Marketing Essentials for a Successful Social Media Strategy

Social media platforms help you understand your prospects and convert them into loyal customers.

Get social to be successful

Social media are one of the three pillars of content marketing and using some form of them is essential to your business and its success. They let you:

  • listen to your customers and develop better products for them. These products will also be more profitable for you.
  • assist your clients with outstanding customer service. Or just to converse with them.
  • drive traffic to your website so you can convert visitors into customers.
  • demonstrate your authority, expertise, and trustworthiness.
  • help make the world and the lives of your clients better.
  • develop relationships and deepen customer loyalty.
  • increase awareness of your brand.
  • and so much more

This post provides you with the resources for developing a successful social media strategy. Read it now and bookmark it so you can reference it anytime your business needs some social media success.

You should determine which social media platforms are most appropriate for your company as part of an overall content marketing strategy. The posts linked to here can help you make those determinations. They contain detailed resources for learning about the myriad of social media platforms and what each one can do for your marketing efforts.

Social media marketing is a field that changes daily if not hourly. Consequently, I’ve updated my older posts on the social media platforms that are most useful for small business.

Social Selling

One of the most significant benefits of using social media is increasing the effectiveness of your sales process. It is a very efficient method to research prospects, connect with them, and then demonstrate your authority, expertise, and trustworthiness. Buffer has an informative post with detailed demographics for the various social media platforms.

See my post: Can social selling turn you into a rainmaker?

Pinterest

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform with some incredible upside for driving increases in your revenue. It is one of the first visually oriented social mediums, and that is why it is so strong. It primarily appeals to women, but males’ use of Pinterest is on the upswing.

See my updated post: What your business can get from Pinterest.

Continue reading “Marketing Essentials for a Successful Social Media Strategy”

Web analytics drive decisions that lead to conversion

If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist

Let’s start learning how to use analytics to make decisions that lead to conversions.

If you have read my earlier posts, you have now learned how to use copywriting on your landing pages and posts in order to drive the actions you want visitors to take on your WordPress site and blog. You have also learned how to drive traffic to your site with search optimization.

After you start benefiting from visits to your site, blog posts and landing pages you want to increase that traffic. You want to make sure more of it leads to subscribers to your email list, sign-ups for your free content and most importantly eventual customers. For that to happen, your content must convert. And the only way for you to know if it does is to analyze your site’s traffic.

(THIS POST CONTAINS FAIRLY TECHNICAL TERMS. PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS FOR DEFINITIONS)

Web analytics will show you who is coming to your site and almost everything about them. They will show you where your traffic is coming from in terms of geography.  And which search, website, email or social media links are sending you traffic. Various metrics will show you what pages and posts your audience visits, how much time visitors spent on your site, and the amount of traffic per day, week, month, etc.. They will show you how visitors entered, navigated through, and exited your site. You will be able to infer the search terms they used to find you as well.

With all this valuable information, you will have the data you need to optimize your website. You can conduct a complete content analysis of your entire site. With web analytics, you will be able to determine if your content is meeting the goals you have set for your site. You can also see if your content is achieving the objectives you have set for it in your content strategy.

You can see which blog post subjects resonate with visitors and produce more content for that category. And you can see which subjects are weak and then produce less content for them. You can A/B test the copywriting on your landing pages, email sign-up forms, long and short-form copy and call to actions. Use the results to improve your copywriting and increase conversion.

You can also A/B test aspects of your site’s design.  These include images, navigation, typography, color, and positioning. You can test media formats, links, forms, free trial lengths and pricing schemes. Use the results to optimize your design. This optimization also lets you convert more visitors into customers and clients.

Image of Google Analytics page inside WordPress backend

Google Analytics – Free and (Easy to get help with)

There is a variety of tools for measuring your website’s traffic with. The best one for small business is Google Analytics. Here is why:

  • It is free.
  • It provides tracking code to put into your website’s head that tracks every page and post.
  • It shows you how much of your traffic comes from desktop computers, tablets, and phones.
  • It lets you use Universal Analytics‘ multiscreen tracking to see visitors’ unique behavior on various devices.
  • It lets you see traffic that comes from your email marketing and social media posts.
  • It allows you to access Google’s Web Master Tools. These tools allow you to see the demographic information of your visitors (and much more).
  • It tells you the percentages of new and return visitors.
  • It lets you analyze visitor behavior on your site.
  • It allows you to segment and analyze your audience.
  • It allows you to set goals for your content and see if that content meets them.
  • It provides valuable information about your ecommerce site’s performance.
  • It lets you see if your paid search ads are driving traffic to your site.
  • It provides you with benchmarking data so you can see how you compare to other websites in your industry and niche.
  • It provides a large number of reports for the metrics we have been discussing.
  • It allows you to create custom reports.
  • It works with plug-ins for WordPress that let you get a quick overview of your traffic each time you log in to your WordPress site.
  • It is the world’s most popular analytics solution so there is a great deal of information available about how to use it.

Continue reading “Web analytics drive decisions that lead to conversion”

Search Engine Optimization Brings the Eyeballs to your site

A well-planned search optimization strategy will maximize visits to your site and blog.

Get Found to Get Results

Now, let’s start learning how to use SEO to bring the right eyeballs to your site.

If you have read my earlier posts, you have now learned how to use copywriting on your landing pages and posts in order to drive the actions you want visitors to take on your WordPress site and blog. But if no one gets a chance to see the media content on your blog you will not see any results. There are many ways to drive traffic to your site. The way most prospects who are not familiar with your business will find you is via search engine results (serps).

The Next Web has posted stats that show just how critical SEO is for your company:

  • 80 percent of consumers search for a product/service before purchasing it
  • 70 percent read online reviews before making purchase decisions
  • 68 percent of consumers begin their decision-making while searching for a keyword
  • Websites that blog regularly receive 55 percent more traffic and over 80 percent more leads compared to websites that don’t
  • Over 70 percent of search clicks are organic

Because SEO is an aspect of content marketing that changes monthly, weekly or maybe daily, I will only cover the basics of search engine optimization here. The search optimization service, Moz, has some useful resources that are always up to date at http://moz.com/learn/seo

Let’s start with a few definitions:

  • Keyword – an informative word used in an information retrieval system to show the content of a document. Searchers often combine them in keyword phrases. Hence, they are also known as search terms.
  • Guest Blogging – writing blog posts for external blogs with a link back to your site’s content in the author’s biography.
  • Hashtag – a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify the topic of social media messages.
  • Algorithm – a process or set of rules followed in calculations that search engines use to determine their results.
  • URL – uniform resource locator. Also known as URL address (what shows up in a browser’s address window).
  • Backlink – an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.
  • SERP – search engine result page.

Ranking factors for search engine results

The two factors that most impact your serps are external links to your content and your pages/posts titles.

Links

If you want to use the major component of search engine ranking to drive traffic to your content, there is one single, but time-consuming thing you must do. You must create extraordinary media on your blog. Content that people will want to share with social media and link to on their website’s pages and posts. These are inbound links to your site from external websites, not links in your content to other sites.

Your content must provide real value to visitors and make their lives better. When other people link to and share your content, it shows Google and other search engines that your site is authoritative, trustworthy, and useful. They will then feel comfortable recommending your posts and pages in their search results.

Backlinks

Acquiring quality links back to your site takes a long time to bear fruit. You must get them via shareable content if you want to show up at the top of the results for your keywords. You must post fresh content consistently and regularly. Longer posts show your expertise so make sure they are around 500 – 1000 words in length. Posts larger than this are hard to consume on mobile devices. This content must inspire people to link back to it from their sites.  Moz has a tool, Open Site Explorer, which will show you who is linking to your site at http://moz.com/researchtools/ose/. You will need to paste individual page/post URLs into the tool for analysis.

Guest blogging on other websites is an excellent way to get links back to your site. But, the content of your guest posts must be just as good as anything you would put on your site. It must be unique content to the third-party’s site not something you have copied and pasted from your blog.

One thing you should never do is buy links. Ever. Google in particular only credits you for links from sites that do not sell links. If you buy links, Google will punish your rankings.  Continue reading “Search Engine Optimization Brings the Eyeballs to your site”

Power tools you need in your content marketing toolbox

There are many marketing mediums requiring strategic and creative tools in order to be used successfully. 

Marketing Essentials

The power tools you need in your content marketing toolbox

Most businesses are small businesses. And yours is probably no different. Unfairly or not you, have to compete with larger and better-funded opponents. Content Marketing is a weapon that your David can use against their Goliath. But to do it right, you have to have the right tools. This post lists many that can help you attract visitors to your website and convert them into customers.

There is an ever-growing myriad of digital marketing mediums and platforms. And they require many marketing tools in order to be used successfully. These include strategic and creative tools. In this post, I want to share some useful lists of mostly free ones that I’ve come across. I will also note which tools I use in the various categories to create effective content marketing.

Before I get into the lists, let’s look at the dominant player in content production tools, Adobe. For your in-house design and marketing efforts, Adobe’s Creative Cloud products are a no-brainer. Programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator allow you to create project proposals and marketing pieces that as are as professional as any on earth. This service is a paid cloud-based toolbox that is an incredible value in my opinion. The price is around $50 a month and up. You get every creative program Adobe makes and always have the most up to date version.

See all the Adobe Creative Cloud programs here
. They allow you to create print advertising, websites, eBooks, videos, podcasts, animations, mobile apps, and more. So if you are creating your content marketing pieces, I recommend using what I do, Adobe Creative Cloud.

However, the lists below include free and nearly free marketing tools that let you do some of the same things designers do with Adobe’s professional-grade products. You must have a strategic plan in place before begin creating any marketing content, and a few of these lists describe tools for developing one.

So whether you want to create some of your content marketing in-house, are a freelance designer, or just want to understand what your agency or content strategy partner is talking about when it comes to production – here is some useful knowledge to absorb.

Read through the post first and then go back to check out the lists and other links. Bookmark this page to reference later. It is extensive, and you may want to peruse it at your leisure.

Continue reading “Power tools you need in your content marketing toolbox”