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Finding Your Target Market Online

As a marketing professional, it is imperative to be able to find our client’s prospects online. Our clients often ask us how we make sure that the folks we are targeting fit their ideal customer persona, so I assume this is a common question for business owners. I wanted to lay out the steps we take so you can follow them for your own business.

Though many of us have accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SnapChat, Tumblr, etc, we can assume there are only one or two networks where we focus most of our online activity. Luckily, numerous agencies share data freely about the types of individuals that are found on each network and network growth over time.

For example, take a look at this chart from Smart Insights. 16-34 year olds dominate most networks, but if your market is 55-64 year olds (green marker), I would highly consider targeting LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. SnapChat wouldn’t be a valuable network for this age group.

social media demographics

Additionally, though it is common to hear that Facebook is on its way out, this is still the largest network of users. Twitter on the other hand has remained fairly stagnant over the past few years.

Data like this may sway where you want to put your attention on social media.

Exercise:
Write a description of your ideal customer. How old are they, what job do they hold, what do they do in their free time?

Look at the statistics of the social media networks, is there somewhere this person is most likely to be found (and active)?

Now work backwards. Make a list of each social media network. What type of customer have you had that would use this network? Now write what type of post they would be interested in seeing on that network (yes, you should tailor your social media posts to the market they are getting in front of)

Beyond data, our team also analyses what works for your competition. We often hear a client raving about how well Business X uses Facebook, for example, but when we actually take a look, their posts aren’t receiving any traction or they only are posting once per month. This leads to a conversation about what our client’s are viewing as a success.

By “spying” on competition, you can learn what has worked well, what seems to be a waste of time, and they types of graphics and posts your target market is used to seeing on each social media network.

Exercise:
Brainstorm a list of your competitors and other businesses that sell to your target market. Then find them on social media. Gather notes on their network size, average number of likes, shares, RT’s, and comments on their posts, the topics they post about, and if there is one network that seems to garner most of their attention. You can also use Fanpage Karma – http://www.fanpagekarma.com/ – to gather insights.

You don’t need to necessarily present this research in any specific way unless you are proposing it to a board or others at your organization. I use this research as a gut check and to establish expectations for clients. I do believe that if you are 100% devoted to a particular network, you can find results, so don’t necessarily cross off SnapChat, for example, if your competition hasn’t jumped on board yet.

My recommendation is to use this research from “spying” on your competition to gain a better understanding of the online landscape within your industry.

Know Yourself

Lastly, take a moment to reflect on your own interests. We’ve already looked at the overall trends for social media networks and seeing how your competition uses social media, but how do YOU use and interact with social media. Is there one network you absolutely love?

No matter what the research says, if you are passionate about a specific social media network, start there. Even though there are few 65+ individuals using SnapChat, you can still work to capture a portion of these individuals if you commit to working SnapChat.

If you are just jumping in, take a moment to consider where you would like to spend your time marketing your business. Use this as a starting point. You can always add more social media networks once you are confident in the process of marketing your business online.

Finding Your Target Market Online

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3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

Finding ways to attract and encourage people to keep coming back to your site is no easy feat. If you are looking for ways to generate a stream of targeted traffic that converts, we recommend that you incorporate visual content into your digital marketing campaign.

Visual content is one of the most powerful online marketing tools. They are easy to consume and understand. On top of that, they also increase engagement, brand awareness and earn more new business.

Here are 3 types of visual content that will increase your conversion rate:

Infographics

We live in an era where an average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds. People want to get the information they want fast. Otherwise, they’ll move on swiftly to the next site. Infographics can help you reach your audience and grab their attention, mostly because you make things easier for them.

People love infographics. They are filled with valuable information, but are presented in a user-friendly layout. It requires less time to read, absorb and get the gist of information.

Images

Every day, the average consumer is exposed to a large volume of advertising messages. As such, it can be easy for your content to get lost in the jungle. Providing your text content with an appealing image can help you cut through the noise.

Photos are a great way to showcase your products and services. Take some photos of behind the scenes of your brand. Take some snaps shots of your team members, as well as the process that goes into creating your product. You may also include some photos of happy customers who have recently purchased your products or availed your services.

Videos

Studies suggest that posts with videos attract 300% more inbound links than text-only posts. But in order to set yourself apart in the digital era, you need to make sure that your video is of the highest caliber.

A great video serves as an extra clout for your campaign. It is useful for presenting common problems and then showing people how your products can solve that problem. Also, it is imperative that the videos are congruent with the overall style and ethos of your brand.

3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

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How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

If you’re the content person for your brand, you’re probably busy creating pieces of content that aims to give out information about your products or services. You may also be focused in writing content that tell about your brand’s story. Amidst the churning out of content, have you ever stopped to think about why people choose to buy from your company? The answer is simple. It’s because they trust your company.

Whether you’re creating content for your clients, existing customers or new prospects, it is important to keep in mind that the real purpose of content marketing is to build greater levels of trust with your audience. Trust and credibility are important to win the loyalty of your customers.

Use these tips to create content that will help you enter your customer’s world and become an important part of it:

Put people first

In order to build trust and enhance your influence, you need to remember who you’re writing for. The content you create should be relevant to the people you are trying to communicate with. Know their demographics, determine your niche focus and stick with it.

Deliver high quality and relevant content to your audience on a regular basis. Overtime, people will see your brand as a trusted authority. They’ll keep coming back for more once they see you as a trustworthy source.

Be consistent

People don’t have an idea how reliable you are unless they start working with you. But by observing your activities and posting schedule, they can decide whether or not they can rely on you.

Choose your social media channels carefully and commit to being there regularly. Also, make it habit to post new content on your blog and update your site from time to time. By turning up regularly and publishing high quality and relevant contents on a regular basis, you will start to earn the confidence of your marketplace.

Interact with your audience

Newsletters, social media updates and blog posts are a great way for your audience to stay up-to-date with your business. But it’s not supposed to be a one-way communication. Find ways to interact with your audience online.

You can ask questions, encourage them to send photos of them with your products, share their stories etc. Don’t forget to respond to mentions on social media and reply to comments on your blog. Through this strategy, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your target audience. Through this relationship, they will come to trust you.

How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

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4 Ways to Inject Holiday Spirit into Your Social Media Campaign

4-ways-to-inject-holiday-spirit-into-your-social-media-campaignThe holiday season is an exciting time for online marketers. With more and more people realizing the comfort of online shopping, online retail sales increase during the holiday season. All those online shoppers are ready to splurge.  Your business could be missing out on a lot of business opportunities if your company isn’t getting into the spirit yet.

Create a social media campaign that reflects the holiday season and it will definitely lead to marketing success that will make your holiday merry. Here are 4 ways to inject holiday spirit into your social media campaign.

Show the magic of giving

Christmas is a time when everyone’s thoughts turn to giving. This holiday season, let people know that you’ll be donating a portion of your sales to charity. Clients love to see this good will passed on and will definitely be supporting your program. Helping those in need will not only help you build a positive image; you’ll also feel good about yourself.

Create a very merry Christmas offer

The holidays are a time for gift giving. Most people go on a shopping spree during this time of the year to buy great gifts for their family and friends. Instead of visiting their favorite shopping destinations, more and more people are turning to their mobile phones to look for the best deals.

Get your audience in the holiday spirit and trigger Christmas shopping by offering Christmas vouchers, special festive discounts, buy one get one free or one-day sales. Christmas countdown sales are also a great idea because they create a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to buy on impulse.

Give freebies

People love free stuff. Since people are likely to buy more this holiday season, you might want to offer some freebies as a way of saying thank you. You don’t have to give a gift to every customer, though. Let customers know that they’ll be receiving a free gift for a minimum purchase. This will encourage them to buy more than what they have originally planned.

Sparkle up your cover photo

While it’s good to add some Christmas sparkle into your cover photo, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about Christmas gifts, red and green decorations or Christmas trees. Rather, it should showcase some special holiday products or some special holiday deals your followers and fans would be interested to know about. Try to think of your cover photo as your billboard.

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How to be Successful with Instagram

how-to-be-successful-with-instagramAre you in love with Instagram as much as I am?

Are you a business owner that has an account on Instagram and not sure how to build your business on it?

Don’t worry I am here to help!

Here are just a few fun facts about Instagram that will blow your mind:

    • Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users.
    • Instagram users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.

 

  • 80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S.

 

  • Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men. Read more stats here from Hootsuite.

Now that we have those stats out of the way, it is clear that Instagram is the place to be! It is also owned by . . . what’s that social media platform that has the blue f on it??? Oh yeah FACEBOOK! The two of them got hitched in 2013 and Instagram has grown into this beautiful, amazing beast of a social media platform!

What does this mean for your business? Nothing really if you are not posting correctly!

There are many different ideas, ways and theories out there about how to post to Instagram page and what will work best. I wish it was that easy to say ok if you follow these 3 steps your Instagram account will grow by hundreds, you will see an ROI right away and it is SO easy! BUT there’s not, the only way to see what will work for your business is to try each of them! Each business is different and their audiences are different, the key with Instagram is to make your posts visually appealing that it draws your audience in, to get them engaging on each post. Either by liking the post, commenting or even reposting.

How do you get that visually appealing content? Do you need to hire a professional photographer? Get a studio to showcase your products or services? Invest in a super high-end camera to get the best quality pictures? NO, NO, and NO

All you need is a smartphone! That is great news right?

Here are 2 blogs that show you how to use your smartphone for images: Shopify Article and a RealSimple Guide

There are so many different apps that really do the work for you nowadays. The camera on your smartphone will work perfect, you just need to be creative. You may need to spend a few bucks for a simple background like buying a piece of foam board and covering it in marble contact paper so it looks like you have a marble countertop, or purchase a small tripod to help keep steady while taking images, go to the dollar store and find a few fun props if needed.   

I want to highlight a few Instagram accounts that I follow and how they are being successful with their content. Some posts are very long like a full blog length and some are short sweet and to the point, then some are in between.

Let’s take a look:

  1. The first one I want to showcase is one of our clients Coach Jessie May she is a branding coach, so her posts have a theme to them and her content is longer on each post. We love that she uses plenty of #hashtags and emoticons on her posts, by having more content she is adding more value for her audience which increase her engagement through likes and comments.  jessie_may_ig_post
  2. The second one I love is Mantra Magazine  this is a simple motivational quote that is not very eye appealing BUT has a GREAT message on it. What they did on this post they kept it short and yet gets you thinking and engaging. They used 24 #hashtags on this 1 post and got 1,465 likes and over 20 comment, sometimes keeping it short and sweet is good, asking a question to get your audience commenting always works! mantra_magazine_ig_post
  3. The third one I wanted to show you is Boulder Magazine, they used someone else’s image (gave credit) but this image is very creative and thinks outside the box! This is showcasing that listening and watching your audience can be good for your business. Sometimes it is hard to think of NEW, Fresh content everyday, so when you look at your audience and what they are posting you can share their images. Remember to give to give them credit by @mentioning them and thanking them in your post. This post generated 672 likes and over 15 comments!  boulder_magazine

These are 3 different types of businesses here and each of them is using Instagram in a different way. So what I am telling you is test the waters, put a post up that is short sweet and to the point like a motivational image and ask a question, then try a longer post like a blog post and use #hashtags, and then try a repost from someone you are following, see which one gets the most interaction and then you can start building your strategy from there. We recommend posting to Instagram between 3-5 times per week.

Instagram takes time, this is the one social media platform (besides Pinterest) that you cannot schedule posts to go out, you have to post manually! There are a few tools out there like Buffer, Hootsuite, LaterGram that allow you to schedule posts on their platforms then they push you a notice on your phone that you need to post your scheduled post to instagram, it’s a little complicated right?

So here are a few apps that I love to use when I am creating images for our Instagram account and our clients, most are free but some I have paid for and WELL worth it!

PhotoCollege

LiPix Pro

Canva

WordSwag (Paid $4.99)

QuotesCreator

Fontmania

MOLDIV

Vidstich

Boomerang

Hyperlapse

Ripl

Prisma

There are literally hundreds of image Instagram apps to try, download a few and see which ones you like the most and are easy for you to use. You can also check out some free picture sites to help with background and images. Canva, WordSwag and Pixabay are good for free images. In the beginning it may take more of your time to take images of your products, or download a bunch of free images so you can create a stockpile of them and then just grab and create. Use Pinterest as creative motivation and pick 3-5 businesses that you really like what they are posting on instagram and use them as a guideline.

I have filled your head with TONS of content, tips, how to and now it is time for you to step into the Instagram world and get busy!

If you are interested in a FREE, yes I said FREE 30 minute consultation with me on evaluating your existing Instagram account or on how to get your business started on Instagram please email me at Marketing@TheBIMSTeam.com I would love to assist you with your success on Instagram!

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Tips for Creating a Hashtag for Your Marketing Campaign

tips-for-creating-a-hashtag-for-your-marketing-campaignThese days, hashtags are everywhere. We see them in advertisements, in weddings, on our newsfeeds. We even see them on the corner of our TV screens when we watch our favorite TV shows.

Creating a hashtag for your business can have a lot of benefits. It gives users a new way to get in touch with your business and spread the word about an upcoming event, your products or services. Of course, these things can only be achieved with an effective hashtag.

Here are some tips for creating a hashtag for your marketing campaign.

Less is more

When creating a hashtag, always remember that less is more. Come up with something short and brief. You may use a few words or a short phrase, but make sure it’s not too. Two to three words is ideal.  Long hashtags can be tricky to read and easy to misspell. Remember, the shorter, the better.

Be unique

Sure, there’s no rule that says you can’t use an existing hashtag. But if you opt for a hashtag that is currently being used by another company, this may create confusion among people.

Since there are millions of active social media users all over the world, it can be difficult to create a unique hashtag, but it’s doable. Use your creativity. Alliteration is your friend.

Double-check your hashtags

Make sure you check across different social platforms to make sure that it doesn’t already exist. If another brand is already using it or if you find thousands of posts with the hashtag you have in mind, then you might want to come up with a new one. But if there are only a few posts, then go ahead and claim the hashtag.

Make sure it’s relevant

You may have successfully created a unique hashtag, but it won’t benefit your marketing campaign if it has nothing to do with your brand. Make sure you create a hashtag that is relevant to what your company has to offer.

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Tips to Create an Effective Facebook Ad Campaign

tips-to-create-an-effective-facebook-ad-campaignFacebook is one of the best places to find qualified leads. With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, there is no doubt that Facebook ads can help you achieve your goals.

How do you ensure that your Facebook Ads make the biggest impact? Here are some tips.

Set goals

Take a moment to determine what your goal is before creating a Facebook Ad campaign. What do you want to get out of it? Are you looking to reach people near your business? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Or do you wish to increase conversion rate? Once you have set your goal, it will be easier for you to determine your budget.

Take advantage of advanced targeting options

For your ads to be effective, you need to make sure that it targets a specific group of people. Facebook’s demographic and segmentation tools allow you to reach the people who matter most to your business. By selecting well targeted audience, you’ll have a good chance of reaching your goals without having to spend a lot of money.

Add images to your ad

Pictures are vital for capturing the attention of your target audience. If you want to get your ads clicked, choose an image that stands out.

Businesses, big and small, spend their time, money and effort just to reach their target audience. With so many people posting on Facebook every minute, there’s a good chance that your ads won’t get noticed. You need to grab user’s attention so that they read your ad. An eye-catching image can help you do that. The more interesting and eye-catching the image is, the more likely will people notice it.

Use call to actions

A call to action may not help in making your ad more engaging or increasing your click-through rate. So, why is it important?

When you add a call to action to your ad, people will know immediately what you want them to do. As such, they are likely to proceed with the desired action after clicking on your ad. This improves your conversion rate and decreases your cost per conversion.

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4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Instagram

4-ways-to-boost-engagement-on-instagramYou may know Instagram as a great platform for sharing selfies, vacation photos and mouthwatering dishes, but did you know that it’s also one of the best social media channels to build your fan base and promote your business? In fact, Instagram has 40 times more engagement than Twiter and 15 times more user engagement than Facebook.

Whether you’re working on behalf of a company or growing your own business account, use these tips to boost engagement on Instagram.

Be active

We know you’re busy, but posting once or twice a week isn’t going to do much for your engagement and brand growth. When it comes to social media, consistency is the key. You need to be consistent with your posting schedule. Find the best time and days to post and stick to it. This way, your loyal followers will be more likely to catch your posts.

Engage with others

Social interaction is the key to improving your engagement. If someone tags you in their post, respond to their post or give them a shout out. Make it a habit to communicate with your followers regularly.

Use eye-catching images

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of businesses that fail to use eye-catching images.

People don’t spend too much time scrutinizing every post as they scroll through their feeds.  With more than 70 million images uploaded on Instagram every day, you have to make sure your images stand out. Otherwise, it won’t get noticed.

Use hashtags

Hashtags are the language in which Instagram users speak. A hashtag is a great way of organizing your content and growing your community. It can also help engage your audience and increase your exposure to a large and targeted audience. To ensure you’re being searched by the right people, make sure that the hashtags you use are relevant to your brand.

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3 Ways to Turn Prospects into Paying Customers

3-ways-to-turn-prospects-into-paying-customersIn the B2B world, one of the marketer’s primary goals is to generate new leads. Most businesses have no trouble acquiring leads. The problem is, many of them fail to realize another important component of the sales funnel – lead conversion.

There is no point in generating leads if you can’t convert those leads into customers. After all, that’s how your business thrives and succeeds. Make sure you implement these strategies to prevent prospects from slipping through your fingers.

Quick follow-up

Time is of the essence in the business world. The speed at which your sales team follows up on the lead is important. Make sure that you follow up within 24 hours or all your efforts will be put to waste. Call them or just send a follow up e-mail. Offer to answer any questions that they might have. Sometimes, this is enough to get them into purchase mode.

People lose interest faster than you may think. As such, a quick follow up is recommended. If your sales team aren’t fast enough, they will move on to your competitors. Don’t let them wait.

Herd mentality

People are often influenced by the behavior of the people around them. This includes their buying behavior.

If you want a consumer to buy a particular product, you can use this to your advantage. Let them know how many people have bought your product in the last few weeks. This simple strategy can help boost your sales. If they see other people jumping on the bandwagon, they are likely to do the same.

Qualify leads

Not everyone who visits your site is interested in what you have to offer.  As such, it is important to determine which leads are worth your effort.

Qualifying leads can mean the difference between wasting lots of time and energy and landing a new, juicy business. You want to make sure you’re selling to right people. Check to see if they fit your buyer profile and their activities on your site before passing them off to sales.