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How to Tell if Your Marketing is Working

So what are some ways of how to tell if your marketing is working? Well, there’s a few, so let’s jump into it. 

1. You See an Increase in Business

This one is somewhat obvious so let\’s get it out of the way first. If you launch a new marketing campaign and suddenly see a jump in customers and sales, then you know something is working. This may include physical visitors to your storefront, more phone calls scheduling appointments, more emails in your mailing list, etc. 

2. Your Analytics Show Improvement

If you aren’t checking your analytics religiously, you should be. If your marketing tactics are doing what they are supposed, they you should see it reflected in the analytics. If you’re looking for social media signs, then look for an increase in comments, shares, retweets, likes. You’re hoping to see a generalized increase in engagement with your posts/ads. If your looking for more website visits, you want to check you Google Analytics for traffic, click through rates, heat maps, and search result rankings

Bonus: Cost Per Click

When you run ads online, you should be able to see a “Cost Per Click” metric in your analytics. The lower this number is in your results, the better. Basically, the cost per click represents the amount of money a click “cost” you. This is determined by taking your budget that you’ve spent on the ads divided by the number of clicks you received. So if you spent $100 on Facebook ads and received 4 clicks, then each click cost you $25. If this number is low, it means that you’re getting a lot of clicks for the money that you spent, assuming you’ve spent a decent amount of money on the ads in the first place. 

Hacks Vs. Scams

Each day, people scour YouTube videos to gain insight on new ways to garner attention and clients for their business. Unfortunately, marketing actions that seem amazing might not be as miraculous as they appear on the surface. This article will help you distinguish between marketing scams and hacks that provide value for money spent or time invested.

Here are some marketing hacks the pros use compared with marketing scams you’ll want to stay away from.

1) Scam: Pop Up Windows

For years, entities have utilized throwing pop up windows over websites you visit. They do this so you’ll click on it or subscribe to their newsletter by accident. Pop-ups can be ads, notices, offers, or alerts that open on your computer. Some pop-ups are third-party ads that use phishing tactics—like warnings or prizes. They do this to trick you into believing they’re from a trusted company, so you’ll share personal or financial information. They might also claim to offer free downloads, software updates, or plugins, to trick you into installing unwanted software.

Luckily, web browsers like Safari & Google Chrome offer enhanced pop-up blockers to keep rogue adware activity to a minimum. This method is typically predatory at best and won’t be beneficial for conversions for the majority of businesses.

2) Hack: Opt-ins

Opt-ins are the less aggressive, more friendly cousin of pop-ups. Opt-ins appear on websites after a few seconds, either drawing your attention to something in particular. Things like a new collection, offering you a discount, or asking you to subscribe to their mailing list.

For e-commerce businesses, it’s a great idea to offer the customer something like 10% off for subscribing to their mailer. If you aren’t e-commerce, it’s ok to simply ask your viewer to subscribe to get updates & exclusive updates.

3) Scam: Buying Likes, Followers, Comments & Views

Purchasing likes is the marketing equivalent of buying a lottery ticket—your chances of winning are slim to none. If you think sensically, buying likes represent that you do not have faith in your business idea or content, and you do not think it would genuinely attract people.

Even when you do buy marketing services like this, it is unlikely that they’ll be seen by anyone in any regard. People purchasing marketing hacks like these are easily recognized and typically end up with no added value for their time or money spent.

4) Hack: Guerrilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is an extremely popular marketing tactic used by marketers all over the world to get customers talking about their business when they can’t afford advertising space on billboards, radio, TV commercials, print media & even social media ads. The word “guerrilla,” in its written form, seems very intense. It conjures images of rebellion and conflict. Put it next to the word “marketing,” and it makes a lot of people ask, “Huh?”

But guerrilla marketing isn’t some sort of combative form of communication. In fact, it’s actually a very unconventional form of marketing in that it raises brand awareness among large audiences without interrupting them. What marketers really enjoy about guerrilla marketing is its fairly low-cost nature. The real investment here is a creative, intellectual one.

As niche as it might seem, there are actually a few sub-categories of guerrilla marketing:

  • Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing. Adds something to preexisting urban environments, like putting something removable onto a statue, or putting temporary artwork on sidewalks and streets.
  • Indoor Guerilla Marketing. Similar to outdoor guerrilla marketing, only it takes place in indoor locations like train stations, shops, and university campus buildings.
  • Event Ambush Guerilla Marketing. Leveraging the audience of an in-progress event — like a concert or a sporting game — to promote a product or service in a noticeable way, usually without permission from the event sponsors.
  • Experiential Guerilla Marketing. All of the above, but executed in a way that requires the public to interact with the brand.

(Hubspot https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/guerilla-marketing-examples)

5) Scam: Boost Posts = Advertising

Social media management is challenging; it might seem easy on the eye. But mostly, it’s all about planning content, promoting it, and analyzing critical KPIs. Every post that gets published goes into the report, and at the end of the day, you have to generate revenue from social media, or else there is no reason to continue.

For the sake of generating good ROI and showing better numbers on Facebook and Instagram reports, we have seen agencies simply boosting posts without any proper plan and trust us, when you enable boosting on multiple posts with no particular goal in mind, you are losing money.

You must realize that a quick boost in reach does not necessarily translate into more revenues and better ROI, especially even more so in the case of a retail or e-commerce business.

Furthermore, boosting every post is not even recommended. You must know that most of the additional users who might see your post may not be your target audience, and hence they are unlikely to respond to your content.

When you “boost” your posts, you are not advertising, you are simply throwing flyers from a helicopter, and most of them end up on the road (or) in the trash!

In reality, boosting social posts does help a brand but boosting every other post on Facebook (or) Instagram doesn’t make sense. (Mad Tomatoes)

6) Hack: Email Lists

An email list is simply a list of emails that businesses have gathered from visitors/customers that would like to receive information, updates, discounts, and other details about your business in a digital format that is sent to their email inbox.

The numbers for email marketing look good: you are 6x more likely to get higher click-thru rates on an email than on a tweet. Also, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

(https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/importance-building-email-list/)

Email marketing helps you not only to build a relationship with your customers, but gives you a proven way to nurture leads and convert them into long lasting customers. No matter what type of business you operate, an email list is the most important element of a successful marketing strategy.

7)Scam: following or inboxing random people on social media

Have you ever maxed out the daily follow button on a social platform? I won’t do it ever again on any platform, this may be one of the most toxic tactics out there.

While following a max number of people a day has the potential to boost your follower count in terms of numbers, it usually reduces your reach in the long run. Most followers notice when something is not right on your profile, and it also triggers a massive red flag with the platforms.

Social platforms are designed to bury content with a low-follower-to-engagement ratio. Facebook is known for such practice. I assume most social media and writing platforms follow in the same footsteps. Think about it. Nobody wants boring content.

What you should do instead of following everyone in your geographical area is find 10 individuals within your target demographics and leave a thoughtful comment under one of their posts.

8) Hack: Review marketing

Happy customers are one of the most effective marketing tools you can get. Their feedback doesn’t just help you adjust your sales or customer service strategy. It can also strengthen brand loyalty, convert more prospects, and power up your SEO efforts. Reviews can be used to raise your business’s value, foster trust in your potential customer, & increase your brand’s authority.

Data shows that 89% of consumers don’t take action until they read reviews. Working to best present reviews to your target audience can help you achieve noticeable results without a high marketing cost.

9) Scam: Cheap Websites

These days, every business needs a website. If you don’t have a website, that should be one of your top priorities to gain traction with your business. However, don’t trust low website-building prices. 

A website is an investment, especially if you want a custom made one. If someone offers to create a website for you and the price is unbelievable, you’ll get what you pay for. The website will likely be poorly designed and may even be a duplicate of another website. If that’s the case, you may get blacklisted by Google for unoriginal content.

Another option is available through large media companies who offer free or low-cost websites in exchange for other contracted services. The problem with that is that when you decide to stop working with that company, you can’t take your website with you and will end up responsible for forking out the cash when you didn’t plan to

Using marketing hacks can have a big impact on marketing campaigns, but it also has the potential to hurt relationships with consumers if done incorrectly.

Why Shouldn’t You Market to Everyone

Why shouldn’t you market to everyone? Well, there’s a few reasons. You could just bombard everyone with ads and hope that they’ll become customers. However, is that the best way to do it?

Let’s break it down

\"Why

Let’s say you sell purses. Now if you market to everyone, on average you’re likely to hit about a 50/50 split of men and women. Now let’s take the majority of men out of the equation. Usually, they aren’t interested in purses unless it’s for a gift.

So that’s already a significant portion of your audience that is out the window. It’s not just your audience that’s gone, it’s also your money and effort.  And then if you look at women, that’s going to be another major chunk gone as a lot of women who use purses already, have purses they are satisfied with. So with the shotgun blast approach, you’re spending tons of money and time to hit just a fraction of your audience.

Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money and time marketing to 100% of an audience that are likely to purchase your products? Yes, yes it would be.

There’s a better way than marketing to everyone.

Getting new customers is important, make no mistake. And yeah, you’ll likely get new customers from the spread approach to your marketing. However, the numbers for the cost to profit just don’t add up.

Instead what you want to do is to market to your current customers with deals and specials, and then tactically market to non-customers that are more likely to become customers.

The tactical part is where marketing experts and consultants usually have to come in to help, but it’s very doable, and typically costs less than marketing to everyone under the sun.

What is Social Proof?

Did you ever play Follow the Leader or Simon Says as an adolescent? Can you recall saying the phrase “All the cool kids are doing it” as a teenager. Ever avoided visiting a restaurant or watching a movie because of bad reviews? If so, then you my friend, have been under the influence of Social Proof.

Social proof isn’t all that unlike those childhood games.

People with authority and influence often call the shots and those of us who are unfamiliar, often follow along happily, and without second thought.

But it’s also more than just who is speaking up. Social Proof is a numbers game. For example, when shopping on Amazon are you more likely to purchase the product with one hundred reviews or six thousand reviews? Probably the product with more reviews.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because it can improve your business! We can use this insight to influence your audience to gain their trust. That trust is key if you are trying to convert followers into customers. But how do you go about actually applying this information? Well, here are a few suggestions to increase your online authority and leverage social proof.

Let Others Speak on Your Behalf:

-Encourage Customers to share Photos and Testimonials

-Spotlight and Reward Customers who do Give Reviews

-Share Reviews on 3rd party sites like Yelp and Google

-Begin a Customer Referral Program

-Work with micro-influencers to endorse your brand

Proudly Display Your Best Numbers:

-How many followers do you have on Social Media?

-How many customers have bought your product or used your service?

-Have you saved your clients money, if so how much?

Take Advantage of Visuals:

-Showcase before and after photos

-Share videos of your product/service in action

Brag on Yourself:

-Have you won any awards for your work?

-Has your business been featured locally?

-Showcase any certifications you may have.

We hope this encourages you to jump on the bandwagon as well. If you’re serious about increasing conversions and driving traffic you may want to consider implementing some of the above mentioned suggestions. After all, leveraging Social Proof is fairly simple, affordable and can have huge payoffs for your business.

So What’s Affiliate Marketing?

Before we get into all the benefits of affiliate marketing, let’s talk about what exactly it is.

What is affiliate marketing?

Have you ever seen a link to a product on somebody’s website that they don’t own? Maybe a video where someone talks about a product that they like and they ask you to click a link? That’s affiliate marketing baby.

Basically, affiliate marketing is a practice in which a business (typically one involved in e-commerce) partners with an affiliate to promote it’s products on their online spaces, whether it be websites, videos, social media, etc. 

So it’s the same as a sponsership?

Make no mistake, sponsorships are different. With sponsorships, the promoter gets paid a flat fee to showcase the product. Additionally, more restrictions get placed on how the actual promotion happens. You usually have to stick to the script and guidelines more with sponsorships. With affiliate marketing, the promotor get’s a percentage of the sales made. It also tends to be more lax on how to present the content.

So what are the benefits? Well, affiliate marketing gives you access to a broader market for your product to sit with. The decision of who you pick as your affiliate is up to you! Meaning that you can choose the perfect person to reach your target audience. Finally, it’s cheaper than a lot of other methods while still netting a great return on investment. All that said, there are still somethings you should look out for.

What should I expect with affiliate marketing?

For one, this sort of thing requires some preplanning. Setting up all of the terms of conditions, finding the right affiliates, clearly establishing what can and cannot be done takes some effort.

There’s also the potential for fraud with affiliate marketing. Underhanded affiliates can squat on domain names with misspellings and get a commission for the redirect. They’ll also use online registration forms containing fake or stolen information, purchase AdWords campaigns off search terms where company rank high in popularity (and make more money), spam social media channels about their offers. The best way to avoid this kind of this is to have someone closely monitoring the affiliate program.

Affiliate marketing can bring in a lot of good business to your company, and is honestly something that any e-commerce business should be taking advantage of. That being said, it’s not a faultless marketing tactic that will bring you millions in a day from “some weird trick” it takes some effort and maintenance. All in all, it’s worth the time investment to get working the way it should.

How OTT Ads Are So Effective

Streaming video ads (or OTT Ads) have become the most popular form of digital marketing. You can usually find streaming video ads on sites like Youtube, Hulu, ESPN, and more. Video streaming ads use modern machine learning (AI) to target consumers. The data used for targeting comes from whatever streaming platform you use.

This is also possible by using third-party services such as a Smart Ads platform! Modern AI will be able to find the ideal consumers for your ads through machine learning. Neat, huh?

The new nontraditional market of streamers are cord-cutters. Cord cutters are a valued audience. Improved targeting filters will help reach them with ads. The cool thing is that the AI will send them the ads that are most likely to appeal to them.

The cord cutter’s ad inventory is a gold mine for advertisers. Not only do they have increased access to media campaigns, but you can also target them by their user behavior and geographic location. This is all with improved filters that ensure your ads show up only when it matters most!

Why Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels are Important

Google Analytics and a Facebook Pixel can give you valuable insights into your target audience.

Both of these tools provide businesses with the ability to track who visits their website, where they come from and how they interact on your site. This data can then be used to inform decisions about future marketing campaigns and product development.

What does Google Analytics do?

Google Analytics will inform you where visitors came from, their age range, their gender, and many more insights into who is viewing your site. This enables you to see if your business is attracting the audience you were looking for.

What about the Facebook Pixel?

As for Facebook Pixel, this does something similar, but it works more closely with Facebook. The Facebook Pixel is a small bit of code that you install onto your website that allows you to track events that happen on your website. The process of installation is a simple one, as Facebook will walk you through the process with easy to understand steps. Once the Pixel is in place, anytime someone interacts with the events you’ve established it will log the action and gather demographic information on who interacted with what. You can then use that info whenever you run Facebook ads to target those who are similar to the people who use your site, ensuring more qualified leads.

Both of these tools are valuable when it comes to targeting the potential customers that are the most likely to actually become lasting customers.

What are CRMs and how should you use them?

A CRM allows for a variety of ways for you to engage with customers in a variety of ways. What exactly is a CRM?

Customer relationship management, or CRM for short helps companies stay connected to their customers and streamline processes in order to improve profitability. A CRM system can be beneficial because it can be used to improve business relationships with clients by making sure that all interactions are managed efficiently.

When people talk about CRM, they’re usually referring to a tool that helps with contact management and sales. However these days it can be used for managing customer relationships in areas like marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service interactions.

What kind of CRMs are there?

There are a variety of CRMs available to a small business, so which one is right for you? A commonly used CRM is Mailchimp. Mailchimp allows you to send out mass emails to people on your email lists, segmenting them as you see fit. It also has automation functionality, enabling you to set up certain processes on auto-pilot, such as checkout notifications or abandoned cart reminders. Best of all, MailChimp is free to use up until your contact list reaches a certain amount.

Another commonly used CRM is Active Campaign. Active Campaign is a good choice if you want to get very technical with your customer relations. It features automation functionality (however it’s significantly more expensive than Mailchimp) audience segmentation, email customization, customer stage displays, etc. etc. Active Campaign does cost to use however, and is more for those businesses that already have a lot of contacts, or want to do very specific things with customer management.

Overall, most businesses with plans to grow out will eventually need to utilize a CRM of some kind and this is for two reasons. The first is that the ability to communicate with your customers on a mass scale is a valuable tool for communicating deals, encouraging customer loyalty, and ensuring brand consistency when interacting with your clients.

The second reason is the ability to automate tasks can significantly cut down the time it takes to do busy work, like sending out hundreds of emails to hundreds of people. Time is often something that we are running out off, so why not take every chance you can to get some back?

What is an SSL Certificate?

Having a SSL certificate is a vital part of having a website for your business, but what is an SSL certificate?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital security measure that authenticates the identity of your website and encrypts information sent to the server. Encryption scrambles data into an undecipherable format, making it inaccessible without proper decryption keys.

Certificates are electronic passports that establish an online entity’s credentials when doing business on the Web. When a user attempts to send confidential information, their browser accesses this server’s digital certificate and creates a secure connection.

As for why it’s important to have, well there’s a number of reasons. Having an SSL cert means that your website is much more secure than without. It will protect users personal information, credit card details, passwords, usernames, and sensitive data from outside malicious sources.

How do you know if your site has an SSL cert? When you visit a website, if you look to the upper left hand corner, near the page URL, you should see a lock symbol. If the symbol is there, it means that the site you’re on has a SSL certificate.

Everything to Know About Posting Apps

Third-party apps can be a great way to streamline your social media management, but it’s important to not use them everywhere. Scheduling posts through third party software like Later or Hootsuite may end up hurting the results you see on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram which have built in features for scheduling content. Because Meta wants you to use their scheduling tools, they will actually suppress the reach of posts that are scheduled through outside apps. However, there is still a place for these third party systems when it comes to social media.

For Facebook and Insta

Third-party scheduling tools are a must for running any social media campaign. This is because other platforms like Twitter, TikTok and Linkedin don’t have built in features to schedule posts on their own! These apps can cut down your time working with social media significantly while giving you an overview of what content will be appearing throughout all channels at once. So if you want to orchestrate your messages a certain way across platforms, you don’t have to bounce between websites to do so.

For Everything Else

All of this to say, third party scheduling apps are an important tool to use when you’re trying to grow your social media presence. Later.com is a very simple application for scheduling Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tik tok. You can schedule through it for free, albeit with limitations to the number of posts and features like tagging. Hootsuite is more of a one stop shop for scheduling, posting, and analytics data. There are also a ton of functionality options that you can play around with, such as assigning special access to your employees to specific accounts. Buffer is probably the best for someone just starting out. Its free options give you enough functionality to do things, and if you decide to upgrade, the price point is fairly cheap.