Roy's Blog: Marketing

December 19, 2018

4 silent killer marketing strategies for new age small businesses — guest post

For any small business today, gaining the advantage over your competition can be tough work.

Killer strategy

The sheer scale of competition which exists is quite hard to get over, in any industry. Even the smallest of towns is likely to have at least one competitor waiting for you.

For that reason, getting your marketing strategy just right is so important.

Not sure how to beat the competition as a small business with a limited scope and budget?

Here are some good ideas. Use these, and you can very quickly make a telling impact on your visibility.

Get set up on Google My Business

As the most popular search engine by far, Google is where most of your resources should be going. Google My Business is very important as it
— adds credibility to your business and
— boosts visibility on searches.

It should be a major part of your small/local business advertising strategy. You will soon find that using a tool like GMB works as it allows you to easily rank higher simply by filling in the profile. If you really want to make big gains with GMB, then hiring a social media marketing manager makes a lot of sense.

Simply showing yourself as a professional who has his/her own GMB page, though, will make you seem much more approachable and professional. For that reason, it’s worth trying out.

Optimized correctly, GMB could help you to bring in a huge amount of organic visibility.

Make use of social media

Social

Secondly, make as much use of social media as you can.

With billions of users across platforms like Facebook, you can easily run cost-effective advertising campaigns with huge reach and immense potential.

I recommend that you work with a social media marketing advertising expert to help you get the ads right, though. While they are cost-effective, like any other kind of advertising you will burn through a lot of money if you aren’t sure what you are doing.

However, the ease of ad testing and multiple A/B testing solutions makes it easy for you to find a winning, profitable ad without breaking the bank.

As far as paid-for advertising for small businesses goes, making use of social media is a winner. Don’t try and push forward without a consultation, though, as it’s easy to waste resources without a clear marketing plan in place.

Run a webinar

How often do you find yourself answering the same old questions to customers? Do you wish that you could make it easy to point them to an easily understood, relatively short but fully detailed answer?

Then do a webinar.

These can be easily hosted on live streaming platforms like YouTube, and can make it easy to answer common questions and complaints in your industry. You could use your webinar to help answers common questions, go into detail about an upcoming industry change or simply ask for some feedback from those who are present.

Either way, running a webinar makes a lot of sense as it allows you to showcase your authority and give people information for free. People love value, especially from a small business. With a webinar, you answer questions for them, you give them valuable information (for free) and you prove your expertise.

Awesome, right?

Write

Write an article (or articles)

Want some exposure that will only take you some time to put together? Then write an article. You could send it to local media or local/niche blogs that fits with your business. You can make it easy to get a lot of exposure in a short and simple amount of time – all simply by using your expertise and knowledge.

If you are a good writer, then you can do this yourself and just spend some time writing. If you are not a good writer, then jot down a series of popular and important points and hire a freelancer.

I recommend that you write up a few pieces you can offer to sites right away (though only give one article per website: never send the same piece to two sites unless one rejects it) so that they can see what you are made of as a writer.

Doing this, you can easily boost exposure with people who are interested in what you have to say. You can also make it easier for your business to be seen and for your reputation to grow. You are giving people free advice and information – it’s only natural they’ll be curious to see what else you have to offer.

For any small business wishing to get ahead of the chasing pack, these conventional ideas should make that easy.

Small business marketing does not have to be complex or taxing: simply thinking a little outside the box, or using inside-the-box methods well, can make a huge difference.

So, where will you start?

David Guetta is a entrepreneur and freelance writer. He works closely with B2B businesses providing marketing, business, technology, content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.

Guetta

  • Posted 12.19.18 at 04:03 am by Roy Osing
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December 14, 2018

5 ways to make the payment process easy for clients — guest post

Millions of people are doing their shopping online on a daily basis. Making it easy for clients to pay for your products and services is surely a cute way of increasing sales and conversions.

Coins

This is exactly why you really need to have a good checkout page — where they become paying clients. Making it extremely easy for shoppers to pay on your site will motivate them to return and even refer your business.

Here are 5 ways that can actually make payment process easy for your clients:

Provide a variety of payment methods

This is very important because there are some websites that provide only one payment option. Multiple sources say that over 50% of clients expect you to have a variety of payment options on your checkout page.

Try as much as possible to offer any conceivable payment option available at your disposal. Before you do this, take time to research and make sure you get payment options that your target audience would love.

If you are able to do this, then you will captivate the attention of most people visiting your site. Some good ideas are also allowing for payments from multiple credit cards, direct bank transfers etc.

Make errors easy to fix

It is important to know that mistakes are inevitable; so while shopping on your website, there is the high possibility that someone may make mistakes, which could be forgetting the zip codes, or forgetting to add ‘@’ when writing their email address.

Your job at this point is to fix the error. So, you need to be working with a customer friendly team that will correct the error as fast as possible.

Another good way of helping people to pay is to by saving the personal details they submit — people’s personal information should be handled with utmost confidentiality. Many customers get frustrated when they are asked to resubmit all the information again just because they made one mistake.

Keep distractions to a minimum

Your checkout page is the final step. Many people are busy, they just want to click the ‘buy’ button, pay for the item and leave your site.
So, make sure you don’t distract them from completing their checkout process as quickly as possible.

You can avoid distracting them by making sure you don’t put any advertorial beside the “submit” button, because this may likely be going to distract them. Your number one objective here is to encourage them by showing them the easy process that will allow them to make their payments as fast as possible.

Distractions

Be flexible with payment type

There are many payment options that are available to customers such as external card readers, vouchers, coupons, checks, credit cards, etc.

All these can help them to make purchases. We are living in a cashless economy, so paying cash is now a thing of the past. If you are a retailer, it could be difficult for you to maintain varied payment options.

However, you will need to do this, because your customer will like you to provide different tender types. So that the customer can have an option of using any suitable payment method. If these options aren’t available, it may be difficult for your customers to return.

Keep in mind that working with varied tender types will require employee training, huge investment in technological options, as well as regular adjustment of your sales system.

The wish of every customer is to have the option of paying in their preferred method, and as a retailer, this is something you must offer.
If you can provide this, you will make your business very attractive and will surely outsmart your competitors.

Reward and recognize clients

Rewarding and recognizing your clients is the surest way of growing your brand. Celebrate them when they buy from you, virtually every customer likes to be appreciated for their contributions to your business.

Make sure you do this so that you won’t give your competitors the opportunity of taking the business away from you.  Ask for your customers’ feedbacks, invite them to a special function, and give them a referral bonus or discounts.

Your site should have a blog section, where you share interesting things happening around your business and niche. Provide value to them by teaching them awesome tips like how to benefit from the opportunities in debt settlement, business, management, technology etc.

Having a good shopping cart will motivate people to click the purchase button. So, do everything humanly possible to make your checkout page easy to use, and highly convenient for users.

Your checkout page is where you turn window shoppers or visitors to paying clients.

Please try to follow the tips described above, and you will not only boost your sales but will also create a great experience for people that come to your site.

— Focused on providing information for anyone in need of debt relief, Jackson Maven writes a blog on debt settlement, debt consolidation, tax debt relief and student loan debt which helps to find the debt solution that fits their unique needs no matter the amount of debt they are in.

Jackson Maven

  • Posted 12.14.18 at 04:04 am by Roy Osing
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October 24, 2018

5 easy ways to use Instagram to grow your business — guest post

If you have successfully set up an Instagram account for your business, then you are on the right track. However, setting up the account is the easier part, finding followers and converting them into customers is the hardest part. You must be looking for strategies and methods to grow your business with Instagram.
Worry not, we’ve got you covered with our 5 different ways to grow your ecommerce business with Instagram.

These tips will help you connect with your audience, build relations with influencers, and bring in more sales for your online business.

Create content your customers want

Make sure that you craft a niche for yourself and create content that resonates with your audience. If you have a fitness-related business, then your posts should be a mix of fitness tips, product showcase, motivational quotes, etc.

Instagram

It’s up to you to figure out what your audience likes and what they want to see. If there are any content themes or style that resonates with your audience, then you should cover that aspect. Once you figure out what works and what doesn’t, start posting images, videos, quotes, and promotional content that ties into your business and resonates with your target audience.
A great way to find out what your audience loves is by researching your competition. Check out what your competitors are posting and take that as inspiration for your content.
You can also take inspiration from popular websites and blogs in your industry. Always keep in mind that engagement is the REAL King. You need to populate your account with content that gets real engagement.

Actively engage with influencers in your industry

One of the easiest and fastest ways to go higher in Instagram ranks is to build and maintain relationships with Instagram influencers in your industry. These influencers already have a massive fan-following and getting your brand a mention (shout-out) from one of these influencers can give your Instagram profile and your overall brand image instant credibility.

Bloomingdales

Influencers get approached by popular brands and companies on a very consistent basis because their single post provides a lot of value to these brands. So, most of these influencers offer paid shoutouts while some of them do so organically for free.
You can start off by commenting on their photos, videos, and other posts. You can also tag them in your content, they will receive a notification every time you tag them in our posts. This way they will become familiar with you and your brand and will be more receptive to your offer.
You can also offer them free samples of your products so they can review them and mention them in their posts. This way your products will be in front of a large audience that trusts the particular influencer and value their word.
However, be very selective of who you connect with. Look for influencers that have a high engagement rate and are known to get their followers to take some action.

Use strong call to action on your profile

There are a lot of companies and brands that have started posting on Instagram. Sadly, their content lacks any goal. They never tell their audience where to go or what to do.
For this purpose, you need to always use (Call to Actions) in your content, on your bio, etc. The call to action should be clear and should direct your followers to your store or product page. You have nearly 150 characters to use in your Bio, so make a witty CTA that works best with your audience.
If you are selling physical items, then posting images and videos about your products should be your go-to strategy. However, what adds extra oomph to your content is when you add CTA in your comment section. Mention your item in the comments section, provide a link to the sales page and direct people to the page.

Make your product images shoppable by tagging them

We already talked about using Call to Action in your content and bio. Now, comes the advance CTA usage. Having your product images tagged is a great way to increase your overall sales.
Tagging your products in your Instagram images provides a very clear CTA and makes it very simple for your followers to purchase from you. Instagram has recently allowed business accounts (in select countries) to tag items in their content, similar to how you tag people.

Instagram1

The setup is quite simple. You can quickly transform your Instagram profile into a sales channel with just a couple of clicks.
Here are the steps to get you started:
— Create a “Shop” section on your Facebook Business page which is connected to your Instagram business account
— Add your products to the Facebook page. Wait for a notification from Instagram that says you can now start tagging products. It takes a few days for the approval.
— Now, Whenever you are posting an image on Instagram, click the “tag a product” option, and you should see a list of all your product from the Facebook shop. Tag each product accordingly.
Whenever a viewer clicks a product tag, they are taken to the product page to buy it.

Pay attention to analytics

Finally, you should keep a close eye on the analytics inside your Instagram account. This area provides you with very useful information and data that can be used to increase the engagement on your content.
You can also see when your followers are active on Instagram under the “Audience” tab. You can break this down to each hour and plan your future content according to the peak times.
Pay attention to the photos and content that gets the most likes and comments, this is what your target audience prefers. You can use this data to curate content that your audience loves and increase overall engagement.

Hopefully, these easy-to-follow tips will help you grow your business with Instagram. Feel free to let us know what other methods you use on Instagram to grow your business.

Saleem Ahrar is well-versed in knowledge about ecommerce strategies, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. He spends his time testing new approaches, hacks, and tricks to help the e-commerce community.

  • Posted 10.24.18 at 03:55 am by Roy Osing
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October 17, 2018

7 smart marketing tactics to try this holiday season — guest post

The 2018 holiday season is just around the corner, which means marketers and business owners need to pick up the promotional pace. As per Shopify, in 2017 almost a quarter of US buyers did nearly half of their holiday shopping online. For maximizing the potential, you need to start preparing from now on, since your 2018 revenue goals largely depend on it.

Just a decade ago, people waited until Thanksgiving to begin their holiday shopping. However, by 2016, almost 40% of seasonal shoppers started before Halloween. This denotes that increasing brand awareness from the month of October and early November is essential for meeting your direct response goals. Top brands already have strategized for this pre-holiday ramp.

Holiday season

Keeping this aggressive timeline in mind, these are the core aspects of holiday marketing:
Be mobile ready
The utilization of mobiles is continuously rising, so your website needs to be optimized for the same. Be it video or carousel or display, your advertisements need to be tablet and smartphone-friendly.
In 2017, more than 30% of online shoppers used their mobile devices for holiday shopping.
In 2018 this figure is expected to increase. Many buyers browse products on their mobile, even though they do not take the final call on their phones.

Resort to creative sequencing
It involves displaying the exact message at the proper time, right up to the check-out point. This way customers receive messages in accordance with their position in the purchase cycle, be it just learning about a new brand or abandoning a shopping cart.
Highlight your most popular offerings and their key features, and continually check as to which creative is leading to the highest conversions.

Get into audience research
It is essential to study the psychology and buying patterns of your ideal buyers. Make use of resources like Facebook’s Audience Insights to learn demographics, locations and interests.
Who belongs to your loyalty programme? Who has visited your website in the past? What about the single-category shoppers? These are the ones that need attention.

Maintain a calendar
Be well organized by finalizing the dates and times your website needs to be updated, your email campaigns need to be deployed, and the beginning and ending of your promotions. Your calendar should also cover all the ad channels you are using.
To stay abreast with the competition you’ll have to be very aggressive with your online advertising bidding strategies. Top search terms on Google and prime audiences on Facebook will be additionally competitive.

Calendar

Create a sense of urgency
Urgency and anticipation are the best triggers as far as impulsive buying is concerned. Promotional and pre-sale ad teasers are an implication of scarcity with limited supply mentions and countdown timers.
By launching limited-time promotions (especially on Cyber Monday and Black Friday), levying shipping deadlines, and inculcating compelling calls to action, you’re making customers eager to buy at the very moment.

Formulate your budget
While you chalk out your fourth-quarter budget, leave ample resources for around-the-clock campaigns, massive scheduling of customer service associates, free shipping deals and the big impact days like Black Friday.

Measure
Anticipate how you will measure the conversions and sales. Your metrics will vary in accordance with your goals; however, you’ll discover that A/B tests facilitate the assessing of the impact driven by your creative.
Be sure to also explore the available tools; analytics conjoined to your e-commerce platform, Pinterest ads, Google AdWords and Facebook ads should also be taken into consideration.

The more you are aware, the better prepared you’ll be for implementing a successful digital marketing campaign and garnering record-breaking seasonal sales.

Finishing touches

Finishing touches

There are of course a few finishing touches that need to be given to your holiday campaigns. For instance, ensure that your return policy and payment options are in place. Most retailers loosen their return and exchange policies over the holiday season, which is worthwhile as their potential impact on sale can be balanced with anticipated customer satisfaction and rate of retention.

This is a good time to make your purchasing process all the more accessible. Adding Amazon Pay and PayPal as payment methods can boost conversions. Affirm can be used for financing bigger purchases.

Contingency plans

Contingency plans too need to be in order. If your e-commerce venture is not hosted on Shopify, be sure that your website can manage heavy incoming traffic in a short duration. What about the brick-and-mortar site? Is your shipping company able enough? Courteous and prompt service is necessary, so nullify the chances of any disappointment by gearing up for all the challenges.

Monitoring competitor activities is another important criteria. Visit their websites, get on their email lists, and look for publications that highlight competition. You’re likely to catch some great ideas along the way.

Decorating the boxes with custom labels can add an element of surprise and will help in customer retention.

What next?
Undoubtedly, November and December are going to keep you super busy. Be well prepared to work on Thanksgiving and the following weekend for 24 hours a day. Be ready to tackle employees who wish to take time off for loved ones.

Outsourcing

It is challenging to manage a complex and time-consuming advertising initiative over and above your primary business responsibilities. It would be best to outsource to professionals who are experts in handling round-the-clock, high value seasonal promotions, rather than losing out on primary revenue, in the event of mismanagement of primary business activities.
If outsourcing is not your cup of tea, there are lots of online resources like Facebook Blue Print training and the Shopify Blog that will guide you properly.

So gear up now, without wasting time, and position your enterprise for optimal fourth-quarter success with the help of early planning and vital strategizing.

Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.

  • Posted 10.17.18 at 04:14 am by Roy Osing
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