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Understanding Your Marketing Statistics

Statistics are the pillars that hold your business together. Everything your business does from sales to marketing should be tracked. Without a tracking system in place, how will you know how to improve or where your shortfalls are?

There are many different ways to track your business operations. There are systems that track everything at once and make it easier to manage multiple accounts at the same time like Hootsuite. Then there are systems that track each site individually. Today we are going to focus on three individual analytic programs: Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and Google Analytics.

Analytics-overview

Facebook Analytics:

Over 80% of teens and adults have Facebook. Facebook is currently the largest social media platform in the world with over 1.96 billion monthly users. This makes it the ideal choice to start with.

Facebook’s free analytics tool, Insights, allows you to easily track the performance of your business or brand’s Page. With so many different measurable elements—such as Likes, engagement, reach, and demographics—Facebook Insights gives you a clear picture of where your social strategy stands. Providing clarity and perspective, Facebook Insights is like a good set of windshield wipers to help you navigate your social media plan.

While many aspects of social media campaigns are difficult to measure, Facebook’s analytics tools provide quality information at your fingertips. With 1.5 billion monthly users, it makes sense for your business to take advantage of this huge potential audience. Facebook Insights will provide you with everything you’d want to know about your Facebook Page, your audience, and your customers.

facebook insights
As Facebook explains: “You can use this information to create more of the types of posts that your audience is interested in seeing. You can also learn about when your audience is on Facebook and publish your posts when you’re likely to reach more people.” To explore the key areas Facebook Insights measures, we put together the following guide to help you understand how and why each metric is important to your overall social media strategy.

For more information regarding Facebook Insights check out my blog at:

https://cosimocreatesbuzz.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/understanding-facebook-insights-2017/

Twitter Analytics:

Like Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter’s analytics feature is designed to be used by the company’s potential paying customers. In other words, only accounts with Advertiser status can access Twitter analytics data.

When your account is changed to advertiser status, log in to see the Twitter Analytics dashboard. You have access to four distinct sections: Tweets, Followers, Twitter Cards and a drop down menu with options to Switch accounts (handy if you handle more than one Twitter account) and Edit access to the account.

Twitter-Analytics-Dashboard

Tweets Dashboard: The tweets dashboard is the best place to find detailed information about how your outgoing messages are performing.

Followers Dashboard: The Followers component of Twitter Analytics offers insights that third-party services can’t necessarily provide. In addition to tracking follower increases and information on gender and location (charting the top countries, states and cities where your audience members live), the Followers dashboard is the easiest way to find out which topics your followers find most interesting.

By tracking your audience’s changing interests, you will know what areas you should focus on for both original content and the content you retweet.

Twitter Cards Dashboard: If you use Twitter cards to promote your business, click the Twitter Cards link at the top of your dashboard to track how they’re working out. Modify any cards that aren’t performing well or try out another type of card.

Manage User Profiles: You can give other Twitter users access to the dashboard as needed. However, you don’t have to give the new users access to campaigns. You can set permissions so they can only access analytics data. This way, employees who don’t post on Twitter but may have use for the data can log into your brand’s analytics to find what they need. To manage user profiles, hover your mouse over your account name (in the right corner) and choose Edit Access to Account from the menu.

Google Analytics:

Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.[3] Google Analytics is offered also in two additional versions: the subscription based Google Analytics 360,[4] previously Google Analytics Premium, targeted at enterprise users and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, an SDK that allows gathering usage data from iOS and Android Apps. Like Facebook and Twitter, it has many terms that monitor many different aspects of your marketing campaign. Check out the list below:

real-time

Dimensions—A dimension is a descriptive attribute or characteristic of an object that can be given different values. Browser, Exit Page, Screens and Session Duration are all examples of dimensions that appear by default in Google Analytics.

Metrics—Metrics are individual elements of a dimension that can be measured as a sum or a ratio. Screen views, Pages/Session, and Average Session Duration are examples of metrics in Google Analytics.

Sessions—A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc., within a date range. All usage data (Screen views, Events, E-commerce, etc.) is associated with a session.

Users—Users who have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning users.

Pageviews—Pageviews means the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Pages/Session—Pages/Session (Average Page Depth) is the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Avg. Session Duration—The average length of a session.

Bounce Rate—Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e., visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

New Sessions—An estimate of the percentage of first-time visits.

Goals—Goals let you measure how often users take or complete specific actions on your website.

Conversions—Conversions are the number of times goals have been completed on your website.

Campaigns—Campaigns (also known as custom campaigns) allow you to add parameters to any URL from your website to collect more information about your referral traffic.

Acquisition—Acquisition is how you acquire users.

Behavior—Behavior data helps you improve your content.

There are many different ways to track your business operations. With systems such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Analytics in place, you can be sure your business is in the right place. Success is built on knowing when your business gets stagnent, or what services need to be improved. Success is built on hard work, blood and tears. However, that doesn’t mean anything if it can’t be tracked.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Dara FonteinDara is a Blog Writer at Hootsuite. She writes about social media, technology, and Hootsuite happenings. (2017, June 15). Facebook Analytics and Insights Beginners Guide – Hootsuite. Retrieved June 22, 2017, from https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-analytics-insights-beginners-guide/
How to Use Twitter Analytics to Find Important Data : Social Media Examiner. (2014, July 28). Retrieved June 22, 2017, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-analytics/

 

How Do Small Businesses Master Marketing?

We often hear from our customers that it had always been their dream to own a business – whether that’s opening their own store or starting their own restaurant. Like most entrepreneurs, the goal is to turn a passion into a career.

However, many people are held back by the fear that they won’t be able to manage their business successfully. It takes a leap of faith to open a new business, and it takes business savvy to keep it open. In a series of posts, I’ll explore common challenges small business owners face and how to solve it.

One of the first hurdles a small business owner faces is getting the word out about her new business. Or, if the business is established, growing the business and attracting new customers. At the heart of driving sales is marketing. For business owners without marketing experience, this can seem overwhelming. The good news is there is a lot a small business owner can do to market a business easily and efficiently.

Do you take your social media efforts seriously? Seriously enough? Almost 100% of small businesses use Facebook and nearly 75% are on Twitter. But not all of these businesses are getting the quantity or quality of consumer interaction they can be. To make sure your efforts aren’t being wasted, consider adding these elements to your social media campaign.

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6 Ways to Master Marketing For Small Business:

  1. Define your unique value proposition (UVP): The first step in marketing a business effectively is understanding your capabilities and the white space your business is filling in your industry.Inevitably, you will face competition, so take the time to outline what sets you apart from your competitors. Become as informed as possible on your industry. Sign up for industry newsletters; read relevant trade publications, and consider participating in industry events. This will allow you to identify trends, and stay up-to-date with important news. It will also help you identify your competitors. Take a close look at what they are doing and how they present themselves to potential customers.
  2. Strive for Compelling Content: If your content isn’t compelling, you’re just going through the motions. What you’re looking to post is relevant, accurate, and useable information that will inspire readers to respond, share your brand, and ultimately become new or repeat customers. What is it that customers and prospects like about your business? It could be expert knowledge or shared interests or something else entirely. Capitalize on that.
  3. Make the Conversation Interactive: Even if your content is compelling and interesting, you still need to give readers that extra nudge to respond. Post questions for them to answer, or conduct surveys. Another great way to enhance your presence is to conduct “tweet chats,” where a pre-set topic is announced and the conversation begins at a scheduled time. Don’t forget to offer modest giveaways for those who respond to questions, participate in your surveys, or post product reviews. Even if it’s just a small discount or free shipping, social media customers love freebies!
  4. Hire a Specialist: If all this has your head spinning and no one else in your organization can take on the job, hire a specialist to streamline and maximize your social media efforts. To find someone reputable, ask peers in your industry and other business owners outside of it for recommendations. Also, ask the candidate to provide detail on specific campaigns run for other businesses, including results.
  5. Consider paid content: The paid aspects of social media can also be a great way to boost your business’ profile, and get in front of new customers.

    For instance, you can target the exact type of customer you are looking to attract with advertising through Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns, based on the information individuals have shared on their profiles. If you have the ability to incorporate this tailored approach to your budget and cash flow, it is an option worth exploring to supplement your free social media efforts. Sometimes a small campaign can make a big difference.

  6. Track Your Results: This should go without saying, but in order to determine how effective your strategy is and which social media platforms are paying off, you need to track results. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. HootSuite, for example, allows you to track and analyze traffic on a range of platforms and costs only $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.

Mastering your marketing is an ongoing struggle for business owners. This is especially true for social media. If you’ve been in business for a while, making the adjustment may be a stretch, but it’s a necessary one. Marketing via social media is intrinsically different from outdated forms of marketing, such as direct mail and the yellow pages. It can be less expensive, and with the right approach, readers will not only become customers but will also share your business with their social networks. Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing gone viral. If you pair an intelligent approach with the time and effort, marketing via social media will launch your business to new heights.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Understanding Facebook Insights 2017

How many of you (readers, business owners bloggers etc.) are on Facebook?

How many of you have a Facebook profile for your business?

If you are great! If not, get on it. Facebook is a great medium to connect with your consumers. It is a great place to create a community where questions are asked and answered.

download

What is Facebook Insights?

While many aspects of social media campaigns are difficult to measure, Facebook’s analytics tools provide quality information at your fingertips. With 1.5 billion monthly users, it makes sense for your business to take advantage of this huge potential audience. Facebook Insights will provide you with everything you’d want to know about your Facebook Page, your audience, and your customers.

As Facebook explains: “You can use this information to create more of the types of posts that your audience is interested in seeing. You can also learn about when your audience is on Facebook and publish your posts when you’re likely to reach more people.” To explore the key areas Facebook Insights measures, we put together the following guide to help you understand how and why each metric is important to your overall social media strategy.

Use Facebook Insights to maximize your sharing strategy. This data helps you stay in touch with the content that’s best for your brand while avoiding the things that don’t work.

How Does Facebook Insights help my brand?

Facebook Insights help you analyze your brand’s strength and weaknesses online. From your reach to engagement and interaction, it an accurate tool that allows you to make changes to improve your brand for the better. Here are 10 key areas where Facebook Insights helps you analyze and improve your brand:

facebook insights

Net Likes

One of the most important aspects besides interaction is the number of likes whether paid or organic on your Facebook business page. You should set a time to review your likes and insights at least once a month. Here is how you access them from your page.
When you scroll down the Likes page, you will see a graph titled ‘Net Likes.’ With the color coding, you can see the number of ‘Unlikes’ on any particular day, how many likes come from paid sources such as ads, the organic likes, as well as the net likes (organic likes + paid likes – unlikes). This data offers you a visual representation of your Facebook content’s performance, allowing you to see the trend over time. Notice where the graph dips and peaks, and what content corresponds with these patterns.
If you scroll down the page further, you are also able to see exactly where the Likes occurred. This graph shows you whether your Likes were Ads when a user visited your page, Page suggestions, Mobile, and Uncategorized. While measuring and evaluating Likes is an important basic metric to pay attention to, you definitely need to look at other areas of Facebook Insights to gain a deeper understanding of your content’s performance.

For more information on Facebook Insights check out the links below:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-facebook-insights-to-improve-engagement/

https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-analytics-insights-beginners-guide/

https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-analytics-insights-beginners-guide/

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

How do I drive more audience to my Events?

Capturing an audience’s attention is one of the most important and difficult factors for a marketer to encounter and keep during their career.

With growing number of events, it is becoming tougher to attract an audience to your event. Event organizers are spending a lot of time and money to promote events, yet few of them are able to have a large number of audience.

In a highly competitive environment, marketing is vital for event success. To organize a successful event you need to make marketing plan long before you launch it.

eventpromo

There are many different things that need to be done before your event can happen. For example, all your promotional materials such as brochures, business cards, flyers, and banners need to be completed at least one week before the event.

Here are 5 things that need to be done in the 16 weeks before your event:

  1. Pre-Event Page: Usually on Facebook. This page used to drive the potential audience to, generate leads and early interest. Also, a great first place to post event details.
  2. Blogging: Use your company or brand’s blog to explain the reasoning behind the event and it’s a great place to interact with your loyal audience. For example, you could offer a contest with a prize of a free ticket to the event for the first 10 people to like and comment.
  3. Social Media: Social Media is a given due to the overwhelming reach potential. It is also an important medium for building momentum in the weeks and days before the event. Use it to create a community that generates interest in the event through their own networks and link them to your blog for maximum impact.
  4. Partner Outreach: Event partnerships can be crucial to your event’s success. Start reaching out to potential collaborators like local businesses or not-for-profits for local promotion opportunities, donations or as vendors.
  5. Paid Promotion: A recent study has concluded that email is the number one and most effective tactic for event organizers behind social media. Utilize your email list of current clients and encourage them to come on out and bring their friends. Ensure that the link to the ticket sales site is included.

 

If you take the suggestions above as a roadmap to help shape your event marketing strategy, you will be in a much stronger position to build momentum and ultimately achieve success for your event.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

 

 

5 Ways to Enhance your Brand’s Twitter Strategy

Social Media is constantly evolving. Every day, week and month, there are new strategies put into place to keep readers’ attention and stay ahead of competitors. Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Twitter are always evolving and growing to meet the demands of their members and the marketplace. Out of all the social media platforms out there today, Twitter is one of the most popular and most used on a daily basis.

In order to stay ahead of your competitors, your brand must stay engaging and provide value to your readers.
twitter enhance

Here are 5 Ways to Enhance your Brand’s Twitter Strategy in 2017

  1. Humanization Becomes Key to Success on Twitter: Twitter is used for instant news. Due to its 140 character limit, it can sometimes be hard to portray your message. Don’t stress, simplify!   Know your message well as it will help you find the best way to promote it. In addition, cut back on 1) the automation, 2) scheduling a week of tweets on a Monday and then never logging back in until it’s time to schedule more tweets, and 3) the hashtag-stuffed tweets. When you promote on Twitter, take the time to enhance your tweet with an infographic or picture that also helps enhance the message you are trying to get across. Make a schedule of tweets but tweet them yourself and ensure that they portray the message you want it to say before you send it. Hashtags are good things for your post but don’t become obsessed with them. Use one or two that most relate to the message you are sending.
  2. Twitter Marketers Shift Focus From Driving Traffic to Creating Connections: The recent changes Twitter has made, including the addition of an algorithm, mean that Twitter is the social network marketers most need to change their approach to. It’s time to go back to the days when Twitter wasn’t just automated noise. Twitter can still be used to drive traffic but is becoming even more effective as a connection tool.To adjust, marketers will need to tweet less but with more quality, with the goal of tweeting to connect with others and create interaction.
  3. Twitter Becomes a Content Destination: Twitter has grown exponentially in the last few years. Two of the most promising markets are Millenials and Generation Z. More information on marketing to Millennials More information on marketing to Generation Z:  Fueling this growth will be the continued rise in content consumption directly within the Twitter platform, a focus on improving the Twitter feed algorithm, and marketers winning with quality over quantity. We’ve already seen some of this come to life when Twitter reached a live streaming deal for 10 games with the NFL. Twitter also made a great move to allow people and brands to go live directly within the app, without having to download Periscope separately. All of this leads up to Twitter becoming a content destination, rather than a means to an end.
  4. Twitter Focus on Live Video Across the Board: Over the last few months there has been a rise of video marketing and the effect it has on the younger generation. Many companies are finding that traditional marketing no longer works on the millennials and generation Zers.   To enhance your companies brand online and keep the attention of the most influential generations so far, you need to use video marketing. It’s new, interesting, and best of all interactive. Interactive marketing has been proven to create value for your brand and/or product and keep your customers attention.
  5. Keep Tweets Under 110 Characters: 

    Twitter’s legendary character restriction seems short, but if you’re maxing out your character count, your tweets are too long.

    Shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% higher engagement, and there’s a reason for that. When you leave room in a tweet, it makes it easier for people to retweet you and add their own commentary.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Rohampon, J. (2017, January 3`). 5 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimmyrohampton/2017/01/03/5-social-media-trends-that-will-dominate-2017/#324aa866ffe8

Jenkins, L. (2017, February 15). 12 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2017 From the Pros. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/12-social-media-marketing-predictions-for-2017-from-pros/

Lanoue, S. (2017, April 5). Social Media Strategy for 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-strategy-2017

6 Tips for Marketing to Generation Z

Who falls into the category of Generation Z?

Generation Z defines those born after 1995. These are usually the younger siblings of Millenials (1984-1995). Those siblings that grew up with a mobile phone in hand, watched interactions between older siblings and their parents with a focused attitude. These are the kind of children that grew up to become Generation Z.

What does this mean for marketers and small business owners?

Based on new research, Goldman Sachs recently stated that “Gen Z matters more than Millennials.” These digital natives—generally classified as consumers born between 1998 and 2008—now represent 22 percent of the U.S. population, putting them right behind millennials (23 percent) and ahead of Gen X (21 percent). By 2020, they’ll make up a staggering 40 percent of all consumers.

For small business owners and marketers, it means more creative and targeted ads that are attention-grabbing and get to the point quickly. If you think attracting the attention of millennials was hard, just wait for Generation Z. Generation Z is the generation that lives online. They are less likely to be on social media sites like Facebook but more likely to be active on Instagram or Pinterest. Your company must be able to branch out across multiple platforms and find the best strategy to attract and keep their attention. While millennials bounce between 1-3 screens daily (cell phone, laptop, and tablet), generation Z bounces between 5 (desktop, tablet, cell phone, laptop, and tv).

multi-gen_workforce

6 ways marketers and business owners can connect with Generation Z:

  1. 63 percent of Gen Z want marketing from ‘real’ peopleA survey conducted last year by digital agency Deep Focus found that 63 percent of Gen Z prefers to see “real” people in ads, while just 37 percent favor celebrities. And close to 70 percent are more interested in content with a “realistic ending” rather than a polished but unlikely narrative.

    Swift, a creative agency based in Portland, calls Gen Z “walking ad blockers primed to avoid content that is not a trusted connection.” Winning them over matters, though, because 93 percent of parents say their Gen Z kids influence family spending decisions and household purchases.

  2. 79 percent of Gen Z is interested in VRGen Z loves digital video on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, to the point they’re now watching considerably more internet video than TV. The next technology to consume them, however, will be virtual reality.

    According to a study conducted by Greenlight VR and online research firm Touchstone Research, 79 percent of U.S. internet users 10 to 18 are interested in VR—six percentage points more than millennials.

    GenZVR

    “It’s the ultimate empathy machine,” Gutterman said. “It does more than just entertain, it deeply educates and inspires people on an emotional level in a way that less sensory communication methods can’t.”

  3. You have 8 seconds to engage themIt’s been said that Gen Z has “highly evolved eight-second filters” for content. But that doesn’t mean they can’t, or won’t, pay attention to worthwhile content. Collectively’s Tonner points out that this is the same generation known for watching hours of live video-game streams and 20-minute YouTube beauty tutorials through to the end.

    “A lot of people are making really beautiful things deserving of that attention,” Gutterman explained. “That’s why they’re flipping. These are people with different expectations.”

  4. Think fast
    With so many demands and options to choose from, today’s youth seem to value their time more than their predecessors. It’s not that youth have a short attention span. Many millennials and Gen Z read thousands of pages of Harry Potter, and they’ll binge watch half a season of a TV show in a single sitting, but content can lose their interest in an instant.“Brands need to get to the point quickly,” said Jordan Gonen, a writer and growth consultant. “Otherwise, Gen Z will move on. They know they’ve got plenty of other choices.”
  5. Don’t Create Ads — Create ValueIf you think the millennial generation has an effective filter for promotional content, multiply that tenfold for the Gen Z demographic.

    Gen Zers are the first generation that has never known life without easy Internet access and mobile technology. As a result, they are the most technologically fluent generation thus far, and they recognize the value of their attention. They don’t sit through ads. They don’t give heavily sponsored content the time of day. What they’re looking for is value.

    They want resources, channels, and profiles that give them what they’re looking for, whether that is entertainment, knowledge or tutorials. If you put too many gates in front of them, they won’t even bother complaining. They’ll just move on and find the next great resource.

  6. You Can’t Just Talk About Being An Industry Leader, You Have To Actually Look The PartWhat terrifies so many brands and businesses about the younger generation is their inherent knowledge of the Internet’s nonverbal language. If your mobile website looks like it was made 10 years ago, it doesn’t matter what your message is—you look old.

    Gen Z doesn’t want to hear about how much of an “industry leader” you are. They judge with their eyes first. Your website needs to work on a cell phone—and work well. Your profile picture needs to look recent. Your header image needs to be crisp and clean.

    Your content needs to be engaging. Gen Zers are pros at the game of the Internet, and it doesn’t matter if your business has been around for 20 years; if you look unprofessional and out of style, you won’t hold their attention for more than a second.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Wegert, T. (2017, February 17). 5 Things Marketers Need to Know About Gen Z. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://contently.com/strategist/2016/06/30/5-things-marketers-need-to-know-gen-z/
Hakobyan, M. (2017, February 22). Things We Know About Marketing To Gen Z. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://www.business.com/articles/5-things-we-know-about-marketing-to-generation-z/
Rampton, J. (2017, March 10). 7 Ways Marketers Can Reach Gen Z. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290387
Patel, D. (2017, May 01). 10 Tips For Marketing To Gen Z Consumers. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/deeppatel/2017/05/01/10-tips-for-marketing-to-gen-z-consumers/#7d8c5e063c50

How to Create a Successful Mobile First Strategy?

E-Marketer predicted that 2016 would be the year that mobile ad spending eclipses desktop ad spending, and account for nearly a quarter of total media spending. They were right. By 2019, the researcher predicts that mobile ad spending will rise to $65.49 billion, or nearly 70% of total digital ad spending and close to 29% of total media spending. Now, mobile-first strategy has emerged at the forefront of new marketing trends that marketers in all industries need to be prepared for.

What is Mobile-First Strategy?

The official definition is: A trend in website development where designing a website for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices takes priority over desktop web design.

In other words, everyday as phones get more advanced and do more, marketers and businesses need to focus on getting all their online marketing to work on mobile as well or better than they do on desktop. One of the fastest way to lose potentially new customers is when they look up your website on their phones and it not load properly or take too long.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to ensure your site has a mobile first strategy.

mobile first

The rise of the ‘mobile-first’ mindset – the increasing lifestyle trend in which people turn to their mobile device as their first point of interaction for most of their communication, information and entertainment needs. Our devices have given us amazing power to interact with our favorite people, brands and service providers in personalized ways, and to get what we want, when we want it.

An estimated 28 percent of sales are now conducted on mobile devices, estimates CIO. Unfortunately, in the rush to engage consumers, brands often fail to follow best practices or even develop a clear strategy.

Putting mobile at the forefront of your strategy bears careful consideration over whether it is actually right for your brand. Here are just some of the things to keep in mind when going mobile-first: The screens are limiting and small; your marketing must be less interruptive and get consumers to opt in; if you’re going with apps, they need to have utility; mobile must be regarded as part of a larger marketing whole; and most of all, your brand must be suited to a mobile-first approach.

Four Steps for creating a Mobile-First Strategy:

  1. Get local: It’s critical to understand how mobile search intent is different from desktop search. Most mobile searches are conducted away from the home or office. Mobile searchers are seeking an immediate answer to their most pressing questions, be that a list of afternoon movie times, whether your coffee shop is open late on Saturdays, or which car repair service will respond fastest with a tow truck. Local search optimization is essential for mobile search result visibility.
    Next, consider the other reasons why people search: local information in a new city/state. Once you’ve covered the basics of local mobile search optimization, keep an eye on your content. How can you make your site content more friendly for mobile searchers? Keep an eye on regionally trending topics and use local news stories as “hooks” for creating searchable content.
  2. Optimize for mobile viewing: Remember that smart mobile design is about more than just optimizing your site for mobile viewing with larger text and touch-friendly buttons. You also need to optimize your content structure. A short paragraph on your website can look like an endless novel on a smartphone.
    Get straight to the point with your content and stick to 1-2 sentences per paragraph at the most. Use bullets, subheads and numbered lists to keep your content interesting. Consider consumption context: if your customers can’t scan your content quickly at Starbucks, they may never read it.
  3. Define mobile-friendly conversion points: Think about the most common conversion points in your existing sales funnel. Most of these points, like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper are not realistic conversion points for mobile customers. That’s because these conversion points typically involve longer forms that are not naturally mobile friendly. If you do want to keep these as conversion goals, simplify the forms to require only an email input and use HTML 5 keyboard shortcuts (like an @gmail.com button) for faster input.
    Alternatively, think differently about your conversion goals. For example, maybe you want to engage in-store shoppers by encouraging them to download a mobile coupon. Make the process as easy as possible! Remember, the more steps in the conversion chain, the more likely you are to lose your customer along the way.
  4. Don’t forget about local listings. Don’t neglect the importance of local search sites like Yelp. Don’t fail to claim your local listings with Yelp, Google, and Bing. Since these sites auto-generate listings for local businesses, these listings are prone to inaccuracies. Take the time to claim your listing so you can manually manage listing details like physical location, store hours (including special holiday hours), and even add product photos.

Focus your efforts on continuing to better position your business via mobile search, local rankings and engaging, Geo-targeted content.

City Map With Pins And An Intelligent House

Having a Mobile first strategy is key to engaging your customers in today’s market! Before you get started creating one, prepare with these five steps:

  1. Do your research: Research trends and practices in your industry. Even if no one is doing it right now, doesn’t mean you can’t be a trend setter and be the first!
  2. Cost: Figure out your budget that you want to dedicate to this project. Can you afford it right now? Do you have the necessary knowledge or do you need to hire someone who does? Do you have the software? One you have an idea on all the costs including potential hidden ones then continue.
  3. Create a Plan: Figure out a time-frame for getting the project done. If you already have someone on your staff or yourself has the skills then its easier to start. However, if you need to put aside time to find and hire someone with the skill set or purchase the software then do so.
  4. Implement your plan: Work though your plan, ensure all deadlines are met and nothing delays your progress.
  5. Evaluate: Once your strategy is completed and implemented, take some time and evaluate how it has worked for your business or brand. I would recommend after one year of operation. Statistics show that most digital marketing strategies take a year to implement, grow and show the best results. Make changes as needed.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Hughes, B. (2016, February 24). How to Create a Mobile First Marketing Strategy. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-hughes/how-to-create-a-mobile-fi_b_9299316.html

Clark, M. (2016, August 25). Engaging the ‘mobile-first’ consumer: New opportunities. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2016/aug/25/new-opportunities-engaging-mobile-first-consumer/

If Google Has a Mobile First Strategy, So Should You. (2016, July 6). Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/07/mobile-first-strategy.html

Morrison, M. (2016, February 22). Is a Mobile-First Approach Really Best? Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/digital/a-mobile-approach/302774/

6 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing Strategy

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are one of the top trends in digital marketing for 2017. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the use of artificial intelligence or chatbots across all industries. Chatbots are used almost exclusively in apps such as Siri or Amazon Echo due to their adaptability and versatility.

You could say that chatbots are the new customer service reps, not to mention the new support system for marketers. In future, more people will turn to chatbots to manage their daily chores, be it ordering a ride or a pizza.

In fact, the rise of bots could be plainly attributed to increasing usage of messenger apps. According to Forester, people spend a staggering 85% of their time using the top messenger apps including Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack, and Whatsapp. So, businesses lately have come to realize that building a chatbot on one of the popular messenger platforms could be more viable proposition than developing a specialized app.

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6 Reasons Chatbots can benefit your business:

  1. Customer service: How often have you sat on the phone, listening to boring recorded messages (that you tune out after the first dozen times), waiting over a half hour for a customer service representative to pick up the phone and answer your question, which takes you five seconds to ask? We have a younger generation, used to being able to do everything online — ordering food, doing banking tasks, shopping and more. This is especially important, in light of the fact that most customer service calls and complaints are simple to resolve. This is where chatbots come in. Instead of having to call and sit on a phone waiting to ask a five-second question, you can simply message a customer service chatbot and get your answer in a flash.By providing this option for customers, you will lower the stress of dealing with customer service and increase customer satisfaction with your brand.
  2. Chatbots Come Mobile Optimized: Chatbots come mobile optimized so you don’t have to go through the additional trouble of getting them mobile-optimized. More importantly, they are easy to implement. Say, for instance, Taco Bell’s TacoBot app. The chatbot integrated with Slack – which one of the world’s leading work chat platforms – that lets employees chat, order and pay directly from Slack. Additionally, Tacobot answers questions, offer recommendations and also organize group office orders. On top of it, the chatbot boasts of witty personality – a unique trait associated with Taco Bell.Lawrence Kim, Taco Bell’s director of digital innovation says:

    “The TacoBot Slack integration is the latest step on our journey to make the brand more accessible, wherever and whenever our fans want it. It’s the next best thing to having your own Taco Bell butler… and who wouldn’t want that?”

    taco-bell 

  3. Chatbots Ensure Consistent Brand Voice Across All Social Media Channels: The social media landscape is fragmented. And, with the growing popularity of several social media platforms, it’s become all the more crucial for businesses to maintain a strong brand presence across all major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, among many others. This means businesses have to run multiple campaigns across various platforms and update them regularly. Given their growing audience profile, businesses can’t afford to resort to mundane content marketing efforts, unless, of course, they don’t mind customers making their way toward competitors site. Enter chatbots. By Integrating them across all social media platforms and then having them interlinked, marketers can update brand messages at once across all platforms. This makes sure you have a consistent brand voice across all platforms.Print
  4. Consumer analysis: Chatbots can play a large role analyzing customer data, and optimizing sales and marketing strategies in light of this analysis.According to Forbes, “Chatbots can be programmed to track purchasing patterns and monitor data from consumers. This tells a company which products to market differently, which to market more and which to redevelop for the relaunch.”

    This means that you will save money by not having to hire another analyst and that the analysis will be higher level due to the lack of human error.

  5. Site feedback: Chatbots are great for reaching out to customers via simple questions and the gathering of feedback. This strategy is useful, especially for website optimization. Garnering feedback from customers will help you fix low converting pages and improve your site all around.For example, if you have a landing page that receives huge numbers in organic traffic, but no one is buying, you could have your chatbot reach out with a survey, to glean information as to why people are leaving the page without purchasing.
  6. Proactive customer interaction: Most brands employ passive customer interaction, i.e., they only respond to customers and do not reach out. But, instead of waiting for the customer to initiate contact with your brand, you should reach out. Chatbots are ideal for these “reach out” initiatives. To do this, the accompanying action should be something small, like inquiring whether or not the customer needs assistance — which lets the customer know that the brand is present and available to assist as needed. This alone will boost the customer’s feelings of closeness to the brand.

Chatbots growing influence among businesses is undeniable. Nevertheless, businesses need to adopt a more fail-safe approach is to treat their customers well because of bots, unlike humans, are emotionless machines and won’t be able to offer convincing answers to each and every customer query. The only fail-safe way to keep your customers consistently happy is by making sure that human support is available whenever bots face an unusual question or a query.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz/

Maxin, J. (2017, January 13). 6 reasons Marketers should start using Chatbots in 2017 – Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/app-marketing/6-reasons-marketers-start-using-chatbots-2017/
Samson, E. (2017, March 10). 7 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing Strategy. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286079

 

Influencer Marketing for Small Business

What is Influencer Marketing:

Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. For example,

Why is Influencer Marketing a good choice for Small Businesses?

With bloggers, Instagram stars and YouTube personalities with a variety of audiences actively courting brands, influencer marketing is a strategy you can utilize on any budget. Research by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth suggests that young people, in particular, are becoming increasingly resistant to traditional advertising. By 2017 it’s predicted that one-third of all Internet users will be using some form of ad-blocker, ultimately diminishing the effectiveness of banner advertising. With evolving user behavior, businesses of all sizes are going to have to be more creative in the ways in which they promote their brand.

This presents an opportunity for small businesses with their smaller budgets and their aptitude for more creative advertising. Every day there are more ways for small businesses to compete with large corporations. New technologies like programmatic marketing that used to be only available for corporations is now open to small businesses as well.

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When you have a personal brand or audience and people see you as a thought leader in your specific niche or market, you have something no one else does: you have people’s attention.

And that, in itself, is highly valuable, not just to brands but to other thought leaders as well. Having a personal brand opens doors of opportunity. Now more than ever we see a rising amount of influencers who are starting to understand their value.

Four Tips for Influencer Marketing

  1. Choose the right influencer:  “Micro-influencers” (who have fewer than 10,000 followers) can actually garner more engagement from their audience and are more likely to work with small to medium sized businesses than influencers with millions of followers or celebrities. The first step in influencer marketing is finding the people who are most likely to be enthusiastic about your business. Think about your brand values and the key principles of your business, search for bloggers who share these ideals. For example, if your business has sustainable credentials, green living bloggers would be a natural partnership. If your business is reliant on local customers, you may also want to focus on bloggers located within a similar area, tapping into an audience who may be more receptive to your products and services.
  2. Create a two-sided relationship: When approaching an influencer it’s important to be both friendly and open, just as your would in the real world. Also, everyone is susceptible to flattery so letting them know how much you appreciate their work can often go a long way. Retweeting and sharing their content will help introduce them to your brand before you reach out them over email, turning the initial approach from cold to semi-warm and increasing your chances of a reply. Plenty of influencers will also expect some kind of payment for promoting your brand, but by setting a strict budget and negotiating politely, you can avoid overspending by determining what’s within your budget from the outset. If you can communicate your shared values, influencers will be much more likely to develop a positive working relationship with you.
  3. Experiment with different strategies: Utilize influencers on a smaller test market before committing to a larger influencer. Test different strategies. One month you could engage smaller bloggers and social media users (spreading your budget across a variety of sources), and the following month you could dedicate your whole budget to a solitary influencer with a larger audience. You may also want to try a social media takeover, where an influencer runs your social media accounts for a day. If you have no marketing budget at all, sending free samples or inviting influencers to try out your service is one way to get them to discuss your brand with their audience. When conducting any testing it’s imperative that you’ve defined and set-up the various tracking metrics you’ll need in order to compare results.
  4. Analyzing the results: Remember that not all benefits can be measured in immediate sales – raising brand awareness is more difficult to measure, and the benefits may not become obvious until later. Some of the key metrics to monitor will be traffic to your website, time spent on the site, conversions, and engagement. There are also other advantages, for example, if an influencer chooses to link to your website it will create both referral traffic can boost your visibility in organic search. Tools like Tweetreach and Google Analytics offer great insights into how your campaign is performing. Every type of influencer will have a different reach (audience size), relevance (contextual fit with your business) and resonance (engagement power) and your marketing strategies will, therefore, have varied results. With some experience and careful consideration, you’ll find the ones that are best for you and form long-lasting relationships.

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Remember, just because you are a small business with a limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Have your marketing associate or manager look up new technologies and tips for small business marketing. Do your research, figure out what will work for your unique situation or business. You can compete at a higher level with larger businesses and corporations not dollar for dollar but with creativity. Larger corporations have a harder time changing their ways and being creative. Smaller businesses have that niche, so use it to increase your brand awareness, sales, and brand reputation.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Ashby, H. (2016, February 7). Top Influencer Marketing Tips for Small Businesses. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.smallbizdaily.com/top-influencer-marketing-tips-small-businesses-2/
Agrawal, A. (2016, December 27). Why Influencer Marketing Will Explode In 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/12/27/why-influencer-marketing-will-explode-in-2017/#7c93942420a9

How will Virtual Reality Change Marketing?

What is Virtual Reality?: Virtual reality is an artificial environment created with computer hardware and software and presented to the user in such a way that it appears and feels like a real environment.

What is Augmented Reality?: Augmented reality is a view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. An example of this would be a smartphone app where you view a street corner through the camera and additional business information appears on the building.

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Virtual reality is one of the latest technologies marketers are trying to wrap their heads around to figure out how to best utilize the tool to achieve brand objectives. While we’re only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of impactful ways to use VR for marketing, several pioneers have found creative ways to do it well and support their unique value propositions. VR is being strategically used as a tactic to:

  • Demonstrate product attributes, features, functionality
  • Communicate the brand’s mission at point of sale
  • Immerse users in a branded entertainment experience and add excitement at pop-up events for social media sharing (Game of Thrones)
  • Help consumers make more informed choices so they’ll be happier with their purchases
  • Add a new, more immersive and exhilarating dimension to traditional print and video story-telling (The New York Times)
  • Show how a brand can fit into an aspirational lifestyle (Mercedes)

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The impact of VR-based marketing programs can be far-reaching because of the viral response they can generate. Some brands have opted for providing the experience in-store or at special events through more durable, higher quality gear, while others have opted to let broader audiences experience VR at home, on cell phones, with Google Cardboard, and on computers.

What does this mean for Small businesses?

Virtual reality is a completely immersive experience where the user feels like they are transported to another world. Augmented reality has been integrated into our lives for as long as smartphones have been around. Virtual reality is just now starting to emerge as a viable business tool to connect with consumers in entirely new ways. Small business owners can now utilize this technology to grow their businesses to new heights.

More consumers are expecting to see the power of virtual reality. According to Greenlight Insights, 62% of consumers say they would feel more engaged with a brand that sponsors a VR experience and 71% of consumers think a brand is forward-thinking if it uses virtual reality.

Allowing the consumer to experience places like casinos themselves from their home is far and away the best way to sell. Consider if you were in the market for a new home, yet online pictures and even video of the available options weren’t cutting it. Virtual reality could transport the buyer to every home that meets their criteria for a bird’s eye view and really showcase the features of each selection. The same holds true for a physical product. To be able to test drive a vehicle without the hassle and time wasted in a dealership may be all that’s needed to finalize a sale. Not only can VR display how a product works but also how it was developed and manufactured. This approach appeals to consumers who are interested in the backstory and origin of the products they purchase. Experiences such as these completely transform how the consumer interacts with brands and how marketers will reach their audience.

To understood Virtual Reality and its impact in the marketplace check out the video below:

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Greenwald, M. (2016, June 15). 6 Of The Best Marketing Uses Of Virtual Reality. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellegreenwald/2016/06/15/6-of-the-best-marketing-uses-of-virtual-reality/#d7b63c65cff3
Totka, M. (2016, April 14). Using Virtual Reality to Enhance Your Business. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/04/virtual-reality-for-small-business.html
Mcdermott, C. (2016, January 16). How will Virtual Reality Change Content Marketing? Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/01/virtual-reality-change-marketing/