Tag Archive for social media

11 YouTube Video Marketing Tips For Maximum Results

11 YouTube Video Tips For Maximum ResultsWere you aware that 70% of all the traffic on the Internet today comes from videos? That is a pretty unbelievable number when you consider it.

Here are 11 tips on how you can create and market your YouTube video to get better results.

1. Post your videos on other social media sites besides just YouTube. These could include Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, and Digg. Post it on your blog as well. Send a mailing out to your e-mail list and invite them to visit your blog and watch the video and leave comments.

2. Make your videos professional. Do not cut corners on sound and edit them so they are presentable. This should include lighting and color that is easy on the eyes.

3. Keep your videos short and on message, especially if you are doing a verbal presentation. I am not going to sit through a 10 minute video and neither are most of your viewers. Get to the point and then wrap it up. You can say a lot in a 2-3 minute video.

4. Just as in blogging, find ways to make your videos unique. This should include humour, controversy and really useful information that is not recycled from other people’s videos.

5. Use your YouTube video to brand yourself and your business. Include your website logo, and your website URL in the beginning, in the text, and at the end. Videos really give you a great chance to come across as an expert on what your video is about.

6. Before you tape it ‘live’, practice it a few times. This will give you confidence because you know exactly what you are going to say. Never create a video on the fly.

7. Think about creating a series of videos on one theme. This can bring people back to watch more of what you have to say. It also will help you break your video into smaller portions so you can really stay on message for each one.

8. Get search engine benefits by incorporating targeted keyword phrases into the title of your video. You should build a keyword list and know what you are trying to rank highly for. Search engines love to rank videos on their search results for fresh and unique content.

9. Ask your viewers to leave comments. This helps get them involved and let you know what they are thinking.

10. Track your hits by using YouTube Insights to see who is watching your video and where they are coming from. Just as analytics are helpful on your blog or website, they can give you a lot of good information about your video.

11. Have fun. Do not swear or use inappropriate actions in any way. Do not offend people when you are having fun with off color jokes or comments.

These are 11 ways the experts create YouTube videos and market them to build their business. If you are not applying video marketing, you need to start today!

A Bird’s Eye Summary Of 10 Traffic Generation Methods

A Bird's Eye Summary Of 10 Traffic Generation Methods

The one common purpose of every website is to attract visitors. Without visitors a website does not have any effect or influence. In this article we will be looking at 10 traffic generation techniques that can be implemented to attract more visitors to your website.

Nothing is for free and without hard work and dedication these techniques will not guarantee success. For the best results it is advisable to use a combination of the 10 techniques as part of your traffic generation strategy.

1. Article Marketing

Consumers use the Internet to get information on the topics that they are interested in. More information will be available on popular topics (celebrities, news, and more) than on niche topics. In order for article marketing to work you have to find a niche market to write about. Not all niche markets will generate traffic and you need to experiment a bit. The best part of article marketing is the fact that the costs are very low. There is however an investment in time. Articles need to be original, unique and well written in order to attract visitors through your text links within the article or resource box. Readers who find your article informative will point other users to your article through blogs, forums and bookmarks.

2. Video Marketing

The use of video as a marketing tool has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. Video can be used in various different ways to market your website or products. Videos can go viral easily and can attract a lot of customers to your website. Youtube is still the best site to post videos to but there are a number of high quality video sites available.

3. Social Sites

Facebook and Twitter are 2 examples of social media sites that have grown rapidly in a short period of time. The benefit of social media is the instant interaction with your consumer base. Google also lists Tweets in the search result pages and this can lead to additional exposure. You can integrate most of the social media sites with your website to allow visitor interaction. If you are serious about generating traffic to your website, you need to make use of social media to market your site.

4. Forums

Partaking in relevant forums or discussion groups through comments, questions or posts is still a very good traffic generation technique. You need to research related forums and join the high ranking trusted ones. With forums the key is your signature link. Use a signature link that entices the reader and that results in visits to your site.

5. Blogging

It is very easy to start a blog and the costs are very low. Look at creating a blog linked to your website and post relevant information on the blog daily. Ping your blog to ensure that it is picked up. You can also link your blog posts to your Twitter profile. If you post high-quality and informative content, visitors will follow!

6. Social Bookmarking

Bookmarking your site on websites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit will results in one-way links back to your site. It is also a great way to gain more exposure for your website. Use the bookmarking sites for your own use by bookmarking sites that you like. Make sure that these bookmarking sites are integrated with your website to allow visitors to bookmark your site.

7. Podcasts

Podcasts can be a great traffic generation tool. You can either publish a podcast or be a guest on an established podcast. Find podcasts or Internet radio shows that focus on a relevant subject and find out how you can become a guest speaker. Good podcasts are normally referred to friends and can go viral resulting in traffic to your website.

8. Banner Advertising

Look at using low-cost banner ads on large ad networks. Banners can attract attention in some websites and can be a great traffic generator. There is no need to spend thousands in the beginning and a banner with a simple sales message is just as effective.

9. Press Releases

Submitting a press release about your site whenever there is something to announce will generate traffic. Search for free press release templates if you want to write your own press release. Unlike article writing, do not overdo it; only submit a press release if you have something to announce.

10. Pay-Per-Click

Pay-Per-Click campaigns can be profitable or cost you a lot of money. What makes this form of advertising ideal is that you reach your identified target market directly and should therefore achieve a higher conversion rate. The key to a successful Pay-Per-Click campaign is great ads with perfectly targeted keywords. You might have to experiment a bit in the beginning with your ads and it is advisable to set a limit on the cost.

Generating traffic to your website is not as easy as it looks. If you are not familiar with any of the above techniques, please research them further before implementing them. Remember that the above techniques will also generate backlinks to your site and should therefore improve the position of your keywords on the search results pages and improve organic traffic to your site.

Video Marketing: 10 Tips For Using Videos To Market Your Business

10 Tips For Using Videos To Market Your BusinessYou want to use as many media as your business allows you to market since you’re reaching a wider audience than you would with text alone.

Some prospects respond better to video than they do to text, so here are 10 tips and tricks for using video to market your business:

1. Keep ’em short

Whether you’re loading videos on YouTube or you’re using them to pre-sell products on your blog, keep them short (around 5 minutes or so)…especially if your audience includes people who don’t know you.

If needed, break a long video into multiple smaller videos. From experience, I found that if people knew beforehand how short they can expect a video to be, they will be more willing to sit through it.

2. Post videos on your sales pages

You can use video salesletters to highlight the main points of your regular salesletter. You can also use videos to demonstrate what the product is and how easy it is to use.

You may also get your satisfied customers to give you video testimonials.

3. Choose your keywords carefully

If you’re loading your videos onto YouTube, choose keywords that your market is currently using to find information in your niche.

You may also choose keywords that match those being used alongside other popular videos in your niche.

4. Know your purpose before you start

Before you film, choose one purpose for your video. Is it to get subscribers? Send traffic to your blog? Pre-sell a product?

Whatever the reason, base your entire video around that singular goal.

Don’t confuse your viewer by giving more than one option.

5. Create a call-to-action

You should create at least one call-to-action in your video, where you tell people exactly what you want them to do and why (e.g. “Go to yourdomain.com to grab Part 2 of this video, but hurry, you can only get it free for a limited time!”).

6. Encourage comments

If you’re posting your video on YouTube, on your blog or other social sites, encourage comments (even controversial ones). The more people talk about your video, the more your visitors will return to your page to see what’s new in the discussion.

7. Use other social sites to jumpstart the viral effect

If you want your video to go viral, you need to promote it. One way to do that is to link to or embed your video on your social media pages.

8. Blog about your video

Another way to promote your video is to blog about it. If you embed your video on your blog, then encourage your visitors to social-bookmark it.

9. Ask your JV partners to share your video with their prospects and customers

Yet another away to advertise your video is by asking your JV partners to mention it in their newsletters, blog about it and share it with their social media contacts.

10. Put a video on a CD/DVD and give it away for free

You can build a physical mailing list by putting your video on a CD or DVD and giving it away for free to those who give you a mailing address. Be sure to include an upsell at the end of your video.

In summary: You can use videos to pre-sell products, demonstrate products, teach your prospects, drive traffic to your sites and grow your mailing list. Start applying these tips today and you’ll be amazed at what video marketing can do for you.

Lead Generation: 10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

More subscribers are almost as good as money in the bank, so here you go…

1. Include a call-to-action at the end of your blog posts.

Let your visitors know that if they like your blog posts, they’ll love your newsletter content.

That’s because you save some of your best niche tips, tricks and secrets for subscribers.

To get more subscribers, include a link to your landing page at the bottom of your posts, along with a reason to click on that link.

Example: Discover 101 more weight loss tricks for free—click here!

2. Encourage a viral effect.

You can get more subscribers simply by including a note at the bottom of every newsletter where you encourage your existing subscribers to forward your email to their friends, family and colleagues who could benefit from the information.

Example: “Do you know someone else who could benefit from these dog training secrets? Please forward this e-mail to them—they’ll thank you for it!”

3. Use your forum signature file to get new subscribers.

If you’re visiting busy niche forums, include an ad and a call-to-action in your forum signature.

Example: “Free report reveals the health secrets your doctor doesn’t want you to know! Click here to claim your copy now…”

4. Point your social followers to a free report.

Make full use of social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest—to grow your list.

Simply point your fans and followers towards your squeeze page to pick up a free report. Include this link on your profile page as well as in some of your posts.

5. Embed your links in your products.

Include links in your free reports too and encourage your readers to share what they have read with their friends.

6. Drive traffic to your landing page using videos.

You can create YouTube.com videos for the sole purpose of driving traffic to your newsletter sign-up page.

To get the best results, include a call-to-action at the end of your video where you promise viewers they can get the second part of the video—for free—when they join your list.

7. Tap into Hubpages to get new subscribers.

Create Hubpages.com pages around niche topics with the purpose of driving visitors and point as many links as possible to your landing page.

8. Co-promote with others in your niche.

Here you can swap endorsements with your partners. You can post your endorsements on your respective blogs as well as in your newsletters. I’ve also very successfully done ad swaps where I swap ads with other marketers.

9. Unleash the power of content marketing.

First create a multi-part article series around a niche topic.

Then upload Part 1 to the article directories (such as: EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com) and upload the rest of the series to your autoresponder.

Use your article byline to encourage people to get the rest of the series (starting with Part 2) by clicking through to your squeeze page.

10. Form a newsletter co-op.

Do a co-registration deal with one or more people in your niche, that is, when a prospect joins your partners newsletter, they also get the option of joining your newsletter at the same time (simply by checking a checkbox).

Summary…

You can use each of these 10 lead generation methods to get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new subscribers. Test them out, track performance and do it over and over again. Just imagine how big your list will be once you apply all these methods.

3 Ways Quora Can Supercharge Your Business

What can a Q&A site do for my business, you wonder?

Promoting my business on Yahoo! Answers? Maybe that’s not what you had in mind.

Yahoo! Answers

Source: BuzzFeed

Quora? What’s Quora?

Quora is a community-based Q&A platform where anyone can ask and answer questions.

Quora

What distinguishes it from Yahoo! Answers, then?

Quora is one of the few communities that have founders of renowned companies like Wikipedia, Pandora and Craigslist as regular contributors. They also have representatives from other companies like HubSpot Singapore and Moz contributing their expertise and knowledge on their subjects for free.

The Quora community also covers a tremendous scope; from the digital marketing industry, entrepreneurship, the latest happenings in Silicon Valley to life advice. People actively ask questions and seek answers to these questions.

What do all these factors mean for you as a marketer trying to promote your business?

#1: Quora is a place to establish thought leadership for you and your company.

People on Quora actively ask questions and look for answers to these questions.

Browse, find and follow relevant topics to follow on Quora that your business is working in or have expertise in. For example, if you are a marketer in a digital marketing agency you can follow and monitor topics related to social media, SEO and marketing analytics.

Following these topics gives you access to the multitude of people looking for answers in your topic of expertise. These are opportunities for you to demonstrate your expertise, provide value to your prospective audience and get your brand name out there.

Two types of answers are especially popular on Quora:

  • Actionable strategies

Examples include: How to X, What is the best way to do Y.

  • Specific examples

Examples include: 21 Examples of Amazing Headlines, 3 Examples of Stunning Personal Websites, 5 Examples of Outstanding Resumes.

Providing concrete examples and visuals to answer a question makes your answer easier to understand and provide more value to your audience.

These strategies on Quora can help to establish you and your company as a source of strong, relevant information for your area of expertise.

#2: Quora can drive traffic to your company website or blog.

Use existing content on your blog or website to answer existing questions on Quora. As you answer these questions, include a link back to your website or blog with either a more detailed answer or more relevant examples that viewers can read more about if interested.

As your Quora answers gain in popularity, make sure you include a link to your website or blog post you are quoting to ensure it becomes a source of social referral traffic. The Quora community is made up of dedicated users and its carefully curated content ensures it is well positioned as a source of reliable, high quality information.

Establishing your brand on Quora allows you to build relationships and trust with prospects to organically guide them to discover your brand’s products or services. This process takes time, but will drive qualified and warm leads to your website as you nurture these relationships.

#3: Quora is a place to find, listen to and engage with an audience who is relevant to your company.

Quora is a wonderful way to learn specific details about your core audience. Its Q&A format allows your brand to discover the answers to the following marketing related questions.

  • Who are my customers?
  • What are their wants and needs?
  • What challenges / problems are they facing?
  • What are they looking for in potential solutions to these problems?
  • What are my competitors offering already and how can I differentiate myself from them?

Do your research on Quora! By focusing on what your prospects are saying in comments or what questions they are asking, your company can gain insight into your audience’s characteristics and more importantly, how to create appropriate content to address these needs.

Quora is one of those Q&A sites done right. Quora admins continuously ensure answers are of high quality and the community remains respectful in comments, questions and answers. Quora may just be that listening and traffic generating platform your business needs.

How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day

The Ultimate System For Tracking Engagement On Social Media

Understanding The Most Important Metrics For Measuring Social Media Campaigns

The use of social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter offers instant visibility for your brand, helping you to not only accelerate brand awareness, but also disseminate key brand messages among your target audience.

We propose to set up, manage, monitor and report on your social media profiles on an ongoing basis.

As part of our management of the social media profiles, we will engage in the following activities:

  • Regular monitoring of the social media profiles for user interaction with the your brand, e.g. new likes, shares, @mentions and retweets
  • Regular posting of all your company news and updates to the profiles
  • Regular profile posting around local events, national events, news, views, media articles and updates
  • Regular posting of updates around your offers and promotions
  • Informational and service update postings, e.g. website updates, new features, etc.
  • Launching any competition/promotional campaigns you are happy to pursue
  • Reporting on a regular basis on key social media engagement statistics, which form the basis for the metrics and objectives setting for our social media campaigns.

These metrics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Increase in the number of Facebook likes
  • Total weekly Facebook page update ‘shares’
  • “Friends of Fans” metrics
  • “People Talking About This” metrics
  • “Weekly Total Reach” metrics
  • Number of new Twitter followers
  • Number of Twitter retweets
  • Number of Twitter mentions

Definitions Of Popular Social Media Metrics

These are the most common explanations:

  • Conversions = the number of people who achieved a desired result. This could be paying for a product, signing up for a trial, completing a form, or any other goal you’ve set up for your campaign.
  • Leads = potential conversions. These include anyone with the need or interest to pursue your product or service.
  • Engagement = the total number of likes, shares, and comments on a post.
  • Reach = a measurement of the size of audience you are communicating with.
  • Impressions = a look at how many people saw your post.
  • Funnels = The paths that visitors take toward converting.
  • Visits vs. unique visits = Visits count each time a person visits your site or page, regardless of whether or not they have visited before. Uniques count each person only once.
  • Bounce rate = The percentage of people who land on your page and immediately leave, without viewing any other pages rate at which people leave your site after viewing only one page.
  • Exit rate = The percentage of people who leave your site from a given page. It’s possible these people have browsed other pages of your site before exiting.
  • Time on site = a measure in minutes and seconds of how long a visitor stays on your site before exiting.
  • Audience growth rate = a comparison of your audience today to your audience yesterday, last week, last month, etc.
  • Average engagement rate = individual post engagement compared to overall followers.
  • Response rates = These can be measured in two ways, either as the speed with which you respond to comments and replies on social media, or how quickly your marketing or sales department follows up with leads from social.
  • Inbound links = the number of sites linking back to your website or page.

The No. 1 Metric: Conversions

If you consider social’s place in a marketing funnel, it’s likely to be at or near the top. The more leads we can capture, the better. The more conversion insights we get, the better we’ll know how to target the leads we pull in. Here’s the way that Social Market Buzz shows where social fits in their funnel.

The Ultimate System For Tracking Engagement On Social

As we work toward investing in our social media communities, we expect to try out a lot of new experiments along the way in terms of the best ways to measure our efforts and the best types of content that truly engage with our audience.

One of the experiments that we’re eager to try is a new way of looking at engagement. First proposed by Avinash Kaushik back in 2011, this theory of engagement breaks the metric into 4 parts that you’ll find to be consistent across all social networks: Conversation, Amplification, Applause and Economic Value

  • Conversation rate: This is simply the number of conversations per social media post. On Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, this would be comments. On Twitter, it’s replies.
  • Amplification rate: This measures the number of reshares or retweets on average for each post.
  • Applause rate: This accounts for the various ways a user can promote a post on different networks—Retweets, Likes, +1s, etc. (Side note: I love the word ‘applause’ to describe this metric).
  • Economic value: According to Kaushik, this value is the sum of short-term revenue, long-term revenue, and cost savings

Ultimately, you want the work you do on social media to lead to a paying customer. That’s the ultimate conversion.

How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day

Discover 4 Key Points To A Great Social Media Implementation Strategy

Discover 4 Key Points To A Great Social Media Implementation Strategy

Your company may have a range of social media accounts, but not an implementation strategy. I think this is one major distinction many businesses fail to make. At best, without a solid, consistent strategy, marketing staff can only post:

1) random and unconnected messages,
2) infrequently,
3) in a haphazard manner that will lose the readers.

Social media postings is a common business routine today, but a strong social media strategy can align with and strengthen the long-term branding of a business. Branding, as we know it, is the solidification of a unique identity in consumers’ mind at both conscious and subconscious levels, so social media postings can be planned ahead in schedule to consistently feed fans and followers, the larger purpose of which is to simply let them know you, in representing your business identity, are here for them.

Establish Your Business Values First And Foremost

If a consistent path is to be made from branding to social media, it starts with establishing the values that form the business identity. Social media is merely the channels that communicate these values to the right audience. With your business values established as a criteria, whatever you say and do on social media becomes a reflection of these underlying values. In fact, it is a lot easier to have a single set of guidelines to adhere, otherwise, if there are more than one staff handling social media, each will speak his/her own mind, thus resulting in conflict.

Know Your Audience

In Sales and Marketing, we had written about knowing who your buyer personas are. Likewise, you need to establish the predominant psychographics of your fans and followers. Psychographics define a person’s motivations, internal values and needs. Knowing these important points can help you formulate topics and themes that get them talking. Leverage on your followers’ active participation to generate content and conversations and extend social media reach.

Most of all, there may be “nothing personal in business” as a saying goes, but your success in social media largely hinges on your level of engagement with your connections. Social media is a people-oriented business, so you can’t do without your supporters.

Provide Great Content

Providing great content becomes easier when great business values are lived out. In my mind, greatness begets greatness. Establish a quality standard by which great content is posted or shared to educate and delight followers, take them to the next level and build better relationships. Plan how long an overarching theme and topic is to be discussed, then determine the number of messages or articles to be published in a series at regular intervals.

Track The Chatter

Sometimes you don’t need to try too hard to think of themes and topics. There are tools available to discover what is trending and other people are talking about.

You can use Google Alerts to track topical keywords. Create a Twitter stream based on a hashtag in Hootsuite. Consolidate all the business news-worthy sites like Forbes, Small Business Trends, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, Business Insider etc. in FeedSpot, which is a popular RSS feed consolidation website, so you read all the latest content in one account.

If you come across any one article of interest, you can then join in the discussion or expand on it by getting your followers involved.

These are the 4 key points to a great social media implementation strategy. Of course, there are a lot more to them in the details which I have not managed to cover. Take your time to research and plan out how to funnel targeted leads from social media.

How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day

3 Essential Social Media Advice

3 Essential Social Media Advice

3 most important pieces of advice I can share with someone who is new to social media:

A: 1) Be engaging. More than ever, social media encourages 2-way communication. Be as much interactive as possible.

2) Publish valuable content. Let your passion about a subject matter shine through by publishing content consistently. Know what’s “in the trend” that gets people to like and share your posts.

3) Plan “goal funnels” for social media: Know what measurable end results you want to get from your social media activities. Plan out your goals, be it for list building or sales conversion, and determine how your followers would act in your social media account to reach these goals.

Click the blue bird and share a tweet. Thanks!

How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day

7 Rules Of Social Media

7 Rules Of Social Media

It’s time for me to talk about social media and some ‘rules’ to make this work profitably.

Social media is powerful because it has a “different” kind of traffic—your visitors can get engaged with you on your site and be interactive.

They’ll want to express their viewpoints and “talk” with you which, make this traffic source more intimate.

So here are my 7 Rules of Social Media Success:

Rule #1: Make your site and your site’s content easily accessible. Finding you is one thing, but what will they find when they get there? Can your audience easily link to it? How can they be notified of updates to your site? How easy is it to broadcast or syndicate? How easily can they reach your site over and over again?

Rule #2: Include buttons and links on your page that will make tagging and bookmarking easy to do. Adding bookmarklets to your site makes it easy for your audience to have a say or express the value of your site. It makes it easy for them to promote and comment as well.

Rule #3: Reciprocate any incoming links. Use features like trackbacks (for WordPress blogging) or retweet in Twitter and so on. It’s an added incentive to make others wanting to link to you again and often.

Rule #4: Make your content portable (even off the web) using MP3s, PDFs, etc. Make it easy to link to or easy to add on their site. One of the best examples of sites that do this is YouTube. They provide a URL as well as an embed code that makes vlogs portable. With the trend of mobile marketing now, making content available through formats such as PDFs and MP3s definitely improves your content consumption.

Rule #5: Allow others to take your idea and make it their own. We’re not talking about plagiarism, but about collaboration. Some of the greatest ideas can come as a result of someone taking your idea to the next level. At the very least, your audience will appreciate your ideas and give you some acknowledgment. REMEMBER—community is all about sharing.

Rule #6: Always act as a resource for your audience even when there’s no apparent benefit. The more helpful you are, the greater your efforts will be appreciated and these benefits will materialize over the long term.

Rule #7: Be free with giving recognition and praise to your audience for providing insightful and useful comments on your site. People love to be noticed for their contributions. Make them feel good about you by making them feel good about themselves.

These rules provide the foundation for your search media optimization strategy. I think if you start incorporating these rules as a part of your site’s plan, you’ll see immediate benefits and ultimately, make you more money.

For me, you’ll see more of social media work down the road. It’s TIME.

How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day

How To Transition From Traditional To Inbound Marketing In 7 Steps

How To Transition From Traditional To Inbound Marketing In 7 Steps

The adoption of Inbound Marketing* in Singapore and generally across Asia is not as fast as we had wished. Based on feedback, the biggest challenge business owners face is how putting more emphasis on digital marketing can affect their operations, prospecting effectiveness, sales leads quality and ultimately sales conversion. They do worry about the hard numbers, and we respect that.

On the other hand, old habits die hard too. When once-reliable marketing methods gradually become outmoded and enter a sunset phase, marketing professionals are slow to adapt to changes, and instead of committing to training, decide to “move on in life”, thus resulting in employment turnovers.

Nevertheless, businesses are dictated by an ever-changing marketplace, which consists of highly educated and well-informed consumers who are less likely to give in to emotional purchases, and take more time to deliberate buy-in decisions. Going Inbound is the best way to reach out to these consumers, inform them with your business knowledge and nurture their confidence in your business entity.

Transitioning from traditional marketing to Inbound need not be a sudden process. If your company already has a website, I can safely presume someone in your company is administrating it. This particular administrator will be much needed for his/her skills to continually publish digital content assets to augment online business presence.

Here are 7 steps to take note when preparing to go Inbound:

1) Have a mindset and culture for online expression and sharing: Content is the essential ingredient and driver of Inbound Marketing. Do create content in popular forms like blog posts, articles, ebooks, whitepapers or social media posts so that people who are already interested in your products and services can easily search for you.

2) Transform all your existing offline marketing materials into digital assets and vice versa: Coming up with digital content is as easy as taking what you already have as flyers, pamphlets, handbooks, brochures, direct mail etc. and repackage them into product pages, social media images, infographics, email messages and the types of content mentioned in point 1.

Conversely, when you have original online content, think how you can share it in the real world, such as printing it as a guide to give away at events, repurposing it as a PowerPoint presentation, include it as a link in print, promote it as a print ad etc.

3) Upgrade your existing website structure a) to integrate content publishing platform and b) with clear conversion points: For point A, I’m referring primarily to having a blog. Setting up a blog these days is very easy with the famous 5-minute WordPress installation, or you can create a blogger.com account and link your new blog to your website.

For point B, having succinct conversion points designed into your website means you will know where and when your leads will be elevated in their salescycle stages as determined by their actions, whether it is a simple action of downloading an ebook, using the “Contact Us” form to submit an enquiry, or liking a Facebook post etc.

4) Design an Inbound marketing plan: Digital marketing campaigns require sustained effort and can go on for months. For results to take significant effect, a routine of digital marketing work needs to be carried out daily. If you are not sure where to start, you can search for digital marketing agencies like iSmart Communications to ask for help. Give us a call or e-mail us with your enquiry and we will get the ball rolling as we guide you along.

5) Design a more consultative prospecting call script: Unlike the typical cold sales leads, the leads you accumulate online has known, to an extent, a little more information about your business, who you are, what’s your expertise and how you can help them solve their challenges. They are just beginning to search for solutions. Therefore taking a consultative approach to speaking to them enables you to understand where their starting point is in their buyer’s journey so you can bring them to a close with much less resistance.

6) Set aside budget for Inbound marketing: As soon as you begin to sense a good momentum picking up in your Inbound efforts, it’s time to consider how much budget you can afford to ramp up the work. You may even consider scaling down your traditional marketing activities and transfer the budget from there to Inbound.

7) Invest in a marketing automation software like HubSpot Singapore: Automation enables Inbound marketers to disseminate their content on schedule, so that every sales lead that requests for a particular information will have the same lead nurturing experience no matter which day or date they opt in. Leveraging on automation can free up the marketers’ time so they can spend it on other matters.

These 7 steps are by no means simple. They just provide a broad overview on what it takes to direct more efforts into Inbound marketing. Certainly the devil is in the details, but it is not expensive nor risky to start small. Start by publishing and sharing content online, and take note where your new audience is coming from and how it grows. Talk to them, address their problems and soon you will be nurturing a critical mass of fans and followers. In effect, you are establishing your online business presence and authority the Inbound way.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, social media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

3 Tips For Getting More Business Exposure Through Social Networking

3 Tips For Getting More Business Exposure Through Social Networking

The way we network on the Internet has changed drastically. Social networking is gaining momentum because people are looking out to interact with each, share, discuss, etc. Businesses can benefit from this because now there are even more ways to get in touch with their target audiences. There are more communication channels today than there were before, which means you’ve got a better chance of increasing your reach as a business on the Web. If you want to succeed at social media networking, use the following tips and you’ll succeed in no time.

Firstly, you need to give something if you expect to get anything. You’re not just networking and negotiating, but you’re rather helping people and you’re showing them that you really care about them. Experienced digital marketers know that this is one of the main rules when networking online. You need to practice a lot of gratitude to win your customers. It takes a bit of effort but in the long run, you’ll see that the results are no less than great. You will find that your customers and prospects trust you more, and your business will earn even more business than before.

Secondly, you must be credible when networking on social websites. People are aware of the online scams and negative reputations floating around so you have to prove that you are honest and trustworthy. This helps to foster trust and build up the relationship as time goes by. If you feel that a mistake has been made, admit it. People want to do business with someone that is real and not phony.

Thirdly, you have to honest in all of your dealings. Clients want to be aware of what is occurring on the inside. They want you to be crystal clear about your rules and policies. There should never be anything to hide because you want your customers to trust you and your business to succeed. This will not happen until you are honest with your clients and potential customers. If you do not like something in particular, state it. Be honest with your customers and show them what you really think and they will appreciate you for it.

The 3 tips above will show you that social networking is a great way to expand your business. You will reach out to your customers effectively, and your reach will expand too. If you hope to succeed over time, and you want your business to go far, you need to make sure you keep learning the latest techniques that will take you far in this business.

How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day

5 Simple Productivity Hacks To Get Ahead Of Your Growing Workload In The Digital Age

5 Simple Productivity Hacks To Get Ahead Of Your Growing Workload In The Digital Age

Most of us have so many tasks to do every day that it can seem unmanageable and overwhelming. The digital marketing workload only seems to increase with each passing week. And phone calls, emails and social media can focus us on the latest and loudest, rather than what is truly important.

The workload isn’t going to change, but we can change how we handle it. By prioritizing, we can separate what needs to get done from what could be done, and break down tasks into manageable goals and next actions.

Here are 5 simple productivity hacks to help you prioritize your work:

1. Trim task lists.

Delete or move the tasks on your list that remain at the bottom and realistically won’t get done. This will leave more room to work on tasks that need most of your focus. Rank your tasks to see what you are able to purge. Or use one of the many task management software programs, some of which even have mobile device versions, to more efficiently handle your task lists.

2. Control your inbox.

Email is a great way of communicating, but going through your inbox can be a huge time commitment and it can be overwhelming. Of all the emails you receive in a day, 20% of them are probably worth 80% of the time you spend. Organizing and purging the remaining emails will make the important ones feel more manageable.

3. Set goals.

Determine what is a primary goal for you for the week and what is actually secondary. If you take the time to think about it, the answer may surprise you. And don’t just write it down and forget it! Revisit your goals and reward yourself for completing them, or make adjustments if they no longer seem feasible. This should be a living document that changes as your needs change. You can use your email application or other software to keep your goals in a handy, digital location.

4. Evaluate the important vs. the urgent.

Interruptions may seem important, but are they really? Looking at what is truly important can help you to focus on the work that really needs to be done. The urgent tasks may seem like they need to be done now, but take the time to consider if they really need to be handled immediately or if they just seem like they do. Set up action folders in your email application or create to-do lists in other software so that you don’t lose sight of your less-than-urgent tasks.

5. Create a schedule.

Think about those tasks you decided were important and make sure you have enough time to work on them. Distractions will come up throughout your day! The important thing is to make sure you budget your time well so you can process your massive inbox and answer that emergency phone call without sacrificing your high priority items.

Contributed by Dale Carnegie Training.

The 5-Step Formula To Successful Inbound Marketing

The 5 Step Formula To Successful Inbound Marketing

1. Create valuable content for all stages of the purchasing cycle

Marketing is like a gear; it is always moving. Think of this while you create your content. You should think of what your target audience needs and what they problems face so that they can benefit from your content. What they need yesterday may not be what they need today, so it is important to keep updating your content and make sure that it is always valuable. Blogging, social media posting, email marketing and video publishing are all great ways to consistently update your online presence and get found in search engines and by your audience.

2. Invite people who need your products and services

It is important to set goals and understand who you are creating content for and why. Focus your content around long-tail keywords and phrases that your customer are likely typing when they research products and services online. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a helpful tool that allows you to compare different search volumes of different keywords and phrases so you can gain a better idea on what keywords to optimize.

3. Convert visitors into leads and build the relationship

Conversion is very important in Inbound marketing*. Once someone lands on your page, it is necessary to give them a call-to-action (CTA) so that you can collect their personal information, learn more about them and begin the process of servicing their needs. For example, you can make it clear and obvious that visitors can register for free ebooks. By their registration, you get their contact details which is important for the next step of cultivating the relationship through a dialogue.

4. Transform leads into satisfied customers

Once you have found your potential leads through lead scoring, there are various ways to transform them into customers. Follow-up emails, tailored email marketing, workflows and campaigns are the common ways to do so. A key point is to personalize your messages to them, such as according to their background, interests and needs. You can also use an marketing automation software like HubSpot Singapore to trace your leads to see what kind of messages they are more interested in.

5. Monitor and modify your marketing strategy

The last step is one of the most essential pieces to Inbound marketing. You need to evaluate your results, such as how much you have spent to acquire how many leads and customers. You should keep refining your lead generation strategy to make sure that you are consistently meeting your goals and going in the right direction. In addition, you should rigorously test the effect of different CTA designs, website designs and website content because a little difference can deliver a significant improvement in results.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, social media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

You Should Not Miss These Facebook Features Introduced In 2015.

Have you been slacking when it comes to updating your brand’s Facebook strategy? Have you been working with the same strategy since before the introduction of Timelines? You’re not alone.

Facebook is constantly adding and optimizing new features keep its top spot as a leader in the world of social media. Changes take a while to register, and can work against your brand’s social media presence without you realizing it. To make sure your social media strategy is up to date, here are several Facebook features introduced in 2015 that you need to understand to keep your Facebook strategy fresh.

1) Tap, tap, done: Testing a simpler way to fill out forms

Lead ads make the mobile sign-up process easier by automatically populating contact information that people have given Facebook, like email addresses. Facebook are testing different versions of lead ads that would let people sign up for things like newsletters, price estimates, follow-up calls and business information.

The lead ads testing uses a native sign-up flow within Facebook. This allows them to avoid a lot of hassle usually associated with filling out forms, like having to leave one app and start a form in another app, and having to enter all of their information from scratch. Just a few taps and people are done.

Like other ad formats, Facebook built this ad type with privacy in mind. People can edit their contact information, and information is not sent to the advertisers until they click the “submit” button. Advertisers may only use this information in accordance with their privacy policies, which Facebook make available in the lead ad before people click “submit”. Advertisers are also restricted from reselling lead information to third parties.

The current test of lead ads is limited to a small group of businesses around the world. Facebook will share more information about lead ads after they gather feedback.

2) Improving ad performance with the Carousel format

This new ad format allows up to 3 items in the same ad unit. This carousel appears below a typical-looking status update, and each item within the carousel has its own title, description, and destination link. In May 2015, it supports up to 5 images with links. The carousel format is interactive, attention-grabbing and helpful for both direct response and brand awareness marketing. Now mobile app developers have access to the same ad format for app install and engagement ads. Advertisers are using the carousel format to highlight their brands and products in lots of different, creative ways.

There is no other way to set up these carousel ads except through using the API or Facebook’s Power Editor. While you are able to add two or more images to the multi-product ads, the best practice is to test to find out what number of displayed products maximizes your conversion rate.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a multi-product ad. First of all, keep the headline and description text short so they can fit into the screen. For best results, limit your headline to 25 characters and your link description to 30. You cannot have more than 20% text in the image. Multi-product ads work on a square dimension of 600 x 600 pixels (both for desktop and mobile ads).

3) Create Featured Videos

Facebook is making a big push for video content. One of Facebook’s latest updates is encouraging pages to upload a featured video and show it prominently to people when they visit your ‘Video’ tab.

Setting up a featured video is a very easy process. Just navigate to the “Videos” section of the page. Click on the link to see the new setup. To add a featured video, click on the link to the right. Here, you can either select an existing video, or upload a new file in the “Add Video” section. Alternatively, you can click on the “Feature this Video” button that now appears under each video.

4) Create Video Playlist

Alongside the featured video, you can also set up a playlist of videos, just like you can on YouTube! This can be incredibly helpful if you create different types of videos, or have video for different products or services.

Click on the “Create Playlist” button and give your new playlist a good title and description. Then click ‘next’ and select the videos you want to feature in this playlist. It could not be easier and is well worth making the effort to do to make things easier for your followers.

5) Audience Network Ads: Extending your Facebook ads beyond Facebook

Since launching last year, Facebook’s Audience Network has helped advertisers reach more of the right by people by extending Facebook ads into other mobile apps. Today, they launch new tools for publishers to make it easier to serve native ads through the Audience Network.

The Audience Network helps advertisers reach the right people in ad formats that work on mobile. Audience Network ads are available everywhere you create Facebook ads and require no added effort. To start delivering your Facebook ads via mobile apps, just check “Audience Network” under Placement in the ads creation process.

To all the new Facebook features that have already been launched or have begun rolling out to smaller samples of users, marketers can use these to boost your website traffic and enhance interaction between you and your customers.

Advertisers on the network can also expect some favorable expanded capabilities. One of the main areas of focus for Facebook is the Messenger, which has been undergoing a transformation from a single-purpose app to an entire platform, complete with its own app directory, and added capabilities such as payments and ‘live’ support chat. The latter set of features makes up an entire category, Businesses on Messenger, which is designed specifically to facilitate the interaction between brands and their customers on Facebook.

Please keep following us to get the latest information on social media development, and download the ebook below to find out how your social media outreach can translate into sales.

3 Things You Must Do Consistently To Build A Solid LinkedIn Presence

A few days ago, the folks in iSmart had an internal discussion about social media and in particular, LinkedIn is killing some major local jobs portal. This is quite a surprise for some of us because we normally look at LinkedIn from a marketing perspective. Quite clearly, LinkedIn is making a dent in its competitors’ market share. It is also a great platform for B2B marketing because of its original design and purpose. Below are 3 major activities you must follow through to establish a solid LinkedIn presence.

Create And Optimize Your Account

The first thing to do is create your account and your profile. You should ask yourself 3 questions:

1. What is my goal?
2. Who is my audience?
3. How would my profile lead my audience to engage me and start a conversation?

You should create your profile according to your answers above and make it compelling. For example, if you are good at doing Inbound marketing*, mention the achievements and highlights of your career and ask some typical leading questions about your customers’ problems so that potential clients would feel interested to learn more about you when they see your profile.

Optimize your profile headline by filling in keywords that your potential clients use when they are searching for what you offer, such as “marketing director”, “social media consultant” etc. Also briefly describe what value you provide to give others a reason to read your profile further.

Build Connections

Upon completing your profile, you can let LinkedIn help you build your first connections by scanning your email account to see which of your email contacts have LinkedIn accounts so that you can connect with them. There is a “People you may know” function which recommends people having the same interests, coming from the same industry of you, having common connections and so on.

You can use “advanced search” to search your target by different categories such as industries, skills, locations, job titles and so on.

Engage And Interact

It is important to engage with your network before you directly approach your potential clients. They may not be willing to respond to you if you had no interaction with them before. The following are some tips for you to engage on LinkedIn so that you can start a conversation with your audience and make it natural to approach your potential clients.

1. Share someone else’s update and article

If you read something you like and think the information will be beneficial to your audience, share them and tag the authors to give credit at the same time so you can get yourself exposed to the tagged contact’s network.

2. Comment on someone else’s update

More than just liking, why not leave a comment that is smart, inspiring or meaningful? Other readers will be curious to click your profile picture beside the comment and build a connection with you. It also helps to maintain the relationship between you and the person who shared the update.

3. Join groups and start discussion

Joining groups is another way to increase your profile exposure and visibility. Join some groups that relate to your particular interests, your industry or your potential clients’ industries. Starting discussions and commenting on new threads to further expand your network and explore clients.

If you keep doing these, your network will grow and it will be easier for you to find new business on LinkedIn. Once you discover your potential clients, talk to them and get your business deals!

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

The Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Dominating 2016

The Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Dominating 2015

The screenshot you see above is captured from Google Trends. “Content Marketing” as a key phrase has been on an upward trend since 2011. Today, it is widely practiced around the world and is gaining popularity. We expect B2B marketers will continuously and actively adopt content marketing in 2016.

According to Demand Metric, 90% of organizations, by marketing with content, are spending 62% less than what they do with traditional marketing, and that’s certainly good news. Here are several other encouraging content marketing trends:

1. Personalized content play a bigger role.

Publishing and distribution tools now theoretically make anyone a mass publisher. And in a world where content multiplies exponentially and time remains finite, it’s harder to be remarkable. Marketers want users to interact with their content, and what better way to achieve that than through providing something relevant?

That’s why many companies are designing personalized content. Content personalization takes a variety of forms, all of which come down to audience segmentation. Typically, marketers can pare down how they segment the audience through categories like Location, Interest, Behavior, Referral. Segmentation provides the opportunity to gain an extremely granular understanding of customers, then to anticipate their needs, wants, affinities, and expectations and develop unique insights to power better marketing across all devices, channels, localities, and brand experiences.

Your customers’ data will be instrumental to how you can begin to publish and deliver more personalized content to them at the right time.

2. Increase engagement impact of content marketing with visual storytelling.

Due to the increase in marketing noise, marketers will need to find a medium that will help their message stand out from the crowd and that could be visual storytelling. Visual storytelling is best used to communicate a brand’s philosophy and aesthetics. In April 2014, Starbucks had a contest asking patrons to draw on their Starbucks cups, take a photo, and then enter the contest with #WhiteCupContest on social media. 4,300 entries later, Starbucks had created a nice buzz that played out on social media, all while connecting personally to their audience.

According to TheVerge.com, 8 of the top 10 most shared posts on Facebook incorporate video. Also, 93% of the most engaging Facebook posts include images. This shows that visual stories crafted for marketing purposes can spark a movement or inspire emotions, sending a clear message about the brand to its consumers and helping to define it against the surrounding surge of noise.

3. LinkedIn dominates industry and marketing news.

According 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends, 91% of B2B Marketers used LinkedIn to distribute content, and 62% of them rate LinkedIn as an effective social media platform. As Business Insider reported, LinkedIn plans to be a $1 billion business by 2017, by becoming “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals.” LinkedIn is set to become a dominant social channel for content distribution.

4. Location-Based Content Marketing will provide huge ROI.

With more people owning smartphones and checking in to location-based services, the possibility of reaching a meaningful swath of consumers and more importantly, knowing where they are during the day is becoming a reality. Location-based couponing and promotions are continuing to drive in-store visits and sales.

One example of how brick-and-mortar businesses are using location-based marketing to increase ROI is the use of geo-aware marketing in a campaign launched earlier this year by Meguiar’s (an auto-care products company). By showing relevant ads in areas that showed a high volume of car and car-accessory buyers, the company was able to achieve a $1.31 ROI and a 118% increase in sales in exposed markets. The main aim of native ads is to entertain and enlighten the viewers without explicitly promoting a particular product or service. These ads often talk about topics that are in some way related to the product or service the company is offering.

According to Cisco, location-based mobile advertising accounts for $4.5 billion this year; and this number is expected to rise to over $10 billion by 2017. We can see more and more firms will increasingly conduct location-based content marketing.

5. Businesses will look for ways to automate their content marketing, and these efforts will fail.

With businesses creating and promoting more content than ever, it’s no surprise they would be looking for ways to streamline and automate the process. The popularity of marketing automation would rise in order to keep pace.

However, many argue that automating content isn’t without its problems; unrealistic expectations of what marketing automation can accomplish may be one of the biggest hurdles.

According to HubSpot, a leading content marketing automation provider, content marketing is not a “once and done” proposition: “Marketing automation needs constant care and awareness for it to work effectively. Too many companies skimp on these details and think they can let their automation do all the work—not exactly the best way of accomplishing your goals.”

It is easy to be remarkable once. The trick is being remarkable consistently. The one-size-fits-all approach will not work in the world of marketing. Use these trends to your advantage to develop the best strategies that work for you.

5 Essential Features Of An Inbound Marketing Website

5 Essential Features Of An Inbound Marketing Website

In order for B2B digital marketers to effectively promote their businesses and acquire sales leads, their websites must immediately address the needs or challenges of visitors. Inbound Marketing* strategies rely on an interactive relationship between the marketer and his prospects, and it starts with his website. There are 5 features of Inbound Marketing websites that set them apart from other websites.

  1. Value propositions – With large amounts of information being directed at Internet users, they gradually succumb to a shorter attention span. Thus, it is important to grab the attention of website visitors quickly so that they will stay and browse your website. Am emphasis on design aesthetics makes the website visually appealing to its visitors, such as the use of colors, catchy headlines, visual design, etc. For instance, HubSpot has the value proposition of the statement “The #1 Inbound Marketing Platform” to arouse the curiosity of visitors to their website. After all, if the marketer doesn’t care about the website, why should the visitors?
  1. Accessibility – Websites are not just being visited from computers these days. A comScore report says smartphone and tablet usage now accounts for at least 60% of all online traffic. Making your website mobile-friendly encourages your visitors to stay longer on it. A mobile-responsive landing page provides another channel for effective visitor-to-lead conversion and bounce rate reduction.
  1. Social media activity
    Friend us on Facebook.
    Follow us on Twitter.
    Connect with us on LinkedIn.
    Sound familiar? The way Inbound Marketing works is that it functions in a closed loop, where all Inbound marketing platforms are integrated with each other, such as the main landing page, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the blog. Links for each social network should be displayed clearly for the website visitor to see so they find it easy to move from network to network.
  1. Landing pages – Landing pages are where the contact details of a prospect are acquired. Initially, the prospect’s name and email address are sufficient for submission when s/he want to download the free offer, e.g. ebook, white paper etc.. For successive downloads, other contact details should be collected. These are done so that digital marketers can better identify the prospect and his/her keen interest in specific topics and tailor-make their content to better serve the prospect’s needs. As the marketer-prospect relationship develops, the better marketers know their prospects and their problems, the more likely prospects become customers of suitable solutions.
  1. Calls -To-Action (CTA) – The call-to-action (CTA) button or link encourages visitor action, such as “download your FREE ebook” or “access your FREE trial”, therefore it must be designed to look visually appealing yet straightforward to visitors. Here is an often overlooked tip: create a CTA button for your “contact us” page too. Set up a readily accessible channel for your visitors to contact the marketing or sales team with the CTA on as many web pages as possible. This also provides the team staff opportunities to clear prospects’ questions and doubts and help them better understand the products or services on offer.

These 5 essential features are what set Inbound marketing websites apart from their traditional counterparts, not only for attracting more website visitors, but also the ideal kind of visitors that are likely to turn into leads.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

Marketing Automation: Does it Save Your Time, or Lose Your Customers?

Marketing Automation: Does It Save Your Time, or Lose Your Customers?

Marketing automation is inevitable and would be gladly received by busy marketers since they need to wear multiple hats. But as more Singapore businesses automate their marketing in order to save time, leads and customers get more inundated with information. Is there a tipping point where automation will lower conversion rates and profits?

Frankly speaking and depending on work situations, not even a small team can effectively cope with all of the Inbound Marketing* work that comes with running a business without automation. There are just too many things to do, and it’s necessary to either automate or outsource (or both) to maintain good conditions. Automation is usually the preferred choice, because outsourcing is often more expensive and comes with its own issues.

The problem with marketing automation is that you can seriously estrange customers if something goes wrong. I had a very annoying experience in which I found myself in four or five email funnels simultaneously after buying a subscription and signing up for the blogger’s newsletter. I kept getting the same emails over and over again, in a different order and with a slight time delay. I ended up cancelling my subscription.

On average, for every customer complaint, 26 other unhappy customers are not complaining. Most customers who are dissatisfied do not complain. They just leave.

Then what exactly should I do about it?

In the early stages of your business, it’s a good idea to focus on high-touch marketing, sales, and customer service instead of automating every single thing. It will help you get sales leads much faster than providing run-of-the-mill service, which will pay for itself, given that loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.

Here are two ideas for keeping things high-touch without spending all of your time on email:

1. Do Not Automate If You Can Systematize Your Personal Touches

Author and entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau sent a short welcome note to every single newsletter subscriber for the first year of his blog, which amounted to about 10,000 people. Later he said, “These actions (sending the note, then replying to any follow-ups) took a lot of my time but the effort was totally worth it! I built genuine relationships with many of the readers, some of whom are still with me five years later.” I’m not saying that you ought to write a short note to 10,000 people. Do not automate as long as you can systematize your personal touches. Customers—in fact, every one of us—prefer emails for themselves to emails for the general public.

Based on my experience, through the Inbound Marketing software of HubSpot, we can automate personalization of email to every prospect based on the stage of the purchasing cycle that he is in. That saves me a lot of time.

2. You Do Not Need to Automate Everything.

Have you heard about ‘bots’? An Internet bot, also known as web robot, WWW robot or simply bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. While some find bots annoying ,others opt to use them when planning their social media shares.

If you do FULLY automate your posts (which I don’t recommend), at least keep your eyes on your social media. If someone comments, respond. In addition, you may not have time to read everything, but at the very least skim through the articles. You may find that the headlines do not accurately reflect what the article is actually about. Personally, I hate it when I get an auto DM on Twitter. We just met! I am not going to like your page on Facebook. Replies should be personalized to each recipient, by YOU or the person you hired to do it for you.

It’s important not to look like a bot when you automate. Done properly, social media automation and scheduling can be a thing of beauty.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, you need to keep your marketing and service high-touch, and raise your rates accordingly. Research has shown that 55% of customers would pay more for a better customer experience.

Above all else, make sure that you and your team are treating long-term customers with respect and giving them more attention (and benefits like first access to new products). In the end, it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than retaining existing customers (five times more expensive), so the margin is high enough that you can spend that extra time with existing customers and still be saving money.

In my opinion, the Inbound Marketing software of HubSpot is one of the most effective ways to automate marketing, while retaining the high-touch that all customers expect from you.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

3 Ways CEOs Can Participate In Social Media

3 Ways CEOs Can Participate In Social Media

There is no doubt that social media has totally changed the traditional marketing outlook and contributed to the advent of Inbound Marketing*.

In Singapore and other countries in South-East Asia, a traditional corporate hierarchical culture is still limiting employees to working within the boundaries of their job designations but a new online business dynamism is redefining marketing work.

Nowadays, more CEOs actively engage in social media. According to Ann Charles, BRANDfog Founder & CEO, “In today’s hyper-connected, information-driven world, CEOs and senior executives alike are expected to have an active social presence. Brand image, brand trust, and a company’s long-term success depend on it.” CEOs’ participation in social media is a good way to share news and information about the company. It can help to spread positive word-of-mouth and defend the company if it is at risk. But how should CEOs get involved in social media?

  1. Get The Suitable Tools

CEOs are always busy at managing different things. They usually have little time to manage multiple social accounts. Therefore, they should choose the right platforms on which they are most likely to succeed. For example, if the CEOs have a pithy communication style, they might do best with Twitter. On the other hand, CEOs who are more comfortable in front of a camera should choose YouTube as the platform for communication. Having the right platforms for communication is the key to keep the social media accounts active and engaging.

  1. Get Help From Others

Although there are CEOs who love to participate in social media and are naturally sociable, there are still some CEOs who do not feel comfortable in this medium. Those CEOs can get help from others by setting up a team to manage accounts on behalf of them. The social media team can help to keep up with social media tools, monitor online chatter and sentiments and educate the CEO on how to maximize social media usage in their own way.

  1. Get A Daily Summary From the Social Media Team

Even though CEOs can hire social media team to manage the accounts on their behalf, they still need to know what is going on. CEOs should ask their social media team to give them a daily summary of the accounts such Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc. As a result, CEOs can review the content and decide what they personally should reply to.

We should keep in mind that, in today’s world, people want to engage with celebrities and CEOs themselves rather than talk with a social media team. Being proactive online is highly recommended to CEOs since this can show that they truly care about their clients, customers and fans.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

4 Interesting Ways To Convert An Inbound Marketing Skeptic Into A Believer

How To Convert An Inbound Marketing Skeptic Into A Believer

Skepticism among Singapore marketers and businesses often occurs when they do not know all the facts. In today’s world, with new things surfacing everyday, skeptics are all around. Information and education is the answer as to how to convert a skeptic into a full believer. The challenge is in communicating the facts and examples in a way such that it creates an impact pertaining to the skeptic’s particular doubts.

Here are 4 ways to turn a skeptic into a believer.

1) Skepticism Dissolves As Trust Is Built

We need to break down the natural wall of skepticism that tends to get built up when a new idea or solution is presented. Here are a few actions to help initiate a level of trust:

a) Acknowledge that change and results will not happen overnight: Inbound marketing* will take some time from your team to be implemented effectively and produce results.

b) Admit that change is not going to be easy: Inbound marketing requires involvement from each team member for a defined set of processes and goals. Establishing set responsibilities with the contributing team builds a higher level of accountability.

2) Skeptics Will Ask Pointed Questions

Anticipate and be prepared to answer questions that support your argument related to Inbound Marketing when you are planning to pitch. The following questions will likely to come up at some point of the process:

How does inbound marketing differ from traditional marketing? Traditional marketing is about pushing a message out through certain channels to gain attention. Inbound marketing is about creating valuable content through blogging and premium content concentrating on buyer personas, thus drawing attention in.

How does it give us a competitive advantage? The Internet is the easiest place for a business to build market share. A website that has strong content, backlinks and continues to publish relevant content on a regular basis will establish stronger impression of authority on the subject or niche.

3) Skeptics Will Need Reliable Resources and Facts

Inbound Marketing has proven to be more effective than outbound marketing at both generating leads and driving sales. This statement alone will not convert a skeptic into a believer, but here are a few facts and data sources that will.

An inbound lead costs 61% less than an outbound lead

Companies that blog once a month generate 70% more leads

70% of all links clicked are from organic, not paid

4) Skeptics Will Look for the Bottom Line

Setting realistic expectations with a skeptic is critical. It comes down to team contribution, understanding buyer personas and the challenges with each of them, and the intensity of your team’s approach.

Incorporate inbound tactics into outbound methods of outreach: When sending an email distribution, include a “top of the sales funnel” offer, ebook or white paper.

Add visual calls-to-action on your website: Placing a Call-To-Action (CTA) in every spot on your website that a new visitor may see is critical to capturing important information.

Share valuable content that targets your buyer personas: Understanding your buyer personas is one of the most important factors to creating valuable content. Factors to consider when generating content include aiming to solve a prospects problem, elicit an emotion, or empathize with their needs.

Track and analyze your activities: One way to immediately evaluate success is by reviewing growth in organic traffic and leads. When done right, the statistics that support inbound marketing and the impact it can make on generating leads for your business will turn any skeptic into a believer.

After they’re sold, educate your ex-skeptics with more information on Inbound Marketing and soon, your Inbound Marketing efforts will be up and running.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.