push your writing skills to their limit – then push even farther. The more time and effort you invest in honing your writing skills, the more readers you’ll attract.

2. Answer Complex Questions with Your Content

Earlier, we discussed the value of targeting specific keywords with your content. If you’re already doing this, the chances are pretty good that you’re targeting (and hopefully ranking for) a solid number of simple keyword terms that are relevant to your business. While this is still a worthwhile strategy to pursue, going after rankings for complex search queries can have an even bigger payoff, namely ranking in the Google Featured Snippet – or, as Moz’s Dr. Pete Meyers calls it, position zero.

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The Google Featured Snippet is some of the most coveted real estate on the search engine results page. If your content answers a complex question by appearing in the Featured Snippet, not only could you drive a ton of referral traffic to your site, but you could also give your brand a major lift in terms of subject matter expertise. User trust in the content promoted in the Featured Snippet is high, meaning that if Google chooses your content to answer a complex question, your brand wins big.

1. Start Content Remarketing

So much time and effort goes into content production, only for a blog post or whitepaper to underwhelm you. Along with the actual overheads of producing content, it’s this (sometimes inevitable) poor return on investment that dissuades newcomers of content’s value to their business – a fallacy that even larger companies and experienced marketers can buy into. However, there’s a surefire way to make sure that more people see, interact with, and respond to your content, and that’s content remarketing.

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Just as you’re (hopefully) using remarketing in your PPC campaigns to maximize their impact, you can use remarketing to get more eyes on the content you’re producing. First, you define the audience to which you want to remarket your content, then you tag visitors who come to your site so that you can remarket to them using banner ads on the Google Display Network later. This results in greater brand awareness and – hopefully – greater engagement with the content you spent so much time and effort producing.

While incredibly powerful, content remarketing is still very much the exception, rather than the rule. Many companies simply don’t even think about leveraging remarketing to promote their content.

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Posted 6 August 2019

5 Ways To Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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As digital marketers have moved further into 2019, it has become clear that consumers are more widespread than ever. Thanks to the ever-present smartphone (seriously, more than 77% of American adults own one) consumers can be everywhere at once. With social media platforms, apps, websites, and so on, there are a myriad of ways consumers interact with brands online.

For digital marketers, this means more ways to engage in one-to-one interactions with these consumers. But, for every one consumer there are even more brands looking to break through the noise and truly hook consumers with engaging content.

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Cropped shot of a group of businesspeople working in the office

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy

With this constantly changing environment, marketers should look to continuously update and refine digital marketing strategies so as not to become stale or lost in the noise. Here are 5 ways marketers can re-evaluate digital marketing objectives to maximize impact and results.

1. Focus on Conversion, Not Just Leads

One of the most important pillars of a winning digital marketing strategy is data. Data and metrics should influence every decision and action a marketing team takes. In today’s market, this means digging through the data to understand where potential customers are spending their time (which social platforms and websites), and then targeting them with specific content.

While B2C marketing teams traditionally take the approach of casting a wide net and hoping for the best, advances in big data and machine learning have made it possible to dig deeper and impact conversion rates on an individual level. By targeting specific demographics and audience segments with certain types of content, incentives, or product recommendations, marketers can go further in pushing the customer’s decision toward a purchase.

2. Set the Stage for Long-Term Value

While it may be tempting to shoot for short-term wins, marketers should always consider long-term value when making strategy decisions. Before pouring resources into a one-off campaign for a specific social media platform, marketers would be wise to perform due diligence and research to ensure the investment will pay off in the long term.

This mindset also applies to tools and solutions. When navigating the purchasing process, marketers should make sure the solutions are positioned to help the team succeed in the long run, not just solve short-term problems. While it’s not critical to have every detail of a multi-year strategy ironed out, it is a good idea to have a plan for growth and an understanding for how a tool will help make that plan a reality.

With technology changing at an exponential pace, there will always be ideas and trends that are ‘in’ or ‘the hot new thing’ in the industry. Marketers should take care to understand where the brand best stands to benefit from these trends before making any decisions that could impact long-term growth or revenue.

3. Double Down on Customer Service

Digital marketers may be thinking, “What does customer service have to do with me?” Although it’s sometimes easy to forget, every single interaction a customer has with a brand impacts their opinion of that brand, and is thus considered ‘customer service’. This is even more important for digital companies that must repeat brand-conscious customer service tactics across multiple platforms and channels. This is a critical component of achieving success with omnichannel marketing, which means ensuring a single customer has a seamless, integrated buying experience, no matter the platform or channel.

Even though the concept of customer service may feel like a more fundamental concern for brick-and-mortar stores than online retailers, many of today’s brands have shown the importance of stellar service in e-commerce experiences. Digital marketers play a key role in establishing a customer-centric reputation for the brand. Whether this is through personalized emails, welcome pages, or customized product recommendations, that personal touch can make a huge difference in the eyes of the customer. In fact, 56% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that recognizes them by name. Consumers expect personalization because they expect superior customer service.

4. Create the Ultimate Buying Journey

As it becomes easier for marketers to understand their consumer audience in more depth, it’s also possible to refine processes and create the ultimate buying journey. Digital marketers can see exactly what content is most successful among consumers, and then strategically build upon that momentum for maximum returns. If, for example, a brand knows a majority of customers are coming to their website via social media, it can beef up social campaigns and design smoother workflows to help the customer from point A to point B.

Creating the ultimate buying journey for customers also means optimizing their online and mobile shopping experiences. As shopping moves online, and online shopping moves to mobile, brands must make sure their sites render well, are consistent with brand guidelines, and make it simple for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. After all, the smoother the buying journey, the higher the likelihood of a conversion.

5. Know When and How to Go Back and Refine Processes

While talking about refining processes is easy, it’s a little more difficult for marketers to actually get their hands dirty. If a workflow or process just isn’t working, it might be time to go back and re-evaluate where things went wrong. This is also a great opportunity to A/B test different campaigns and strategies. Marketing itself is a constantly changing landscape, and digital marketing is one of its most dynamic features. Marketers need to keep their eyes on the metrics and data to stay informed about the processes that are working, and where it may be time to refine.

Final Thoughts

As the world of marketing changes, so should your digital marketing strategy. It’s important to stay aware of the changing landscape and the new advancements in technology that can make digital marketer’s lives much easier.

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Posted 5 August 2019

8 Simple Digital Marketing Tips Your Competitors Probably Don’t Know

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Are you feeling like you’re lagging behind the competition?

As a small business owner, it’s all too easy to feel this way. After all, you aren’t a big company that can afford to hire an army of digital marketers to keep up with all the latest digital marketing tips.

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But, that doesn’t mean you can’t become a one man/one woman army.

Your weapons are your knowledge. After you read this article, you’ll be able to pick up your weapons and beat your competitors!

There are many different weapons (digital marketing tips) that can carry you to success.

But most of your competitors don’t know how to wield them.

This article will focus on the most popular digital marketing tips. They’re popular because they work. But only if you know why, how, and when to use them.

But first, let’s address a rookie way of thinking that many small business owners have.

1. Eggs In Too Many Baskets

This is a mistake that many rookie business owners make – trying to do everything at once with little prior experience.

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You set up 10 social media accounts. You set up a PPC campaign. You set up a rigorous blogging schedule about a topic that you haven’t properly researched into yet.

And the worst thing is that you’ve never even used more than half of those social media platforms in the past!

Sound familiar?

If so, then stop. The worst mistake a new business owner can make is trying to manage too many new social media accounts all at once. We’ll get to that mistake in the next section.

But for now, the lesson we want you to understand is: less is more. When you’re just starting out, focus and consistency should be your primary goals.

Focus: if you try to launch several campaigns at once, you’ll not only be totally overwhelmed, but you’ll also have difficulty determining which marketing campaigns were successful.

Consistency: this will be the key to getting your business off the ground.

  • Being consistent on social media will build you a loyal following.
  • Being consistent in your blogging will build you a loyal customer base and turn new, cold prospects into new buyers.
  • Being consistent in SEO means that you’ll save money in the long run instead of relying too much on paid advertising.

Too many small business owners try to do everything at once and fall flat on their faces.

But you don’t have to be one of them. By following these digital marketing tips, you’ll already be ahead of the game.

2. Find Your Place in Social Media

Most small business owners know that they need to be on social media. After all, social media isn’t going anywhere. In 2017, 81% of Americans had a social media profile!

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But as we touched on in the last section, too many rookies take that message too much to heart and try to go from being invisible to being everywhere at once.

For most brands, this is a recipe for disaster.

As a new small business owner, your aim should be to find your place on social media. This means that in the beginning you should focus only on, at the most, a few social media platforms that you’re already feeling comfortable with.

Now, after marketing on these platforms for a while, note how many interactions you’re getting.

For example, if Instagram isn’t giving you any engagement, then move on and focus on the platform that does!

The aim here is to find the social media platforms that give you the highest level of interactions (likes, shares and comments).

And the lesson here is: don’t bother wasting your time on a platform if your audience simply isn’t there!

Find out where most of your audience is and post on those platforms consistently to build up a loyal social media following.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is relatively new in the realm of digital marketing tips. In fact, most of your competition has probably never heard of it!

And for the ones who have, they’re probably going about it the wrong way.

But influencer marketing can be a very powerful tool when wielded correctly.

So what exactly is influencer marketing?

Simply put, it means that instead of marketing to your target audience directly, you pay or inspire influential people in your niche to get the word out about you.

When it comes to social media users, influencers are basically the strongest referrals that your business can get.

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For example, a survey by Collective Bias showed that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.

Influencer marketing is especially effective on millennials, since 70% of consumer millennials are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in making buying decisions. 

So, you should always keep a look out for potential future influencers in your niche. You’ll want to engage with them so that you can build your brand visibility.

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So what do other small business owners get wrong with influencer marketing, you ask?

Many small business owners still think that doing lots of guest blogging (a form of influencer marketing) and getting lots of backlinks will boost SEO and drive traffic.

This was true in the past, but not anymore. Small business owners these days have to tread carefully with guest blogging and getting backlinks because Google has cracked down on this practice several times in the past. Google penalizes websites that abuse this practice, and that’s not what you want for your brand new website!

Now that’s not to say that guest blogging is inherently a bad practice. Far from it! But it shouldn’t be done in a spammy way. Instead, it should be done with the main goals in mind being:

  • Brand promotion.
  • Building credibility by leaning on the shoulders of industry giants.
  • Tapping into another community.

4. Don’t Underestimate Having an Email List

An email list is probably one of the most valuable and responsive assets you can have.

  • Valuable – CRM software company Hatchbuck found that customers who purchase products through email spend 138% more!
  • Responsive – according to QuickSprout, email subscribers are 3x more likely to share content on social media!

And unlike your social media followers and fans, you own your email marketing list.

But believe it or not, many of your competitors aren’t even thinking about having an email list. Instead they make the mistake of thinking that they can get away with just building a social media following.

Of course having a strong social media following is very important! But when it comes to turning cold prospects into paying customers, email marketing is one of the best ways to do it.

5. The 80-20 Rule for Content

The 80-20 rule means that 80% of your success will come from 20% of your efforts. This rule applies to just about everything, including your content. Your content can be created in a variety of different mediums.

For example: videos, webinars, blog posts, infographics, etc.

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So how does the 80-20 rule apply?

Quite simply, 80% of your content should communicate VALUE, and 20% of it should be focused on promotions. Valuable content means content that’s unique, fresh, timely, relevant, and solves real problems for your target audience.

Your success will come from 20% of your efforts, but that other 80% is necessary to drive it!

Too many small business owners have it the other way around. 80% of their blog content is overly sales-y, and only 20% of it contains useful or valuable information!

If you aren’t convinced about the value of creating useful content, then take a moment to reflect on the fact that businesses with blogs receive 67% more leads than businesses without blogs.

Other benefits of having a blog include:

  • Getting more targeted traffic.
  • Adds a human element to your brand, thus building trust and loyalty with your customers.
  • Cost effective and simple to setup.

6. When to Rely On SEO

Every small business owner who ventures into the world of digital marketing tips has heard about SEO.

But still, many of them shy away from it because they think it’s complicated and too time consuming.

While both of these things may be true, SEO is still the best way to drive free traffic to your website.

Even something as simple as your business name can influence your ranking in the search engine. According to an SEO company Local SEO Guide, businesses with a strong keyword in their business name rank 1.5 spots higher than businesses without a keyword in their business name.

Instead of focusing on a long term SEO strategy, too many small businesses blow their digital marketing budget on PPC ads when starting out. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.

So what are the different areas that SEO covers?

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There are a lot. But broadly speaking, these are the main ones:

  • Website optimization.
  • Page optimization.
  • Device optimization.
  • Credible link building.

There are many other sub categories of these main areas. For example, keyword usage is a sub category of page optimization.

There’s a lot to learn. But learning and implementing SEO will give your website better visibility in the search engines.

And to get an idea of how important SEO is for website visibility, you can look at past Google updates. One very important Google update made websites that aren’t responsive on various digital devices not even appear in the search results at all!

Now thankfully, you don’t have to learn SEO all on your own because you know an SEO agency (your friends at DUBUB Marketing Agency).

But you should still learn the basics of SEO and what the expectations of an SEO specialist will be.

Hiring an SEO specialist is well worth it. The SEO specialist will help you perform an SEO audit, which includes analyzing how users are interacting with your website and your social media platforms.

And finally, don’t expect immediate traffic from doing SEO. It can happen, but it’s pretty rare. Instead, look to paid advertising for quick traffic.

7. When to Use Paid Advertising

As we touched on in the previous section, many small business owners spend too much of their working capital on PPC. They have the right idea – spend money on paid advertising in the beginning to get some traffic coming in.

But in the absence of a sales funnel and a long term SEO strategy, they begin to rely on PPC to drive most of their sales. This is not a sustainable digital marketing method on its own.

Their mistake is that they end up confusing “more traffic” with “more sales.”

But all they end up doing is getting more cold prospects and no sales. And in PPC advertising where you pay for each click, this can get expensive if you aren’t making conversions from your clicks.

More traffic is a great thing, but without a marketing funnel, you won’t get optimal results.

Instead, you should follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Create a relevant and compelling offer. For example, your newsletter or a free eBook.
  2. Create great website content.
  3. Create targeted PPC ads to get people to your site.

Remember one of the most important digital marketing tips – traffic isn’t everything.

An amateur mistake is to expect to turn cold prospects into immediate buyers. Bring them in first, and then convert them into buyers later.

8. Enhance the User’s Experience

Enhancing user experience (UX) will be the glue that holds each of your strategies together.

The following are common and popular ways to do this. There are also plenty more metrics and digital marketing tips for measuring user experience.

  • The content on your site.
  • The communication channels you use.
  • An intuitive user interface (UI).
  • Your website’s loading speed.
  • Intuitive menu navigation.
  • Chatbots to assist in communication.
  • A simple tone for your content.

In order to make the optimal choices for these different areas, you’ll need to learn more about your target audience.

There are three key digital marketing tips to remember for creating a good user experience in 2019: 

  1. Remember to inform and inspire your audience with your content. This will give them a lasting impression of your company and make engagement easier.
  2. You’ll also need a customer management strategy to help you connect better with customers. It will take you through query and complaint management. It will also collect customer feedback and make them feel like they’re a part of your brand’s community.
  3. Another thing to keep in mind in 2019 is the effectiveness of video marketing. It continues to trend upward in popularity with the rise of live streaming. Popular platforms have already embraced live streaming. Consider Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat Stories to engage with your audience.

Conclusion

As you can see, the best way you can get ahead of your competition is to use the tried and true ways of digital marketing properly. Your competitors will keep on making the same mistakes, while you’ll be sidestepping landmines and growing your business with these 8 digital marketing tips.

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