Simplicity Marketing, LLC https://simplicitymarketingllc.com Internet Marketing Consulting and Training Wed, 10 Jun 2020 16:45:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 23738711 Don’t Fall Behind in SEO https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/dont-fall-behind-in-seo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dont-fall-behind-in-seo https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/dont-fall-behind-in-seo/#comments_reply Wed, 10 Jun 2020 16:45:00 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1964 Don’t Fall Behind

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a one-time deal. If you aren’t making a near-constant effort to keep on top of your content’s search instant rankings, you are falling quickly from the Google leaderboard. Fortunately, SEO gets easier the more regularly you spend time performing it. Rather than spending hours on end to get your content back to the top, there are dozens of small, daily tasks that you can perform to yield the same results. Keep your website on top and ahead of the competition by following these tips below.

SEO Plugins

The easiest place to start with SEO is via plugins. Hosting websites such as WordPress offer dozens of plug-in options. These plug-ins are simple extensions of your website that help perform many SEO tasks for you. In addition, they help identify areas in which you can improve or modify your content in order to improve it for maximum search engine results. SEO Plugins should be your first start to identifying problem areas in your website and improving your content for Search Engine algorithms.

Permalinks

Permalinks are a lot like URLs. However, the difference is that permalinks are permanent, hence the “Perma”. These are linked URLs that link to content within your website. If your website is redesigned and URLs change, your content remains linked via Permalinks. This means that links won’t become askew due to website changes and that your website. This also means that Search Engine algorithms have permanent links on your website with which to draw results from.

URLs

URLs are the actual web address of a page on your website. The primary portion of the URL, www.yourwebsite.com/ won’t change much. However, the portion of the URL after the “/” is what directs users to a specific page or destination. It is important to remember to keep your specific URLs simple. Often only the title of an article is needed. Don’t overcomplicate what users need to search for by adding additional information.

Keywording

Keywords are targeted words that your content focuses on in order to stand out. Appropriate keywords should target topics that are both relevant to your content and to what other users are searching for on the internet. Keywords should be short, but specific. If you are targeted keywords that are too general, search engines will have a difficult time connecting your content to the appropriate users.

Keyword Research

In order to choose the keywords that will yield the greatest results, you need to do thorough keyword research. The best places to look are search engines, followed by your competitors and/or affiliates. Research specific keywords with tools such as Google Analytics or simply by performing searches of your own. Choose words related to your business and perform sample searches with them in order to see what kind of results pop-up. If you find business similar to your own, then these keywords can most likely be worked into your future content to optimize SEO and increase your traffic results.

Primary Keyword

The primary, or focus, keyword is the main theme of your content. Whether it’s an article, a page, or a menu, the primary keyword should summarize the overall gist of your content. Primary keywords can be emphasized over other keywords and should appear with greater frequency than the other keywords as well. Perform keyword research, choose the keyword that applies best and center your content around it.

Keyword Placement

As important as keyword research and choice are, they are worthless without proper keyword placement. Don’t overload your content with keywords. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of times a keyword appears does not correlate with the quality of search results. Rather, your keywords should be used organically throughout your content. Find opportunities to place keywords naturally, but make sure that your primary keyword appears at least once in every paragraph.

Tags

Tagging works similarly to keywording. However, tags are used to help categorize your content both within your website and on the internet at large. Tags are not used to target selected search terms but to help define what content you are producing and what topics are expressed. Often times tags and keywords can be the same word or phrase, but the purpose differs between the two tools. Tag your content appropriately to assist users in navigating your website and finding the information they need to know.

Categories/Threads

Categories and threads are another way of categorizing your content. This works especially well when you produce content that approaches the same topic from different angles or differing viewpoints. Categories help users better navigate chunks of content rather than having to sift through one article or page at a time. While categories/threads do not directly impact your search results, they improve the user experience and website performance, therefore optimizing your website.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions or meta tags can be thought of almost as invisible keywords. These descriptions are rarely seen by the user but are used to assist search engines in classifying and ranking your content. An appropriate meta description includes a relevant overview of your content as well as primary keywords to better help search engine algorithms process and place your content. Help the search engines by keeping your meta descriptions up to date and the search engines will understand your content much more efficiently, yielding greater search results.

Headers

Headers are an effective way to break up long chains of text. Particularly in articles, headers help the reader differentiate between topics and find relevant information at a faster rate. The faster the user finds what they are looking for, the likelier they are to be satisfied with your website. Utilize headers to break up topics and to speed up the user’s comprehension of your content.

Image Alt Text

Image Alt Text helps identify your images whenever an image loads improperly or is in the process of loading. Alt Text is a simple description of the image file and/or file name. Always apply alternate text to your images in the event that the image file becomes inaccessible or if the user simply does not have the correct software capabilities to view the image with. Alt Text also helps search engines to identify images and rank them in conjunction with your written content. Alt Images Texts are a simple step towards maximum search engine optimization.

Image Titles

Title your images. Specifically, title images to match with or include the primary keyword. When images are titled appropriately, both search engines and users have an easier means of identifying their relevancy to the content as a whole. Make sure to include the keyword, but do not limit every image under a particular keyword to the same title. I.E. don’t name every image “Keyword” but find ways to include said keyword in the image title.

Content Length

At what point does content become “long enough”? When is content too long? The unfortunate answer is that there is no real answer to these questions. However, longer content, especially when concerning articles, often tends to yield greater results. However, it is important not to drone on and become repetitive just for the sake of extending an article. Find a length that works for your overall website style and your content creators and stay consistent with that length. Use length as a way of establishing your business brand personality.

Content Quality

Quality is key when it comes to your content. Whether you are producing videos, articles, or images, you need to ensure that the final product meets both your personal standards and the standards of the general public. Grainy video, grammatically incorrect articles, and poorly photoshopped images won’t do. Both search engines and users evaluate content quality, though their standards may vary. Make sure that you are satisfied with what you are putting out and don’t be afraid to refine it when necessary.

Internal Links

A key step in improving the SEO quality of your website is internal linking. These are links that tie together your content among your website. You can backlink to articles of your own that touch on similar topics or help better illustrate a point. This allows the user to find more useful information on your website and for the search engine to better process the themes and topics your website excels in. Utilize internal links to keep the user engaged and to optimize your existing content for Search Engine standards.

Authoritative Links

Authoritative links are external links that lead to a credible or well recognized site. This is different than linking within your own website or a business of a similar scale. Authoritative links help lend credibility to your website by allowing users to verify your information via an outside source and by drawing a comparison between the content on your website and that on a well-recognized website that both user and search engine are familiar with.

Collaborative Linking

Collaborative linking occurs when you link to a website and they link back to you. This establishes a mutual recognition that search engines use to verify content relevancy and accuracy. This also allows the two websites to lend credibility to one another, optimizing both for greater search results. Find collaborating or affiliate websites to link with and better each other’s search performance.

Speed

If your website is slow, visitors will lose interest. A slow website is an ineffective website, doubly slow if the speeds are significantly below your competitors. Keep your plugins and software up to date to ensure that users can access your quality content in a speedy manner. Don’t let search engines dock you for being out of date, keep your website and your search results up to date.

Navigation

Utilize menus, tags, and categories to help organize your content. Well organized content is easier for users to navigate quickly and makes it easier for search engine algorithms to access what your website is really all about. Faster navigation also improves speed which means you rank higher both in the mind of the user and within search engine standards.

SEO Auditing

Perform a regular SEO audit to ensure that you are not falling behind. Utilize plugins available on hosting sites such as WordPress to access the ways in which your website and content may not be properly optimized. In addition, perform self-evaluations by monitoring load times and navigation through your own website. If you cannot access your content in a timely manner, then there is hardly a chance that previously unexposed users will be able to do the same.

Mobile Websites

Prioritize the mobile version of your website, search engines do. Mobile device usage has long outpaced Desktop usage. Don’t fall behind the times but maintain a functional and efficient mobile website in order to appeal to the majority of potentially new customers. Make sure your website is optimized for the smaller screen and limited hardware of mobile devices.

Problems with Your Website SEO

If you see problems with how your website is being optimized for search engines, address them immediately. Don’t shrug off slow speeds or missing graphics, because your users and search engines will not.

Stagnant Website

If you are not consistently keeping your website update and working on improvements, you are falling behind. When your competitors are keeping their websites update and continuously adapting them to changing user and search engine standards, they are moving ahead. So, even if your website is not actively falling behind the current standard, it is being outpaced by your competitors. Be wary of stagnant optimization efforts, always keep an eye out for ways you can improve your website and surpass the competition.

Changing Algorithms

Search Engine Algorithms are never dormant or stagnant. Companies such as Google invest millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man hours each year into further refining their algorithms. Make sure that you are actively listening for algorithm updates and adapting your website to meet those changes head on.

Conclusion

Search Engine Optimization is an essential part of owning a business and managing a website. If you are not constantly meeting the standards that users and search engines set, then you are steering your website towards failure. Use the above tips to keep your website running smoothly and garnering the best search results possible.

 

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WordPress Plugins You Can’t Afford Not to Use https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/wordpress-plugins-you-cant-afford-not-to-use/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-plugins-you-cant-afford-not-to-use https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/wordpress-plugins-you-cant-afford-not-to-use/#comments_reply Wed, 27 May 2020 17:00:14 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1960 Introduction

Are you utilizing WordPress to help your website’s backend run smoothly? If so, there are simple ways to make that process even smoother than it is already. WordPress offers you access to thousands of plugins that help automate, edit, and deliver your content more efficiently. The best news is that many of these plugins are free, and those that cost money are typically offered at an affordable rate. For your benefit, we’ve broken down some of the hottest and most effective WordPress plugins for you to start utilizing today.

HubSpot

Contact forms can be a chore to put together. Fortunately, HubSpot helps make the contact form development and implementation process a breeze. HubSpot also allows you to create pop-ups, utilize live-chat widgets, access a contact database, and apply your changes directly into your WordPress website.

HubSpot is your all-in-one plugin for contact forms and contact management. You can quickly and easily provide a reliable way for customers to reach out with questions or concerns and to hear back from you.

Gravity Forms

Not every form is a simple one. Not every form should be delivered with a bland, uniform style either. Gravity Forms gives you the tools to create the complex, multilayered forms your business needs. With Gravity Forms you can add quizzes, surveys, polls, and more. This plugin also allows you to manipulate special conditions and rules so that you are only getting the data that is applicable to your needs. The best part is, Gravity Forms provides integration options for other WordPress plugins such as HubSpot.

Jetpack

Jetpack keeps your WordPress website secure. It is one of the premiere bouncers against unwanted entrants and logins. Jetpack offers both basic (free) protection and premium plans with added benefits. Jetpack also offers site accelerator tools to help boost your website’s speed and performance. It also helps make site management a breeze with built-in statistics, theme templates, and dozens of other tools built into its design. Jetpack is a great tool to help your business achieve liftoff and leave the competition far below.

Yoast

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is arguably the most crucial thing you can do to ensure traffic and success for your website. Yoast is your best friend when it comes to avoiding SEO mistakes and taking that crucial next step towards peak optimization. Yoast actively rates your content and draws attention to areas where you may be making critical SEO mistakes. Yoast helps you craft better content and deliver an experience that both search engines and users are thirsting for.

The SEO Framework

You can never really have too much SEO help. While Yoast is phenomenal in its own regard, there are other plugins that approach SEO from a slightly different angle. The SEO Framework offers dozens of automatic optimization features. This plugin helps you organize and optimize your pages, posts, and content. It helps your website be found by more users not only via search engines but also via various social media platforms.

Grammarly

While it’s not directly a plugin of WordPress, Grammarly is a useful tool that can save you from some costly grammar errors regardless of what website you are using. A plugin for browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, Grammarly operates much like the spellcheck function of Microsoft Word. Grammarly actively monitors your content and lets you know when you’ve made any spelling or grammar errors. Present your customers with the best-written content you can put forward, and let Grammarly help you keep it error-free.

Just Writing

Like Grammarly, Just Writing is an invaluable tool for keeping your content error-free and grammatically correct. However, while Grammarly exists as a browser plugin, Just Writing is made specifically for WordPress. Just Writing takes WordPress’ current writing application a step further and provides you with spellcheck and styling options to help you create great content without having to navigate confusing menus or change pages. Just Writing helps you write better and faster without having to compromise on quality.

Hustle

Are you a fan of generating new leads? Then Hustle is the plugin for you. Hustle is your one-stop plugin for embeds, pop-ups, and slide-ins for your lead generation forms. Hustle gives you more control over your in-content ads and opt-ins within your content. Hustle lets you micromanage the timing and format of your ads so that you can target your content the way it was meant to be targeted. Hustle even comes with its own loadout of targeting options that can be applied to your content, ensuring that you are getting the most leads from your lead generation efforts.

Pretty Link

The typical, default, website link isn’t easy to remember. The typical link isn’t pretty either. Pretty Link is here to fix that. Pretty Link makes it simple and easy to manage and monitor your internal website links. Pretty Link lets you shorten your links to something simple and easy to remember. It also lets you monitor how many clicks your link has generated, where these clicks are coming from, and even what browsers people are using to view your site.

Pixel Caffeine

Facebook has become an integral part of any business’s online presence. As such, it is necessary for your WordPress website to have some inter-connectivity to Facebook and its applicable plugins. Pixel Caffeine lets you do just that by giving you access to Facebook Pixel and Facebook Product Catalog all from within the WordPress plugin. This makes it easier for you to monitor and manipulate Facebook Ads and Ad Conversions directly from the plugin. Best of all, Pixel Caffeine automatically keeps up with Facebook updates.

All in One SEO Pack

Yes, this is the third SEO plugin listed. Search Engine Optimization is not something to be taken lightly. You need to be committed to it if your website is to succeed. Fortunately, WordPress is rife with tools and applications that can do most of the heavy lifting for you. All in One SEO Pack is exactly what it sounds like, an all in one plugin to help automate your SEO and keep your content optimized exactly to search engine standards.

Broken Link Checker

One of the biggest turn-offs a website can have is broken or expired links. Not only do broken links leave a bad impression on the user, but they are also a major red flag for search engine algorithms. Broken links signify outdated content and a lack of attention. Broken Link Checker helps keep your content up to date by identifying links that are no longer in operation. The plugin also provides quick, easy options for you to edit a broken link immediately.

Google Analytics by Yoast

Yoast isn’t relegated only to helping you manage your SEO. Google Analytics by Yoast makes installing and manages Google Analytics easier than ever. This plugin helps integrate Google Analytics directly into your website. You can track outbound and internal links, demographic reports, clicks, and more without having to leave your WordPress dashboard. Google Analytics by Yoast helps you accelerate your business by integrating two services into one manageable place, giving you more time to focus on lead generation and content creation.

Task Freak

As a business owner and website manager, your day is most likely filled to the brim with tasks. Unfortunately, that’s always going to be a factor in working for yourself. However, Task Freak is here to help make those tasks more manageable. Task Freak lets you create projects and assign tasks to multiple different users. There are also built-in features for discussion, file sharing, and even status updates. Task Freak lets you manage your projects from multiple devices and with a team.

OptinMonster

If your email list is going to be effective, it needs to grow. OptinMonster is here to help you do just that. With a focus on converting website visitors into email subscribers, OptinMonster is a very useful tool in lead generation and conversion. OptinMonster helps you create forms, headers, footers, pop-ups, and more with the intention of grabbing the user’s attention and hooking them into your email lists. Email Marketing is just as relevant today as it was 10 years ago and OptinMonster is here to help you take advantage of that system.

Wordfence

What are you going to do if your WordPress website gets hacked? A hack can be crippling to any entrepreneur and their business. Fortunately, there are plugins available to help prevent you from ever having to come face to face with this scenario. Wordfence is designed to do just that. It regularly scans your website to scan for infection and provides you with greater security features, including; blocking features, additional login security, a WordPress firewall, monitoring, and more.

Contact Form 7

Your website will not thrive and grow without engagement. Fortunately, engagement can come from many different sources. Contact Form 7 focuses on making contact through email. Contact Form 7 provides you with tools and resources to create and add multiple contact forms to your website. Best of all, these forms are customizable and can be adapted to fit with almost any design choice and audience preference. Make email engagement easy by utilizing the tools available through Contact Form 7.

WordPress Landing Pages

WordPress not only helps you craft visually elegant, functional landing pages, but it helps you monitor conversion rates, customize designs, and more. Its built-in visual editor allows you to actively view changes as they are made. No more checking back and forth between edits, you can see updates in real-time with WordPress Landing Pages.

Click to Tweet

Click to Tweet is simple, but it is worth more than its weight in gold. This plugin allows you to create “click to tweet” boxes within your blog post, making it simple for readers and users to share excerpts and content instantly via social media. You can place as few or as many clicks to tweet boxes as you see fit. Click to Tweet is your secret weapon to boosting your social media engagement and encouraging users to help spread your content to their own followers.

Fancier Author Box

Ending a blog post can be tricky. Do you have a special tagline? A subheading you attach at the bottom of your posts? If you don’t have an Author Box, Fancier Author Box is here to help you get the ball rolling. Fancier Author Box helps you create a personalized author box, complete with headshot, content, social media links, and more in a matter of seconds. Managed from an easy to use dashboard, Fancier Author Box helps you organize and personalize your authors’ credentials for each of their posts.

Editorial Calendar

It’s difficult to keep track of schedules, and its often difficult to get posts out when they are scheduled. It can often be difficult to keep track of more than one post and to remember what post gets published when. The Editorial Calendar plugin gives you the tools to accurately and adequately manage your content. You can edit posts in the calendar, view and change scheduled publishing dates, and more with this convenient plugin.

Floating Social Media Icon

Social Media is a dominant force in internet marketing. Never before have you been able to share your content more quickly or more easily. Floating Social Media Icon makes it easy for your users to share your content on a variety of social media platforms. You can customize this plugin to meet your needs, including; selecting which social media platforms appear accessible, automatic integration of the plugin to your posts, faster load times, and more.

Conclusion

WordPress is a great platform to utilize for content and website management, regardless of whether it’s your first day on the job or your 100,000th. However, if you are not utilizing the plugins made available to every WordPress user, you are greatly missing out. These plugins are just a handful of the hundreds upon hundreds of plugins designed to help you run your website and create your content more efficiently and more effectively.

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How Will You Come Out of the Covid Shutdown? https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/how-will-you-come-out-of-the-covid-shutdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-will-you-come-out-of-the-covid-shutdown https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/how-will-you-come-out-of-the-covid-shutdown/#comments_reply Wed, 20 May 2020 16:50:23 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1955 Intro

If you are like millions of other people across the United States and even worldwide, you have recently found yourself thrust into financial hardships beyond your control. Small businesses have been forced to shut down, shops have been forced to close, and even large companies have been forced to choose between furloughing thousands of employees or filing for bankruptcy. It is indeed a frightening and uncertain time. You may find yourself asking how you intend to keep money coming in, or whether you will have a job even once the economy reopens.

If you are asking these questions, you are not alone. Fortunately, you are also not out of options. The truth is that your life may look vastly different once this crisis ends, but that does not mean that things must change for the worst. Things can, in fact, change for the better. You may have to pursue a different career or find or create another job, but you have the potential to make things work for you. In this article, we will be discussing some of the options available to those currently impacted or fearing financial ruin due to the current state of the economy. Even once the economy reopens, it is unlikely to be as thriving as it was even a few months ago, but that does not mean you need to throw in the towel.

Let the Government Save You

Your first option requires the least amount of input on your part. If you are a business that has minimal operational options even once the economy opens, this might be for you. If you were already in a tight financial spot before the closures began, this option may again be the most suitable for you. Even if you are not in dire straits but have still seen financial setbacks due to the state of things, this option is viable for you.

However, the funds made available by the government bailouts come with their own strict limitations. For the college student or the young adult who has been laid off but is still claimed by Mom and Dad, the government is not including you in its $1200 bailout. When the second round is voted on in the Senate soon, odds are you will be excluded again. Unfortunately, the exclusions do not end there. Many small businesses were hurt in the first round of funding due to the lack of funds made available and the lack of a sufficient system in place to attend to everyone looking for COVID relief funding or unemployment. Unfortunately, this has not proven to be the most reliable option, even if it was meant to be the most accessible.

Invest

Whether you have been drastically affected or not, this crisis may have got you thinking more about how financially secure you really are. Perhaps your savings account has been halved, even if you have not needed to drain it entirely. Perhaps your income has been cut partially and you are looking for a more independent means of getting paid in the future. Whatever your reason, you may have thought about investing. Most financial experts will tell you that this is a solid plan if you know what you are doing. For the rookie investor who has not had much experience in the markets at this point, this might not be the best time to put it all on the line with the stock market.

However, investing can take many forms. Yes, the stock market is an easily accessible option with many different investments to choose from, but you can also invest locally. Though this is currently a very difficult climate for small businesses, there will be many opportunities for new small businesses or revamped small businesses coming out of this crisis. This is your opportunity to not only invest in your financial security but to invest in your community and to help foster local economic growth.

Start a Business

Tying into the last point on investment, now might also be the perfect time for you to start a small business of your own. Unfortunately, many small businesses around you will be shutting their doors due to the increasing strain of the closed economy. Do not let that scare you off, many small businesses will find that self-employment has placed them in a more favorable financial position than their furloughed and laid off employee friends. As the economy reopens, people are going to be hungry for business. They are also going to have an increased desire to support local businesses, because of how they have seen local business, and people they know, impacted by this crisis.

So, whether you choose to start a brick and mortar business, you opt into someone’s existing business as a franchisee or licensed retailer, or you start your own business online, do not let the current economic crisis scare you off from financial independence. The fact of the matter remains that this is probably just the beginning of an economic recession, and the secure job that you had pre-crisis may not be so secure after reopening. Now is the time to start thinking about taking your future into your own hands and becoming financially independent of “the man”.

Passive Income Streams

It is one thing to have an income coming in, but it is another to have a passive income coming in. The difference is that regular income is only received directly from the time you put into a job. Whether you work hourly or on salary, you are being paid for your time. Most employees don’t see direct kickbacks from the fruits of their labor, and even those paid on commission are only being given a small sliver of the pie. With passive income streams, you are not being paid directly for your time, you are being paid for the results of your work, and for the performance of things you own.

Passive income streams can take many forms. Taking it back to investing, you can earn money based on the successes of other companies and individuals. However, passive income streams do not always have to stem from traditional investing.  In fact, there are many online businesses predicated on the idea of passive income. You do not have to become a real estate mogul to start earning money even while you sleep. Sometimes it is as simple as finding the right business to plug into and creating an online store that can sell even when you are not available.

It has Never Been Easier

While the current crisis has hammered physical commerce, it has been extremely generous to eCommerce due to the simple fact that many people no longer have the option to buy from physical retailers, so they have instead turned to the net to make their purchases with minimal human contact. Even items that are traditionally more difficult to sell on the internet such as food, produce and basic household items are now being purchased in droves from Amazon and dozens of other retailers and small businesses. When you buy a product from an online retailer, you are helping to fund their own passive income stream. Why not start one of your own?

The good news is that you do not have to rush to create a new product or develop your own formula for an existing one. There are hundreds of business models that are designed to incorporate people like you as official retailers and sellers. All you have to do is make the decision and be ready to put forth the effort to build your customer base and start making money selling someone else’s product.

Finding the Right Fit

If this is your first foray into the world of digital commerce, the sheer number of options may seem daunting. There are hundreds of businesses with many different products, processes, and levels of involvement. Not all of them are going to be winners, in fact, there will even be some predatory ventures out there. But do not worry, there are many more reliable businesses out there that have been proven to work, even long before the internet was in play. All it takes is a little research. Make sure that you are vetting companies before you blindly sign up to work with them. Remember that when creating passive income streams, your name is on the line as much as the company you are repping for.

Otherwise, the decision is up to you. What products do you think you can sell the best based on your personality and experience? What demographics are you best suited to reach? And lastly, what company do you think makes the best fit? Ask yourself these questions, do your research, and get ready to start earning income passively.

Training

One of the most common barriers people have to enter with creating passive income is the fact that they only have experience as an employee. Many people coming into eCommerce are entering without having as much experience as they would expect they would need. That is okay, not everyone is going to be a marketing, sales, recruitment, human resources, and management expert. Thankfully, you do not have to be. In addition to the teams you have accessible to you with most eCommerce ventures, there are ample opportunities for training and growth provided by both individual companies and other independent sources.

YouTube, for example, is a terrific place to start your training. If you are entering into creating your own passive income streams with absolutely no experience, there are plenty of tutorials and educational videos available for three. These are a great way to get your feet wet and to start learning the fundamentals of your business. As you advance in your skill and experience, there are also many of paid or exclusive options available that not only come with a personal touch but help take your training to the next level.

Using Social Media

Another common barrier to entry is the feeling that you may not have large enough of a network to sell to. After all, you cannot rely just on friends and family to support your business in the long run. Many people are worried that they do not have the personality needed or the skills necessary to attract enough business. However, it has never been easier to do so. You do not need to pitch to everyone you meet at the store, you do not need to spend thousands on advertising. All you need to do is create a free social media account on a platform like Facebook and/or Twitter. From there you gain instant access to millions of users. You can even market your business without investing a dime, though this is not the most efficient method, by building an audience with content you create.

These platforms also offer a plethora of inexpensive advertising options that allow you to customize your target audience and only pay for the ad space that you think is best suited to your business. Take advantage of these inexpensive and easy to learn tools to grow your network and create your passive income stream as smoothly as possible.

Conclusion

We are in scary and uncertain times, but that does not mean that we need to accept defeat. There are concrete things that you can do today to ensure that your future is financially stable. Whether you can keep your current job or not, you can take a few extra steps to ensure that you still have money coming into the bank each week. Passive income streams, whether created through investing in the stock market, in a small business or investing in your own business are the key to financial freedom. Covid-19 has taught many people that they were not as secure in their jobs as they were led to believe. Now is the time to take your future into your own hands and to create a peace of mind that you have never known before.

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Keeping Up with New Technologies and Strategies https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/keeping-up-with-new-technologies-and-strategies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=keeping-up-with-new-technologies-and-strategies https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/keeping-up-with-new-technologies-and-strategies/#comments_reply Wed, 13 May 2020 15:45:44 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1950 Intro

The world of business moves quickly. If you’re not careful, it will move much quicker than your business. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your business is not only up to speed with current trends, but that it is also future-proofed against budding new trends. As the economy begins to re-open, it has never been more important to have your business ahead of the curve. The booming economy of the previous years is unlikely to return for quite some time, if you are not taking extra steps to get the most out of your business efforts, you are going to fall behind.

This article will teach you about some of the latest trends, both those that are current and those that are quickly advancing. It will also provide you with simple, do-able goals that can set your business on the right track with customers, social media platforms, and search engines alike. By following the advice laden within this article, you can set your business leagues ahead of the competition in any industry.

Advanced User Profiling

The first trend to understand is the advancement of user profiling. The combined intelligence of social media platforms such as Facebook, search engines such as Google, and the algorithms or artificial intelligence used to sort through and codify all the information they process is astounding. The processes and systems they use to quantify and implement the data they collect are becoming more advanced every day. Not only this but the continued ease of internet access via smartphone and increased dependency on social media platforms means that these algorithms and A.I.’s have much more data to sort from.

It is becoming easier and easier to profile a potential customer across all platforms. This means that it is easier for you to target and sell to the users being profiled. The best part is, most platforms have built-in tools that let you take advantage of their advanced profiling algorithms. These are tremendous tools that you can utilize for pennies on the dollar. If you are not taking advantage of the targeting data being collected, you are missing out on sales, it’s as simple as that.

Taking the Human out of Human Resources

Artificial Intelligence has become more complex across the board. It’s not just data collection that’s becoming smarter, it’s every facet of automation and every area that can be enhanced by robotic support. This means that many of the business and “Human” Resources you connect with will soon be replaced by Artificial Intelligence if they haven’t been already.

This A.I. trend means that companies, including your business, can respond to users’ questions and concerns faster, with more efficiency, and with more consistency. Artificial Intelligence can be implemented to save you from having to waste your valuable time on tedious questions. It also ensures that the user gets a faster response, regardless of whether you are available at the time of their message or not.

Collaborative Channels

In the past, diversity has been a priority for most companies in regard to their marketing. Typically, the more baskets you place your eggs in, the likelier you are to see secure results. So, most companies would dip their hands into digital marketing, radio marketing, paper marketing, networking, etc. This is a good practice and it is still relevant. However, diversifying your marketing is no longer enough.

Your marketing needs to be consistent and collaborative across every platform it’s on. Customers like to see familiarity and consistency. You need to be able to reach a single customer across multiple platforms and to be able to guide them towards whichever platform is best suited to make the sale. For example, a customer may need a new Doodad, so they’ll Google that doodad using their phone. The first link may take them to your business’ Facebook page where they become interested and then visit your company website or be directed to your brick and mortar store. As a business owner in the digital age, it is your responsibility to guide them swiftly between these platforms and to direct them to the fastest route towards solving their doodad problems and needs.

Mobile-First

In most cases, mobile phones are your customers’ first point of contact with your business. If your mobile website isn’t optimized for mobile devices or loads slowly, you are doing yourself and your customers a disservice. Mobile devices have been the priority for Google’s algorithms for three years, and they are not going to stop taking precedence anytime soon.

A desktop website is good, but it is no longer enough. Make sure you are servicing your customers properly by providing them with a positive mobile experience. Loading speeds in under half a second, a decluttered homepage, and easy navigation options are all ways to positively enhance the user experience and to ensure that that user becomes a customer.

Automation, Automation, Automation

Automation is a timesaver for your business. Fortunately, it is easier than ever before, and a built-in part of most online platforms. From artificial intelligence that can be implemented in the chat bar, to email services that will automatically send out messages to new subscribers, there are many timesavers and efficiency enhancers available at your fingertips.

Automation not only makes your job easier, but it can greatly enhance customer opinions of your business. Automation comes with quick response times, which means that you don’t have to be tied to your computer or phone and that there are no long waits when you are unavailable. In most cases, automated responses and artificial intelligence are able to quickly guide your customers to the information and help they need.

Video

Video isn’t a new trend; however, it is a growing one. Why? Because video isn’t something you only see on your TV screen anymore. Video has become an integral part of social media and therefore an integral part of any successful marketing endeavor. It is important to note that the majority of videos posted on social media are viewed without sound. The typical users is frequently unable to hear the video or is in a place where they aren’t comfortable turning the volume up whether out of embarrassment or courtesy. This means that successful videos need to deliver their information visual. Use videos that pop on the screen and don’t be afraid to add subtitles to any audio that goes along with them.

Advanced Voice Search

Not only are Amazon Alexa’s and Google Homes becoming more prevalent in households across the globe, but self-phones also come with built-in voice search features. This presents many opportunities and hurdles for users and businesses alike. On the one hand, voice search offers greater convenience. On the other hand, voice search isn’t always the most accurate. Due to differences in speech patterns, auditory range, and the effectiveness of vocal processing on behalf of voice search devices, voice search doesn’t always lead users directly to their search. Part of future-proofing your business is making sure that you are targeting similar keywords as well as those that are solely specific to your business.

AR and VR

It sounds like something out a science fiction film, but augmented and virtual reality aren’t as farfetched as they once seemed. While not yet integrated into most people’s daily lives, they likely will be in the near future. A great way to future proof your business is to pay attention to this trend and to develop a plan for how to target AR and VR users, even if it isn’t currently feasible for your users or your business. The important thing is that you can ready yourself for when AR and VR do become dominant platforms for marketing. A little planning today can help save you from a great deal of headaches in the future.

Native Ads (No Pop-Ups)

Nobody has ever been excited to get a pop-up notification. This is why most users will install pop-up blockers if the browser doesn’t already have anti-pop-up features of its own. While pop-ups can occasionally find success, they typically just annoy the user by disrupting their online experience. This means that you need to find outlets and avenues for native advertising. This means ads that are already built into the platform. For example, Facebook provides native ad space on both its desktop and mobile platforms. Take advantage of these ad spaces and integrate your advertisement directly into the user experience.

Fresh Content

Stale content is boring and is hardly ever useful. That’s why you don’t see any articles about “past-proofing” your business. If it’s old, it’s much less likely to be relevant. If your business seeks to provide content (it does), then it should be seeking to provide relevant and new content. If users are seeing articles that have already come across their timeline, they will quickly become disinterested. Don’t let them grow bored with your business but continue to present them with new content that is relevant to hot topics and trends within the industry.

Humor

It’s okay to be funny. In fact, it’s encouraged depending on the platform. You shouldn’t be concerned with presenting serious material all the time. Social Media provides the perfect platform(s) for you to be humorous. Humor helps draw the audience’s attention and can be a great asset when trying to deliver complex or dry information. Utilize humor as the bait to your hook and real the user in with the value that your business has to offer them on top of the initial chuckle.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a growing tool that has always been at your disposal. However, nostalgia has become much easier to find, share, and engage with, again due to the onset of social media. Utilize retro designs, classic references, and other means of tapping into nostalgia when applicable. Nostalgia is an easy and effective tool to use, especially when engaging with older audiences and products.

Using Social Media for Customer Service

Social Media is a great place to service your customers. In fact, it is often much easier for customers to voice their opinions and feel heard on social media than it is for them to do so via phone line or email. Social Media also affords you the opportunity to visibly solve a problem, potentially helping other customers and resulting in good Public Relations. Don’t be afraid to utilize the tool that is social media to help make your business endeavors easier and your customer service more accessible.

Personal Connection

Social media is also a great place to make personal connections with those same customers and users. Social Media shout outs, comments, likes, and shares all help to build a relationship between your business and the real people you are hoping to sell to. Personal connection helps the individual to trust your business more and for the public to have a friendlier and more intimidate interpretation of your business, rather than seeing it just as a brick and mortar building.

Universal vs Personal Experiences: Interactivity

A challenge for many businesses is creating the appropriate user experience. You want each user to feel like they are the only ones who received their experience as if it were tailored specifically for them. However, you most likely don’t have the time to rebrand for every single customer that visits your website or store. The key here is to find systems that can be easily adapted to meet each customers’ needs. This is where it becomes important to have options so that the customer feels like they have a voice in the sales process and that the choice they make to buy is individually their choice.

Futureproofing

Following these trends and keeping on the lookout for new trends is all a part of future-proofing your business. You don’t want to become irrelevant because your business is stuck in the past. You need to see the ways in which marketing is evolving and develop plans for how to appropriately adapt your business in order to keep up with these changes. Make sure that you are ready for whatever technology your customers might be using.

Future-proofing means that your business is ready to move onto the next level. New technology won’t be scary to you when you follow it from inception. Make sure to do your due diligence and research further the trends talked about above, as well as new trends that you’ll have to discover in your own industry.

 

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Make Your Website Stand Out https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/make-your-website-stand-out/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=make-your-website-stand-out https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/make-your-website-stand-out/#comments_reply Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:30:53 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1944  

Introduction

How does your website stand apart from the crowd? If your website is just blending in, you are not setting your business up for success. There are thousands of competitors on the internet looking to attract the same visitors that you are. Without taking concrete steps to make your business pop and stand out amongst the competition, you will not be able to effectively entice those visitors. This article is here to teach you how to create a website that resonates with audiences. You can blend visual styles, content quality, and your own creativity to create a website that genuinely draws visitors in. Put your resources to their best use by following the tips and tricks outlined in this article for your benefit.

Research

Do your homework. The good news is that if you’re currently reading this article, you’ve already started off in the right direction. However, one blog post isn’t enough. The internet is an expansive and diverse place. There is no “one size fits all” solution that’ll absolutely make your business top dog. Even tactics that have worked astronomically well for your competitors might end up doing jack squat for your business. The key to research is that you find trends. What are the common denominators among successful companies in your industries? Equally important, what tactics are you not seeing? Why aren’t your competitors utilizing these strategies?

Part of doing the research is asking yourself complex questions about your industry and taking the time to seek out answers. Fortunately, the answers have never been easier to find than they are with the internet. All it takes is an inquisitive mind and a little bit of your time, but it will do wonders for your business in the long run.

Collaborate

Collaboration seems like a bad idea for many businesses. Why should you waste your time trying to work with someone that may very well be a competitor? Why spend your time benefiting another business instead of your own, even if you’re not in the same industry?

The truth is that business is a collaborative enterprise. No titan of industry has ever gotten to the top without a substantial dose of teamwork along the way. Your business is no exception. This doesn’t mean that you need to seek out your competitors and try to strike a deal, but this means that you should constantly be on the lookout for potential partnerships. Are there ways in which another business can help you out via trade of goods and services? Can you partner on an event or even a product?

When you collaborate you can pool resources for the collective good, meaning that for a time you can put twice the resources behind your name and your business, which gives you an even better chance of standing out and finding lasting success.

Be Original

Part of making your business stand out is making content that stands out. Most entrepreneurs don’t like to consider their business artistically, but here is where the artistic sensibilities of business come to the forefront. You need to find your voice, especially if you are creating content on a regular basis. Bland, uninspired content isn’t going to convince anybody and it certainly won’t sensationalize your business.

If you want to make your website pop, you have to create content that can’t be found anywhere else. What can you say and what can you create that your competitors cannot? That is the key to originality. Find what makes you and your business unique and make that the highlight of your internet presence. As silly as it may sound, you have to put on a bit of a show to truly engage your potential customers and captivate users when they come across your website. Make the content that they can’t find anywhere else and your website will quickly jump to the top of their list.

Get Creative

This paragraph might start to sound a lot like the one above. However, this principle is important enough to require some extra emphasis. When I say get creative, I don’t just mean add some extra pictures or use a cute font. What I mean is, get weird. Think outside of the box and throw convention to the wind. The easiest thing you can do to prevent your website from leaving any kind of impression whatsoever is to make it a cookie-cutter style that you took from a basic template.

In short, your website needs some pizazz. Your voice and your brand should be distinct. You should get in the habit of applying this distinction to everything you create. Whether it’s a unique visual style, a clever wordplay, or anything else you can imagine, you have to create something that is unique to you and work it into your content. This is what sticks in the mind of the customer, and it is also what will help your business rise above the crowd rather than get lost in it.

Custom Images

The Internet is a visual medium. Not only does your text have to look aesthetically pleasing, but you have to have to make sure that your images stand out as well. Simply having an image present with your blog post isn’t enough, you need something it is as individual and distinct as your product and/or business. This doesn’t mean that you need a professional photoshoot for every image you upload, but it does mean that you should shy away from generic stock images whenever possible.

Familiarize yourself with graphics creation software or hire someone who is already familiar with graphic design, because custom images will do wonders for your business. People want to see things they can’t see elsewhere, and custom images are a great way to draw attention to what you have to offer.

Video

Similar to still images, video is a powerful tool for making your brand and business stand out among the crowd. Video is dynamic and can be tailored to fit your needs. Animated tutorials? A simple Q and A? Video is one of the easiest and most effective tools to implement into your website. However, video also comes with higher standards of professionalism.

With video, customers will expect more. Out of focus images and poorly drawn graphics will not cut it. However, video also affords you the opportunity to directly voice your opinions or concerns. Video can be much more direct in its approach to delivering information and can utilize varied footage to keep the video interesting and engaging. Even if all you intend to use video for is a simple Facebook Live update from your office once a week, video is a powerful tool that you should be using. Use professional videographers when you can, but don’t be afraid to get personal and do it yourself depending on the context of the video.

Go Live

Speaking of video. Facebook Live is an exciting and highly engaging tool that you should be using. Facebook Live helps your business stand out by creating a direct link between you, the creator, and your viewers. Facebook Live lets you see who’s watching and access their comments as soon as they are posted. Facebook Live lets you react to your audience and it allows them to react to you in real-time.

Facebook Live creates active engagement between you and your audience. This direct connection is the easiest way for you to directly show and tell them how your business is different from anything else they’ve seen before. Utilize this free tool to reach your audience whenever and to set yourself apart by meeting them where they are at.

Sales Funnel

Make sure you have a plan in place for when you do catch a customer’s attention. Nothing could be worse than piquing a customer’s interest and then quickly losing them due to disorganization or lack of a proper sales funnel. Making your business pop is important, but it’s equally important to reassure the customer with a well designed and efficient back-end that continues to wow, but also delivers on the promises your business is making. Use the “wow” to reel the user into your website and then guide them through the sales process. Don’t bombard them with extraneous information and pushy sales pitches, but walk them through the process, showing them how your company can fill that void in their life.

Have a Personality

Don’t be boring. The worst thing you can do for your business is to come across as a suit. Don’t let people associate your business with something that doesn’t excite or interest them. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your business. Not only does a distinct personality increase your chances of brand recognition, but it provides reassurance and builds trust between you and your customers.

Feel free to make jokes, use specific language, and develop a unique communicative style. Tying this back to outside of the box thinking, your company won’t stick in anyone’s mind if it is merely copying what others are doing. For your business or your website to really pop online, you need to develop a brand (or feel) that users can instantly associate with your business.

Develop a Brand

Developing a personality for your content is a good first step. However, it is not the only step. Your personality needs to evolve into a brand. A brand is a consistent look or feel that is synonymous across all of your webpages, social media accounts, and post. The best thing is that your brand can be whatever you want it to be, or at least what you feel is most effective. However, to truly find what brand and brand personality fits best for your business, you need to experiment.

Part of this experimentation process begins with research, but a lot of it is also trial and error. You have to see what works, and sometimes the only way to see what works is to figure out what’s not working and adapt your process from there.

Be Sociable

The best way to spread awareness of your brand and to get people to latch onto your brand personality is to be social. If you are not using social media as a daily part of your marketing routine, you are practically running the race with one leg weighted down. Social Media is a dominant force in the world of marketing and your business needs to be using it. This doesn’t mean that a Facebook account will solve all your problems, but it’s a start. The more platforms you can establish a concrete presence on, the greater your chances of making your brand pop and of keeping your business at the forefront of users’ and customer’s minds.

Conclusion

If you want your business to pop, the best thing you can do is to start creating content. Whether you’re writing blogs, taking pictures, shooting videos, or making memes, you need to get started producing something. Taking that a step further, you need to start promoting what you’re producing. Your content is virtually worthless if it is not being presented to any kind of audience. It is your responsibility to yourself and to your business to follow through when promoting your content.

Do your research, don’t be afraid of trial and error, and be prepared to adapt your strategies when they aren’t returning the most desirable results. Make sure you are taking full advantage of all of the various platforms, tools, and strategies at your disposal. With the internet, there is always room for growth and improvement for your brand, both internally and externally. Make a commitment to be unique and your business will begin to pop of its own accord. Treat your audience to something that can’t find anywhere else and they will flock to your business in droves.

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Re-Branding During This Crisis https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/re-branding-during-this-crisis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=re-branding-during-this-crisis https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/re-branding-during-this-crisis/#comments_reply Wed, 15 Apr 2020 17:00:43 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1937 Introduction

If you own a business, then you own a brand. Many first-time entrepreneurs and even experienced business owners forget that these two things for a symbiotic relationship and therefore have to be managed with equivalent care and attention to detail. If your business is unhealthy, your brand won’t be able to capitalize on its own potential. On the flip side, if your brand is failing, the health of your business can become irrelevant and its own downfall will quickly follow suit. Fortunately, brands aren’t scary. The idea of branding seems daunting at first, but it is not an intangible pursuit. Whether your brand name is in the gutter or non-existent, there are still steps you can take to ensure that your brand comes out on top, as well as your business. This article is here to help you recover your brand and/or take charge of it, regardless of your experience or the nature of your brand in the eyes of your target demographics.

The Branding Easy Button

Brands don’t evolve overnight. The “Ba Da Ba Ba Bah, I’m Lovin’ It” jingle didn’t become iconic overnight. The phrase “Where’s the CarFax?” wasn’t immediately synonymous with the comfort and security of knowing the history of the car you are about to purchase. These brands took time to build, and more importantly, they took lots of dedicated effort.

Branding is not a one size fits all solution to crafting iconic imagery, sounds, and styles for your business. Rather, branding is a constant readjustment of your business likeness, tone, and presence that adapts to the wants, interests, and preferences of your clientele. You will not be able to build your brand the same way as even your closest competition. Branding is a personal process that, when done successfully, is entirely unique to your business. There is no branding easy button, but there are simple processes you can take advantage of that establish your brand and set your business up for genuine recognition and success.

Bad Reputation?

What is a bad reputation? Does your brand have it?

It’s hard to determine exactly when a brand’s reputation becomes a bad one. It’s easy to pick out less than stellar moments in a brand’s history, but when, where, and how does the public consciousness determine that a brand is no longer good?

The bare truth is that “bad” is a very wide spectrum when trying to evaluate a brand. Bad can mean that the public detests a brand. Bad can mean that the brand doesn’t even appear on the public’s radar. Bad can also mean that your brand doesn’t exist and that your company has yet to figure out how to differentiate itself from the competition. None of these are ideal scenarios, but none of them are impossible to recover from either. So, whether you’ve never seriously attempted to brand your company, you’ve branded incorrectly, or you’ve branded in the wrong direction, there’s still hope.

How?

It all starts with a little thing called research.

Research, Research, Research

Research isn’t fun. It isn’t glamorous. It doesn’t even bring intangible results. However, research is the most important thing you can do when branding for the first time or rebranding an unsuccessful previous installation. Better yet, research gets easier with each passing day.

The entirety of most brand’s history, with plenty of vivid examples, is available to you for free via the internet. Search any brand you like and you’ll see hundreds of images, articles, promotions, and videos that are packed to the brim with that company’s brand.

You see, branding isn’t a single process with a single function. Rather, branding is a collaboration of every instance of your business interacting with the world around it. Yes, logos, images, sounds, and content are all important, but branding is so much more. Every customer you talk to, account you tweet at, or image you post goes to defining and cementing your brand. To do your research properly, find your competition and watch how they interact via every medium at their disposal, look for how they interact and why or why not they succeed with those interactions.

(Re)Define Your Brand

Your brand comes from two places. How do you see your business and how do others see your business? In an ideal environment, these two opinions are always intersecting. However, this intersection isn’t a universal content, especially for the inexperienced. Your ideas will not always come across with the same meaning and results that you intend. One user will find your memes boring, another will find your information redundant. On the other hand, one user will find your memes to be the funniest they’ve ever seen, and your information the key they need to solve the problem that’s been bothering them for a month.

However your audience reacts, it is up to you to set the tone and set the terms. You get to decide what you say and how you say it. Don’t forget that. Start by defining your brand. What do you want? How are you going to convey that to each specific audience? Define your expectations and the message you want to get across. If you don’t know how your content connects to those expectations, your audience is unlikely to know either.

Isolate Weaknesses

No brand is impenetrable. Your brand will resonate with some (ideally most) audiences, but it won’t connect with others. Your brand will be irrelevant, redundant, groundbreaking, hilarious, and helpful all at the same time. It is going to be hard to evaluate your brand as your company grows. There will be confusion and conflicting ideas.

Remember how in the paragraph above I mentioned how brand comes from two places? One of those places is made up of things that are almost entirely under your control and that is where you can properly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your efforts. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and see what’s not working. When people engage with your brand, how do they do it? What posts/images receive the most feedback? What posts seem to elicit negative responses? Ask yourself the hard questions and take the time to answer them. In these answers, you will find areas for improvement and how to improve them.

Own Up

If you’ve never taken any steps to further your brand, then congratulations on your first day of business. If you have taken steps to further your brand, you have probably made a mistake. Perhaps you’ve passed on incorrect information or taken a controversial stance. Perhaps you just didn’t reply soon enough, or a customer had improper expectations. The point is, there are going to be mistakes and bad opinions of your business the larger it grows and the longer it is in operation. If the mistake is big enough or the offended customer is loud enough, this can cripple and even kill your brand.

So, how do you save a brand when something bad happens? The answer is simple, yet uncomfortable: own up to your mistake. This doesn’t mean you need a press conference every time a delivery is a day late, but it means that you need to be comfortable with taking at least some of the blame. Get in front of the issues and show that you care not only how they affect your company but how they impact your audience.

Be Proactive

Part of owning up to your brand is being proactive. In other words, how are you getting in front of things? This doesn’t mean that a customer pointed out a misleading statement and you rush to put the fire out. This means; how are you putting the fire out before it’s even been given the chance to start?

Part of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your brand is being okay with stepping out and fixing them before they become an issue. If you post a misleading article, take it down, identify your audience of the issue and apologize. If you know a shipment might run a week let, let your customer know before they buy. Take charge of the problems that might arise between your brand and a customer, because the customer will soon take charge if you do not. You and your audience share a 50/50 stake in the identity of your brand, so do what you can to keep them happy or they may quickly turn their individual unhappiness into a collective one.

Be Reactive

A 50/50 stake means that your customers have a voice too. They won’t always see your company being proactive, and they are also much likelier to dwell on the negative. Sometimes they’ll raise hell about a problem before you’ve even seen it. This isn’t an automatic death sentence for your brand, but it can be if you don’t take action. As crucial as it is to be a proactive force in the life of your brand, it is also important to be a reactive force. Do not be afraid to plant yourself in the middle of a problem and fix it with the best of your ability. It is often reassuring to see a brand, or a company attempt to fix another customer’s issue IF they are taking actual steps to fix it as well. Words are meaningless without action, so make sure your reaction involves tangible steps to customer satisfaction.

Manage Your Problems

If a problem arises with your brand, your responsibility to yourself and your company is to fix it. Your brand reputation may hinge on whether or not you take action and how effective your action is. The key here is to engage with those that are dissatisfied or turned off by your brand. If someone is sending angry tweets directed at your business, send them a private message. Create a space where they can speak directly with you as a representative of your business and give them the room to speak. People like to be heard, and when you can verify to a customer that you have individually heard them and taken action to appease them, a problematic customer can quickly become a very satisfied customer.

Transparency vs Visibility

Most target audiences would agree that they want a company to be transparent. Customers don’t need to know every detail, but they like to be able to look inside the workings of a company and see action that matches with what they preach. However, you do not need to be transparent with every little thing. For example, if someone is blowing up your comment section with negative and detracting comments about a bad experience they had, don’t try to resolve it in a public comment section. Message them privately, hear their concern, and offer support. You won’t be able to appease them every time, but you can at the very least deter them from causing a more visible ruckus. It is important to be transparent, but you don’t need to spotlight every minor issue a person has with your business. Herein lies the balance between transparency and visibility.

Collaborate

Work together with others. Social media is a collaborative medium. Business is a collaborative effort. Your brand cannot be established just by you tweeting memes and posting the odd tip. Your brand can only be built effectively when it works with others. This includes other users and other brands. You don’t have to be buddy-buddy with your competition, but there are always opportunities for you to enter the conversation with similar brands or industries. Take advantage of your network and build your brands together.

Conclusion

Building a brand isn’t impossible. Salvaging a dead or negative brand isn’t either. All you need to do is start from square one start looking at branding with the same intent that you do the day to day operations of your business. Your brand may need resuscitation from time to time, but there are always opportunities for you too breathe new life and seek out new means of growth for your brand. Keep working and keep refining and your brand will take your business to new heights.

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Marketing Effectively in This Epidemic https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/marketing-effectively-in-this-epidemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=marketing-effectively-in-this-epidemic https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/marketing-effectively-in-this-epidemic/#comments_reply Wed, 08 Apr 2020 15:45:30 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1931  

With the current coronavirus epidemic putting a near freeze on the economy and breaking down the normal routines and opportunities of owning a small business, it may seem impossible to find any growth in the coming months. The truth is that while the country is shut down, growth will be difficult to achieve, but it is by no means impossible. Rather, this is a perfect time for your business to adapt and to learn to run more efficiently. This article will give you practical tips and tricks to help you streamline your process and use your resources more effectively than ever before. Make sure that you are marketing with a well thought out strategy during this difficult time, and come out of it with a stronger business than ever.

Clarity

When devising your marketing strategy, it is important to have clarity. This doesn’t exclusively apply to just your marketing strategies however, this means that clarity has to run throughout your company and your products. If potential customers, clients, and even colleagues cannot easily understand the purpose of your company, the use of your products, or the application of your services, then they will not be likely to take part in what you are offering. Remember that there should also be clarity between you as the business owner and your business. While it is important to remember to market yourself as an individual, you also want and need people to recognize that you have your company behind you and vice a versa, that you are also behind your company.

A Clear Purpose

When marketing either yourself or your business, make sure your purpose is clear. Your purpose needs to be as clear to yourself as it is to everyone you interact with. Within a single conversation or pitch with a potential business prospect, they need to understand who you are, what your company is, and why the both of you can benefit from any kind of transaction or partnership. This is where a refined mission statement becomes invaluable. A refined mission statement allows you to explain to new contacts what your business stands for, as well as defining what you as an individual believe in.

When marketing yourself and your company, focus on establishing a genuine connection with the other parties involved. Find ways that they are seeking what you have to offer, and present solutions that allow both entities to grow and to work together to mutual benefit. When marketing your business, it is important to be clear that you wish to grow your business and increase profit, but don’t let that define the relationship. When engaging with other businesses profit will almost always be the bottom line, but continued success ripples from the ways in which both businesses are able to compliment each other and to assist each other in ways that they are not able to do to the same degree of success on their own.

A Clear Need for You

Part of maintaining a clear purpose is understanding what a new customer, client, or associate needs and establishing how that need can be fulfilled by you. On the flip side, it is also important to see how personal and professional marketing interactions can benefit you and your company in other ways than increased revenues. Part of this idea will be touched on later in the article for your benefit.

Whether you are choosing to market yourself via local networking opportunities of via other means of interaction, it is important to establish who you are, even outside of your business. As a business owner, especially for smaller businesses, it is easy to blur your identity between your personal capabilities and those of your business. However, just because your business is targeted to one area of the market or to one type of product or service, doesn’t mean that your knowledge and expertise has to end on such specific points. While you need to be an expert in the business sectors you represent, it is also useful to be knowledgeable in other areas of business as well. Especially when seeking out potential partners or associates, this extra knowledge can help you find common ground with other individuals and can increase your reputation as a knowledgeable and experienced contact.

From here, you can tie this extra knowledge back into what you personally have to offer. This can be your business and what that entity has to offer, but it can also be your influence as a mentor and an investor, but the important thing is that you understand what you have to offer and that you understand it enough to explain it to others so that a clear need for you is established in their minds.

A Clear Need for Your Business

While having a clear need for you works better in networking environments, establishing a clear need for your business is much more applicable to marketing on a broader scale. The purpose of marketing is to bring your business, your products, and your services to the attention of people that are currently beyond your scope of customers and/or clients. Proper marketing maximizes the influence and reach that your brand has and allows you to create new customer relationships and to increase your sales profits.

Similar to establishing a need for yourself as an individual, it is important to directly and plainly establish a need for your business.  Once again, the Mission Statement can be a useful tool when marketing what your business has to offer. The Mission Statement helps establish distinctions between your business and others like it. If your business has a specific cause or charity that it works closely with, the Mission Statement is also a great place to identify that relationship and to convey it when marketing your business.

Finally, it is important to establish that the products and services that your business offers are both distinct and necessary. Set your business apart from the crowd by highlighting the products you offer than no one else does, or the personal touches that your business puts on its services. These distinctions establish the need for your business, as they are things that customers can latch onto and that often specifically target what they are looking for.

Finding Opportunity

It may seem obvious, but many individuals and businesses forget to seek out opportunity when searching for ways to better market their business. Remember not to get caught up in the rhythm, especially when phrases such as “this is how it’s always been done” come into play. Opportunities often come by new and even unconventional means. While these opportunities often do present themselves, it is important to remember that new and more effective marketing opportunities also need to be diligently sought out. Take the time to seek out these opportunities and you will watch your marketing efforts become more effective and more substantial.

Leave No Stone Un-turned

Tying into the point above, don’t neglect the importance of new techniques. Especially in the rapidly changing technological landscape of the modern era, new opportunities and strategies present themselves almost every day. Don’t believe it? Consider social media. Ten years ago a business’ Facebook or Twitter presence would have been considered irrelevant. Compare that to today where every company needs to maintain a Facebook page, and many companies a Twitter page as well, to ensure that their brand and their products are being presented to countless potential customers. The internet and its increasing accessibility continue to offer new and cheaper methods for marketing your company. Make sure that you are actively seeking out these means of marketing more effectively for your business. Leave no stone un-turned, make sure that you are consistently up to date on new methods and how they may benefit your company.

Seize Every Opportunity

When marketing, it is easy to become complacent within a routine. Perhaps you have an outlined approach to Facebook marketing that you repeat every month. Maybe you have specific events that you attend each time they are offered. It is easy to outline these things and call it a day once they are done. However, in the ever-changing landscape of internet marketing, it is important to seize additional opportunities as appropriate. When you make sure that you are leaving no stone of opportunity unturned, you are establishing the idea of additional and more diversified strategies in your mind. Make sure to seize each of these opportunities as appropriate, especially if they are outside of the normal routine. These opportunities often present your business to potential customers/clients that wouldn’t have been reached otherwise.

Ask for Help

While it may seem like the easiest and most accessible approach to marketing, sometimes doing it yourself is no longer the most effective. As your business grows, so do the items that require your constant attention. While your marketing strategies as a one-person operation may have been effective, they may no longer apply as you take on more clients, more employees, and more opportunities. Sometimes asking for help is the most effective means of growing your business, and the appropriate ways in which to seek help are broken down for you below.

Internal Assistance

Internal Marketing Assistance allows you a similar amount of control in contrast to what you would have marketing your business on your own. However, an extra set of hands in the office also allows you to free up your time to focus on broader aspects of owning and operating a business. Internal assistance may also be held to a higher standard or increased expectancy that would not be available via external assistance. While it may be difficult to have in-person assistance during social distancing rules, you can still outsource and utilize the connective power of the internet.

However, internal assistance also increases the liability on your part. If your business has not grown enough to completely support an internal marketing employee, then it may be difficult reaching a stage where your business can support that extra employee. Internal Assistance will most likely require some individual training on your part as well. As the business owner you are responsible for ensuring that the employee can manage tasks to your personal and professional standards. Perhaps internal assistance is appropriate for you, or perhaps external assistance is what your business needs, but that fact must be determined by your business position and its expendable resources.

External Assistance

External assistance is useful counterbalance to internal assistance. External assistance allows for the burden of more effective marketing to be placed with another business. This means that the marketing side of your operations can function outside of your own work process. External assistance can also be a great source for opening new doors and means of growth. The most common form of external assistance would be to turn your marketing over to a marketing firm or company. Whether the firm is local or national, small or large, it provides a dedicated and experienced approach to marketing for your business. These company will often target markets to your specifications and can adaptably provide marketing solutions to fit your professional needs. External assistants are great for smaller businesses that can’t necessarily afford an in-house marketing employee, but that need a few extra hands to expand their business.

Recap

Don’t let your business slip into obscurity. Continue pushing your brand, your products, and your services on the market. Make sure that your company pushes a clear message that comes across comprehensively to potential customers and clients. A clear purpose can help give you an “in” in hard to reach markets. Also make sure to continue looking for new networking and marketing opportunities. Whether this means new applications and websites or new events, keep an eye and an ear out for ways that you can promote your businesses. Lastly, make sure that your business is getting the marketing attention that it deserves. Don’t be afraid to branch out with a dedicated marketing employee or with a marketing firm. Remember that it takes time and effort to market more effectively, but that when done properly, marketing will expand your business into new and exciting territory.

 

 

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Utilizing YouTube Effectively https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/utilizing-youtube-effectively/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=utilizing-youtube-effectively https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/utilizing-youtube-effectively/#comments_reply Wed, 25 Mar 2020 15:30:12 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1926 YouTube is a social media site unlike most others. While YouTube does have ample room for two-sided interaction between content creators and followers, YouTube is primarily a unidirectional social media platform. In this regard, the platform caters primarily to content creators, who generate videos for users. Users then view the media and may comment with the channel if so desired, but are typically ushered into the next video, whether that be from the same creator or not. Regardless, creators typically do not receive much from those viewing their videos, other than views and likes. The interaction is limited and not as personal. This means that to successfully market your business via YouTube, you need to think, plan, and execute differently than you would on other social media sites.

Branding

While YouTube is managed differently from other social media sites, one factor remains the same between the platform and others. Just like branding is crucial to the success of a business on Facebook and Twitter, it is also crucial on YouTube, even more so to a certain extent. Without a distinct and easily identifiable brand, your business will fail to succeed on YouTube. There is no way of going around this fact. Without a brand, your business lacks appeal, especially in a visual medium. However, branding is not difficult to master as long as you have a solid understanding of your business and the target market you are hoping to appeal to.

Realize that branding for an established business looks much different than the average YouTuber branding their personal channel or Pop Culture related business.  Your business does not necessarily need flashy visuals, reaction videos, or a daily vlog. However, you must decide what tools and branding techniques are best suited for your business. When branding your business’ YouTube page, just remember to make it stand out from the competition. Display your mission statement, make it clear what your business’ purpose is and how it relates to users who may come across your video. As with Facebook, remember to keep a consistent approach in regard to what kinds of content are being displayed.

Video Types

Part of branding is establishing what types or styles of video that your YouTube page is to display. YouTube is a massive social media platform, and the types of content that your business can create are vast. However, not every type of video is suitable for your business needs.

Business Info/ Introduction

This is a good place to start when first creating videos for your business’ YouTube channel. These videos not only help you to establish what your YouTube channel will be about, but they also set the precedence for your audience. These videos can also serve as the main video for your channel, or something that users can always be directed back to in order to find out more.

Tutorial/ How-To

Tutorial, or “How-To”, videos are perfect for displaying your business products and/or services. This is also a great way to establish how your business performs a service differently. Utilize this type of video in order to demonstrate what sets your business apart from the competition.

Testimonials

Don’t let users take your word for it, have current and former customers give testimonials. It’s much easier to believe an outsider based on their practical use of a product or service. Incentivize your customers to send in their testimonials and validate the superiority of what your business has to offer.

Hints/ Tips/ Tricks

This style of video is not applicable to every channel. Especially if you offer a service, as these videos are most often used to enhance a customer’s use of a product or device that your business sells. However, if you are creative with your content creation, you can tool this format to offer tips and tricks that work in combination with your service. Think of this style as a way to explain how customers can get the most out of what you have to offer.

Live Videos

Live videos are a great way to personally connect with your subscribers and audience. Live videos can also highlight events that your business puts on, services that you actively offer, and even advice relevant to the services you have to offer.

Behind the Scenes/ How it’s made

Similar to hints, tips, and tricks videos, behind the scenes videos offer your channel the opportunity to show users how your business accomplishes its services, back-end operation, or even production. These are a great way to get people invested in the process that goes behind what your business outwardly has to offer.

Commercials/ Advertisement

While commercials and advertisements can be created for your business on YouTube, it is better not to use them as your primary style of videos. However, these commercials can come in handy when used alongside YouTube’s advertising tools. When playing in front of another video, commercials can help attract new customers that are not already aware of what you have to offer.

Products (Launches)

Launching a new product or service? Product videos may come in handy when hoping to stoke excitement in your existing customers. Let visitors to your YouTube channel know about the exciting things in store for them in the near future.

FAQ

YouTube is also a great place to answer frequently asked questions, especially when the answers to common questions asked by your clientele require a demonstration. Utilize this style of video to keep your customers in the know, and to answer common questions that appear on your website or social media pages.

Titles

Once videos are created, it is important to come up with a clever and appropriate title. Titles need to be specific, yet general enough to apply to a wide variety of search terms. Avoid complicated titles, especially ones with specific product names and/or details. Instead, research applicable keywords and apply them to the subject of your video.

Don’t overload your titles either, as lengthy titles can often discourage users before they view a video. The title needs to get the point of your video across without overdoing it.

Keywording

Keywording is an important aspect of both titling and tagging your channel’s videos. By researching popular keywords, you can target specific terms and audiences. Keywords help both YouTube and YouTube users are looking for. Whether these keywords are used in tags or in the title, they also help users identify whether or not a video contains the information or subjects that they are looking for.

Keywording is also a large component of search engine optimization. Remember that not all users are being directed to your video from YouTube as a primary source. Rather, many users are also being directed to your videos via search engines. If your keywords are not relevant to what search engine users are looking for, then you are losing out on traffic. Tag your videos with keywords that people are already searching for and you will begin to drive more traffic to your YouTube content.

Thumbnails

Many people have already made up their minds on a video before they have even read the title. This assumption is made off of the thumbnail. The thumbnail is a smaller image that is attached to your video link on YouTube’s search page, as well as when your video is linked on another video or social media site. Even if your video has very little visual content to display, it is important to have an appropriate and eye-catching thumbnail. It is equally important to remember that

Captions

Captions may seem unnecessary for smaller-scale YouTube channels, but they are just as necessary for your business’ videos as they are for the latest movie trailer. Captions not only make your videos more accessible to other users, such as the auditory impaired, but it makes your videos more accessible to all parties. Captions can enhance your video by also displaying the audible information in a visual format. Especially when people are viewing your videos in a public or loud space, captions make it easier for users to gather information from your content regardless of where they view it from.

Cards

Cards are a great way to control the funnel that your videos create in relation to one another and to your overall channel. Cards, for any who may not know, are transparent text blocks that can be attached to videos at specific runtimes. Cards can be used to offer additional information, to correct an error in the video, or to direct viewers to another video that may be relevant to what they are looking for.

Just as with titles and keywords, it is important not to overload your video with cards. However, cards can be used heavily towards the end of the video in order to keep viewers engaged with your channel. While cards can be used to direct to other channels, it is best to simply redirect viewers to another video on your channel. This ensures that viewers are spending a greater amount of time with your channel and that they are likelier to remain engaged with your business for a longer period of time.

Playlists

In addition to cards, playlists are an invaluable tool when it comes to funneling visitors through your channel. Playlists afford your channel the opportunity to arrange related videos in an order that is beneficial to users. Playlists can help organize a series of videos, as well as to organize videos over a specific topic.

This is where it comes in handy to think about and implement series for your YouTube channel. A series helps engage visitors with both your channel and your business. When users find a series that is beneficial to them, they are likely not only to follow up with that series but with the channel that creates videos in that series.

Soft Sell vs Hard Sell

YouTube is not the proper place for a hard sell. People do not visit YouTube with the purpose of being repeatedly directed to buy things. This doesn’t mean that you cannot sell on YouTube, but it should be done appropriately. YouTube is a great place to soft sell, or to give a call to action, but should never be used as the place to perform the bulk of your sales. Instead, utilize YouTube as a platform with which to openly display the benefits and advantages of your products and services, without making a definitive sales pitch. Allow users to see what you have to offer and to search that out on their own. If an appropriate sales funnel is in place, you can easily direct YouTube visitors to your website for the hard selling.

Social Networking

Remember that YouTube is first and foremost a social media platform. It is designed with the intention that video creators and channel visitors can interact with one another. While much of this interaction is primarily one-sided, do not be afraid to interact with viewers in the comment section.

This is especially pertinent when users are asking questions about the products and/ or services that you are using your channel to display. If you can answer these questions or at least direct users to a video in which they are answered, you can establish a positive relationship with YouTube users on your channel. This gives all users a better reason to trust you and lets them see that your business cares about paying attention to potential customers. People like to be validated and to be heard, utilizing the social networking opportunities of YouTube is a perfect place to establish that validation and dedication to listening on behalf of your business.

Precautions- Copywrite

Make sure that any video or audio content uploaded to your channel has the proper Copywrite verifications. If you didn’t film it or create it, make sure you have the appropriate licenses to use it. YouTube has been somewhat lax in the past, but recently they have been very heavy-handed in dealing with any Copywrite issues they come across. Protect your channel and your brand by only using content you create, or by taking advantage of an online content library, such as the audio library that YouTube manages itself.

Precautions- Children

YouTube recently updated its policies towards videos featuring and or targeted at children. Make sure you are following all state and federal laws, as well as YouTube’s guidelines. If you’re marketing for your business, it is much easier to use adult actors and voices. Save yourself a headache and steer clear of content targeted towards children.

Recap

YouTube is a social media platform unlike most others. While the social networking interactions are often one-sided, the creator not getting interaction in return, the platform is still ripe with opportunity. Make sure that your business is seeking out that opportunity and targeting the appropriate keywords. Tailor your created content to match what other users are looking for and take advantage of the diversity of video styles and types at your disposal. Utilize the platform to establish a sales funnel that can direct users to your website but take care not to hard sell on most of your channel’s videos. Finally, remember that YouTube is a social media platform, and do not forget to interact with users commenting on your videos.

 

 

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Engaging Your Instagram Audience https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/engaging-your-instagram-audience/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=engaging-your-instagram-audience https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/engaging-your-instagram-audience/#comments_reply Wed, 11 Mar 2020 18:44:39 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1920 Intro

Instagram isn’t like other social media platforms. Your words aren’t the key here and it can be difficult to transmit your message because of the visual dependency of the platform. Your pictures can be interpreted in thousands of different ways, so you need to be aware of the different messages and implications of your content. The marketing rules of Instagram are different than those of Twitter and Facebook. Though Instagram can be integrated very easily into your Facebook profile, the two are not the same. If you are treating Instagram like its sister service, Facebook, you are using it incorrectly.

Profile Optimization

When creating an Instagram account, the first step needs to be your profile’s optimization. If your profile does not accurately represent your business, then your Instagram marketing tactics will suffer. An optimized profile contains relevant information but doesn’t overload the user. Remember that Instagram is a visual platform, and long chains of block text are not appealing in a visual focus. An appropriate Instagram profile contains the company logo or the logo for the business channel you are promoting. The bio section contains unique information, such as the mission statement, slogan, or appropriate identifier. The bio section is also a great place to keep your website link. You can always direct Instagram users to this bio and this link via your later posts. The profile, when properly optimized, is a reference point for users to get a feel of your content, your business, and they can benefit themselves from following your page.

Followers

When establishing your Instagram presence, it is important not just to receive a multitude of followers of your own, but also to follow relevant accounts yourself. It is important to remember that your page’s follower list is a part of its brand. Current and potential followers may resort to the accounts listed on your followers list as references for what your brand is about, similar brands, or what kinds of accounts your business is associated with.

Follow business that works in tandem with yours, or business that you already in partnership with. These connections may provide opportunities for your business to cross-promote across Instagram accounts or to receive traffic via the direction of other accounts you follow.

Another result of following a multitude of accounts is that it is an easy way to receive a follow back and to bolster your business’ follower count. This is not necessary, but it can help grow your Instagram audience when starting out. This is especially effective when promoting self-help or personal growth items, and/or humorous posts. An increased follower count may give your Instagram profile extra credibility. However, you must also consider the fact that a multitude of unrelated followers, or those not also promoting products and services similar to your own, may damage your brand if left unchecked.

Be smart about what accounts your page follows. Decide how you see best to expand your Instagram presence and move forwards from there.

Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are primarily a tool of Twitter and Instagram. The basic principles of a hashtag are the same between the two platforms. Hashtags help brand your individual posts, to connect your similar posts to one another, and to connect your posts to similar posts all across the social media platform. Hashtags can be one word or a simple phrase. When using Hashtags, it is important not to let a single hashtag run on. A few words, such as three or four, is fine. When your hashtags run on for more than three of four words, they start to disrupt the visual appeal of the post and clutter your description space. A few, simple hashtags can better summarize the key topics and concepts of a post rather than one long hashtag.

When applying hashtags to your Instagram posts, relevancy is key. If your hashtags reference concepts, content, and ideas not present in the photographic post, they mislead both the Instagram search algorithms and Instagram users. Misleading either of these parties ensures that your business page will not be looked on as favorably and it could be marked as a profile with irrelevant content. Make sure that your hashtags are both on-brand with your profile and with each individual post to ensure that your profile is not docked for improper hashtagging.

Branded Hashtags

Hashtag relevancy is the first appropriate step to successfully labeling and organizing your Instagram posts. However, the concept of hashtags goes a step further. Hashtags are also a great way to uniquely brand your content. Hashtags afford your business the opportunity to create unique, branded labels that can be applied to any of your posts. Branded Hashtags are hashtags that are created uniquely for your posts, or that are uniquely targeted hashtags that help identify your brand, your posts, and your business.

Branded Hashtags may run on longer than the typical hashtag, as they help specify your business and set it apart. Examples of branded hashtags may include, but are not limited to; a business slogan, a key phrase closely linked with your business, a product name, or a service name. Branded Hashtags help users to better identify and understand your business from post to post. While these hashtags are less likely to generate visitors by direct search, they help your brand stand out and become unique in the mind of the Instagram user.

Cross Promotion

Cross Promotion can be defined in several ways. For the sake of this article, cross-promotion refers to the act of posting, or promoting, content from one social media platform onto another. In the case of Instagram, the most direct and common platform to cross-post on is Facebook. As Facebook owns and manages Instagram, it is designed to effectively utilize Facebook when posting from one social media platform to the other.

Cross-Promotion is not essential to marketing via Instagram, but it is a great tool to have at your page’s disposal. Cross-Promotion aids significantly in launching a profile on a new platform. For example, if you are just starting out on Instagram, you can cross-post your Instagram posts to your Facebook page in order to engage already subscribed users. Facebook users can see your Instagram content and be funneled to your Instagram page, therefore strengthening its presence and allowing for your existing Facebook users to be continued supporters of your business on social media and across more platforms. This means that the average follower is being exposed to a greater amount of what you have to offer them.

Post Frequency

If you are not actively posting via your social media account on any platform, users and followers will quickly disengage with your business. Active participation lets users know that your platform and your company are both accessible and available on a regular basis. What does active participation mean? How often should your business be posting?

The answers to these questions vary from business to business and profile to profile. However, there are overlying answers that apply universally to all platforms and profiles. The important thing to consider when evaluating your page’s posting frequency is its consistency. If your business posts regularly at specified times, or keeps enough content coming in to engage its audience, you are posting consistently. Typically, the larger your audience, the greater the frequency of your posts can be.

Social Media Marketing is all about appealing to a user and funneling them through the proper channels. In order to funnel them properly, you need to make sure that you are meeting their social media needs. Consistent posting reminds users that your profile is there, and it reminds them of the needs that your platform and business can fulfill.

Industry Shout-outs

Industry Shout-Outs can come in many forms. Another way of viewing this aspect of proper social media marketing is by looking at it as a form of professional engagement. When you follow or are followed by another credible business page or social media platform, you are engaging with them. When you reply to one of their posts, or they like one of yours, that engagement continues. While having an accredited institution or similar profile follow yours lends your business some social credibility, another page simply liking or replying to one of your posts does not necessarily lend the same credibility.

All engagement with well-received profiles is beneficial to your business’ social media presence. However, professional-engagement provides much greater credibility to your business because it involves being acknowledged by a competing or collaborating business. When another business shares some of your content or tags your profile in its own continent for mutual benefit, it is professionally engaging with your business and Instagram profile. You can professionally engage with other businesses in order to encourage greater engagement with your own business. Tag your business partners in posts and encourage them to share content you are creating. Reaffirm this relationship by sharing some of their content and engaging with them whenever appropriate.

Consumer Interaction

As well as engaging with businesses, it is equally important to engage with customers and users as well. Engaging with customers comes in a similar manner to how you engage with businesses in a professional manner. When users like or share your posts, they are engaging with you. You can further engage with them by commenting or replying to their comments, and by liking and/or sharing their comments and additional content when applicable. An effective way to share user content is by sharing any posts that customers make in praise of your product or service. These testimonials, when delivered from your social media platform, lend credibility to the effectiveness and need for what your business has to offer.

Contests

Instagram Contests are a great way to engage with your users and to get them to share your content with other users. Instagram Contests are also a great way to quickly expand your follower base. The gist of an Instagram Contest is simple. Your profile or business creates an offer, typically something related to what your business already offers. If you offer a service, a demo or trial giveaway is a great offer, unrelated offers such as gift cards and hotel stays can also be applicable. Your business then promotes the offer and establishes the rules for entering the contest. These rules may vary, but most often consist of stipulations that the winner must like and share the original post, and/or follow the primary account page. Then the means of entry are established. An easy and accessible means of entry is to require participants to create their own post with a specified hashtag that relates to whatever the pre-determined theme of the contest is. Then your business selects a winner from the hashtag pool.

Whether or not an individual user wins the contest, they are engaged with your platform so long as they follow the contest requirements. Any user who submits to the contest is helping to promote your platform and increase engagement with your social media presence.

Calls to Action

Remember that all social media platforms serve as a funnel for your business. Instagram, similar to YouTube and Facebook, is not the place to perform the hard sell. That being said, Instagram is the perfect place to perform a call to action. Use the content you are creating for the platform to engage with audiences and direct them towards your business’ website or the appropriate sales funnel. Encourage users to comment, share, and follow the link in your bio in order to better engage with your business and the hard sell.

Conclusion

Instagram is a visual social media platform. The images you create are not designed to sell to customers, but to engage and interact with them. Take advantage of the engagement to funnel customers towards your business website. Make sure that your content is posted frequently, is relatable, and can be used to engage with both professional and personal profiles. Encourage the use of branded hashtags and contests to rapidly expand your follower count and to use Instagram to its maximum potential.

 

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Taking Charge of Your Twitter https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/taking-charge-of-your-twitter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=taking-charge-of-your-twitter https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/taking-charge-of-your-twitter/#comments_reply Wed, 26 Feb 2020 20:39:34 +0000 https://simplicitymarketingllc.com/?p=1915 Twitter Marketing 101

If you are not taking advantage of Twitter, you are losing out on millions of potential contacts, as well as thousands of potential leads and sales. Twitter is very different from services like Facebook and Instagram, but that difference allows your business to market itself in a much different, and much more aggressive manner. But, before you start aggressively marketing on Twitter, you need to learn its ins and outs and make sure that you market appropriately.

Twitter offers ample opportunity for consumer engagement and allows your business or brand to develop and establish a unique personality that consumers can relate two and engage with directly. Use twitter correctly and a single tweet can potentially put your business in front of millions of users worldwide.

Understanding Twitter

Twitter is first and foremost a social platform. Twitter is not the place for the average user to post life updates, sell items, or post pictures of their vacation. Rather, Twitter is about the personality of the user, whether that be an individual or a corporation. Twitter acts more like a stream of consciousness than it does a news feed. Whereas on Facebook or Instagram, it is typical for a user to post a few times a or week or day, Twitter is designed for users to tweet daily, if not hourly.

Whereas Facebook and Instagram are designed around posting about an event/occurrence and allowing for people to react, Twitter is about picking up on notable events, concepts, and occurrences- and re-acting to them. Twitter is a place where individuals and businesses alike can share their thoughts and opinions about relevant topics, rather than information just about themselves.

Planning Ahead

Much like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube- it is important to plan when marketing on Twitter. Creating a marketing and posting strategy is an essential first step in launching your business successfully onto the platform. Determine how frequently you want to post, what kinds of posts your business will create, and what the general rules for user and customer interaction are.

When you have a clear outline and vision for your Twitter profile in place, you have a clear roadmap of goals and hurdles already established for you.

Profile

Your Twitter profile is the most essential aspect of being on the Twitter platform. Your business needs to be unique, but it also has to be relatable enough for customers and users to want to follow it or like and share the content that your business’ profile puts out. However, highly successful Twitter profiles don’t just appear overnight, they have to be crafted and refined. There is no secret formula for profile creation success, but there are a general set of rules to follow.

Concepts such as usernames, branding, user engagement, and followers/following must be taken into account in order for your business to reach its full Twitter potential.

Twitter Handle

A twitter handle, also known as a username, is how users search for your brand. This is different from the profile or display name, but the two designations go hand in hand. For example, if your company name is “Generic Company INC”, your display name would most likely be “Generic Company INC”. However, your twitter handle could be something shorter and simpler like “@GenericCoINC”.

The key difference here is that the Display Name states exactly who or what the account is, while the twitter handle is a simpler, easier to remember designation for your brand that is used when users search for your brand or tag it in tweets of their own.

Maintaining your Brand

Your brand needs to be consistent across all websites and platforms. This streamlined approach to branding allows for your brand to be easily identified, regardless of where an internet user interacts with it. However, Twitter provides challenges and opportunities alike when it comes to branding. This is simply due to the fact that Twitter encourages communicative interaction between its users to a greater degree than most other social media platforms.

Twitter is generally a very informal platform, which means the rules of dialogue change slightly when tweeting. When establishing your business’ Twitter brand, make sure that it follows the pre-determined rules of engagement of both your individual brand and the Twitter platform. Don’t be afraid to be less formal and to have fun with Twitter but remember that the brand must also easily translate from one social media platform to the next.

Being Proactive

Part of maintaining a strong Twitter platform and brand is creating content and posting it regularly. Posting proactively lets your Twitter page establish its own narrative and set the topic for what users discuss with your brand. Creating original tweets to be funny, to share an opinion, or to promote a specific product or service helps your business to proactively use Twitter. Proactive use may not engage with topics that are already relevant and “high-engagement”, but it may allow for your business page to create relevant, high-engagement topics of its own.

Being Reactive

In accordance with being proactive, it is equally important for your business’ Twitter account to be reactive. Whether your page has a massive audience or a meager audience, engagement with users is the key focus of Twitter. This means that you have to be proactive and encourage engagement, and it also means that you have to be reactive and to respond to engagement, whether positive or negative.

If someone loves your brand and sends a shout-out, engage with it. Like and share it, let potential customers see what others are already saying about your brand. If someone had a bad experience with your brand, engage with them and offer support, use your platform to regain their trust and to fix whatever issues they may have previously come into.

Following

Engagement is the key function of operating a Twitter account. Successful operation and marketing require that you engage with your audience and that they engage with you. Part of being proactive is connecting and associating with relevant other accounts by following them. Your business’ following list doesn’t have to be extensive, but it needs to direct users to similar brands or accounts.

This helps users to associate those brands with your account and it acts as a series of external resources for users to verify that your account posts or to find further information from similar sources within your network. Some companies follow many users in order to get a follow back, but this is not a recommended strategy. Rather, this sends a signal of desperation to users that see too many listed in following compared to followers.

Followers

Your follower account is crucial to the success of your Twitter marketing strategies. If people are not following your account, then they are unlikely to be exposed as to what your business account has to offer them. Unlike following, the higher the follower count, the better. More followers mean that a greater number of users are viewing your content and potentially putting it in front of their own audiences.

Crafting a Tweet

Tweets are the posts that your page makes. When drafting a tweet, it is important that you take your brand and the relevancy of the topic you are tweeting about into consideration. It is okay to tweet about some things that aren’t directly related to your brand, but overall your page should post in relation to the products and services that your business has to offer. When crafting a tweet; style, length, frequency, content, context, and hashtags should all be taken into consideration.

Style

The style of your tweets should be consistent across your profile. This ties directly into the Twitter brand that your business is attempting to build. Your tweets are the easiest way to assess the style and tone of your brand. Some companies, such as Wendy’s choose to be humorous with their Twitter. Others use their Twitter profile as a way to answer questions and offer assistance. Others still use their Twitter to share new releases and product benefits. It is important for your Twitter page to select a default style and to commit to that style when tweeting. Understand what your brand is about and understand what you want to use Twitter for in order to completely understand how your business’ page should be tweeting.

Length

Twitter is based around the idea of minimal text input. Initially, the platform only allowed 140 characters per tweet, that limit has since been upped to 280. This doesn’t mean that you should use all 280 characters per tweet. In fact, the fewer characters the better for most Twitter posts. The key here is to condense what you have to say in order to quickly appeal to customers and generate interest in the total package of what your company has to offer.

Frequency

The frequency in which you post is subjective. Companies that have interaction every minute need to post with a greater frequency than companies that merely have interaction every week, day, or even hour. It is also important to remember that your post frequency correlates with your brand. Do you want your company to seem accessible during specific time slots? Then post frequently within that window. When beginning with your Twitter page it is important to post with a greater initial frequency in order to build your content base and to make your page feel more used and accessible.

Context

Remember that Twitter is a social media platform centered around user engagement. Twitter is not the place to post advertisements 24/7. Twitter is not the place to tweet office hours and flowing informational posts. Twitter is a place for your business to connect directly with users and to meet them on their level. When tweeting an original tweet or replying to a user engaging with your business, remember that interaction is key. Craft your tweets to leave a positive or memorable impact and watch your engagements on Twitter pay off with sales and engagement on your website or other social media platforms.

Hashtags

As with Instagram, hashtags help identify the central themes and concepts associated with your posts. Hashtags also help organize your tweets within your profile and across Twitter. Especially when starting out, utilize hashtags to put your content in front of users looking for similar content. Unlike Instagram, however, do not overload your posts with hashtags. Remember that Twitter has a strict character limit, there is no need to overload a tweet with more than three or four hashtags.

Contests/ Campaigns

Similar to Instagram as well, Twitter provides ample opportunities to run contests or giveaway campaigns. These contests and campaigns encourage users to submit content of their own that relates to the content on your business’ page. Rules are often set so that winners must follow, like, and share beforehand in order to grow the page’s follower base and to encourage greater engagement with the brand. These should not be overdone, but contests can be a useful tool when building a brand.

Direct Messaging

Direct Messaging, or DMing, is an easy way to engage with users privately and directly. Some users utilize DM’s to welcome new followers and to encourage them to check out related links or to funnel them to the primary website and sales page. DM’s allow following users to feel welcomed and to feel special as they are individually greeted.

DMing new followers is an easy way to establish a friendly presence for your brand and even to incentivize the user with coupons, discounts, or sales information. However, it is important not to spam a user’s DMs. One message is fine, but if the user doesn’t reply, then you shouldn’t hound them either.

Conclusion

Twitter is an exciting and fast-paced platform for users to engage with each other. Similar to a real-time news feed, Twitter updates and users engage at a fast pace. Your business may have a difficult time adapting from other social media platforms, but once mastered, Twitter can do wonders for your brand and your business. Remember to establish your brand and to let that brand personality flow through all of your profile’s content in order to successfully market on Twitter.

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