7 tips to create a social media policy for your small business [plus examples]

In this ever-evolving age of technology, a social media policy is critical for any small business.

However, many small businesses don’t have one.

While 74 percent of adults use social media, about 73 percent of companies don’t have an official social media policy.

This opens up your small business to inconsistent brand voice and various risks (both legal and PR-wise).

In the simplest terms, your social media policy features an official document that outlines how an organization and its employees should conduct themselves online. Even if your small business doesn’t use social media (although we highly recommend that it does in some way), your employees likely do, and their conduct online can reflect back on your business, for better or worse.

Because a social media policy applies to everyone within your company, it needs to be clear and easy to understand. Often, you would include your policy with other onboarding materials for new employees. However, you should plan to orient all existing employees as well if you’re now creating and implementing one.

It’s important to know that while a social media policy can be all-encompassing, it typically can have two goals:

  • Protect and maintain the company’s brand voice
  • Guard against social media risks

In other words, the do’s and don’ts, if you will.

While this process can feel daunting at first, the following are seven expert tips to help you create a social media policy that works for your small business. Plus, we include some examples of social media policies from large organizations to help inspire you.

Identify your goals for a social media policy

What are you hoping to achieve with a social media policy? What are your business’s biggest challenges when it comes to social media?

Take a moment to write down the biggest needs, whether that’s actual social media use during work hours, expectations of online conduct outside of the workplace, the establishment of a crisis management plan to refer to whenever it might be needed or anything else.

Of course, you’ll want to pull in any relevant stakeholders to get ideas, questions and concerns as well. The more inclusive you can make any new policy, the more reflective it will be of those it will impact and the easier it will be to implement.

There is no limit to the goals you want to achieve. Just keep in mind that each goal likely will require its own section in your social media policy for the best clarity possible.

Clearly establishing what you hope to accomplish with your policy will help set the overall tone for social media use within your small business.

Also, check in on your company’s core values. Any new policy of any kind should work in tandem with them.

Depending on your overall goals, you truly can pick and choose which of the following topics or sections you should include (or not).

Consider roles and responsibilities within your company

This is all about who can speak for your brand on social media and who can’t.

You can get a nitty gritty as you like by outlining:

  • Who owns which social media accounts
  • Who is responsible for what on a daily, weekly, monthly or as-needed basis
  • Contact information for those in key roles
  • Any social media training
  • Overall social media strategy
  • How posting and engagement are handled
  • Social media advertising
  • Customer service expectations
  • How social media listening is conducted
  • Any required approval process

But, at the same time, you also can just focus on the aspects that fit your goals and brand needs best.

Explain security protocols

While its scope expands far beyond just social media (and might ultimately require its own separate policy document), online security is only becoming increasingly important for every small business to at least think through. 

But it’s even better to communicate your security protocols to your employees and how they can identify and deal with any risks as well.

You might want to address:

  • How often account passwords should be changed
  • What devices can be used on the company network
  • Whether employees can use personal social media accounts on company devices
  • The procedure for moving access to branded social accounts when an employee leaves the company

But again, if you feel like the overall topic of online security deserves its own policy document, feel free to separate it out to provide for better focus and clarity of your social media policy.

Walk through a crisis management plan

Similar to online security, a social media crisis management plan can easily earn its own separate policy document rather than being forced into your general social media policy.

But that preference is up to you.

If you are touching on any sort of crisis management plan, be sure to consider:

  • Guidelines to help identify the scope of the crisis
  • An internal communication plan, with an up-to-date emergency contact list that includes specific roles
  • The approval process for response(s)

Even just keeping it simple and identifying the process that should happen if a crisis of any size happens, that will help your company be that much more responsive.

Identify various potential legal questions and issues

Depending on your industry and even your state or country of operations, the types of legal questions and issues can vary widely.

More than anything, you should consult with legal counsel to ensure that you’re covering all your bases.

But, in general, you’ll want to think about:

  • Copyright law on social media (particularly with the use of any third-party content)
  • The handling of customer information and other private data
  • How internal company information is handled
  • Restrictions and/or disclaimers surrounding testimonials or marketing claims

Share expectations for employees’ personal social media accounts

There is a delicate line to walk here since we are talking about personal (and not professional) social media accounts. In addition, you’ll want to keep in mind that some personal accounts can be linked back to your company, while others would not be by the casual social media user.

All that being said, some aspects that you might want to address include:

  • Whether it’s permitted to mention the company in profile bios (and if so, what disclaimers about content representing personal rather than corporate opinions are required)
  • Guidelines about any post content that shows the workplace or work uniform (if applicable)
  • Whether it’s required to identify as an employee when discussing the company or its competitors on social media

The trickiness here is that employees are perceived as representatives of your brand in general (and that perception spreads so much further online), so balance that with the obvious right employees have to share their personal opinions on their personal social media accounts. It’s a gray zone, for sure. But the conversation is worth having up front so that you can better address sticky situations as they might arise.

Some key aspects you might want to at least consider:

  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Inflammatory comments or obscenity
  • Offensive images
  • Discriminatory remarks

Specify what employee advocacy can look like

While your social media team and any spokespeople understand your brand’s voice and how to answer tough questions posed by customers and others, it’s likely that your other employees do not.

See this as an opportunity to guide your employees who are excited about their work to be some of your best brand advocates online.

Some questions you can address include:

  • Can regular employees engage with people mentioning the brand on social media platforms? Or, should that be directed to the social media team to handle? What’s the process for that?
  • How should regular employees handle negative comments about the brand on social media, or should the social media team be notified instead? What does that process look like?
  • Is there an approved content library that regular employees can access and use? If so, how?
  • How and when should an employee share company news or information about a new product?

The key is to keep this guidance as clear and straightforward as possible. Remember, you’re speaking to the employees who do not live and breathe your social media, but for those who do want to advocate for you, it’s important to give them a path to do so that works for the brand, not against it.

Social media policy examples

For inspiration, here are a handful of publicly available social media policies and other company conduct guidelines from large organizations:

In conclusion

Once you’ve launched (or relaunched) your social media policy, you’ll want to make sure that it’s readily accessible for all employees to refer to anytime they need. Also, commit to regular updates (whether that’s quarterly or annually) since social media is rapidly evolving.

And, of course, you must make the commitment to enforce your policy. Otherwise, it’s just a pretty document that doesn’t really mean anything. For overall clarity and accountability, it might be helpful to include how you will enforce the social media policy.

Remember that while this is an official policy that you’re creating (or revamping) for your small business, the more input and buy-in you can get along the way, the better. It’s easy to miss some of the key questions when we’re only looking through our own perspective. Granted, you don’t have to ask every single employee what they think at each step of creating your policy, but gathering a group of key stakeholders for their input will help you create a social media policy that is truly reflective not only of your goals but of your team as well.

As you’re working through your social media policy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Plus, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

6 biggest mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn (and how to avoid them)

LinkedIn remains a popular social media network for professionals and B2B marketing in particular.

The platform offers the ability to create a free personal profile, as well as a Company Page to represent your larger brand,

LinkedIn currently has 722 million users, which does make it the largest platform when compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, on the flip side, LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the U.S.

In addition, three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

So, whether your goals for your brand’s LinkedIn presence revolve around establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, generating more sales leads or hiring more qualified candidates (or all three), it’s important to avoid the following six biggest mistakes that businesses make with their Company Pages on the professional social media platform.

Mistake #1: Not publishing content

Often viewed as an online resume by many, some brands don’t take full advantage of content publishing like they would for Facebook or another social media platform.

Relevant content is critical to building your online presence, sharing your expertise and building a relationship with your audience. The best content helps your brand become the thought leader in your industry.

Company Pages that post weekly experience twice as much engagement with their content. Ideally, you’re sharing a mix of custom and curated content.

See our seven tips to help level up your content marketing.

Mistake #2: Not engaging with others on LinkedIn

Just because LinkedIn is geared toward professionals, it’s still a social media platform. Social media is a two-way street. 

Do more than broadcast at your following. Go beyond that by engaging with others on LinkedIn.

Comment on other posts, respond to comments on your posts and maintain responsiveness on LinkedIn. Commit to investing the time to building and nurturing your relationships because doing so not only helps your platform reach but improves the overall perception of your Company Page.

Mistake #3: Not optimizing your LinkedIn Company Page

Optimizing your Company Page on LinkedIn requires more than making sure that all fields are filled out, although that is a piece of it.

It’s really about taking a fresh look at your page as if you’re a potential customer or job candidate and determining whether you’re seizing every opportunity to tell your brand’s story to them.

Dive deeper into how to optimize your page and other LinkedIn marketing tips.

Mistake #4: Not having a company-wide LinkedIn policy

To be fair, every company should have some form of a social media policy that sets the expectations of at least public-facing employees and how they conduct themselves on social media that makes sense for both your company and your employees.

But when it comes to LinkedIn, it’s especially important to communicate expectations with your company’s employees because a majority of professionals will look each other up on LinkedIn before deciding to do business with each other. 

An inadequate presence and/or any detrimental messages is like the equivalent of passing out homemade business cards. It impacts how prospects perceive you and your company.

Mistake #5: Prioritizing the sale above all else

Just like with any social media platform, users largely ignore any brand that focuses entirely on sales (and sales only).

Take a look at your content mix and how you’re engaging with your followers. Is it all about the sale? Can you take a step back and evaluate what content would best serve the needs and interests of your target audience?

Be sure that you’re offering value, not just promotions about a free trial or discount on a service or product. While there is a place for selling in general, you must dilute that among a content strategy that aims to educate, entertain and inform.

Mistake #6: Disregarding the value of LinkedIn groups

More and more, social media is about building online communities around common interests. LinkedIn groups can help you connect with prospective customers and others.

If you’re creating a group, think about focusing it on a topic that your target audience is interested in. Think similarly when looking for LinkedIn groups to join. That way, you’re able to leverage your expertise in a place where you’re hitting people at the right time and place.

Go further than LinkedIn by learning about these 11 digital marketing mistakes that could be costing you money.

As you’re evaluating how you can avoid making common mistakes on LinkedIn, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Personal, Creator or Business: Which Instagram account is right for your brand?

Instagram is a vital marketing platform for many brands. Are you using the right account type?

The visual-first social media app boasts more than 1 billion users worldwide. More women use Instagram than men, and the majority of users are between 25 and 34 years old.

If your brand is targeting a younger, female audience, Instagram likely is already part of your digital marketing strategy.

Dive deeper with our breakdown of Instagram’s challenges and opportunities for small businesses.

When using the platform, you have the option to use a personal, Creator or Business account. Two of these are considered professional, while one is considered personal for obvious reasons.

Depending on your brand and needs on Instagram, it’s important to understand what’s involved with each type of Instagram account and whether you’re using the right one.

Personal Instagram accounts

About 80 percent of all Instagram accounts are personal, so it’s the most commonly used type.

On a personal account, there are no analytics or API access, which means that you can’t schedule posts, use Facebook Creator Studio to manage your Instagram presence or get third-party access to performance analytics.

In addition, personal accounts do not have contact buttons on the profile, gift card delivery stickers or the “swipe-up” function in Stories (that can send viewers to a website).

While all of those down sides likely are a no-go for your business, keep in mind that personal Instagram accounts have access to all music options in Instagram Reels and Stories and are the only account type that can be private.

Business vs. Creator Instagram accounts

Considering the likelihood (and best practice) that your brand is not going to use a personal Instagram account, then the question remains: Should your brand use Business or Creator instead?

Similarities

Business and Creator Instagram accounts do have a lot of similar features, including: 

  • Access to Instagram Insights
  • Two-tab inbox (Primary and General) to best manage a potentially high number of direct messages
  • Saved replies
  • Shoppable posts
  • Contact buttons on your profile
  • Gift card delivery stickers
  • Access to branded content features that enable collaboration with other accounts

Differences

Of course, on the flip side, there are a couple of key differences between the two types of Instagram accounts.

Instagram Business accounts are intended for brands that are making money or selling something. They do have API access, which means that posts can be scheduled, access to Facebook Creator Studio (which allows you to manage your Instagram from a desktop computer if you wish) and the option to use third-party analytics tools.

Instagram Creator accounts are intended for influencers, who are individuals who have a sizeable, engaged following. (Find out more about influencer marketing.)

Instagram Creator accounts do not have API access, but they do have access to the full music library on the platform.

Business accounts only have the royalty-free music library, which is limited (and not tied into relevant pop culture).

Business and Creator accounts also have different profile categories. For example, a public figure using a Creator account could choose from “chef,” “writer” and so on, but a brand using a Business account could choose from categories, such as “bakery” or “advertising agency.”

While both account types offer the ability to show contact information on your profile, only the Instagram Business account can include a physical location address.

In addition, the call-to-actions available for the profile button differ between Business and Creator accounts. Creator accounts only have “book now” and “reserve” options, while Business accounts have more.

Therefore, the decision between using a Business or Creator account is typically a straightforward one. Most businesses opt for the Business account.

How to change your Instagram account type

Need to change your Instagram account type or not sure what type you currently have?

Open your Instagram app, go to your profile and tap on the three-line “hamburger” menu button in the top right. Go to Settings, and select the Account option.

At the bottom of the Account selection, you’ll see the option to switch your account type. The options available will be what you aren’t using currently. For example, if you have a Creator account, you’ll only see the options to change to a Business or personal account type.

Be wary of making frequent switches between account types. Doing so delays your access to certain features. Instagram does this to help prevent the abuse of bouncing between account types to get the best features of both. Frequent switches can ultimately lead to your account being flagged as spam by Instagram as well.

Looking to get a jump on your Instagram marketing? See our 16 tips.

While you’re considering your Instagram account type, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business

Most marketing advice begins the same way, with “set your goals.”

And while it may feel repetitive, it’s absolutely true. Setting goals increases the success of your marketing strategy by about 429 percent.

Of course, in the simplest sense, goals help you understand where you are at, where you want to be and when you get there.

But how do you go about setting relevant and achievable marketing goals? The following are seven expert tips to do just that.

Align your marketing goals with your company-wide objectives

Your marketing efforts inherently should support your broader business objectives. What are the overall needs of your company?

Because marketing can achieve a wide variety of goals for a brand, the more you can sync up your marketing goals with your overall business plan, the better.

For instance, if your company prioritizes growing brand loyalty among current customers over getting new customers, your marketing should align with this. Or, perhaps your business has a specific revenue goal that you can support with a certain number of lead conversions. There are many possibilities.

Go big with your marketing goals

Of course, this isn’t to say that your goals should be so big that there’s no hope or accountability in achieving them. 

Instead, it’s important to set a high goal that has a path for success, where even if you fall short, you’re still making significant strides toward what you want to see.

The key here is that you establish of learning from the outcomes of your efforts (whether you hit that big goal or not) rather than classifying them as failures because they fell short of a big goal.

Your marketing goals should be measurable

Fortunately, in digital marketing, metrics can be tied to nearly everything. All you have to do is tie specific metrics to your goal.

But it’s often not enough to simply want “more conversions.”

For example, considering the price of your product or service and the cost-per-click on either your Facebook or Google ads, you can determine your conversion rate (how much you’re paying for each conversion). Then, you can see where you need to be to make a profit (or increase profit) and use that conversion rate as your goal.

Let historical data inspire your marketing goals

A great way to plan for the future is to look to the past. How was your business performing last year? What fueled that? Are there any trends to take note of? 

You also can look at past marketing data. What campaigns were the most successful? Why? How did they perform?

Building on what has been accomplished historically is often a great starting point.

Embrace experimentation

Not every marketing goal can be based on past performance and metrics. Your business could be launching something entirely new where there is no historical data. 

When that is the case, you don’t have to feel pressured to set an official goal right away. Instead, set a timeframe (such as three to six months) for you to experiment and get an understanding of baseline performance. Then, you can make an informed decision on what your goal should be.

Think macro and micro marketing goals

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even your biggest marketing goal shouldn’t be the only goal your business has.

Having smaller, micro goals along the way will help you not only stay focused and on track but also experiencing small wins as you go. And who doesn’t appreciate the little victories?

For example, you might set a macro goal of total content posts on a particular social media platform. Let’s just say 50 per month. Within that, you can break that down to how many per week, how many are promotional, how many are educational, how many are of each content type (video, blog article link, etc.) and so on. 

Consider the macro goal the umbrella, and the micro goals all the stems within the umbrella that help it fully extend.

Consider your time, budget and resources

It’s easy for any goal to become a bit “pie in the sky” when key factors (including time, budget and resources) aren’t involved.

But in order to set achievable marketing goals, it’s important to assess the amount of time it should reasonably take to reach a particular goal, how much it might cost and any other investment of resources that it will take.

For example, if you’re launching multiple campaigns at the same time, you may need to be realistic about what can be accomplished with that sort of pressure on your resources.

On the flip side, you might notice the opportunity to hit a goal if you simply doubled your budget for it.

Either way, time, budget and other resources all play a role in the attainability of your goals.

In conclusion

Setting achievable and effective marketing goals is both an art and a science, for sure. But doing so is critical to your overall marketing success. Once you have your goals set, it’s time to make a plan and work toward that success. Just be sure to track your performance so that you know if you’re hitting your goals or not.

Check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners for an overview on everything you can embrace in your marketing strategy. Plus, we have a handy to-do checklist that you can use.

While you’re considering how to set achievable marketing goals, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

16 Instagram marketing tips that you should know

Marketing on Instagram is a non-negotiable aspect of digital marketing for many brands.

The visuals-first social media platform boasts more than 1.16 billion users, and about 90 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business.

While the success of any brand on Instagram involves high-quality images and videos in the feed and authentic visual content in Stories, don’t be intimidated if your business doesn’t lend itself to obvious visuals. Just check out what Staples is doing on Instagram based on office supplies.

If you are trying to reach a younger audience, see our guide on evaluating the value of marketing on Instagram versus Snapchat versus TikTok.

Also dive into the challenges and opportunities of Instagram for small businesses.

The following are 16 Instagram marketing tips you should know about to boost the impact your brand can make on the platform.

Marketing with an Instagram business account

It’s important to use an Instagram Business account when marketing on the platform.

You can check that you are (and switch if necessary) by going into your Instagram profile and tapping on the menu icon at the top right. Then, tap on “Settings,” “Account,” and then opt to switch to a professional account.

By using a business account, you’ll have access to Instagram Insights, ads, Instagram Shop, primary and secondary messaging inboxes, contact information on your profile and a call-to-action button on your profile.

In other words, this type of Instagram account gives you more tools in your marketing toolbox.

Determine your Instagram goals

Just with any marketing tactic, you must set your goals to best define your approach and strategy.

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish by marketing on Instagram. Some examples include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Get new leads
  • Establish your brand as an industry leader
  • Create an alternative selling method

Or, of course, you could have a combined goal, but the simpler the goal, the better. That makes it easier to set a timeframe and stay focused on a limited number of metrics that tie into your goal.

To keep it simple and help prioritize, consider what you’d like to accomplish first above all else.

Understand your target audience

First, the following you have (or can grow) on Instagram is going to be different than any other social media platform. Second, you must determine whether this syncs up with your target audience, or if there is some work you must do to better align your Instagram content to the wants, needs and interests of your target audience.

While Instagram users tend to skew younger, that doesn’t mean the overall users of the app aren’t diverse.

Dive deeper with our seven tips to help determine your target audience

Optimize your Instagram profile

No detail is too small when it comes to your Instagram profile. Other than your posts, this is your first impression for countless users who come across your content for one reason or another. This is where users purposefully go to find out more about you. Don’t leave them disappointed or confused.

Some points to consider:

  • Be personable and as detailed as possible in your 150-character Instagram bio.
  • Be clear in your name, where you are allowed 30 characters
  • Your username (or handle) should also make sense.
  • Include your website link in the URL field (but know that you can change that out as often as you like).
  • Choose a category for your business.
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information.
  • Take advantage of available call-to-action buttons.
  • Choose the right profile photo that bests represents your business (often your logo).

Create and post visually engaging content

Because Instagram is a visual-first platform, your posts and Stories have to be eye-catching to say the least.

While professional photography equipment (and skills) may not be available to you, that’s OK. Focus on photos and videos that are in focus and well-lit. Any infographics (or other illustrations) should be easy-to-read and crisp.

Of course, it’s not enough to have well-composed photos. There needs to be a story that you’re conveying in every post to encourage engagement. Compelling posts can include:

  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Regrams of user-generated content
  • How-to explainers

Ideally, you’re striving to publish Instagram content that’s worthy of sharing and commenting, not just liking.

Keep in mind that your content doesn’t just have to come from you. It can be sourced from your fans, customers and/or other users as well.

Consistent Instagram look and feel

More than any other social media platform, brands must consider what the look and feel of their overall Instagram presence.

We mentioned Staples earlier. You’ll notice their branded red throughout their posts in addition to the same branded fonts and other bright, bold colors. Their images are all very clean and clear.

Your look and feel should reflect your brand overall and be recognizable in your followers’ news feeds, but give yourself a little latitude to play. It’s all about being consistent.

Don’t underestimate the power of your captions

Because Instagram is a visual medium, it’s easy to overlook the opportunity you have with your captions. Your brand’s voice is just as important as your brand’s look. Again, you want to be consistent here.

There is a lot of flexibility in what you can say since you have up to 2,200 characters available to you. Just keep in mind that only the first two lines of text will automatically show in a news feed, without tapping the More button.

In other words, while you can say as much as you like, you’ll want to lead with the most important information in those first couple of lines.

As far as ideal caption length on Instagram, strive for between 138 and 150 characters on organic posts and 125 characters on ads. You can go longer. Just make sure it adds value to your content.

Be smart about your Instagram hashtags

Hashtags are a viable way to increase your discoverability on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a single Instagram post, but to be fair, it’s not recommended to use all 30.

Instead, identify about a half dozen relevant hashtags to include with your post. 

Dive deeper with our six tips on mastering Instagram hashtags.

Don’t just broadcast, engage

Just like with any social media platform, success is not based on only publishing the best content. It’s a mix of factors, one of the biggest being your brand engaging with other users and accounts.

Definitely respond to comments on your own posts and direct messages sent to your account. But you also should invest time liking and commenting on other posts that are relevant to your brand for whatever reason. 

It’s those small actions that add up to building a true online community, not just a one-way broadcasting platform.

Embrace Instagram Stories

While only half of businesses on Instagram use the Stories feature, about a third of the most viewed Stories are posted by businesses.

In other words, you have a great opportunity to engage with your audience through Instagram Stories.

Because Stories content disappears after 24 hours, followers expect Stories to be less polished and more authentic than your Instagram feed.

When considering what to publish in Stories, remember that this is a visual storytelling opportunity, where several Stories can work together to tell a story. So, you want to:

  • Have a message you’d like to convey in mind.
  • Use multiple “scenes” (image or video) to string together.
  • Include a call-to-action that is very clear to viewers
  • Keep your brand identity (look and feel) consistent

You can also reshare others’ Stories that tag you into your own Stories. Just act fast because the opportunity to reshare disappears after 24 hours.

Stories can also be saved longer than 24 hours and categorized into Highlights on your Instagram profile. Cover images are recommended for your Story Highlights as well to maintain brand identity.

Go live on Instagram

To connect with your audience in real time, you’ll want to go live. Of course, even though the expectation on Instagram Live is raw, authentic content, you can still go in with a plan. Some options: 

  • Go behind the scenes at a product launch or an event.
  • Host a Q&A.
  • Lead a workshop or tutorial.
  • Go live with an expert, employee, customer or influencer by using the “Add A Guest” feature.

Consider Instagram Shop in your strategy

About 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.

With a professional account on Instagram, you can create your own online store inside of Instagram. Doing so makes a “View Shop” button appear on your Instagram profile.

In addition, with a “Shop” tab on the Explore page of Instagram, having an Instagram Shop will make you more discoverable.

Instagram Reels worth experimenting with

Another content feature on the visual-first platform is Instagram Reels, which are multi-cuut videos (similar to TikTok).

Just as you would play with content on Instagram Stories, the same should happen with Reels. Not sure where to start? Watch some Reels, whether they’re from within your industry or not, to get a feel for different approaches.

Explore an influencer partnership

Influencer marketing is only growing, and Instagram is one of the best platforms for it.

Of course, a partnership doesn’t just happen. You’ll want to do your research and analyze the value of working with possible influencers. Often, a simple Instagram takeover is a common tactic to start with.

Dig deeper with our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Go beyond organic reach with Instagram ads

Based on your target audience, you can better reach them by running Instagram ads, which can be created through Instagram but also by using the Facebook Ad Manager (since Facebook owns Instagram).

You can target by location, demographics, interests and behaviors to best reach the people who will most likely be interested in your business and what you offer.

Monitor performance with Instagram Insights

Tracking your metrics is an important aspect of any digital marketing campaign, whether it’s on Instagram or not.

Regularly checking on your performance in Instagram Insights will show you what is working and what’s not. Then, you can pivot your strategy quickly to do more of what performs and less of what doesn’t.

See our guide on Instagram metrics.

Not sure if Instagram is the right social media platform for your brand, check out our breakdown of how to determine which one is.

As you’re working through your Instagram marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to help you determine your target audience

Even if you could afford to target everyone, it’s not a good idea. 

Why? Because the success of our digital marketing (and business) happens based on determining our target audience and creating a strategy focused on reaching that group of consumers.

And no small business can afford to target everyone.

The way small businesses can compete is by identifying and targeting a niche market that makes sense for the products and services that are offered.

Even if you’re opting to say that you target “stay-at-home moms” or “homeowners” rather than “anyone interested,” that’s still too general.

But keep in mind that specific targeting is not intended to officially exclude people who don’t fall within your target. Rather, it’s about reaching the right group (who is more likely to buy from you than other groups) with the right message for them at that moment.

About 40.5 percent of consumers say they prefer seeing online ads for products targeted to their interests rather than random ads.

Of course, the importance of a target audience goes beyond marketing and actually plays a key role in your business plan that can be used to secure financing as well, as explained by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The following are seven tips to help you determine the target audience for your business.

Examine your customer base

It’s important to start by digging deeper into your customer database. Ask yourself:

  • Who are your current customers?
  • Why do your current customers buy from you?
  • Which customers bring in the most business (i.e. are the most loyal)?

Be sure to take note of all common characteristics and interests among your best customers. It’s very likely that similar consumers would also benefit from your products and/or services as you’re looking at getting specific with your target audience.

A customer survey can help supplement some of the more detailed information about your customers. In addition, consider examining your social media following. Most platforms have various tools to better understand your audience, including:

Conduct a competitive analysis

Understanding who your competitors are targeting and who their current customers are can help give you insight into targeting opportunities. 

This is not because you should similar target the same group. You definitely should not.

Instead, understanding who’s being targeted by your competitors can help you find a niche they might be missing (and that you can hone in on).

Dive deeper into what a competitive analysis entails, as well as 16 tools to help you conduct one as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Doing so will help you gain insights into the audiences your competitors are after.

Analyze your products and/or services

Take the time to review everything you offer as a business. You can do this in a structured way by creating a list of features for each product or service you offer.

Then, break this down further by documenting the benefits each feature offers. Once you have a detailed list of benefits, you can brainstorm the people whose needs would be fulfilled by those benefits.

While this may still be too broad of a grouping to officially identify as your target audience, it can definitely get you going in the right direction.

Use social listening for deeper insights

Social listening is an excellent way to discover online conversations about your business, industry and/or products or services.

This tactic involves monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags that show what people are saying about your and even your competitors online (whether or not you’re tagged). Of course, the flip side of social listening goes beyond monitoring where you should actually be engaging with those consumers.

In the end, not only can social listening help you generate leads, it can also deepen your social media research that can feed into determining your target audience.

Find out more about social listening, as well as the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Identify specific demographics

Now is the time to get into the nitty gritty of your target audience. Based on the characteristics of your best customers and those who would most benefit from your products or services, determine the following demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Marital or family status
  • Ethnic background

Evaluate what demographics are the most crucial for the growth of your business.

Go beyond the demographics

Once you’ve solidified the demographics of your target audience, take it one step further. Consider their psychographics, which are the personal characteristics of people.

This includes:

  • Personality
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Lifestyles
  • Behavior
  • Interests or hobbies

Of course, psychographics go deeper than the surface demographics you’ve already determined.

Start by thinking through how your product or service fits into your ideal customer’s lifestyle. Ask such questions as:

  • How will your ideal customer use your product or service?
  • When will your ideal customer use it?
  • What features of your product or service are most appealing to your ideal customer?
  • How does your ideal customer consume media? Does he or she read the newspaper, attend particular events or search online?
  • What social media channels does your ideal customer use?

Your questions don’t have to end there, of course, the better you build and understand the persona of your ideal customer (i.e. target audience), the more specific you can target.

Confirm your target audience

Once you feel confident that you have identified your target audience, it doesn’t hurt to evaluate and confirm your decision-making result.

It’s key to consider whether your target is large enough, or has it swung from being too broad to being too niche? Will your target audience actually benefit from your products or services? Do you fully understand what drives your target audience to make purchase decisions?

Of course, simpler considerations include whether your target audience can actually afford your product or service and whether you can actually reach them with your message (or are they not easily accessible)?

In conclusion

It’s entirely possible that you’ve identified more than just one target audience. This is absolutely fine as long as you differentiate your messaging between niches. For example, you wouldn’t address stay-at-home mothers the same as about-to-graduate college students.

Just know that while defining your target audience can be difficult, it’s worth the effort. You can then be that much more successful in your digital marketing efforts, which can lead to more sales.

Check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners to get a better understanding about everything digital marketing can do. Plus, see our 18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses.

As you’re defining your target audience, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 Facebook marketing tips you should know

It’s hard to imagine a business that doesn’t at least have a presence on Facebook. But is your brand taking advantage of all the marketing opportunities that exist on the platform?

With more than 2.8 million monthly users, Facebook still holds the title of being the biggest social media network. And while a primary use for users is to connect with friends and family, two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Facebook Page at least once per week.

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The following are six Facebook marketing tips that you should know to better reach and engage with your target audience.

Set your Facebook goals

While obvious, determining your goals for Facebook is critical to moving forward with any marketing strategy.

For instance, you might want to generate sales leads, increase your website traffic or improve customer service.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong goal here. Just be sure to evaluate what’s most important to your brand. Then, get specific and set a timeline to achieve it.

Define your target audience on Facebook

Understanding who you want to reach should be at the core of any digital marketing strategy. 

If you’re an existing business, auditing your customer database is a great place to start. Who are your best customers?

If you’re new, part of your overall business plan should already have identified your target audience.

Either way, you want to answer the following questions:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live or are they traveling? If traveling, where from?
  • What are their needs or problems that you can solve?
  • How often and when are they using Facebook?

Of course, the more demographic information you can determine, the better. Marketing too broadly is less successful than finding your niche.

On the flip side, if you have an existing Facebook page, take note of your follower demographics. You can find this in the Insights section of your page and then click on Followers.

It helps to understand both who you want to reach and who is already following you. This will help shape your messaging and even specific campaigns you might want to run.

Plan your mix of Facebook content

When it comes to the content you publish on Facebook, there are several factors to keep in mind.

First, your goals, which should already be set. Second, your target audience. Who are you talking to?

Then, variety is imperative. However, to simply advise “variety” is a disservice. There’s more to it than that. 

One general rule of thumb is to strive for the 80-20 Rule, where about 80 percent of your posts inform, educate and/or entertain. And the other 20 percent is used to promote your brand and/or services and products.

Another approach is the Rule of Thirds, where one-third of your Facebook content is intended to share ideas and stories, another third strives for personal interactions with your followers and the last third promotes your business.

The key is to not go too hard on the sales posts. Not only will you struggle to reach and engage your target audience, but Facebook’s algorithm does not like overpromoting pages.

So, while you’re striving to break up your promotions among other content that’s intended to purely reach and engage with your target audience, you also must consider mixing up the actual content types:

  • Text-only posts
  • Link-preview posts
  • Image posts
  • Videos
  • Facebook Lives
  • Facebook Stories

A content calendar can help you plan and stay organized. In addition, refer to our tips for curated content so that you’re not having to spin your wheels creating every piece of content from scratch.

And it never hurts to approach your Facebook publishing with an overall content marketing strategy.

Explore other Facebook tools

Facebook is a more robust platform than just what you can do with a business page. And, of course, because every business is different, it’s worth experimenting to see what additional options could work for your brand and audience to attain your goals.

Other Facebook tools include:

Experiment with Facebook ads and pixel

Organic reach is not what it used to be, largely due to changes in the Facebook algorithm, which controls what is shown to users in their news feeds based on a number of engagement and other factors.

While the actual formula of the Facebook algorithm is always shifting (and always a secret), posts from friends and family take priority. This puts pressure on brands to stand out in order to reach their target audience. 

And even if your brand is creating and publishing great, engaging content, you may still need to consider paying for the boost you need to reach your target audience.

The Facebook Pixel is a simple piece of code that you can embed in your website to track conversions from Facebook, retarget those who’ve already visited your website and build custom audiences for future ads.

See our seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Measure your Facebook performance

Facebook is a living, breathing social media platform, and your marketing not only has to rise to the occasion but be monitored and tracked as well. 

You must understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can pivot your Facebook strategy as needed.

Fortunately, Facebook Insights is a section on your business page that can help you for free. It can help you monitor:

  • Post reach
  • Post engagement
  • Which posts result in followers unliking your page
  • Overall audience and follower demographics

Check out our snapshot of Facebook Insights to help you better understand all the metrics available to you.

Of course, Facebook metrics also can be tracked through various social media management tools. So, you can choose the best approach and methodology for your business.

As you’re working through your Facebook marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile

If your business has a specific location (or locations), then ranking in local search results should be a priority, especially on Google. 

About 46 percent of all Google searches are looking for local information, while 88 percent of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.

The good news is that there is a lot you can do to boost your local SEO without spending a ton of money, including optimizing your Google My Business profile.

Google My Business is a powerful free listing that acts as a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights key information and helps internet users learn more about (and engage with) you within Google search results.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips, then review the following 12 ways you can optimize your Google My Business profile, which is commonly underutilized by local businesses. Optimizing your profile will give you a leg up on your competition.

Create your Google My Business account

Of course, if you know you’ve already created your Google My Business account, feel free to skip this tip.

Although it is imperative to mention that your Google My Business account is different from your Google Business Profile. One is used to access and optimize the other. Therefore, confirm that you have a Google My Business account and then tell Google to connect it with your Google Business Profile. 

You’ll want to navigate to the Google.com Business page and log in with your regular Google/Gmail account that you use for your business. Do not log in with a personal account.

Fill out every section of your profile

Be sure to fill out all sections of your Google Business Profile, which will help your business both rank higher in local search results and increase the number of ways potential customers can engage with your profile.

The key fields include:

  • Business name
  • Location address
  • Phone number
  • Website URL
  • Hours of operation

There also are a few sections that you’ll want to put some thought into:

  • Products and services
  • Category and attributes
  • From the business, which is your business description that appears lower than the auto-generated description that Google provides for you
  • FAQs that you create and publish

In the “from the business” field, you can definitely repurpose a description from your “About Us” page or your mission statement. Just be sure to use all available 750 characters, with the most important details in the first 250 characters. (Avoid including any links.) While you do want to include relevant keywords, don’t repeat any information that’s already in the other sections of your Google Business Profile. Instead, focus on what sets your business apart and what customers like the most. 

Then, there are a few sections that are ongoing:

  • Posts
  • Reviews
  • Questions and answers that are generated by internet users

Take the necessary time to fill out all of these sections, and consider what will be the most useful information for someone to know who is coming across your business for the first time.

Be specific with your information

It’s very important that your business name is identical not only to the one you use on your store signage but also to your other listings across the internet.

This can come down to slight differences like “company” versus “co.” 

Pay attention to these details so that your credibility isn’t questioned by Google.

Also consider your regular hours of operation and your holiday hours of operation. These likely will be different and will help avoid any confusion (and potential negative review) from a customer who went to your business when you were actually closed. 

Choose the category of your business

About 84 percent of Google Business Profile views originate from search queries of a related product, service or categorical term, where that business’s profile appeared.

A big part of this is setting your business category on your profile. By doing so, you’ll also be able to access category-specific features that can make your profile more effective, such as restaurants including a “menu” button.

When choosing from available categories, be as specific as possible and choose any relevant secondary categories (since many businesses span multiple categories). Just make sure that you’re not confusing your categories with specific products or attributes you offer. There are separate sections for those.

Pick relevant attributes of your business

Once you choose a category through Google My Business, you get a list of attributes that allow you to further describe your business. 

Attributes are not unique to Google. You’ll find them on various listing websites. They are the features that might interest potential customers, such as “free WiFi,” “public restroom,” “pets welcome” and more.

Select everything that is relevant to your business.

Add photos that showcase your business

Because anyone can add photos to your Business Profile, you definitely want to upload your own photos to help your profile look its best to potential customers. 

Uploading photos to your profile also shows Google that you are actively on your profile, which can boost your local SEO as well. Customers are about 42 percent more likely to request driving directions to a business if its profile has photos and about 35 percent more likely to click through to its website.

And the more the better. Businesses with more than 100 photos get about 520 percent more calls, 2,717 percent more direction requests and 1,065 percent more website clicks than the average business.

But don’t take that as encouragement to spam your own profile with photos. When it comes to photos on your Google Business Profile:

  • Upload your logo for your thumbnail photo
  • Use an image that represents your brand as your cover photo
  • Only include photos that are authentic and reflect how your business is in real life, avoiding anything that could be viewed as a stock image or has special effects
  • Geo-tag your photos
  • Upload any relevant videos as well
  • Strive to upload at least one new photo every week

Get additional photo guidance from Google itself.

Seek out Google reviews

Reviews are a top influence on consumer purchases, so it’s important to seek out reviews for your Google Business Profile. Plus, local businesses with multiple positive reviews get a boost in their relevant search rankings.

To get more reviews on your profile:

  • Request reviews directly from your long-time and loyal customers
  • Create a review shortcut link to make it easy to submit a Google review for your business
  • Ask all customers to write a review because about 62 percent will do so when asked
  • Include a call-to-action on your website that links to your reviews
  • Respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative
  • Remind customers that reviews aren’t just for your benefit. They can serve other consumers who are seeking a solution to a need or problem they have

Just remember that you should not incentivize reviews with discounts, gifts or anything else.

Regularly post to your Google Business Profile

Consider your Google Business Profile just as you would your social media accounts. Regular posts about announcements, offers, events and more should be published consistently. 

These posts are created through the Google My Business dashboard and appear in the “Updates” section of your Google Business Profile.

Posting sends positive ranking signals to Google similar to how uploading photos would, and posts increase engagement opportunities with potential customers. 

Consumers also can follow your profile and get notified of any new posts you publish.

Embrace questions and answers

Similar to Amazon, Google Business Profile features a section for questions and answers. Because anyone can ask and answer questions about your business, it’s important to optimize this section to promote accurate information over any inaccurate information.

You can’t turn off this section, so make a commitment to make it work for you:

  • Set up alerts so that you’re notified when new questions are posted on your profile
  • Fill out your own question-and-answer section with the top FAQs about your business
  • Use relevant keywords wherever appropriate without overusing

You can definitely make the question-and-answer section work for your business by staying on top of it.

Add available products and services

When the products or services are not obvious in your business name, be sure to add them in this section of your Google Business Profile through your Google My Business account.

You should include the name, description and price of your products and/or services. The more information you can provide, the better.

Remember, filling out this section provides more content that could potentially be relevant to a local search query. 

Set up direct messaging

You can set up an available feature in your Google Business Profile where searchers can send a text message to your phone directly from your search profile.

Select the “Messaging” tab in your Google My Business dashboard. Then, you can install Google’s Allo app via Google Play or the Apple App Store, depending on your mobile device.

Remember to set up alerts for messages in your dashboard by navigating to settings and then checking “customer messages.”

Pulling it all together with a Google My Business strategy

Google My Business is not a “set it and forget it” platform. Staying on top of the features it offers is one of the best ways to improve your local SEO (and ultimately the overall success of your business).

Plan out how often you’ll publish new information, what type of information and when. You can create a separate content calendar if that will help you stay organized.

See our six best practices for mobile SEO as well.

While you’re optimizing your Google My Business, think about your digital marketing process. Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 ways to improve customer responsiveness

Your business can either thrive or barely survive based on your customer responsiveness in this fast-moving digital world.

How long does it take your team members to respond to a question from a customer or potential customer?

Simple answer: The longer it takes, the worse it is for your business.

Customer responsiveness is all about how quickly your business can respond to a query on any platform (social media, email and otherwise). On the flip side, it’s also about how quickly you can resolve an issue.

About 32 percent of customers expect a response from social media customer support within 30 minutes of reaching out, according to a survey, while 42 percent of consumers anticipate a response within 60 minutes.

Successful customer responsiveness leads to more sales and repeat customers who can ultimately become loyal brand ambassadors. Repeat customers are actually accountable for about 40 percent of an average business’s annual revenue. You definitely want your customers to come back.

The following are eight ways you can improve the customer responsiveness of your business.

Audit your current customer responsiveness

It’s important to assess the current state of your customer responsiveness and identify any areas in need of improvement.

You may want to test it yourself by sending an email from an anonymous account, asking an acquaintance to directly message on different social media platforms, etc.

The key is that you repeatedly test and document what is working to your expectations and what’s not.

You can’t fully improve or fix your customer responsiveness until you understand and identify the problems that need to be fixed.

Determine a customer response system

Every business is different, but it’s important to not only prioritize customer responsiveness but have a system for your team to address it.

For example, perhaps you know that most questions come through email, occasionally through your Facebook page inbox and very sparingly through your brand’s Twitter account (whether direct message or otherwise). You should then ensure that your team has time daily to respond to emails. For Facebook and Twitter, you confirm that your team receives notifications whenever there is a mention or message that needs to be addressed.

The more platforms your company is on (including Yelp and Google My Business), the more complex your customer responsiveness system may need to be. But it’s worth putting in the time and effort to think through what works best to achieve your improvement goals.

Keep in mind that the regular updating and maintenance of your knowledge base is critical to best serving your customers and keeping your team members all on the same page.

Embrace social media

Social media isn’t just a place where customers and potential customers can send your business direct messages. It’s also a place where queries can come in various types, depending on the platform.

On Facebook, for instance, a user can send you a direct message, comment on your post, tag you in another post or comment thread and even just mention you while not tagging you at all. While privacy settings may restrict what you can respond to or even see, it’s worth paying attention. Otherwise, you’re likely to miss something. 

Instagram, Twitter, YouTube—there are so many ways users could be engaging with you and asking you specific questions. For example, only 3 percent of Twitter users tag a brand to ask for help, while about 37 percent of tweets mentioning brands are customer-service related.

Of course, regular searches for your brand name (and common misspellings) on various platforms can help identify the posts where you’re not tagged.

We recommend using a social media management tool in order to pool the monitoring all into one place. Some businesses might also outsource social media in order to stay on top of all the dynamics.

Consider tech-based solutions

Customer responsiveness and service have long been considered a manpowered service, where you have to hire more and more employees to do it right as a business. But there are a number of technology-based solutions out there that could work for your brand.

These solutions can include chat software where automated responses handle the most common and basic customer questions. Find out more about chatbots.

Invest in a quality customer service team

Chatbots can’t do it all. It’s imperative to hire and invest in a responsive customer service team, even if that’s only one person.

No matter the size, you must have the right people with the right skills working for you and representing your brand. Regular training to continue to develop and improve those skills also is necessary.

Strive for:

  • Knowledge, where a customer-service representative understands your products and/or services well enough to address the questions that pop up.
  • Excellent communication, where a representative engages with any type of customer or potential customer in a positive, supportive way.
  • Patience, where a representative does not get flustered or short with the customer or potential customer no matter what.

Explore CRM programs

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. In the simplest terms, a CRM program uses your data to build a relationship with your customers.

The right CRM program will help give you useful insights about your customers and their needs, as well as streamline customer service between different teams within your business (such as sales and customer service) so that your customer gets a consistent experience with your brand. 

They’ll also often track pending and completed tasks by customer, so that you have an idea of what’s been done and what might still need to be done.

Get personal in your messaging

The further you can get from generic answers and messaging, the better. About 96 percent of marketers say that personalized messages and replies improve the brand-customer relationship.

To be more personal, use:

  • The customer’s name
  • A more informal, conversational and friendly tone
  • The customer’s native language

Strive for 24/7 customer support

This can be especially challenging for small businesses, especially if the only employee is you. (There is such a thing as work-life balance that every business owner should embrace to some degree.)

Options to be more responsive 24/7 include outsourcing your customer service, providing an easy-to-find and easy-to-understand FAQ section on your website and/or using live chatbot features that can then kick up more complex questions to a human. 

In fact, chatbots have come a long way. About 41 percent of customers now expect live chat on your website.

Dive deeper into conversational marketing and the value of engaging customers in real time.

In conclusion

Ultimately, customers want to feel important. Take the time to understand what your business is doing well and what can be improved to offer the best possible customer responsiveness. The more you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes, the better.

Looking to level up your digital marketing process as you improve your customer responsiveness? Consider DailyStory, which features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Mobile SEO: What it is and 6 best practices

The internet (and the world) is becoming increasingly mobile, so businesses must consider mobile search engine optimization (SEO) as part of their overall marketing strategy.

About 52 percent of all page views worldwide are mobile, while about 64 percent of all Google organic search traffic happens on mobile devices.

See our six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business.

Mobile SEO simply refers to the practice of optimizing your website for mobile devices. Doing so helps increase your site’s visibility in mobile-device search results.

Characteristics of a mobile-friendly website:

  • Understandable for search engines
  • Quick loading
  • Loads correctly on mobile devices
  • Easy navigation for mobile users
  • Content does not require mobile users to zoom

Not only do users prefer to search on mobile, but Google also prioritizes websites that deliver a great mobile experience. In addition, smartphones are the dominant device used for voice search.

See our seven tips to optimize for voice search and get ahead of the curve.

The key to mobile SEO is offering your website visitors a flawless experience on both desktop and mobile devices. The following are six best practices to improve your mobile SEO.

Test your website’s mobile friendliness

Google offers a number of free tools, including a mobile-friendly test that you can run for any website. All you need to do is enter your site’s URL.

In addition, you can run the Google Search Console tool to check for any crawling errors that are preventing your website from being properly indexed. Indexing is part of the search engine process that makes your website visible in search engine results or not.

Check out our 16 tips to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Improve your website’s speed

Speed became more of a search-ranking factor for Google in 2018. Search intent can overrule a slower speed in some cases, but it’s clear that the faster your website can load, the better it can rank overall.

You can check your website’s speed with:

To increase the speed of your website, look into:

  • Removing unnecessary plugins to reduce the amount of resources that your site must load
  • Upgrading your web hosting when your site begins to generate more content and page views
  • Minimizing HTTP requests by restricting how many on-page components your page has to render
  • Compressing all images so that they don’t take up a lot of bandwidth
  • Minifying your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files, which means removing unnecessary white space, formatting and code
  • Enabling Gzip compression, which compresses website files into a zip file
  • Using asynchronous loading for JavaScript and CSS files, which allows for some files to load simultaneously
  • Enabling browser caching for static files

Strive for a mobile-responsive design

Responsive website designs allow for dynamic changes in layout (and even content), depending on the type of device loading your page. This means that your website will appear differently on different screens, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer. 

The goal is to optimize the website for the best user experience, no matter the device.

Key steps to take for a responsive website design include:

  • Including an easy-to-view navigation menu for mobile users
  • Scaling your images
  • Shortening your text
  • Avoiding full-screen pop-ups
  • Making your call-to-action easy to find

Optimize your content for mobile SEO

Optimized content accomplishes two goals with your mobile visitors: 

  1. They’ll spend more time on your website.
  2. They are more likely to return.

The main issue that you don’t want is mobile visitors having to squint to read your content or using their zoom to view images. To ensure you’re optimizing your content for mobile:

  • Make all content digestible and easy to navigate
  • Keep sentences and/or paragraphs short and concise
  • Try for attention-grabbing headlines
  • Break up all content into chunks
  • Integrate visual content
  • Make your meta description short
  • Include relevant keywords everywhere appropriate

Consider local searches

Use of the search phrase “near me” and similar phrases are only increasing in search engines and particularly for searches on mobile devices.

Whether the user is hoping to find nearby restaurants, shoes or gyms, it’s important for your business to appear in relevant local search queries.

Be sure to set up and optimize your business profile on Google My Business.

Check out these 11 local SEO tips to better rank in local searches.

Embrace social media sharing

Most social media activity is happening on mobile devices, so you want to consider all the factors that make your content easy (and desirable) to share on social media platforms.

The more people share your content, the more authority you’ll appear to have in Google’s perspective.

To achieve this, consider:

  • Making your social media “sharing” button easy to use on all your content
  • Asking your visitors to share or other call-to-actions
  • Using eye-catching headlines
  • Including high-quality visuals
  • Publishing new and relevant content consistently

In conclusion

When you’re incorporating these best practices into your overall SEO strategy, be sure to measure and track your performance across different metrics to gauge how much of a difference you’re making. 

See our 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing while you’re at it.

Need to level up your digital marketing process? Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 reasons why your business should use a social media management tool

Social media management can be complex for many businesses. Tools are the solution.

The more accounts you have, the more you have to stay on top of your posting, engagement and monitoring.

It’s worth the effort, though. About 44.8 percent of global internet users used social media to search for brand information in 2020.

Fortunately, finding the right tool for you can make all the difference in your social media presence. The following are seven reasons why you should use a social media management tool to make sense of your online presence.

Then, check out our 11 suggested free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Social media efficiency

With so many accounts to manage across multiple platforms, it’s very time-consuming to hop from one to the other to manually post (whether you’re scheduling or posting in real-time), converse with followers and engage with related content.

You’ve heard it before, time is money. But the efficiency of having access to all your social media accounts in one management tool goes beyond saving time and helps you be more effective with your posts and engagements.

In addition, the ability to schedule all your posts in one place across platforms saves even more time.

Improved social listening

It’s critical to treat social media as an avenue for conversations and learning, not just as a broadcast mechanism.

Social listening is a huge benefit of using a social media management tool. You’ll be able to easily monitor your competition, as well as what others are saying about you on social media. In addition, social media trends that are relevant to your business and brand are quicker to spot.

Learn more about the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Avoid hashtag mistakes

While the typical “mistake” that happens with hashtags is that it isn’t the right one to generate more reach and engagement on your post, it is possible to go way off the mark. Use the wrong hashtag in an inappropriate way, and social media users with eat your brand alive.

Consider what happened to DiGiorno Pizza in 2014. They jumped in on the trending domestic violence conversation happening on Twitter with the hashtag #WhyIStayed. They tweeted: “You had pizza.” Needless to say, DiGiorno was skewered online. 

While also a lesson on when humor may or may not be appropriate, this could have been avoided with the appropriate hashtag research. And hashtag research is much easier on a social media management tool.

Streamlined analytics

It’s important to prove the return on investment in all your social media endeavors. But it can be a pain to platform hop to gather your metrics and then compile them to tell the story of how your efforts are performing.

Enter a social media management tool, where many can streamline your analytics reporting across multiple platforms. Data can then be exported in a number of formats.

The better you can understand your performance and what’s working or not, then the better you can pivot your social media strategy moving forward.

Scalability

Most businesses have to keep an eye on the scalability of their efforts, even beyond social media.

While one person succeeding at managing one social media platform can be great, that success could diminish once that person is manually jumping around to five social accounts for your brand.

Not only are multiple social media platforms a challenge in quantity, you have to keep in mind that the content and style of posting has to cater to each platform individually.

A social media management tool can make these efforts entirely scalable.

Organization and consistency

Chaos with your content is very easy to fall into when you’re spread then across social media platforms.

Using a management tool helps you view your presence across platforms in one space and stay organized in the process.

Most tools include a visual content calendar scheduling tool, so not only can you see the types of content you’re scheduling, but the overall frequency as well.

Never miss anything

Whether it’s comments, direct messages or other types of engagements or activity, social media management tools ensure you stay focused an on top of everything that’s happening in regard to your brand on social media.

Having your notifications in one place will help prevent you from missing both the little and the big stuff.

As you’re considering all the reasons why you should be using a social media management tool, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

13 biggest mistakes businesses make on Facebook (and how to avoid them)

An obvious tool in many digital marketing strategies, Facebook gives your business the ability to share content, engage with your followers and target potential customers. But it’s also an easy space to make any number of mistakes.

The good news is that done right, Facebook can contribute to the success of your business.

About two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Page at least once a week.

Dig deeper into the challenges and opportunities of the world’s largest social network.

The following are 13 of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Facebook, as well as tips to avoid making them in the first place.

Not defining your Facebook goals

When you haven’t defined your goals for your Facebook presence, your page is going to reflect that indirection. 

Possibilities for goals include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving sales
  • Generating traffic to your website
  • Building awareness of your brand

It’s easy to think that Facebook isn’t working for your business when you don’t have a set goal. Take the time to determine what you want to achieve. Then, it’s easier for you to build a strategy to support that goal.

Using a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page

It’s very important for you to use a Facebook business page to represent your business. Not only does it appear unprofessional, but it also:

  • Does not offer any analytics tools, so you won’t fully understand what is working and what isn’t at a glance
  • Makes it impossible for you to run any paid Facebook ads (either boosted posts or full ad campaigns)
  • Could violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, which could end up in a deletion of your profile without warning

To avoid any other issues in addition to those, be sure to create a Facebook business page for your business. It’s free and simple to do.

Failing to show a personal side of your business

Because most users join Facebook to connect with their friends and family, you’re missing an opportunity by hiding behind your brand.

Impersonal (robotic-like) posts will unfortunately never gain traction with your target audience.

Instead, think about communicating like a real human when posting. Get personal. There is a human side of your business. This is a great place to showcase that.

You can share employee stories, upload photos or videos of your workplace and/or customers and even host Facebook Live videos, where you can really share your personality as you discuss common questions, talk about new products and more.

Making everything about you

If you’re thinking that social media is merely another place to broadcast about your business, you’ll never see the engagement you’re aiming for.

And, of course, Facebook (like all social media) is intended to be a platform of connection and conversation. Your target audience is only going to follow you or share (or engage with) your posts if your content is relevant, informative or empowering to them in some way.

For example, instead of boasting about how great your business is because of a milestone you hit in follower or sales, use the opportunity to thank your audience for their support in a personalized post.

Whenever you have the opportunity to make your content about your customers and potential customers rather than yourself or your business, do so. That will always be the most engaging approach.

Using only one content type in your posts

It’s important to perform a quick audit of your posts. Are you using only one content type?

For example, is every post a link? Or, are they all generic stock images? 

Understandably, a mix of content will perform better on Facebook. In particular, you’ll want to incorporate videos into your posting strategy.

The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 0.26 percent, while the average engagement rate overall is just 0.18 percent.

Ideally, you’re also incorporating some element of humor, attention-grabbing visuals, event announcements and so on.

Creating weekly or monthly themes can help boost the execution of a thoroughly executed mix of content. A content calendar, in particular, can help you organize your planning.

Posting without a plan

A relaxed demeanor on your Facebook page has engagement perks, for sure. You’ll appear more human, relatable and engaging.

But operating without any sort of plan or strategy is a problem for many businesses on Facebook.

It’s very difficult to be consistent and hit your goals if your posts are more “shooting from the hip” than “sniping a specific target.”

Again, themes and a content calendar can help you overcome this.

Never measuring your performance

This sounds obvious, but it’s easy for businesses to neglect monitoring the performance of their Facebook pages.

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to stay on top of. See our guide for exploring Facebook Insights.

Knowing what works and doesn’t work for your target audience helps you pivot as needed and adjust your strategy so that you’re content can continually improve and be that much more engaging.

Not knowing what is happening on your page is a big mistake and a lost opportunity.

Inconsistent posting

It’s more common than you think. A business posts several posts a day for several days and then, boom. Disappears. Possibly even for weeks.

This isn’t just a problem from the perspective of your followers and potential customers, it impacts the consideration of your Facebook page in the platform’s news feed algorithm. 

Facebook’s algorithm works in the back end of the social platform with the goal of showing content in each user’s news feed that the user will most likely engage with. 

Inconsistent posting on your part is a red flag to the algorithm. Posting fresh content consistently is a good signal to the algorithm.

Don’t stress over the quantity. Once a day or even once every other day should be fine as long as you’re consistent with your overall schedule.

Unbalanced sales posts

There is a difficult balance you must strike when it comes to mixing in your sale posts amid other content you’re sharing.

Some businesses post too many and appear pushy.

Some businesses post too few and lose the opportunity to drive any sales from Facebook.

Mix in your sale and discount posts among your other content. Peppering in is not an exact science, but strive for one in five posts at most.

Lacking an optimized Facebook page

First impressions are everything, whether that’s your website or Facebook page.

If your page is vague or unclear in any way, especially with the key information most users are seeking (such as address, contact information and description of products or services), then you lose the potential customer.

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Improper use of Facebook groups

Don’t get us wrong, there is potential for Facebook groups to be a useful tool for your business, when done right.

See our 12 tips to help grow your business using Facebook groups.

When businesses create Facebook groups for the sole intention of selling to members, the success can be hit and miss (and often miss). Just remember that Facebook created the groups feature for users to connect with each other over common interests. The more you can leverage that desire from participating group members and the more you can leverage multiple voices and viewpoints, the more engaging your group will be.

Not investing in at least some paid advertising

Gone are the days where a business can often see great organic reach and growth on social media platforms.

But living in denial is not going to get your business anywhere.

Whether you’re boosting a Facebook post or creating a specific Facebook ad campaign, it’s wise to consider investing at least some of your marketing budget into the platform.

See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

The benefits of at least some advertising include:

  • Targeting the demographic of your best potential customers
  • Reaching beyond your Facebook following
  • Controlling your daily or lifetime budget so that you’re only spending what you want

Check out our seven tips to get more out of your Facebook ads.

Ignoring comments

This can easily be a deathblow to any brand on social media if comments are left entirely unmonitored.

First, remember that users are making the effort to comment on your post. They want you to know that they’re listening. If they are not responded to in some way, they’re less likely to engage again.

Pages that engage with their commenters are typically more successful than pages that don’t.

In addition, a negative comment thread can easily spiral out of control and impact your brand in long-lasting ways.

As you’re working to avoid the most common mistakes that businesses make on Facebook, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Level up your social media skills with these 17 free online courses

With more than 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, this form of digital marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Social media is one of several major ways to reach your target audience online. In particular, social media is great for building brand awareness, creating an engaged community and generating leads.

Of course, there are a few things every company should know about social media.

But what you don’t know can hurt you, or at least hold your business back.

The following are 17 free online courses to help you boost your social media skills. Depending on your specific goals and needs, you’ll likely want to sign up for one or two.

‘What is Social?’ from Coursera

“What is Social?” is an introductory course about social media marketing that is offered by Northwestern University through Coursera. In it, you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to social media marketing
  • Social media trends
  • The changing dynamics of social media
  • The importance of big data
  • How to use social media for business

Course materials include a mix of videos, reading materials, assignments and quizzes. Overall, it is a nine-hour course, with a recommendation to spend three to four weeks to complete it.

Completion delivers a certificate to participants that you can share on LinkedIn or highlight on your resume.

‘Introduction to Social Media Strategy’ from Skillshare

A beginner-level course, “Introduction to Social Media Strategy” is offered by Buffer through Skillshare. The goal is to understand how to better form an effective social media strategy. In addition, you’ll learn how to:

  • Select the right social media platforms
  • Use the right tools
  • Find a unique voice
  • Create and curate engaging content
  • Advertise on Facebook

You can complete the video tutorial in 43 minutes, but it’s recommended to do your own research and study at different points in the course for better overall understanding.

‘Social Media 101’ from Constant Contact

Intended for beginners, “Social Media 101” is offered by Social Media Quickstarter through Constant Contact. It offers a step-by-step process to build your social media presence on different platforms.

Broken into several modules based on social media platform, you learn how to create and optimize your profile and engage with your audience on that platform. You’ll also better understand the do’s and don’ts for each platform, with suggested strategies as well.

‘Social Media Marketing’ from Oxford Home Study Centre

The “Social Media Marketing” course, offered through Oxford Home Study Centre, provides a basic introduction to all things social media marketing across platforms. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand what successful social media marketing looks like and why it’s so powerful
  • Craft a social media marketing strategy plan
  • Implement the “Five Ps” of social media
  • Expand your social presence and attract new followers

The self-paced course provides a certification upon completion.

‘Social Media Analytics Course’ from Quintly

The beginner-level “Social Media Analytics Course” from Quintly introduces participants to the basics of social media analytics, but it can also serve as a refresher course on the topic. It includes analyzing your own social media and automating analytics reports. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Situation analysis
  • Understanding analytics reports and metrics
  • Choosing the audience for different types of reports
  • Competitor benchmarking
  • Collecting data from different platforms
  • Identifying KPIs to measure your goals
  • Report automation

Course materials include videos, reading materials and quizzes.

‘Social Media’ from HubSpot

“Social Media” is a certification course offered through HubSpot that can help you create your social media strategy and strengthen your social presence. In it, you’ll learn:

  • How to create a social media marketing strategy
  • Social media monitoring
  • Social content strategy 
  • Expanding your social media reach
  • How to advertise on social media
  • Measuring your social media marketing ROI (return on investment)

This is considered an all-in-one course that can give you a well-rounded understanding of all components of social media marketing with a mix of learning materials. It is estimated to take almost five hours to complete, but it’s recommended to spread it out over a few weeks and take any extra time needed to fully understand each topic.

‘Social Media Marketing Certification’ from eMarketing Institute

The “Social Media Marketing Certification” course through the eMarketing Institute is actually a 165-page ebook that covers the key points of social media marketing, followed by a test that you can take. In it, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of social media marketing
  • What’s involved in a social media strategy
  • How to identify your target audience
  • About different social media platforms
  • About sharing content on social media
  • How to engage with your target audience
  • The do’s and don’ts of social media marketing

The completion time is entirely self-paced with your reading of this ebook. There is no deadline for the test. If you pass the test, then you receive a certification that you can include in your resume.

‘The Business of Social’ from Coursera

In addition to “What is Social?”, “The Business of Social” is another free course offered by Northwestern University through Coursera. It is more advanced, where you can track your social media performance and link that to sales and more. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use different social media metrics to drive revenue
  • Weigh the legal considerations of your social media strategy
  • Create a performance funnel
  • Design a pilot program (and justify its viability)

This course uses a very practical approach and takes about five hours to complete. However, it’s recommended to spend about three to four weeks doing so. Upon completion, you’ll earn a certification for your resume.

‘Build Your Personal Brand and Sell Your Expertise Using Social Media’ from Social Creators

The “Build Your Personal Brand and Sell Your Expertise Using Social Media” course focuses on personal branding, helping you build a unique social media identity and a strong social presence. 

This is particularly useful for influencers (or anyone looking to become a successful influencer).

Divided into four parts, this video-based course includes additional course materials, such as a 21-page personal branding guide.

‘Writing for Social Media’ from edX

This “Writing for Social Media” course is offered by the University of California, Berley, through edX. It offers a broad framework for writing content for social media publishing that can adapted to any platform. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand your target audience
  • Write content for that audience with the relevant social media platform in mind
  • Use effective writing strategies to optimize your content
  • Connect with your audience through communication

The course takes about four weeks to complete (with about three to five hours spent per week) and is instructor-led, not self-paced. While it is free to take, you will have to pay if you want the certification.

‘Social Media Ethics’ from Udemy

This free “Social Media Ethics” course, offered by Udemy, covers social media ethics and the responsibility that exists when posting content on social media platforms. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand what ethical social media behavior is
  • Use good judgment when using and publishing on social media
  • Avoid posting content that can get you fired or sued

While the course is free and short (little more than half an hour), you’ll have to pay to receive the certification.

‘Content, Advertising & Social IMC’ from Coursera

The “Content, Advertising & Social IMC” course also is provided by Northwestern University through Coursera. It’s a specialty course that teaches how to create engaging content that has the capacity to go viral. In addition, you’ll learn:

  • Social media advertising
  • Content strategy for social media
  • Socially integrated marketing communications
  • How to measure the ROI of social media campaigns

This course takes about eight hours to complete, but you should spend about four weeks doing so to increase your retention. Upon completion, you’ll receive a shareable LinkedIn certificate.

‘Social Media Monitoring’ from Udemy

“Social Media Monitoring,” offered through Udemy, will guide you through different aspects of social media monitoring. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Social media monitoring strategies for different platforms
  • Finding the right keywords to monitor
  • Curating content
  • Finding influencers and building influencer lists
  • Techniques for keyword phrase filtering
  • The drawback of rich text analysis

This course offers a mix of video and reading materials to learn from, which you can complete in about seven and a half hours. While you can access the video content for free, you’ll have to pay to receive the certificate and additional resources.

“Introduction to Social Media Advertising” from Skillshare

If social media advertising overwhelms you, consider “Introduction to Social Media Advertising” that’s offered by Buffer through Skillshare. The introductory social media advertising course is ideal for anyone looking to take control of his or her paid advertising on social media. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Key terms and vocabulary
  • How to set and evaluate campaign goals
  • What makes graphics and copy attention-grabbing
  • Audience targeting

Because this course helps participants understand what matters in your advertising efforts and how to advertise successfully (and measure that success).

‘Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking Up Clients’ from Udemy

If you’re already familiar with the basics of social media marketing and advertising, “Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking Up Clients” (offered through Udemy) is worth your consideration. In it, you’ll learn:

  • The most common myths and mistakes that are commonly taught as social media best practices
  • How not to appear as a spammer but rather the “problem solver”
  • A four-step system that allows you to demonstrate your expertise and invite pursuit from potential clients
  • How to present your service in private Facebook groups that aren’t pushy or annoying

The course can take less than 48 hours to complete.

‘Facebook Blueprint’ from Facebook

Facebook offers its own free course breaking down what every small business should know about both Facebook and some aspects of Instagram. “Facebook Blueprint” has something for everyone, from beginners to advanced marketers. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Facebook terminology
  • How to curate a quality Facebook page and experience for followers
  • Best practices for Facebook and Instagram posting
  • How to optimize your Facebook and Instagram advertising

This is a self-paced course to complete at your convenience.

“TikTok Marketing Masterclass” from Influencer Marketing Hub

If understanding TikTok and its opportunities for your business is on your to-do list, consider this “TikTok Marketing Masterclass” that’s offered by Influencer Marketing Hub. In it, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of TikTok
  • Crafting a profitable brand persona that’s still authentic
  • How to grow your audience
  • Increasing engagement on TikTok
  • How to work with other brands
  • Making money as an influencer on TikTok

The course includes such resources as brand collaboration outreach templates, influencer case studies, video planning and storyboard templates, camera shot list, budget templates, cue sheets and other tools.

In conclusion

Truly, the best online course for you depends on the type of skills you want and need to boost your social media marketing. These courses are free, so it’s easy to let go of whatever isn’t working for you and try something else that might.

You also can explore our eight suggested email marketing courses that you can take online.

While you’re considering what social media courses you want to register for, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Terms and Conditions: How to confirm your giveaways are legal

Giveaways are great marketing tactics for generating leads, but are you using Terms and Conditions to protect yourself?

Of course, while it’s ideal to have a legal team to refer to for all contests and sweepstakes you host, this isn’t always possible for small businesses.

Considering that about 33 percent of contest participants are open to receiving information about the brand and its partners, it’s important to ensure that everything you do is not only engaging but “above board,” legally speaking.

First, we’ll dive into the difference between typical types of promotions since they have different expectations tied to them. (And these expectations have different legal ramifications, of course.) Then, we’ll break down the basic components of Terms and Conditions (aka “Official Rules”) that you can understand and include with your next promotion, as well as other considerations you should be aware of.

The differences between contests, sweepstakes and giveaways

A contest is a promotion where entrants can win a prize based on merit. Therefore, contest prizes are not awarded randomly and are subjectively awarded based on judging criteria through a judging panel or a voting process.

A sweepstake is a promotion in which entrants can win a prize through a random drawing. Do not call a sweepstake a “contest.” This is important to remember.

While contests and sweepstakes are legal terms, a “giveaway” is technically not a legal term and can be used interchangeably between the two in casual reference. Never use “giveaway” in any legal language tied to your contests or sweepstakes.

Components of Terms and Conditions

Think of your Terms and Conditions like the written rules of a board game. Not only will a giveaway without Terms and Conditions lead to confusion and potentially chaos, but you also leave yourself legally vulnerable.

The following are explanations of the main components you’ll find in many Terms and Conditions. You can always add or remove sections as they pertain (or not) to your promotion in question.

Title

Your title is simply the name of your giveaway (whether it’s a sweepstakes or a contest). This should be the relevant official title of the promotion.

No Purchase Necessary

The law requires that entrants know that a purchase won’t increase their odds of winning. Of course, this also means participants cannot pay a fee to enter, but they are required to pay the taxes on anything they win. 

If you are running any sort of promotion that requires entrants to purchase something or pay a fee, stop it immediately.

Promotion Description

This is the high-level description of your giveaway, where you include the dates and times of when it begins and ends (and in what time zone). Be sure to also include the:

  • Sponsor company of the giveaway
  • Administrator (if applicable)
  • Contact email address for participants to send any relevant questions

Eligibility

It’s important to outline who is eligible to enter and potentially win the prize(s) you’re giving away. Factors to consider:

  • Geographic location
  • Minimum age

Also detail who is specifically not eligible to enter, such as employees of the sponsoring company and their family members, for example.

Prizes

This goes beyond the description of the prize(s). Include how many prizes are being giving away and how many winners will receive each prize.

Be sure to include the average retail value (ARV) of the prize(s) because this could be relevant if the winner wants to exchange it. Of course, make a note of whether an exchange for cash or gift card is available if requested. If there are multiple levels of prizes, detail how many winners and prizes there are at each level.

You also might want to include how many prizes will be given out per household. If you’re shipping the prize to the winner, you cannot charge that winner for that shipping cost, even if it’s expensive. So, you might want to think through how winners can claim their prize(s) as well.

How to Enter

Explain what participants must do to officially enter your giveaway. It’s fine if an entrant must participate in multiple ways, just list each way in detail here.

If relevant, you also include how not to enter, such as not with a bot or other service that can automatically enter a participant.

Winner Selection

If you’re running a sweepstake, specify that winners will be chosen at random (including who will be choosing the winners and when winners will be chosen). Do you best to list the odds of winning the giveaway, which is obviously dependant on how many participants choose to enter.

If you’re running a contest, list all parameters for the judging process. Again, list who will be choosing the winners and when.

Winner Notification

Detail how and when your giveaway winners will be contacted. You’ll also want to describe how long each winner will have to claim his or her prize. If the prize isn’t claimed by a specified date or timeframe, outline what then happens to the prize.

Privacy

Ideally, the participants who are entering your giveaway are exchanging their information with you to enter. This could involve filling out a form, sharing their email address, even their demographic information.

Because of this, you’ll want to explain what you’ll be doing with the participants’ information, including your privacy policy if applicable.

Limitation of Liability

This section outlines how liable you are if the giveaway does not go as planned. As the sponsor of the giveaway, it’s important to explain what happens, for example, if a 12-month-long giveaway is hindered by the company going out of business six months into it. Think through all possible scenarios to appropriately outline your liability.

Social Network Disclaimers

It you are promoting or running your giveaway on any social media platform (especially if your participants must perform an action on a social network), then you should include a disclaimer that explicitly releases any relevant social media networks from any kind of liability.

Winner List

Participants have a right to know who won your contest or sweepstakes, and they often will want to know. Traditionally, entrants were expected to mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to acquire a winners list, but these days, it’s common for sponsors to list winners on a web page and/or social media post. Whatever the plan, you can communicate it in this section.

Sponsor

As the giveaway sponsor, you’ll want to list your company contact information that includes your:

  • Company name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address

Administrator

If your giveaway has an administrator, this is where you can list that company contact information. A common scenario where a giveaway has an administrator is when an advertising agency is managing a giveaway on behalf of a client.

Other considerations

Terms and Conditions certainly follow a logic in the legal sense, but every giveaway is different, so it’s important to not only think through the above components and the following additional considerations.

Recurring daily or weekly winners

While slightly more complicated and involved, a giveaway with daily or weekly winners can be more fun and more engaging for participants. When running this type of giveaway, be sure to include a timetable in your Terms and Conditions that describes the entry periods, including when they start and end and when the winners will be drawn for each entry period.

‘Twitter-only’ giveaway

You’ve likely seen the “Retweet and follow for a chance to win” campaigns before. If you’re running a giveaway that is entirely hosted on a single social media platform, remember that you must think through how to contact winners since you’re not collecting email addresses or other contact information. On Twitter, you’ll only be able to contact potential winners through Twitter, where accounts need to follow each other in order to direct message each other.

Because of that restriction, you’ll want to state in your Terms and Conditions that participants must continue following your Twitter account for a particular period of time, especially since it’s more common for winners to be contacted via DM than in a public tweet.

At the same time, since the giveaway is solely tied to Twitter, be sure to include that entrants must adhere to Twitter’s privacy policy and terms while providing a Twitter statement of release disclaimer.

Of course, this consideration is referring to Twitter specifically, but the same thought process can be applied to any social media platform being used for a giveaway in the same way.

Restricted industries

In the United States, special requirements apply to giveaways in the following industries:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Gasoline
  • Dairy
  • Insurance
  • Financial institutions

If any of these industries apply to you, be sure to dig deeper to avoid violating any laws.

Where to host your Terms and Conditions

You have a few options when it comes to hosting your Terms and Conditions. One option is linking to a non-editable Google doc, especially if you don’t have a website. Another option is publishing them on a webpage that you have full control of (likely somewhere on your website).

Either way, you’ll want to link to them in your promotional campaigns for any giveaway.

Remember that no matter what the method, the important aspect is that they are easily accessible to participants.

Entry deadlines cannot be extended

You are required to stick to your first-stated deadline for giveaway entries. It doesn’t matter how many entries you receive (or how many you would’ve liked to have received). Consider your Terms and Conditions a binding contract with your participants.

If you did not get any entries at all, then you should start a second promotion rather than extending the first one. 

You must accept all valid entries

The benefit of the doubt here goes to your participants. For example, if one of the actions an entrant must take is to name his or her favorite product of yours, but an entrant says instead: “I don’t know. I’m entering anyway,” this is a valid entry. 

Of course, on the flip side, if you state in your Terms and Conditions that only one entry per person is allowed and it turns out that an entrant violated that rule, then that is not a valid entry.

A prize must be awarded no matter what

Let’s say that you are offering a prize from another entity for your giveaway. However, that deal falls through during your promotion. It doesn’t matter.

You are still obligated to award the stated prize (or equivalent product if the original prize is unavailable). It is your responsibility to honor your side of the Terms and Conditions with your participants. Remember, this is a binding contract with those entrants, not your prize sponsor.

Legal side note

This blog article does not serve as legal advice in any way. You and only you are solely responsible for your promotion’s compliance with the law and the legality surrounding your promotions. Please consult with a local legal expert to ensure you are in total compliance with all the laws that are applicable to you.

While you’re ensuring the legality of your giveaways, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

12 expert tips to host your first webinar

Webinars are only growing in popularity.

About 60 percent of marketers use webinars as a content marketing tool. They help increase the understanding of your products and services by about 74 percent.

And as a form of premium content, webinars can help you generate and nurture leads for your business. By sharing your expertise in an engaging presentation format, you’re building stronger, more trusting relationships with your customers and potential customers.

The following are 12 tips to help you host a successful webinar.

Choose the right webinar platform

There are a number of webinar-hosting platforms available, so it’s important to review the features of any platform you’re considering so that you ultimately use the best platform for your needs.

Consider the fact that attendees might watch your webinar across devices, whether it’s a computer or a smartphone. And while some platforms might be free or low-cost, that advantage could result in limits on time length, a set maximum on the number of attendees or even the display of distracting ads for you and your attendees.

Ideally, you’ll want a platform that doesn’t just host a quality webinar but can help manage registration and send out reminders to attendees as well. A handful of webinar-hosting platforms you can look into include:

Select the right day and time

You’ll want to schedule your webinar at a time (and day) that allows for the most possible attendees to participate.

Of course, the ideal day and time can depend on your target audience. While an “after-dinner” time might seem odd, it could perform better than an afternoon time when your audience is in the middle of their work day.

You can review your website traffic to see what days and times are most popular for visitors to be on your site. Be sure to factor in relevant time zones into your scheduling.

In general, though, webinar scheduling is recommended in the middle of the week (Tuesday through Thursday) around 11 a.m. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different days and times to see what ultimately works best for your audience.

Use the right equipment

While relying on the built-in microphones and speakers on your computer can work in many instances, there is a risk of low-quality audio that can turn off your attendees.

Consider a headset (even if it’s plugged into your computer). You also should have a backup computer and any additional batteries as needed or spare additional equipment so that you can easily troubleshoot any technical difficulties. 

You’ll also want to print out a copy of your slides so that you can keep going if there is a glitch there as well.

Opt for the right topic

It’s important that you brainstorm a number of potential webinar topics before settling on one. And if you can brainstorm with a colleague (or several members of your team), all the better.

The perfect topic is where your expertise intersects with the interests and needs of your audience. As you’re narrowing down your ideas, keep asking yourself: “Will my target audience care?” 

If you choose a topic that doesn’t generate a lot of interest and excitement, you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle with your webinar in general.

Also make sure that your topic is neither too broad. A broad topic gets about as far as broad audience targeting, which isn’t very far at all. Don’t be afraid to deep dive into the finer details of a particular topic. That’s where the value comes from, and it’s all about providing value.

Go as visual as possible

In addition, you’ll want to make your webinar as visual as possible. The more visual the topic you’ve chosen, the easier it will be to create a presentation that’s engaging for your attendees.

Of course, visuals can be more than just photos. You can use videos, infographics and/or GIFs as well.

Practice makes perfect

You should definitely practice your webinar in advance to ensure a smooth experience when you go live.

Not only will this help you work out any hiccups in your script and your over pace, but you’ll also likely identify any technical issues that you can fix well before the time of your webinar.

Practice truly makes perfect, so do so as many times as you like.

Promote your webinar across channels

This might sound obvious, but you must promote your webinar to boost attendance. Beyond the obvious, though, make sure your promotion spans across channels.

So, you’re posting across your social media accounts, encouraging colleagues and partners to do the same, including a pop-up ad on your website, publishing a blog about what attendees can learn and so on. We also suggest a “countdown” campaign that teases some tips or statistics to really generate anticipation for your webinar. You can even create and use a specific hashtag during your promotion that can then be used during your webinar as it’s happening, and include any speaker’s social media handles in your promotion as well.

The sky’s the limit. Just don’t assume that one post or blog will do the trick. Be consistent in frequency and quality.

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Engage with your attendees

While we definitely recommend that you have a script planned for your webinar presentation, you don’t want to miss any opportunities to engage with your attendees.

A good rule of thumb is to build engagement opportunities (such as questions) into your presentation, roughly about every four to five slides. In addition, plan to leave time at the end of your webinar for questions from your attendees. 

Depending on the webinar-hosting platform you’re using, there can be engagement features (such as polls) available to use as well.

Invite guests to speak or host

If you’re concerned about being monotone in your presentation or are simply looking for ways to mix it up, consider inviting a guest host. This expert can present for part or all of your webinar.

The key is to project energy while presenting, but the simple tag team of two presenters can make your webinar more interesting by default.

Guests can be industry thought leaders, experts or influencers who have larger followings than your brand. Just make sure to coordinate your plan, slide deck and scripts. 

Assets can be created for attendees

You can provide additional assets to promote engagement and/or value. 

Whether it’s a link to an ebook that will offer even more information after the webinar or a downloadable worksheet for attendees to use during the presentation, anything you offer will help make your webinar both more memorable and more successful.

Of course, the assets you offer will naturally compliment your topic and the goals of your presentation (like even offering the slide deck to be available for download).

Follow up with attendees after your webinar

Don’t forget to send a follow-up email to your attendees within 24 hours (or less) of your webinar ending.

You’ll, of course, want to thank them for attending, but you also have an opportunity to request feedback so that you can continue to improve.

For anyone who was registered but didn’t attend your webinar, make sure to send a recording. (This can be done for those who attended as well.)

If you have freebies, webinar highlights or a future webinar to promote, include all these in your follow-up message as well.

Measure your success

Use all available in-platform metrics to analyze your webinar registration and performance. It’s important to understand any insights available to you.

Was there a drop-off in participation at a particular point during the webinar? Did everyone stay engaged all the way through to the end?

Take everything you learn and apply it to future webinars that can continue to improve and grow.

While you’re planning a successful webinar, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business. 

And the strength of our mobile marketing can make or break a company. 

Mobile marketing is the adaptation of your marketing efforts to reach users through their mobile devices.

This matters because about half of consumers shop on their smartphones, and ecommerce sales from smartphone devices will rise from $128.4 billion in 2019 to $418.9 billion in 2024. In addition, the average smartphone user spends more than three hours on his or her device each day.

In many ways, mobile marketing isn’t an entirely separate digital marketing strategy. Most mobile best practices work in tandem with your overall digital marketing efforts. For example, a faster-loading website is going to get a boost in its search engine ranking no matter what device an internet user is searching from.

On the flip side, mobile marketing is a must. It’s not optional.

Mobile use will only continue to grow, and it’s up to you to make your brand relevant in a mobile world. See these six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business.

The following are 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing and grow your revenue.

Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible

The first step to improve your mobile marketing is to focus on the overall structure and embedded assets of your website.

Think of it this way: What’s the point of attracting mobile users to your site if you’re just going to turn them off as soon as they get there?

Simplicity is often the key when optimizing for mobile, but check out our 16 tips to make your website mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that this effort should also apply to your website pop-ups and any separate landing pages.

In addition, consider your content. Is it concise and skimmable? Wherever you can streamline or condense your copy will not just positively impact your mobile visitors but all your visitors. “Short and sweet” wins the day every time.

Ensure that digital ads are mobile-friendly

Not only should your website be mobile-friendly, but your ads as well. 

Mobile optimization goes beyond just the resizing of digital ads, it involves the right combination of text, imagery, video and so on that resonates and engages on small screens.

Google itself has a guide for creating mobile-friendly ads that you can dig into.

Use Google Search Console

A great (and free) tool that you can use to measure your website’s performance, Google Search Console tracks both mobile and desktop traffic.

Specifically, you can run its Mobile Usability report, where you’ll see any problems with the mobile-version pages of your website and get advice on how to fix those problems.

Using the Google Search Console ensures the functionality of the mobile version of your website.

Test your page-loading speed

About 57 percent of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds for a page to load.

You can’t afford to lose that many potential customers to a competitor.

Not sure what your website’s loading speed is? Start with Google’s Page Speed Insights. You’ll not only find out the loading speed of your pages on mobile but also get some diagnostic advice on how to fix any of the slower pages.

Ensure all emails are responsive

More than 70 percent of people open emails on their mobile device.

Therefore, if you’re not considering responsiveness in your email design, you’re missing an opportunity to better engage with your recipients on whatever device they’re using.

This means that the email will scale (images and all) to the size of the screen viewing it. No scrolling side to side.

Many email marketing platforms (like DailyStory) offer mobile-optimization features. Just be sure to test your emails across devices to confirm you’re sending what you think you’re sending.

Find out what AMP emails are and whether you should use them.

Get local with Google My Business

If your business has a relevant physical location, then you must consider using Google My Business.

Doing so will help optimize your business as a result in local search queries on Google specifically. With Google My Business, you can create a business profile that sets you apart through what you write and the images you use.

The average business gets about 59 actions from their Google My Business listing every month.

Dig deeper into optimizing your local SEO with our 11 tips.

Optimize your social media presence across platforms

Mobile traffic drives social media, so be consistent about your social presence and social media marketing efforts because they will benefit your mobile marketing. 

In fact, at least 55 percent of social media use comes from mobile devices.

Of course, there are many social media platforms out there. Not sure where to focus your efforts? See our guide.

Then, to be more efficient with your social media marketing, look into using a social media management tool. Here are 11 free (or almost free) tools to consider.

An effective social media strategy could go well beyond the creation and publishing of engaging content. The features on different platforms are constantly evolving. For example, if you’re an ecommerce company, you’ll want to look into Instagram Checkout, which can make purchasing your products directly through Instagram easy for users.

Seize social proof opportunities

Social proof refers to potential customers assuming that what others are doing is correct based on how often they see those actions. In other words, social proof is about looking to others to figure out the right way to interact in any given situation.

Businesses can leverage positive social proof to influence consumer behavior and generate more sales.

While social proof isn’t restricted to social media only, social media does play a big role.

Encouraging such actions as customers “checking-into” your business page on Facebook is an example of encouraging customers to do some of your marketing for you in an organic way. And it all plays into social proof. 

Learn more about social proof and how you can leverage it in your marketing, as well as some tools that can help.

Use SMS texts to help promote

About 90 percent of consumers say that texting is the primary activity they do on their phones, while about 75 percent indicate that they’re fine with receiving texts from their favorite brands.

Therefore, any mobile marketing efforts should include an aspect of texting, which DailyStory can help you implement. 

Check out our eight tips for writing a text message that won’t get ignored. And review what carrier violations are so that your business can stay in compliance when text marketing.

Create more video content

More than 70 percent of YouTube video consumption happens on mobile devices, so videos are an undeniable piece of any successful mobile marketing efforts.

In fact, we dive into 10 types of videos you can create as part of your branding and marketing. But in general, the more shareable the video, the better.

As far as the best platform to publish videos on, see our recommendations.

Consider a podcast

Because about 77 percent of podcast listeners listen on their mobile devices, publishing a podcast could be a viable mobile marketing tactic if it’s right for your brand and your resources.

Just make sure that you have the planning and resources to commit to a consistent podcast publishing schedule.

If you don’t already have a podcast, see our nine tips for starting one.

Optimize for voice search

Voice search, at this time, is still considered the “next big thing” in digital marketing, but truly, the time to optimize your content for voice search is now.

In a nutshell, this means that you have to consider using more long-tail keywords in your content because of the nature of how a consumer will search using voice.

Check out our seven tips to optimize your website and content for voice search.

Embrace QR codes

What’s “old” is “new” again. QR codes are essentially barcodes that are scannable with your smartphone, and they’ve recently been increasing in popularity.

You can use them to easily direct consumers to your website, email and more.

See these nine ways you can use QR codes in your marketing, and watch our webinar.

Create an app

Depending on the nature of your business and industry, an app can be a great way to engage with your customers and potential customers.

Apps are typically faster than in-browser web pages and can be personalized to the user. In addition, you can send custom push notifications to your app users.

Of course, a planned strategy for your push notifications will better ensure engagement over potential opt-outs. Check out our seven tips to write effective push notifications as well.

If you already have a branded app, conduct regular audits to determine what is working for users and what’s not so that you can update as needed.

As you’re embracing opportunities to improve your mobile marketing, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

15+ of the best free productivity tools you should know about

Need more time in a day? We all do.

Consider the potential of some of the latest and greatest productivity tools that can help you be more efficient, focused and/or organized.

About 55 percent of retailers believe better technology can positively impact productivity. At the same time, once distracted, it takes 23 minutes for productive workers to get back on track and complete the task they started working on.

Therefore, online tools can potentially help us get more done. The following are at least 15 of the best free productivity tools you should know about.

(And if you’re working from home, check out our 11 tips to be more productive.)

Time-management productivity tools

RescueTime

RescueTime operates in the background of your device, quietly logging your activity without serving as a distraction. You’ll be able to see how much time you spend doing various things, such as visiting a particular website or using certain apps.

This tool also allows you to set targets and alerts to help you curtail poor productivity habits. In other words, it helps you limit wasted time on your devices, especially since it’s cross-platform.

The free version of RescueTime offers up to three months of data for analysis. Any paid subscription has no limits on data and also includes additional features.

Todoist

Got a small team in need of time management? Todoist might be for you. The easy-to-use tool bridges time management with traditional to-do lists and a light amount of project management.

Todoist gives you a daily and weekly overview of what work you have to do, appointments scheduled and anything else you’re tracking. You can also delegate tasks to others as desired.

It integrates with dozens of apps and services to help you automate your trackable workflow. The free version limits you to five people and 80 active projects at any given time, but paid subscriptions are available for more functionality.

Clockify

Clockify is brilliant in its simplicity and is absolutely unlimited and free to all users. Consider it similar to a stopwatch where you can easily record how long you spend working on different projects.

When you start a timer, you can add labels, descriptions and project details. Then, just hit “stop” when you’re finished. This tool allows you to configure timers to start as soon as you open your internet browser (so you don’t have to remember to start a timer), so be sure to dig around in those settings to find what works best for you and your work style.

Clockify also integrates with other applications, such as Trello, Asana, Jira and Todoist, among others. If you prefer, you can use it as a browser extension rather than the full application or in its mobile app form instead of the full desktop web application.

Beeminder

Would a bit of gamification help you hit your productivity goals? Or, some other goal? Consider trying Beeminder

You actually can track almost anything using this tool, whether it’s how many contracts you get customers to sign per week, how many hours you work per day or how often you go to the gym. Anything.

Beeminder is considerably flexible and will log your progress once you set your goal. You then aim to stick to the “yellow brick road,” which is the progress graph that is supposed to keep you on point with your targets to ultimately reach your goal.

You can even take things up a notch and add your credit card to the tool so that you can be fined when/if you fail to stay on track.

Toggl

Known for its simple time tracking at its core, Toggl works on multiple platforms and synchronizes so that you can move between devices and still track your work.

Features include:

  • The availability of manual and automated tracking
  • A Pomodoro timer, which is a time management method of working in intervals for 25 minutes at a time
  • Automatic detection of idle time
  • Reminders
  • Integrations with other apps and services
  • Highly flexible customizations

While Toggl offers detailed reports, there is no invoicing option within the tool itself.

StayFocused

A free Chrome extension that restricts the amount of time you are allowed to spend on “time-wasting websites” like Facebook (for example), StayFocused offers a ton of customizing options, such as which websites to block, how long to block them and so on.

It is only available on Chrome right now.

Project-management productivity tools

Asana

Asana aims to help everyone stay on-task and organized together. The team-productivity tool helps you keep all projects and tasks in one spot, where you can assign different users to specific jobs.

Features include:

  • Ability to build a visual Gantt chart quickly
  • See and track work on Kanban boards
  • Calendar functionality
  • Integrates with other apps
  • Goal-setting mechanisms
  • Real-time reporting
  • Automation capability
  • View distribution of workload across team members

While free to start, Asana has paid subscriptions if you have a team of half a dozen workers or more.

Freedcamp

A central spot for project planning and organization, Freedcamp allows you to add project to-dos, share files and join discussions with team members.

A bonus with Freedcamp is that much of the functionality is included in its free version. Any advance features (like integrating invoices) can be pay-per-add-on, allowing you to pay for only what you need.

It’s cross-platform and integrates with many other applications and services.

Trello

Trello is a project-management tool that at first glance resembles a Pinterest board except without all the photos. Instead, it’s a visual presentation of lists, labels, tasks and so on that you can easily drag and drop as you like.

Its features are all geared toward productivity and teamwork, where your team can collaborate. Trello integrates with other apps and services and also offers no-coding automation. 

The free version is likely enough for small teams, but paid subscriptions are available if you need more.

Save-for-later productivity tools

Google Drive

Granted, we can’t talk about Google Drive without at least mentioning the slate of other tools within the Google universe. But Google Drive still stands on its own as a cross-platform cloud storage and organization tool.

This makes it easy to share (and even edit with Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets) all types of files.

Team-wise, Google Drive offers the ability to chat and share notes within a document, and it’s completely free.

Evernote

Evernote enables you to save notes (both audio and text), organize photos, set reminders and upload attachments across all your devices in one place.

One of the common uses of Evernote involves its bookmarklet, where you can easily “clip” web articles and store them to read later on any device.

It also integrates with other apps and services. The free version allows you to sync two devices. If you need to sync more (or simply want more storage space), you might consider one of the paid subscriptions.

Pocket

Need a place to save the great content that you don’t have time to read (or watch) in that moment? Pocket can help.

Saved content formats include articles, images, videos and so on).

Social media productivity tools

Efficiently managing your social media accounts definitely requires the right tool. Fortunately, there are several free options out there that can work, depending on the platforms you’re on and the needs that you have.

Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools that can help you be more effective with your social media presence.

Miscellaneous productivity tools

Slack

Slack organizes how your team communicates with each other. You can break up conversations into channels so that each channel provides a focus.

In addition, you can connect your team to another collaborating team if desired. Direct messaging and voice/video calls also are available.

Slack integrates with other applications and is cross-platform. The free version is very robust, but if you find yourself needing more than the messaging archive or app-integration limit, consider one of the paid subscriptions.

LastPass

The password struggle is real and can be a real time suck. LastPass remembers all your passwords and can be used across several devices.

Not only will this tool store your passwords in its secured vault, it also will audit your passwords to help you create better, more secure ones.

The free version has plenty of features and is still very secure, but if you’re looking to be able to add employees to certain password folders, for example, consider a paid subscription.

Right Inbox

A Chrome extension, Right Inbox allows you to set up multiple signatures, email sequences, delayed sends and more.

The idea is to stay on top of the chaos that might be your email inbox.

A bonus feature is built-in email tracking.

While you’re looking at boosting your productivity, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Premium content: What it is and how you can leverage it in your marketing

If content is king, then what would premium content be?

Content marketing itself is increasingly important for businesses to embrace in a digital world. Think of your website (or even your social media accounts) as a planet. Your content being the gravitational pull that generates traffic and engagement. 

Then, of course, we leverage that traffic and engagement to fuel conversions, which equates to sales and boosting our bottom line.

The most common types of content include:

  • Blog articles
  • Graphic illustrations
  • Videos
  • GIFs

What is premium content?

Premium content then is original information that is valuable enough for website visitors (or social media users) to provide their contact information to get it. 

To be more specific, premium content:

  • Answers common questions you encounter in your industry
  • Dives deeper into a topic to deliver knowledge
  • Offers tips and advice that can be acted on
  • Addresses challenges that your customers and potential customers face
  • Is relevant to the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers

How you package your premium content can vary. Some common types include:

  • Webinar, which is a video web presentation typically hosted by an expert in the industry sharing a presentation slide deck. It can be presented live and/or recorded and available long after the webinar is over.
  • eBook, which is a PDF that’s usually about a few dozen pages long. It’s very visual with professionally designed pages (including a cover). It’s ideal to include your pitch and contact information at the end of an ebook.
  • White paper, which is an in-depth evaluation of a topic in PDF format that includes expert research and is usually six to 12 pages in length.
  • Template, which gives customers or potential customers frameworks for creating something (like a content calendar, for example). This is usually offered in PDF format.
  • Interactive tools, which help measure or assess something (like a special calculator, for example). You might need to do some programming for this type of premium content.

Of course, to access premium content, visitors should fill out a web form with their name and email address at the very least. But it’s up to you if you’d like to collect more information up front, such as company name, profession, phone number, zip code, etc.

Just keep in mind that the more information you require, the lower the conversion rate of your premium content (no matter how appealing it might be).

After submitting the web form, users should immediately receive the premium content through a link or email.

5 ways to leverage premium content in your marketing

Beyond the tips below that are specific to marketing your premium content, check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing as well.

On your website

The homepage of your website is prime real estate to promote your premium content and is often the most trafficked page of many websites.

You also can use pop-up or slide-in ads on your website. The advantage of these is that they can appear on any of your web pages after a set amount of time.

Plus, very simple in-line links within other content can also be helpful. You can highlight and feature selected portions of your premium content in blogs, for example.

No matter how you promote on your website, make sure that your call-to-action button is bold and attention-grabbing.

Email promotion

Depending on your goals, email promotion may or may not make sense. If lead generation is the goal, then you would be promoting your premium content to contacts you already have.

But if it makes sense to do so, you can share teasers of your premium content in your regular email newsletter and other marketing emails.

Social media

Organic social media posts are a great way to promote your content to potential leads you’ve never come into contact with before. You can even encourage your staff to share the premium content link on their social media channels. And paid social media campaigns can help you target your ads even further to those who are most likely to engage with you.

Google

You can use Google AdWords to target the promotion of your content to internet users based on their search intent. 

In addition, you can try Google Display Ads, which allow you to target websites, apps and videos that are part of the Google Display Network. 

Print advertising

It may sound archaic, but there might be some print advertising opportunities to explore, depending on your target audience.

We recommend including a QR code in your print ad so that those interested can easily give you their contact information and download your content. 

While you’re exploring how to best promote your premium content, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 things fitness professionals should know about marketing

Joining the fitness industry typically means that you’re passionate about helping people.

It doesn’t always mean that you’re a digital marketing genius.

Whether you’re the best personal trainer, group trainer and/or gym owner, you must be able to get the word out about your facilities, services and skills. Otherwise, your fitness business is only going to go so far.

Especially when you’re already contending against the natural industry trend of high turnover. About 50 percent of all new gym members quit going within six months.

So, while you’re honing your fitness expertise and becoming the best trainer you can be, take note of these six things every fitness professional should know about digital marketing. Embracing any or all of these tips will only strengthen your fitness business.

Know your target audience

This recommendation expands far beyond just fitness professionals marketing themselves and/or their gym. 

It’s imperative for successful digital marketing on any medium and with any campaign.

The obvious temptation when it comes to answering the question, “Who are you trying to reach?” leads to the answer: “Everyone.”

Resist this temptation. 

Striving to reach (and appeal to) everyone is generic and will yield lackluster results. When you’re trying to engage everyone, you might as well reach no one.

Why? A few reasons.

  1. You likely already have a specific niche within your own fitness expertise.
  2. Potential customers want to feel like you’re speaking directly to them and the problems they’re looking to solve. If your message is more of a broad stroke than a targeted bullseye, you won’t stand out from the noise they’re exposed to daily.
  3. No one converts “everyone.” So, step out of that mindset. You’ll find more success targeting a specific group of people. 

Now that we’ve addressed the “everyone” temptation, you need to ask yourself: “Who am I really trying to reach?” If that’s a difficult question to answer, then ask yourself: “Who is my ideal client?” 

Of course, the characteristics could cover age, gender, average income, geographic location, whether they have children or any other lifestyle demographics. If you already have an existing client database, dive in to find out more about who already is paying you. If you’re about to launch your fitness business, think about what makes your services stand out and go from there.

Knowing your target audience for your fitness marketing also will save you time and money because you’ll only invest resources in the methods and mediums that make sense for who you’re trying to reach and convert.

Embrace social media

Whether you like it, love it, hate it or can simply co-exist with it, social media is a must for fitness professionals. Millennials and Gen Z now make up about 80 percent of gym goers worldwide.

That’s right.

And not surprisingly, most social media users also are Millennials and Gen Z.

So, if you’ve been lagging on your social media presence, now is the time to recommit. 

Of course, there are a number of social media platforms. Instagram and Facebook are obvious choices to focus on. If you need help deciding where to start, check out our guide.

But no matter what platform you focus on, quality content rules. It’s your personality, authenticity and expertise that will set you apart from the noise.

Plan out your content ideas in advance, using a content calendar if possible to stay organized. Ideas can include fitness tips (keep it simple yet visual), exercise or workout ideas, Live broadcasts, AMAs (Ask Me Anything posts), behind the scenes content and so on.

Social media is truly the space where you can project your expertise and set yourself up as an industry thought leader.

But the most important aspect of your content is that it reflects you. People can’t connect with you if you’re hiding behind a brand or pretending to be anything other than who you are.

Then, commit to a publishing frequency that works for you. You can also increase it if needed.

Yes, email marketing is a thing

Assuming that email is a marketing tool of the past? Think again.

In fact, we have 48 email marketing statistics that show this method is alive and well. Plus, the benefits are undeniable. Email marketing is affordable, easy to do and measurable.

Whether you’re creating and sending out a weekly email newsletter with fitness content or something else, you can start collecting email addresses even without a website (although a website can be very helpful).

If you do have a website, check out our 12 strategies to capture more email leads without annoying your visitors

Remember that you want to offer value in every email you send. That could be educational content or even promotional content (such as a limited-time discount).

See the anatomy of an effective marketing email so that you can make an impact from the start.

Consider offering premium content

While it might seem counterintuitive to offer premium content for free, it’s a fantastic way to generate client leads and establish yourself as an expert in the fitness industry.

Premium content can include ebooks, whitepapers and so on. It typically features a deeper dive into a topic and is of high value to your target audience.

Offering a 30-day nutritional challenge ebook, for example, can be appealing to your target audience, and giving it away as a free download can capture more email leads that you can follow up with.

No matter what, it will only boost your brand’s value.

Feature your credentials

The fitness industry is a crowded field with a lot of competition. Reminding your audience of your certifications and credentials as often as possible will help you stand out.

You’re not just another Instagram face in the crowd. You have real expertise through any number of certifications that you’ve worked hard for. And this knowledge can better help your clients achieve their goals.

Of course, your website can help feature those credentials, but you also can include relevant mentions in your social media content and social media bios.

Get creative! Your expertise (and the perception of which) is built on that foundation.

Have a fitness marketing strategy

Posting inconsistently without a thought-out plan is not going to help you achieve your fitness business goals.

It’s important to sit down and think through:

  • Who am I trying to reach?
  • What platforms are they using?

Then, think about what type of content they’ll find engaging (images, videos, articles, etc.) and what problems or needs you can serve with your content.

Start off slow and simple with your plan and measure everything along the way. What’s working? What’s not? Then, you can use those insights from the data to further inform your plan and overall strategy.

As you get more comfortable, you can add in more frequent content and additional platforms if you like.

As you’re exploring digital marketing for your fitness business, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

Then, consider the strength of your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation capabilities, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips for a successful social media takeover

Looking to shake up your brand’s online presence? Consider a social media takeover.

A social media takeover is a form of influencer marketing where you grant posting privileges to a person of interest for a predetermined period of time. This can be an influencer, expert or other professional. The length of the takeover could be a day, a week, etc. While Instagram and Snapchat host a significant percentage of takeovers, any social media platform can work.

It’s a great way to dip your toes into the world of influencer marketing. From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to grow to have a market size of $13.8 billion in 2021.

See our seven tips to think about before diving into influencer marketing.

Of course, a social media takeover has its own nuances. And it doesn’t just happen in a vacuum on its own. There is a lot of planning and strategy required, especially for the most successful instances. But the benefits are there, including more brand awareness and potentially an increase in your brand’s following.

The following are eight tips to run a successful social media takeover on your first attempt.

Choose who’s taking over

This is a huge factor in the success of your social media takeover. Not only do you want to find someone with a significant-enough following to help grow your own, but this person should also be:

  • Noteworthy within your industry
  • Known or at least respected by your audience (meaning that not all industry experts, for example, hold celebrity status with your following, but their title and expertise do capture attention and interest)
  • Publishing content that complements your own branding

Granted, the possibilities are almost endless, but check in on your goals with this social media takeover, and let those goals help guide you in your influencer research and outreach.

Check out these 18 influencer-discovery tools to help.

Once you’ve identified a few options of individuals you’d like to work with, you should reach out directly but also start (if you haven’t already) engaging with their content. Not everyone you’d like to partner with will say yes (or say yes without requesting pay, depending), so keep looking until you find the perfect partner. Just be aware that while paying an influencer isn’t always needed, it is in your best interest to formulate your pitch to include what’s in it for them to work with you, no matter what that might be.

Sync up your goals

Obviously, your brand has goals when it comes to running a social media takeover, but it’s important that you align these goals with the goals of your influencer.

As part of your initial pitch in starting this takeover, you likely already mentioned (or officially presented) the perks for this individual to participate.

Even if the benefit to the influencer is only increased exposure to your following (or beyond), that’s fine. Just make sure that the relationship is balanced as far as benefits happening for both your brand and the influencer.

Select your social media platform

We already noted that a lot of social media takeovers happen on Instagram and Snapchat. But you can definitely choose whatever platform best suits your brand, your goals and your influencer.

(Of course, not all influencers are strong on all social media platforms, so keep that in mind while choosing who’d you like to work with.)

If there is a platform you’d like to make more of a wave on, that could be a great place to start. Facebook, for example, could feature takeover posts and Facebook Live videos on your business page. 

See our guide on the best social media platforms for influencer marketing.

Plan out your framework

First things first, do not assume that any influencer can read your mind. He or she cannot automatically (and magically) know what you would like to see happen or even what he or she should be doing in general during a social media takeover.

The best thing to do is to put it all down in writing:

  • When will it start, and when will it end?
  • How many posts are expected?
  • What post types are expected? Photos? Videos? Live-streams? Something else?
  • What’s the desired frequency of posts?
  • Any other expectations of the influencer?

You’ll also want to consider providing a list of brand do’s and don’ts, which could include profanity usage, sizing ratio of images and so on.

Just be sure to not arrange too many limitations. The idea of a social media takeover is to let the person taking over be themselves. If the content he or she is posting looks and feels exactly as it would coming from your brand itself, then what’s the point?

Set up platform permissions

This is admittedly the most complex component of a social media takeover. Not all companies want to hand over all their passwords to an influencer, no matter what agreement and/or contract might be in place.

Fortunately, you have a number of options on this front, depending on your level of comfort and the platform(s) being used.

Provide all passwords and total access

This should only be done if absolutely necessary and it’s with an individual you trust. Of course, there are some features on Snapchat and Instagram Stories (like account tags on Instagram) that must happen at the time of posting, and if the influencer needs to design those in a particular way, there might be no way around handing over the password to an account. But you’ll want to change that password as soon as the social media takeover has ended.

Limit posting permissions

The paths here can vary depending on the social media platform(s) being taken over. Facebook, for example, has different permission levels for Page Roles on its business pages, including “Live Contributor” in which the influencer can only go live on your page. To get around giving out your password in order for an influencer to go live on Instagram, you can consider hosting a joint Live session. You also can consider assigning the influencer a role with limited access from within your social media management application. This depends on what management tool you’re using, of course, but it’s easy enough to do if your tool offers customizable user permissions or even team-level access capabilities. Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Have all content delivered for you to post

This is the most hands-off option possible in which the influencer is given no access or permissions to your social media accounts at all. Instead, he or she delivers to you assets, captions and so on for you to post from your brand accounts. Just be extra vigilant that what posts aren’t too scripted or too similar to what your accounts already share. The overall goal of a social media takeover is to shake up your content at least a little.

Of course, if the influencer delivers content to you and does not post organically at all, this gives you a built-in approval process. Nothing posts without your approval first. 

But even if you offer some or total access, you can still incorporate a content approval process as desired.

Promote your social media takeover in advance

The best takeovers don’t just happen out of thin air. Not from a planning standpoint. And not even from a follower’s perspective. 

As your planning out your upcoming social media takeover, you’ll want to do a separate campaign to hype up the scheduled “event.” Yes, treat your takeover like an event or product launch. Aim to generate excitement around it.

Advanced promotion increases the interest (and your results). It also will help circumvent any confusion from your following when an influencer does step in with his or her own content.

Social media takeovers are far more common these days, but it never hurts to always communicate what’s about to happen. You also could include a note or relevant hashtag on takeover posts to help communicate the nature of the posts during the takeover itself. 

Measure your results

If a tree falls in a forest without anyone around, did it make a noise? Well, if a campaign happens without analysis, did it even happen?

Yes and no.

The point is that you have goals. Otherwise, you wouldn’t bother with a social media takeover in the first place. Be sure to tie those goals to specific metrics you’d like to see boosted. You can even set individual goals for those metrics as desired.

Then, see what happens. Dig into your data during and after the takeover to understand what worked and what didn’t. Doing so will help you improve your approach the next time around. And you’ll continue to improve the overall impact of your hosted takeovers.

Test all these tips out internally

You’re definitely welcome to jump into your first social media takeover with your most desirable influencer. However, you also have the option to test out your plan (and execution) with an employee first.

Doing so allows you to: 

  • Work out any technology kinks
  • Identify any holes in your planning
  • Confirm the most desired metrics for tracking

Of course, when it comes to content, an employee can focus on behind-the-scenes opportunities. But otherwise, your strategy, plan and execution should mirror what you would want to do with an outside influencer.

Running a real test internally with an employee minimizes the risk of something going wrong. It also increases your confidence when you do move on to a non-internal social media takeover.

While you’re planning your first social media takeover, consider the strength of your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation capabilities, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 tips to help create successful hybrid fitness classes

Fitness studios pivoted to technological solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online fitness market is expected to reach $59.23 billion by 2027, growing at a rate of 33.1 percent from 2020 to 2027.

And while your studio may be back to in-person workouts, you might want to continue the convenience of online workouts for your clients.

A great solution for this is hybrid fitness classes, where you’re teaching two sets of students (online and in-person) at the same time during a workout.

Sounds tricky? It definitely can be. However, if done well, you can exponentially grow your class sizes with only a fraction more effort than you’re already putting in.

The following are five tips to create successful hybrid fitness classes that leave all your clients wanting more.

Your setup is critical

Take the time to both setup and test your audio and video capabilities. Different instructors have different preferences, and even those can vary depending on the class type.

Video

For your hybrid fitness classes, you’ll want to ensure that everything in your studio is well lit and that the camera angle makes sense and can orient your online clients well. 

When it comes to camera angles, always be open to feedback because there isn’t necessarily the best way that trumps what works best for your clients. Some prefer seeing the class from the front (a very traditional camera angle), others might have an easier time following when the camera angle is in the back of the space and some instructors set up two camera angles for clients to choose from.

Your background is important as well. While every fitness studio is different, it’s important to ensure that no visual distractions are happening in the background. The cleaner, the better. Remember, the visual that you’re live-streaming is representing your studio as a whole. Anything distracting can diminish your brand and/or interrupt the overall focus of your online students.

Just make sure that no matter what the camera angle, there are no cut-off heads (or other important body parts) or awkward angles that won’t make sense for the viewer. A wide-angle camera or even a GoPro can help with this. And, of course, a tripod will keep your camera stable.

Audio

Then, it comes down to audio. We highly recommend a Bluetooth headset, but you might want to consider a mixer so that your voice is projecting into what your online clients hear as well as on the speakers in your studio for your in-person clients to hear. 

Inaudible audio is a death blow to any online fitness class. They need to hear you, but so do your in-person clients. You might have to experiment with your audio equipment to ensure that both your music and voice can be clearly heard by both sets of clients.

Either way, the best setup will require an investment of time (and possibly money if an upgrade is required) to execute correctly, but it is worth it and one of the most important areas of focus for successful hybrid fitness classes.

Engage with both your online and in-person clients

Just because you have a group of clients in front of you in your studio doesn’t mean that your group of online clients tuning in from home (or anywhere else) don’t matter or are less important.

Both groups of students matter. So, be purposeful with your time before class by welcoming both online clients as they sign on and in-person clients as they walk in. During class, this can be a practice-makes-perfect type of task. Rotate between eye contact with in-person students and your camera. Call out names from both groups. Focus on the movement, safety and motivation cues you’re giving that apply to everyone.

The more you do it, the easier this split attention will become.

Then, after class, don’t ignore either group. Thank individuals as they’re logging out or leaving, and be sure to ask for feedback in real-time. Feel free to unmute the entire online group and let them have their own conversations with each other. You also can send out follow-ups through text or email to show that you care long after class is over.

Of course, this engagement doesn’t have to just be from you. Consider encouraging your entire in-person class to say hello to the online group in the beginning, cheer on during and congratulate after the workout. The more you can unify these two groups, the better.

Consider privacy options

Privacy is actually important for both online and in-person clients. Just because a student shows up to your hybrid fitness class in person doesn’t mean that he or she wants to be seen on camera by your online students.

As you’re planning your camera angle(s), make sure you have a clear area that you can identify as a private, off-camera zone. You never want to make a big deal of anyone wanting to be off-camera or not, so approach it with a general announcement before class, identifying that area for anyone who might prefer it. 

You also can incentivize students for being on camera with you, whether that’s a free piece of swag from your fitness studio or a free class, whatever. Just gauge your group for what makes the most sense.

And, of course, attending hybrid fitness classes online doesn’t mean that you want to broadcast yourself (or your space). Zoom makes it easy to turn your camera off. Just be sure to remind your online clients of this option as well.

As far as muting, we recommend starting the class off with everyone muted. Otherwise, you (and your other online students) will be subjected to a lot of potential noise distractions. However, you can always let your online students know that they can unmute and then mute themselves again for questions.

Granted, instructors can get disoriented by the sudden unmuting. However, as long as you’re always thinking about both sets of clients, it should become more normalized.

Also, be sure to upgrade your waivers to include live-streaming as a factor in your hybrid fitness classes.

Account for different spaces and equipment options

Obviously, not all of your online clients will have the same equipment or floor space available to them.

As you’re instructing or offering cues, keep this in mind.

Online students might need stationary or no-equipment options at the same time as you’re instructing your in-person group. This requires a bit of finesse, but more preparation can help this flow as smoothly as possible.

Of course, you also always need to be aware that either group of students can have individuals with existing injuries. You can ask before class for them to let you know so that you can keep those needs in mind.

Option to add a co-instructor

Of course, if you have the budget to double up on instructors for hybrid fitness classes, you can do that. 

One instructor can focus on the in-person students, and the other instructor can focus on everything online. This includes individual modifications and corrections for both groups.

Granted, some coordination will have to come into play here. But it’s always an option if a single instructor isn’t able to keep up with the dual multi-tasking.

Hybrid fitness classes can require a bit of juggling. However, the more you plan, prepare and test, the more engaging your workouts will be, both in-person and online.

While you’re improving the quality of your hybrid fitness classes, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. In fact, our platform can help you better target your contact database by segmenting your audience based on various characteristics. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Competitive analysis: What it is and how you can start yours

How often do you perform a competitive analysis for your brand?

If the answer is “not often” or “never,” your business is missing out on valuable insights. 

About 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies practice some form of competitive analysis regularly.

A competitive analysis is essentially a strategy where you identify your competitors and research their products/services, sales and marketing strategies. Of course, your analysis can be as simple or as complex as you need to satisfy your goals behind it.

For example, perhaps you’re only interested in how your competitors are approaching the overall design and usability of their websites. Or, you want to evaluate a more broad look at their overall digital marketing strategies.

It all depends on what you’re hoping to discover with each analysis.

Researching your competition can help you:

  • Discover new trends
  • Anticipate shifts in the market
  • Find successful tactics
  • Stay on the cutting edge within your industry

A true (and effective) competitive analysis is more than just surfing the social media accounts of your competition and subscribing to their email lists. The following are seven recommended steps you can take to start your first competitive analysis as it relates to marketing specifically.

Step #1: Identify your competitors

You likely are already aware of your top two or three competitors. But if you’re struggling to fill out a list of six to 12 for the most effective sampling in your competitive analysis, consider searching on Google, Amazon and/or even Alexa for products or services that are similar to yours.

Just make sure that the competitors you choose:

  • Have a similar business premise
  • Sell similar products or services
  • Target similar audience demographics
  • Range from well-established brands to newcomers in the market
  • Are within a relevant geographical location as you (if you are a hyper local business)

The more similar you can find, the more relevant your analysis will be.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, label them either “direct” or “indirect,” where direct competitors offer a product or service that could pass as a similar substitute (like Coca-Cola and Pepsi) and indirect competitors offer products that are not the same but could satisfy the same customer need or solve the same problem (like Walmart and GNC).

This will help you weigh the insights and data you gather in your analysis. While direct competitors are a higher priority, you can still learn a ton from your indirect competitors as well.

Step #2: Create a spreadsheet

Documentation is a must but can be organized in a very customized way, depending on your preferences. There are various tools and templates available online that can help get you started.

However, key pieces of information about your competitors that could include are:

  • Target customers
  • Main “claim to fame” (or market differentiator)
  • Key features or benefits of their products/services
  • Price points for their products/services
  • Website features, which include the design, layout, search tools, imagery and so on
  • Customer experience features, including how customers can check out, overall customer support, any mobile apps and so on
  • Social media approach, such as the platforms used, posting frequency, overall engagement
  • Content marketing tactics, such as blog and/or vlog topics, content types and so on
  • Overall marketing tactics, such as the types of promotions being run, types of discounts (and their frequency) and so on
  • Customer reviews

Again, every competitive analysis can be different, depending on your goal. If certain information is simply not relevant, leave it out.

Step #3: Determine exactly what your competitors offer and at what price

It’s important to understand the range of what is offered by your competitors and at what price (and discount).

During your research, be sure to ask:

  • What is their market share?
  • Are they pricing differently for online versus brick-and-mortar?
  • How are products and/or services distributed?

Because discounts can be at the heart of many marketing campaigns, do your best to nail down how often your competitor runs sales and how much is discounted. On the flip side, rather than a discount, perhaps perks are thrown in from time to time. Either way, it helps to understand the different promos being offered to your potential customers.

Step #4: Evaluate your competition’s overall marketing efforts

Auditing the websites and social media profiles of your competitors is one of the best ways to understand the scope of their marketing efforts.

Questions you should be asking:

  • Do they publish a blog?
  • Do they post videos or webinars?
  • Are they offering premium content, such as whitepapers or eBooks?
  • Do they have a podcast?
  • What sort of visuals are they using? Stock photos? Infographics? Custom content? Something else?
  • Do they have a FAQ section?
  • What about a media kit or case studies?
  • Any online or offline advertising campaigns running?
  • What social media platforms are they using?
  • How are they using social media? Are there different tactics being used on different platforms?
  • How big are their social media followings?
  • Are they responsive on social media? 
  • What coordinated campaigns can you find?

The more you can understand about the scope of their marketing practices, the better. But keep in mind that you’ll never have an “insider perspective” of the overall strategy. However, the benefit of being the outsider is that you’re likely only able to find what any other potential customer can find, and that’s incredibly relevant.

Step #5: Dig deeper into your competitors’ content strategy

Content is like the lifeblood of a marketing strategy. You competitor could be posting a new video every day, but if the quality is lacking, it’s simply not as impactful as it could be.

Take note of:

  • How accurate the content is
  • Any visible bylines (and whether those appear to be in-house or from contributors)
  • Whether spelling or grammar errors can be found
  • How in-depth the content is
  • Any internal or external links being used
  • Any images that are engaging or eye-catching
  • Whether you can identify a singular tone that’s being used. If so, what is it?
  • If content is readable and/or skimmable (easy to digest)
  • Specific keywords being used and how

Step #6: Understand the level of engagement visible on your competition’s content

By getting a sense of the average number of comments, shares and likes (or reactions) on your competition’s content, you’ll see if:

  • Users respond better to certain topics
  • The engagement actions are positive, negative or a mix
  • Certain calls-to-action work better than others
  • The images used help drive engagement

Of course, this research will largely focus on social media platforms, but be sure to check all published content for comment threads and the like.

Step #7: Round out your competitive analysis with a SWOT analysis concurrently

Yes, this basically means you’re doing two analyses at once. But don’t worry. A SWOT analysis is nothing more than a simplified look at your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In essence, your competitive analysis will result in SWOT takeaways.

Questions to ask:

  • What is your competitor doing well? Any advantages over your brand?
  • Where is the weakest area for your competitor? What advantage does your brand have over the competitor?
  • What could your competitor do better with?
  • In what areas is your competitor a threat?

You can keep this SWOT strictly to marketing strategies or expand to your businesses at large. But the takeaways are something that you can then easily incorporate into your own digital marketing strategy moving forward.

See our Digital Marketing 101 to-do checklist that will help your business.

Once you’ve executed your first competitive analysis, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to create an effective content calendar

Content marketing has many moving parts.

From what to write to where to post, how to post and what else can be brought back (and when), you then have to ensure that everything you’re doing is engaging and relevant.

Organization is critical.

A content calendar can help you plan and maintain your content marketing strategy across platforms. Specifically, a content calendar is a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish your upcoming content. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, with the option to include:

  • Upcoming content pieces
  • Status updates
  • Planned promotions
  • Partnerships
  • Updates to your existing content

About 40 percent of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. And effective content marketing comes down to great planning.

The following are eight tips to create an effective content calendar that works for your business and your content marketing goals.

Determine your goals

Your goals typically revolve around what you hope to achieve with your content marketing in general.

Are you hoping to generate new leads? Grow your social media following? Increase your website traffic?

Your goals impact not only who you’re targeting but also where and how often you should publish content, which then will guide what needs you have for your content calendar.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing (which includes more than just goal-setting).

Create your content calendar template

A simple search will yield many content calendar templates that you can use. Whether you’re looking to adopt a new software application, download a pre-made template or create your own, remember that again, this can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

Truly, a basic spreadsheet would do the trick.

Just make sure that it’s easy to update and share with other team members.

Some information that would be helpful to include:

  • Topic of the content
  • Type of content
  • Date and time for publishing
  • Channels (social media and otherwise) where the content will be published and/or shared
  • Point person for the content
  • Link to the published content
  • Confirmation that the content has, in fact, published according to the schedule
  • Any relevant notes

Look ahead to the calendar year

To start the planning process, it’s helpful to lay out the year ahead and make note of all the important events that your content can reflect and/or promote.

This can include:

  • Holidays
  • Product releases
  • Anniversaries
  • Seminars
  • Seasonal promotions

Doing so will not ensure that you can seize these opportunities with your content marketing.

Choose your publishing frequency

The frequency of your new content as well as the sharing of existing content is typically a balance between what’s ideal for your audience and what you have the resources (including time) to do.

It’s important to not overcommit yourself or your team. Success is more tied to quality than quantity. If you’re stretching yourself so thin just to publish something new, it’s not going to be as engaging or relevant as it could be otherwise.

On the flip side, overstuffing your content calendar just because you can also is not recommended.

Visualizing your frequency on a content calendar can help you find the best balance for your brand and your team. It can help you anticipate traditionally busier times and how your content can expand and contract accordingly.

Of course, keep in mind that your content calendar does not have to be set in stone. The beauty of planning your content further out in advance is that you can easily adjust well before you even begin working on impacted campaigns or content pieces.

Approach your content calendar with that flexibility in mind. You want to hold yourself accountable, of course, but you also want to adapt to whatever might pop up.

As far as sharing your content on social media platforms, consider these seven opportunities for social media automation that can save you time.

Consider your content workflow

If you’re a team of one, this is simple. However, as soon as you have more than just you involved in the content planning, you must consider:

  • Who needs to approve content and/or posts
  • How approval is communicated
  • The process for brainstorming new content
  • How to assign roles and what that should look like

Streamlining a workflow that works for your team will only benefit the overall effectiveness of your content calendar.

Evergreen content is just as important as new content

When developing a content calendar, the tendency is to populate it with content ideas that are new.

But don’t shortchange your existing, evergreen content, which is the content that (while it might seem old to you) is continually relevant and fresh for users.

Whether you’re updating, bringing back “as is” or repurposing your evergreen content entirely, this is a treasure trove of content opportunities that you can’t ignore. Be sure to make a point to sprinkle this existing content throughout your content calendar.

See our 13 tips to repurpose your content like a marketing rockstar.

Consistently update and review your content calendar

A content calendar, no matter how much information is on it, is only as good as how active you are using it.

Commit to checking in on your calendar regularly. Schedule at least monthly brainstorming planning sessions where you flush out the next month’s content calendar in greater detail and sketch out ideas for months further in advance that can be revisited as needed.

Struggling with marketing writer’s block? See our seven tips to beat it.

Ideally, you’ll want the flow of your brand’s content to stay uninterrupted no matter what the frequency is.

Monitor the performance of your content

The upside of content marketing is that everything is measurable. Take advantage.

Be sure to track how your content is performing across platforms.

What’s working, and what’s not?

Take those insights and apply them to future planning in your content calendar. It is through those performance insights that you can continually improve your content strategy.

While you’re embracing a new content calendar, consider leveling up your digital marketing strategy. DailyStory specializes in automation, email marketing, audience segmentation and more. Level up your process, and schedule a free demo with us today.

9 expert tips to better market your gym online

Successful gyms consistently market themselves on multiple digital channels to bring in new members.

As a gym owner, you’re well aware of the natural churn of membership that’s a factor for every business in the fitness industry.

The majority of gyms lose about 50 percent of new members within the first six months.

Therefore, marketing your gym is one of the most important parts of running your business successfully. And digital marketing in general is one of the most diverse and affordable ways to do so.

The following are nine expert tips to better market your gym online. You might also want to check out our Digital Marketing 101 guide for beginners to get a better overall understanding of the range of channels that you can use.

Optimize your website

It takes consumers about 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not and whether they’ll stay (and potentially convert into a customer) or leave.

User experience is paramount on your website. You should plan regular audits of your site and consider how:

  • Simple it is to navigate
  • Clearly your overall message is being communicated
  • Easy it is to find key information, such as your location, hours, services, pricing and so on
  • It ranks on search engines

Keep in mind that your website should focus on and be about your gym members, not you. They want to know what you can do for them, but they generally will have simple questions that need straight-forward answers, such as:

  • How much does a membership cost?
  • Are there membership contracts?
  • Where are you located?
  • What amenities are offered?
  • Are group classes offered? If so, when?
  • How can I sign up?

Of course, the deeper question on most website visitors’ minds is whether your gym can help them achieve their fitness goals. So, while you’re ensuring that your key information is easy to find, you also want to convey your authority, expertise and ability to help people like them.

One way to do this is by using variations of social proof, which refers to potential customers assuming that what others are doing is correct based on how often they see those actions. In other words, social proof is about looking to others to figure out the right way to interact in any given situation.

See nine ways you can use social proof to boost your customer conversions. 

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that website visitors can easily sign up for a membership, book classes and so on. The more helpful your site is, the better.

Explore local SEO

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is when search engines rely on signals (such as local content, social profile pages, links and citations) to provide the most relevant local results to the user. It’s all about delivering the best and more relevant local search engine results.

After searching for a nearby product or service online, about 76 percent of consumers will visit that business the same day (and about 28 percent of all local searches result in a purchase).

Gyms can especially benefit from better local SEO since customers typically want their gym to be located nearby.

Some tactics to consider:

  • Creating a Google My Business listing (and in other listing directories like Yelp)
  • Using local keywords
  • Building up your inbound links
  • Increasing your internal linking
  • Creating location pages (if you have multiple locations)
  • Monitoring and engaging with online reviews

Dig deeper into local SEO with our 11 tips that will help you beat your competition.

Create a mix of content

It’s common to launch a fitness blog to help draw traffic to your website as well as build up your authority within your fitness niche.

But keep in mind that the more you can localize your content.

When it comes to SEO, ranking for fitness-related keywords is very competitive (and extremely difficult). 

For example, even if you ranked for “squat exercises,” the website traffic you would be generating would likely not be local to your business. So, unless you have online services that can appeal to a national (or even global) audience, it’s best to focus on more localized content.

Such topics as “safest places to run in (your city),” “4 must-do hikes in (your city),” “3 of the best outdoor-workout areas in (your city)” and so on will help you connect with more local website visitors who are more aligned to your target clientele.

You’ll also want to mix up the content types you’re producing as much as makes sense for your gym and fitness brand. 

Video is undeniably engaging across multiple platforms. In fact, we have five reasons why video is a must for your business.

Of course, video and fitness go hand-in-hand. Whether you’re demoing exercises or a workout, sharing fitness tips, showcasing how to cook a healthy recipe or anything else, video is ideal.

Check out these 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing efforts.

This could make YouTube or even Facebook Live great social media mediums to prioritize. Learn more about the best video-marketing platforms for your business.

The more diverse your content, the better. But make sure you capitalize on your strengths. You can see how in our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Post consistently on social media

Social media should be a key component of any gym’s digital marketing strategy. Of course, social media isn’t just about reaching new potential customers, it’s also about engaging with your existing clients.

Consistent posts means more than frequency, it also refers to quality. Thinking ahead and planning out what content to share where and when can help you maintain consistency across platforms.

Not sure which social media platform is right for your gym to focus on? See our guide.

Leverage FOMO opportunities

In any of your gym’s promotions and marketing campaigns, keep your audience’s “fear of missing out” (FOMO) in mind. FOMO is about leveraging the fear we all have of losing out on amazing opportunities, experiences and so on, no matter what they might be.

You want to express scarcity and limits with your offers. In addition, any sort of social proof you can use will help as well.

Check out these nine ways you can leverage FOMO in your digital marketing.

Engage with email marketing

Emails should definitely not be overlooked. About 61 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email.

When emailing, you’ll want to:

  • Be consistent
  • Segment your audience and your messaging
  • Share engaging content that your recipients will value

Even the simplest weekly or monthly email newsletter can be used to appeal beyond just your existing clients.

To help during the email creation process, see our guide to the anatomy of an effective marketing email.

In the big picture, you’ll want to strategize your overall email series and promotions. 

We recommend email drip campaigns that target specific segments of your contact database. Email drip campaigns are a type of time-release email marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip emails are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically). 

Check out our 14 best practices for email drip campaigns.

Create an affiliate marketing program for your gym

Affiliate marketing is specifically the process where an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another’s products or services.

In this instance, instead of you being the affiliate for someone else (which is definitely a great way to generate passive income), others can be your affiliate, promoting your gym in exchange for a commission or discounts for any new members who sign up.

You, of course, can set the terms and will want to promote the program (likely among any existing clients and staff, especially those who might have larger online followings). You’ll also need to have a fitness affiliate program portal set up, such as ShareASale or ClickBank (among others), to manage conversions and owed commissions. 

In addition, you can expand beyond your existing clients and staff by pitching your affiliate program to:

  • Physical therapists
  • Supplement providers
  • Doctors
  • Fitness apparel retailers

Remarketing to your leads

One powerful digital marketing method is remarketing to those who visit your website but don’t make a purchase. You can then serve those users ads elsewhere on the internet to encourage them to come back and convert into signing up for your gym (or make some other purchase).

Website visitors who are remarketed to are about 70 percent more likely to convert.

Popular platforms where you can easily launch remarketing campaigns include (but are not limited to):

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Display Network

A typical tactic is to offer a discount or other incentive to entice those visitors to return to your website.

Measure your results

Monitor and track the performance of all your digital marketing efforts. This is critical so that you can focus more on what’s working and adjust anything that’s not. It also will help you plan your advertising budget more effectively. 

No one wants to burn their hard-earned money on lackluster digital marketing campaigns.

Many websites use Google Analytics, and that’s a great place to start by checking in on the top-performing pages of your website, your best traffic-referral sources (whether that’s Google, Facebook or another referring source) and so on.

But you’ll want to keep an eye on your social media profiles as well. Monitoring what’s working and what’s not on such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others will help you continue to engage and communicate better with your following.

While you’re marketing your gym, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. In fact, our platform can help you better target your contact database by segmenting your audience based on various characteristics. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to build your fitness brand from scratch

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to your fitness brand.

In fact, it takes only 10 seconds for a consumer to cement his or her first impression of your fitness brand. 

Fitness is a crowded industry with many similar-sounding and similar-looking brands. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

Want to make an impact on potential customers? Then, you must create a fitness brand that is memorable and stands out from the rest.

The following are eight tips to help you build a successful fitness brand from scratch.

Identify your target audience

Audience is everything. Who you’re targeting, as well as what their needs and wants are, is the first step to creating your fitness brand.

However, it’s important to be as specific as possible.

This can be challenging because it’s tempting to want to target “everyone” because that will lead to more customers and greater success, right? Not so fast.

When your brand message is broad and directed to “everyone,” it usually resonates with no one and falls short of delivering the results you want.

Again, don’t be afraid to get specific:

  • Age, gender and other demographics
  • Lifestyle
  • Behaviors
  • Challenges
  • Needs
  • Interests

For example, you could target new moms between ages 25 and 35 who have limited time in their day and crave connection with a supportive community of other new moms.

Whatever it might be, nailing down your audience niche will go a long way to shaping your specific fitness brand.

Research your competition

Who else is targeting your ideal customers? What is their niche? How are they raising awareness about their fitness brand? What are they doing well? What are they lacking?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself in a competitive analysis. The more you can understand your competition (especially for your target audience), the better you can decide what to do with your fitness brand so that you can stand out and appeal to potential clients.

One way to find similar competition is through Google searches. Type the queries you would want people to use to find your fitness brand. 

Set your mission

Once you understand your specific target audience and know what else is out there competition-wise, it’s time to settle on your mission statement. 

A mission statement explains what your company’s passion is and the values you offer to your clients. It’s your company’s reason for existence. Remember that the more you can relate to the wants and needs of your clients, the more likely they’ll choose you over a competitor.

This is an important step in creating your fitness brand because your mission will help inform all future strategies and marketing messages.

Your mission statement also will inform your logo and tagline.

Determine your unique benefits

As part of your fitness brand, you must decide on the benefits you can offer that no one else can. Think about your audience research, your competition analysis and where the two intersect. 

Where can you fill in the gaps?

For example, this could tie into the type of exercise equipment you feature, the affordability of your rates, a unique training environment, etc.

These benefits are integral to your fitness brand and should be thought through as part of your brand development.

Then, you’ll want to make sure that you highlight these both in writing and visually (images and videos). The videos especially will play into consumers’ first impressions of your fitness brand.

Pick the best name

This could be an obvious step (and maybe you already have a great name in mind), but nonetheless, you’ll want to consider all the key factors before settling on a permanent fitness brand name.

In addition to thinking of a word (or words) that accurately speaks to the services you’re providing and the clientele you’re targeting, be aware of:

  • Simple spelling
  • Easy pronunciation
  • Uniqueness (not sounding like everyone else)
  • If a domain name is available online

Especially when it comes to domain names, check out our beginner’s guide.

Once you’ve brainstormed and settled on a few top choices, run them by friends, family, colleagues, strangers, anyone.

Are they as easy to spell and pronounce as you think? Do they convey the right idea without any other information? This feedback will help you narrow your list down.

Design your logo

Whether you’re designing your logo or you hire someone else to, the fact remains that your logo is critical to your fitness brand.

About 75 percent of people recognize a brand by its logo, with 60 percent by its visual style, 45 percent by the brand’s signature color, and 25 percent by its unique voice.

Your logo will be used on your website, social media accounts, print materials and any additional advertising. 

Start by developing a specific and distinct color palette, with consideration of color psychology and how different colors impact us. For fitness, think about what colors (and color shades) will drive motivation and/or energy.

Of course, this also is the time to decide on your branded fonts, iconography, photo styles, overall web design and any other visual elements that can come into play.

The best visual branding will be recognizable after seeing it a few times.

Again, you’ll want to run your drafts by others for feedback, which is invaluable to going with the best possible visual combination for your fitness brand.

Discover your voice

Think of your voice as how you express your fitness brand and communicate with others. You’ll want to consider the wording, expressions and tones that can be brought together to create your style.

For fitness, ask yourself if your brand should sound motivating, authoritative, friendly, informative or even something else entirely.

Check out our eight tips for finding your voice and reflecting your brand’s personality.

Once developed, you’ll want to use it consistently across all platforms and in all instances.

Build your fitness brand personality

All of the above elements should come together to inform your overall fitness brand personality.

Ideally, this personality is a reflection of you and your own personality, whether that’s high energy, exclusive, educational, fun, so on. Build on your strengths and allow all the pieces of your fitness brand to stand on their own.

No matter what direction you go in, remember that brand currency online is authenticity and trust, where authenticity leads to trust from your target audience who eventually can convert into clients.

Never lose sight of the opportunities to connect in meaningful, honest ways.

In fact, common mistakes you’ll want to avoid while building your fitness brand in general include (but are not limited to):

  • Focusing on yourself and not others
  • Inconsistency in branding, messaging and/or visuals
  • Ignoring feedback

Your brand being a reflection of you is a great thing, but your mission is about improving the lives of others. That’s what will resonate most.

In conclusion

Once you’ve developed your fitness brand, it’s time to launch your website, strategize and promote. Consistent brand presentation across all digital platforms increases revenue by up to 23 percent.

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

While you’re working on promoting your new fitness brand, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Top 7 traits of online fitness personalities

Personality is everything in the fitness industry, both online and in-person.

However, the need to convey your personality is even more important when marketing yourself and/or your fitness brand overall online.

Since the fitness industry in the U.S. is estimated at about $37 billion as of 2021 (and still growing), it’s a known crowded market. Every successful fitness professional has to find a way to stand out from the crowd. A lot of that can come down to personality.

The power of social media and the internet at large is that you can feel connected to people you don’t know in real life. How does this happen? And how can you leverage this potential to connect for your fitness marketing?

The following are seven traits that successful fitness professionals exude online. This isn’t about changing your own personality, of course. Keep these traits in mind as far as how you’re strategically expressing yourself and sharing content online.

#1: Motivational

Being motivational might be an obvious personality trait for a successful fitness professional. In person, you have to use your physical energy to push your clients to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do.

However, online, you have to be able to drive that energy through the screen at anyone coming across your social media profiles, blog and/or YouTube channel. Motivation is often conveyed by focusing on others, not yourself. Make your followers feel important.

Think about how you’re speaking in videos (the energy in your voice). Even the captions can include all caps (within reason) and energetic emojis to help convey motivation.

All that being said, self-motivation is also important for you to not only practice what you preach, but to stay the course with the online marketing of your fitness brand because it does take time, effort and consistency to see results. (Just like fitness.)

#2: Being upbeat

While somewhat similar to being motivational, being upbeat still stands alone as a great personality trait of a successful fitness professional. 

Positivity is infectious, especially online when your followers could be seeing a lot of negativity in their social media feeds (and even in their regular lives) otherwise.

Smiling is so simple but so effective in your images. Project a welcoming energy every chance you get as well. Being standoffish won’t just lose you online engagement and following, but also actual business. 

While every post is an opportunity to be upbeat and welcoming, you can regularly spotlight a client’s success story and how excited you are to be part of that transformation.

Again, it’s not about you specifically but more about what you can do for others.

#3: Relatability

Being a real human online is a must. Sharing those moments that are a little less glamorous (and not perfect) makes you relatable to your following. 

We’re all real people with real struggles after all.

These are the moments where you can dig deep and share pieces of your own story and the challenges you’ve overcome, plus the challenges you’re still working to overcome.

The more real you can get about yourself and your experiences, the more your potential (and existing) clients will relate to you. This can be in the form of live videos, blog posts, etc.

#4: Confidence

You can’t tell your clients to “go for it” without doing so yourself, right? Lead by example and embrace that you are an expert in your field.

In-person, you must be the leader in your space and garner respect. This is no different online.

Lean on your expertise in your posts, and remember that you are the expert whenever speaking in a video or responding to questions or comments on your posts.

#5: Nurturing

You’re in the fitness business to help others become the best versions of themselves. So, your ability to support them and care about their success along the way is worth its weight in gold.

A nurturing personality can be demonstrated in your engagement with commenters on your posts. Even if they’re not a paying client, you’re rooting for them. Over time, you’ll be the one they’ll want to pay for your official support.

#6: Great listener

This is another personality trait where everything is not about you. Not only do you need to understand a client’s needs, you also must be sympathetic.

Fitness journeys are just as mental and emotional for your clients as they are physical. 

Listening is critical. Sometimes, all a potential client needs is to know that you care.

Invest time in thoughtful conversations with any direct messages, and know that any back-and-forth on a comment thread can be transitioned to direct messages so that you both can have a deeper conversation in private.

#7: Integrity

As a person, a business and a fitness professional, integrity is imperative for long-term success.

Offering some free premium content, no-risk trials and money-back guarantees can all help convey this online. 

Just keep in mind that integrity can also show as simply as how you respond to any negative comments on your posts. Acknowledging the negative commenter’s thoughts or opinions but not engaging in a fruitless back-and-forth that will only look tacky and unprofessional to your other followers.

In conclusion

The most important thing about online fitness marketing is to simply be you, but don’t miss the opportunity to showcase any of the above personality traits throughout your content marketing efforts. 

Also, find out our tips to become a successful fitness influencer.

While you’re working on showcasing more of your personality in your fitness marketing, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

18 of the best fitness affiliate programs to boost your income

The benefits of fitness are vast, but beyond the health improvements, fitness professionals can earn additional income through fitness affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketing is the process where an affiliate (you and/or your fitness business) earns a commission for marketing another’s products or services. In other words, you promote, and when others buy it, you get paid a percentage of each sale.

The health and fitness industry is worth an estimated $3.7 trillion. It’s an evergreen industry that is always in demand because people are always looking to feel and/or look better, so the opportunities are big.

See our four tips to become a successful fitness affiliate marketer.

However, finding the best affiliate programs among the thousands that exist can be difficult. While many have the potential to make you money, most will be a waste of time.

The following are 18 of the best fitness affiliate programs for you to consider (with some brands you’ve likely already heard of). Remember that the true key to a successful program is that it matches your personal brand and what your following wants or needs.

ACE Fitness

ACE Fitness is one of the most trusted names in the health and fitness certification industry. The organization has an Impact Fitness Affiliate Program, where you can place ad banners and text links on your website, in your social media posts and elsewhere.

When your visitors click on the web banners and text links, they will be directed to ACE’s website, where they can learn more about our exercise and health certification programs, and purchase both study materials and an exam sitting. 

Upon purchase, you receive an 8 percent commission.

Bowflex

Bowflex is a well-known brand in the home fitness equipment market, with everything from Trainers to Climbers.

What makes the Bowflex Affiliate Program unique is that it runs through a top affiliate management platform, called Impact Radius. All of your performance (traffic, sales, commissions, etc.) is tracked and displayed in real-time. The program also is fully managed, which means you’ll always have a dedicated resource to help you troubleshoot any issues.

The commission starts at 3 percent but will increase as you sell.

PaleoPlan

Nutrition is a big part of getting and staying fit. PaleoPlan focuses on the paleo diet with weekly meal plans and shopping lists, hundreds of recipes and bodyweight workouts that customers can do from home.

The company’s fitness affiliate program offers quality cookbooks and wellness-products that you can share with your audience. 

You’ll make a 75 percent front-end commission on all sales when you promote their guided health challenges, and physical or digital products.

Lululemon

Popular for its yoga and other athletic apparel, Lululemon is a popular brand in many fitness circles. They produce high-quality leggings, crop tops, tees, sports bras and yoga accessories. 

By signing up for their affiliate program, you’ll earn 7% commission on sales of yoga and fitness apparel, as well as early access to our products and events.

Fitbit

Fitbit is well-known for its fitness trackers, but did you know about its affiliate program? The company offers sleek and stylish wristbands that are an ideal fit for many fitness affiliate marketers.

You’ll only earn a 3 percent commission, but Fitbit’s high-converting website may balance out that lower percentage with more sale conversions.

ProForm

Offering a unique way of selling fitness equipment, ProForm offers a three-year training subscription that includes the customer’s choice of free equipment and access to thousands of studio and destination workouts. 

After those three years, the equipment is the customer’s to keep.

As an affiliate, you can earn between 8 percent and 11 percent commission.

Titan Fitness

Titan Fitness specializes in gym and fitness equipment, and its fitness affiliate program comes with a dedicated program manager. You also frequently receive updates, promotions and banners to make it easy to create promotional content for publishing and sharing.

Titan Fitness also offers free products to its affiliates in exchange for a review, as well as exclusive coupons that you can pass along to your followers to help encourage them to convert.

You’ll get 5 percent commission on all sales and paid by the 15th of every month.

Aaptiv

The fitness app, Aaptiv, has more than a thousand trainer-led, music-driven workouts for every fitness level, which has the potential to widely appeal to everyone in your following. 

The company offers advertising tools and custom banners to help you in your content promotion. Its affiliate program features three payout tiers:

  • $15 per sale for up to 100 sales per month
  • $20 per sale for between 101 and 500 sales per month
  • $25 per sale for at least 501 sales per month

Evolve Fit Wear

What’s a workout regime without the right clothing and accessories? Evolve Fit Wear sells more than 50 brands of workout clothing, such as Teeki, Onzie, Spiritual Gangster, Ultracor, Goldsheep, Beyond Yoga, Hardtail and more. About 85 percent of their business is women’s workout clothing, 10 percent is yoga mats and accessories, and 5 percent is men’s clothing.

Evolve’s overall marketing is considered “inclusive” rather than “exclusive,” focusing on balance, body positivity and a healthy attitude toward fitness. 

The company has a large number of international customers since they can buy all brands on one website with one shipping fee. 

Partnering with Evolve as a fitness affiliate marketer gets you up to a 10 percent commission on all sales that you help generate. 

GNC

GNC is a global brand that has an extensive selection of nutrition supplements that could appeal to your audience.

The company sees its affiliate program as an opportunity for you to build your own “online nutrition store.” 

By signing up, you’ll receive a 5 percent commission on all sales.

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

ISSA also is a world leader in fitness education, delivering comprehensive, cognitive and practical distance education for fitness professionals, grounded in industry research, using both traditional and innovative modalities. 

ISSA now offers 24 fitness certifications and has certified over 400,000 trainers in 174 countries.

You’ll earn at least 7.5 percent commission on every sale.

TRX

Known for its popular suspension training products, TRX could be a great fit for personal trainers and fitness bloggers. For example, you can create videos that highlight various TRX exercises that people can do anywhere.

By signing up for its affiliate program, you’ll earn a 5 percent commission on orders that average $200.

Reebok

Another popular athletic brand, Reebok creates sports and lifestyle products, also partnering with both CrossFit and the NHL. 

Reebok’s affiliate program offers monthly newsletter updates on promotions, contests and sales opportunities and a dedicated affiliate management team.

You’ll receive a 7 percent commission on all sales, where the average order size is $100.

The Vitamin Shoppe

Another leading retailer of vitamins and supplements is The Vitamin Shoppe. Their mission is to inspire, nourish and help customers thrive every day.

By joining their program as an affiliate, you’ll earn up to a 10 percent commission on all sales.

Miracle Noodle

Miracle Noodle offers a line of food products consistent with the health goals of their customers, making healthy eating easy and delicious. All of Miracle Noodle’s products are non-GMO, vegan and grain free with an ever-expanding option of organic options as well. 

Its affiliate marketing program is two-tier, which means that you can earn commission on your sub-affiliate sales. You’ll receive customized banners and coupons to help your convert your following, and Miracle Noodle features a dedicated affiliate support team.

By signing up, you’ll earn between 10 percent and 20 percent commission on all sales.

LifeSpan Fitness

Selling fitness equipment not just for the home or gym but also for the workplace makes LifeSpan Fitness unique. Think treadmill desks, standing desks and bike desks.

In addition, all LifeSpan equipment comes with a dedicated app that enables customers to track their workout statistics.

Their fitness affiliate program also uses one of the best platforms, Impact Radius.

By signing up, you can earn a 6 percent tiered commission on every sale, which increases based on performance. High-ticket items range from $99 to $2,500 or more.

Keyto

Keyto is a breath sensor for ketosis as part of a larger keto weight loss plan that’s supported with its premium app. In addition to the sensor, Keyto offers keto recipes, personalized meal plans, a food guide and access to in-app groups.

Each person you refer to purchase Keyto receives 10 percent off their purchase when they use your discount code. You then receive a 10 percent payout of their basket size before shipping and taxes.

Life Fitness

Providing fitness equipment to both health clubs and athletic facilities, Life Fitness also features home exercise equipment. The products they offer are related to:

  • Cardio, such as treadmills
  • Group training
  • Strength training
  • Accessories
  • Digital, such as the Halo fitness cloud

If you have a fitness or health-related blog, it’s easy to get approved into this fitness affiliate program. You’ll earn an 8 percent commission, where the average order totals more than $3,000.

In conclusion

Of course, these are only 18 of the best fitness affiliate programs out there. Be sure to keep looking until you find the best fit both product- and/or service-wise that meshes well with your own online brand and makes sense monetarily.

It will make a difference in the long run.

While you’re exploring passive income opportunities through fitness affiliate marketing, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

4 tips to become a fitness affiliate marketer

As a fitness professional, you likely are well aware that there are only so many hours in the day.

Hours to train clients, hours to plan for those sessions and so on. This finite capacity of time restricts your ability to grow your income through training sessions and classes alone.

That’s why earning passive income by becoming a fitness affiliate marketer has become increasingly popular among those in the fitness industry.

Affiliate marketing is the process where an affiliate (you and/or your fitness business) earns a commission for marketing another’s products or services. In other words, you promote, and when others buy it, you get paid a percentage of each sale. In the fitness industry, the possibilities for affiliate partnerships are vast.

Affiliate marketing spending in the U.S. is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022, more than triple what it was 10 years earlier.

Benefits include earning passive income with little risk. (Passive income is revenue you earn without actively working.) If a fitness affiliate marketing program doesn’t work out, you can move on and find a new one. Find out more about affiliate marketing with our guide

The following are four tips to help you become a fitness affiliate marketer (and earn extra income passively).

Determine what your following needs, wants

This is critical. You can promote a fitness affiliate partnership all you want, but if it doesn’t fit or make sense for your audience, it’s not going to go very far.

Also important to keep in mind, there are a ton of fitness affiliate marketing programs out there, so you can afford to be picky. You definitely don’t have to pick the first one you find.

Think about the characteristics and demographics of your following as a starting point: age, gender, interests, challenges, goals, etc.

As you begin to look through the programs out there, ask yourself: “Will my following really want to buy this?”

In affiliate marketing, you get paid when you generate sales, so if your audience isn’t interested from the beginning, what’s the point?

Consider your expertise and who you’re reaching online. What complements your fitness brand and could be of benefit to your following?

There are extra bonus points for going with products and/or services that you use and approve of personally. That authenticity will go that much further with your audience.

Remember that what you want to offer should be quality and something you approve of. You’ll find plenty of junk out there when researching affiliate marketing programs. Make sure you’re going with something that won’t ultimately ruin your online credibility or reputation.

Become a fitness affiliate with your chosen program

Once you’ve done the research and settled on the perfect-for-you fitness affiliate marketing program, it’s time to sign up.

Each program has different registration processes, so it wouldn’t hurt to have a top three programs that you’d consider applying for, just in case.

More likely than not, there will be an online application form. After submission, you’ll have to wait for the program to accept you as an affiliate. This typically will take up to a day or two.

If, for any reason, your application is not accepted, you’ll already have your back-up choices to try.

Time to promote

Once you’re an approved affiliate, you can begin to promote the related products and/or services. This includes the sharing of your affiliate link, which is provided by the program to track any sales you generate so that you can get compensated.

But be careful here. It’s not as simple as it sounds.

There are a few considerations you should make when it comes to strategy. The first is straight-forward: Go multi-channel. This includes (but is not limited to): 

  • Emailing your client list
  • Creating posts across your social media accounts (such as Facebook or Instagram posts, tweets, YouTube videos, Pinterest pins and so on)
  • Talking to your clients in-person
  • Publishing a blog article (or articles)

The second consideration is a bit more nuanced, but it goes back to the point where you should be authentic. You want to promote products or services that you can personally vouch for, of course. But you also should factor in this authenticity when you’re actually promoting for your fitness affiliate program.

In other words, the more salesy you are, the less successful you’ll likely be. Strategize some angles for your promotion. Some ideas include (but are not limited to):

  • An unboxing of the affiliate product
  • Daily review updates of you using the product/service for the first time
  • Hosted Q&A where you answer questions about your experience with the product/service
  • How you use the product/service in your regular daily life

Measure, analysis and pivot as needed

If you’re committed to growing a strong passive income stream, then you’ll have to do more than simply post (even if you are executing a planned strategy behind the content and promotion).

Measure the performance of your posts on whatever social media platforms you’re using, watch whatever analytics are available from your fitness affiliate marketing program and monitor your overall audience growth and demographics as well. 

To stay relevant and effective not just with your affiliate promotion but your overall content as well, you must be aware of your metrics. 

If something doesn’t perform well, dig into the possible reasons why. If something performs exceedingly well, you’ll want to dig into the reasons why there as well.

This will help you adjust and pivot as needed according to the objective data, not just whims of what you feel might perform better.

And in the long run, monitoring your performance will help you decide on a bigger level which fitness affiliate programs are worth your effort and which are not.

While you’re exploring passive income opportunities through fitness affiliate marketing, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to become a successful fitness influencer [plus examples]

A fitness influencer promotes an active and healthy lifestyle on any given social media platform.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But there is so much more to becoming a successful fitness influencer who not only offers advice and support but also works with brands to promote products and services for compensation. This influencer is trusted by fitness consumers, which means his or her opinion carries a lot of weight.

Whether you’re a fitness professional who wants to level up your social media presence or an individual who would like to break into the fitness industry via social media, the following are seven tips to help you become a successful fitness influencer. 

(We also have included links to 11 fitness influencers you can browse and follow for inspiration.)

Choose your niche as a fitness influencer

In the fitness industry, the successful own a niche. Fitness is a crowded arena, so you need to stand out. But identifying your niche also will help you hone your expertise.

Remember, to know a little bit about everything makes you an expert of nothing. It takes expertise and some level of specialism to grow a significant following on social media.

If you’re an expert at bodybuilding, then ideally, you’ve not only coached others but participated in a few shows yourself. Maybe you have your own weight-loss journey to share. Whatever it is, own that specific angle to the health and fitness world.

Being an expert means that you can offer content that will bring value to your followers’ lives. It’s about building trust.

A few ways you can build your expertise include (but are not limited to):

  • Stay on top of the latest research. Fitness, health and nutrition studies are constantly being conducted and are frequently shifting our perception of the “best” ways to get fit. You can share snippets that are relevant and understandable for your audience.
  • Share the latest industry news. You can sign up for press releases from leading brands or even create Google alerts that are related to your niche.
  • Answer audience questions. While you might have to conduct your own research to appropriately answer a follower’s question, this is a straightforward way to establish yourself as an expert.

Of course, once you’ve established your expertise in one area, you can then expand to another niche if you choose to do so. (But this should not be done too soon.)

Find your voice

Once you’ve determined your niche, it’s time to explore your voice. What does that mean?

Your voice determines whether your message comes across as motivational, sympathetic, powerful, etc. 

Ideally, you’ll want to go with whatever fits your personality and your target audience best. Remember, your goal as a fitness influencer is to help people push through their fitness challenges. Your voice in that effort will either help or hurt that.

Voice also includes whether you use emojis and even what emojis you use. The typical length of your captions also can be reflective of your posts. Are you short and to the point? Or, will you treat each post almost like a mini-blog?

Once you’ve decided on your voice, be consistent. Consistency will help you brand yourself and build trusting relationships with your following. 

Tell your story authentically, consistently

Take a look at your existing social media profiles. What would someone’s first impression of you be by looking only at your profile? Are they getting your whole story just from your posts?

Think of your profile as a storyboard of your fitness life. This means that every post is a piece of your story as a fitness influencer.

In addition to constantly thinking through how to add a piece of your story every time you post, always be as authentically you as possible.

Authenticity is a form of currency on social media. Anything less than being truly authentic will turn off your audience. It’s about giving people an honest peek into your life, that you’re a real human being that they can relate to.

As you begin posting, keep in mind that you’ll want your face in your images as much as possible. Photos with faces on Instagram, for example, get 38 percent more likes.

Even when promoting a product, for example, you’ll want to come at it as a human who has tried it and give your honest opinion about it. As soon as you get salesy and detached from your own experience, that’s when you’ll lose interest.

Posting regularly is a must for any fitness influencer. Consistency in your presence and engagement builds trust as well. This might take some planning in advance, but that planning will be worth it. Think through your overall content, which should be a mix of inspirational, educational, networking and sponsored posts. When in doubt, lean toward a heavier mix of organic, unpaid posts. 

Planning will keep your messaging and content on point in a way that your followers will appreciate.

Again, people want to trust you. Never give them a reason not to.

Obsess over engagement, not followers

As you’re looking to establish your status as a fitness influencer, it’s hard not to focus on your number of followers.

But we’d like to challenge you to focus on your engagement rate instead. (Roughly the number of engagements on a post divided by number of followers.)

Yes, the size of your following can lead to higher pay for sponsored posts. However, brands are also becoming more and more savvy about the engagement they’d like to see (versus just the number of your followers).

It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to reach “Kardashian level” with millions of followers to be a successful fitness influencer. In fact, the larger the following, the lower the engagement rate can get. 

Having 1,000 engaged followers is better than having 10,000 followers who never interact with your posts. In fact, reaching 1,000 followers roughly qualifies you as a nano-influencer.

Instead, prioritize engaging with your audience above all else, building that back-and-forth conversation with them. Great content leads to high engagement, and high engagement leads to organic following growth.

Simply, treat your followers as individual friends. Have two-way conversations, where you ask questions, respond to comments, run polls and take an interest in them and their thoughts.

(Hint: This engagement should happen outside of your own posts and on your followers’ posts as well.)

Be patient, and keep focusing on the influencer you naturally are and the people you want to serve.

Connect with other influencers

While you are actively seeking to grow your influence, consider connecting with other fitness influencers.

It’s helpful to contact those who share your nice and starting a conversation with them that includes:

  • Showing them support
  • Sharing their content
  • Mentioning them in your own posts
  • Networking with them to gain visibility

Just make sure you’re connecting with influencers who complement your message. Equally important is to make sure you have something to offer them as well. It’s not all take, take, take.

Reach out to brands for sponsorship, advertising opportunities

We’d love to tell you that once you reach a certain level of fitness influencer that sponsorship and advertising opportunities will just fall out of the sky.

Unfortunately, while you might be approached here and there, the fact is that you’ll have to do a lot of the leg work.

First, create a media kit that summarizes:

  • Your brand. This is your introduction that should include your niche, expertise, a touch of your personality and the type of company/products you’re looking to partner with.
  • Your audience. Share how many followers you have, your engagement rate and even a breakdown of their demographics (depending on what you’re using, this should be easily available, whether its Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another platform).
  • What you can offer to companies should they choose to work with you. Remember that you have to show this company why they can’t pass up a chance to work with you. Sell what you have to offer to them.

Then, you’ll want to compile a wish list of the top 10 to 20 companies you would like to work with. Before you even send on your media kit, be sure to start the relationship by following their social media accounts and interacting with their posts. 

Once you’ve been interacting with a company’s accounts for a while, then you can direct message them a link to your media kit or send a more traditional email.

Do not be afraid of following up if you don’t hear back. The worst thing they can say is no.

Remember that your media kit can constantly evolve as your online presence evolves. Take any feedback you get from possible rejections to adjust your pitch for the next company.

Track your performance

Becoming a fitness influencer takes a lot of passion, but data can be equally powerful.

Take the time to track the overall performance of your social media account(s). These metrics and growth trends can be added to your media kit to help secure additional sponsorships and advertising.

Of course, once you do land a sponsored post, you’ll want to give that post everything you’ve got. The best imagery, boosting the post if necessary, running a related ad campaign and so on. You can then report those results back to your partnering brand. 

You’ll want to include in your report:

  • Reach numbers
  • Engagement numbers
  • Click-throughs
  • Sampling of positive comments
  • Total time users spent consuming the content (which typically is connected to video posts)

The more you can show brands a return on investment (ROI) for their partnership with you, the more likely that partnership will continue and grow.

Examples of fitness influencers for inspiration

The bad news is that you’re not the first to want to become a fitness influencer. The good news is that you’re not the first to want to become a fitness influencer. 

In other words, there are others in the industry you can follow and learn from. Take note of their posting frequency, the various types of content, the overall content mix, who they’re tagging and networking with and so on. All of these observations can inform your own approach and strategy.

The following are just a few examples of successful accounts on Instagram you might be inspired by:

Not sure which social media platform is right for you as a budding fitness influencer? Check out our guide.

While you’re leveling up your status as a fitness influencer, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to offer addictive live-stream workouts

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the fitness industry on its head, thrusting gym owners and instructors into live-stream workouts.

Teaching fitness virtually is obviously very different from teaching in person.

And live-stream workouts don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“Due to [the] COVID-19 outbreak, [online fitness] is expected to witness [its] highest growth rate … mainly due to the shutdown of gyms and fitness studios around the globe and leading people to stay indoors,” according to Allied Market Research.

Specifically, the global online fitness market was estimated at $6.04 billion in 2019 and is expected to hit $59.23 billion by 2027.

Successful fitness classes can make or break your bottom line moving forward. And they depend on the experience being delivered by the instructor. That experience will make your live-stream workouts engaging and successful.

The following are seven tips to offer addictive live-stream workouts that will engage your clientele and boost your bottom line.

Get comfortable with the equipment, process

Practice makes perfect. You’ve likely heard this before, but it’s especially true for live-stream workouts.

A great online fitness class doesn’t require the most expensive equipment. Truly, you could use a laptop computer and/or smartphone to host your class with great results. But anything more, such as a tripod, will only improve the overall quality.

The key is that you are familiar and comfortable with the setup and use of the equipment for your workout.

Plan to practice before your first live class. You can create a to-do checklist to reference so that you never miss a step. Also, anticipate what might go wrong and how to troubleshoot that on the fly. Such issues include (but are not limited to):

  • The audio failing (or is hard to hear)
  • WiFi connectivity problems
  • Camera failure

Easy solutions won’t always be available, but the more you can practice, the better you can prepare for such issues should they arise. 

More practice also will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera, understand where the best shot is (and where you should always be standing within it), even test different lighting so that everyone can clearly see you and so on.

As far as the best platform to use for streaming, this might depend on your fitness studio, but great options to explore include (but are not limited to):

Set yourself up for success

Your lighting and audio are the two most important factors of successful live-stream workouts. 

It’s critical that you are well-lit and that there are no echoes or significant background noise while you’re teaching. In fact, acquiring a ring light and Bluetooth earbuds (such as Apple Air Pods) will dramatically improve both your lighting and your audio.

In addition, you’ll want to stream your music playlist for your attendees for an optimal experience. Zoom and other streaming platforms offer this capability. Keep in mind that your music is your co-instructor. It’s there to help drive energy and set the atmosphere for your live-stream workouts. Simply playing music in the background likely won’t get picked up consistently by your mic (especially when using Bluetooth earbuds), so take the extra step to ensure that both your voice and music are balanced with each other.

Be sure to pay attention to music rights and what you have the legal ability to stream online in your live-stream workouts. Check out:

You’ll even want to be mindful of the clothing that you’re wearing (basic colors that aren’t too bright and contrast with your background). Speaking of background, the cleaner the better. Avoid having any clutter behind you that can serve as more of a distraction for your clients.

Test different spaces that are available to you. What looks the most professional? Refer to these additional tips for professional-looking live-stream videos.

Consistency matters in your live-stream workouts

Once you dial in the perfect lighting, audio, camera placement and even clothing, do your best to set up the same way every time.

Doing so provides an air of continuity that your clients will appreciate. This reliability indirectly boosts the professionality of your live-stream workouts.

Be mindful of equipment, modifications, progressions

Always consider your client first. He or she could have a lot of workout equipment available to use or none at all.

When designing your workout, keep that in mind. 

For example, if you’re directing clients to use their dumbbells for bicep curls without offering any options for those who don’t have dumbbells, that can lead to some frustration for those attendees. 

Also, remember that modifications may be needed by various clients who could have any number of old (or newer) injuries. Offering modifications up-front shows your attention to detail and will be of value to attendees. On the flip side, you’ll also want to automatically offer progressions for any advanced clientele to increase the intensity of an exercise.

You’ll need to talk more throughout live-stream workouts than you would in person. Focus on those form, modification and progression cues so that what you’re saying is diverse and not too repetitive.

In addition, your clients could be working out in a small, cluttered space with a number of distractions around them. Be understanding and think ahead to deliver the best virtual experience possible.

Keep community top of mind

Just because you’re not in the same room as your clients, that doesn’t mean that your live-stream workouts have to feel disconnected.

Now more than ever, people are seeking connection.

Provide time before and after your live-stream workouts to chat with your attendees and/or answer any questions they might have in real-time. (Giving enough time before the class also offers the benefit of non-panicked troubleshooting should there be any issues.)

During the workout itself, be sure to cheer on your clients. Perhaps someone’s form in an exercise is particularly good. Maybe you spotted someone using a heavier weight or pushing extra hard. Whatever it is, be specific and use names. Also be mindful of calling out something positive about every single attendee (as best as you can, depending on class size).

Request feedback and send follow-ups

Just like with in-person fitness classes, you’ll always want to encourage feedback from your clients and send follow-ups afterward.

Not only will you continue to improve as you teach more and more online, but your follow-ups afterward show that you value your clients and are open to continuing your engagement with them (and support of them) outside of your live-stream workouts.

One such tool that can help with follow-ups is FitGrid.

Be you! Show off your personality

Despite all the equipment and planning required for successful live-stream workouts, you are the most important asset.

The more you can show off your personality, connect with your attendees and more, the better. It’s definitely a big transition to go from in-person to live-stream workouts but embrace the opportunity to connect with people beyond whom you might see in your fitness studio locally. Online workouts make it possible to reach and help people across the country and even the world. 

Plus, the better you get at teaching virtually, the better you’ll be in-person moving forward.

While you’re upping your live-stream workout game, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 ways to market your fitness blog

Whether you’ve already started a fitness blog or are considering it, there’s more to success than just writing and posting.

Blogging itself is definitely a valuable strategy for your fitness business, whether you’re a personal trainer, gym owner or influencer. In fact, about 80 percent of companies that use blogging as a part of their marketing strategy said they acquire customers through their blogging efforts. And about 82 percent of businesses say that blogging is critical to their business success.

But what can you do to ensure the success of your fitness blog (and therefore your business)?

The fitness industry, in general, is full of tons of people and companies offering their take on how to lose weight, live healthier and so on. It’s a noisy arena that you must cut through to find and grow an engaged audience.

First things first

Of course, key considerations to have a quality fitness blog to promote in the first place include:

Understanding your audience

Who are you writing for? What problems or obstacles are they facing? What do they care about?

Determining your niche

A fitness blog that tries to be everything for everyone is going to connect with and engage very few. What is your expertise? If you’re a nutrition expert, for example, what unique angle can you focus on? Meal planning for families? Paleo eating? Something else? Don’t be afraid to get specific. The more uniquely you can leverage your expertise, experience and even personality, the better.

Establishing your target keywords

Once you know the niche you’re pursuing, it’s time to start researching relevant keywords. Don’t get distracted by the most popular keywords. Big websites are already targeting those. Focus on long-tail keywords that might have a lower search volume but also are more easy to rank for. Need help? Check out our list of 11 free keyword research tools.

Committing to a consistent publishing schedule

Inconsistent fitness blogs will struggle to gain traction. Set a schedule that you can stick to. You can make this easier by planning topics ahead of time (i.e. a content calendar). A general rule of thumb is to strive for at least three posts per week, but ultimately, the commitment has to be something you can keep. Feel free to refer to your competition for how often they are posting and use that as a gauge as well.

Quality over quantity

While you should be posting consistently, you also have to be hyper aware of the quality of content you’re offering. In the fitness world specifically, you have to be extra cautious about offering health advice. We recommend that either you’re an expert (with a diploma or certifications) or you focus only on sharing your experiences as they pertain to health and fitness (like how you lost weight, for example). Of course, you can always hire or interview experts as well. With every post, ask yourself: “Am I helping my audience overcome their problem(s)?” The goal is to create content that is as good or better than what’s already available online.

It’s important to take your time on each of the above factors because even the best marketing strategies in the world are only going to take an unengaging, unfocused blog so far. 

The following are six ways that you can market your fitness blog.

Your SEO matters

Great search engine optimization (SEO) will reward your fitness blog with organic website traffic.

There are loosely three types of SEO techniques:

  • Technical SEO, which involves the indexing and crawling settings of your website. It’s about search engines being able to read and index your website properly. Check out our 13 tips to get Google to index your website faster.
  • On-page SEO, which involves making your web pages search-engine friendly. This involves page titles, page descriptions, text formatting, mobile optimization and so on.
  • Off-page SEO, which involves everything that’s happening outside of your website. For example, other sites linking to yours and even social media posts directing users to your fitness blog. Check out our nine tips and tricks to boost your off-page SEO.

Learn more about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO, and see if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

Just remember that great SEO takes time and consistent effort. There are no worthwhile shortcuts that will serve your fitness blog in the long run.

Promote on social media

This method is likely obvious. Most fitness bloggers share their content on social media platforms.

Where to post

The trick is to optimize your presence on the social media platforms you’re already on, prioritize those existing accounts by where your target audience is (and is engaging with you) and decide if there are any platforms you should be on that you aren’t on yet.

(On the flip side, are you wasting your resources on any given social media platform? For example, Twitter isn’t the best platform for every business.)

We can help you determine the best platform(s) for your fitness blog promotion and goals.

How to post

As far as posting, go beyond the simple sharing of links. Identify opportunities to promote your content with visuals, whether they’re eye-catching photos or designed graphics. Canva is a free tool that can help even the self-declared non-designers design compelling images.

Just as you want to be consistent with publishing your fitness blog, you also want to be consistent (and engaged) on your chosen social media platforms. Remember that social media is a space for conversations, not just broadcasting links.

These 11 social media management tools and seven social media automation opportunities can help.

Consider an app

Creating apps for iOS and Android devices is a great alternative way to get your fitness blog discovered. While there’s definitely competition, you’ll find that it’s not as intense as the intense noise you’ll find on the world wide web.

Be sure to connect with a knowledgeable app developer that can best reflect your needs and branding.

Another bonus of this method is that anyone who downloads your app can be notified when new blogs are published.

Email marketing a must

Creating and publishing consistent content naturally leads to the need for establishing an email newsletter that website visitors can subscribe to.

Email marketing is a powerful tool. Simply refer to these 48 statistics.

Treat every email you send as an opportunity to engage with your subscribers and deliver on the promise of value your newsletter offers.

Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy of an effective marketing email. And if you’re in need of building up your subscriber list, here are 12 strategies that will help you capture email addresses without annoying all your website visitors.

Once you solidify your email marketing rhythm, consider any sale opportunities that can be mixed in. Refer to our 14 best practices for email drip campaigns for inspiration.

Look into trust badges

Because of the noise in the fitness content space, any sort of verification you can obtain to reflect the quality of your content will build trust with website visitors (who will be more likely to return if they trust you).

Regarding health and fitness specifically, consider working with Health On The Net, which is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes transparent and reliable health information online.

While trust badges won’t directly grow your fitness blog traffic, they do boost the perceived value of your website and better establish your authority in the fitness industry.

Find out more about the types of trust badges you can embed on your site

Explore what the competition is doing

The best digital marketing strategies are constantly evolving, and the fitness industry changes at an equally fast rate.

Take the time to follow your competition and other thought leaders in the fitness industry. 

How are they promoting themselves and their content? What appears to be working for them? What doesn’t seem to be working? In addition, take note of:

  • Top-ranking websites on Google in your niche
  • The type of content the top sites publish
  • How often new content is published
  • The average length of blog posts
  • What they share on social media (and how they share it)
  • Any multimedia assets used (video, images, etc.) 

This type of competitive analysis will only help inform you on alternative ideas and tactics that can influence your own fitness blog marketing.

Being engaged in your niche industry is a great way to stay on top of trends and continue to be creative with your own blogging.

To more efficiently conduct your competitive analysis, tools like Buzzsumo and Semrush can help.

In conclusion

While you’re looking to better market your fitness blog, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

17 of the best social proof tools to boost your sales

Social proof can help convert your potential customers into paying customers.

This marketing technique refers to potential customers assuming that what others are doing is correct based on how often they see those actions. In other words, social proof is about looking to others to figure out the right way to interact in any given situation.

About 92 percent of online consumers will read product reviews before purchasing.

Find out more about social proof and nine ways you can use it.

The following are 17 of the best social proof tools to build your credibility and boost your sales. Several include money-back guarantees and free trials.

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is a popular social proof tool for business websites. It can automate real-time customer activity notifications on your site with unobtrusive (but attention-grabbing) pop-ups.

Such verified website actions include (but are not limited to):

  • Purchases
  • Sign-up form submission
  • Demo registrations

TrustPulse says that you can boost your conversions by as much as 15 percent by using the tool on your website. It also integrates with WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Mailchimp and more.

Pricing

Plans start at $9 per month, but this varies since TrustPulse periodically discounts its prices for new accounts. All of its plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

Proof

Proof is another popular social proof tool, with more than 25,000 businesses using it. It offers different ways to customize your social proof notifications, such as how long to show those notifications and on which pages they should appear.

You also can customize whether you feature conversions from the past day, week or even the past three months.

Pricing

Plans start at $24 per month (billed annually), but you can start a 14-day free trial to see if it’s right for your business first.

Smash Balloon

To embed social media feeds anywhere on your WordPress website, consider Smash Balloon. This means that you can highlight user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and reviews from others on social media.

Specifically, Smash Balloon offers five different plugins to help you show social proof on your website:

  • Facebook feed of Facebook reviews 
  • Instagram hashtag feed of user-generated content
  • Twitter feed of tweets that mention your account or branded hashtag
  • YouTube feed featuring a playlist of video testimonials
  • Social Wall combining feeds from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube into a single feed

Pricing

Plans start at $98 per year, but introductory offers usually are available. It also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.

WPForms

WPForms is a user-friendly WordPress form-builder plugin, making it easy to ask for customer reviews that you can then highlight on your ecommerce website.

This is important because consumers trust online reviews.

WPForms features several pre-built templates and integrates with your email marketing service. This means that, in addition to using the tool on your site, you can use your email service to automatically reach out to customers after their purchase from you and include your feedback form.

Pricing

Plans start at $79 per year, but WPForms runs periodic sales for new accounts. It also features a 14-day money-back guarantee.

SocialProve

SocialProve displays conversion or visitor notifications on your website in the form of small pop-ups. It also touts boosting your sales by about 15 percent.

The notifications can be customized to match your branding. Notification types include live activity, live count, visitor combo and activity combo.

It integrates with more than 120 content marketing tools, payment systems, marketing funnel apps and other apps, including (but not limited to):

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • ClickFunnels
  • Leadpages
  • HubSpot
  • Instapage
  • Squarespace
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

Pricing

Plans start at $359 per year, but you can start with a no-risk, seven-day free trial to see if it works for you. (No credit card information required.)

Thrive Ovation

The WordPress plugin, Thrive Ovation, helps you easily add testimonials to your ecommerce website. 

You can even add social media and blog comments to your testimonials library. Its tagging system helps you find the testimonials you want to include.

There’s also an “awaiting approval” status function, where you’ll receive approval emails from your dashboard to approve any new testimonials before they go live.

Pricing

Plans start at $19 per month, billed annually. It also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Proven

Proven is another WordPress plugin that lets you customize the appearance of your social proof notifications to match your branding.

You can create manual entries and control how and when notifications appear. This can include showing notifications on certain pages, only to new visitors, only to logged-in users and so on.

Pricing

Plans start at $39 per year for a single site license.

LetConvert

To show off recent visitor activity, live visitor count and how many conversions have happened on your website, consider LetConvert. It’s also fully customizable, with a variety of colors, fonts and animations.

The tool also features customer cards that allow you to follow your customer’s journey. For example, once a visitor signs up, you can then track his or her details and activity on your website.

Pricing

Plans start at $4.99 per week when billed annually and include a 14-day free trial.

Fomo

Fomo is a tool that offers several templates and display rules that you can use. But you also can create your own if you like. Customizations can apply to notification messages, filters and template or page rules.

No coding necessary for your customizations, which can make it very easy to use.

Pricing

Plans start at $19 per month, but you can try Fomo out first with a 14-day free trial.

Repuso

To show off testimonials and reviews on your site, consider Repuso, which actually monitors your social media platforms for customer reviews. 

You also can collect customer reviews through Repuso’s widgets. The reviews and testimonials go into a dashboard where you can organize them and choose which to display on your website.

Repuso features a number of ways to display these, including:

  • Floating widgets
  • In-line reviews
  • Floating badges
  • Review grid
  • Photo-review sliders

Pricing

Plans start at $9 per month when billed annually, with a free 10-day trial available.

Provely

Provely features different campaign types that will show real-time activity, rotating activity from a selected period of time or past activity.

The tool touts a 250 percent boost to your conversions. You can customize your pop-up notifications, with various templates and the ability to choose the colors that reflect your branding.

Provely says it only takes “2 minutes flat” to set up.

Pricing

Plans start at $97 per year, billed annually.

Boast

Boast is a tool focused on testimonials that’s used by more than 8,000 businesses. Its features help you request, collect, manage and display testimonials from your customers.

This includes testimonials in different formats, such as video, text and audio that you can then show on your website. It integrates with Facebook and YouTube, so you can use your video testimonials across social media platforms.

Boast also offers a mobile app on both iOS and Android that makes it even easier to use by allowing customers to record their testimonials through the app. If you use Boast’s ability to email customers from within the tool to request a testimonial, you can then track where those testimonials are in the process.

Pricing

Plans start at $25 per month, billed annually, and include a 14-day free trial.

WPfomify

Another WordPress social proof plugin is WPfomify. It’s easy to set up and features powerful integrations with other WordPress plugins and email marketing services.

You can use it to show off real-time activity, subscriber activity and client reviews. You also can customize it to match your website’s branding.

Pricing

Plans start at $99 per year and come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Yotpo

An ecommerce marketing platform, Yotpo includes social proof features, such as reviews, ratings, visual marketing content and referral programs.

The tool helps you collect website and product reviews, create an FAQ section based on real customer questions, display user-generated content (UGC) and so on.

Yotpo uses AI (artificial intelligence) to message your customers, encouraging them to leave a review after their purchase.

Pricing

Yotpo includes a limited, free plan. Paid plans start at $19 per month.

ProveSource

ProveSource helps you display verified conversions, activities and purchases on your website. You also can customize your notification icons, title color, text, links and so on.

ProveSource makes it easy to create a new social proof notification with a tab system for user flow. Plus, you can add GIFs to your social proof notifications, making things fun and engaging.

The tool also automatically collects such metrics as impressions, clicks, hovers, leads, engaged visitors and engagement rates, among others. You also can connect ProveSource to Google Analytics for a deeper analysis.

Pricing

Plans start at $18 per month, billed annually, but ProveSource says you can start for free on a limited basis.

NotificationX

NotificationX is a WordPress plugin that will show real-time sales and engagement notifications. Its simple interface is easy to set up and use.

The plugin features different notification types, including (but not limited to):

  • Blog comments
  • WordPress reviews
  • WordPress download counts
  • Sales alerts
  • Email subscriptions

Pricing

Plans start at $39 per year, with a 14-day, money-back guarantee.

Notifia

Notifia integrates with more than 30 marketing tools, plugins and pop-ups to help you convert potential customers and more.

Its social proof notifications feature customized text, designs, images, page targeting, time delay and more. Notifia even offers personalization where you can include a visitor’s first name, company and/or location to better connect and engage with that visitor.

Pricing

Plans for Notifia start at $9 per month.

Once you’ve enhanced your social proof using one of the above tools that fits your website and business needs best, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 expert tips for marketing on Pinterest

While Pinterest has definitely been around as long as some of the other bigger social media platforms, it’s not often thought of first as a marketing opportunity. And it’s even less common to have a thought-out strategy for it.

But if your brand’s target audience aligns with who you’ll reach on Pinterest, this is a mistake.

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine, housing tons of photos, graphics, links and inspiration for nearly anything you might want to find. Yes, it’s popular for recipes and DIY projects, but there really is more to it than that.

Founded in 2009, Pinterest currently has about 478 million monthly active users, making it the 14th largest social network in the world and the fourth largest social network in the U.S.

Pinterest has traditionally had a majority-female user base, but that gender gap is narrowing, with 60 percent of users being women. It’s largest demographic, however, still is women aged 25 to 34 at 30.4 percent of all users.

So, if this is the target audience you’re trying to reach, don’t overlook the power of Pinterest. The following are six expert tips for marketing on the visual search engine to reach potential customers and drive website traffic.

Brand, optimize your Pinterest profile

First things first, take a look at your existing brand profile on Pinterest. If you’re just creating one, even better—you can start things off right.

Make sure you’re working with a business Pinterest account, so you have access to analytics, “rich pins” and other features. 

From there, it’s time to brand every single aspect of your Pinterest profile. The goal is that it looks like a reflection of your business. This can include:

    • Uploading a profile photo, which likely would be your logo but still should be whatever version/color of your logo that best represents your brand and intention on Pinterest. The size is a 165-pixel by 165-pixel square. Depending on your business (like if it’s all about you specifically), a professional headshot would work here, too.
    • Writing your bio, which should be aligned with the bio section of your other social media profiles. It will still need to be short and succinct. Pinterest’s character limit here is 160. Hashtags aren’t as essential, though, on a Pinterest bio (as compared to Twitter or Instagram, for example).
    • Choosing a cover board, which will show pins from that board at the very top of your profile. The pins themselves won’t be clickable, but there will be a link to that board at the corner of the cover itself. Take the time to identify what pins reflect your brand as well as your overall purpose on Pinterest (both visually and content-wise).
    • Customizing your showcase boards, which appear directly below your name and bio. You can choose up to five boards, and they’ll slide from one board to the next. Ideally, this is a great spot to feature your product(s), service(s) or blogs.
    • Branding your board covers, which will give all your boards a consistent look and match the rest of your Pinterest profile. There are two ways to do this: 1) Create and upload separate board covers to each board and link them to your website; or 2) Choose a pin from each of your boards that matches your brand color.
    • Verifying your website, which will get you the access to the analytics tied to your website on Pinterest, as well as access to the “rich pins” feature that will share more information about your link(s). Pinterest can walk you through it.

Decide on your content strategy

If you’ve had more of a sporadic, buckshot approach to your content strategy on Pinterest, you’re not alone. 

But it’s never too late to turn that around and get focused. Of course, at the center of your content strategy should be your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are they interested in? How might you engage them here on Pinterest specifically?

In addition to that thought process, consider some of the most popular types of pins:

  • Product pins, which make sense if you’re a retailer or online store. Use a striking, beautiful product image that will catch the eye of a user. Even when Pinterest users aren’t originally shopping on the platform, about 72 percent say that they get inspired to, largely because of enticing product pins.
  • Blog post graphics, which work if you’re promoting articles from your website. Use a clean, eye-catching design (with photos or graphic designs) and bold text that again will catch users’ attention as they’re scrolling through numerous pins.
  • Infographic pins, which are a great way to promote your business by sharing valuable information and/or data. The idea is to visually convey that content in such a way as to catch the eye. So, keep it clean, simple and bold within the vertical space.
  • Lead-capture magnets, which work for promoting any downloadable content your website might be offering to generate leads. Again, strive for a clean, branded and engaging design.

Join Pinterest community boards

Pinterest allows its users to invite others to contribute to a board, and that can be a perfect way to get your content in front of brand new audiences. 

To get started, look for prominent Pinterest users in your industry and see if they have any group/community boards that make sense for your brand to join.

Often, the board’s description might include some rules, as well as a link to apply to join. Otherwise, you might have to email the owner of the board, fill out a contact form and/or follow their account for them to add you. Every community board can be a bit different, just like Facebook groups.

Also just like Facebook groups, once you’ve joined, be sure to stay active on the board with a mix of content. That content also shouldn’t be just promotional on behalf of your brand. Take the time to add to the true content mix with relevant, curated content as well.

SEO does matter on Pinterest

We’ve already referred to Pinterest as a visual search engine. Therefore, you should use all search engine optimization (SEO) tactics on both your profile and your pins.

Pinterest has its own algorithm and its own SEO rules. To maximize your own ranking on Pinterest, here are some suggestions to pay attention to, such as your:

  • Profile, where you can include keywords in your bio (but also in your name if appropriate).
  • Pins, where relevant keywords can be included in both the title and the description.
  • Boards, where you should strive for titles with keywords rather than titles that are just fun or cute. The board descriptions should focus on telling users what they’ll find on your board while including relevant keywords as well.

Just be sure not to overstuff keywords in any area of your Pinterest profile or content. You wouldn’t want to do that for regular search engines, so don’t bother on Pinterest either. It simply won’t get the results you’re seeking. User understanding and their experience with your content should always be the priority.

Schedule out your pins

Consistent, fresh content is critical to generating a successful presence on Pinterest that reaches the audience you’re seeking and driving traffic to your website.

Yes, you can visit the platform multiple times per day to post fresh pins. However, using a scheduling tool will help you stay on top of your pins and ensure proper timing (rather than dumping several all at once).

About five to 30 pins per day is best for engagement on Pinterest.

To help with this, check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools if you’re not already using one that supports Pinterest publishing.

Target the right users with ads

Beyond just organic content, you also can target Pinterest ads around keywords, interests, geographic location, age and more.

Pinterest ads come in a number of formats, including (but not limited to):

    • Promoted pins, which appear in the home feed and search results on Pinterest just like a regular pin, except that they are boosted for a determined budget and targeted to deliver additional reach. If a user shares that promoted pin, the “promoted” label disappears. That remains true for subsequent repins as well.
    • Promoted carousels, which feature two to five images that users can swipe through. These can appear wherever regular pins do. Each “card” in a promoted carousel can feature a different image, title, description and landing page. This is a great option if you have multiple products or features to highlight.
    • Promoted video pins, which are just like promoted pins, except that the static image is replaced with a video. These promoted videos autoplay as soon as they’re 50 percent within view. There are two sizes available for promoted video pins: max and standard. Max spreads width-wise across the feed, minimizing distractions and competition from other pins, but this size can be more expensive. Standard size is the same as regular pins. Promoted videos are four times more memorable than non-video ads, so they’re worth considering.
    • Promoted app pins, which enable users to download your mobile app directly from Pinterest. This ad type then is obviously mobile-only, but that’s not a bad thing since about 80 percent of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile devices.
    • Buyable pins, which are also known as “Shop the Look.” This type of ad allows users to find and buy products directly from your pin. This is great if you’re featuring an image where multiple products are working together. For example, an outfit, decorated room or dinner spread.

In conclusion

If Pinterest is a platform where you can reach your target audience, you should give it the same amount of consideration and planning as you would any of your other social media brand accounts.

That attention and consistency will pay off.

If you’re not sure what social media platform your brand should be focusing on, our guide can help.

And if improving your digital marketing process is on your mind, consider DailyStory, which features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.