Do You Need More “Flavors” on Your Website?

A man owned an ice cream shop in a good corner location. He only had three flavors – vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. At first, business was good but after a while, customers didn’t come in as often and most were new customers who just happened to be walking by. Having special sales helped a little but it just wasn’t enough. He did some research to find out why other ice cream shops did much better than his did.

Ice cream shops that had a lot of steady customers as well as new ones all had the same thing in common. They all had new flavors of ice cream coming in every week and quite often featured the newest flavor as the “flavor of the week”. When he realized that people wanted new and different flavors, the man found a company to supply him with new flavors regularly. It did not take long for his ice cream shop to have more customers than he ever had before. He still had the old standby flavors for those who wanted them but he kept new flavors coming in so customers had something new to try all the time.

Websites are not much different than the ice cream shop in this story. If you have a website with good content but haven’t posted new content in a long time, you may have noticed that traffic to your site has greatly fallen off. With the same content and nothing new for them to read, there is no reason for people to come back and new visitors may only find your site by accident.

A steady supply of fresh content gives people a reason to keep coming back and makes it easier for people to find you in the first place. It is much the same as with the ice cream shop. With just the basic flavors, customers had no reason to keep coming back. New flavors every week got them excited to come back often. Put new content on your site regularly and you give people something new to read and keep them coming back for more.

Since you may not have the time or the skills to write enough new content, you need a reliable source to provide a steady supply of great content. Need an Article is just the place to find writers who will meet your content needs. With new content to post to your site every week, your traffic will increase and as it does, your sales will also increase.

Marketing Your Business Online

aboutus-imgIf you are not already marketing your business online, it is time to start. Although there are a few exceptions, just about every business can benefit from online marketing. There are just so many advantages to this type of marketing. First of all, it is extremely affordable to market your business online. Other advantages to marketing your business online include the ability to reach a large target audience, the ability to reach potential customers all over the world and the ability to customize the marketing for different sectors of the target audience.

The affordability of Internet marketing is one of reasons many business owners are turning to the Internet for advertising. Advertising online is incredibly affordable especially when you consider how many potential customers a business owner can reach with an online marketing campaign. Most methods of online advertising are quite affordable and some of them do not have any direct costs. For example, you may choose to market your business online by participating in industry forums and posting links to your website whenever it is appropriate to do so. In this case the cost of creating and maintaining the website is insignificant in comparison to the number of potential clients you could reach through online marketing. Additionally, the costs associated with posting links to your website are incidental. You could consider the cost of having access to the Internet as part of the cost but you most likely require Internet access for other reasons as well so it is completely worthwhile.

Reaching a large target audience is another very worthwhile reason for marketing your business social-media-488886_640online. You may have spent a great deal of time and energy doing market research and determine who your target audience is. You may have also spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the best way to reach this audience. This is a very sound marketing principle but as it applies to marketing on local television, radio and print media it only allows you to reach a limited audience. However, when you take your marketing to the Internet you automatically drastically increase your potential target audience because you now have the ability to reach members of your target audience around the world.

How To Make Your e-Mail Marketing Campaigns More Effective

The email marketing campaign is one of the traditional online promo tools that still deliver great results.

To figure out whether you are reaching your target audience and accomplishing your marketing goals, you will have to learn more about measuring the effectiveness of email marketing.

Return of investment (ROI) is one of the most important factors in the world of internet marketing. ROI is measured by comparing the investment in marketing to the revenue generated through the campaign.

Here are some suggestions you can use to assess your campaign and introduce changes, in case such are needed.

Email Marketing Campaign Goals

To assess the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign, you need to come up with a list of promo goals in advance. Through the use of email marketing, you can accomplish one or more of the following goals:

  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Gain new subscribers
  • Increase the number of ecommerce sales
  • Increase event attendance
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Generate email orders
  • Lower your marketing costs
  • Increase repeat business
  • Stay ahead of the competition

Being very precise about email marketing goals will provide you with the framework necessary to evaluate ROI and the outcome of your campaign.

The Most Important Email Marketing Metrics

To evaluate the success of your email marketing campaign, you will have to track a range of metrics. Here are the most important ones for assessing the ROI of your campaign:

  • Delivery rate – number of emails delivered to inboxes
  • Email open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Subscriber’s list growth rate
  • Email sharing and forwarding rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate or CTR is an important measure of email marketing success. The CTR represents the number of people who followed a link included in your newsletter or promo mail message and visited your website.

According to a 2013 Silverpop report, the median CTR of email newsletters across industries is 2.3 percent. Some industries and companies see a much higher success rate and the CTR reaches up to 12 percent. A poor score can be the result of several key mistakes:

  • Sending too many mails or newsletters on a weekly basis
  • A poorly written subject line
  • The lack of interesting content
  • The lack of a clear call to action
  • The lack of unique offers/product previews in the newsletter

Number of New Subscribers

The number of new subscribers you get on a weekly basis is also indicative of email newsletter effectiveness.

The number of new subscribers is known as list growth rate and it is indicative of the campaign’s “healthiness.” Building a large subscriber list will increase your rich and ultimately – bring up the ROI of the campaign. If the number remains small, you are probably targeting the wrong audience or your call to action is to blame.

A Few Additional Tips and Suggestions

Keep on analyzing the results of your email marketing campaign. Try to understand what works and what seems to be leaving the audience indifferent. Seeing where your leads are coming from will enable you to assess the performance of each marketing channel.

The audience should be given options to unsubscribe from the newsletters. You can have a brief survey, asking people about the reason for their decision. Knowing why people lose interest will help you make the newsletter more appealing.

You have an opportunity to make changes on the go, which is a tremendous online marketing benefit. Customizing the content and the manner in which you get subscribers can quickly bring up your email marketing ROI.

Image Credits | by RaHuL Rodriguez
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6 Powerful and Ethical Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic

Whether you have an ecommerce or a content-based website, traffic is the most important factor for the success of your online business. Having a loyal audience that keeps on growing will provide  monetization possibilities for your website.

When it comes to increasing website traffic, you can try various strategies. Some of these are ethical, others tend to deliver quick results but could be potentially harmful in the long term.

The following six tips will help you increase your website’s traffic without affecting your chances of good search engine positioning and without having to cope with penalties.

People visit websites that offer high quality, well-written and specialized content. Having a good content strategy is the heart and soul of building successful online presence.

Make sure that your articles deliver unique information. Avoid topics that have been overly spoken about. Instead of going mainstream, look for a sub-niche that will allow good website positioning.

Create a schedule and try to add new content to your website several times per week. Fresh articles will improve your search engine positioning and keep your loyal audience coming back for more.

Build Your Social Media Presence

Social networks are a great promotional channel and if you are still failing to take social media marketing seriously, you should change your attitude immediately. It affects optimization, it drives targeted traffic to your website and it helps build relationships with readers, prospects and customers.

Make use of different channels. Share content from your website, answer questions and use the feedback you get to make your content better. Your audience can provide a lot of useful information, if you know how to interact and how to ask the right questions.

Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Pages

Let your audience do promotion instead of you. Adding social sharing buttons right next to your content is a simple and efficient traffic maximization trick.

You need great content to make the most of this strategy. People will be willing to share information about the articles that they enjoyed reading or they found to be particularly useful.

The Good, Old Newsletter

Some traditional internet marketing strategies can still deliver amazing results, if used correctly. Email newsletters are one such possibility.

Sending newsletters to your readers can “remind” them to visit the website and explore the newest content. Being successful with this internet marketing strategy, however, demands both thought and careful planning.

A newsletter should offer the reader something of value. Provide unique and interesting information in exchange for the personal data that people are sharing with you. There could be exclusive texts that appear solely in the newsletter or special offers, if you are promoting a corporate or an ecommerce website. Including solely links to articles that are readily available on your website will discourage people from subscribing.

Add Multimedia to Your Pages

Videos and slideshows can be added alongside your texts to increase your website’s traffic.

Interesting and high quality multimedia is often much more intriguing than texts. Multimedia can also be incorporated easily in your social media marketing strategy. Having large slideshows will also generate more page views than a single article.

Just like with all other traffic generation strategies, quality matters. All the photographs and the videos should be meaningful and shot professionally.

Contests are Great for Building Your Audience

A contest with even a small prize for the winner can result in an incredible traffic boost.

You can use contests to make people comment on your website, rate their favorite articles or upload some of their own content. The fact that they are competing against other visitors will make the participants in the contest come back to your website time and time again.

A good traffic maximization strategy relies on multiple tools. Think about your long term goals. You will have to work hard and the results will be evident after some period of time.

Managing your content and your internet marketing successfully will deliver consistent benefits that you will get to enjoy for years to come.

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Facebook Marketing – Top Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid

statistics-76197__180Facebook marketing is a part of a good marketing campaign for any small business. However, many small businesses find it difficult to enjoy the results they want from Facebook. This happens for many reasons. In many cases, the simple mistakes can lead to big problems when using Facebook for marketing purposes. Simply avoiding common mistakes can be a huge step in the right direction. The following are some big Facebook marketing mistakes that every small business needs to avoid.

Mistake #1 – Failing to Spend Enough Time on Your Campaign

One big mistake many small businesses make is assuming that they can enjoy great results while spending minimal time working on their Facebook marketing campaign. Some businesses simply set up their page and then forget about it. To make Facebook work for you, you have to go beyond simply setting up a page and expecting it to provide you with results. This form of marketing needs regular updating and monitoring to be a success.

Mistake #2 – Broadcasting Instead of Interacting

Another of the top Facebook marketing mistakes made by small businesses is broadcasting on Facebook instead of interacting with fans. Fans are looking for engaging, relevant content. They don’t want content that seems like non-stop advertising and broadcasting.

People using Facebook want a sense of community – they like to make connections. Your job is to give them that community and to give them a place where they can connect with your business. Genuine, authentic interactions are far more effective than broadcasting information about your company.

Mistake #3 – Boring Content

Facebook is all about sharing things that are useful, interesting and funny. Boring, predictable content will quickly get you hidden from your fans’ newsfeeds. Vary your content and avoid using filler content. Focus on content that is personal, engaging and definitely avoid boring your fans.

Mistake #4 – TOS Violations

A huge mistake that small businesses often make is violating the Terms of Service of Facebook. When a Facebook business page is created, you’ll be asked to agree to Facebook’s terms. Some of the most common violations include failing to follow content rules and building business pages on personal pages. Take time to educate yourself on Facebook’s terms to ensure you avoid violating them. Remember, Facebook can ban you from the site without warning if you violate those terms.

Small businesses have the ability to enjoy excellent results with Facebook marketing. However, reaping these results requires hard work, being well informed and learning how to create personal connections with fans. Avoid these common Facebook marketing mistakes to enjoy better results and then focus on learning more about how you can maximize your efforts on Facebook.

Facebook Marketing Etiquette – Dos and Don’ts to Remember (Part 2)

Previously in our Facebook marketing series, we started talking about Facebook etiquette. Proper etiquette is important if you expect to enjoy great results with your social media campaign. Last time, we discussed a few important etiquette dos to employ on your Facebook business page. To prevent offended fans and avoid ruining your marketing efforts, here are a few etiquette don’ts you’ll want to remember as well.

DON’T Use Facebook as a Direct Sales Tool

Facebook marketing shouldn’t be used as a direct sales tool. Your goal should be to increase awareness of your brand and developing a community of fans that are interested in your brand. Avoid constantly selling with your business page. You’ll quickly turn off fans and you may even get labeled as spam.

DON’T Just Ignore Negative Comments

When you begin using Facebook for business purposes, you should expect some negative comments along with the good ones. It’s tempting to just delete or ignore those comments. However, instead of ignoring those comments use them as an opportunity to show that you care about customers. Respond to those comments and show fans that you’re willing to listen to criticism. It says a lot about you and your company.

DON’T Do All the Talking

Facebook marketing should be about a conversation, not doing all the talking yourself. One of the best Facebook etiquette tips to follow is to listen to your fans. Avoid constantly advertising, shouting and ranting about your company and products.

It’s great to say something different and new. It’s wonderful to share great content that speaks to you in some way. However, look for ways to get your fans talking. You want their opinions and their thoughts. Your goal is to open the conversation.

DON’T Forget That You’re Building a Reputation

Some marketers fail to remember that everything they do on Facebook and social media affects their reputation. When you make a move on Facebook, it becomes public knowledge. Remember that you’re building a reputation so run your Facebook marketing campaign accordingly. Focus on good etiquette that will build up your reputation instead of tearing it down.

DON’T Post Anything That Fails to Have Value

You should never post just to post. Don’t comment just to comment. If it doesn’t have value, you shouldn’t be posting it on Facebook. Adding a valuable comment to someone else’s post can have great results. Jumping in with a post that is invaluable can give your fans the idea that your company has nothing new and of value to add to the conversation.

DON’T Make Your Responses Sound Canned

No one wants to interact with a Facebook business page that sounds automated. If you constantly respond to fans with responses that sound “canned,” it won’t set your business apart from the others. New and inventive responses can set you apart from your competition, so make sure you pay careful attention to your responses.

With a few helpful Facebook etiquette tips, you can avoid alienating fans and ensure your marketing efforts don’t come across as spam. For even more Facebook marketing tips, check back next time to learn about the top mistakes small businesses make on Facebook and how you can avoid them!

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Facebook Marketing – Facebook Etiquette Dos and Don’ts to Remember (Part 1)

Now that you’re focusing on your Facebook marketing campaign and you’re growing your fan base, it’s important to take some time to learn about proper Facebook etiquette. Every Facebook business page is different and one of the key tips is to know your audience. However, every marketer focusing on building a good fan base on Facebook can use certain basic etiquette guidelines. Here are some essential etiquette guidelines you can use to keep current fans and draw even more fans to your page.

DO Respond to Fans

If you have thousands of fans, it’s probably not feasible to respond to every comment left on your Facebook business page. However, responding to fans is one of the essential Facebook etiquette tips to remember, especially if your fans are asking important questions. Failing to answer questions can cause your fans to lose faith in your company.

An easy way to make sure you see those questions is to visit the Manage Permissions settings, choosing to activate the “Show Message” button. This allows fans to send you direct messages, which is where most fans will choose to ask their questions.

DO Keep Your Page Active

Your Facebook marketing campaign will fall flat if you fail to be active. It’s only good etiquette to keep your page active, making sure you are actively engaged in conversations occurring on your page. While it’s best to keep your posts to all fans to only 2-3 per day, you still should be chiming in on comments made, fan posts and even on the business pages of your competition.

DO Share Fan Content

To make your fans feel important and like you, really pay attention to what they write or share, make sure you share fan content that is uploaded to your page. Share photos from fans and encourage others to upload their photos too. You’ll show fans that your company really cares about them.

DO Watch Your Tone When Posting

Since it’s tough to judge tone of voice on the internet, watching your tone when posting is another of those important Facebook etiquette tips to remember. Make posts and responses sound like a human instead of like an autoresponder message.

Be careful about overusing punctuation as well. Overuse of question marks and exclamation points is not only annoying to fans, but it makes your posts look like spam.

Now that you have a few etiquette dos to follow, make sure you check back soon for some helpful Facebook etiquette don’ts.

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Facebook Marketing – Advanced Marketing Strategies that Provide Results

Advanced Marketing Strategies

In previous posts on Facebook marketing, we’ve covered some of the essential tips and strategies for getting your marketing campaign off the ground.

Once you have your Facebook business page set up, learn every strategy you can to make your marketing results a success. After you go through the basics of setting up your page, build a list of fans and work on getting results.

Now, it’s time to move onto more advanced marketing strategies. Thousands of Facebook apps are available and many of them are specifically designed for marketing. Making good use of these apps will take your Facebook marketing campaign to the next level.

Strategy #1 – Add Your Blog Content to Facebook

If you’re already using a blog for marketing purposes, consider adding your blog content to Facebook. You’ll make the most of every post by reaching out to those Facebook fans who may not actually visit your blog regularly.

One of the apps that could help is dlvr.it. This routes your blog’s RSS feed to Facebook, posting it as a wall post on your business page. It also includes a link back to your original post. Another app you can use to accomplish this is NetworkedBlogs. They offer more features, and the app creates a replica of your blog’s index page on your business page. New blog entries result in a wall post and a link to the entry.

Strategy #2 – Incorporate Your YouTube Channel

Another of the advanced strategies that can boost your marketing results is incorporating a YouTube channel onto your FB business page. Several Facebook apps allow you to add the YouTube channel as a tab on your page. You could then showcase your products with online videos.

Three top options to consider using are NorthSocial, Best YouTube Channel for Pages and Involver.

Strategy #3 – Build Your Mailing List

You can also build your email list with your Facebook business page. ConstantContact and MailChimp are two email providers that have apps enabling Facebook fans to sign up for your emails from your business page. Even if you don’t use either of these email providers, you can use apps like Appbistro on your Facebook page to help you gather email addresses with a contact form.

While this is only a small sample of the advanced marketing strategies that can be used to make the most of your business page, more Facebook apps are being created all the time. Do a little research and you’ll find lots of apps that will help increase your marketing results.

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Facebook Marketing – The Power of Pictures

Since Facebook has switched to the Timeline format, marketing images have become even more important.

Visual orientation has only increased, making them very attractive to businesses involved in Facebook marketing. Not only do you have the capacity to post a profile photo, but you can also post a cover photo, create photo albums and post photos along with updates.

It’s important to learn how to use FB photos to your advantage, so maximize the power of your pictures with the following tips.

Use Candid Shots

To make the most of a photo on Facebook, try using candid photos instead of pictures that are too often sales-oriented and lukewarm. Remember, FB is an informal community, staged photos will look out of place. Fun, candid shots are much more likely to look interesting and help reach your fans on a personal level. Candid photos look genuine and friendly, making them more appealing in your marketing campaign.

Focus on People in the Picture

Facebook is all about people so make your photos focus on people and their faces. For example, post pictures of business employees having fun or people smiling while using your product or service. Adding people to your pictures helps show the personal side of the business and will really resonate with your fans.

Keep the Text Short

While it’s a good idea to add captions, questions or comments, keep that text brief. Since Facebook has a new improved visual focus too much text will get tedious for your fans. Keep things short and to the point to increase the appeal of each photo and you’ll probably get better user responses as well. Remember, pictures are worth a thousand words, you don’t have to restate what your picture is saying.

Post Pictures to Share

When using pictures as a part of your marketing campaign, make sure you post photos that can be shared. Pictures that are likeable, imaginative, unique and fun are more likely to be shared by your fans with their friends, therefore giving your business greater exposure and increased user engagement.

Creatively use your images to show how your brand/product/service can be enjoyed. Get fans involved by asking questions, making comments or adding a funny caption to the picture.

Market your brand by using Facebook photos to produce an engaging and exciting impression of your company or product.

Keep these tips in mind and make the most of every photo you post on your FB business page. Check back soon for more helpful Facebook marketing strategies.

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Facebook Marketing – More Exciting Strategies to Help You Increase Fan Engagement (Part 2)

In the first part of this post on Facebook fan engagement, we looked at some strategies to use for getting fans engaged on your business page. Involving fans on your page goes a long way toward increasing your Facebook marketing success, thereby making your hard work worth the effort.

Maybe you’ve already been working on writing status updates that focus on fans or you’ve ensured everything on your business page is shareable. Now you can build on these actions with additional strategies to increase fan engagement.

Strategy #4 – Play on Current News, Pop Culture and Popular Memes

Facebook is a fast-paced social environment which means your fans won’t engage with old news. For this reason, it’s important to play on current news, pop culture and popular memes when posting. Fans love sharing content and engaging with content that is current. Since news, pop culture and memes are constantly changing, you can use them to grab fans’ attention, keeping your content relevant at the same time. Need a crash course on memes? Here’s an explanation and some examples of internet memes.

Strategy #5 – Combine Images and Questions

Questions are an excellent way to draw your fans in and images encourage Facebook fan engagement. FB users enjoy sharing photos, so use relevant images and add a question or comment to then – something to provoke a response.

Strategy #6 – Provide Coupon Offers (But Use the $ Sign)

Another useful strategy is to provide coupon offers to fans since they like those kinds of offers. However, make sure your coupons use a “$ off” format instead of a “% off.” Fans don’t like having to do the math and are more likely to engage with a coupon that offers real money off. Seeing a tangible cash discount grabs their attention.

Strategy #7 – Simplicity is Key

Facebook allows you to post status messages, photo albums, single photos, videos, links, links that include thumbnails and more. However, simplicity is essential for increasing fan involvement; they are more likely to engage with simple status messages and single photos than they are with more complicated posts.

Strategy #8 – Take Advantage of Holidays

Have you ever noticed how Facebook users really get talking when the holidays roll around? Take advantage of the chatter by engaging in conversation about holiday celebrations. Add a holiday-themed cover photo, offer a special holiday deal or get your fans talking about their favorite holiday memories or celebrations.

With these strategies, you can increase your fan involvement and keeping those fans enthusiastic about your brand will help ensure your marketing success.

Remember, as with any other marketing activity, it’s important to test your approach, evaluate what works and learn from the things that don’t work. Find out which ones work best for your unique Facebook audience by using one or all of these strategies.

Be sure to check back for our next installment, we’ll be exploring the power of pictures on Facebook and how you can make photos work for you.

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