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Online Marketing Resources

12 Aug

Looking for more online, easy-to-use, inexpensive marketing resources?

If yes, then check out this slideshow from Damon Nofar, a freelance presentation designer who helps marketers and speakers with their presentations. These nine resources are featured in the slideshow:

 

 

Small Business Social Media Trends

4 Aug

Interested in seeing how small businesses use social media to generate sales? Curious about which social media platforms are working well for small firms?

For its seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner surveyed 3,720 marketers, business owners, and solopreneurs from the United States and overseas, to uncover various trends. Here are 12 of the most important trends:

  1. Social Media Critical for Small Business — “96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, ‘Social media marketing is important for my business.'”
  2. Facebook Dominates Small Business Social Media Marketing — “The majority of respondents carry out social media marketing on Facebook. 93% use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%.”
  3. B2B Small Businesses Use Social Differently Than B2C — “Breaking down Social Media Marketing Industry Report averages is useful. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking.”
  4. Most Small Business Marketers Don’t Know if Facebook Efforts Are Working — “Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business AND that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook outreach is ‘working.’”
  5. Small Businesses Plan to Expand Facebook Activities This Year — “The Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that, again, despite the cloudiness surrounding Facebook’s effectiveness, 62% plan to increase activities on it.”
  6. Most Small Businesses Spend 6 Hours or More Weekly on Social Media — “Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time.”
  7. Small Businesses Identify Increased Exposure as Social’s Top Benefit — “Even though ‘increased exposure’ is more difficult to measure than a metric like traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.”
  8. Increased Traffic to Website Is Number-Two Benefit of Social Marketing — “77% of the survey respondents have appreciated the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral (clicking from Facebook or LinkedIn to the website for a blog post or landing page offer). Google Analytics and other tools make getting this data possible, even easy.”
  9. Social Media Cuts Marketing Expenses for Small Businesses — “Early on, social media developed the reputation of reaching audiences at a low price.”
  10. Small Business Direct Social Sales Rise Over Time — “More than half of marketers who have been using social media for more than 2 years report their channels helped them improve sales. Seventy percent of those with a 5-year social media marketing investment report it helps improve sales.”
  11. Facebook Dominates Social Media Paid Ads — “The low cost associated with social media ads is just one aspect that appeals to small businesses. The ability to target ads to a narrow geographic (down to the zip code) and demographic market provides another.”
  12. Types of Social Media Content — “Blogging and visual assets nearly tied at 70% and 71% respectively. The self-employed depend on blogging, with 79% of that faction reporting they blog. At this time, just 10% of marketers use podcasting, but some speculate that podcasting could be an opportunity. Requiring higher budgets and more technology, video content finishes third.”

 

Click the image to read more.

 

Pinterest Adding Buyable Pins

24 Jul

Pinterest is more popular than ever, and just keeps on growing.

Consider these statistics compiled by Craig Smith of DMR: 42 percent of all online U.S. adult women (and 13 percent of men) utilize Pinterest. In the U.S., as of 2015, Pinterest has more than 47 million total users (expected to reach 59 million by 2019); an additional 40 percent of users are from outside the United States. The average visit time is 14 minutes (98 minutes per month). 18 percent of Pinterest users have annual household incomes above $75,000.

Based on these figures, it really is a big deal that Pinterest has now decided to allow “buyable” pins. Here’s how the program will work, as reported by Suzannah Morris for HubSpot:

How Does it Work for Consumers? Next to the red ‘Pin it’ button, there will be a blue ‘Buy it’ button on pins. Any product with the blue ‘Buy it’ button will be available for purchase, directly from Pinterest. Consumers can filter by price and see different color and size options right on the pin. Then, when they’re ready to checkout, all they have to do is click the ‘Buy it’ button and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card. Pinterest is working with payment processors and Apple Pay, so that the consumers’ credit card information is secure. This is initially being rolled out in the U.S. on iPhones and iPads. Desktop and Android users will have to wait for future releases to be able to ‘Buy it.'”

How Can Your Business Get Involved? For the launch, Pinterest anticipates having more than 2 million buyable pins available by partnering with retailers like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom, as well as companies on the Demandware and Shopify commerce platforms. If you’re a Shopify user, you just need to add the Pinterest channel. If you’re a Demandware user, you need to contact your customer success manager. Not on Shopify or Demandware but eager to get involved? Pinterest has started a waitlist for businesses to sign up to be notified when future integrations are launched.”

 

Click the image to read more from Morris.


 

The Stages of Social Media Engagement

23 Jul

At this point in time, millions of organizations (and individuals) have become engaged in social media. However, they are not all at the same stage of development. Some are much further advanced than others.

As reported by Simply Measured:

“Nearly every technology applied to business processes, from change management software to cyber security, now boasts a maturity model. They’re intended to point out how far a company has gone towards optimizing the use of the technology. Social media is no exception.”

“Among the sources of information on social media maturity today, one stands out. It’s business research and consulting firm Altimeter Group’s paper, The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation. The six stages – planning, presence, engagement, formalized, strategic, and converged – describe how companies go from dabbling part-time in social to considering social in every strategic business decision they make in every department. When a company reaches this final, most evolved stage, Altimeter calls it a ‘social business.’”

In what stage of social media development do YOU fall? What are YOU doing to move further along in your development?

 

 

 

Free Resources from Trendwatching.com

17 Jul

Trendwatching.com is an excellent source of information about current and emerging trends around the globe:

“Established in 2002, we help forward-thinking business professionals in 180+ countries understand the new consumer and subsequently uncover compelling, profitable innovation opportunities. We rely on professionals in London, New York, São Paulo, Singapore and Lagos and on our network of spotters in more than 90+ countries worldwide.”

At its Web site, Trendwatching.com makes available a number of free resources. Here are some recent examples:

 

 

Analyzing Competitors’ Social Media Activities

14 Jul

How can we assess the social media activities of competitors? Although there are several perspectives we can take, Social Media Examiner has presented several excellent tips for monitoring competitors.

As reported by Megan Hannay:

“Researching your competitors on social media not only provides an overview of your industry, but it also gives you insight into the current habits of the audiences you’re targeting. By answering a few key questions, you’ll see what kinds of posts are effective for the people you want to reach.”

Here are just some of the questions raised by Hannay in her article:

#1: Analyze Facebook Pages — If you want to gain insight into a company’s Facebook page, here are some questions to consider: How many followers do they have? What are they posting about?Are their posts mostly internal (company-based) news, blog posts and articles; mostly external news, blog posts and articles; or a mix of both?”

#2: Look at Twitter Accounts — How many followers do they have? How many accounts are they following? A good rule of thumb: An account with 50,000 followers that’s following 500 users probably has more influence than an account with 50,000 followers that’s following 49,000 users, unless they bought followers.”

#3: Examine Instagram Accounts — How many followers do they have? How many accounts are they following? Are their posts mostly internal, external or a mix of both? How on-brand are their photos? Do they show the product or service in each shot, or do they follow a more lifestyle-oriented content strategy?”

#4: Review YouTube Channels — What’s their video content like, and how on-brand is it? Do they stick to product tutorials, or do they branch out to product non-specific tutorials? Do they show off company parties and happy hours? How many subscribers do they have?”

#5: Evaluate Pinterest Accounts — How many followers do they have, and how many users do they follow? How do they show off their product or service in pins? How do they organize their pins? What are their board names? Are their pins all brand-generated (product pins) or do they repin others?”

#6: Monitor Snapchat, Periscope, and Meerkat Accounts — Due to the nature of their content, it’s difficult to evaluate these channels in one go. But if your competitors use them, follow their accounts and check out their content when it goes live. Here are some questions to consider: What content are they posting? How many interactions (on Periscope and Meerkat) do they garner from their fans?”

 
Click the image to read all of Hannay’s suggestions.


 

Amazon Creates Its Own “Prime” Holiday

8 Jul

To stimulate its Prime Membership business, Amazon has created a new “Prime Day” holiday on July 15, 2015.

As Tim Parry recently reported for Multichannel Merchant: “While not unheard of globally, Prime Day appears to be the first self-created selling holiday launched by a U.S.-based web merchant. Selling holidays have shown to be successful in China: Alibaba’s Singles Day (November 11) in China brought that marketplace $9.3 billion in one-day sales. And last month, JD.com announced record-breaking one-day results from its June 18 JD.com Anniversary Sale.”

Here is Amazon’s blurb about Prime Day, followed by a YouTube video:

“On the eve of Amazon’s 20th birthday, the company will celebrate Prime Day — a global shopping event with more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members. To celebrate Prime Day and launch a Prime Living Photo Contest, local artists were commissioned in every Prime-eligible country, with locations ranging from Toronto to Milan and Seattle to Berlin to create their interpretations of #PrimeLiving. What is #PrimeLiving? Members frequently reveal how much they love Prime. So Amazon is providing members a forum to share how Prime helps enable some of their happy moments. Did you save enough time today to take the dog for a long walk? Did you finish your shopping while lounging at the beach? After a long week of work, did you still arrive in the perfect outfit with just the right gift? Take a snap, capture the moment. Between July 6 and July 15, Amazon invites members to enter a photo in the Prime Living Photo Contest for the chance to win the equivalent of $10,000 in Amazon Gift Cards. No purchase necessary. See contest rules.”

 

 

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