Monday, November 20, 2017

Benefits of Combining SEO & PPC to Beat Your Competition









E-commerce and online businesses have witnessed a phenomenal transformation in the area of online marketing. Every second of the day, all over the Internet, many commercial websites are springing up on the internet. These websites are making their best effort to be visible in the online world as well as in the offline. More importantly these online business owners are focused not only on their internet presence but want to offer consumers a convenient shopping experience in the privacy and comfort of their homes.

Commercials websites compete against each other by using the two most powerful advertising strategies: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay per Click (PPC) in trying to attract more traffic to their websites. When these two strategizes are coupled together ranking of the websites improve drastically and thereby has an opportunity to keep an edge over the competition.
Twin equalizers to outrank the competitors

The importance of combining SEO and PPC in a marketing strategy are formidable tools that act to form twin equalizers in the effort to counter act the strategies of the competition.
Benefits of combining SEO and PPC are:

The combination of both SEO and PPC will improve both organic and paid results. The keywords that are found to be profitable with PPC can then be used for SEO.
  • Enhances the Click Through Rates (CTR). Generating and testing content will be advantageous to both search engine ranking as well as the PPC click through rates.
  • High conversation rates: When using PPC along with the organic results the chances of conversion into paying clients drastically increases.
  • Best keywords identification: PPC is considered to be the best tool for measuring the results by which one can identify the best keyword and ad copy. These results can then be applied to the SEO strategy as well.
  • With the right combination, a company can outrank the competitors from the first page of Google and simultaneously increase the brand identity with overall increased exposure.
  • By dominating results a company can increase branding and protect online reputation as this combination guarantees a very strong online presence.
  • With well-planned integration of SEO and PPC online business owners can maximize the efficiency of their marketing efforts and at the same time optimize the spending for the campaigns that effectively increases the bottom line.

When managed properly and handled by the right experts, online business owners can achieve favourable results by combining these two great tools. This integrated approach will attract potential clients both from organic as well as paid channels. Statistics reveal that this combination increases conversion rates around forty percent. The combination enhances the online marketing strategies which deliver online business websites greater exposure with a much quicker ROI (Return on Investment).

In any business one cannot control the strategies adopted by the competitors. This is true in the online world as well. It is always suggested to follow proven techniques to attract more people to your website in order to retain existing customers and to turn the prospects into new customers. Smart online business owners will enhance their SEO strategies in integrating their organic SEO campaigns with a Pay per Click campaigns in order to outrank their immediate competitors. A combination of SEO and PPC will prove the best results in improving the bottom line. Through utilizing both SEO and PPC a well-planned home based online business can do better than the poorly designed websites of multimillion dollar global companies. The history of ‘Big companies eating the smaller ones’ has been changed to ‘Smart companies eating larger, slow to adapt companies’. When it comes to online businesses this is the new reality.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Essential Social Ads Tools to Help You Run Successful Campaigns




AdEspresso by Hootsuite allows us to do a number of important things with our ads. First off, we can run split test ad sets, which is key to running the most cost-effective campaign. Within a few days of the start of a campaign we know what ad copy and creative is performing best and why—allowing us to optimize the campaign.

In our ad dashboard, we get an overview of performance over time, top tracking metrics, total amount spent, conversions, and the best and worst performing ads. We can easily pinpoint ads that are not working for us.

AdEspresso also allows us to boost posts directly from the Hootsuite dashboard. This makes it easy to put money behind our best performing organic posts. Then we set up our ad campaign, select the ad account, run split tests, and manage the ad from Hootsuite.
Evernote

We use Evernote to share notes about ads among our team. Whenever we make a change to an ad or refresh our plan, we add notes so that we can time stamp our decisions and the reasons we made them.

Evernote is also great during the planning stage of an ad campaign because we can set out a timeline, roles and responsibilities, and outline a draft workback schedule. It’s also easy for us to link to other docs like strategy decks or calendars.

Hootsuite Enhance

When we’re creating ads, we often need access to images that we can we can quickly customize and resize for social. Using Hootsuite Enhance, we can use effects, filters, and fonts to create images for social.

All images for ads on social need to have less than 20 percent of the image covered by text, so we test our ad images using Facebook’s Image Text Check toolbeforehand to make sure they’re going to work.

UTM codes

Every ad campaign we run includes UTM parameters. That way we know exactly how much traffic and how many conversions are coming from specific ads. It also helps us identify the source of social traffic, i.e. which social network the ads sent traffic from.

UTM codes also help us group ads by type. We set up different tags by broad themes like brand awareness or campaign type like social ROI. This allows us to group ad performance and make observations. If we see that a certain ad group is performing best on a certain channel, we’ll shift our budget accordingly.
Slack

Messaging software Slack is awesome for cross-team collaboration. When we’re working on a big campaign, we can create a group, upload documents and resources, and get instant feedback. It’s an easy way for us to keep in touch with everyone who needs to know about our ad efforts.

We like the search box because we can go through our archives if we need to retrieve anything for reference, such as plans and notes from past campaign.

Facebook Blueprint

We run a lot of ads on Facebook, so having a learning resource like Facebook Blueprint is essential. It offers courses, guides, and training modules on the latest in social advertising.

It’s a one-stop-shop for all things Facebook advertising—whether you’re looking to try new ad formats, better optimize your ads, or refine your KPIs.

Unsplash

Searching for social media images can be time-consuming and expensive. That’s why having a handy list of free stock photo image sites can help speed up the process.

Our favorites are Unsplash and Kaboompics, because we can search by keyword for thousands of images in their database. This helps us narrow down our selection a lot faster.

Hootsuite Impact

Hootsuite Impact is a powerful measurement tool that allows us to report on all of our paid and organic performance. It helps us see the overall health of our channels and our return on investment (ROI).

It also offers recommendations on things like daily ad spend, geographic targeting, and approximate cost per action. This is especially useful when we’re running multiple campaigns and need to make sure that we’re consistent across all channels when looking at results.

When you’re running next ad campaign, get your toolkit in order before building out your plan. It will help you stay organized and properly track all of your campaigns.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Productivity Apps for Social Media Marketers


Imagine your life without coffee. Even if you aren’t a caffeine enthusiast, imagine never smelling that stimulating aroma, or seeing the words “coffee lover” in every social media manager’s Twitter bio. This delicious elixir was discovered in the 10th century, when beans that had fallen into a fire and roasted were dissolved in water.

We then saw the birth of percolators (1818), the espresso machine (1822), and what became the household standard—the electrical drip coffee brewer (1954). However, the coffee world was turned upside down when the first single-serve coffee pod system was introduced by Nestle in 1976. Efficiency became the name of the game.

There may already be acceptable systems in place, but sometimes you just need to get things done faster. When it comes to social media, the introduction of new tools and apps mean that you can take your productivity levels up a notch. Continue reading for a guide to some of our favorites.
8 productivity apps for social media marketers
1. Evernote

Evernote is the classic note-taking tool. It lets you create project to-do lists, save image notes, set reminders for yourself, and much more. Evernote’s cross-platform capabilities add another level of efficiency to your note-taking, allowing you to take your ideas wherever you go. Take notes from a content brainstorm and easily share them with your social media team, or save images that you want to incorporate into future social posts.

For Android

For iOS
2. Todoist

If you’re a social media manager who lives by your to-do lists, Todoist is an app you’ll want to add to your phone ASAP. One Hootsuite team member swears by Todoist thanks to the gamification aspect it includes when you finish a task (or not). You can also assign tasks to other individuals and group them by project, as well as add notes, files, and track tasks over time. Get ready to start crossing tasks off of some lists.

For Android

For iOS
3. Pomodoro Time

As a social media marketer, you know that every second of your workday counts. Enter: the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a time-management system that involves working in 25-minute intervals divided by short breaks. The idea is these small breaks can improve productivity. To work according to the Pomodoro Technique, use an app such as Pomodoro Time, which lets you manage your time, set goals, and maximize productivity.

For iOS

For Android (Comparable)
4. Canva

Visuals are a huge part of any social media marketer’s strategy, and anything that can make the image creation process more productive should be added to your mobile toolbox. Canva is used by over 10 million people around the world, and for good reason. Use the app to create social media images on the go with Canva’s countless templates and designs. You can add text, graphics, effects, and other engaging additions to your images (or one of Canva’s own).

For Android

For iOS
5. Dropbox

Once you’ve created or sourced images, you don’t want your productivity to be derailed while you try to find these images to add to your social media posts. Instead, use Dropbox to keep all of your files in one place that you can access from any device. You can also share large files quickly with your teammates so that you can get that video up on your Facebook page without waiting for a huge file transfer.

For Android

For iOS
6. Hootsuite

When it comes to productivity apps for social media marketers, we can’t help but toot our own horn. The Hootsuite dashboard and mobile app allows you to easily view, share, and schedule social media posts with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn so that you dedicate more time to actually creating content that gets you results.

For Android

For iOS
7. Noisli

Noise can have a huge impact on productivity—just ask those trying to meet a deadline in an open office. Noisli provides background noise that will “help you improve focus and boost your productivity” because as The Wall Street Journalexplains: “A moderate level of noise the equivalent of the background buzz of conversation prompts more creative thought.”

For Android

For iOS
8. Hemingway App

Hemingway App is a tool that will help you improve your writing skills so that you can create clear and quality posts for your social media audience. The tool will highlight any unclear or long-winded sentences, grammatical errors, or the use of passive voice in your writing. Simply copy and paste your text into the Hemingway App and find the areas of your writing that need work.

The right tools can make all the difference for a busy social media marketer. Whether you need help creating an image, sharing files, or writing the best Facebook post, the apps above will equip you to craft the most engaging content for your business.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ignoring a Social Media Network Can Damage Your Social Media Presence



How many social media network accounts does your business have? Every week, we recommend businesses to hop on the latest trending social network bandwagon, whether it’s to promote brand culture on Instagram or engage your audience with Vine videos. According to the eBizMBA Guide, there are currently 15 social networking sites with over 30 million unique monthly visitors; depending on the size of your business, your company may be required to join at least half of these to maintain a steady social media presence.

It’s not a surprise that sometimes, the pressure to maintain all accounts results in neglecting your brand’s social media presence on at least one social media network. And it doesn’t have to be completely abandoned in order to be considered neglected—a decreased frequency in posts and lack of replies to your audience’s comments is enough to tarnish your brand’s online reputation. To make sure your time is evenly distributed among all your social media accounts, we’ve come up with a list of reasons why neglecting a social network hurts your social media presence—and how to address these issues.
3 ways ignoring a social media network can damage your social media presence
1. Ignoring a social media network betrays your audience’s expectations

Remember what lead to your brand to joining the social network in the first place—it’s a great way to interact with current customers and educate potential customers about your company. But if your Twitter followers are greeted by the default egg display picture, and witness sporadic updates, they receive the opposite message: you don’t have time for your social media audience, and you don’t finish what you started. My guess is that’s not how your brand wants to be perceived.
2. Ignoring a social media network can cost you online followers—and potential customers

People sometimes find it more convenient to tweet a comment or a concern using the brand’s official Twitter handle, instead of putting in a phone call or submitting a comment card. By ignoring your online audience’s feedback you risk not only losing those customers, but also failing to address the potential hurdles in your services or product development. Not paying attention to your online audience can cause you to lose followers on your social networks, and even potential customers.
3. Neglecting a social media network can tarnish your brand’s online reputation

Your brand’s online reputation management isn’t so hard if you don’t neglect the social media networks you’re on. Decreased attention means a higher chance of committing one of many social media faux pas that could seriously threaten your brand’s reputation. To make matters worse, if you don’t regularly monitor your accounts, you miss the opportunity for timely correction or removal of the culprit post, thus risking an even bigger backlash.
How to avoid neglecting a social media network
1. Create social profiles on the same networks as your audience

The most prominent reason why people neglect their social media presence is because they chose a social media network that’s not the top choice for their audience. The best way to avoid this situation is by creating a social media profile that aligns with your company’s objectives. Most importantly, follow your target audience to the social media network of their choice: for example, if your goal is to talk to professionals in the marketing industry, then you should definitely be on LinkedIn. If you don’t think you can spare more time or effort on another social media network, it’s better to avoid making an account altogether. Absence from a social network is better than neglected social media presence.
2. Create a social media content schedule

Once you’ve created your social media profiles that you have committed to maintaining, the next step is to create an effective way to manage your social media content. One way to do this is by creating a schedule for engaging content to publish on your social networks. This will help you keep track of planned posts across all of your brand’s social media networks. Once you’ve created your social media content plan, you can start scheduling Twitter messages and other social media posts to ensure your social media profile doesn’t lay dormant.
3. Use a social media management tool

An easy way to ensure no social media network gets left behind is to use a social media management tool. The Hootsuite dashboard allows you to manage social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and much more, all in one place. You can monitor, engage, and converse with your audience in one place. Additionally, it can complement your social media content planning by scheduling posts in advance.

Common Social Media Strategy Mistakes: What Not to Do:


We often write about things you should include in your social media strategy: tips, tricks, hacks, trends, and other topics that anyone working in social media should know. But what about the things you shouldn’t do? Many common tactics are ineffective at best, and can be damaging to your brand at their worst.

We’re going to touch on those things—the darker side of social media strategy. When it comes to social media blunders, there’s certainly no shortage of examples. Here are some of the more common ones.

Like-Baiting

Like-baiting, much like click-baiting, is the practice of using provocative or controversial headlines to stir up social attention for likes and clicks. More often than not, the content rarely provides the reader with any new or insightful information, and has nothing to do with your business objectives. Sure, it’ll get you a few likes, shares, and retweets here and there. It borders on spam, does very little for engagement, and most of your audience will see right through it. Recently, Facebook adjusted their algorithm to curb this kind of behavior, too. Avoid it on all your social networks.Image courtesy of Facebook

Buying Likes And Followers

Did you know that you can buy followers and likes for certain social networks? Yep! Is it a good idea? Nope! Yet it’s still a widely followed practice. Acquiring followers in the triple and quadruple digits with little-to-no work on your end is tempting, but it’s an empty number. They don’t care about what you’re saying or what you’re doing. The quality of your audience diminishes, as does the real impact of your social media posts. A lose-lose practice, through and through.

Posting Too Much

People follow you because they like you, what you do, or what you make. That’s a great thing because it means that they’re engaged with and receptive to your brand. But their loyalty does not make them immune to post fatigue. Use restraint when posting to your social channels. You might have a lot to share with your audience, but before posting something, ask yourself, ‘Do they even care?’ If they don’t, there’s no quicker way to lose them than spamming their feeds. What defines ‘spamming feeds’ is difficult to quantify. But you can use HootSuite’s analytics toolsto determine which posts resonate with your audience, and which don’t.

Ignoring Social Media ROI

Sure, social media is a relatively inexpensive marketing channel. But if you consider how many hours go into planning, engaging, and executing, the dollars add up. Measuring your ROI is crucial to ensure that not only is your social media strategy working, but that you’re not actually losing money on it. HootSuite Pro includes very powerful analytical tools that can help you measure just about every facet of your social media campaigns.



Only Using Social Media To Advertise

Along the same vein as posting too much is using your social networks only to advertise your products and services. It’s a practice that can quickly dull engagement and customer trust. Having a big sale? Launching a new product? Go ahead and mention it. But avoid reminding your followers over and over again. Trust us, they know. More than promoting, social is a channel for engagement. That means sharing great curated content, interacting with followers, and simply helping your business or brand stay at the front of the consumers mind.

Deleting Negative Comments

One of the biggest mistakes those new to social media make is deleting negative comments. It seems counterintuitive to let these damning testimonials be seen by all. But it also represents a great opportunity to 1) make a customer happy in a very public place, and 2) publicly address a problem within your business that perhaps you didn’t know about. You won’t always be able to make every customer or client happy, but you can certainly use social media to soften the blow and look good while doing it. By responding publicly, you can even sometimes turn the conversation to your favour. (Note that when we say ‘negative comments’, we’re excluding abusive, threatening and otherwise hateful comments. Delete those.)

Not Keeping Up To Speed

Social media is a constantly changing world. What was true yesterday may not be true tomorrow. It’s up to you to not only get up to speed, but to stay there. At first, this will seem like a daunting task. But there are endless resources available to help you along the way (like, for example, HootSuite University, or following blogs through the HootSuite Syndicator). All you have to do is put in the time.


Not Having A Social Media Strategy At All

Social media is no longer optional. It’s the first—and in many cases, only—point of contact for consumers. As such, it should be treated with the same level of care and thought as every other mission-critical part of your strategy. Take the time required to consider what you want to accomplish with social media and how you’re going to get there, rather than going in blind.

There’s no silver bullet approach to building your social media strategy. There are endless ways to build one that depend on variables like your business size, business type, brand, location, and demographics. Organic growth and engagement are the core of any successful social strategy. The above points will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of those newer to the social game.

How to respond effectively and social media engagement


Engage with your audience efficiently







Manage your social media accounts across more than 35 global networks



Reply with a single click


Anyone on your team—in any region or department—can quickly respond to messages, mentions, and comments through a single dashboard.

Identify influencers and leads


Listen closely to the people that matter to your business. Create, import, and share lists of social influencers and important clients.

Save time with pre-written responses


Quickly respond to common questions or customer requests by saving pre-approved and on-brand responses for future use.

Engage consistently—across any sized organization



Manage engagement workflows


Mirror your existing workflows so people see the posts that matter to them—ensuring responsive engagement and avoiding missed messages.


Track interaction history


See all interactions with a contact—across your organization—so conversations are in context and consistent, no matter who engages with them.


Search by location or language


Monitor social conversations across the globe or around your neighbourhood—in multiple languages—and be exactly where your audience is.



As we launched our social media program, we knew we needed a platform that would be able to handle and scale with our increasingly complex needs. Hootsuite absolutely accomplished this for us.

How to Respond Not-So-Nice Comment or Online Review?


Your online reputation can make or break your business, as the internet is often the first and last place potential customers go to find out more about you. Even the most reputable organizations deal with bad online reviews, posts on social networks, as well as blogs and other online forums. The one thing you can learn from these organizations is that it’s not so much the complaint or poor review that defines your reputation, but rather the way it’s handled. Here are 6 things you should do when confronted with a scathing comment.
Step 1: Stop. Breathe.

When someone attacks your small business— the thing you pour endless hours of blood, sweat, and tears into— it feels personal. It’s not. Take some time to think it about the situation. It’s impossible to be pragmatic or genuinely apologetic when you’re emotionally charged. But if you give yourself some time to mull it over, you’ll be able to see the situation with more clarity.Perhaps the finest example of someone reacting to criticism in the worst way possible.

Step 2: Look into it.

Some online reviews or complaints aren’t valid. Some of them are. You’ll never figure out where you stand unless you investigate. And knowing what really happened will help dictate your course of action. Did your customer have a bad experience with the product or staff? Who was in the wrong? Find out anything and everything you can about the situation before making any decisions.
Step 3: Is the complaint legit? Apologize. Is it bogus? Apologize anyway.

Apologize directly and publicly to those affected, whether it’s in a Tweet or a reply comment on the site where you found the bad review. Let them know what you’ve done about it (you have done something about it, right?). In the event the complaint isn’t a valid one, tell your side of the story and see what you can do to resolve the situation. Sincerity goes a long way here. You may not be able to correct something for one particular customer, but reaching out publicly shows you care and that you’re being proactive.An example of a good apology from Delta Airlines

One thing to keep in mind about online reviews and complaints: whether they’re legitimate or otherwise makes little difference to the masses. It’s all about perception. A quick apology will do more for you than a denial of wrong-doing.
Step 4: If possible, continue the conversation privately.

At this point, you should have acknowledged the complaint and made any necessary corrections. Someone might attempt to further engage you publically. Ask them to take the conversation to email or a direct/private message. For example “We’d like to know more about what happened, would you mind sending us a quick email? We’re looking forward to resolving this issue for you.” You’ve just made yourself look good while resolving a situation quickly. Social media engagement is important to your social presence, but not when it’s back and forth, he-said-she-said banter with a single online entity.
Step 5: Look for patterns.

If you’re seeing a string of bad online reviews coming in from all over the place, there’s a good chance there’s something wrong on your end. You need to put the brakes on, stat. Though it seems like bad news at first, it’s great opportunity to identify a fundamental problem with your business and stop the trainwreck before it happens.
Step 6: Avoid the non-apology apology.

You’ve seen these a hundred times before. “Our company has been supplying our product to our customers for 100 years. We’re sorry that your experience did not match your expectations.” See what they did there? Reinforce their leading market position while telling the customer they were wrong for expecting more in a roundabout way. There was no real apology and the lack of sincerity was as transparent as a freshly-cleaned window.

Every business is different. Every customer is different. And every reason for a bad review is different. These 6 steps combined with a bit of common sense, courtesy, and a genuine desire to help your customers can turn a conflict into a positive experience for everyone involved, and look good while doing it.