How to Create a Provable ROI in Social Media

How to Create a Provable ROI in Social Media

How do you measure the return on investment from social media? Understanding the value of social media is important but really comes down to experimentation. I mean honestly, it’s hard to tell how much revenue a Tweet you sent out last week brought in, or if you’re last Instagram post boosted your bottom line. Many businesses are struggling to grasp the financial impact social media marketing is having for them.

You track your return from the quantitative data you receive from experimenting. That’s right, this will help your businesses determine what works best for their brands. We’ve broken down the process and listed a few simple steps to follow.

1. Set Social Media Goals

Before you can get into measuring your return, you need to set goals! Your goals should be quantifiable and linked to a specific campaign. Why? This will allow you to track individual links that you share on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels. Also, to ensure you get the most accurate number, you really want to set your goals based on actions that convert a casual browser to a lead, and ultimately a paying customer.

2. Track Your Goals

Once your goals are defined, the next step is to track them. Tracking is an extremely important part!

3. Measure Your Social Media Expenses

In order to figure out whether you’re getting a positive or negative ROI for social media campaigns, you have to measure how much you’re spending. This includes; man hours, content, social media tools and ad costs. After all your time is valuable and expenses add up.

As you can see, tracking your social media ROI isn’t impossible. You just have to take a planned and strategic approach. Happy experimenting!

StartUp or well established, your business will fail if you’re not doing modern day marketing

StartUp or well established, your business will fail if you’re not doing modern day marketing

StartUp or well established, your business will fail if you’re not doing modern day marketing

Marketing is crucial whether your business is a startup or well established one. Marketing has evolved significantly over time and businesses cannot survive in the current market if they continue to use outdated, ineffective marketing techniques. The goal of marketing is to make your brand more visible to a wider audience.
Marketing methods include direct TV ads, mail marketing and radio spots. All these can still get you results, but your focus should be getting buyers to come to you, not you going in search of them. The desire to attract more customers has led marketers to a continuous search for new methods to grab the attention of new customers. Since the new modes of marketing have moved away greatly from the traditional methods, how can you take advantage of the current marketing techniques?

Current Mistrust of Companies and Advertising

The average consumer has developed some level of mistrust for companies and advertising. The constant bombardment of more and more advertisements by businesses with the desired intention of getting consumers to buy something, have added to their distrust. Consumers feel that these new, faceless companies have hidden agendas and they are not interested in what is best for them; the consumers. The result is a decline in the returns on the traditional ways of marketing and advertising.

Enthusiastic Buyers

Consumers today can access information more readily and easily than before. With only a click on Google, all information on different brands and the products and services you need are readily available. The advantage with this availability is that the average consumer can now “pick, choose and refuse” before making a final decision. More and more consumers are conducting online searches before they buy anything. Consequently, the traditional ways of marketing and advertising are now ineffective because users are searching this information for themselves, making the new, inbound method more effective.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is very different from the traditional marketing method. The aim is to maximize you brand’s reputation and visibility so much, so that customers can find you easily when they start their online search to buy anything.

The Different types of Inbound Marketing

How then, can you make yourself more accessible and visible to consumers without making it too obvious? There are several ways to do this, but all will combine to create stronger, mutually useful links.

  • Content marketing. This is one of the best mainstay in your inbound marketing strategy. Content marketing provides the opportunity for you to develop a continuous series of videos, whitepapers, articles, podcasts, eBooks, webinars and other types of content to engage your clients. Be aware though that your subject matter must address the needs of your customers. If you can do this, you will build a great reputation in the industry and your content can assist in providing visibility in other areas like social media and SEO.
  • SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a pool of approaches intended to help you get a higher ranking for related queries in search engines. Because your users are searching for information related to your product, you need to use this approach to help them find you. Although SEO is challenging, when combined with content marketing, it is a great place to begin.
  • Social media marketing. This is a great way to build an audience. Here you can engage with new people by updating your content regularly and interacting with influencers. Eventually, you will attract more attention and you will be able to organize your content and post them to attract more viewers.

The Benefits

When compared to an outbound approach the inbound approach is a better strategy because of the distinct benefits it brings:

  • Increased trust. Once you allow your users to find you naturally instead of you forcing your message on them, they will obviously develop a trust in you. How will this affect you? Your initial conversion rates will increase and most likely will lead to the beginning of confident, trusting consumer-brand bonding that will help strengthen your ability to retain your customers as time goes on.
  • Lower costs. Inbound marketing promotions are likely to be less costly than their outbound equivalents.
  • Long-term development. Although inbound marketing does not deliver a big remuneration initially, it eventually compounds in value as your reputation progresses. The reward eventually is a ROI that becomes so extensive that nearly no direct ad promotion can compete with it.

Nevertheless, if you message, timing and selection of medium are fitting for your audience, outboard promotion and marketing can be effective. However, you can improve an effectual outboard approach with a corresponding inboard arm. It is likely that inboard marketing will continue to evolve, however, the central principle will not change; if you provide your customers with what they need, they will certainly trust you to satisfy their needs always.

If You’re A Real Estate Agent READ THIS!! Top 4 Ways To Land More Leads & Clients Using The Internet

If You’re A Real Estate Agent READ THIS!! Top 4 Ways To Land More Leads & Clients Using The Internet

Use videos, photos and social media to get your clients to see the lifestyle they could enjoy in a new home.

Real estate is a thriving but competitive industry and with so many real estate agents clamoring to get their piece of the pie, entry into the market gets more challenging every day. Every agent small or large depend on content marketing. It has the potential to provide substantial exposure even on a low-cost budget and can transform your business extensively.
When compared to other industries, real estate companies have a better chance of surviving in a competitive market. People are always looking for some place to live and this creates the potential for you to reach thousands of clients. If you are selling mid-market homes in Fort Lauderdale, (for example) you have an explosive potential market to people living in Florida. Consequently, you will find prospects in other states who want to buy a house in Fort Lauderdale.
With these possibilities, content marketing can be profitable for you because it can place your listings in front of unexpected prospects.
The real estate industry is also visual and applicable. Chances are, if someone is not interested in real estate, they might be eager to share content about a lovely condo or a prominent house.
Since real estate is relatable, it does not require a pro to know and share that type of content. However, if your business is about pest extermination, you will have a much smaller audience of potential sharers, even though anyone could become your client.

Use Video to Sell a Completely New Lifestyle

The real estate is a visually alluring industry, but many agents have not used it to their advantage. The standard photos of the past are no longer appealing and workable. You have a better chance using the 360-degree video, which produces an exceptional experience, where virtual reality allows your clients to tour their future homes.
The use of these visual opportunities makes you stand out among your competitors. Influencers most likely will shy away from sharing photos of unattractive houses. It is important then that you have new and interactive content that will be much more appealing, thereby increasing the likelihoods of it going viral.
Yes, you need to use a video, but it is better to use a video that provides a walk-through tour of a house rather than a set of videos. Ensure too, that you check out the shops, restaurants and the local scenery and include these in your photos and videos. This allows prospective clients to have a knowledge of what the area offers. Bear in mind too that you are not only trying to get them to purchase a house but you are selling them a complete new lifestyle. A video is ideally
suited for painting that picture for your prospects.

Turn luxury homes into shareable content

If you specialize in selling only lower-end houses, you might want to look at luxury properties as a means of making content marketing stress free. Prospects tend to be more eager to share content about a magnificent million-dollar house rather than a starter home costing $100,000.
Even if you don’t sell luxury homes look at them. Why not visit a luxurious house and create a video while touring the place? On the other hand, you could tour the cheapest, most awful house you can think of. This kind of content is what people will want to share. Maybe you can’t buy it, but it will create shares, generate backlinks and will increase traffic to your website.

Demonstrate how to renovate a Fixer-Upper

The creation of educational content is one more strategy you can use to get backlinks to your website. The real estate industry is ideally suited for content creation. Why? Because of the numerous possibilities that exist for creating content for persons who want to take on DIY home improvement ventures, flip houses, or just need to hire a contractor for big renovation project.
Another strategy you could use is to create video series, and as you walk through these properties, you tell persons about the improvements required. Similarly, you could show before-and –after pictures, which would indicate the amazing makeover of a fixer-upper. As people begin to share this content on social media it makes prospects aware of what to expect in an upcoming home purchase.

Build Links with Local Companies

While you’re crafting content for prospective buyers, don’t overlook the influencers and businesses in your locality. For example, in Fort Lauderdale (as mentioned before), you would probably want to sell homes in a specific section of the town where numerous businesses are located and would appeal to the interest of your clienteles.
You could visit every store, interview the owners, and then indicate to potential homebuyers the advantages of living in the area. Doing this allows you to “kill two birds with one stone.” You not only get potential homeowners to buy but the owners of local business will become interested and willing to share that content on both their websites and on social media.
What are the benefits for you? With every 10 companies you feature, you could total seven or eight backlinks and shares, which is an incredible ROI that will multiply your visibility to the persons who are following those companies. The bonus for you is that because all those followers live in the area they will be interested in buying a house there.
Real estate helps prospective homeowners to get a glimpse of the lifestyle they would enjoy living in their new homes. The use of photos, videos and other content is a great way to attract homeowners to your website. While you are trying to entice homeowners, think about what would interest influencers and what they would want to share. If you provide them with value and a reason to share your content, you are well on your way in achieving your goals.

3 Ways Pokemon Go Can Increase Your Business Sales

3 Ways Pokemon Go Can Increase Your Business Sales

Pokemon Go has flooded the internet and all social media the past week. At the moment it’s the biggest mobile app game in American history. It’s caught the direct attention of gamers and sparked new opportunities for small business owners. Active users are up to more than 21 million daily, whose attention is directed on their smartphone screens as the journey through communities in attempt to catch virtual Pokemon characters. But they’re also walking into real small businesses just like yours.

If you’re not embracing this current trend right now, you could be losing out. You should definitely not shy away from it at all. There are millions of kids playing the game, as well as adults who have spending dollars in their pocket. They’re wondering all over the city looking to catch Pikachu and other Pokemon.

What exactly is PokemonGo?

PokemonGo is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game. Making use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. Active players are encouraged to go to either a “Pokemon Gym” or “Pokestop” to compete with other players or in order to find supplies.

If you’re a small business owner, these Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops are great marketing opportunities for you. The game destinations are actual landmarks and real businesses. Yesterday I was meeting with Jack Cramer, the owner of Austin Salt Cave, and he had a sign on his window that invited gamers to come by his place. He mentioned to me that two guys came by looking for a Pokemon and he invited them in. They caught the Pokemon, then he pitched them on trying salt therapy, which the did! He’s used Band-Wagon Marketing to help increase his sales.

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How Can Pokemon Go Can Increase Your Business Sales?

Clearly Pokemon Go players are potential customers and clients, so attracting the characters of the game to your business or storefront could bring sales along with them.

Here are three ways your business can reap the benefits from the popularity of the game.

#1 Become a Player Yourself

Incense and Lure modules are elements within the game that lure Pokemon characters to particular Pokestops. Lures are shareable, therefore any player in that area, who can see your Pokestop on the map, will more than likely come to your business to search for the characters. You can buy Lures within the app. They’re good for 30 minutes. If you’d like create a marketing strategy around it, you should advertise the time that you’ll place lures every day. This will have many gamer’s coming to you business to catch Pokemon. That’s foot traffic leading to your business.

#2 Create Incentive For Players
Take advantage of this foot traffic and reward the gamer’s. For example, if a customer comes in and can prove that he/she has completed a specific level in Pokemon Go, they’ll receive “x” amount off of their purchase or service. Then ask them to share your location and business on social media. This give gamer’s reason to support your business and come again.

#3 Use Hashtags
You don’t necessarily have to play the game to hop on top of the trend. You may have seen the hashtag #DontCatchAndDrive to remind Pokemon players to keep their eyes glued to the road and not their smartphones. While inviting gamers to your business on social media, use that hashtag to help create online traffic.
Pokemon Go is a huge fad going on for the moment. Definitely not sure how long this trend will last, but for the moment it’s something that you, as a business owner, can take advantage. But be careful. You don’t want to alienate those that aren’t fans of Pokemon, neither do you want to push away those that are serious fans of the game.

Pokemon Go is a huge fad going on for the moment. Band Wagon Marketing would be perfect to use for the current hype that Pokemon Go is receiving. Definitely not sure how long this trend will last, but for the moment it’s something that you, as a business owner, can take advantage. But be careful. You don’t want to alienate those that aren’t fans of Pokemon, neither do you want to push away those that are serious fans of the game.

Would love to get you thoughts and opinions! Are you a Pokemon Go Player or not? Are you a business owner that likes or dislikes the foot traffic from the game?

7 Top Qualities of an Effective Online Marketing Service

7 Top Qualities of an Effective Online Marketing Service

With so many online Internet Marketing agencies out there, you’re probably wondering how to find one that is reputable, responsive and results-oriented. It is easy to find the ideal one for your business if you know exactly what your needs are.

Agencies that are reputable will be knowledgeable in all the following services but not limited to them; Social Media, SEO, Email Marketing, PPC,  Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Development, Web Design and Tracking/Testing/Reporting. While they may not be specialists in all these areas, they still need to have some knowledge about each.

This article will guide you in identifying what you should expect to receive, the red flags,  and will help you navigate options when you need to hire a reliable online marketing team.

Why hire an Agency?

For your business to succeed you have to do what other successful people and businesses have done and that is focusing on your strengths and seek experts to do the rest.  Business owners who want to market goods or services online must learn to spend time on their specific expertise. It’s a waste of time and resources trying to spend your time learning what the experts already know. Use your time and energy to focus on managing your business instead. Let a good online marketing service handle your marketing needs.

How to find the best online marketing service

It is easy to conduct a search in Google when you need to find an online marketing service. The problem however, is how to find the ideal one from the numerous options available. Worse yet is not knowing what you are looking for. It is important then to hire a good online marketing service to prevent you from wasting your time and resources in hiring the wrong agency.

Here is a list of the characteristics to look for in your search to find the best online marketing service.

Seven Top qualities of an effective online marketing service

Before selecting an agency, you should create a list of the companies you’re interested in. Here’s a short list of how to complete that first step of actually finding an agency:

  • Carry out a Google search (look for phrases like “internet marketing services” or “industry internet marketing”)
  • Twitter is a great platform to post a question such as “Would anyone care to recommend a good #SEO company?” or “where can I find a reputable #online marketing company?”
  • Check out competitors’ websites that look great or rank, also look at their site footer to see who actually did the work.
  • Ask family and friends for referrals

The qualification process begins when you can have a list with 5-10 agencies you can speak with.

Here are seven qualities to look for to ensure that you choose the best Internet Marketing agency for your business…

They keep their word.

If a company is able to keep its word or practice what they preach, you can trust that one to handle your marketing needs. For example, if the company states that SEO is among their specialty, you just need to look to see if they are ranked for their most important key phrases (“online marketing service” or “internet marketing company.”) If you can’t find them, this is most definitely a red flag.  This is applicable to any other service such as social media or web design. If their website is repulsive or there are only 10 likes on their Facebook page, run as fast as you can!

They are reliable and open

Some agencies when asked direct questions tend to provide evasive answers. For example, if asked how do you do what you do, they respond by saying “it’s not our policy to give out that information.” Or if asked about any weaknesses they have, the response is “we don’t have any.” These answers are really red flags, so watch out!  Agencies that are reputable and effective are open and reliable, willing to share information that the clients ask for. A good online marketing service will willingly share information with their clients so that they can build long-lasting relationships.

They are not afraid to show valid results.

Never make the mistake of not asking for reviews and legitimate results. The agency should at least be able to show you their legitimate results. A few examples, preferable the ones related to your industry showing results from previous works will help you make the right decision. While client confidentiality may prevent you from getting the direct amount of money these customers spend, you should nonetheless be given enough information to confirm the agency’s experience.

They offer valid suggestions.

A good online marketing agency will not only take your orders but also will provide you with information and make the necessary recommendations based on your objectives to help you expand your business.  If they just listen to you as you dictate all the strategies, without offering any suggestions it’s a signal that you need to get out of there. You need an agency that will not treat you as a number but as a customer having your best long-term goals in mind.

They promise rankings.

There are agencies that promise to rank your website in Google. If this is your experience, run! This is definitely a red flag, so don’t let them try to convince you it can be done, it cannot. Falling for this will cause you to pay dearly in the future. Trustworthy agencies will never guarantee rankings. They will instead, conduct the correct research and help you set realistic but strong KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will help you achieve your goals.

They are willing to call.

This particular characteristic often goes unrecognized and only surfaces when you become a customer. If you pay close attention during the sales process, you can pick up a few hints. Asking for the type of customer service and the frequency in response time will give you an idea of what you are in for. Many agencies, especially the less experienced ones are known to have delayed phone calls or have hidden behind emails just to get extra time, even at your own expense. Get hooked up with a responsive marketing agency that is liable for its services and advises.

They are cool and creative.

Although this may not be on everyone’s list, we believe it is worth adding to the list. Being passionate and excited about prospective and present customers is a sign that the agency you have selected to market your business has your best interest at heart. An agency that is able to share creative, fun ideas with you and make suggestions that give you more than an edge above your competitors is definitely what you need.

Grow with your agency

Now that you have created your list, completed your research and have selected the agency you believe is the best for you, it’s now time to trade expectations. Never sign off or make any payment before you both understand and agree on your expectations. Ensure that all expected results, expected turn-around times and communications are laid out on the table, and stated plainly in advance. If you do this, your business and the selected online marketing service will grow old together resulting in an expanding and successful business. If you fail to do this, be prepared to watch your business wither and die. Avoid future bickering, frustrations and disappointments by ensuring that the agency of your choice delivers upfront what is expected.

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