Online marketing firstly, should be referred to as just ‘marketing’ as that is what it is. Approach it the same way you would with television or radio advertising, newspaper ads, flyers and sponsorship – you are looking for a return on investment. Whether that return is new clients or a sale, or perhaps just brand awareness, your marketing efforts online need to have goals and targets.
Spending miserable amounts like $20 or $50 to boost your Facebook posts will do stuff all. Yes, Facebook insights might show you some ridiculous number for ‘social reach’ and then give you a number for engagement, but truth be told, you need to look at what really matters. Did that promotion give you anything back?
Boosted posts need to lead to an increase in page likes on Facebook, more web traffic to a specific page, or enquiries.
We recommend staying away from boosting posts here and there randomly, and focusing on Facebook ads with a decent budget. Decent being $200+ and on crafted ads with multiple ad layouts. By having multiple designs, you can target different people. One person might like one image, whilst another hates it. Get both clients by showing them two different images.
Use demographic targeting to narrow down your audience. This will ensure potential customers in your specific niche are seeing your posts and advertisements.
Facebook advertising works, and it offers you multiple options like carousel and video ads, lead forms, and more. Be sure to use the full arsenal to your advantage if going down that road.
Everyone has heard of them, sales funnels, they work and are essential to capture your hot lead and convert it into a sale. Read more about them on Wikipedia.
People clicking on your online ads in Google search, or web banners, or social media links, are obviously interested in what you are promoting, be sure the page they land on gives them no distractions, convinces them further about your brand or product and leads in to a call to action such as buy now, enquire today or download now.
This will push them into taking the next step. If they followed an ad or search result to get there, they were obviously ready to buy.
Look at contextual advertising as the perfect example. You are targeting people looking for a specific product. If Tom is looking for a Toyota Corolla hatch, and was reading a review on the latest model, it wouldn’t take much convincing to click on a link or enquiry form which leads to your brand that sells new Corolla hatches.
Often referred to as inbound marketing, you are digging down to specific niches, and targeting Corolla buyers, with Corolla offers and ads. Same goes across the board with products and services. If you put a service in front of someone looking for that service, they are more likely to engage and buy.
Don’t fall for the cheap website trick. They are cheap for a reason. If you want a website just so you have a website presence, do it yourself with WordPress or Wix. If you are looking to create a business website that is engaging, and works well on mobile and in Google search results, you will pay a premium price.
All the little things count, including user interaction and simple navigation on mobile and desktop, metadata and image tagging, content distribution networks and caching, favicons and Apple icons, tablet and smartphone screen responsiveness, call to actions above the fold and so much more.
A site that is setup well and loads fast on premium web hosting will perform better in search results, we guarantee it.
To put a price tag on it, web agencies offering your sites for under $1500 are misleading. I cannot count how many times clients have gone with cheaper options only to come back in a year to revamp the site and add all those features they should have got in the first place. Sometimes saving money in the wrong place will cost you more in the long run.
Do your research and find out what you need your website to achieve, then talk to your web designer and get answers on how they can make that happen. We do it, so I am sure all the others can too. Prepackaged deals are sometimes priced too good to be true.
Don’t neglect your web hosting either. We include domain registration and web hosting in our website packages, but its not cheap shit hosting. Its hosted on SSD storage drives with super fast DNS which feeds through CDN hosts to ensure fast loading of your website wherever in the world you are accessing it. Like I said, its those little things that are often neglected.
Getting a return on investment for your marketing is essential for any business. Would you buy a newspaper ad in a community paper in another town you don’t operate in? No? Well showing ads to people not interested in your product or service could possibly damage your brand, as well as cost you unnecessary ad spend.
In 2017, target your audience. Investigate the options that will get you a better return on investment. A better return would include more targeted web traffic to your site or landing page, or more web enquiries through Facebook or your website, or perhaps more sales on your ecommerce site.
We advise our clients to focus on content. Being super helpful and useful, sharing what customers are looking for and giving more than you take, is what will help you get brand attention online.
So start a mailing list with helpful guides, or offer a free download of your latest app. List yourself in every relevant online directory, and research apps that people might try to find your service in like Yelp or TripAdvisor. If potential customers are searching for your product or service, they are keen to buy. Be sure they can find your brand!
Set goals for all your ad spends and marketing campaigns. Be sure you are getting something from them. Ask questions if your digital marketing agency is just invoicing you without getting solid results.
Finally, be fussy with your selection of digital marketing agencies. If you have the time and knowledge to launch your own campaigns, sure, go for it. Like most of us though, we need to focus on the core of our business, and getting help with marketing will suit us best.
Choose an agency that is transparent in what they do, what they charge and what each service actually involves. After all, you are paying for it.
Secondly, be sure that agency can guarantee a positive result. Have they done it before? Have a look through their portfolio, or ask them for past client success stories. A quick indicator for some is checking social media feeds. A good digital marketing agency will have positive reviews, good feedback in posts and comments, and have a half decent page following. Page following can be deceiving though as likes can often be bought and boosted.
Be sure they are staying relevant and not just posting click-bait. Are they responding to comments and posts? Do they respond to page messages? Why aren’t they on Twitter? Is there a photo of the staff on the page? Social media should show a professional, yet personal view of the business.
How does that agency rank on Google search? After all, if they are offering to handle your social media, ads or SEO, shouldn’t they have good results for themselves?
Get a Better Online Marketing Result in 2017
Hopefully these tips have triggered your interrogation mindset and you start asking the important questions. The one thing we really want you to take from this article is that online marketing is marketing. Treat it like your other marketing. Do not believe for a second that its going to be a cheaper option. To get results, it needs budget similar to that of traditional and offline media such as radio and television.
A client of ours last year pulled major money out of his radio campaigns and invested it in an online campaign across search and social media. What he got was measurable results with a better ranking in search results, more interaction on social media and an increase in page traffic.
Online marketing has it’s advantages being the ability to get real time reports on results including clicks and reach, but it works best when tied in with your overall marketing campaigns. Match your flyers, TV and Radio, and newspaper ads with your online advertising and content, and you will get a much better result.
Ok stay with me on this one and I will explain what I mean.
For anyone using social media, you know the difficulty in ensuring people see what you are putting out there. With constant changes to newsfeed algorithms, ease of getting lost amongst other posts and the encouragement to pay for your posts to be noticed, social media managers and business owners alike are pulling their hair out. It’s true, so don’t feel alone.
The best time to post.
If you have done any research at all trying to figure out post and page engagement on social media pages like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you would have come across the “best times to post” from a number of social media experts, but is this helping you?
The research is right, different networks attract people at different times of the day. Facebook for example seems to go off later at night, whilst Twitter and LinkedIn thrive in business hours. Depending on the audience you are targeting and the network you are using can determine when you should be posting your content, but think about this…..
If everyone is doing the same thing, kind of, and posting at the “right times” it makes the newsfeed a very competitive and saturated place to be. Your poor little post will need to be awesome to get noticed, or be boosted or sponsored. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying do not post at these times, I am just saying we should remember to post at some irregular times too.
I have found in my own experiences that sometimes when I post at a time when is not “the right time” that I often get a better response. Hmmm…. could this be because the competition is asleep or newsfeeds are empty? Sure you might not get the biggest audience, but you have got a good chance of being seen by the people who do happen to be online.
Stay random. Create your scheduled posts and use the recommended time frames. Use your page insights to see when your audience is most engaging with your posts. Now try something different for a week. Offset your post by about two hours later into the day or night. Monitor it again, and see what changes. Think about your product and the buyers you attract, what would their daily routine be like? When would they be surfing the net?
Experiment the shit out of it!
The best advice I can give you is to try. If your social media posts or email marketing campaigns are not being noticed or engaged with, mix it up a bit. Change the times you schedule them for. The best feature about social media is the reports and analytics. (Email marketing packages from Xmedia Digital Solutions include campaign analytics too!) Check your page insights to see what your posts are doing. Reach will give you an idea of how many people are seeing the content, whilst post engagement will show how many are actually taking notice. Don’t be worried if your page engagement is low, as a lot of the time, people interact with your post in their newsfeed and never even visit your page. I find post engagement comes down to content – don’t sell, stay intriguing, and border on the line of click-bait.
Some people like to post a couple of times a week, myself, I am a big fan of a few posts a day, especially on Facebook. This way you are giving yourself a chance to grab the attention of a different audience, especially if they are a good 6-12 hours apart. Social media engagement stops as soon as your posts do (majority of the time). Sure it might look post heavy when you look at your page, but remember, most of the time people are seeing your content in their newsfeed not on your page. If you are posting a couple of times on the same day, keep the content different or try another approach, otherwise it could become intrusive in newsfeeds.
Paid advertising is different of course, as these posts will be automatically inserted into newsfeeds at ideal times (depending on your budget). What I am predominantly referring to is organic posts on social media, the ones that cost you nada, not a cent!
As with most online marketing, your social media campaigns should be consistent and always evolving. With real time analytics and insights, you would be crazy not to experiment. Don’t trust the experts alone, experiment with your social media posts yourself. Learn what works best and go hard.
In my business, I look after a number of social media accounts, and they definitely have different audiences that engage in different ways and times.
What do you find works best on your social media pages? I hope this article helps you, especially if your page has become stale and you are not sure where to go next with it. Try something new. See what your competition is doing. If all else fails, I can do it for you for a little while, there is nothing like a fresh pair of eyes on your campaign efforts!
Hey guys and girls. It has definitely been a while since my last post, and there has been a reason for that….. I’ve been super busy!
I am sure you all know the feeling, especially those small business owners out there, you get all caught up doing work for clients and family and next minute, you realise you have run out of time to pay attention to your own business. Shock horror, how did this happen?!
Easy, you set priorities. For me, its simple. When it comes to my family and the clients that are helping my business grow, I know they get my attention first. Anything I get to do later for my business in terms of online marketing, lead building and networking is a bonus.
This is why I believe it is important to have systems in place that keep running even when you cannot pay them attention. Online ad campaigns are great for this, as well as squeeze pages and scheduled social media posts. Do you use automation and processes to keep your business running even when you feel like you have come to a stop?
What has happened?
In the last few months, I have spent a lot of time with a few new clients that have increased their online marketing spends and campaigns to reach more people, and the time needed for research and campaign building can be quite large. I have also been busy organising the house and our routines with my beautiful princess for our new bub due in November. Super excited! My 1 year old and 13 year old are showing signs of excitement, especially now with the baby bump really showing.
As for the business, we have had our best month in June taking on a host of new clients and campaigns, as well as creating some really nice websites. To top it off, the amount of quotes I am doing is growing, especially since launching our new landing pages. Check out the new sites at www.xmediads.rocks and let me know what you think. I have kept the pages simple, with minimal distractions. Would love your feedback, and thank you to everyone who has commented to me so far. Love your positive words!
What to expect…
So with my business growing up into the star I knew it was destined to be, as well as my family about to welcome a new member, you can expect me to be working my butt off. I have been super lucky to have my partner for life and princess Brydie by my side, and she keeps me heading in the right direction and motivated. With her new ventures taking off as well with herbalenergy.com.au and Herbalife, we are focusing on lifestyle changes and the big picture.
For us, the big picture has always been about making our careers streamline with our family and social life, whilst still allowing us the freedom of time and travel. It has taken a while to get to this point, but finally we are starting to notice the changes. No longer are we tied to set work hours during set times, or having to work out of the one location. Both our businesses allow more of a laptop lifestyle. The more time we put in, the more we get out of it. Does this mean we are tied to our electronic devices? Well, sometimes, but we are in the freedom of our own time and adventures. I could be blogging or creating an ad campaign sitting in a cafe in beautiful Newcastle, or closer to home at one of the beautiful Hunter valley vineyards or cellar door eateries.
My love is sharing what I do, how I do it, and how I can help you with your online marketing adventures, so I guess you can expect more helpful posts on here, as well as across our Facebook pages and social media presence. I make a habit of keeping my business pages personal and not all about business. I’m real, my business is real, and I want my social media pages to come across that way.
What to do next..
If you are reading this, you either are interested in what I have to say, or intrigued to see where this is leading to. Well, either way, it leads right back to this blog. Be sure to bookmark my page and check out my latest articles. The next few will be about using online marketing tools like UnBounce and AdRoll to create better sales funnels, automated lead generators and how to create an online audience interested in your brand. Sound good? Stay tuned. Same bat channel. But probably a different bat time. Dave out.
With all the social media accounts we manage and setup, I get a lot of interest in Instagram, people asking whether they need to have an Instagram account for their business page, or is it worth doing for their brand. In short, yes!
The platform is a great way to create a community, use pictures to attract the right audience, as well as linking in with it’s parent company Facebook for advertising.
The Right Tools for the Job.
Now it’s like everything else in business, you need to use the right tools for the job. In this case, Instagram requires you to be active in finding your audience. How do you do this?
Find other brands in your field and look at their users and like counts. If you find an image has got a high number of likes and comments along with the type of audience you are looking to create for your brand, examine the post and work out what brought those people there.
Use hashtags. Love ’em or hate ’em Hashtags make the world go round on Instagram. They help people find what they are looking for, relevant posts and brands they want to follow. Try searching a few things you like and see what hashtags the post has used. The secret to hashtags is using them the right way. More on that in a sec.
Create a bio that tells all about your brand as well as creating that want for more. Try a giveaway such as a free ebook. The Instagram bio is the one place where a URL link will actually work so don’t waste the opportunity. It is often beneficial to create a landing page just for users from Instagram to land on. Make it an offer to obtain or learn something. It is a great way to help build your mailing list!
Use quality images! I can’t stress this enough. Think about what gets your attention when scrolling through a feed of images. If you aren’t creating your own, be sure to use quality stock images, and upload them in the right size to match the layout – 1080px by 1080px for square photos, 1080 by 1350 for vertical photos, and 1080 by 566 for horizontal photos.
Timing your posts is super important. Try to work out when your ideal audience gets online. A lot of the time, this comes down to trial and error, you will need to try a few posts until you get this sorted, then go for gold!
To Hashtag or Not to Hashtag.
You either hate them or love them, the hashtag has become one of this centuries well known words, often associated with the duck face and selfie crowd, they can be evil, but also oh sooo good for your branding.
Think about a hashtag or tag, as sorting for posts and images. If you had a whole heap of photos, you might sort some into family, some into business and the rest into randomness. On Instagram, we can do this by using hashtags. For example, a photo of you and the kids might use the hashtag #family or #lovedones
Try searching using hashtags and it will help you get a better understanding and appreciation of the tool. Now create a list of hashtags that are relevant to your audience. Once again, look at posts from other brands similar to yours and see what attracts the most. Super important: Don’t just use your brand name for hashtags. Especially when you are just starting out, no one is going to be looking for it. Throw it amongst a few other hashtags.
How much of a good thing is too much? The sky is the limit with hashtags, but we usually recommend a max limit of around 25 – 30. Sometimes it can be beneficial to break your list up. Post some below your post content, and the rest in the comment section. Try revisiting older posts and put relevant hashtags in the comments section. With the right tags, you will see this post being found again. A great way to recreate traffic to older yet still important posts!