Online Marketing Tips To Drive Sales In The Holiday Season

Consistent growth in e-commerce spending suggests that 2016 could be a record-breaking year in online spending. The holiday shopping season is around the corner and marketers have to focus on consumers in the most relevant way. Is your online marketing strategy ready to get the most out of holiday season? If you haven’t yet redesigned your online marketing approach for the holidays, it’s never too late. In this blog post, I will give you some of the best online marketing tips to boost up sales in the holiday season.

(1) BUILD LANDING PAGES SPECIFICALLY FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

It is a good idea to build season-based landing pages to make your website more relevant for holiday shoppers. Identify and analyze your web pages in terms of performance so that you can push the traffic to your highest converting landing pages. It takes time to build an ideal landing page that suits a particular occasion. However, make sure you examine and finalize this process well before time. You definitely need your best performers before people start shopping.

In addition to this, you should leverage the power of holiday rush. Include time-sensitive offers to your seasonal landing pages. You can add countdown timers to tell your customers how much time they have left to get that special offer or discount. Give your prospects a reason why they should buy from you right now.

(2) LAUNCH SPECIAL EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Holiday email marketing campaign is slightly different from the traditional one. You might use a traditional marketing plan to reach out to customers every 15 days with an offer. During the holiday season, you have to be more aggressive with your email marketing efforts as your consumers are in buying mood.

It is of no use to drop promotional emails at the last minute. Do not wait too long. You might lose customers to your competitors that reach them sooner. The holiday season is said to be the best time to increase the number of visitors and subscribers through email marketing.

(3) MAKE SMALL CHANGES TO SEO AND CONTENT STRATEGY

It is highly advisable to use search terms like “year-end deals” and “special offers” in your content. You can search out holiday search terms according to your industry. Pay special attention to the holiday version of keywords that could drive most of the traffic to your website. Do not limit yourself to keywords. Plan out a brief holiday content strategy that may include promotional blogs and social media posts.

It is recommended to increase posting frequency during the holidays. Using holiday-specific messages, hashtags, videos, and images is also a good idea. Grab all those visitors who are looking for deals and special offers. Valuable content is an inseparable part of any marketing strategy. It is the content that drives sales and establishes retailer’s authority. Therefore, be considerate while drafting your holiday-themed content.

(4) MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS MOBILE-FRIENDLY

I am sure you have repeatedly heard that your business needs a mobile-friendly website. However, the need for a website that facilitates mobile users escalates during peak shopping season. I am sure you cannot afford to lose all those consumers who are looking for you on mobile devices. So make sure your website runs smoothly on desktop computers as well as on mobile phones.

Make sure you update your online marketing practices to accommodate the holiday season. For small businesses, holiday season is the best time to amplify their presence as a brand.

Digital Marketing and Emerging Trends

The world of digital marketing has been emerging at a phenomenal pace. Constantly evolving technologies are transforming not just how we interact and communicate, but how we select and buy products and services. Technology, through the ages, had a significant impact on marketers.  But, yeah, marketing is not about technology, rather it is about people and their behaviors.

2016 will soon be the part of history. However, it would leave behind many digital marketing trends that have been experimented and used by thousands of marketers around the globe. Some of the modern marketing trends, such as the use of social media channels to nourish an idea or a business, are likely to stay relevant in the coming years.

Let’s talk something about the facts and figures before we discuss the prevailing digital marketing trends. The world has more than three billion people who have the internet access. And we all know how the internet reshapes lives and changes consumer behavior. The internet has totally redefined the way people buy products and services, and at the same time, it has been changing the way people sell products and services. Now, let’s move forward and discuss some of the megatrends in digital marketing that businesses need in order to stay competitive.

Trust building and engagement process

I am sure you have heard a lot about social media and its application in marketing processes. Before the arrival of social media or modern communication technology, there was no platform where a business could engage with its customers and use their opinions, criticism, and feedbacks to improve decision-making process.

Social media trends, nowadays, directly influence the consumer purchase behavior and trust building process. A digital marketer is supposed to pay keen attention to the changes in consumer use of digital media and technology as it plays a central role in understanding digital marketing.

Mobile app marketing

Popularity graph of mobile devices is on the rise. This growing trend has given birth to the idea of app-marketing. Users now rely more on business apps rather than websites. Mobile marketing offers a great opportunity to business owners and app developers to excel. I am sure you are well aware of the recently introduced feature that allows Google users to access the functionality of an app within SERPs. This feature is named as app streaming. That is why businesses have been focusing more on developing apps for marketing purposes.

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing is now a fairly old concept. However, it has not lost its relevance and is expected to stay relevant in coming years. Most of the businesses understand the significance of SEO and pay-per-click or organic and paid search. The number of mobile users worldwide will expectedly increase up to 5 billion. The latest trend is to optimize web presence, including search engine marketing, for mobile devices.

Marketing automation

Artificial Intelligence has been serving businesses like never before. One of the recent trends in marketing is to automate marketing processes through software. Marketers and marketing departments have to repeat certain tasks associated with websites, social media and emails. The purpose of marketing automation is to perform those tasks in a seamless manner. It helps you scale your marketing efforts.

Continuously evolving technology, I am sure, would bring in more sophisticated marketing tools and techniques in 2017 and so on. The key to success is to observe change and adapt.

4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Start Blogging

Business blogging is considered a valuable marketing practice that helps a business increase its online visibility.  It is an act of creating relevant content in form of blog posts and publishing it on your business website. A blog serves as a marketing channel that can help grow a business by driving in traffic to a website and converting that traffic into customers and leads.

I intend to write this blog post for small businesses that wonder whether or not blogging is important.  Many business owners ask me this question whether blogging is of any significance or not. My answer is always a big yes for blogging offers a number of benefits in terms of leads, visibility, and sales.

Another important question pops up in minds is ‘whether my blog be hosted on my business website or elsewhere. To be concise, yes. It is important to host your business blog on your business website. Hosting a blog independent of your business site will eliminate most of the blogging benefits. Now I will discuss 4 reasons why small businesses need to blog on their website.

Blogging boost SEO and drive in traffic

Every business wants more visitors on their websites. Blogging is a very effective way to find and attract them. With every new blog post, you increase the chances of becoming more visible through search engine results. The more blog posts you have, the more likely you are to get visible. It enhances the organic search visibility and website traffic.

Blogging builds repute and authority

Maintaining a blog is the best way to establish the repute of your business as the leader in the industry. A blog offers you an opportunity to discuss and share important information associated with your business and industry. The best approach is to address common questions your customers and leads might have.

If you create content and provide valuable information to your target audience on regular basis, it will build your business as an authority. Just imagine how amazing it would be if you write educational blog posts that have solutions and value for your customers.

Blogging yields long-term results

When you write and post a blog on your business website, it provides a couple of benefits. First, a short-term benefit; it generates a number of views and, consequently, few leads. Second, a long-term benefit as it helps your website with search engine optimization. Search engines now consider blog posts when it comes to the ranking of a website in SERPs. So while you enjoy your holidays, your blog posts would stay at work.

Blogging helps convert visitors into leads

The content on your website may be insufficient to explain all the details associated with your products and services. Blogging provides you an opportunity to talk more about your business and that is what most of your customers are looking for. It is true that not every visitor will become a lead. However, a blog post, full of useful information, is always a good tool to convert visitors into customers.

So stay focus and keep writing valuable blog posts for your readers. No matter how small your business is, you can build trust, engagement, and relationships by providing expert information in your business blog posts.

5 Valuable Social Media Practices For Your Business

Do you know that an average person spends more than three hours a day on social media channels? Yes, that’s right. Taking into account the fact, businesses cannot afford to miss the opportunity to expand their client base by using social media platforms. Being a successful digital marketer, I can predict that social media got a bright future and it would continuously influence the success and failure of a business.

Social media is a set of applications and websites that allow us to interact with the online world, share content, and build social networks. Some of the prominent social media channels are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Linkedin. In this post, I will discuss 5 of the social media practices that can help you grow and modernize your business without spending a fortune.

#1. Research social media platforms that suit your business

Many businesses launch a social media campaign without doing any homework. You have to figure out the social networks where your can find most of the relevant traffic. Focusing on twitter, for instance, would be less effective if most of your potential customers prefer to use Facebook. It does not mean that you have to completely ignore some social media websites. Rather, you can concentrate more on sites that are compatible with your business.

#2. What kind of content would work

Why would people like, follow, subscribe or talk about your business on social media? A good question to ask before driving into social engagement. People will follow you only when they are interested in what you offer. Therefore, share content which is directly aligned with the interests of your prospects. In addition, your content should be full of value; content that offers solutions in an interesting way. You can also jump up in ongoing conversations that are somehow pertinent to your business.

#3. Respect consumer reviews

Social media is a good place to understand whether or not people are happy with your products and services. A great benefit of social media is that it allows people to react, comment, and write about their experiences. Being a businessman, you should welcome consumer reviews and let people talk freely about your business. You can, then, exploit those reviews and conversations to improve your business by offering what people like the most. This is a great way to build trust and relationships.

#4. Be realistic

It is easy and sometimes interesting to fake things on social media. A business should not do that. Set realistic goals to make your social media program more effective. New businesses sometimes overdo things that, instead of promoting them, damage their trust building process. The presence on social media, therefore, should be the true representation of your business. Exaggerated claims will only damage the repute of your business in the long run. Moreover, your social media endeavor must be in line with your resources.

#5. Learn from others

A keen observation and creativity are important when it comes to a successful social media campaign. You have to learn from yours as well as others mistakes. Plenty of examples of epic failures can be found on  social sites. Note down those failures and learn from them. Whether you attract plenty of visitors or your post fail to get engagement, it offers a lesson that you can extract and use to improve. Pay special attention to the social media behaviors of your competitors.

Social media, undoubtedly, have been playing a great role in the success of modern businesses. Use it to nourish your business. Build trust and expand your business beyond imagination.

10 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Modern marketing is defined as an adaptable methodology that connects a business with real time customers. The modern customer has become very sophisticated and, being a small business owner, you need creative marketing ideas and tips to be successful in your marketing endeavors. In this blog, I will discuss some marketing tips that a business owner can follow without spending any money and can kick his marketing strategy back to the track.

(1) Study your competitors

You have to understand and research your competitors in order to devise your own marketing strategy. I think most of the businesses just assume that their services and products are excellent. To get a more realistic view, you need to compare your business with that of your competitors. The point is to understand that what are you competing with. After that, you would be able to present your business in a better way.

(2) Get a free website with wix.com

A good website, undoubtedly, plays a central role to all of your marketing efforts. A business seems incomplete and outdated without a web presence. Small business owners can bring dramatic growth to their business by creating an effective online display of their products and services. So, stay ahead of the competition by showing the online world what your business is all about.

A good news for the small businesses is that they can develop a highly-efficient and good looking website for free on wix.com. And, yes, you do not have to be an IT expert to follow the instructions to build a beautiful web store capable of attracting a serious number of new customers. Wix.com offers a number of incredible features.

(3) Establish a sound social media presence

Small businesses, at times, find it difficult to drop the right message to the right person. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+  can be a great set of tools to get your message heard.  All you need is to be an active and involved participant who understands the needs and behavior of his existing and potential customers. It has become vital for the survival of a business to stay in touch with your perspective.

Some business companies take social media as a promotion platform which is a wrong concept. Social media, rather, should be used to engage users and build brand trust.  It will provide you an opportunity to understand the preferences, trends and feedbacks of your customers that you can use to benefit your small business.

(4) Create a blog for your brand

Setting up a business blog is a good strategy to enhance the online visibility of your brand. You can create and display various forms of content on your blog. For example, what you are reading right now is a blog post, a short-form of content. Your business blog must be a good representation of products and services that you offer. Talk about your products and services by posting quality posts, videos, and images. Small businesses should consider blogging as an effective way to promote their brand on the internet.

(5) Search engine submission

Search engine submission is a free service that allows you to submit your website to different search engines. It is a tool that you can use to share some information with Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. Search engines then index the provided web pages and URL. However, the process takes some time to make a difference.  I highly recommend small businesses to carry out search engine submission, preferably manual submission.

(6) Launch an Adword Campaign

The internet provides numerous ways of promoting and generating revenue for a business or in other words turning googlers into customers. Google Adword system is one of them that allows you to create free ads and post them on Google. Whenever some click on your ad, you pay a small fee to Google. However, that small fee is absolutely insignificant as compared with the revenue that you can generate by getting a visitor who is interested in what you are selling. I would recommend small and local  businesses to try pay-per-click campaign to boost their sales.

(7) Try YouTube Marketing

YouTube needs no introduction. Does it? However, using youtube as a marketing tool could be a new idea for some people out there. Yes, you can promote and grow your business with Youtube by uploading interesting, relevant, and informative videos about your business, products, and services. All you have to do is to create a youtube channel for free, make a good video and upload it. Preferably, make interesting videos that have some value in it.

(8) Use SEO to beat fierce competition

It is understandable that small businesses cannot afford to launch expensive marketing campaigns. I have already mentioned the importance of having a website for a small business. However, it would be great if you optimize it for the search engines. The term SEO refers to a set of practices that you can use to rank your website higher in SERPs. I will not explain the whole process for now. You can get plenty of SEO related information on the internet. 

(9) Email marketing

Since email marketing is very cost effective and powerful tool, I would encourage small businesses to start doing it. Email marketing is about building you own an email database. You can start by getting emails from your existing customers and contacts. And then you can send them emails containing short, interesting a relevant information about your business. Do not annoy people with your emails. Rather, give them something valuable and engaging.

(10) Say who you really are

This marketing tip is basically applied to all of the above-mentioned marketing tips. Whatever marketing technique you use, you should be saying the truth about your business. An overly exaggerated statement about your product and service could damage the trust building process which is important for you. Be considerate with your marketing campaigns.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation is defined as a process that allows companies to automate, streamline and measure their ongoing marketing processes so that they can increase operational efficiencies and generate revenue faster. The process is not just for the large enterprises. Companies across all category are using the automation software to enhance their customer relationships experience.

In recent years, marketing automation has expanded to include lead generation, lead nurturing, customer lifecycle marketing, ROI measurement, qualifying opportunities and building a comprehensive content strategy to close sales.

Businesses use customer relationship management (CRM) to keep track of their sales activities and marketing automation software to keep track of their marketing activities. Marketing generates qualified prospects through targeted campaigns. These prospects are nurtured and kept updated until they are ready to spend their hard-earned money on your products. Once they are ready, they are passed on to the sales team to further qualify and close these prospects.

I personally use Hubspot, which combines the two software into one and allows marketers to communicate with prospects and customers through email marketing campaigns. This helps me streamline the marketing and sales processes and ensure that I continuously nurture prospects and customers through various channels. Let’s get into some of the features of marketing automation that include:

Features:

  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Marketing analytics
  • Lead management
  • Social marketing
  • CRM integration
  • Prediction

Marketing automation software will have most of the features listed above. The idea is to create a central marketing database where you can manage data related to prospects, behavior, and interactions. It enables you to segment and target the right message to the right customer. Once you have it all set-up, as a marketer, your job is to analyze all incoming data and continue to refine your approach. I would recommend that every marketer should be familiar with the marketing automation and its effectiveness.