Archive for digital media marketing

How to not get Caught in Google’s Mobile Speed Trap

Google recently announced that beginning July 2018, the loading speed of your website on mobile will affect how Google will rank it.

Basically, if your website takes too long to load on a mobile device, Google will ignore it and bring up the website — which loads faster — that matches the searcher’s query.

The good thing is that you have till July to fix your website. So, you ask…

How fast should my website load?

How to not get caught in Google's Mobile Speed TrapHow’s instantly — 1 second — sound? People today don’t want to wait for anything — especially on a mobile device. Face it, we live in an instant gratification society and Google’s goal is to satisfy the searcher. Why? Because it’s the searcher that clicks on the ads that bring them income.

A page that takes five seconds to load is 90% more likely to suffer from bounce backs, compared to a page that loads in just one second. (WordStream)

A “bounce” happens when a visitor to your site clicks on a link to your site then leaves within seconds. It usually happens if the site takes too long to load. Google Analytics gives you a “bounce rate”. A bounce rate higher than 50% is bad. That means you’re losing more than 50% of the visitors to your site.

How can I make my website load faster and beat Google’s Mobile Speed Trap?

Well, first, use one of these free tools to test your load speed.

Now, you’re going to see a lot of technical jargon. Don’t even try to understand it.

Here are 3 of the main factors that may be causing your site to load slow:

  1. Too much code in the background. This is a major issue with those easy, drag-and-drop website builders. So all those fancy boxes will load nicely, it takes the browser some time to decipher all the code.
  2. Your picture files are too big. 
  3. Your site is hosted on a cheap, shared-hosting platform.

And these are just 3! Most all of the others are really too technical to get into.

However, no worries! That’s where the folks at Sonfisher Web Studios can help you out. If you used one of the website speed tests listed and got a bad result, contact Kerry and he’ll be happy to analyze your website and see what can be done so that Google won’t punish you for being too slow.

Don’t wait till July! Do this now!

This post originally appeared on the Sonfisher Web Studios Blog.

Have you Saturated Your Market? How to Expand Your Reach

It happens. Sales go stagnant… not growing. You’re doing everything right… blogging… posting to social media… videos… monthly newsletters… basically everything you can do without spending extra cash… just sweat equity. You have no reach.

However, traffic to your site hasn’t grown… you haven’t gotten any new Facebook likes or Twitter followers in a while… and no one has downloaded your freebie offer in months.

What’s going on?

You’ve saturated your market. You are preaching to the choir and not getting any new eyes on your content. You have to expand your audience. How? By spending a little money.

Who are you trying to reach?

First, you must have your target market(s) clearly identified. You can’t do successful paid advertising without this! (Get a Free Workbook)

Which network will give you the best reach?Which Network(s)?

Second, you must figure out which network they frequent the most. (This post on How to Reach the Generations on Social Media will help.)

Age brackets aside, if you’re trying to reach the consumer (B2C), you should focus on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram even Snapchat. If you’re B2B (Business-to-Business) you should look at LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Yes, Facebook.

Everybody’s on Facebook.

What’s really neat, is you can pick EXACTLY who you want to reach:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Interests
  • And much more!

How much does it cost?

Well, you set your budget.

For instance, recently, for Greater Phoenix SCORE, we wanted to promote a class on “How to Start a Nonprofit Organization”. They had saturated the market and needed to expand their reach.

We found, on Facebook, people who were interested in charities, causes and nonprofits. We set a budget of $60 for the whole promotion. You’re charged based on how many people click on the ad. That’s called a Click-Thru Rate.

We figured that if a person with those interests saw the event post, if they themselves weren’t interested, they might know someone who was. And that’s exactly what happened. We saw in the comments area of the event, several people “tagging” a friend.

What’s tagging? Tagging is mentioning a friend in a post or comment. Usually they think the friend would be interested in the post. The friend is notified, thus expanding your exposure (reach).

Each network is different. Advertising is how the networks make money.

Furthermore, paid social media advertising works — especially if you’ve saturated your market and need to reach new eyes.

Yes, you need to budget advertising dollars. What’s more, you can test ads by spending just $25.

You need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish?

  • Selling a product
  • Attendance to an event
  • Drawing people to your website

Customer focus for better reachThen, think of an eye-catching, curiosity-piquing headline and sub-headline. Put sufficient information again, to pique curiosity and desire to get further information. Finally, link it to a landing page with the final product/offer.

The landing page should not have any other information other than the offer. No links to anything else but the call-to-action. You don’t want your interested party to get distracted with other links.

Try different offers and headlines and see which one works best. What’s nice about online advertising is everything is tracked so you know what your ROI (return on investment) is. If you spend $50 on an ad that generates $500 worth of sales, then your ROI is $450. That works.

What’s also nice is that all of the networks have very helpful sites explaining how their ads and tracking work. It’s how they make money so they want you to be successful.

There are no guarantees in online marketing, so make sure you’ve got the right budget and are ready to spend money to test your marketing abilities.

You can become social savvy!

What You Need to Know about Marketing Automation

You’ve got a fabulous WordPress website and you’re blogging regularly. You’re sharing your blog articles on your social networks and driving people to your website. You’ve got a terrific call-to-action (CTA) offer and are getting visitors to convert into leads. NOW WHAT? Are they being nurtured into sales? Probably not. Here’s where marketing automation (MA) comes in.

Affordable Marketing Automation

I’m sure you’ve heard of HubSpot and Infusionsoft. They are some of the giants in MA. However, their price tag may make it difficult for the little guy to afford. Enter MailChimp. You can get Marketing Automation with the FREE MailChimp startup plan! It’s free up to 2000 contacts in your email list (which is perfect for startups) and 12,000 emails per month. Now, unless your business takes off like a rocket, you can probably stay on the free plan while you’re growing. (Plus, if it does take off, you won’t mind spending $10/month.)

So how does Marketing Automation Work?

This short video from WishPond explains how it works:


Basically, MA allows you to:

  1. Focus on what your customers want.
  2. Let the system do the hard and time-consuming work for you.
  3. Improve the customer experience.
  4. Lead potential customers through the buying cycle.
  5. Develop relationships with your potential customers.
  6. Send your potential customers targeted content.

For instance, if you have 3 distinct products — one for college students, the other is for millennials and the 3rd for GenXers. When someone clicks on that CTA, the landing page form should ask them for…

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Age bracket – with 3 choices

(No more than 5 questions. You can always segment them more later with subsequent emails.) Based on their answer, they should get …

  1. Welcome email with the offer download
  2. In a few days, they get an email with a video to watch or a link to a blog article that pertains to their age bracket.
  3. If they watch the video, or click to the blog, then they get another email with yet another article that walks them further to buying.

At the end of these blog posts, you ALWAYS want to have another CTA. You’re more likely to get the buyer to buy if you’re showing them things that interest them. The college student isn’t going to want to see the product for the GenXer and vice-a-versa. Of course, if they buy at any time, they go into yet another MA campaign catered to new customers. It just keeps going.

My favorite email marketing service is MailChimp. Instead of my having to do a video from scratch, showing how it works, I found this excellent one for you…

The video below from Media Leaders shows you how to setup Marketing Automation on MailChimp:

All this might be a bit overwhelming for you. I offer 1:1 digital marketing coaching to help get you on the right track. Click here for details.

(See, that’s a CTA!)

How to Save Time with Free Social Media Tools

Social Media Marketing is time-consuming. There’s some upfront “sweat equity” that you have to put in on research, setting up, creating content and building a following. Once the following is built, then you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day! Yes, it can be done. Here are the free social media marketing tools that I use to both keep myself sane and save a ton of time!

You should have watched all the network videos first.

Time-Saving Social Media Marketing Tools:

Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/BootCampSocialMediaTools.pdf

How to Effectively Market Your Business with Videos on YouTube

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. “How to” is the most searched-for phrase. This class covers the basics of YouTube and the 2nd video covers how to optimize your channel for SEO and branding.


Here are the class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/YouTubeBasics.pdf

How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel

 

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Is the Content You’re Creating Effective or Just Noise?

I read somewhere, “Content without a strategy is just noise.”

Wow. So, are the blog posts or videos that you’re producing good content of true interest to your target, or are they adding more noise in a noisy world?

Is the Content You're Creating Effective or Just Noise? Is what you’re writing or creating what you think your target would be interested in or what you know they need?

How do you find out if your content is effective?

The first telltale sign is your website statistics and analytics. You should review these stats every month:

  • How many people visit your site per day and month?
  • How long do they stay?
  • What’s your bounce rate?
  • How many pages do they view while they’re there? (Hint: the longer they stay on your site, the greater the chances they will do something.)
  • Which pages or blog posts were the most popular?
  • How many people converted from a visitor to a lead? That is, they downloaded an ebook, a coupon, whitepaper or signed up for your newsletter.

Is the Content You're Creating Effective or Just Noise? Do you really understand your target market?

Have you done your research?

One thing all this technology has provided is a lot of data. You can easily find statistics on any target market and industry. Don’t skimp on this if your marketing is going to be effective. As a member of Your Social Savvy Solution, you get all the resources you need to guide you while you do this research.

You want to learn:Social Media Confusion happens when you don't have a strategic plan

Have you set goals?

  • What do you want to accomplish? Set SMART Goals.
  • Do you want to grow your email list? Yes!
  • Would you like to drive more traffic to your website? Absolutely!
  • How about increasing conversions? Of course!
  • Would you like to increase sales? Who wouldn’t?
  • Do you want to get more followers on the social networks? All of the above!

Now, based on your workbook results, research and goal-setting, you can come up with a content strategy on how best to reach your target.

  • What are you going to blog about?
  • How often are you going to blog?
  • Are you going to do videos? Professionally produced or self-produced on your cell phone?
  • How often are you going to share it on the social networks?
  • What other sources of quality content (not yours) would be of interest to your target? And how often are you going to share it?

The idea of blogging often is to make people want to come back for more.

Furthermore, at the end of each month, you must review your analytics. There is an excellent, easy-to-understand video in the Social Savvy Solution Training Center on exactly how to do this. You don’t have to hire a geek to help you go over your analytics. Trust me. I created these videos especially with the non-techie people in mind.

For any online marketing to be effective, you can’t skip any of these steps!

Learn to do it right or hire someone who knows what they’re doing. But that’s way more expensive. Figure a content marketer worth their salt will charge from $500/m and up. A good social media marketing guru, from $750/m and up.

Our online training center is only $20/m and you will learn how to do everything yourself and with practice, you’ll be able to manage your social media in 30-minutes a day and a create a blog post in about an hour.

What are you waiting for? Start learning now and be more effective tomorrow!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members OnlyThe Expert in Anything was once a beginner

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How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media [Infographic]

I asked a new client, “Who’s you’re target market?” He replied, “Everyone!” Yikes! Unfortunately, not like back in the day of the Yellow Pages, you can’t place an ad or two in the local paper or the YP and expect to get results. Each social media network has its own audience — a distinct user base. Understanding the different generations and how they use social media, is crucial for effective marketing.

The particular client I mentioned wants to reach a broad audience of different age groups and occupations. Which is fine, however, you market to someone under 40 (Gen Z & Millennials) differently than you would to someone over 40 (Gen X & Baby Boomers) – and on different social networks.

In a nutshell, here’s how, when and where to reach each of the generations: Use Snapchat to reach the under 21 crowd.

Gen Z (<21):

SnapChat and Facebook – the prefer to see real people (authenticity) in marketing rather than celebrities. (Go figure.) Use short, positive content – mostly videos. Best time is early morning and late afternoon.

Use Instagram to reach MillennialsMillennials (22 – 40):

Facebook (their primary news source), Instagram (for the younger half), LinkedIn and Tumblr (Yes, Tumblr is still around!) They’ll skip video ads as soon as they can. 87% own smartphones and will turn to social media when making purchasing decisions. Post relevant, credible content, that they care about.

Gen X (41 – 52):

Use Pinterest to reach Gen XersFacebook (They spend almost 7 hours on there a week!), Pinterest and YouTube. Reach them between 9pm and midnight. They are more brand-loyal than other age groups. Gen Xers have the 2nd largest disposable income and they go for nostalgia and comfort. Use videos and visual content with straight-forward clicks to website. Moreover, they prefer to use a computer rather than a mobile device.

Baby Boomers (53 – 71):

Everyone's on Facebook! These folks prefer email to communicate, yet, they spend 11 hours or more on Facebook each week! They’ll respond to quizzes and polls more so than the other generations. They are vocal and opinionated and prefer slower, informational video content.

 

What stands out to me, besides the fact that they ALL USE FACEBOOK, is that missing from here are Twitter and Google+. That calls for another blog post!

However, not everyone falls perfectly into each of these groups. Individual preferences will differ. That’s why you need to clearly define your target markets’ personas, taking into consideration their habits and preferences first (Get a FREE Workbook!).

This infographic from CitiPostMail, breaks down the generations, which social network they prefer and what type of message will catch their attention:

(Note: There is a discrepancy in the age brackets.)

How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social MediaSo, now that you have an idea where your target market hangs out, your next step is to learn everything you can about Facebook and the networks that they prefer. Best place to start is on my YouTube Channel. There you’ll find, FREE, easy-to-follow videos covering all you need to know about each of the major social media networks, their culture and differences, along with strategies for each of them. Also included are videos on how to use hashtags and how to see what’s working and not working.

This infographic How to Market to Different Generations on Social Media appeared first on Top Dog Social Media.

If we wait.....

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How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

How Often Should You Blog for Marketing Success?I just watched a webinar on “The Future of Marketing” (this link will take you to the slides). The first presenter, Mark Schaefer made me realize that the “marketing wheel” graphic I use to explain how today’s marketing works is obsolete. Ah, the challenges of keeping up with this stuff!

Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information.

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

Source: The Future of Marketing Webinar with Mark Schaefer

What’s up with the Social Media Networks?

The social media networks are in this to make money. They rely heavily on user analytics and data. Moreover, they make changes to their platforms based on that data.

Their objective is to…

  • get people on their platform
  • keep people on their platform
  • collect personal information (yeah, I know, Big Brother)
  • then take that data and use it for advertising

What you need to do in your marketing:

You can’t get around this. To quote the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You must comply.”

  1. Go where your customers are
  2. Focus on building awareness
  3. Give people a reason to go to your website

Because content and information are so readily available — between digital media and apps — people have what they need at their fingertips.

So what’s a small business marketer to do?

  1. Now more than ever you MUST start with narrowing your target market niches. Write up personas, give them names. Get to know them. How do they use social media? What devices do they prefer?
  2. Do some research. Once you’ve narrowed down the niches, you have to study their habits. Breaking them up in to basic age groups is the first key:
    1. Under 25
    2. 25-40
    3. Over 40
  3. What are their pain points/problems that you can solve? How can you make their lives better, easier, more fun, happier, etc.?
  4. Come up with the content that gives them what their looking for — blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures. What you choose depends on the networks they frequent and what each age group prefers.
    1. Blog posts at least 300 words
    2. Videos that you upload directly to Facebook or Facebook live videos
    3. Short Instagram videos
    4. Short opinion, motivational, inspirational or advice pieces/text accompanied by a picture
    5. Original articles for LinkedIn — especially if you’re B2B
  5. Write this all down in strategic and tactical plans.
  6. Implement the plan
  7. Monitor and measure — check your analytics monthly to see what’s working and not working. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
  8. Plan for the next month – set new goals and benchmarks
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 every month.

By this point you’re probably thinking, “I can’t do this!” “There’s too much!” “I just want to quit!”

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution SIMPLIFIED! Marketing made simple.

Your Social Savvy Solution Simplified! Marketing made easy!Yes, I added another “S”!

If you follow the steps, in that order, you will be able to reach your target market, draw them to your website and convert them into a sale. I outline everything for you. From optimizing your website and profiles for the search engines — both Google and the social networks — to strategizing for each network — to how to measure your efforts. Each step is covered in detail. Even how and where to do research.

Best of all, it’s affordable! Just $20 gets your started! You can watch the all the videos, download all the materials 24/7. Go at your own pace, in your own time. If you’re a morning person, get up early and watch a video or two. If you’re a night owl, watch them at 1am. Whatever works for you! The individual classes are around 15-35 minutes. Everything is in a logical progression. You can view the videos covering where you feel you need more help first then check out the others later on. You have full-access to all training materials.

What’s more, there are new, updated videos each month. As the networks add new features and change things around, I’ll record both presentations and demonstration videos explaining the changes, what they mean to you and what you need to do to adapt it to your business.

Face it. In this age of modern technology, you have to go at the speed of change or definitely get left behind. It’s your choice.

Join now, stop at any time.

Your Social Savvy Solution Members OnlyThe way to get started...

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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.

Learning

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only. It’s where you can go and get all the knowledge that you need, in a logical progression, to become the confident, savvy marketer so you can….

  • 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

What are you waiting for? Special Introductory Price…. Learn More….

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

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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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