Why Your Business Needs Facebook

Make real, human, connections: Through your business’s Facebook page, users can see the person behind the brand. Share your story and let people know why this business is important to you. Do you run a green organization? Post an article about how your products are environmentally friendly…

Your business needs to be using Facebook, and we can give you several reasons why:

  • Numbers: The point in advertising is to reach people, and Facebook has them. As of this month, Facebook is still the leading social media network with billions of followers. It’s estimated that Facebook has around 1.4 billion active users logged on each day. You don’t have to look any further for an audience, you just have to know how to draw in the right people. Facebook’s audience insights help you determine who, specifically, to market to and allows you to gear your ad accordingly. They have several options for creating the right audience base. You can set specific demographic criteria such as age, gender, occupation and relationship status, Facebook tracks liked page history to know what interests users have, and knowing past purchase histories helps determine whether or not they’ll want to buy your product. You’ll also be able to reach people based on location. If your services are better suited for a more local clientele, tracking users in your zip code, or surrounding areas, is a great marketing tool for you.
  • Make real, human, connections: Through your business’s Facebook page, users can see the person behind the brand. Share your story and let people know why this business is important to you. Do you run a green organization? Post an article about how your products are environmentally friendly. Are you sponsoring an upcoming marathon for cancer research? Get people involved by reaching out through your business’s social network. Customers, specifically Millennials, want to know who they’re giving their money to. Research shows that Millennials are civic-minded. They don’t want to just do their part for the betterment of the world, they want you to do yours as well. Customers are more likely to buy products, even at top prices, when a company’s culture or beliefs align with their own. Cause-related advertising is a powerful tool in today’s market and Facebook provides a medium for sharing your mission with consumers.
  • Show and tell: Websites are great for posting pictures of products. They can, however, become time-consuming when it’s time to update. With Facebook’s instant upload options, you can post pictures or videos anytime from any place with data connectivity or wifi. With the live feed option, you can also log on from anywhere and speak directly to customers. There’s no better way to let people know how excited you are about new merchandise or services than with your own words.
  • Feedback: Get your customers involved. People want to be heard, especially when you want their money. Facebook gives you the opportunity to have open discussions with clients. Ask questions, welcome comments and respond. Turn unhappy consumers into loyal customers through Facebook’s messaging service. Reach out to people on a personal, one-on-one level, providing you an opportunity to listen to customers and quickly resolve issues. Creating surveys is a great way to determine how well upcoming products or launches will be perceived. Surveys give consumers the opportunity to share their opinions about the brands they shop every day.

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  • Contact: Facebook has a number of ways for you to connect with customers, including a way for them to send their contact information when they want to know more about your products or services. Creating a contact form is a great way to save consumer information, get notified when a customer reaches out to you, and build new connections.
  • Be the name in your industry: When customers consider where to shop, you want your company’s name to be their go to. Write articles that let your expertise shine and post them on Facebook for your network to read. Gain the confidence of your clients by showcasing your knowledge. Schedule a live demonstration or discussion and invite followers to watch and ask questions about your products or organization. Facebook not only allows you to create a sales page but gives you access to a community.
  • Easy Updates: Nothing turns customers away faster than out-of-date content, well almost nothing. When consumers shop online they want recent products and/or company information. Irrelevant content potentially leads to the belief you’ve either lost interest in marketing to them or worse, you’re out of business. Facebook provides user-friendly options for quick updates to your page. Take five minutes each day to let your customers know you’re still there, and still listening.
  • Rewards: Promote customer loyalty by rewarding active Facebook followers. Create a contest and randomly drop hints. Let users know they’ll have to check-in frequently to get more details. This not only generates excitement for your fans or customers, it gives you even more opportunity to reveal new or on-going products or services. Use this as another tool to grow your network. Allow followers to enter your contest by sharing your business page and inviting their friends to follow you.
  • Around the clock:People spend a lot of time on social media. With a Facebook ad, your business is on display for potential customers anytime day or night. With some trial and error, you’ll know the best and worst times to post new content. It’s no mystery that working people seek out motivation to make it through their day usually right around or just after lunch, and again right before quitting time. It is suggested that you’ll reach the highest number of users between one and four in the afternoon.
  • SEO help and learning: Keeping up with social media can be a full-time job all by itself. Facebook offers e-learning to help you understand how to create a page that meets your goals, speaks to your customers and reaches out to the right people. Search engine optimization helps ensure your page pops up at the top of lists when users search for businesses within your industry. If you don’t have the time to keep up with all the tools Facebook offers, an SEO expert can help get you started and keep you on target.

So, is your business taking advantage of Facebook? Using Facebook as a digital advertising and marketing tool for your business is crucial in today’s digital world. To learn more about the benefits of Facebook, contact us today.

Why User Experience Matters in Digital Marketing

UX-focused web design has the potential to do more than just improve your website. At its best, it can inform and ultimately improve your entire marketing strategy. Too much digital marketing today is based on guess work. You might build campaigns based on general…

As you grow your brand customer base, it’s easy to focus on digital marketing. But even as you design your promotional messages, don’t forget about the other end of the equation. User Experience and digital marketing are, in fact, directly connected. Without one, the other will not be effective. Even the best social media or email campaign will fail to generate conversions and customers if the UX is not quite right.

That’s the worst-case scenario you want to avoid. In today’s competitive environment, you need to consider the entire customer journey. It may start with a marketing campaign, but doesn’t end there. Only a close understanding of the importance of UX and why user experience matters on both your website and your marketing efforts in general can help you maximize sustainable success and ROI.

The Basics: Understanding Digital User Experience

On its broadest level, UX “encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” We want to get a little more specific than that definition. As it relates to your website, UX refers to the feelings, emotions, and satisfaction (or lack thereof) your audience feels as they browse around, read, and interact with individual pieces of content.

In other words, you cannot generate UX. It happens, regardless of how you design your site or build your content. But you can shape the nature of it, helping to determine whether your audience feels negatively or positively as they visit your website.

Good UX design does more than just shape audience feelings. Why user experience matters is because it drives conversions and revenue, as well. In fact, Forrester Research has found that brands excelling in its Customer Experience Index grow faster and gain more revenue than their counterparts. Given that trend, shaping UX should be a core part of your digital marketing efforts.

How UX Can Tell Your Brand Story

You might have heard about the rising importance of storytelling in digital marketing. Weaving factual claims about your brand and product into a compelling narrative can build an emotional connection with your audience that significantly increases the likelihood of customer conversion. That’s because according to one study, stories are 22 times more memorable than plain facts.

Good stories capture your audience attention. They inherently shape user experience, as visitors are compelled to stick around and learn more about your brand and the story it has to tell. Once you have their attention, you can more effectively educate them about your products and services.

As an added benefit, that relationship between UX and storytelling is reciprocal. Embracing a storytelling approach on your website inherently enhances UX, but good UX also makes it more likely that your audience actually pays attention to your story and the information you want to get across. Connect that story on your website with your broader marketing messaging, and the effectiveness of all your digital efforts increases significantly.

How UX Builds Your Conversions

In addition to shaping your brand story, UX also has a significant impact on your conversions. That’s because by focusing on this aspect, you begin to build a more holistic view of the entire customer journey. As you emphasize how your visitors interact on your website, you can naturally adjust your strategy toward guiding them in the right direction.

Improving user experience is not about changing your website in ways that you think is best. It’s about learning from your actual visitors on what they want to see and interact with. Your goal should be finding a way to marry these desired experiences with your marketing goal. It’s important to know that, “UX bridges this gap between your company’s business objectives and the user’s wants and needs.”

The right UX also focuses on page layouts and design that makes these conversions more intuitive for your users. Even the most engaged visitor probably won’t convert if they don’t find an opportunity to do so. A simple call to action, placed at a spot when they’re most likely to convert, can do wonders for your conversion rate.

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How UX Can Inform Your Entire Marketing Strategy

We’ve already hinted at it above, but it bears repeating. UX-focused web design has the potential to do more than just improve your website. At its best, it can inform and ultimately improve your entire marketing strategy.

Too much digital marketing today is based on guess work. You might build campaigns based on general industry best practices or past experiences, hoping that the lessons learned from these benchmarks are enough to carry over to your own audience and current marketing goals. But you don’t have the assurance you need to know that this will actually be the case.

A UX-focused approach can change that. It necessarily includes in-depth research into what your audience actually thinks and wants. That research is not just good to improve your website, but can enhance your entire marketing strategy. Now, you can build digital campaigns and messaging based on actual, real-time insights, and carry that strategy through to your final conversion points.

How Personalized Content Can Enhance UX

All of the above are undoubtedly crucial ways in which UX can increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing. At the same time, it also makes sense to look at the exact ways in which you can actually enhance your visitors’ experience while on your site. While many tips here will differ based on your audience research, one universal truth remains: you need to focus on personalized content.

Your visitors want their experience on your site to be adjusted specifically for their needs and wants. Fortunately, you have a number of ways to satisfy that desire, some more complicated than others:

  • Build a mobile-optimized and responsive website.
  • Customize web content specifically for individual visitors, based on their location and/or existing information you have about them.
  • Follow up conversions with communications specifically related to that conversion.
  • Offer multiple levels of conversion, from subscribing to your blog to becoming a customer, that match your audience’s current place in the customer journey.

Of course, these are just a few of the many ways in which you can improve customer experience and why user experience matters. Emphasize these and other tactics, and your digital marketing efforts have the potential to significantly increase in effectiveness. Combining the two concepts, in fact, might just be the secret to a more successful digital marketing strategy.

9 Ways to Personalize Your Website to Increase Conversions

Your company’s prosperity hinges on your ability to convert prospects into customers. Studies show that 65% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that provides personalized information, emphasizing the effect that a customized approach can have on conversions…

Your company’s prosperity hinges on your ability to convert prospects into customers. Studies show that 65% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that provides personalized information, emphasizing the effect that a customized approach can have on conversions. And with most product searches beginning online, today’s businesses cannot afford to overlook the impact of a personalized website. Below are 9 ways to personalize your website to increase your conversions.

1) Showcase customer testimonials

“A testimonial means that the person giving it is putting their reputation with their own tribe on the line. If they give a testimonial and the business doesn’t live up to what they have to say, their reputation is damaged.”
– Andrew Griffiths, Entrepreneur and Author

Testimonials are a powerful means of personalizing your website and products. And with a whopping 88% of customers indicating that they trust product reviews, you can expect to see a healthy increase in your conversions after you add some video testimonials, customer quotes, or product reviews to your website. Testimonials are especially effective if they are provided by a customer who is from the same state or geographical area.

2) Greet your customers when they sign into your website

This strategy is simple but effective. Well over half of consumers are more likely to return to an online company if the company recognizes them by name. Personalizing your website greetings and live chat to refer to your customers by name helps build a sense of familiarity and importance among customers.

3) Feature live video messages

Delighting your customers with a personalized video message is a great way to gain an edge over your competitors. This strategy is particularly effective when implemented with return customers. Not only will your customers be surprised to receive a personalized message from you, they will be more likely to linger and remain engaged with your website. For optimal effect, prepare a video message that is succinct, positive, and helpful to your customers.

4) Introduce live chat

“Before live chat, you had two main options to contact companies if you had any questions: phone and email… If you want to build personal connections and increase your conversions, then you should definitely try out live chat.”
– Neil Patel, Entrepreneur and New York Times best selling author

Companies that introduce live chat can increase their conversion rates by up to 45%. In addition to bolstering lead volume, live chat provides an excellent opportunity for prospects to have a personalized interaction with your company. Finally, live chat can help customers in the decision-making process because customers have access to live support to respond to questions and doubts that may otherwise prevent them from purchasing.

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5) Offer your website content in multiple languages

Results of a survey of thousands of consumers across the globe show that over 70% of respondents spend most or all of their time on websites with content in their native languages. If you have considered taking the plunge and offering your products or services globally, you should consider publishing different content for customers accessing your site from different regions of the world.

6) Showcase your most enticing new products or services

Not all consumers are equally savvy. Some will be able to navigate through your website and locate your newest and most exciting products while other customers are not as discerning. You can help ensure that all of your customers are aware of your key products by employing one or more of the following strategies:

  • Position new products or services in a highly visible location
  • Feature live product reviews
  • Pair new products with related existing products

7) Include videos of your products in action with customers

One of the best ways to create an engaging, personalized experience for your website visitors is to create short promotional videos that feature one or more customers using your products. Featuring existing customers in your video helps to bring your products and company to life and make them more enticing. As you prepare your product videos, be sure to highlight the benefits of your product and show how your product solves a common problem for your customer base.

8) Utilize geolocation marketing

“By knowing precisely where someone is going online, along with their connection speed, brands can target audience segments based on business-type level, reaching customers online in ways that were previously possible only through direct mail and billboards…Better ads increase offline and online traffic, conversion and sales by automatically personalizing merchandise assortments by location.”
– Steven Cook, Founder of Fortune CMO, and Miten Sampat

A growing number of business owners and marketing specialists are mapping customers’ IP addresses to facilitate geolocation marketing. Through geolocation marketing, your website can act as a tool that targets people in specific regions of the country, or even the world. Website visitors on the other side of the world can have an entirely different experience on your website that is tailored specifically to their needs. This strategy can transform a run-of-the-mill e-commerce company into a model of personalization.

9) Ask existing customers how you can better personalize your site

Asking existing customers to provide feedback on your website accomplishes multiple goals. In addition to making them feel valued you will gain valuable insight into the minds of your customers. In particular, ask your clients what they like and dislike about your website, and what features made them decide to do business with your company.

Personalize for Success

As outlined above, there are many ways to personalize your website. Whether you choose to explore all the options or just a few, simple personalization tactics can make a significant difference in how customers perceive your website, but more importantly your brand.

Tips for Getting Started With Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is one of the best ways to acquire new leads and customers as well as engage with your existing customers. Your own email list is a valuable resource and something that doesn’t depend on paid advertising or Google’s algorithms. You can launch an email marketing campaign…

Email marketing is one of the best ways to acquire new leads and customers as well as engage with your existing customers. Your own email list is a valuable resource and something that doesn’t depend on paid advertising or Google’s algorithms. You can launch an email marketing campaign whenever you want and send traffic to your sales pages, website, or anywhere you want. The bigger your list gets, the more profitable it becomes. There’s no question that even with the growth of social media, email is still an extremely popular and effective tool.

Many businesses, however, wonder how to actually get started with this time-tested strategy. Before you focus on the mechanics of your email campaign, it’s important to understand your objectives. You should have a goal and call-to-action with every message you send. Let’s look at some of the goals you might have for your campaigns along with guidelines on how to achieve them.

Find New Customers

Email marketing is a powerful tool for finding new customers and selling more products. You can entice people to join your email list in exchange for information (often in the form of a newsletter or e-book), a coupon, or free sample. Through emails, you can often turn prospects into customers. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the median ROI for email is 122%, four times higher than any other type of marketing. Here are some ways to grow your list faster and acquire new customers.

  • Build your list efficiently and ethically. You can grow an email list with paid ads, social media, or by using existing contacts as leads. Make sure, however, that you only send emails to people who have opted into your list. Otherwise, you risk spam complaints!
  • Create relevant and compelling offers. Email marketing is more competitive than ever and people need a good reason to join another list. While e-books, reports, and newsletters can be effective hooks, you need to focus on an issue that’s relevant to your audience. Identify a problem and promise them a solution. For example, if your audience wants to lose weight, a “Free e-book on weight loss” is a little too vague. Better is something like “Learn how a mother of four lost 30 pounds in 3 months by exercising only 20 minutes per day.”
  • Promote your offers far and wide. You can promote your lead generating offer using paid ads, social media, your blog, forums, videos, webinars, podcasts, or at offline events such as trade shows.

Create and Enhance Your Relationship With Customers

One of the most valuable functions of an email list is to increase customers’ knowledge of your brand and build loyalty. When you make a sale, this is only one stage in what will, hopefully, be a longstanding relationship with a customer. Email is one of the best ways to do this. Here are some guidelines for doing this more effectively:

  • Send messages consistently. If people don’t hear from you regularly, they’ll forget about you. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. You might want to send out a weekly newsletter with a few shorter messages three times per week. Marketing Sherpa reports that 61% of consumers like to receive weekly promotional emails from businesses. Test different times and days to find out when you get the best engagement. The more consistent you are, the better your response will be.
  • Create helpful content. Cover topics that are important to your customers. When you supply your audience with engaging content, you’re establishing yourself as an authority and building relationships. This is valuable even when you’re not directly selling anything.
  • Use a consistent theme. When you send out your newsletter or messages, use a consistent theme or template that helps people recognize your brand. This should match your website, social media pages, and any other channels and platforms where you’re active.
  • Segment your list. If you’re new to email marketing, it’s fine to start with a single list. As your list grows, however, you can engage more effectively by sending the most relevant messages to customers. Email segmentation allows you to separate readers by gender, geography, interests, or past buying behavior. For example, if you sell clothing you can send different emails to people who typically buy men’s or women’s clothes.
  • Increase engagement with transactional emails. Transactional or triggered emails are sent automatically based on some event or a certain consumer action. Examples of this include welcome messages when people join your list or sending emails to people on their birthdays. Another very effective type of triggered email is to alert people when they’ve abandoned their shopping cart.

Track Your Campaigns

If you want to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, it’s essential to track your results. There are many factors that can increase your effectiveness, such as:

  • Find the best time to send emails. You can Google this and find the results of other people’s studies. However, each business is different so it’s best to test this for yourself.
  • Open rates. If people aren’t even opening your emails, you can’t expect results. Changing subject lines and sending messages at different times can improve open rates.
  • Click-through rates. Your objective is to get people to take action on your emails, which means clicking on your links. Different types of links, images, and landing pages can improve your CTR. Click-through rates vary depending on your industry, but generally you should be seeing around a 3.5% CTR.
  • Conversions. This is even more important than CTR as it measures how many of your recipients actually purchased a product or took whatever action you wanted.
  • Bounce rate. You want to be aware of how many of your emails actually get delivered.
  • Return on Investment (ROI). This tells you how profitable your campaigns are. It’s especially crucial to know your ROI when you’re using paid advertising.

You can conduct email analytics using tools such as Google Analytics or with email marketing services such as MailChimp, AWeber, or Get Response. If you outsource email marketing to an agency, they can handle this on your behalf.

Email Marketing is a Powerful Long-term Strategy

While you can’t see instant results with your email marketing campaigns, it’s really more of a long-term strategy for building your business than a quick fix. The benefits of your efforts will increase over time. The larger your list gets, the more profitable it becomes. Of course, it’s also important to target the right customers to get a better response and ROI. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to improve your campaigns based on analytics and customer feedback. Email marketing has been around for a long time and all the evidence suggests that it will continue to be a viable method for many years to come.