6 Great Social Media Tools for Content Marketers

Ever wonder how online marketing experts create posts for social media? Simply put, they get help! Some creative geniuses developed these fabulous software tools to help make their jobs easier. Here are 6 of them that may help your business.

1-Hashtagify.me – This tool helps you search for an appropriate hashtag and can determine how popular it is. Simply type a hashtag you’re curious about and you’ll be able to see how well it performs. It also suggests other related hashtags. The tool ranges in price from $19/mth – $249/mth.

2-Grammarly – This is a wonderful tool for anyone doing lots of writing because it not only acts as a spell-check, but it also identifies grammar errors. You can use Grammarly just about everywhere including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Gmail. It scans your text for common and complex grammatical mistakes and suggests how to correct them. This is a free tool with some paid features.

3-SurveyAnyplace – One of the best ways to collect valuable data and increase brand perception is to create engaging surveys.  These not only serve the purpose of gaining insights into consumer demands but can also be a fun way for people to share information about themselves that they wouldn’t have otherwise been inclined to share.  This is where SurveyAnyplace can provide tremendous benefit. Their survey software creates fun-to-take questionnaires, with game-like elements that truly engage.  They offer an offline feature which allows you to take the questionnaire anywhere, anytime, even when you don’t have an online connection. The surveys can be shared through multiple social media platforms. The tool is free for up to 20 responses and the Essential and Pro versions range from $29/mth – $49/mth.

 

4-Anchor – This is a free podcasting tool that enables anyone to create high-quality audio and instantly be heard anywhere.

5-PowToon – Video has become an extremely powerful and important medium to reach your targeted audience either through a corporate pitch or through social media platforms. PowToon is an amazing tool that allows you to create engaging creative animated videos. There is a free version with paid options ranging from $19/mth – $99/mth.

6-Canva – Here is a tool that every social media guru needs. Canva helps you create graphics and high-quality images using layout, templates and other design elements. Although the free version is quite comprehensive, to unleash more nifty tools, the price ranges from $12.95/mth and up.

How many of these tools are you using?  If you’re a digital marketer, there’s no doubt these software programs can make your life easier.  Give them a try!

For more great digital marketing articles, visit us here.

 

Why Increasing Your Visibility on Rented Land is Important

Years ago, marketers emphasized the importance of building your brand on land that you own such as your website, email lists, etc.  Building on things that you don’t own such as your social media accounts were discouraged because marketers felt you were helping to build someone else’s business, not your own.

My, How Times Have Changed!

Business owners discovered that trying to divert traffic to their websites so people could read their blog posts became increasingly more futile.  So, new ways had to be adopted for content flow to gain more visibility.

Rented Media Space

As much resistance as business owners had in embracing social media, they’ve come to realize it’s a veritable gold mine in accessing their audience.  Content needs to be unleashed! It has no value by sitting at home on your website.  You need to have it sitting everywhere people will have a chance in seeing it, hence using ‘rented land’.

Use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Klusster, etc. to get your message out and hopefully drive more traffic to your website as a result.  Social sharing, as marketer Mark Schaefer has said, is the most important digital marketing metric after sales and leads.  “Social sharing is advocacy”.  In other words, when someone shares your content, it acts as a referral.  There is no stronger lead than that!

It’s also important to be seen repeatedly.  Someone may not click on your article the first time they see it in their posting feed but if they see it a few times, they are more likely to take notice and open it.  Some business owners have noticed that their articles may not be read through their newsletter offerings, but the same article may be clicked on LinkedIn, Facebook or Klusster.   The point, park it in several places!

So, go ahead and make use of any platform which will allow you to readily access your audience.

Have any questions? Please reach out and let me hear from you.

5 Tips for Writing Good Quality Content

Key Elements Every Article Should Have

1-Address your target market’s pain points – Figure out what their needs are and write about a solution in a clear, concise way.

2-Make sure your articles are free of spelling and grammatical errors – Whenever I read material that is poorly written, it makes me view the author in a lesser light.  Don’t dilute your brand by releasing unedited work.  Just having another pair of eyes read your articles can make the difference between the reader seeing you as an expert or just rushing through to get something out.

3-Make sure your content is visually tidy – Break up your text with lots of subheadings, short paragraphs, use of bolding and italics.  These components make articles easy to read and scan quickly.

4-Write in conversational tones – Articles written in legalese or in the language one would use in a doctorate thesis, will cause the reader to become bored.  Try using a conversational tone.  It makes it easy for the reader to follow and the casual tone makes the content more relatable.

5-Include supporting references – Including links to studies or references that support your claims gives your content added credibility showing you know what you’re talking about.

For more interesting information on creating quality content, visit Nichehacks.

 

6 Reasons You Need Email Marketing for Your Business

If you’re not using this marketing channel, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

How many people do you know that don’t have email? I cannot think of one. Fact is 54% of the world’s population has email and most of these people check and send emails everyday. This presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach their target market, improve their visibility allowing them to engage and convert more leads on a consistent basis.

You better believe your competitors are using email marketing and if you’re still not convinced, here are 6 reasons that may change your mind:

1-You reach more mobile device users – Wherever you go, just look around you and you’ll notice people looking at their cell phones. Every spare moment they have, they are tuned into their messages. It has been predicted that the number of worldwide mobile phone users is expected to surpass five billion by the year 2019. If you’re not using email marketing as part of your marketing strategy means you are missing out on using an important channel that most of the world is already using.

2-It’s cost-effective – Compared to other means of marketing such as radio, TV or print ads, email marketing is extremely cost-effective. It’s relatively simple to maintain an email list and with a higher response rate, it’s a great option for businesses working with a lower budget.

3-Email marketing can be automated – Many digital marketing processes cannot be automated but email marketing can be thus creating time-saving efficiencies. For example, if someone is shopping on your site but fails to complete the transaction, an email can be automatically generated to remind the customer to complete the process. Amazon is a whiz at this tactic!

4-You can make your email marketing campaigns personal – By using email marketing software, you can address your audience individually. Emails that include the recipient’s name are reportedly 22.2% more likely to be opened which means the opportunity to convert leads increases.

5-It’s a measurable channel – With good email marketing software, a business can determine how many readers opened their content, what time of day and who actually opened them. The only way to know if your strategies are working is to measure them and email marketing provides excellent analytics.

6-It’s interactive – Emails are action oriented. There is always an expectation for you to do something, reply, forward, click, sign-up, etc.

For more email marketing information, you might like to visit:

https://www.site-seeker.com/9-reasons-why-email-marketing-is-so-important/

https://blogs.constantcontact.com/benefits-of-email-marketing/

The Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2018

If you are a business owner planning your 2018 marketing strategy, you might want to incorporate the following to help give you the best advantage over your competitors.

1- The Use of Artificial Intelligence. Although this is something that is already being used, more and more marketers will find more ways to use AI to their best advantage. For example, predictive analytics in apps can help business owners deliver ads and information to specific market segments they want to target.

2- Live Video Streaming. This isn’t new, but you will see this grow exponentially this year. Eighty percent of users said they would rather watch a live stream than read a blog post. According to Facebook, live video gets 3x more views. Go ahead and use live streaming to advertise an exclusive promotion, show off holiday displays or even show a ‘behind-the-scenes’ at an event.

3- Content Marketing Will Become Even Bigger. That’s right! This isn’t going away anytime soon and it’s no wonder – 70% of people said they’d rather learn about a business through an article than an ad. And, content marketing is cheaper than many other forms of marketing (plus it can produce more leads).

Healthy Waterloo Region Online Magazine

4- Digital Marketers are Targeting Local Communities. Digital platforms are making it easier for businesses to advertise to local markets and engage with them. Bigger brands are competing with small local businesses for the same market share. It will be more important than ever for local businesses to be more strategic in appealing to their neighbours.

5- Reviews, Comments and Engagement! It’s important for any business to build trust and one of the main ways the consumer learns about a business is through ratings and reviews. Transparency is more important than ever as it brings the human element to the marketplace. Encourage clients to leave a review on your social media pages. These hold a lot of clout for future business prospects.

For more information, you might want to check out these articles:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/12/18/how-digital-marketing-will-change-in-2018-15-top-trends/

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/12-digital-marketing-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2018/512767/

5 Genius Tips to Use Emotional Marketing Tactics in Facebook Ads

1-Create a sense of urgency – Without a deadline, people tend to toss the ad aside thinking they will get back to it – only they don’t.  Letting folks know that they are going to miss out unless they act NOW is key.  Here’s how you do it:

  • Ensure the best offer is in the image or in the headline
  • Keep the message brief and as simple as possible
  • Make sure you offer a spectacular deal
  • Date of the offer should be clear (i.e. ONLY TODAY!!!)

2-Use a tactic marketers refer to as “FOMO” – Fear of Missing Out – Do you remember when you were a kid and you thought that ALL your friends had a certain product and you felt left out because you didn’t have it?  Yes, this tactic works and it’s not only useful for promoting products and services but also events.  Here are some tips to use this to your best advertising advantage:

  • Make the reader feel like there is an important community that they need to be a part of
  • Pose a question which hints to the reader that they are missing out. (i.e. Is your SEO as high as it can be?)
  • Mention the number of people benefitting from your product or service
  • Like point #1 above, make it a time-limited offer

3-Demonstrate how you can improve the reader’s life. Give them a sense of hope.  Although we all know (or at least should) that buying stuff doesn’t bring us happiness, we still do it.  Those moments of instant gratification really help kick up the endorphins.  Slogans like “Get More Out of Life” create the illusion that life will be much better if we had the product/service being advertised.

4-Create a sense of belonging – People innately want to feel understood and supported by their peers. A sense of belonging to a community makes us all feel happier, healthier and motivated.   Here are some tips:

  • Mention the number of people using your products or services
  • Name some people that are already part of this community
  • Frame the offer as an exclusive invitation into the community
  • Make the entry to the community just challenging enough that they see its value

5-Show the excitement! There is no question that excitement increases a person impulsive nature. They make decisions very differently as excitement trumps rational thinking. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use an image that depicts excitement (i.e. people smiling or laughing)
  • Keep the ad short and use exclamation marks
  • Use bright colours
  • Make sure that your offer is enticing to your target market
  • Offer an amazing discount to make those fence-sitters jump on the bandwagon

Using emotionally-driven ads are incredibly effective and as noted above, not that difficult to implement.  Increase your sales and Facebook views by employing these emotional marketing tactics tips.  Just remember to create the ad that is appropriate for your target market.

5 Secrets to Keeping Your Online Audience Captivated

Back in 2000, at the cusp of the mobile revolution, it was studied and revealed that the average human attention span was twelve seconds. Now, thanks to the shift towards a more digitized lifestyle where we have become so hungry to consume media on our devices constantly, the average attention span has dwindled to a mere 8 seconds – making goldfish more attentive than we are.

And now marketers are left scratching their heads. At the rate that the average online user goes through content, how do we captivate our audience with the limited time we are given?

Here are 5 tips on how you can hook your audience’s attention from the start and satisfy their growing appetites for content online:

Grab Their Attention with a Captivating Title

Reel them in with a title so compelling that they can’t ignore it. Your title can bring the promise of a fascinating story, a specific number of tips, or guarantee to go straight to answering a question minus the fluff.

Short attention spans mean that you have to get straight to the point. Make titles concise with enough detail to let your readers know exactly what they’ll be getting. Convey outright what’s in it for them.

Value over Volume

Overwhelming your audience with loads of information that is otherwise useless or irrelevant leaves them feeling as though you’ve wasted their time. And they’re more likely to walk out mid-sentence once they’ve established that they’re being dragged along.

Focus on the quality vs. the quantity of your content by knowing who your audience is and addressing their needs. When you understand who you’re talking to, you’re in a better position to deliver the right message.

Make an Emotional Connection

If you haven’t done your market research and created detailed buyer personas for your business, you’re basically talking to an audience you don’t know. You can’t meet their demands when you haven’t recognized what they are. And you certainly cannot relate to them on the level you’re hoping for.

Your audience wants to be drawn into a conversation and feel something. To communicate and connect with your audience on a personal level, know what triggers their emotions.

Don’t Take Too Many Risks

Be inclusive. You lose people when you take chances on trying to be too clever with inside jokes that only a select few will understand or industry jargon that goes over most people’s heads. While this may attract a small and specific set of people, you risk losing the majority who have come to learn something from you.

Keep Your Promises

There’s no point in capturing your audience’s attention if you intend to risk losing it by going back on your word; unless you want to damage your brand.

If your headline or title assures that they will get a compelling story or the answer to a thought-provoking question, deliver the content that you guaranteed. Take the first chance you get to introduce your brand or include a sales pitch in the intro, and your audience will quickly feel they’ve been deceived. And they will be just as swift to click that back button.

As both a marketer and a consumer, what titles instantly grab your interest? What type of online media captures your attention and keeps it? When it comes to tips to sparking your online audience’s curiosity, perhaps the biggest secret is to think as they do.

 

13 Questions to Ask for Better Facebook Engagement

Ever wonder why some posts seem to get more comments, shares and likes than others? Is there a secret recipe to help increase the number of clicks and engagements from your cyber audience? In fact, there is. It’s all in how you ask the question.  Below are some tips on how to ask questions to help generate a greater number of responses.

Next time you post, give these questions a try and see how they work for you.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please don’t hesitate to connect with me.

For more tips to help increase your social media engagements, you may want to read this.

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads vs Klusstering: What should you be doing?

When it comes to advertising, many view Google Ads and Facebook Ads as competitors vying for your precious marketing dollars. Which of the two is the better option? Could there be another solution? Here we try to provide a simple explanation while also offering other options.

The Difference Between Google Ads and Facebook Ads

Before you can decide which platform is better for you, it’s important to understand the main differences between the two.

Google Ads

Google is the world’s largest and most popular platform. It handles more than 40,000 queries per second and more than 1.2 trillion searches per year. No other search engine can offer the same audience potential that Google can. What sets it apart from Facebook is search intent which means that searchers use the platform to specifically search for something. This is also referred to as ‘pay-per-click’ advertising. Advertisers bid on keywords or specific words and phrases typically entered by Google users. Each time someone clicks on an ad, the advertiser is charged a certain amount of money. The goal is for the advertiser to find new customers based on the keywords and search terms they enter into Google.

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads work differently in that they enable a business to advertise to people who are not specifically searching for their products or services. They are a good way to generate interest and awareness. The major difference with Facebook ads is the ability to target people based on various factors such as age, sex, interests and more.

Another option – Klusstering

Klusster is a platform that uses a simple combination of four distinct marketing approaches. By combining these four components, Klusster marketing provides businesses with a cost-effective, comprehensive, and uncomplicated marketing strategy. These four components are:

• Social Media Marketing– Social media marketing uses social networking sites as a marketing tool. By building various social networks around your business, you create an engaged audience. A crucial piece most businesses miss is to provide value back to their audience. Social media marketing should be used as a means to the message – not the message itself.

• Cooperative Marketing– Also known as referral or network marketing, cooperative marketing is as simple as leveraging your existing networks to build on your customer base. By working as a group, each business gains access to the other business’ audience. This is the idea behind everything from BNI’s, BIA’s and trade shows.

• SEO Marketing– Using search engine optimization is crucial to any business wanting to build a strong online presence. There is a general assumption that SEO is difficult -when really it is entirely common sense. By implementing a few simple SEO strategies (which is built right into the system) your content and your business will be found by search engines – so your customers find you faster and easier.

• Content Marketing– Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on information sharing rather than direct selling. By focusing on providing valuable and relevant information to your audience, you create a relationship and build trust – which both attracts and retains a growing customer base.

Cost for Each Platform

Google Ads are by far the more expensive platform. Advertisers can pay up to $100 per click depending on the industry. With Facebook, advertisers typically pay under $1.00. With Klusster, the cost per click can run from $0.08-$0.15.

Final Words

While there are advantages and disadvantages to each option, my feeling is that you should diversify your options. Depending on your budget, you may want to use Google’s Adwords. If you are more conservative, you may want to experiment with Facebook Ads. However, if you’re ready to work with other businesses to increase your online visibility, you may want to consider joining a Klusster-based e-magazine.

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to connect and let’s chat!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Blogging


Imagine that just 20 years ago, blogs didn’t exist. Did you even know what it meant the first time you heard the word? Now, there are over 150 million of them! Well, it’s no secret that in order to be found online, you have to have content residing online. One of the best ways to do that is through blogging. Below are a few reasons why blogging is so powerful, beneficial and helpful in getting you recognized online.

ADVANTAGES

1-SEO – Having good content online is a must in order to be found online. Create good quality content that people are interested in sharing and Google is bound to take notice.

2-Increases new business – A constant stream of visits to your blog will also increase the potential to attract interest from prospects.

3-Great for feedback – It allows and encourages constant engagement with readers. Whether they agree or disagree, you will know it immediately by their comments.

4-Gain influence – If your material is good, you will attract repeat visitors and will gain their trust and respect.

5-Learn more about your followers – One of the things businesses spend a lot of money on is in learning what their consumers want from them or what they like/dislike about their products. Blogging is an easy and effective way to obtain this information.

6-Establish yourself as an expert in your field – This won’t happen overnight but over time, as you post more blogs and share your genuine knowledge with the community, your readers will begin to see you as an expert.

7-Help others – A good blog can educate, inspire and help readers in ways the blogger may never know.

Although the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, you should still be made aware of them.

DISADVANTAGES

1-Poor content – Poorly written content can reflect badly on your brand. Put some thought into what you blog about and ensure your work has been edited and reviewed.

2-Inconsistent posts – If you decide to blog, make sure you do it consistently. Imagine how it would look to people visiting your site and your blog is over a year old. An old blog is worse than no blog!!

3-It takes time – Yes, you need to give some thought and plan out what you are going to blog about. The good news though is that the more you do it, the easier it will become. Start writing!

4-Risk having no one see your content – What? Although good quality content is key, you need to drive traffic to your site so people know there is a blog to read. If you’re active on social media you may share it there but again, you’re limited by how many followers you have. Here’s some great news! There is a new concept in online marketing that involves working with other businesses so that everyone leverages all of their social media connections in order to reach a broader audience. Want more information? Reach out and connect. I’d love to hear from you.