What Can We Learn from Non-Profit Social Media Campaigns

“Just Do It.” They say. “I don’t care how much it costs.”

Well, that’s all very well and good when you are a brand name or a for profit company that has a marketing budget. However when you don’t have that luxury you have to be a bit more creative, and I am often inspired by how non-profits with limited advertising budgets use social media to create successful marketing campaigns.

Customized Content

Remember last summer when ALS broke social media records with the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was on every social network. That’s when we really noticed that social media was the perfect medium for non-profits to get exposure with almost no cost. It was the creating of a customizable social campaign that worked. It was adapted to each viewer and changed the way they saw fit, allowing them to impart experiences and thoughts, and it’s this that made it go viral.

Empower the Fans

The United Nations World Humanitarian Day campaign managed to get 1 million views by empowering their fan base. They asked fans to sign-up and share a pre-populated post that could also be customized. The post was released to all fans at the same time giving the post more muscle than the average post.  It was one that went viral immediately.

Amplify

It comes down to this. Who do you believe? A trusted friend or a company talking about its product? Social media platforms allow for others to make recommendations or participate. If I receive a letter asking for a donation, I might forget it, but if I receive a request on Facebook, especially one that is circulating several times around, I will probably pay more attention. This is called social validation and it is worth a lot, so you always want to expand into new audiences.

Find Partners

Finding a marketing team to help can significantly increase the success of the campaign.  Both corporate and non-profit should look to leverage their network o get mutual benefits.

Bottom Line

Yes, there are many lessons to be learned from a non-profit. As they say, you can’t just throw money at something and expect it to work. Using social media to market takes creativity and keeping in mind these simple ideas that have worked for non-profits, even without a large marketing budget.

Google Remarketing Attracts Customers Easily

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.  – Vince Lombardi

This is the idea we have of success. Yet with the advent of the age of information technology, this definition  is no longer relevant. No longer do we have to work and toil to have that great business.

Bringing in new customers doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work hard, visit every possible client and sweet talk them into buying from you. No. now all you need is a good website, and some inexpensive advertising.

When I refer to advertising I´m not speaking about newspaper ads, but Google remarketing advertising.

What is Google Remarketing?

Well, if you haven’t been marketing on Google lately, this will be a new type of advertising for you. Search remarketing as it´s also called has recently launched and it brings display marketing into the major leagues. It allows businesses to personalize their marketing needs and reach out to potential customers without seeming to be stalkers.

It’s a type of marketing where ads are shown to visitors when they are on other websites and not necessarily looking for something related to the product at that moment. However, the benefit lies in the fact that these ads are only shown when the visitor is looking at similar sites or products. This offers a less invasive way of reaching out to customers and is less invasive than running popup ads all the time. Plus the statistics show that this remarketing is effective.

The Benefits

So you’ve tried Google advertising, and it worked but it didn’t give you the real results you wanted to see. That’s where search remarketing comes into play, and the following benefits demonstrate why:

The Rule of Seven

In advertising the Rule of Seven states that a consumer needs to see or hear your ad at least seven times before he even visits your site and takes action. This rule may not be set in stone, but it does prove that you can’t just advertise once to a client and expect them buy from you.

With search remarketing you remind your audience at those pertinent times, keeping your product at the forefront of their minds at the right times. In other words, remarketing, offers an innovative way of convincing those “ sit on the middle-of-the-fence” consumers to return to your site.

It reaches out to consumers who have visited your site and shows them relevant ads of products they’ve been interested in, when they aren´t on your site.

Increased Conversions

Most businesses who try retargeting are quite surprised to see the increased conversions. But it’s really a very simple idea. What happens is the customer goes to your store, sees something he likes, then get busy, don’t make the purchase, and go somewhere else.

Next day, he looks up something related to that product, and  gets an ad on the product he was viewing the previous day; a sort of reminder. It’s this simple process that can increase conversions by as much as 50%, especially for companies that already have traffic, but just don’t seem to be converting.

It’s the Combination that’s the Deal Maker

As an e-business you may already have a large budget dedicated to digital marketing. This includes SEO, content marketing, and PPC. And if you are already putting that much effort into marketing your services and products, you need to place some of that budget into retargeting. After all you’ve already spent money to get visitors to your site, so it doesn’t make sense to NOT follow up with your visitors and maximize the value of their visit.

Have you tried retargeting yet? What network did you use? Has it had a positive impact on your marketing efforts?

Value is More Important than Frequency when It Comes to Email Marketing

People aren’t able to make decisions anymore because there are just too many choices within that decision.

Isn’t that the truth? With so many digital marketing choices where do you turn? Do you choose to use social media marketing, content marketing, PPC or email marketing? This can be an important decision, especially if you have a limited marketing budget.

Email Marketing is Where It’s At

Today, I want to talk about email marketing. This is probably the foundation of your digital marketing efforts, and all marketers need to keep up with their email marketing strategies, as marketing experts and research companies still sThe Statsee email marketing communications as the top method of reaching clients when done right.

According to a recent 2014 study conducted by a customer acquisition firm, called McDowall, email is still one of the most preferred marketing channels among Internet users across all age groups.  However, this statistic does not mean all email marketing is kosher, nor does it give email marketers the “go ahead” to spam Inboxes with generic messages. When we refer to email marketing, we are talking about email that is relevant, on target and personalized.  These are the consumer responses to the different types of email marketing efforts.

The Stats

  • 35% of consumers say that email marketing is helpful when they inform of important upcoming sales and offers.
  • 4% say this marketing method is very useful when a company makes the right offer and knows exactly what the consumer wants.
  • 14 % said it was annoying and that the advertising was not targeted towards them and did not offer items they might be interested in.
  • 39% said that emails that are too frequent will cause them to unsubscribe.

 

Notice that there are key elements here, one is frequency, and the other is relevance. In other words, the key to good email marketing doesn’t lie in spamming consumers or sending a bunch of unrelated email offers. Instead it involves sending quality offers and information that is customized to the specific group of people you are sending it to.

Consumers just don’t want to see too many non-related, branded messages in their inbox, but what they do want to see is something they might really like. Helpful emails were considered ok to send as long as the information was interesting. So the key to success is personalized communications.

You want to make a popular marketing channel even more popular by curbing the frequency and increasing the value.

 

 

Just a Cup of Coffee! That’s All It Takes to Get 4,000 Visitors

Hmm! There seem to be fewer visitors than ever on your Facebook page. Is it your imagination? Or what’s going on? Well, you aren’t imagining things. Facebook wants businesses to pay up to see content.

 

Free Facebook No Longer Works or At Least Not As Well as It Did

Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, the free ride is over, no matter how many fans you had. Even if your fan base has grown by 200%,  fewer and fewer people are seeing your updates.

Facebook has deliberately cut back on the number of views your content gets. Why? Well, Facebook is a business too, and needs to make money. But hey. Wait a minute. Facebook isn’t expensive, in fact, you can Facebook advertise  for less than what you pay for a daily cup of coffee.
That’s right for as little as a couple of dollars a way you can become the apple of your readers eyes again. After all people are used to social media, and engaging with clients here is effective, so why not pay Google that small fee for increasing your ROI significantly.

Facebook Ads Are Effective

Last year, we saw a notable change on Facebook, the incorporation of Ads, and this is effective providing you or your service provider target your audience correctly.

Aha! The targeting is the crucial element in seeing that increase in ROI. That’s right. You can’t just place an ad and expect for the right people to see it. You have to specify to Facebook which audiences you want to target; explain your demographics; the age of your targeted customer; his interests; geographic location and many other factors.

 Are Facebook Ads Popular?

Of course, otherwise why would so many businesses continue to use Facebook, even when the free exposure is now limited. Facebook ads can be very cheap, providing you plan your advertising out carefully.  Really, where else can you get as many as 4,000 new impressions per day for just a couple of dollars a day?  In contrast to any other advertising method, Facebook ads are effective and cost conscious, making them a possible solution for almost any business.

How Can Facebook Help?

We’ve mentioned it time and time again, Facebook can build awareness for a business, providing they are targeted to the right audience. This creates a devoted following and higher demand at a very low cost.

By promoting at least one good post a day, a website owner can reach a higher targeted audience and sell more services or products.  This is the way to increase that engagement you seem to be losing.

5 Reasons You Don’t Need PPC Advertising

No-Sale_registerWhen I hear people saying they don’t need PPC advertising, I think of an old Mexican parable I once heard.
A successful business man goes up to a poor man lying on a Mexican beach and asks: Why don’t you look for a job? I’ll give you a job if you want.”
The poor man asks, “Why do I want a job?”
“Well so you can eat, have a home and live a more comfortable life?” suggests the business man.
The poor man looks around and says, “I already eat and points to the coconuts hanging from the coconut palm. My home is here in my hammock under the tree. See how comfortable it is. And I already relax most of the time, so my life is comfortable. Tell me again, why do I need a job?
PPC is also like that. There are certain times when PPC is just not for you, so let’s look at 5 reasons why you shouldn’t use PPC.
1. PPC Brings Instant Website Traffic
You may not be ready for people to come and look at your website. After all, you’ve spent a fortune on it. It took you lots of time and now it looks beautiful. You could sit there and stare at it for hours on end, so why would you want to share that with anyone?
PPC advertising is a proven way of bringing lots of people to a website. In fact, statistics show that PPC can double or triple the traffic that comes to the website. This means you would have a lot of people admiring your website, and you have to share your website’s “specialness.” Which isn’t very fair, whenever I find a great service, hairstylist, restaurant, or cool place to go, I don’t want to share it with other people. That’s my special secret. Personally, I’m fine with just 5 to 10 visitors on my site. It keeps things simple.
2. More Sales
Statistics suggest that pay-per-click advertising can increase sales by as much as 40%. But do you really want increased sales? That would mean you have to buy or make more of your product, or hire more people to offer your service. More sales means more work so who needs it.
3. It’s Extremely Measurable
PPC lets you measure every part of your sales campaign. It tells you which dds do well, which need help, what keywords to target, see how many people come to your website through the PPC advertising, and even see how many people buy your product from the advertising campaign. While these measurements might be of interest to a lot of businesses, if you are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of entrepreneur then this just might not be the solution for you.
4. PPC Offers a Competitive Edge
PPC allows even the smallest one-man business to compete with the larger brands. Your advertising budget can be small and still be effective. But if you aren’t interested in offering your customers a ‘Big company’ image, and you just want to be known as good ole “Joe” the fixit guy. If you are only interested in sporadic work then maybe PPC isn’t the right choice.
5. Target Local Customers
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the fastest ways to target customers. But if your business only targets friends, family and those who really know you – and you aren’t interested in acquiring any new customers, then you are probably right, you don’t need PPC.

Bottom Line
All of the above reasons are excellent arguments for not investing in PPC advertising. But if these are the reasons, then tell me, why did you invest in a website? And why are you in business? Just like the poor Mexican you can live comfortably as you are. It just really depends on the goals you set for yourself. Truth is, PPC is one of the most inexpensive ways of advertising for the ROI you get. It works and it’s effective. Do we really need to convince you?

How do You Sound in Your eMails?

Do you know how you sound in emails?

What do your email marketing efforts sound like?

Without being able to hear someone’s vocal inflection or see their face, it can be difficult to interpret how a reader receives your email campaigns.

Emoticons and exclamation points just don’t seem to do the trick when we talk about business email – and sometimes, well let’s just say that formal language can start sounding a bit hollow.

But how can you tell when your customers aren’t responding to your emails. And when they do, responses are often lacking and too brief; responses are often only one or two words. That’s understandable because people are busy, but still these brief responses don’t give you much insight into how your email marketing efforts are doing.

So how can you make sure your message gets across without being too negative?

Always Accentuate the Positive (without being salesy)

The word choices you make in your email content set the tone of your communications. So choose affirmative words and phrases, otherwise you may sound too terse or condescending.

Avoid negativity, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to offer real analysis either. There is always a way to be politically correct.

 Avoid using Certain Negative Words

You do want to avoid using certain negative words such as “Cannot, error, fail, impossible, mistake, problem, refuse, little value, urgent, unsound.”

But remember that doesn’t mean you can’t ever use these words. It just means you don’t want to use them in a negative context, when giving instructions or an opinion on something.

For Example:

You wouldn’t want to sound as negative as the following sentence:

“Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, it is impossible for our team to offer that service on time because, we do not offer this particular service.”

 Offer Positive Readabiity

Instead you could offer a positive direction to this by saying something like.

“I’m so sorry that I can’t help you with your needs, as the requirements go beyond our capability, but I would be happy to recommend someone who can help you.”

The first sentence offers too many negatives in one sentence, and while the second sentence may say the same thing, the tone is more positive; less negative words and more positive words.

Writing effective emails is about paying attention to the words you choose. Use positive terms like “benefit, best, issue, progress, and success, valuable.”

In essence when working with email you have to see the glass as being “half full” instead of “half empty” If you do find that people are misinterpreting your email efforts, try to be more explicit. Explain how you feel and why you are sending out the email. Explain that your intentions are to offer information that can be helpful and not derogatory or harmful.

 

Facebook Groups as Good as Sparkling Wine

Walk into the grocery store, go to the wine section, and the first thing you notice is the huge variety.

In fact there are so many wine types that the selection can easily confuse you. You practically have to be a wine connoisseur to differentiate the types and flavors.

There are obvious differences here. We can distinguish that white and red wine are different in color, so they are probably different in taste as well.

But the difference goes even deeper than that. The taste can not only be influenced by color but also by brand, year and even geographic location of the grape growth.

What does the grocery store wine department have to do with Facebook?

By now you’ve heard that Facebook can help grow your business. So you’ve quickly created a page, and you post away. But most business owners assume that Facebook is all the same, just as most non wine drinkers assume that wine is all the same. And this can prevent a business owner from experiencing significant branding and networking opportunities as well as sales growth.

You Could be Losing Out

Why? Well because Facebook has many different options other than a simple personal profile or business page. These options can help grow your business and get it known. What I’m talking about is  Facebook Groups.

What are Facebook Groups?

These are groups of people with similar interests. So if your business is sales related you would want to become a member of Facebook Sales groups. If it were industry related, then groups within that interest might be beneficial. Essentially these are groups of members with similar interests.

Do you want to connect to targeted groups of people?

Do you want to be more visible and have more interaction on Facebook?

Then joining different interest groups on Facebook has a distinct benefit. Facebook groups allow businesses to connect and network with industry colleagues as well as customers and audiences with like interests.

Increased Visibility

Facebook groups offers visibility because people who belong to these groups have a similar interest to your own, and they get notifications about your posts and discussions.

The Possible Disadvantage

The only downside to joining different groups is that you need to join from your personal profile – a business page can’t join a group. Facebook allows you to join up to 6,000 groups, but most business owners only effectively use 10 to 20 – those where they can make a notable difference.

Things to Think about Before Joining a Group

Before selecting a group, analyze it to see if it is a good fit for your business. Study the location, number of members and if possible the activity the group has. Even if you do join a group and then find it doesn’t fit your needs, you can leave.

  •  A good way to figure out whether a group is a good fit is to read the mission statement in the “About” section.
  • Look for groups that have value, where members participate. It’s not going to bring you value if it’s just a bunch of sales messages with no real participation.

Look for Suggestions

If unsure as to the type of groups you want to join you can look for Facebook suggestions. These are in the left sidebar under Groups and then “Find New Groups.” Facebook offers suggestion based on your interests and activity in other groups.

 

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Change, Change, Change: That’s What Business Facebook Marketing is All About

The Rolling Stones, remember them?

The song, “You Can’t always Get What You Want” comes to mind when I think of change.

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”

Lessons are learned every day—or they should be – so we really shouldn’t have a problem with that, right?

Whether positive or negative, life and business is full of lessons.
The world of business is everchanging, and that means continual learning, Change is good. But if change isn’t your thing, well, you still need to get ready for it, as Facebook is changing the way it works for business users.

New Facebook Changes in 2015

You may have already noticed these changes. Notice that your page posts aren’t showing up as frequently in the news feeds anymore? Have your company’s engagement levels decreased? The reason is because of these changes.
According to Facebook, they are going to improve the user’s experience by reducing the number of overly promotional page posts in the user’s feed.

Here are some of the characteristics that Facebook considers too promotional:

  • Posts that only sell a product or service
  • Posts that push sweepstakes or promotions
  • Posts that use content from advertisements
    So if Facebook Pages are an important part of your marketing strategy, you may find that Facebook advertising is now the way to go.

What If I don’t have a large advertising budget?

  • When you don’t have a Facebook advertising budget, you might want to consider the following:
    Analyze your marketing efforts and create content that engages, informs and gives real tips that audiences can learn from and share.
  • Use links but within the page as well as in the captions.
  • Run a test. See what posts get the most engagement. Try posting advice, or tips within our industry.
  • Post images on Pinterest and instagram and cross post to Facebook.
  • Use the social media content calendar to schedule your posts.

What If My budget is Small?

One of the benefits of social media is that advertising is flexible and can be siloed down to your budget. Facebook allows you to target ads strategically and gives you better efficiency than many other forms of advertising.

Organic Facebook Marketing Tips

On Facebook there are ways to sell without really selling. These ar a few tips to help you expand your organic audience.

  • Stop focusing on the Sale. Facebook is social oriented so make it social.
  • Post good content on Facebook. Share your ideas and your blogs here.
  • Empower your colleagues to participate.
  • Respond to questions, doubts or issues.

Now that you are empowered with the ability to change and meet those new Facebook requirements. Let’s bring it on.

5 PPC Marketing Trends for 2015

The year has started off at a Jump, skip and a hop. Things are off to a good start, but you know what that means for our industry – more of Google’s ruffling of our feathers with super-hero Penguin updates and Kung Fu Panda roll-outs.

Well, the above may or may not be true. Whatever, but Google has it right when they demand better content from users.

In all seriousness though, the PPC and Search Engine Optimization world isn’t immune to change. To the contrary, we’ve learned to expect it. But if you think the world of Internet marketing, PPC and SEO has evolved enough already. Well, b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen nothing yet.”

In the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive: “B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

Here are somoe of our best PPC predictions for 2015  to prepare your business for a new year of online business.

Mobile Will be Big

Mobile traffic will surpass organic traffic for most businesses. You’ll want to optimize your marketing efforts for the mobile world, as the rise of the smartphone continues to put a search engine in everyone’s pocket. We also predict that Google will start rewarding sites that offer a good mobile experience. But more importantly almost 40% of all PPC results will come from mobile.

Exact Keyword Use Will Diminish

Exact keywords may not be as useful as they once were. Google will start defining the meaning behind the words to help users find their needs. We might expect to see some changes in top ranking keywords.

Google Shopping Will Be More Targeted

If you don’t know the M.O. of Google yet, then you should. For them it’s all about the user experience. As such they may just dedicate some of their 2015 making heir price-comparison service more user-friendly.

Online Reviews and Social Credibility

More advertisers will be using Seller Ratings in their ads. Shoppers tend to love these ratings as it informs them of reputable sellers.

Search Retargeting

This is a new ad feature that’s proving effective for PPC advertising. Users tend to conduct multiple searches in finding the best online deal, so retargeting helps them keep an eye on their goods and services.

 

So How do you make the most of these predictions?

Take a good hard look at your business. Think about what needs work. Where you want to improve? And which of these trends you want to take on.

7 PPC Trends for 2015

What’s next for PPC marketing? That’s what every expert out there is rushing to figure out, and considering how often Google makes updates and how many new ad products we see unleashed each year, with good reason.

The only thing we know for certain is change

And while no one is certain of what’s next, we can certainly make a few educated guesses of where the PPC industry is headed. The end-of-year is the best time to take a step back and review the year, then plan for our markeitn future. The following are a few useful insights  and predictions of what we might expect in the upcoming year.

ppc trends for 2015

Get Mobile Ready

In 2014 we saw a huge increase in click throughs form smartphones, and this is expected to increase through 2015. We also might see search engines adopt mobile-specific features that they are already testing.  Although mobile is not new, the majority of advertisers haven’t upgraded their websites so they are viewable on mobile devices as yet. We predict that mobile PPC will go even more mainstream by 2015.

 Bigger and Better Persona Targeting

In a recent conversation with John Gagnon of Bing, we learned that retargeting will become more mainstream.  Ads will be set according to how a person interacted with a website, we’ll build a bigger pool of targeted audiences based on this site activity.

 Increase in People-Based PPC

I think we’ll see a rise in social media marketing solutions that will change the way we work with PPC. Our ability to interconnect the PC and phone devices, and our ability to upload pictures, information and emails can make PPC marketing feel more like email marketing.

 PPC advertising will Work Better with the Current Content

In 2015, expert marketers believe online ads will increase revenue more than ever before. More people are adding content everyday, and that means this content can support more ads which leads to profits on all sides.

 Google will Phase out Keyword Targeting

Some PPC specialists believe that Google will phase out keyword targeting and instead use alternate targeting methods such as psychographic audience targeting, product feeds and page crawling.

Priority on the Marketing Message

Today we see a small shift from standard PPC ads to marketers who are now testing the message, either by device, style or tactic. This testing offers the making of a successful marketing campaign.

 Video Ads Will Be Big

We believe there will be a substantial growth in video advertising. Some predictions place Facebook video advertising revenue at $7.2 billion by 2015 and YouTube’s revenue is predicted to grow from last year’s $4 billion to $31 billion by 2024.