Archive for digital marketing

How Not to let Today’s Marketing Technology Drive You Crazy

Let’s face it, business owners, Marketing Technology (or MarTech to the techie folks) can get out of hand. What happened to the days when putting your shingle outside your store and an ad in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) was enough?

Take a look at the infographic depicting all the marketing technology choices out there in 2016:

You can click on it to view a larger image, but don’t go cross-eyed trying to make sense out of it.

How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyThis goes to show you the ridiculous amount of marketing technology choices out there.

You can’t be on all the networks all the time!
It’s impossible!

Here are 10 Logical Steps You Need to Follow to keep Yourself Sane in this crazy MarTech world.

  1. How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyClearly Define Your Target Marketing Niches – You can have more than one target market! But you MUST identify them. Start with this FREE Workbook.
  2. Do some research on your target, which social networks they use most often and figure out the best way to reach them. Create personas for each niche.
  3. Get to know your target audience. What do they like or don’t like? What are they looking for? How can your product or service make their lives better, easier, more fun, etc.
  4. Get to know the networks. Each one has its own culture. What works on Twitter doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Do you even have to be on Snapchat?
  5. Make a plan. Brainstorm with your team or a mentor. Work out some strategies on how to engage your target audience on the social networks. You don’t have to be on all the networks! Focus on the ones that your target market frequents the most.
  6. Make a content calendar. What are you going to blog about? What does your target audience need to know that will make their lives better…. etc.? (What’s in it for them?)
  7. Optimize EVERYTHING. Each and every description, about section, bio, web page and blog post must be optimized not just for Google, but for the powerful internal search engines that each network has.
  8. The first step towards getting somewhereTake time to learn. You can never waste your time learning how to do something better and more efficiently.
  9. Use it or lose it. Apply what you learn right away so you don’t forget it. Don’t be afraid to wander around Facebook or LinkedIn even Twitter and Google+. You’ll get faster and savvier, the more you participate and engage.
  10. Have confidence. As you learn how to properly and effectively use the social media networks to engage with your target; as you get more comfortable creating the content that your target audience wants to see, you will feel more confident with your marketing efforts and you’ll also start seeing results.

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  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads
  • Grow a following
  • Become an influencer
  • Increase sales
  • Get on the first page of Google
  • Be more effective

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Beware! Google Mobilegeddon 2017 is Coming! Mobile Popups Be Gone!

Google Mobilegeddon 2017 will block sites with popupsI hate popups! I had one on this site till I read that Google Mobilegeddon 2017 is coming.

It will block websites with popups on mobile devices!

I don’t blame them. Consider that I was in my car trying to find the address for a company. I was on their website on my phone and the stupid popup kept blocking my access to the address that I needed.

Popups are annoying. Remember a few years ago when popups used to come up in a new browser window. What did the browser developers do? They added popup blockers. So the advertising people came up with code for websites to add popups within their site. It didn’t cause a new window to open, so people started using them as productive calls-to-actions (CTAs).

Some popup plugins have a way to not have them come up in their controls, but not the free ones, like the one I was using. With the fact that 83% of mobile searchers use Google, I’m not going to risk it. Deleted!

The problem is that annoying as they are, popups are effective in getting people to opt-in or convert from a visitor to a lead.

So what can we use to replace popups for free?

  • Add an opt-in form at the end of your blog post – this will take a bit of coding. Your webmaster should be able to do it for you. Make sure it connects to your email program.
  • Create a small graphic ad and link it to the landing page for your offer. Put it at the at the end of each blog post and in your sidebar. Make the offer enticing, like if it were an ad on Facebook. Use the free online graphics tool, Canva, to create the ads. Test different sizes of the ads on various devices.
  • Use text link calls-to-action. People still click on good, old-fashioned links.

I’m sure some clever developers will come up with new ways to get a visitor’s attention without being so “in your face”.

I’ve heard that Google Mobilegeddon 2017 will happen January 10, 2017, so you have no time to waste!

Google’s goal is to help the searcher find what they’re looking for quickly and effectively. They focus on fresh, relevant content. So blogging often about your topic will keep Google happy. And turn off the popups to keep readers happy.

 

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Q&A Video: What’s the Secret to Great SEO?

Everyone wants to know what the secret is to great SEO – search engine optimization — and coming up on the first page of Google search.

There are 3 simple steps to great SEO which I explain in this video:

Here’s the complete transcript of the video “What’s the Secret to Great SEO?”:

What's the secret is to great SEOStep 1 is to make sure your website is setup properly — optimized with effective title and meta tags. It should load quickly and have relevant external links. Optimize your site with relevant keywords.

Put yourself in your target market’s shoes. What are they going to enter into the search engine to find what you have to offer? Do keyword and target market research. I’ve got some resources available on my website to guide you through this process.

Step 2 is to become a content magnet by providing Google with fresh content at least weekly. Google is looking for fresh, relevant content written for the human reader. Write your blog posts for your target audience with the search engine in mind. Videos, podcasts and graphics also count as content. Make sure when you embed content on your blog that you summarize. The search engine only sees text and links.

Step 3 is to share the link to your content on social media – especially posting it “public” on Google+, so Google will index it in the search engine. Pin it on Pinterest – it takes the link with it. Share it on bookmarking sites like Digg & StumbledUpon. Those create legitimate backlinks to your site. Oh, and make sure you have share and follow buttons. The follow buttons are perfect external links that make it easy for people to follow you and the share buttons make it easy for visitors to share your content with their friends.

Hey, and if you have a burning social media, SEO or content marketing question, please either comment below or shoot me an email! Thanks for watching & my goal is to help you get social savvy!

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An Excellent Example of Clever Viral Marketing

I know you want it! Viral Marketing! That one post, picture or video that everyone who sees it has to share it with their friends.

Here’s an outstanding example of a viral marketing video that has went viral:

And they followed it up with the Darth Vader interview:

An Excellent Example of Clever Viral MarketingDo a search on Facebook for Forth Worth PD and you’ll see that dozens of news networks shared their videos with millions of views and shares. That’s what you want.

OK, you’re probably thinking that it was the fact that it was a police department and that these were professionally done videos. There’s no way that you have the budget for it, right?  Actually, hiring a professional video production company is not as expensive as you may think. I’ve had several professional videos done all under $300. Although, I didn’t have costuming or professional actors in them. That will jack up the cost.

You should have at least one professionally done video.

That video can serve as the intro to your business on your website. It’s proven that visitors to a website stay longer when there’s a video. HOWEVER, don’t have it play automatically when the site loads. Allow the visitor to click on it if they want to watch it. And don’t use Flash!

“Skip the flash and Flash, and let people get right in [to your website] unless you want them to abort their visit or only visit once.” ~ Guy Kawasaki in [ad link] “Enchantment

You can use that professional video also as your YouTube channel ad. Yes, you get a free ad for your YouTube channel. It has to be under 2 minutes. Keep in mind that you have to deliver on what that video promotes. If you say you’re going to be doing weekly videos, then do weekly videos!

Here are some tips and ideas on how to create some viral marketing videos:

  • Brainstorm – get together with your team and throw some ideas around. If you lack a team, hire a marketing coach to help you with ideas.
  • Search for videos from other people and companies in your industry or your competitors and see what they’re doing. Look at their views and likes. Also, how often are they uploading new videos. Fresh content makes Google happy. 
  • Use a cell phone or tablet to record – you have high-quality cameras in your mobile devices. Make sure you have plenty of storage space on the device before starting to record. The last thing you need is your phone stopping you in the middle of recording with a “Sorry, you are out of storage space” alert. (That happened to me when I was live-streaming once. Oh, and the battery died, too. So make sure it’s charged!)
  • Use the free video editing software in your computer. Windows 8 and above users have Movie Maker and Mac users have iMovie. YouTube also has a free video editor.
  • Have fun with it.
  • Go for the views emotional triggers:
    • make it funny
    • tug at the heart strings
    • anger them

Remember: People prefer to watch a 3-minute video rather than reading a 300-word blog post.

An Excellent Example of Clever Viral Marketing

In conclusion, don’t over think it. Having a video go viral is usually a fluke. Nevertheless, if you keep creating clever, awesome content, you’ll get the attention of your target audience and the exposure you want.

Would you like some help brainstorming for 2017? Take advantage of the Holiday Special on 1:1 Coaching! Click here for details!

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Top 10 Best Social Media News – Nov. 18, 2016

This week in Social Media NewsThis is the first in a new weekly series I’ll be providing every Friday afternoon. I understand that social media is not only overwhelming for a lot of business owners, but also keeping up with all the changes is challenging to say the least. There are many — if not too many — sources of social media and online marketing news. How do you know who’s the authority? Who’s right? What’s hype and what’s not?

Well, with this series, I’m doing the sifting and sorting for you. Each Friday, I’ll pick the top 10 best, must-read social media and online marketing articles and news stories of the week. They could be news from the networks or advice, tips and hacks from the experts. They’ll cover social media, search engine optimization (SEO), digital and content marketing. In this fast-paced, tech-centered world, taking time to learn and understand how all this works, will only help you be successful. Everyone learns technology differently and no one expects you to grasp it quickly or completely the first time around.

Here are the top 10 Social Media, Must-Read Articles for 10/18/16 (in no particular order):

  1. 11 Ways to Hack the LinkedIn Pulse. Writing for LinkedIn helps build your credibility and establish you as an expert in your field. This post from WordStream provides some tips that will help your article get noticed by more people besides your connections and followers.

  2. YouTube Cleans up Comments. I’m sure you saw how Twitter literally blew up with nasty comments during and after the election. Well, the folks at YouTube caught on and have “cleaned up” their comments and added some cool features.
  3. Facebook “Bug” Reveals Organic Reach Is Even Worse Than We Thought. Oh, boy. It seems that our friends at Facebook really want you to pay-to-play!
  4. What Makes People Bounce Off Websites? “This is a metric that defines the percentage of visitors to your website that leave the website directly from the landing page without viewing any other page on the website. Bounce rate is given as a percentage of visitors who leave your website.The average bounce rate for an ecommerce website according to data from Google Analytics is 57 percent. The best ecommerce websites’ record bounce rates are as low as 35 percent.”
  5. Give Your Campaign Video Marketing Boost. Video marketing is now an essential part of effective online marketing.
  6. 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. Reviews on Facebook and other online sites come up in Google searches.
  7. Pinterest queues up autoplay video ads for new Explore tab. If you’re trying to reach the consumer, you need to look at Pinterest. Here is a new feature.
  8. 10 Steps to Build Your Stature as an Influencer. You want to be known as an expert in your field. Here’s what you need to do to get there.

  9. Twitter Releases New Reports on Holiday Shopping Behaviors [Infographic]. It’s not too late to get in on the holiday shopping trends. Check out this info.
  10. 11 proven digital marketing strategies you’re (still) not using. I know, it’s too much, but it works! You can’t continue to ignore marketing and expect your business to flourish.

If you want more, just follow me on your favorite network where I share more content: LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Now that you know what you NEED to do, here are some tools that will help you:

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5 Tips to Take the Fear out of Learning Technology

Recently, I had to learn how to use Amazon Web Services. It’s Amazon’s cloud storage which I’ll be needing for my videos. (They’re taking up too much space on my hosting server.) Well, I consider myself a fairly tech-savvy person and even I felt overwhelmed. I was watching these videos of Amazon engineers talking way over my head. Then I hunted a bit and found some of their webinars on YouTube that were way easier to follow and felt more comfortable learning technology.

5 Tips to Take the Fear out of Learning TechnologyI also figured out a cool trick. I was trying to pause the video, switch over to my account and apply what they just showed. That became a pain. Then I thought of putting my laptop with the video next to my big computer. It was easy to pause, apply, continue. (This would also work with a tablet and, of course, two screens.)

There were 3 aspects of their cloud system that I had to learn. I blocked off a Saturday to learn it all, but my brain was literally fried by 4 pm! And I still had 1 more portion to go! I had to stop.

Yes, even I can fry my brain learning technology. Here are some tips to help you get over the tech learning curve.

  1. Use two devices if you can. One with the video and the other to apply what you’re learning.
  2. Go at your own speed. Don’t feel obligated to grasp everything fast. You might have to pause, rewind and watch it several times before it sinks in.
  3. Apply what you learn as you go or as soon as possible. If you wait much more than a day, you’re going to forget. So make sure you set enough time to review the material, understand it, then apply it.
  4. Once your brain is fried, quit. Usually, no more than 2-3 hours at a time, then take a break.
  5. Realize that you either have to learn all this or hire someone to do it for you. If you don’t have the budget to outsource your technology to a qualified person, then you have no choice but to learn how to do it yourself.

Each person is different, so find what works for you.

Learning anything new takes time, and you’ll be slow at doing whatever it is until you get used to it. But like learning how to drive a car or a bike, once you’ve mastered it, it becomes second nature to you.

I recommend online video tutorials for learning technology rather a classroom setting, especially if you don’t feel you’re very tech savvy. Having taught in classrooms, as the instructor, I had to go at the speed of the class — the majority of the students. The less techie person found it difficult to keep up. With online learning, you go at your own pace and it’s not embarrassing if you need to pause, rewind and view it as many times as needed.

That’s why I created the Social Savvy Solution. Easy-to-follow, online videos that cover all aspects of social media, blogging and online marketing. You can learn at your own time, at your own speed. If you do need help, then I’m available for 1:1 tutoring via Skype.

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Social Media Strategy vs Tactics for Promoting Your Business

Having a written social media strategy for marketing your business is your guide to effective social media marketing. If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist. Even on a whiteboard. It’s also not set in stone. Your strategy and tactics will change based on your site statistics, analytics and social media insights.

In this Facebook Live video, I explain the difference between Social Media Strategy vs Tactics:

Anyone can do tactics. Strategy involves doing some research on your target market (once identified), then deciding which social media networks you’re going to focus on first and then secondary.

Basically, there are no shortcuts when it comes to social media marketing. You can hire someone to do it for you if you really feel you don’t have the time to learn. However, you have to have a budget. Anyone worth their salt is going to charge from $750 – 2000 or more per month. You also need to understand how it works so if you do hire someone — in-house or outsourced — you know if they’re doing things correctly.

Wednesdays with the Wiz videos will soon be Podcasts! We’re in the process of setting everything up on the Amazon Cloud.

If you’d like to learn how to do your own social media marketing, check out our new Social Media Marketing Boot Camp 101 course!

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So many Social Media Networks! Which are best for my Business?

Do you find that thinking about marketing your business using the social media networks is overwhelming?

Don’t feel bad. You’re in a big boat with many other small business owners. So many social media networks to choose from!

In this Wednesdays with the Wiz video, I explain the right approach to social media marketing.

It’s basically taking a step back and getting to know who your target audience is and then getting to know them through research. Followed by developing a strategic marketing plan and then a tactical plan. The media options may be different from “back in the day”, but it comes down to basic marketing rules first. 

  1. Analyze what’s working and not working with your current marketing. This free ebook will help you.
  2. Define your target market(s). (This free workbook will help you.)
  3. Do some research – which networks do they use? If you find that your market is not on certain networks, then you don’t have to be on them. (Unless you want SEO). Here is a guide to online research resources.
  4. Set some SMART Goals.
  5. Put together a strategic marketing plan to help you achieve those goals.
  6. Outline a tactical plan implementing your strategies.
  7. Learn how to properly use the tools that help you manage it all. (And it can be done in 30 minutes a day!)
  8. Do it – blog, post, engage
  9. Monitor and measure

Social Media Success Start-up Pack for Small BusinessesMy Social Media Success Startup Pack will help guide you in this process. Step-by-step.

 

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To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social MediaTo sell or not to sell: that is the question. What is the right ratio on social media of selling vs. non-selling posts?

Basically, it’s not all about you!

HubSpot created the 10-4-1 rule:

Out of 15 posts in any given network, 10 are other peoples’ quality content of interest to your target; 4 are your original content — blog posts or tips and only 1 is a direct sales post.

Others say 80/20; 90/10 even 95/5. Today I read that on Facebook, it’s 70-20-10. I liked the way they explained it. I couldn’t have written it better myself:

In other words, only one out of every ten posts should be one of your own blog posts. This may seem dramatic, but think about it from the perspective of your followers. If you’re only sharing your own content, then you look desperate and selfish. However, if you’re also sharing other content that your followers will find helpful, then you appear genuinely interested. And when you do share one of your own links, it holds more value. – How to Effectively Drive More Facebook Traffic to Your Blog by Stacy Roberts on Problogger.com

More of them less of you.

Put yourself in your target’s shoes. What are they interested in? Do a survey. Do some research. Once you’ve got a following on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest, the analytics on these sites tell you a lot about your followers. Check them monthly. See which of your posts got the most reactions: likes, comments and/or shares. Note the type and share more of those.

They are thinking, “What’s in it for me?”

Analytics and Insights tell you about your audience. What other things are they interested in? Who else do they follow? Who do they trust for information and advice?

Serve Don’t Sell – Don’t be a Spammer

“Social Selling” is about sharing and serving NOT SELLING. People will unfollow you fast if all you’re posting is about yourself and how great you are. There has to be a balance and it may take some trial and error to find the right one.

So, what is the right ratio on social media?

These are guidelines. Again, your analytics will give you a more definitive ratio as to what your specific target audience responds to and likes. Based on your analytics, you can more clearly determine what are good, trusted sources of content; what to blog about and the right call-to-action posts that are more likely to convert a follower into a sale.

START HERE: Download the Free Define Your Target Market Workbook

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Capturing Leads that will Convert with the Right Calls to Action

Having a nice website and blogging regularly will drive people to your site, but how are you capturing leads. You need to turn visitors in to leads and leads into sales. It takes the right call-to-action.

In this Wednesday’s with the Wiz episode on Facebook Live, I talk about Capturing Leads with the Right Calls-to-Action.

  1. Know your target market well. What are their pain points? What are their problems that you’re going to solve?
  2. Have an enticing give-away. What would your target want or need so much that they’ll give you their name and email address? Ask them no more that 2 questions on the form.
  3. Follow up with a personalized email based on their answer. That’s marketing automation – guide them through your buying process.

Not sure what will work for you? Let’s start with a free 30-minute phone consult and analysis of your online marketing efforts. Click here to schedule.

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